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Persian Empire

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Persian Empire in Achaemenid era, 6th century BC
Tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of Persian Empire in the 6th century BC
Taq Kasra (Arch of Ctesiphon), symbol of Persian Empire in Sasanian era, 3rd century AD

The Persian Empire (Persian: شاهنشاهی ایران‎, translit. Šâhanšâhiye Irân, lit. 'Imperial Iran') is a series of imperial dynasties centered in Persia/Iran since the 6th century BC in Achaemenid era, to the 20th century AD in Qajar era.

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Achaemenids

The first dynasty of the Persian Empire was created by Achaemenids, established by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC with the conquest of Median, Lydian and Babylonian empires.[1] It covered much of the Ancient world when it was conquered by Alexander the Great. Persepolis is the most famous historical site related to Persian Empire in Achaemenid era and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

Parthians and Sasanians

From 247 BC to 224 AD, Persia was ruled by the Parthian Empire, which supplanted the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, and then by the Sassanian Empire, which ruled up until the mid-7th century.[2]

The Persian Empire in Sasanian era was interrupted by the Arab conquest of Persia in 651 AD, establishing the even larger Islamic caliphate, and later by the Mongol invasion. The main religion of ancient Persia was the native Zoroastrianism, but after the seventh century, it was replaced by Islam.

Safavids

 
Shah Abbas I, the most powerful king of Persia in Safavid era

The Safavid Empire was the first great Persian Empire established after Arab conquest of Persia by Shah Ismail I. From their base in Ardabil, the Safavid Persians established control over parts of Greater Persia/Iran and reasserted the Persian identity of the region, thus becoming the first native Persian dynasty since the Sasanian Empire to establish a unified Persian state.

Literature, art and architecture were flourished in Safavid era once again and it is often cited as the "rebirth of the Persian Empire". Safavids also announced Shia Islam as the official religion in the empire versus the Sunni Islam in the neighbouring Ottoman Empire.

List of the dynasties described as a Persian Empire

See also

References

  1. ^ Herodotus. "Halicarnassus". The Histories. pp. (page needed). ISBN 978-0143107545. 
  2. ^ History of the World in 1,000 Objects (DK Publishing, 2014). p. 71.

External links