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Persia. Thousand and One Marvellous Instants
Darius "the Great". 515 BC
After my accession to the throne,
unmasking the impostor
who claimed to be the legitimate Achaemenid monarch, I dedicated myself to the organisation of my empire. I divided it into provinces, assigned a new monetary system and made Aramaic the official language. Through these changes, the empire was centralised and unified. I also devoted myself to new building projects in the empire,
such as the city of Persepolis. Although its location was not exactly easy, being situated in a remote mountainous area, the city became the capital of the Persian empire, a capital that I believed could become impregnable, eternal and invincible... I ordered the construction of the Council Chamber, the main Imperial Treasury and the Apadana,
a great hypostyle room and the largest building on the Terrace of Persepolis. The Apadana was the main room of the kings, the place where I received tribute from all nations in the Achaemenid Empire and gave them gifts in return. The columns in this room reached a height of twenty metres and had complex capitals in the shape of lions or bulls.
The entrance to the room was via two monumental staircases, one to the north and one to the east, decorated with reliefs, showing delegates from twenty-three nations subjected by the Persian Empire, paying tribute to me.
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