History of the
Median, Achaemenid , Seleucid , Parthian and Sassanid
3 major horse riding, Indo-European groups entered the Iranian around 2,000 BC. They encountered the more advanced Elamite civilization...more
Video on Elamite ziggurat
at Chogha Zanbil
650 - 550 B.C.
The Medes originally settled in northwestern Iran and were themselves a vassal state of the Assyrian Empire until the mid 7th century B.C. By by the 6th century BC, the Medes were able to establish an empire that stretched from the middle of present day Turkey to Afghanistan...more
Video on Zoroastrianism the religion of
the Median and Achaemenid Empire
550 - 330 B.C.
Cyrus the great overthrew the Median empire, establishing the largest empire in the world up to that date . At its height this Persian Empire would stretch from India to Libya and hold an est. 70,000,000 people . Under Darius I , the Persians came into conflict with the Greeks, leading to such battles as Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis ...more
Persian Empire documentary
looked like in its heyday
Video on Cyrus the Great
323 - 60 B.C
The Seleucid empire was named after Seleucus, a Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great. In the wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander's death, Seleucus established Seleucid Empire after battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C. The Seleucids built hundreds of Greek style towns with amphitheatres and other architecture of Greek civilization ...more
Wars of the Diadochi
Battle of Magnesia 190 BC
Roman army of 50,000 defeats Selucid army of 70,000 in modern day eastern Turkey. The Romans were led by consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio and his brother, the famed general Scipio Africanus. The Selucids were led by Antiochus III the Great, who promoted himself as a latter day Alexander.
The defeat forced the Selucids to abandon their European holdings and was the last chance to hold back the Romans. Even though the Romans were outnumbered, the Roman army was a professionally trained army which could outmaneuver the Greek phalanx. The Continued civil war, Jewish revolt and Parthian expansion led to the further demise of the Selucid Empire. In 83 BC the Armenian king Tigranes the Great, invaded what was left of the Selucid Empire which comprised little more than Antioch and some Syrian cities, effectively ending the Selucid Empire.
63 B.C. - 226 A.D.
Decisive Battles - Carrhae
For nearly five centuries, from the middle of the third century B.C., the Parthian Empire ruled Persia . For most of this long period it was the leading power of the Middle East and the rival of the Roman Empire. Parthian grew rich from duties on east - west trade, esp. silk. Their greatest victory over the Romans was at Carrhae in 53 B.C. , when a new breed of horse was developed that was stronger and could support heavy armor - the cataphract...more
226 - 651 A.D.
Founded around 226 AD, in Persia, the Sassanian
Empire lasted over 400 years as a grand imperial rival to Rome.
The Sassanids saw themselves as heirs of the Persian Achaemenid Empire . During its 400 year rule the Sassanid kingdom became rich and the loose administration of the Parthians was replaced with a stronger Achaemenid style system. Under Shapur I, the Sassanid empire stretched from Euphrates to the west, Merv in the north and Punjab in the east, Briefly under Khosrau II it conquered Egypt. Zoroastrianism, which had fallen into disuse under the Parthians, was revived and made a powerful state religion .Town planning and irrigation works were carried out on a grand scale . Sculpture, textiles and metal work reached new heights during the Sassanid reign. After exhaustive wars with the Byzantine empire, the weakened Sassanids fell to the armies of the Islamic Umayyd Caliphs from Arabia in 637...more
Recent News of the Persian empires