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"A Day in the Life of the GREAT Persian Empire" * A story of Persia* By: Lawrence Ganzy Jr. & Blake Strickland

The following diary entry is about a family who lives in the Persian Empire when it was first established. The family gives readers insight on what happens in the Persian Empire in the rule of Cyrus, Cambysses and most of all Darius the Great. The entries tell about the customs and everything that happens in the empire. The family consists of a mother, father and two twins. The mother and father stop telling about the empire because of their death. Following their death, the two twins continue the journal entries. Read the following journal entries to learn the lost information of the great Persian Empire!

Dear Diary: Day One Greetings! Salaam! How do you do? Our names are Cantara and Mohammed Nejad. We were among the first people in the Persian Empire, when it was first established. The Persian empire is located in the grassy steppes of Central Asia in the north. We are closely associated two other peoples: the Medes and Aryans.We know so many details about the Persian Empire that we feel obligated to tell you everything we know and hope that it will be such a great inspiration to you all. My name is Cantara and I am the wife of Mohammed. We have two kids, Yasmin and Aasim. Right now, they are infants but we choose to allow them to know about their history and the great empire they came from. This journal entry is another way to let them know about the time before them, along with you. Let me tell you more about my husband. His name is Mohammed and he is the brother of Cyrus the Great and the uncle of Cambysses.

My husband did not consume the throne because Cyrus had a son who could be his successor and when you are in the royal family, the son should take the throne after you die. Having a son helped continue the Nejad legacy. Now, let me tell you about how we fell in love. I was once a lovely servant girl and we keep our relationship a secret from the rest of the empire. Since the day we first met, I knew I would spend the rest of my life with him. We didn't have to worry about what the rest of the empire thought about me just being a lonely servant to his palace. After the union of marriage, we have created two lovely children. Now that you know a little information about me, its time to know information about the empire I reside in. I have to go for the day because I have to cook dinner consisting of rice and goat meat! Yum, Yum, Yummy!! Khodahafez!

Dear Diary: Day Two Salaam once more! Today is going to be a good day. We are going to talk about the food we eat and also the clothes we wear. I just am so excited to tell you about this empire we live in. Do you remember last night when I told you I had to cook dinner consisting of rice and goat meat? Well, that's not the only food we eat. Persian farmers grow wheat, barley, olives and wine. Farming would not happen without an irrigation system. We have built underground canals.We raise cattle, goats and sheep. Hunting and fishing are also an important source of food. We also eat rice and flax which is what each family eats almost every day unless we are rich in meat. The rich Persians enjoy hunting wild animals. We are not the rich Persians but we make due with what we have.

Moreover because of the vast size of the Persian empire crops from one region were introduced to another. We like sharing our ideas with other because that's the right thing to do. Now, I know you are hungry after you read about the food we ate but your mind will get off that subject now because its getting late in the afternoon and I still have to tell you about the clothes we wear and oh yeah and I have to tell you where my husband is. You probably were wondering why he hasn't wrote a word but I'll tell you about that in a few minutes. The clothes us great Persians wear are the tunic, mantle and bonnet. The Persian tunic is long, with a sleeve spreading in fanlike pleats from the elbow. The tunic can also be called a dress and is invariably pulled in tight about the hips, ending in elaborate and heavy draperies. Borders were much used. The Mantle is a cloak, through which the head passes, and is worn looped up over the sword hilt.

The Bonnet is tall, curiously wide at the top, the bonnet rather resembled a fez worn upside down. The tiaris is a cap or bonnet, covering both ears and tied down under the chin. Long hair and beards are arranged in precise curls and our shoes are pointed. Most of our clothes are made out of wool and silk. Our clothes are quite simple and nice. My husband Mohammed is out building a persian home and adding furniture. The persian home he is building is made of timber, stone and brick. He palace in the home comfortable upholstered furniture such as beds, couches and chairs. Tables are overlaid with gold, silver and ivory. So know that you know a little more about the food and clothes and about the homes, I will let you go because I have to prepare dinner again. Oh yeah, tomorrow you will find out about the battle my husband will fight in. Khodahafez!

Dear Diary: Day Three Today was a victorious day. My husband fought alongside other members of the Persian army to help conquer land. We have one more battle to compete before making our mark at 2,000 miles. The empire will be so large. Tomorrow is the big battle. We must fight the Massagetae. Our army is so stressed about this battle, just like the others before. I must have food prepared for my husband. Starvation would not be good for him during the battle because he will have to march to Syr Darya. Well, I must get to work preparing his food, rice and flax. I will tell you about the battle of tomorrow as soon as I can. Khodahafez!

Rice and Flax

Dear Diary: Day Four My heart yearns out in pain. My husband has just been killed by the Massagetaens. My chest suffers because my heart is crumpling. My breathing shortens. It is so hard to face the fact that my beloved Mohammed is gone forever. Many of the town is just like me. Many wives are crying at the loss of their husbands. Many children cry out for their fathers. Many men are constantly fighting because of the loss of their brethren; some taking blame, others blaming their kinsman. Chaos is filling the air. Not only have I lost my dear husband, but my king also. Cyrus the Great of Persia has fallen. I heard from another soldier that my Mohammed tried to protect our king, but he was murdered by a severe stab to the chest. After my husband had fallen, the next down was Cyrus.

Although we walked away with many causalities and the loss of a king, we came out victorious and our empire has finally reached 2,000 miles. Instead of victory dances and feasts, chaos and cries of suffering fill the empire. Cambysses, Cyrus’ son and successor, has just taken the throne. Some citizens of Persia are not pleased but Cambysses is trying his best to restore control in the empire. I really don't know if he will. He maybe my nephew but I just don't know. I have lost my one and only love and my children have lost their father.I have no expectations because I am so sad because he has died. I can't this anymore!

