Why was the Persian Empire important?
The Persian Empire was important for many reasons. This empire was a huge one. It covered territory from Egypt to Turkey and up to the area near the Indus River.
The Persians tended to respect the people they conquered. Instead of interfering in local events, they worked with local rulers and also adopted some of the local customs and traditions.
The Persians also tried to build up trade throughout the regions they controlled. They developed a money system, had laws that applied throughout their empire, and developed a standard set of weights and measures. The Persians weren’t interested in raiding the local economies that they controlled. They wanted to develop them.
The Persians developed their empire in a manner that future empires would emulate. The Persians created a mail system. They built roads and developed a communication system throughout their empire. Their laws applied throughout their empire.
The Persians also developed a religion based on one G-d. This religion believed that our life on earth was in preparation for an afterlife.
The Persians made important contributions as a result of their empire.
Because of its sheer size, the Persian Empire integrated a broad range of cultures and civilizations into a fairly unified trade and economic network that facilitated cultural diffusion as well as the spread of money. The Persian Empire also provided a link between the Near East and civilizations in the Indian subcontinent and China. The Persian state religion, Zoroastrianism, has been viewed by many scholars as influential in many the major Western religions, which share the Zoroastrian belief in a stark, good versus evil dichotomy in the world. Finally, when the Persian Empire fell to Alexander the Great, it became the structure through which Greek learning and culture spread throughout the Near East. Hellenistic culture, in many ways, can be thought of as a syncretic mix of Greek culture and the many cultures of the Persian Empire.