Throughout human history, many events have shaped our world into the complex mesh of ethnicities, cultures and civilizations it is today. With that said, let’s dive into some of the most influential and paramount events in our species history on earth.
1: The Bronze Age Collapse
The ‘Bronze Age Collapse’ as referred to by scholars, archaeologists and historians alike, is one of the most significant events in early human history. Around 1200-1100 BCE, every developed civilization encompassing the eastern Mediterranean and Middle-East were struck by a series of natural disasters, wars, famine, rebellion and marauding hordes known as the “Sea People”.
The above is one of the many, but most likely, theories concerning the utter destruction of nearly every kingdom or empire in the regions stated with the exception of Assyria.
This event set back the human cultures of the Middle-East for a whole century before activity was again seen, soon after the ever ambitious Assyrians re-established their empire in a successful bid to conquer most of the developed world.
2: Rise of the Achaemenid Empire
After the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 609 BCE, the Median Empire established itself as arguably the dominant power with the Neo-Babylonian kingdom as a close contender. However, while the Median Empire was likely quite powerful, it would easily succumb to the Persian Revolt in 550 BCE, the revolt would establish the first true “Persian” state thanks to Cyrus ‘The Great’ of Persis. Cyrus would go on to conquer all the way to Babylon and Anatolia while his son and successor Cambyses would conquer Egypt and Cyprus. The Achaemenid Empire would advance the science of administration, and set the standard for administering an empire through the implementation of satrapies.
The Achaemenid Empire was the largest empire of its time and would endure for roughly 300 years until its fall at the hands of Alexander ‘The Great’ in 330 BCE. The Achaemenid Empire was so important because it established a system of governance that would continue to be used to this day, other achievements such as the near complete removal of slavery as well as gender equality and justice for all. It is also worth mentioning that the Achaemenid created a national identity for Aryans, and this would be moulded later on by the Parthians and Sassanids.
3: Alexander the Great’s empire
In 330 BCE, Alexander III or ‘The Great’ was the King (Basileus) of Macedon, succeeding his father Phillip II. Alexander would go on to conquer the entirety of the Achaemenid Empire and adopt its administrative system as well a move into conquer parts of India. However, Alexander would not be so important because of all this but because of the aftermath of his lengthy conquest of the known world.Alexander’s Empire only lasted 11 years, from 336-323 BCE, and was divided by his generals into the Seleucid Empire, the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt and the Kingdom of Macedon. Alexander’s legacy would not be in the form of a great conquest or the achievements of his successors, but his deeper cultural impact on the lands he annexed. Hellenism rooted itself into many cultures as far as western India.
This expansion and solidification of Hellenism only grew stronger the longer the successor states endured. The effects can be seen with the Arsacid dynasty of the Parthian Empire/Kingdom in Iran, where Greek was the language used in the court for a time and was commonly used amongst the people. In Syria and Asia-Minor the presence of ethnic Greeks was massive, and continued to grow and only saw a decline after the Arab conquests in the late 600’s CE.
Note that the Roman Empire is mentioned in another article.