Talk:Achaemenid Empire

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recent sourcing[edit]

There have been a bunch of sources added for the area of the empire which imho is a bit problematic. First of all one or two sources at the end of the paragraph might be more sensible (and improve the readability of the source text dramatically) then adding inline references to each single country. There is also cherry picking/WP:SYNTH problem by picking and combining these countries names from different sources, instead of sticking to the description in one or two reputable sources. Also the use of India in the sources cannot necessarily be equated with modern India, but also with historic India which includes Pakistan, in that sense northwestern India is essentially Pakistan.--Kmhkmh (talk) 05:32, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. For such a loosely organised entity with very vague borders, and bearing in mind the sources being mainly Greek and Roman, the inclusion of for instance Sudan and Eritrea seems a bit daft to me.1812ahill (talk) 19:45, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

44% claim the lead[edit]

That figure is a violation of WP:SYNTH as it combines data total empire population estimations from one set of sources to the word population total from another source. In another words none of the sources actually claims that 44% figure. This is particularly problematic since population estimates vary greatly and are not particularly reliable, so by combining figures from different sources into a derived percentage value, you can essentially make up any percentage value and the 44% are simply the best guess by the WP editor (rather thabn ab external source). On top of that a rather weak source is used for global population total (some UN/government statistic rather than some academic/scholarly publication).--Kmhkmh (talk) 01:02, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

If we remember that 50 million of inhabitants means huge cities and nearby villages like in today's world, we conclude that the number is out of proportions! Were are the huge cities? Archeology reveals that they were not so big.....Rome was the first city in the world to have one million inhabitants, and this happened only under Augustus... and the Roman empire had only 25 million inhabitants, some centuries later! The 50 million and the 44% claim are clearly 2 huge mistakes!!!! Tim K. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:19, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Uh, the Roman Empire in 117 AD had a population of 88 million. Just correcting that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

The Spelling[edit]

Base on what i've read, The spelling of 'Persepolis' is not really persepolis, it was 'Persopolis'. However, if i am wrong i will accept just sayin' what my opinion is about the spelling of 'Persepolis'

Navy section: overambitious statement.[edit]

Stating that a 'Persian maritime presence was maintained in the Persian Gulf until the arrival of the Royal Navy in the 19th century' in the context of this article is silly. Why not say the same thing about the Italian navy wrt. Rome or compare Saxon pirates in the North Sea in the 4th century to the Royal Navy. I will remove the statement. Feel free to revert if you can justify. :) 1812ahill (talk) 19:57, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Native name[edit]

@LouisAragon: (diff) The native name of the empire was an Old Persian (and Median) word. The Modern Persian name is almost as irrelevant as the German name. Even the Ancient Greek name is more relevant. --Z 12:17, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Hey, let's use at least one of the translations then? In my opinion that's surely a good addition to the article. Perhaps the Old Persian one with an Ancient Greek translation under it, and a modern Persian one? Let me know what you think about it. Bests - LouisAragon (talk) 16:00, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Orthographic projection map in INFOBOX is more helpful[edit]

This orthographic projection can be more helpuful and better than using this map in Infobox. By indicating the area of Achaemenid Empire on this type of map, pretty much, anyone can immediately recognize the exact location respects to other regions, continents, countries and places on the earth. Also this map is in vector format. If there is any problem with this map, we can helping it to improve by upadating it. Ali Zifan 05:27, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

The issue with using this map is overlaying with modern borders, which makes no sense unless the purpose is to show that overlap, in which case the map also isn't useful, since the borders are barely visible and there is no indication of country names. Finally, the map trades a lot of detail on the borders for a global view, which is mostly irrelevant in the historical context. UCaetano (talk) 15:26, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

I also talked with Ali Zifan recently about the map. I told him as well, that the map is simply no improvement of article/content quality or whatsoever, and thus should not be added. - LouisAragon (talk) 03:43, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

  • @LouisAragon:: and I also typed on your talk page about the reasons that why it is better to use orthographic map than using a flat map and I type it here:

Please take a look to at the Infoboxes of these two version of Iran's article on wikipedia : Current version and old version. As you can see, the flat maps were used to indicate the country's location "for a long time" but the orthographic projection has been replaced those flat maps. This fact is true for many countries that have an article on wikipedia. Orthographic projection are considered the most exact and preciese maps that can indicate any point or area on the earth. Please read these links: and . Actually, we can easily get that this type of maps are definitely the best choice to indicating the empires' area.

The other reason is that by looking at the area (such as iran's area) on this type of maps, pretty much, anyone can immediately recognize the exact location respects to other regions, continents, countries and places on the earth. These reason are not made up by myself. These are the reasons that have been proved and Wikipeidia is currently using it (as i said for every country's (from islands to peninsulas, from small countries to large countries) articles). I sent you some links about the area of other empires that were used orthographic projection like Aztec. I want you to open those links again. You will find out that there is no discussion about using this type of maps.

In addition, what I am talking about is, we don't have to replace these maps with current maps. All I am saying is these orthographic are for Infoboxes of the empire's article. You told me about Sassanian map's image. Yes it has details and it is good but it will be much and much better if we place this on the other part of the article which has the details about sassanids (History part of the article can be the great position for putting that image) instead of putting it in Infobox part of the article. "What should an infobox not contain? In general, data in infobox templates should not be: Lengthy. Long bodies of text, or very detailed statistics, belong in the article body." This obviuosly can be true about images that have much details.

Besides that, if you see any problems with the area or border of the empire's map, you can update it on these files. Actually you can tell me and I will do that. I've already put much time for making these orthographic maps as making them more precise as I could and i will put more time on them to make them more precise if you want. It will be certainly my proud to working with you to updating these maps.

And also I really can't understand that why you say: '"that the map is simply no improvement of article/content quality or whatsoever, and thus should not be added"'. This map is in vector format (Which is considered an improvement on wikipedia) and used orthographic projection which also is considered the best map for showing any coordinate or area on the earth. Finally I hope you revise you opinion about this type of maps. Ali Zifan 04:08, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Hello again Ali. The map you propose is very good, and does a good job of showing the relative positioning of the empire within the world, but it does a poor job of showing detail. In other words, it sacrifices relevant detail (the borders, which areas and islands were controlled or not) for things which aren't relevant to the context (why Greenland needs to be in the map? Or Japan?).
It would be better to have a more detailed map, showing the maximum reach of the empire in a way that readers can actually discern the features. For example, the empire's most disputed border, on the Greek side, is barely visible in the map. That style of map makes sense for Iran, since the purpose is to show where the country is currently located, but that isn't as relevant for an ancient empire, that had frequent border changes.
Amongst all options, I find this to still be the best one, not only it is authoritative, from a reliable source, but it also avoids OR. Also, it is very detailed, showing the borders and domains very well. UCaetano (talk) 10:24, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
  • @UCaetano: Hello. UCaetano, I am totally agree with you about this map. This map is very detailed and absolutely it is the best map to use but not in the infobox. As I copied before (above) from article:infobox, infoboxes do not contain very detailed statistics or even images. As I said many times before, I am asking to replacing orthographic projection, which is in vector, with this map in the infobox. I explained the reasons and advantages of using orthographic map over current map above for user LouisAragon . Please read those again. In your opinion, the suggested map did a poor job in detail. You are right, but I want you to compare these two maps: the current one and the suggested one. Honestly, what details this current map has over the suggested one?
"why Greenland needs to be in the map? Or Japan?"
Because this is the job that this map tries to do! "showing the maximum reach of the empire in a way that readers can actually discern the features," as you said; because it is supposed to be in the infobox! At most, If you don't like it, we can cropped the image, if you want.
"It would be better to have a more detailed map, showing the maximum reach of the empire in a way that readers can actually discern the features"
Definitely! But not in the infobox. Detailed information are used beside detailed images. I gave the example about this for Sassanid empire's article above. Please read it.
"the empire's most disputed border, on the Greek side, is barely visible in the map."
As I said, this map is in the vector format. Please read these articles about vector images and their importances to be used in Wikipedia articles:Vector graphics and Scalable Vector Graphics. One of the advantages of Vector images over other types of images is that by zooming on images that are vector, they won't loose their quality. It means that you can zoom on them pretty much as you want. Please see this image. It explains the whole thing that I am saying. So, if you zoom on this orthographic map, you can see those islands with much more quality than this current map. For example, please zoom on Qeshm island on these both maps. Which one does indicate it better? Which map is showing this island and other islands (especially on the Greek side) more clear and obvious if you zoom on them?? Totally I hope you revise. Thank you. Ali Zifan 02:14, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Hi @Ali Zifan:, I understand the advantages of vector maps very well, having made a few myself. The issue is that those advantages should never come at the cost of less detail. Your map looks great, but the zoom level and projection used make it less relevant than the current one. Take a look at the First French Empire, the German Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire. They all have images that are exactly like the current one for this article. Please don't try to push for something significantly different on the sake of being a vector image. UCaetano (talk) 08:58, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
@UCaetano:Ok, but can you explain me that how the suggested map "is less relevant than the current one"?? Actually can you tell me the exact details that the current map has over the suggested one? And also take a look at the Aztec Empire, the Empire of Japan, the Confederate States of America, the Empire of Brazil, the Federal Republic of Central America and even the New Spain. They all have (used) orthographic projection map without any discussion. Also if you really have a problem with this kind of projection, I can crop the image to focus more on details.Ali Zifan 14:21, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Hi @Ali Zifan:, cropping would indeed be great, but then there would be no reason to use the orthographic projection, but a planar projection (although I'm happy to concede on that). Honestly, I still find this to be the best option so far, better than the current one and the proposed one. If you want to create a vector version of it, with similar detail, that would be great. In sum, I believe that in the case of this article, the details around the borders, specially with Greece, are more important than the relative position in the world.
Also, can you please provide sources for you map? It is significantly different from this, which probably qualifies it as WP:OR. UCaetano (talk) 16:42, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Ok; I will make the vector format of the map that you said is the best as soon as I can. So, please put the link of a blank map that you think would be the best, so I can crop it and overlay the area of Achaemenids on it.
Also if I put the exact source of the suggested map, would you be agree to replace it with this, untill I finish the vector format of detailed map (which you considered it as the best map)?

Here is what I am talking about:

Thank you Ali Zifan 19:20, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

There's no reason to put a temporary map. If you want to change the map, replace it with this, since it is accurate, sourced and authoritative. There's no reason to put a temporary map which is worse than the current one. Thanks! UCaetano (talk) 20:18, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

@UCaetano: So please put the link of the blank map that you think would be the best, so I can crop it and overlay the area of Achaemenids on it. Ali Zifan 00:03, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Hello. I completely concur with UCaetano regarding his suggestion of the map. We have to get rid of all these self-made maps based on self-made interpretations, which is the case with the current Achaemenid map, and a bunch of others. Furthermore there are too many, and have been too many, individuals who absolutely don't have any historical knowledge about this topic and just make pseudo-historical maps (they have in the past) who then linger forth in Wikimedia. I completely and totally support a map that's 100% based off of this map, or simply the very addition of it itself everywhere, as well. Its sourced, documented, and very reliable. If we could just do that, that would be perfect indeed. Simply from Macedon in the west, to the lower Indus River in the east, no nonsense, as how it really was back then.
PS: regarding the Black Sea territories of nowadays Ukraine, Russia, etc; those can be kept even though they're not included on the 1923 map, if people agree for a newly made map based off of the 1923 map. There is plenty of sourcing that suggests that they might have had subjugated the area. Thus, thats the only region where we will then deviate from the 1923 map, if everyone agrees with me. The subjugation of the region is mentioned on the Behistun inscription too, apart from numerous books that I am able to cite (such as in the "The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10 - IV Persia, Greece and the Western Mediterranean", Cambridge University Press, 1982 ISBN 978-0521228046 pp 66-67.") - LouisAragon (talk) 00:51, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, I'd be happier with a vector map that's EXACTLY like the 1923 map, but can concede on that (Black Sea territories). In addition, while such map isn't available, I propose we change the infobox map to the 1923 one. What do you think? UCaetano (talk) 09:14, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
@UCaetano: and @LouisAragon: can you please tell me for making the vector version of this map, which blank map should be used? Robinson or Mercator?? Ali Zifan 15:57, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Either is fine, as long as the detail on the shapes is good. I'd avoid the second one, since it has a focus on classifying all the countries (take a look at the little bubbles representing the tiny countries). UCaetano (talk) 16:34, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

New Map[edit]

@Ali Zifan: did a very good job of making a vector version of this map:

Achaemenid Empire (flat map).svg

In my opinion it is way better than the current leading pic in the article:


Not only it is vertor base, but it is an identical version of a sourced, authoritative map, and in my opinion should replace the current lead image in the article. @LouisAragon: and other editors, any comments or opposition to this? UCaetano (talk) 11:35, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Hey! Yeah that looks sweet! Imho though, how "sourced" it may look, don't forget the map is some 70+ years old and things have been updated about Achaemenid history, especially regarding the European territories. In my opinion, if Ali Zifan could re-add the Black Sea territories (which Darius had definitely subjugated and we even have an article about), Paeonia, Macedon, all of Thrace, further parts of mainland Greece, etc; basically the same territories in Europe which were already added on the previous map, then it would be complete. Furthermore, Xerxes conquered swaths of Northern and Central Greece during the Greco-Persian Wars prior to the Greeks getting the overhand. There are many, many sources which confirm these possessions, and it would only result in more edit wars and factual inaccuracy if we don't re-add them. Science does not stand still in time, and 70 years is a really long time. The problem with the previous maps on these articles was that they were almost entirely unsourced. I can cite all the sources here that are needed for those particlar territories, and Ali Zifan can add them to the source description on Wikimedia, if he agrees with it. The rest of the territories are all correct namely, even today in 2015.
Basically re-adding the territories in Europe alike these maps. [1] - [2] @Ali Zifan:, UCaetano; are you both fine with this? Bests - LouisAragon (talk) 12:52, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
I'd be more comfortable with using the map as it is. While we can find sources on areas which were at some point ruled by the Achaemenid Empire, I don't believe any of us are experts who should be designing maps based on that. That would be a lot of interpretation, and would introduce factual errors (such as where exactly was the border), as well as subjective claims (does areas occupied DURING a war count as actual territory? the US occupied Germany, but no map would ever consider Germany as part of the US). I'd avoid any subjective interpretations and leave the map as it is. UCaetano (talk) 17:31, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, then theres no point in adding any map to such empire-related articles, imho. It should be one way or another; either everything, or nothing. It's strange to add a 70 years old map while contemporary research has proven it to be factually incomplete. It can be used as a reference (a good one that is), but by no means as a source to disregard the modern-day knowledge and facts about it. The capture of the territory in northern/Central Greece during the wars can be ommited, I agree (though numerous sources mention that as "far as Thessaly" paid tribute), but the other mentioned regions as I mentioned above definitely were subjected to Achaemenid rule for decades, paid tribute, and were recorded in the Behistun inscription. Furthermore, tons of Wikipedia articles would be ruined as well if we don't add it on the newly proposed map as well, as they go by the previous Achaemenid maps, as well as books, references, and such that are inserted and are up to date. Bests - LouisAragon (talk) 21:45, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
If you can find a contemporary map from a reliable source including those regions, I'd have no problem with adding it (or a vector version). My problem is with drawing homemade maps based on interpretations. That's OR IMHO, and we should avoid it. UCaetano (talk) 08:41, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
@LouisAragon: and @UCaetano: Finally is this map ready to used? Should I add any other territories to the Achaemenid's map illustration? Ali Zifan 21:46, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm ok with using this map as it is. Maybe I'll add names to some of the geographic features (seas, oceans, etc.) just to clarify, but I say go ahead and make it the article's map. Thanks for you good work! UCaetano (talk) 08:15, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

UCaetano, hey, well, you have a point there. We should avoid interpretations, though most empire maps on Wikipedia are made this way; an amalgamation of sourced info that has been put together into an image. Please don't forget that. Its not an issue to have such a map as I described, as long as every inch is reliably sourced so to say. (at least that's how I think about it) That way one avoids WP:OR too, though exceptions exist. Anyways, here are several other (including more recent) academic maps that show the Achaemenid extent that I found; [3] (scroll to "achaemenid empire"), as well as this one, another one,and lastly, this one, that might be of any use for us to formulate a definite map/ What are you two guys' takes on these? Can we use or deduct info from them for our new map? If negative/no, we can place the old one Ali just fixed, I guess.

PS: A further issue btw regarding what I said in my first sentence of this reply, is that we have 10+ Achaemenid maps on Wikimedia all which show a different extent. - LouisAragon (talk) 09:43, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Bests - LouisAragon (talk) 09:43, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi LouisAragon, I'm ok with replicating this map and placing it in the article lead, but I would avoid mixing maps to find the "greatest extent", since that's interpretation on our part. This map is sourced "enough", and also provides some historical context, showing the empire at different stages. UCaetano (talk) 11:28, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
@UCaetano: Do you want a vector verison of it ?
I also updated the map based on territories that gained by Darius I in Europe. Ali Zifan 20:29, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
The current one LGTM, feel free to add it to the article. I changed the description and the source in the image. Good work! UCaetano (talk) 08:13, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! Ali Zifan 12:36, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Yup, I concur. This map is of good usage and I just already asked Ali Zifan to update it regarding it. Guess we're basically done here, and indeed, good work to Ali Zifan, but also to our fruitful discussions. :-) - LouisAragon (talk) 00:59, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
WAIT!!! I have a better map! I made this long ago if this were to ever arise again! It's based on the exact sources as the other maps, it's just colored red and it's far more detailed than any map as of now! Please take this map into consideration!
Godly Achaemenid Empire ca. 500 B.C

Again, PLEASE take this one into consideration! I will gladly put this one up in the infobox! I will add more cities and Satrap names as time goes on! Don't you worry about that one! Kirby (talk) 19:34, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Hello. Yeah we've seen that map before, but it's factually very incorrect, especially regarding the territories in Central Asia and the Subcontinent. Never ever did it have such an extent. Furthermore, the colouring (red) is not good. And lastly, sorry, but in my opinion Ali Zifan's map is better, about which we already reached a consensus, and is entirely sourced. Bests - LouisAragon (talk) 20:11, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I agree, I support keeping the current one. UCaetano (talk) 09:45, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
@Kirby: Hello. I appreciate your work but in my opinion it can't be placed in the article, especially in the infobox because :
  • This map doesn't have any sources.
  • Some the names that you've put on the area of the empire are incorrect. Maka is one of the examples.
  • The borders on the north (east of the caspian sea) are indicated incorrectly.
  • Vector maps are more preferable than other types of images in Wikipedia.
  • Infoboxes give generals. Putting the names on a map in infobox is not that necessary.

