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Ancient Iranian Worlds
carving in stone of king of ancient persia from old dynasty country of iran

carving in stone of king of ancient persia from old dynasty country of iran

Chronology of Ancient Persia

8000 BC - The Agricultural Revolution made possible permanent settlements and the creation of complex civilizations. The Iranian plateau became the
cradle of one of the worlds oldest civilizations.
5000 BC - The Haji Firuz Tepe Wine Jar, discovered in Iran, is the oldest archaeological finding of wine-making in the world.
3900 BC - Sialk, the first city on the Iranian plateau, was built.
2000-1800 BC - Aryan migration from Southern Russia to Near East
1200 BC - Elamites, first known civilization in Persia Settled in the region.
1500-800 BC - The Persians and the Medes, two groups of Aryan nomads, migrated to the Iranian plateau from central Asia.

1000 BC - The Prophet Zoroaster was one of the first prophets to introduce the concepts of: monotheism, Persians adopted Zoroastrianism at a time when Greeks and, later, Romans still practiced polytheistic religions. (There is some dispute concerning Zoroaster's exact period.)
700 BC - The Medes create the first state on the Persian plateau.
559-530 BC - Reign of Cyrus the Great.
549 BC - The Persians, led by Cyrus the Great, overthrew the Medes
530-522 BC - Reign of Cambyses.
521-485 BC - Reign of Darius.
499-493 BC - The Ionian Revolt.
490 BC - Attempts to conquer the Greek mainland, The Battle of Marathon.
485-465 BC - Reign of Xerxes.
480 BC - Battle of Thermopylae, Battle of Salamis.
479 BC - Battle of Plataea, Battle of Mycale.

465-424 BC - Reign of Artaxerxes I.

424-404 BC - Reign of Xerxes II.

404-358 BC - Reign of Artaxerxes II.

358-338 BC - Reign of Artaxerxes III.

336-330 BC - Reign of Darius III.

334 BC - Battle of Granicus.

333 BC - Battle of Issus.

331 BC - Battle of Guagamela.

330 BC - Alexander the Great conquers the Persian Empire.


The Achaemenid State

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the Achemenids was the relative stability of their rule. The Achaemenids however were tolerant of other cultural and religious traditions. The Achaemenids built a powerful army, but much of their success lay in their administrative abilities and willingness to borrow from predecessors like the Medes or Babylonians. Most of their leaders worked to establish what has been termed a pax Achaemenica. They were able to maintain continlity as their state evolved fom a tribal confederation into a sophisticated monarchy.

An administrative system of provinces ruled by governors called satraps, and fixed-yield levies or revenue. The Achemenid bureaucracy's adoption of Araaic, which ahd become the common language of the near east under the Assyrians, helped link east and west. Achaemenids never had a single fixed capital; they moved the court as needed from one to another of their palaces, Whether Babylon or the Iranian Highlands.


Named after the prophet Zarathustra (Zoroaster). The great prophet reformer of Iranian Religion. Is it one of the oldest living religions in the world, founded about 3500 years ago. Zoroaster reform of the Iranian religion included abandoning the worship of all lesser deities or daevas. It called for people to turn from the "Lie" and come to the "Truth". Zoroaster also warned of a final reckoning; where the good would be rewarded with future glory and the wicked would have long-lasting darkness.

Ahura Mazda was recognized and the one supreme Lord (one supreme deity)

Zoroastrianism's Influence, being the oldest living religion, with the concepts of one God, judgment, heaven, hell, angels and demons, it likely influenced the major western religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is also said that is may have influenced Buddhist beliefs as well.

Although Zoroastrianism was wiped out by the spread of Islam, it is still practiced by the Pari community of 100,000 and growing populations of western India.

The Achaemenid's and The Persian Empire 550-330 B.C.E.



The Rise of an Empire

  • Achaemenid power dates back to Cyrus I around 600 B.C.
  • Rise begins from loosely controlled area around Antolia and western Iran (Medes) and the Elaminites in the southwest
  • Cyrus the Great brings Iran to empire status through his reign


Cyrus the Great

  • Reign from 559 - 530 B.C.
  • Father of the Iranian nation
  • First world leader to be known as "The Great"
  • Founded the first world empire
  • Also founded the second Iranian dynastic empire
  • Name means sun-like in Persian

Cyrus the Great's Empire

  • First conquest was of Medes in 550 B.C.
  • He incoporated both Median and Persian nobles as civilian officials
  • Then gained Assyria, Cilicia and the Kingdom of Lydia, controlling the eastern part of Asia Minor maybe as far as present-day Pakistan
  • Next big conquest was of Babylon and after defeating them, he called himself the king of the four corners of the world

Cyrus the Great Admin and Death

  • New territories in his reign had a measure of independence being ruled by satraps (local governors)
  • Full responsibility od the administration, legislation, and cultural activites of their territory
  • Cyrus is considered to be the first person to create a postal system in the world which would help in keeping his empire together
  • Cyrus is believed to have practiced Zoroastrian like his ancestors
  • Cyrus was killed in battle protecting his empire from the Massagetae around July 529 B.C.
  • His legacy to his heirs was not only one as a conquer but also his readiness to rule through local elites rather than create political superstructures

Heirs and end of the Achaemenids

  • Cyrus and his heirs had created the largest and most extensive empire the world had ever seen at its time
  • Cambyses added Egypt to the empire but lived a short reign which led to civil war within the empire
  • Darius was the winner and enjoyed a prosperous and the peak of the Achaemenid empire
  • Stretched from Egypt northeast to southern Russia and east to the Indus valley
  • Last five rulers did not fare well and were inferior to the Greeks
  • Civil war, sucession struggles, and poor leadership led to Alexander ending the Achaemenid empire

The Achaemenid Economy
Croesus introduced a coin based monetary system in Lydia. The coins were silver and gold. Coinage was used to pay part of the workers' wages in the construction of Persepolis. Coinage inspired banking operations. Many things have happened during this time: deposits were taken, loans made, checks accepted, leases sold, monopolies protected and capital invested in property, shipping, canals, and commodities. Trading was one of the empire's main sources, along with agriculture.
Agriculture was still the main industry. Work animals were bred, bees colonized, and grapes, wheat, and barley, and olives refined widely. Fishing, timbering, and mining were the main economy.
external image 220px-Achaemenid_coin_daric_420BC_front.jpg
external image 220px-Achaemenid_coin_daric_420BC_front.jpg
external image AchaemenidCoin.gif
external image AchaemenidCoin.gif
This picture is a picture of the coinage.
external image achaemenid_empire_map.gif
external image achaemenid_empire_map.gif

This picture is showing the Achemenid Empire.

(Sources) The Heritage of World Civilizations / Albert M. Craig [et al.]. 8th Edition.