Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was founded by Cyrus the Great and became one of the most powerful, largest empires in ancient history. It ranged, at its greatest, from Anatolia and Egypt across western Asia to the borders of northern India and Central Asia.
See the fact file below for more information on the Achaemenid Empire or alternatively, you can download our 27-page The Achaemenid Empire worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The First Persian Empire began as an assembly of semi-nomadic tribes who raised sheep, goats, and cattle on the Iranian plateau. Cyrus the Great, one of their leaders, revolted against the Medes and this started the rise of the Achaemenid Empire. He also defeated nearby kingdoms, Lydia and Babylon, joining them under one rule. This Iron Age dynasty was a universal center of culture, religion, science, art, and technology for more than 200 years before it fell to the conquering armies of Alexander the Great.
- In 550 B.C., Cyrus II of Persia, who became known as Cyrus the Great, revolted against King Astyages of Media, eventually conquering the Medes to create the First Persian Empire, also known as the Achaemenid Empire.
- Cyrus II used his tactical genius and wide understanding of the socio-political conditions governing his territories to ultimately integrate the neighboring Lydian and Neo-Babylonian empires into the new Persian Empire.
- The Lydians of western Anatolia under King Croesus fell after a two-week siege when the Persian forces advanced to the Lydian Capital at Sardis.
- In 539 B.C., Persian forces defeated the Babylonian army at the site of Opis. Cyrus the Great introduced himself in Babylon as a customary Mesopotamian monarch, restoring temples and releasing political prisoners.
- After the death of Cyrus the Great in 530 B.C., he was succeeded by his son, Cambyses II, who conquered Egypt’s ancient capital Memphis in 525 B.C.
- Cambyses II died in 522 B.C., during a rebellion led by a priest, Gaumata, who assumed the throne by pretending to be Bardiya (Cambyses’ brother) until overthrown in 522 B.C. by a member of a lateral branch of the Achaemenid family, Darius I, also known as Darius the Great.
- In 522 B.C., Darius the Great emerged as king and the empire was solidified with roads for communication. He also dominated Northwestern India.
- Darius I instigated Aramaic as the official language and developed a systematization of laws for Egypt. He also supported construction projects throughout the empire, concentrating on improvement of the cities of Susa, Pasargadae, Persepolis, Babylon, and various municipalities in Egypt.
- The Achaemenid Empire began to collapse after the death of Darius I in 486 B.C. His son, Xerxes I headed the uprisings in Egypt and Babylon, then underwent some defeats in Greece.
- Artaxerxes I, successor of Xerxes I, died in 424 B.C., resulting in the imperial court being divided. This factionalism persisted until the death of Darius III (the heir of Artaxerxes I). He was defeated by Alexander the Great in the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 B.C.
- Cyrus the Great organized the massive Achaemenid Empire through the use of satrap (governors), who oversaw a territory called satrapy. It was established upon the fidelity and conformity of the satrapy to the king, and obedience with tax laws.
- Cyrus the Great issued a document called Cyrus Cylinder. It is an ancient clay artifact, now broken to several fragments, that has been the bond of universal human rights and a mark of his humanitarian rule.
- Darius the Great revolutionized the economy by placing it on a silver and gold coinage. He also commenced a structured tax system. This organization specifically incorporated the taxes of each satrapy based on its expected productivity and economic potential.
- Darius the Great ordered an inscription to be engraved on a limestone cliff of Mount Behistun in modern Iran and, later on, a Behistun Inscription revealed to have a great linguistic significance as a crucial clue in decoding cuneiform script, one of the earliest writing in the world.
- The Achaemenids built an effective foundation of roads and ports. They brought water to remote areas throughout the empire through the use of qanats (underground irrigation system). Darius the Great, had a canal constructed to link the Nile to the Red Sea (an early precursor of the Suez Canal).
- During the Achaemenid Empire, trade was widespread. Efficient infrastructure, unified language, and a postal service facilitated the exchange of commodities throughout the empire. The satrapies were linked by a 2,500-kilometer long highway, the most remarkable stretch of which was the Royal Road from Susa to Sardis. The relays of mounted couriers could reach the most remote areas in 15 days.
- King Cambyses II, of Persia, was the first person who studied the dead bodies of the mummies of Egypt after conquering the Egyptian City of Memphis.
- The Achaemenid Empire can be recognized for the development of organized cavalry forces that were strategically used on the battlefield along with other diverse forces like Sparabara (archers with large shields) and Takabara (heavy peltasts).
- Zoroastrianism was the governing religion during the Achaemenid Empire, but other beliefs were respected to follow their traditions, allowing each religious faith to flourish.
The Achaemenid Empire Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Achaemenid Empire across 27 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use The Achaemenid Empire worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Achaemenid Empire.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Achaemenid Empire Facts
- Finding the Achaemenid Kings
- Identify the Legacy
- What happened then?
- Who was truly Great?
- The Great Conquests
- The Empire Strikes
- Empires Rise and Fall
- Match and Reveal the King
- How to be Great
- Great Leaders Make Great Empires
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as The Achaemenid Empire Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 31, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.