This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007

It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.

While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".

My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.

Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.

My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Achaemenid Empire (648 BCE–330 BCE)

I don't know why but suddenly I got the urge to share this information on the Achaemenid Empire, an ancient empire which flourished around 2,500 years ago and centred inside present-day Iran but with such huge borders covering parts of Europe, Africa and Asia including Greece and of course the whole expanse of land used to be known as Persia up to major parts of India. It was so huge that some believed the Achaemenid king Cyrus the Great is the real Iskandar Zulkarnain, a great king and conqueror mentioned in the Muslim holy book, the Al-Quran as the wise ruler of the East and West.

Now, plenty of scholars believe that Iskandar Zulkarnain in the Quran and the well-known Alexander the Great of Macedonia, the pride of antiquated Europe and a hero of early Western exploits are the same person. So which one is the true Iskandar? Cyrus who built his empire around 550 BC or Alexander who flaunted his greatness at around 330 BC?

The funny thing is, when Alexander beat the last Achaemenid king Darius III and annexed the Persian empire, the scope of land within his conquest looked almost the same as those ruled by Cyrus... Is this a mere conincidence or is there a deeper meaning behind this? Take note, there are those who believe that Alexander the Great is actually a descendant of Cyrus the Great... From a branch of the Achaemenid royal family who were denied the Persian throne and forced into exile until they reappeared in Macedonia... Perhaps that explains why Alexander's family wanted so much to beat and conquer the Persians? Perhaps...
Anyway have a look at this information on the Achaemenid Empire copied from the Wikipedia on-line encyclopaedia -

The Achaemenid dynasty (Old Persian:Hakamanishiya, Persian: هخامنشیان) - was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire. At the height of their power, around 500 BC, the Achaemenid rulers of Persia ruled over territories roughly encompassing parts of today's Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Bulgaria, small part of Greece, Egypt, Syria, much of what is now Pakistan, Jordan, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Caucasia, Central Asia, Arabia, Libya and north western Indian subcontinent.

Darius the Great (Darius I) was the first to speak of Achaemenes, who he claimed was an ancestor of Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II), ca. 576 - 529 BC), and therefore the progenitor of the entire line of Achaemenid rulers. However, some scholars hold that Achaemenes was a fictional character used to legitimize Darius' rule, and that Darius I usurped the Persian throne. In any case, the name Achaemenid has been commonly accepted for the line of Persian kings beginning at least with Darius I. When the name refers to the entire line of early Persian rulers, including Cyrus II and his son Cambyses, the Achaemenid era stretches from about 650 to 330 BC.

At different times, the Achaemenids also ruled Egypt, although the Egyptians twice regained their independence from Persia. After the practice of Manetho, Egyptian historians refer to the period in Egypt when the Achaemenid dynasty ruled as the Twenty-Seventh (525 BC - 404 BC) and Thirty-First Dynasties (343- 332 BC).

The last Achaemenid king was Darius III (336 BC - 330 BC), who was defeated by Alexander III of Macedon. After the Macedonian conquest, the Persian Empire was annexed by Alexander.

The founder of this dynasty was supposedly Achaemenes (Old Persian Haxāmaniڑ "Of Friendly Mind"). He was succeeded by his son Teispes (Ciڑpi), who first took the title King of Anڑān after seizing that city from the Elamites. Inscriptions indicate that when Teispes died, two of his sons shared the throne as Cyrus I (Kyrush), king of Anڑān, and Ariaramnes (Ariyāramna "Having the Iranians at Peace"), king of Parsua (later called Pārsa "Persia", hence Fārsi, the native name for modern Persian). They were succeeded by their respective sons Cambyses I of Anshan (Kambūjiya, "the Elder"), and Arsames (Arڑāma "Having a Hero's Might") of Persia.

In 559 BC, Cambyses I the Elder was succeeded as king of Anڑān by his son Cyrus II the Great, who also succeeded the still-living Arsames as King of Persia, thus reuniting the two realms. Cyrus II is considered to be the first king of the Achaemenid dynasty to be properly called so, as his predecessors were subservient to Media. Cyrus II conquered Media, Lydia and Babylon.

His successors were less successful. Cyrus' unstable son Cambyses II conquered Egypt, but died in July 522 BC as the result of either accident or suicide, during a revolt led by a priest, Gaumata. Gaumata usurped the throne by pretending to be Smerdis (Pers. Bardiya; Cambyses' brother whom he had secretly had assassinated in 525, before starting out for his Egyptian campaign) until he was overthrown in 522 BC by a member of a lateral branch of the Achaemenid family, Darius I (Old Persian Dārayawuڑ "Who Holds Firm the Good", also known as Darayarahush or Darius the Great).

According to Herodotus, the native leadership then debated the best form of government for the Empire. He reports that it was decided that oligarchy would divide them against one another, and democracy would bring about mob rule resulting in a charismatic leader resuming the monarchy. Therefore, they decided a new monarch was in order, particularly since they were in a position to choose him. Darius I was chosen monarch from amongst the leaders. He was cousin to Cambyses II and Smerdis, claiming Ariaramnes as his ancestor.
Darius attacked the Greek mainland, which had supported rebellious Greek colonies under his aegis; but as a result of his defeat at the Battle of Marathon in 490, he was forced to retract the limits of the empire to Asia Minor.

The Achaemenids thereafter consolidated areas firmly under their control. It was Cyrus and Darius who, by sound and farsighted administrative planning, brilliant military maneuvering, and a humanistic worldview, established the greatness of the Achaemenids and in less than thirty years raised them from an obscure tribe to a world power.

Achaemenid rulers

Teispes of Anshan, son of Achaemenes †

Cyrus I of Anshan, son of Teispes †

Ariaramnes of Persia, son of Teispes and co-ruler with Cyrus I †

Cambyses I of Anshan, son of Cyrus I †

Arsames of Persia, son of Ariaramnes and co-ruler with Cambyses I †

Cyrus II, the Great, son of Cambyses I, ruled from c.550530 BC (ruler of Anshan c. 559 BC – conquered Media 550 BC)

Cambyses II, son of Cyrus the Great, ruled 529522 BC

Smerdis (Bardiya), alleged son of Cyrus the Great, ruled 522 BC (Possibly a usurper)

Darius I, the Great, brother-in-law of Smerdis and grandson of Arsames, ruled 521486 BC

Xerxes I, son of Darius I, ruled 485465 BC

Artaxerxes I Longimanus, son of Xerxes I, ruled 465424 BC

Xerxes II, son of Artaxerxes I, ruled 424 BC

Sogdianus, half-brother and rival of Xerxes II, ruled 424423 BC

Darius II Nothus, half-brother and rival of Xerxes II, ruled 423405 BC

Artaxerxes II Mnemon, son of Darius II, ruled 404359 BC (see also Xenophon)

Artaxerxes III Ochus, son of Artaxerxes II, ruled 358338 BC

Artaxerxes IV Arses, son of Artaxerxes III, ruled 338336 BC

Darius III Codomannus, great-grandson of Darius II, ruled 336330 BC

Macedonian conquest of the Achamenid Empire in 330 BC

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