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The Mongol Empire And The Persian Empire

1148 words - 5 pages

Throughout time, many civilizations have been noted as ‘great’ pertaining to not only the characteristics of their leaders, but also by how well they spread and influence other nations. The Mongol and Achaemenid (Early Persian) empire are two empires that held a significant amount of power during their time period. There were many different religions practiced in the civilizations, and the practice and tolerance of religion is an important aspect to the power of a nation. The Mongol empire and the Achaemenid empire are two empires that are considerably different in regards to their belief systems that were practiced and the motivation behind their religious tolerance, but share a similarity ...view middle of the document...

The Persian Empire’s main religion was Zoroastrianism. There was no ‘holy’ book such as the Bible or the Quran found in Zoroastrianism. Instead there were 5 texts that were composed by Zarathustra -the prophet and founder of Zoroastrianism- called the “Gathas” (Religion of the Ancient World, pg. 17). The texts were written in the Avestan language-which was an ancient Iranian language (Religion of the Ancient world, pg. 198). The head of the world was Ahura Mazda “The Wise Lord”, who was also the creator of the world, so the religion was found to be monotheistic because of the belief in one god, but others considered it dualism because the higher powers are essentially the same power, but can be both good and evil.

The Mongol empire and the Achaemenid empire had their own specific religions that were practiced, and their motivation behind how tolerant they were with other religions varied depending on the time period. The Mongol Empire practiced religious tolerance during the reign of Genghis Khan, while the Persian Empire (during the reign of Cyrus) was tolerant of the religious beliefs of the Hebrews
who practiced Judaism, they no longer had a need to be religiously tolerant under the leadership of King Darius, because their population mostly practiced Zoroastrianism.
In the Mongol Empire, religious freedom was granted to the people of Mongolia. The main reason for this religious tolerance was the fact that Genghis Khan was able to use the freedom of religion to his advantage. He assisted the Muslims from Central Asia in the killing of their leader, and then granted the land religious freedom.This not only enable him to have more followers, but also granted him more land. Amy Chua stated in her book “Day of Empire” that “the Mongols were more religiously open than any other power in the world.” Her quote was a fair representation of the attitudes that the Mongols had towards other religions.While in the Achaemenid Empire, the rulers were not necessarily ‘tolerant’ of other religions, because their dominant religion was indeed Zoroastrianism. Therefore,the people of their lands followed the religion. The people who did not practice Zoroastrianism were very few, and did not strongly impact the nation. Therefore, the Early Persian Empire had no threats and no reason to be tolerant of other religions.
While the two empires were remarkably different in their religions, and their feelings towards religious tolerance, they share a...

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