Middle East 500 BCE

A succession of great empires - the Assyrian, the Babylonian, and now the Persian - have dominated the Middle East for the past few centuries.

Read on

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

4300BCE 3900BCE 3500BCE 3100BCE 2700BCE 2300BCE 1900BCE 1500BCE 1100BCE 700BCE 300BCE 100CE 500CE 900CE 1300CE 1700CE 2022CE

What is happening in Middle East in 500BCE

The Persian Empire

The history of the Middle East over the past 500 years or so has been one of imperial powers following one another in succession: first the Assyrians, then the Babylonians and Medes, and now the Persian empire, the largest state in the history of the Ancient World.

The conquest of this huge empire was the achievement of the Persian king Cyrus the Great, the first great ruler of the Achaemenid dynasty (hence another common name for the state he founded is the Achaemenid empire).

His successor, Darius the Great now sits on the Persian throne, and is reorganising the empire along more centralized lines. The Persian empire now covers the entire region and beyond. The Lydians, Phrygians and Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor, the Phoenicians and Jews (newly restored to their homeland) of Syria and the Levant, the Egyptians, the Babylonians of Mesopotamia, and the different Iranian peoples, are now all under one regime.

The Aramaean language

This succession of great empires – and the policy that the Assyrians and Babylonians pursued of re-settling conquered peoples in scattered groups throughout their territories – has resulted in the upheaval of populations on a vast scale. As a result, old languages have vanished and Aramaean has become the lingua-franca of the region. With its simple-to-learn alphabet, this has greatly stimulated international trade and inter-regional communications.

Middle Eastern civilization, by now three millennia old in its Mesopotamian heartland, has reached new heights.

Next map: Middle East 200 BCE


Dig Deeper

The Ancient Middle East

The History of Ancient Egypt

Ancient Palestine

Ancient Assyria

Ancient Babylon

The Persian Empire

The Phoenicians

The History of Ancient Turkey

The History of Ancient Syria

The History of Elam

The History of Arabia

Premium Units

A Panoramic Overview of Early Civilizations

Age of Empire: The Middle East c.1000 BCE to 500 BCE


Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads