The Persians were a tribe who in the 8th century B.C. inhabited a district east of Elam. Cyrus united the Medes and Persians, conquered Babylon (538 B.C.), and founded the Persian Empire, which extended from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, including Asia Minor. Its capitals were Persepolis, Babylon, Susa or Shushan, and Ecbatana or Achmetha. Judea was a subject province to the Persian Empire from 530 until 334 B.C., when it passed, along with the other provinces of that empire, into the hands of Alexander the Great.