This is an explanatory post, so those who want the answer to how Nehemiah answers discouragement can skip this by. For those like myself who wantto understand the history, this is rather interesting; others can safely ignore it.
The Persian Empire is now referred to as the Achaemenid Empire. You will find it so often called the “Achaemenid Empire” that it seems that all traces of the Perisan one has been erased. It is important to remember that they are the same othewise you can up in a wild good choase tracing one or the other and forget the original purpose and a lot of dead ends.
This confusion happened because in Old Persian it was actually called Haxâmanishiya or Achaemenid after its founder’s Cambyses ii family name: Achaeminds and somehow to be politically correct we changed the Ancient Greek/English version that served us for hundreds of years to this newer word. Slowly our language and culture is being changed; in impertciple ways that had to fathom or trace.
So the Persian/Achaemenid family tree looks like this starting with Teispes and then going to his son, Cyrus I.
Teispes ======> Cyrus I ====> Cambyses I ====>
Cyrus II, The Great ====> Cambyses II ====>
Smerdis, (the Magian) ===> Darius I, The Great ====>
Xerxes I ====> Artaxerxes I ====> Xerxes II
Darius II ====> Artaxerxes II ====> Artaxerxes III
Arses ====> Darius III
After the death of Cambyses II (522 bc), though another line started. This junior line came to the throne with Darius I. I could not figure how why or how. Things that far back are sketchy, but this is what I could piece together from various sources and of course Britannica. This second dynasty became extinct with the death of Darius III, following his defeat (330 bc) by Alexander the Great.
The current Iranian Dept. of Commerce site though explains their geneaology in a far different manner. One that is definitely “invented” as Glenn Beck himself noted on one of his shows.
We know little about the Persians, like where they came from because so much is lost in myth. This is the current one: The Persia around 1400 BC when Mycenae and Troy and Knossus were falling to the Greeks, and that they were an Aryan people (as I mentioned earlier that is why they changed their name to IRAN) with long heads, high foreheads and thin noses, and their blood may have already been mixed with a slight Mongol strain. They were brothers of the Scythians and the Medes, who also emerged from the great grasslands.
That mythic tale is countered by Britannica which states that instead that the Persians arose (modern day Iraq or “the Aryan people) and eventually expanded from the Indus Valley (India) into the east, and to Thrace and Macedon (Greece) in the west. In its zenith encompassed some 1 million square miles all of which were unified by a complex network of roads, armies and bureaucrats of which Sanballat and Tobiah the Ammonite were two; that is the world that Nehemiah lived and his story is told.