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Achaemenid is name of the dynasty that ruled ancient Persia. from about 700 B.C.E. until the conquest of Persia by Alexander of Macedon. The notable kings of this dynasty are Cyrus the Great, who defeated the Babylonian Empire, united Persia and the Medean kingdom, conquered Palestine and restored the Jews, Darius, who expanded the empire westward into Europe and Xerxes I who tried and failed to conquer Athens. The first rulers of Achaemenid Persia were clients and subjects of the Assyrians. and may have ruled a small part of the ancient kingdom of Elam.

There is considerable uncertainty about the number and asequence of Persian kings. There may have been two Teispes for example. Some of the earlier kings may really have been tribal chiefs. The complete list of Achaemenid rulers may be:

Achaemenes of Persia. c 700 BCE (may be mythical)
Teispes of Anshan, son of Achaemenes
Cyrus I of Anshan, son of Teispes.
Ariaramnes of Persia, son of Teispes and co-ruler with Cyrus I.
Cambyses I of Anshan, son of Cyrus I.
Arsames of Persia, son of Ariaramnes co-ruler with Cambyses I
Cyrus II the Great, son of Cambyses I, ruled from c.550 - 530 BC.
Cambyses II, son of Cyrus ruled 530 - 521 BCE.
Smerdis, his supposed brother, ruled 521 BCE
Darius I, his brother-in-law and grandson of Arsames, ruled 521 -486 BCE.
Xerxes I, his son, ruled 486 -465 BCE
Artaxerxes I, his son, ruled 464 - 424 BCE.
Xerxes II, his son, ruled 424 - 423 BCE.
Sogdianus, his half-brother and rival, ruled 424 - 423 BCE.
Darius II, his half-brother and rival, ruled 424 - 404 BCE.
Artaxerxes II, his son, ruled 404 - 358 BCE
Artaxerxes III,his son, ruled 358 - 338 BCE
Arses, his son, ruled 338 - 336 BCE
Darius III Codomannus, great-grandson of Darius II, ruled 336 -330 BCE


Ami Isseroff

October 11, 2010.


Synonyms and alternate spellings: Achemenid Achamanian

Further Information:   Persia

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Encyclopedia of the Middle East

Note - This encyclopedia is a work in progress. It is far from complete and is being constructed and improved all the time. If you would like to contribute articles or expansions of existing articles, please contact news (at) mideastweb.org.  Suggestions and corrections are welcome. The concise version of this dictionary is at our Middle East Glossary.

Spelling - Spelling of words in Middle-Eastern languages is often arbitrary. There may be many variants of the same name or word such as Hezbollah, Hizbolla, Hisbolla or Husayn and Hussein. There are some conventions for converting words from Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew There are numerous variant renderings of the same Arabic or Hebrew words, such as "Hizbollah," "Hisbulla" etc. It is not possible to find exact equivalents for several letters. 

Pronunciation - Arabic and Hebrew vowels are pronounced differently than in English. "o" is very short. The "a" is usually pronounced like the "a" in market, sometimes as the "a" in "Arafat."  The " 'A " is guttural.  " 'H "- the 'het ('Hirbeh, 'Hebron, 'Hisbollah') designates a sound somewhat similar to the ch in "loch" in Scots pronunciation, but made by touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The CH should be pronounced like Loch, a more assertive consonant than 'het.

The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

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