About 2,500 years ago, the Persian Empire was the largest political unit in the entire world. By comparison, around this time the ancient Greeks were divided and mostly limited to the Greek peninsula itself; the ancient Romans were little more than a functioning city themselves.
The Persians were responsible for many major achievements in human history. They were one of the first authorities to delegate power to regions, creating satraps, or governors, who were practically kings themselves. Other powers might conquer a region and subject it to cruelty, but the Persians would expand and annex a nation, create a satrapy, and expect good governance and strong tax contributions. They did not force their religion, Zoroastrianism, onto the population. The Persians were also famous for incorporating aspects of these new regions into their empire, including decorating the capital with their art. This helped inspire loyalty throughout the empire.
The Persian Empire was a major hub for learning and...
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