Also we already had a long discussion about choosing a map so you can read those if you are not convinced yet. Thank you Ali Zifan 01:37, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Plethora of bogus claims.[edit]

  • Just wanted to ask the more informed conventional historians/editors if Charles Robinson can be considered authentic. Also, in the part where Alexander's invasion is "described", Rosbinson along with Will Durant and Peter Levi are cited. Durant was a writer and Levi a poet. AND they all base their accounts on Diodorus who is often considered unreliable. Add to this that Diodorus himself lived more than 200 years after Alexander.
  • The claims about the extent and population of the empire also need references. Several editors kept adding present-day countries/regions like pakistan and Saudi and UAE and even China! Some edits just add some region/country with no reference (the existing ones do not mention that region/country). The Roman Empire I believe was far bigger and wealthier. This article also makes the claim that it was the largest empire in recorded history's "ancient period". Can somebody confirm these? (talk) 05:46, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately this article is occasionally a bit of honey pot for questionable claims and it currents though extensive seems not without problems (some possibly outdated literature and a lot of primary sources, private websites and non-schloarly sources). For now just removed the map with the false borders, but the article could use some further work.--Kmhkmh (talk) 07:19, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty convinced we shouldn't use Charles Robinson Jr.'s book. Unless something's wrong with my search, no one seems to mention it.And yes, Durant and Levi shouldn't be used either Doug Weller (talk) 10:53, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, these are all claims that slowly creep back into the article from time to time, usually using estimates for which there is no consensus or dubious sources. UCaetano (talk) 11:19, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
There is also Hegel (German philopher, 1770-1831) and Farrokh (author without scholarly reputation), who might be not appropriate. There are also a variety of private websites still being used as sources. I started to remove some of it (some of the private websites and the guiness records website), but that's only a small start. Aside from removing obviously questionable stuff many of "good" sources need to be properly cited and formatted (currently they are sometimes only links with no visible information about the source) and at some point the article might need a content review by expert editors who have greater familiarity with the topic and access to relevant scholarly literature.
After that there is also the question, whether anything "smart" can be done to reign in the constant deterioration over time somewhat.--Kmhkmh (talk) 13:05, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
The whole article needs a rewrite using the best modern sources. There must be much more on Encyclopedia Iranica that can be used. Note also this edit, by a copyvio sockpuppet, though judging by the style of the language wherever it was lifted from is likely to be out of copyright by now. Durant is I think only used for the puffing wind-up quote at the end of the article, next to Hegel. At the same time, I don't think historians' perceptions of the Achemenids have changed all that much in recent decades. Johnbod (talk) 14:34, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, but sorry, I'm not the best person to do it. Note that the sockpuppet History of Persia is very active on Commons and some of his maps are appearing in articles here. Doug Weller (talk) 12:29, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm not well versed in Proto-Nabataean history, but if there was an Arabia province or Arab settlements which were tributaries of the empire, then that should be on the map. It should be noted that many Achaemenid "provinces" were essentially tributaries, so I'm not sure where we draw the line. It seems doubtful that such an important region such as Egypt would only be connected to the Asian portion of the empire by little more than the coast. Such a thin strip would be subjected to Arab raids constantly. It would only make sense for the Achaemenids to create some port of buffer, either by "tributary", "vassal", "province", "client", or whatever English word we'd use to describe some degree of subordination by manner of "giving" "gifts" "supplies", whatever. You get the idea. For example, the Achaemenid Arabia article mentions 1000 talents of frankincense being given by "Arabia" to the Achaemenids, but paints it as more of a gift than actual tribute. It even makes a point of stating that the Arabs were still autonomous, which very well may be true. If a "vassal" is still essentially autonomous aside from annual "gifts", is it still part of the empire? These are all things we need to talk about when dealing with the dynamics of the relationships between the Achaemenids and their distant provinces and neighbours. We probably need a dual-colour map indicating "vassals".--Tataryn (talk) 17:32, 24 October 2015 (UTC)