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Word Count: 1,398
Bloody confusion reigned until a group of Persian aristocrats put forward one of their own members Darius Hystaspes to bring order to the realm After securing order within the Persian ranks Darius then looked to the various subject peoples many of whom were also in revolt He brilliantly relentlessly and ruthlessly forced them back under Persian dominion Babylonians Medes Assyrians Armenians Lydians Egyptians etc Then he set himself to the task of bring a peaceful order to the empire that the Western world had not seen prior to his days Having reestablished the Persian empire he then proceeded to extend its boundaries eastward across Afghanistan and down into the Indus River valley northward into Central Asia and westward into southwestern Russia and the Balkans At its height his empire included Egypt Palestine Syria Phoenicia the various states of Asia Minor including Greek Ionia Armenia Assyria Babylonia Media Persia Afghanistan Baluchistan Western India Sogdiana Bactria and wide reaches of central Asia This whole apparatus was presided over by a vast bureaucracy of satraps or royal officials and by a royal army made up of Persians and Medes There was also much local autonomy allowed in the governing of local life--even local military units dressed and armed in their traditional manner to serve the needs of the local order these local military units could also be called into service as part of the imperial army--though these units were hardly reliable in times of distress The whole system was held together by a council of Persian aristocrats and the unchangeable decrees of the emperor unchangeable because they were considered the pronouncements of God But it was the Greeks who prove to be Cyrus undoing When Greek Ionia Western Turkey revolted aided by Sparta and Athens he took the war across the Aegean to mainland Greece--only to be humiliated by defeat at Marathon 490 BC He sadly retreated to Persia prepared for another assault on Greece but then weakened
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