Following Cyrus the Great's defeat of Babylonia in 538 B.C.E., the Achaemenid Persians built a vast empire from Egypt to Central Asia that endured until Alexander the Great's conquest of the ancient Near East in 333 B.C.E. This map shows the the Persian Empire at its largest extent, including the names of the Persian administrative districts (satrapies) and major cities. Several biblical books portray the Persian kings as supporters of Judean religion, and much of the Hebrew Bible probably received its present shape during the two centuries of Persian rule over the province of Judea.
A broad, diverse group of nations ruled by the government of a single nation.
Founded circa 550 BC by Cyrus II. It was the largest empire of its era, extended from Anatolia and Egypt to northern India.
A Macedonian (Greek) general who conquered the Persians and ruled over a vast empire, from Greece to the Indus River, in the 330s B.C.E.
A region notable for its early ancient civilizations, geographically encompassing the modern Middle East, Egypt, and modern Turkey.
Ancient lower Mesopotamia, which for much of the second and first millenniums was the under the control of an empire centered in Babylon.
A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.
The southern kingdom of Judah.
Relating to or associated with people living in the territory of the southern kingdom of Judah during the divided monarchy, or what later became the larger province of Judah under imperial control. According to the Bible, the area originally received its name as the tribal territory allotted to Judah, the fourth son of Jacob.