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The Persian dynasty that ruled from its homeland in central and southern Iran from c547 bc, when Cyrus II conquered Lydia, to 331 bc, when the empire fell to Alexander the Great. The Achaemenid Empire reached its height under Darius, who built a splendid new capital at Persepolis and ruled an area extending from India to Egypt. He was defeated by the Greeks at Marathon in 490 bc; ten years later his son Xerxes was also defeated by the Greeks at Salamis. Other surviving Achaemenid monuments include the tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasar gadae, a number of trilingual rock-cut inscriptions of Darius’s reign (see Bisitun) and the rock-cut tomb of Darius at Naqsh-i Rustam near Persepolis.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied