Paper – Assyrian and Persian Empire

Background: The world’s first empires, the Assyrian and Persian Empire, were similar and fundamentally different in the way they were created and governed. Their artwork and written sources portray the Assyrians as ruthless kings, who oppressed dissidents merciless and ruled with an iron fist. The artwork and written sources of Persian kings on the other hand portrays an empire of peace and unity as the result of a policy of embracing and celebrating cultural diversity.

Instructions: In a 4-6 page paper (double spaced) I want you to contrast and compare how the Assyrians versus the Persian first created and later governed their empires.

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à For example, contrast and compare what military strategies the Assyrians versus the Persians employed when conquering and subordinating other regions in the process of creating the empire.

§ Use specific examples to support your claims. For example: “The Assyrians employed siege strategies to conquer important cities, as for example the city of Lachish.” Then describe what happened at Lachish.

à When contrasting and comparing how the Assyrian versus the Persian governed their empires focus on the following points:

§ Contrast and compare how different parts of the empire (core versus periphery) and native versus foreign populations were ruled. Use specific examples.

§ Contrast and compare the tribute/tax obligations of the different territories of the Assyrian versus the Persian empire. Use specific examples.

à In a final part I want you to reflect about the relevance of those historical case studies to evaluate our own society and current political realities whose history has not yet been written.

§ For example, “As the case of the Assyrian empire shows, oppression usually leads to greater resistance rather than submission. This could also be seen in the reaction of peaceful protesters to violence and arrests.”

§ I want you to discuss a current political event and/or a personal experience that came to your mind when learning about the Assyrian and Persian Empire. How did you relate to this historical case study to what you currently experiencing in our own society and political life?

Format: Please write a 4-6-page essay double space with 12-point font and 1’’ margins. Please note the sources that I will allow you to use and how I want you to cite them!

à Sources: For contrasting the Assyrian and Persian Empire please rely primarily on the chapters of textbook 3 and documentaries that I assigned for that week. The reason why I want you to use the readings and documentaries only, is because you can cite those appropriately, but you cannot cite my lectures. My lectures are based on the readings so the information presented can all be found in the book chapters. For the last part of the paper you can use online articles. Please cite appropriately and do not simply copy paste information but rephrase and cite where you got the information from. See under citation how properly cite website and online articles.

à Citation: Any information that you put in your essay should be rephrased in your own words. DO NOT copy word for word unless you use a direct quote from the book chapter or websites. Every piece of information you put into your essay, even if you have rephrased it into your own words needs to be cited.

§ Quotes (Word for word copy from a book, website or documentary): Needs to be put into quotations marks, even if it is part of a sentence that you integrate into a sentence of your own. Example: The Persian empire, lasting for nearly 230 years “can be called the first global empire” (Van De Mierrop 2007: 308). Make minimal use of quotes and only if rephrasing would not exactly coney the message you like to put in your essay.

§ How to cite: Please use in text citations when you paraphrase information or quote from a source in this format: Authors name, year of publication, page number. For example: The Assyrians were the first to create an empire (Van De Mierrop 2007: 7). Even if you do not quote you still have to indicate where specific information that you repeat can be found. Please use Chicago Manuel 16th Edition. The Chicago Manuel Website under Quick Guide has specific examples how to cite and format the reference for the bibliography of a book, journal article, websites, documentaries etc.. Please follow that format.

§ Bibliography: Every source that you cite in the text of you paper, you need to provide the full reference at the bottom of your paper under the heading Cited References or Bibliography. For example: Van De Mieroop, Mark. 2007. A History of the Ancient Near East. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

Rubric for final paper: The Assyrian and Persian Empire.






▪ Provides a concise and effective introduction to the topic, which informs, is supported with the relevant details.

▪ Each criterion according to which the empires are supposed to be compared is discussed and uses appropriate examples and relevant evidence effectively in this historical analysis.

▪ Statements and arguments are well supported with relevant evidence.

▪ The conclusion shows engagement with the problem of comparative historical analysis and a clear position on the part of the writer.





Organization of the Paper

▪ The paper has a clear structure into 3-4 main components (introduction, main part (-III), conclusion) including subheadings.

▪ Introduction provides a clear road map of what the paper is about that evokes the reader’s interest.

▪ The arguments of content part I and II are organized in a logical order to built up to the conclusion.

▪ There are clear transitions between the main component and individual paragraphs.





Writing Style and Mechanics

▪ Overall writing style is concise, clear, while also being eloquent and smooth.

▪ Word choice is appropriate, correct, effective and engaging.

▪ Refrains from quoting excessively but present the works of others in once own words.

▪ Sentences structure is concise and sufficiently varied to keep the flow of the paper.

▪ Minimal errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling or word choice and order.






▪ Cites appropriately and sufficiently, including page numbers and uses quotation marks for quotes.

▪ Distinguishes clearly between the works of others and the writer’s own contribution to the topic.

▪ List of references is formatted correctly according to the Chicago Manuel 16th edition and there is consistency between cited sources and the list of references.





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