Jump to Navigation

Persia, ancient

Region east of the Fertile Crescent and south of the Caspian, and home of several major civilizations of the classical world. It was named by the Greeks after the Parsua tribe of southwestern Iran, who inhabited Persis (the modern region of Fars). The Persians were descendants of Indo-Iranian nomads who had occupied the region in the 8th century BC. They conquered Babylon in 539 BC under Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achemenid dynasty, who built an empire across the Middle East. It was overthrown by Alexander the Great, but a new Persian empire was built, first by the Parthians and then the Sasanians (from AD 224). The Sasanians were defeated by the Byzantines in the 620s, and the region was quickly overrun by the Arabs.

About Us | Contact Us | Advertising | Subscriptions | Newsletter | RSS Feeds | Ebooks | Podcast | Submitting an Article
Copyright 2012 History Today Ltd. All rights reserved.