Persian Empire | • Map • Religion • Flag • Timeline • Facts • Time Period

Persian Empire | • Map • Religion • Flag • Timeline • Facts • Time Period

The Persian Empire

The Persian Empire consisted of a group of imperial dynasties that each took turns ruling Persia.

Cyrus the great began this chain and started the first dynasty.

This was caused by the overthrow of Media, Lydia, and Babylonia. Ancient Persia used to be dedicated to Zoroastrianism, but shortly after the 7th century, the Persian Empire’s religion was changed to Islam.



Iran was the residence of one of the greatest civilizations this world has ever seen. Near the 5th century, Iran had become the world’s largest empire, and had exceeded the size of their Assyrian precursors.

Not only did Iran conquer country after country to a wide span, but also was able to endure invasions from the Greeks, Mongols and Arabs.


List of Persian dynasties


Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC), commonly called the “First Persian Empire”

Also called the Medo-Persian Empire, this dynasty was based in western Asia, in the heart of Iran.


Parthian Empire (247 BC–AD 224, also called the “Arsacid Empire”)

More known as the Arascid Empire, this dynasty was considered a major political and cultural power in Iran.

During the peak of its glory, the Parthian empire stretched from north of Euphrates (nowadays the eastern turkey) to eastern Iran.

This empire was located near the Silk Road trade route. And thus, became a hub of trade and commerce.


Sasanian Empire (224–651), also called the “Neo-Persian Empire” and “Second Persian Empire”

This empire,

more commonly known as Sassanid, was the last dynasty before the Islam religion replaced Zoroastrianism and was the successor of the Parthian empire.

This dynasty was considered as one of the main predominant powers in the world. Only problem?

So was their neighbouring domain: their arch nemesis, the Byzantine Empire. This rivalry went on for nearly 5 centuries.


Safavid dynasty (1501–1736)

After the descent of the Sassanid Empire, the Safavid dynasty took control.

They soon became one of the most magnificent ruling dynasties Persia had ever seen. Their rise to power was at the same time of the Muslim Conquest, 7th century.

Historians note this dynasty’s reign as “The beginning of modern Persian history”.


Afsharid dynasty (1736–1796)

This dynasty was originated in 1736 by Nader Shah, who was a remarkably gifted military commander.

The members were residents of an ethnic dynasty with a Turkish lineage, the Afshar tribe to be exact.

Nader Shahs conquest led to the downfall of the Safavid dynasty, and he became the king of Iran.


Zand dynasty (1750–1794)

Commanded by Karim Khan Zand, this dynasty reigned over the central and southern regions of Iran throughout 18th century.


Qajar dynasty (1785–1925)

Much like the Afsharid dynasty, they also had a Turkish origin.

This Family overthrew Lotf’Ali Khan (The last ruler of the Zand dynasty) in 1794, and once again declared Persian dominion over massive areas of central Asia.


Pahlavi dynasty (1925–1979)

After the Iranian revolution that led to the extinction of monarchy, the Pahlavi dynasty took the power and ruled Iran from 1925 to 1979.

The founder was Reza Shah Pahlavi, who reigned until the year 1941.

However, he was forced to surrender after the Anglo-Soviet invasion upon Iran. His successor was his son, Mohammadreza Shah Pahlavi, the last Shah to rule Iran.


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