The Rise of the Achaemens

  Achaemenid hear it pronounced



According to legend, the Persian clan leader Hakamanish

( Achaimenes in Greek, hence the name Achaemenid Empire ) a chief of the Pasargadæ, one of the Persian tribes , united the various Persian tribes in South Iran around 700 B.C. It has not been factually proven if Achaimenes really existed or not . He was, according to legend, fed during infancy by an eagle—that mighty eagle whose shadow, according to a Persian belief in mediaeval times, assured the sovereignty to him on whom it chanced to fall. The establishment, however, about the year B.C. 660, or a little later, of a powerful monarchy in the kindred and neighboring Media, could not fail to attract attention, and might well provoke imitation in Persia; and the native tradition appears to have been that about this time. Persian royalty began in the person of a certain Achaemenes (Hakhamanish), from whom all their later monarchs, with one possible exception, were proud to trace their descent.

The name Achaemenes cannot fail to arouse some suspicion. The Greek genealogies render us so familiar with heroes eponymi—imaginary personages, who owe their origin to the mere fact of the existence of certain tribe or race names, to account for which they were invented—that whenever, even in the history of other nations, we happen upon a name professedly personal, which stands evidently in close connection with a tribal designation, we are apt at once to suspect it of being fictitious. But in the East tribal and even ethnic names were certainly sometimes derived from actual persons; and it may be questioned whether the Persians, or the Iranic stock generally, had the notion of inventing personal eponyms. The name Achaemenes, therefore, in spite of its connection with the royal clan name of Achaemenidae, may stand as perhaps that of a real Persian king, and, if so, as probably that of the first king, the original founder of the monarchy, who united the scattered tribes in one, and thus raised Persia into a power of considerable importance.

Forgotten Empire:

The World of Ancient Persia

History of the Persian Empire  A.T. Olmstead

Olmstead's classic History

of the Persian Empire

Persian Fire: The First

World Empire and

the Battle for the West,

by the writer of Rubicon

 Persians take advantage of a power vacuum

In 653 B.C. the Assyrian empire to the east conquered Elam and the Median Empire was briefly overrun by the Scythians which Teispes,son of Achaimenes took advantage of to capture the Elamite city of Anshan ( north of modern Shiraz, southwestern Iran ) and called himself ' King of the City of Anshan .' This would form the nucleus of what would expand into the Persian Achaemenid Empire.

Teispes was succeeded by his grandson, Cyrus I who ruled Anshan from 652 to 600 B.C. who paid tribute to the Assyrian Empire until 612 B.C. when the Median and Babylonian Empires destroyed the Assyrian capital of Nineveh and Anshan came under the Median vassalage .

Cyrus I was succeeded by Cambyses I, who ruled Anshan from 580 to 559 BC. as a vassal king of King Astyages of the Median Empire . Cambyses I married Princess Mandane of the Median Empire and through this union gave birth to Cyrus II (Cyrus the Great) founder of the Persian Achaemenid Empire.



 Rise of Cyrus


 Early life of Cyrus