But there would have been no dynasty without he conquest of the Kingdom of Lydia. Strategically placed on the Mediterranean sea, Lydia was a wealthy kingdom that traded with multiple cultures and had an advance economic system (Eyewitness, Bentley, 1311. “Lydia wealth and resources gave Cyrus tremendous momentum” (eyewitness, Bentley, 132). But it more than just military and the advantages of Lydia that built an Empire; while past conquerors would destroy cultures and force assimilation, the Persians were more tolerant and tried to respect the cultures within their empire (Bentley, 136).
Still, with so many ethnic groups scattered throughout the lands, governmental standards had to be set to maintain unity. The key was bureaucracy. Taxes, and Infrastructure. The land was broken down into satrapies (provinces) to be overseen by appointed satraps (governors), and the satraps were monitored by officers and spies to prevent uprisings (Bentley, 136). Predetermined taxes due annually from the satrapies were created (Bentley, 137) and some of the revenue was invested into infrastructure. Irrigation systems like the Kanata(underground canals) were constructed to distributed water to arid regions Bentley, 140).
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Highways and roads that connect the lands were built or Improved upon. These roads, lined with lodgings for travelers, facilitated the trade of agricultural surplus and merchandise. The imperial highways also allowed communication by courier system (Bentley, 1371 and in times of turmoil the military could move quickly through the empire (Eyewitness, Bentley, 132) . As impressive as the aforementioned innovations were, the key to uniting vast populations of diverse people was the Imperial law of the empire. This did not mean a uniform law code for he inure empire.
Existing local laws still applied under the supervision of legal experts to study and codify the laws “modifying them when necessary to harmonize them with the legal principles observed in the empire as a whole. “(Bentley, 135). Those concepts of uniform laws, taxes, bureaucracy, and strong infrastructure are all a part of today’s successful nations. When we think about the foundation of western civilization we look to Rome, instead of looking further back at the Persian Empire. Successful nations are always Influenced by others, and the Persian Empire’s