Decline and Fall of the Achaemenid Empire
- Xerxes (486-465) (Darius's successor) imposed his own values on conquered lands, unlike Cyrus and Darius who respected the religious and cultural traditions of the people. Many people with their own cultural traditions became aggravated and began resenting Xerxes policy.
- The Persian Wars (500-479) were a series of conflicts of Ionian cities rebelling, and executing their governors to gain their own independence.
- Alexander the Great invaded Persia with a tough Macedonian army. Although the Persian army outnumbered them, the Macedonian army were well-disciplined, and had more sophisticated military techniques. Thus, Alexander's army easily sliced through the Persian empire, and smashed Achaemenid forces during the battle of Gaugamela.
- Alexander the Great led his army into Persepolis, and burnt and destroyed the capital after taking the wealth stored in the imperial treasury.