The Persians


OK, I've progressed from the Babylonians to the Persians, and from Cyrus tthrough the lesser kings to Darius.  I'm working my way toward Xerxes so I can have some good background on Esther.  This is the book I'm reading:

What are the differences so far between the Babylonians and the Persians?  The Persians let all the conquered peoples stay in their own areas, keep their own language, culture, gods.  To some of those they conquered, this strategy made them look weak, so there were always uprisings.  In addition, the Persian language never became the lingua franca of the areas they conquered:  From Turkey to India and Northern Africa to Ethiopia. 

Why are the Medes and Persians tied together?  The story goes (there is historical support for this story) that the King of the Medes married his daughters off to the Persian King.  But he had been told my his wise men that a grandson would murder him.  So he had his chief lieutenant steal the child and kill it.  However, the chief lieutenant decided to hide the child, instead, and then inform the Persians where it could be found.  This child was Cyrus.  The lieutenant remained a double agent and when Cyrus became king, he assisted Cyrus in killing Cyrus' grandfather and uniting the Medes and the Persians.  He became Cyrus' lieutenant and the famous Medean cavalry joined the Persian armies and navy, and together the Medes and Persians became a world power.

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