Spread across half of southern Asia and north Africa, it had haddiverse peoples, the control of which it successfully resolved byleaving in place local governments ruled by local autocrats, withPersian provincial govrernors to maintain overall security andcollect taxes.

The diverse region also provided the opportunity for a wide varietyof food and goods production and internal trade andself-sufficiency.

The long distances in an era predating electronic communicationmeant long delays in passage of critical information, partly offsetby inter-connecting roads and courier systems by road and sea.Responses were very slow and difficult, witness the securityresponses with the Greeks in the west and the Egyptians in thesouthwest, where it took years to mount and conduct supressivecampaigns.

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