This era saw the beginning of the Cyriates and the rise of the Persian Confederacy.Meanwhile,China became semi-united.
Long dominated by the Medes and Zarathustrans,Persia began a change as Cyrus became leader of the Persians.The Zarathustrans signed an alliance with the Cyriate Rebels,led by Cyrus.Open warfare began in 553 BC,when Cyrus attacked Eastern Persia. The Zarathustrans,in turn,invaded East Persepolis and easily conquered it.The Cyriates forced the Medes to retreat from Persia,leaving the Medes with Parthia,Sogdia,Bactria,and Elam.Meanwhile,Elam was invaded by the Zarathustrans lead by Zarathustra III "The Unifier".Originally,the conquest was hard yet it became easy when Zarathustra cut off Elam from Media.Cyrus annexed Parthia and Elam finally fell.The Treaty of Sogdia was signed recognizing the Zarathustran and Lydian gains (Much of Anatolia) and Cyriate Independence.It destroyed Median Sovereignity as the Indo-Medians replaced the Medians.The Persian Confederation was soon formed.This invaded Babylon which fought the invasion off under Amel-Marduk.The Indo-Medians were conquered afterwards Cyrus and Zarathustra died in 540 BC,leaving the empires to Xerxes II and Darius I.Xerxes was incompetent and Darius overthrew him leading to him living out life in Persepolis.The Persian Empire was thus formed under Darius I.Babylon would collapse and the Persians would conquer the successors.Lydia was invaded but fought to a standstill in Cilcia resulting in Persia renouncing claims to Cilcia.Egypt was then invaded and North Egypt was annexed but Darius died,his son Xerxes I of Persia succeeded him.The campaign was continued and Egypt was fully conquered.
Babylon declined following Nebuchadnezzar's death in 562 BC.His son,Amel-Marduk,did what he thought was best for the Empire.He defeated a coup attempt from his brother and killed him.
Amel-Marduk then released the Jewish King for political reasons (support).He then ended the Jewish Exile,beginning the Return Jewish Exodus.This was very unpopular among the Babylonian nobles.Amel-Marduk was a good ruler of Babylon,but proved to be the last.
In 530 BC,the nobles killed Amel-Marduk.As a result,they began infighting which caused Judea and Phoenicia to declare and assert independence.Mesopotamia was split in four between Susa,Ashur,Nineveh,and Babylon proper. Thus Persia invaded and conquered the weak Mesopotamian states under Darius I in 525 BC. Judea and Phoenicia were then conquered in 523 BC ended the last remnants of Babylon.
Egypt was ruled by the 26th Dynasty.It was invaded by the Persians under Darius.He successfully conquered Northern Egypt but was killed.Southern Egypt fell with Thebes in 512 BC.
Lydia was the strongest nation in Anatolia, and this position would only grow as time went on. As the Medians were being thoroughly thrashed by the Persians in the 540s, Croesus took advantage of this and marched an army across the Halys River, the agreed boundary between the Lydian and Median states, and seized Cappadocia from the weakened Medians. Shortly after this, Croesus further continued his campaigns, taking Pisidia and much of Cilicia shortly after. A battle between Croesus and Cyrus in Cilicia essentially settled the border between the two empires, and Croesus essentially began the expansion of the empire west towards the lands of Europe.
Thrace was the first to be invaded.It surrendered in 525 BC.Croesus then sent a messenger to Macedon asking them to become Lydian vassals.This was replied to in 518 BC with the answer of yes.516 saw the crushing of any discontent in Ionia. The rest was a time of peace.However,domination was not to last.
Greece still remained in a period were various city-states fought with one another.It would require a common enemy for unity.
Italy remained largely stateless with the exception of the Greek Cities of Neapolis and Syracuse as well as Carthaginian Sardinia.In 509,Rome would overthrow its Etruscan Monarch and establish a republic.
India made great scientific advances.It was however not yet united.Towards the end of the century,the leaders of 2 religions,Buddhism and Jainism were born.The Buddha was born in the Magadha Kingdom in the north of India.Of the two Buddhism would spread to other parts of India and beyond.
ChinaThe Yi Family ruled as kings in the Zhou Dynasty.However,their authority was minimal and completely reliant on the Mandate of Heaven.A period of relative peace existed at the beginning of the century called the Spring and Autumn Period.This period was however about to give way to another.
The states of Wu and Jin made an alliance to defeat and destroy Chu.This succeeded and the state was split.However before its demise Chu had called upon Qin to help it.Qin had this invaded Jin but it was a stalemate beginning the Warring States Period.
The State of Wu ruled by King Helü ordered the Wu General,Sun Wu,to invade Qi which was invading Jin.Sun Wu obeyed and Qi was invaded.However,separating Wu and Qi was the state of Lu.Sun Wu demanded passage but Lu refused.Taking their orders to also include completing the mission at any cost,Lu was quickly conquered.Qi soon followed.Meanwhile,another general,Wu Zixu,was sent to help Jin defeat Qin.Wu Zixu does so and Qin is annexed to Jin.
Sun Wu,wishing Jin to be united,enters Jin and routs out all rebels.King Helü takes this as a power grab and orders Wu Zixu to kill Sun Wu.Sun Wu defeats Wu Zixu and sends him back to Wu with nothing.Sun Wu then defeats a Yan-Zhou alliance meant to vanquish Wu.He then annexes Zhou and Yan.He asks Jin to join Greater Wu and Jin accepts.The Sun Dynasty is founded with Sun Wu declared Sun Tzu,Emperor of China.He then writes the Art of War.
Carthage remained the dominant naval power in the Western Mediterannean and maintained its considerable trading might. At this time, Carthage was in effect a constitutional monarchy, ruled by descendents of the legendary Queen Dido. Her descendant Malchus ruled since about 556 BC. Malchus was able to maintain his position on the throne in the face of political threats.
In the later portion of the century,Greek colonists colonized Corsica,threatening the balance of power.Carthage and the Etruscan League allied against Greek Corsica.The two navies easily defeated the Corsican navy.Although the Etruscans got Corsica,Carthage had a threat to its power in Sardinia removed.
The Olmecs have been through much in Mexica.They remain the dominate power but other peoples are migrating to Mexica.
In Peru,a cradle of civilization,the Chavin Culture continues farming and making lives better for the people.