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Achaemenid dynasty

The Achaemenid Dynasty is a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire.

The Achaemenid dynasty began with Cyrus the Great (ruling 559 BC-529 BC, King of Persia and Media. Although Cyrus is considered to be the first king of the Achaemenid dynasty, he isn't. Cyrus, however, is the first significant ruler of the dynasty.

The absolute zenith of its power was achieved during the reigns of Darius I (521 BC-485 BC) and his son Xerxes (485 BC-465 BC). These rulers built great, beautiful palaces in the ancient cities of Persepolis, Susa and Ecbatana. The Persian Empire too reached its greatest extension in this period.

After the death of Xerxes I (465 BC) the decline of the dynasty began. Persia saw a sequence of weak rulers ruling the empire. Decadence became rampant and army, finance and government administration were neglected.

The last Achaemenid king was Darius III (336 BC-330 BC), who was defeated by Alexander III of Macedon. After the Macedonian conquest the Persian Empire was annexed by Alexander.

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