Assess Darius 1 As A Persian King

1320 words - 5 pages

When assessing Darius as a Persian King there are four main categories that we can assess him in:AdministrationConstructionMilitaryImageAdministrationDarius's most significant contribution to the Persian Empire was the refinement of administration. While Cyrus created an effective administrative basis as Jennifer Lawless said "Darius perfected it". The system of administration that Darius used was followed by all the Persian Kings until its collapse. The key to Cyrus's empire was that instead of conquering his neighbors and putting them into slavery, he allowed them to become a part of his empire, giving them everything they had before. This included the people's religious policies. The main difference was that a satrap replaced the highest level of government. This allowed for an extremely rapid expansion of the empire. Darius kept this characteristic of Cyrus's as well as most of his other policies. Darius refined the system by increasing the number of satrapies from approximately 20-30 so that no one satrapy could become too powerful. Each satrap was also appointed various controllers and coordinators to minimize what power they could achieve. Coinage, weights, and measures were standardized. The Egyptian laws were codified. Darius created a standard taxation system for each of his satrapies, with the wealthier satrapies paying more that the not so wealthy. By making these seemingly simplistic changes to the administration system he set the standard for all the future rulers of the Empire as well as stabilizing the shaky reign of Cambyses. Darius is best known for his administrative genius and when he is compared to other Persian Kings he is unrivaled save Cyrus the creator, however as M.A. Dandamaev tells us unlike Cyrus, Darius' tactics were very low risk and were more focused on stabilizing the empire rather than expanding it. Upon examining all the above evidence and the political genius of Darius, in effectively administering the empire, it is evident that he strived for stability and achieved it.ConstructionDarius was the creator of the cities new royal residence of Persepolis, although it was not completed in his lifetime. Darius is attributed to the fortifications, apadana, council hall, treasury, and a residential palace. Just like Cyrus when he created Pasargadae, Darius used craftsmen from all corners of his empire making it a truly multicultural venue. Amelie Kuhrt said in her book Routledge History of the Ancient World- "It showed the Persian King supported by, and at the apex of, an empire made up of many peoples whose indervidual character was emphasized, yet who were all drawn together in a harmonious union to serve their ruler" Darius also had various building programs at Ecbana and Babylon. The construction that sets Darius out from other Kings was his building of the Royal Roadway. This cut down travel tremendously allowing communication to be at an all time high in the Ancient World. In Egypt Darius ordered the completion...

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