Dear Dear Diary: Day Five Hello. We are Yasmin and Aasim Nejad. We have just found the journal of our deceased parents, Cantara and Mohammed. As I am sure you know, our father died in battle trying to protect the king. However, for our mother, she has hanged herself. We hear the words of people in our empire. Some say she was crazy, others say she felt lonely at the loss of our father. Our mother would not have done such a crazy thing just to do it. She loved our father ever so much. We know how our mother cared about our father but please, let us quit talking about our parents. Our hearts cramp, ever more, at the thought of them being gone from our lives forever. Now we are living in a new home but not for long. We must stay with our neighbor until a new home is found for us.

Cambysses is losing popularity fast and our caretakers seem to think that he will lose the throne very soon. We just hope we will have a king that will help the empire progress, after the loss of our great uncle Cyrus. Things have not been the same since he has left our lives. Please allow us some time to grieve at the loss of our family members. Please don’t be puzzled if we do not update the diary for a while. We intend to keep this journal updating like our parents would have wished but we need some time to recuperate after their loss.

Dear Diary: Day Six We are sorry that it has taken us so long to write back but we have just been so grief-stricken that we could not seem to get our pens to write in this journal once more. Now that we have regained a fair amount of conscienciousness after the loss of our mother and father, we will tell you a little bit about us. I am Yasmin Nejad. I am 12 years old and I live in Persia with my twin brother, Aasim. It has been about 4 years since our parents died and we have a new ruler in Persia. His name is King Darius. The empire has became so vast that he has divided it into 20 provinces with a satrap, or governor, in each one.A primary function of the satraps was to gather tribute. We are currently under the guardianship of one of Darius' satraps, Alexander Neham. Living with him, we find out a plethora of information about Darius' plans to improve the empire. For example, we were one of the first people to find out about Darius' plan to make

Darius is bringing us to the height of the empire and is bronging us peace and stability. His plan was to create a road that could help sending messages of information from one end of the empire to another. Darius' plan created the Royal Road. The Royal Road is 1677 miles in length. There are 111 post or relay stations spaced about 15 miles apart along the road. Relay stations are equipped with fresh horses for the King's messenger's. Royal messenger's can cover the length of the road in seven days. Normal travel time along the road is longer. The Royal Road allows the empire to expand and maintain control over people and places. We did not only use it to exchange meassages but to trade. We trade silk and other materials. The Royal Road allows us to get money and it makes our enpire wealthier. A persian prophet named Zoroaster has offered us a religion, Zoroatrianism.

Zoroaster is teaching us that the earth is a battleground where a great struggle is fought between the spirit of good and evil. Zoroaster is preaching belief in one god, Ahura Mazda and he will judge us according to how we have fought the battle of good and evil.We do worship in temples, although we don't have large and elaborate temples like the Elamites. Some of our people are nomads, and they are always on the move, so they worship on the mountaintops. Also, canal building has been created over the years. We use this method for drinkable water, disposing wastes and watering crops. Today has been a long day and we will write you back tomorrow. Khodhafez! Yasmin and Aasim

Dear Diary: Day Seven Today is a new day and we will take it one step at a time. Our guardian is out at a meeting with the king. They are discussing the effectiveness of the Royal Road. In our opinion, the road is great. It provides us with cheddar!! If you didn't know it's me Yasmin. Sometimes me and my brother get missed up. I am about to do outside to plant a garden consisting of shady trees: the cypress, the elm, plane trees and date palms. Many different flowers: roses, irises, and lilies. What a fun time I will have! My brother is at the manufacturer a little far away watching them manufacture coins. They are worth standard value and are used in trade and the trade helps our empire hold together. But, my brother says hi!

Anyway,we have a passion for art and architecture. In our empire we have illustration of manuscripts of various types, all illustrated with miniature paintings. For architecture we have a fire temple which are square towers, built of well-bonded stone with mock loopholes and windows in dark materials. They take some time to build but are so nice. We have a pretty interesting empire and that's why I love to live here. Oh, did I tell that my brother wanted to beocme King and I wanted to become the first female satrap. Pretty interesting,huh! Anyway, I will talk to you as soon as I can and please be good! Yasmin

Dear Diary: Day Eight It has been a while since we last wrote to you but this is the third of the great battles we must face. I think this battle will be our last. Persia is now at its breaking point. The Macedonian leader, Alexander, has tried to take over Persia and he is doing a great job. I write to you now as I watch the decline of Persia. Tears begin to fill my eyes. I am watching my empire fall into the ashes. Alexander is charging now at King Darius. Oh No! Darius is about to die. Or will it be Alexander that falls? I see now, the person who we thought was such a great king is beginning to run. He has turned away from his throne to escape the fierce sword of Alexander. He has given up on his throne and all of Persia. Beside of him, his great noble men follow him to escape the Macedonians. The war begins to end. Swords begin to drop. Persian soldiers begin to realize that the empire will lose very soon. Chaos begins to slow. I see casualities lying all over the ground. I begin to flashback to the day of our father's death. Never have I felt so much pain since the day of his death. Tears brim over now, slowly running down my face. Persia has fallen.This is the end of our empire.

A Day in the Life of the GREAT Persian Empire  

by: Blake Strickland and Lawrence Ganzy teacher: Mrs. Watkins school: Scotland Early College High School

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