ancient Orient. He was the first foreign conqueror who led an expedition and
penetrated well into India. He also conquered Anatolia and Babylonia and
advanced as far as the frontiers of Egypt. All Indian tribes to the west of the
Indus right up to the Kabul region submitted to Cyrus and paid him tribute.
According to some records, he destroyed the city of Capisa, located
somewhere north of Kabul.
Cambyses (530–522 BC) undertook the policy of conquest but did not follow
the progressive policy adopted by his father.
Darius I (522–486 BC), the grandson of Cyrus, conquered the Indus valley in
518 BC. Herodotus states that India was the twentieth satrapy of Darius. He
mentions that Darius sent a naval expedition under Skylas to explore the
Indus. Sind and a portion of the Punjab lying east of the Indus formed a part
of his Indian conquest. Incidentally, this portion continued to be a part of the
Indian possession of Xerxes, the emperor of Persia, in the subsequent period.
Xerxes (465–456 BC) fully utilised his Indian provinces to build formidable
contingents. The Indian contingents were deployed in Greece to fight his
opponents. Herodotus mentions about Indian soldiers.
Darius III enlisted Indian soldiers and sent them to fight Alexander. It is
evident that the control of the Persians slackened on the eve of Alexander’s
invasion of Asia.