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End of the Persian Empire , Start of Seleucid Empire

By the time Darius III took to the throne, the downfall of the Persian Empire was already in the cards. Unrest spread throughout the lands and his inexperience proved detrimental to keeping the throne and his life. In this article, you will learn what happened to Darius III and the Persian Empire once Alexander the Great reached the capital of Persepolis.

As continued from the article, “Achaemenid Dynasty Rulers: Artaxerxes III to Darius III,” Darius III did not take too kindly to the stronghold that Bagoas had over his actions, and the vizier felt his unease. He unsuccessfully tried to poison the new king, but Darius had already been warned. Instead, he forced Bagoas to drink the poison himself. This placed Darius in control of an empire that was already unstable. Satraps were governing large portions of the country and they had been harboring jealousy and anger for quite some time.

Darius was also not equipped with the skills and experience to solve the problems that his reign faced. In 334 BC, Alexander the Great started to invade the Persian Empire. He triumphed over the Persians in a variety of battles before he took the capital of Persepolis in 331 BC. The Persian Empire gradually fell into the hands of Alexander. Next, Alexander wanted to eliminate Darius, but this would not occur. A satrap named Bessus had already killed the king.

The Seleucid Empire

Following the fall of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great laid the groundwork for the future Seleucid Empire, which thrived from 330 to 170 BC. This time period is also referred to as the Hellenistic Period. Following the death of Alexander, his empire was separated into a multitude of satrapies. One satrapy that stood out from the rest was the Seleucid Empire, which was based in Babylon and led by Seleucus (also called Nicator).

The Seleucid Empire was considered successful, as it was able to maintain and continue to have an influence on a great deal of Alexander’s empire , with the exception of Egypt. In the end, the Seleucids could not avoid the grip of the Roman Empire and fell to the civilization in the 1st century BC.

When Alexander had conquered the Achaemenid Empire in such a short time that he had not established what would take place soon after. However, Alexander died at a young age and his extended empire was left without an adult heir to take over. Because of this, the empire was placed under the watch of a regent in 323 BC. The territories were divided between his generals, who took the position of satrap.

During its height of power, the Seleucid Empire served as a major center of Hellenistic culture. The civilization held onto the dominant Greek customs and the Macedonian political elite was in control , with a presence heavily in urban regions. The Seleucid Empire continued to expand following the death of Alexander the Great, but as the empire attempted an expansion into Greece , the Roman army quickly stopped their efforts. After the collapse of the Seleucid Empire, the Parthian Dynasty followed.