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Darius I (c. 550–486 BCE) was the third king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Also called Darius the Great, he ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria-Pannonia), portions of north and northeast Africa including Egypt (Mudrâya), eastern Libya, coastal Sudan, Eritrea, as well as most of Pakistan, the Aegean Islands and northern Greece / Thrace-Macedonia.

The Achaemenid Persian empire was the largest that the ancient world had seen, extending from Anatolia and Egypt across western Asia to northern India and Central Asia. Its formation began in 550 B.C., when King Astyages of Media, who dominated much of Iran and eastern Anatolia (Turkey), was defeated by his southern neighbor Cyrus II ("the Great"), king of Persia (r. 559–530 B.C.).

Cambyses II, son of Cyrus the Great (r. 559–530 BCE), was King of Kings of Persia. Cambyses's grandfather was Cambyses I, king of Anshan. Following Cyrus the Great's conquest of the Near East and Central Asia, Cambyses II further expanded the empire into Egypt during the Late Period by defeating the Egyptian pharaoh Psamtik III during the battle of Pelusium in 525 BCE.

Old Postcard of Ayatollah Khomeini (2)

Funeral of Fatima, Folio from a Falnama Book of Divination) mid-1550s–early 1560s Iran, Tabriz. Metropolitan Museum

IMG_7136 by mfuru on Flickr. Persian Actually this fabulous pot is ancient Iranian - he predates the Persian empire.

Persian tile, Medieval.


Rostam deflects a rock Ferdowsi, Shahnameh Timurid: Shiraz, c.1430 Patron: Ebrahim Soltan b. Shah Rokh Illuminator: Nasr al-Soltani Opaque watercolours, ink and gold on paper Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Ouseley Add. 176, fol. 272v

Rostam is a mythical hero of Iran and son of Zal and Rudabeh.

The Shahnameh or Shahnama ("The Book of Kings") is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c. 977 and 1010 CE and is the national epic of Iran (Persia), Azerbaijan and the Persian-speaking world. Consisting of some 50,000 verses, the Shahnameh tells mainly the mythical and to some extent the historical past of the Persian empire from the creation of the world until the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century.

The Canon of Medicine (Arabic: القانون في الطب‎ al-Qānūn fī al-Ṭibb) is an encyclopedia of medicine in five books compiled by Persian philosopher Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) and completed in 1025. It presents a clear and organized summary of all the medical knowledge of the time.

Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī. also known as Alfraganus in the West, was an Arab or Persian Sunni Muslim astronomer, and one of the most famous astronomers in 9th century. The crater Alfraganus on the Moon is named after him.

Rudollah KhomeiniRuhollah Mostafavi Musavi Khomeini (24 September 1902 – 3 June 1989), known in the West as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Irani...

Achaemenid Persian Troops

Persian Elephant Unit - Achaemenid period

Parthian head ~Pre-Islamic Persia


Double figurine composed of the fore-quarters of facing cervids Bronze Iran in the Iron Age (14th–mid-6th century BC) and during the Neo-Elamite dynasties

Helmet Persia, 249-224 BC The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Iranian battle-mask, from the Safavid Dynasty (16th-18th c.)

Medes protoma in the form of a bull's head. Date 8th century BC Medium filigree and gold National Museum in Warsaw

Choga Zanbil Ziggurat, Iran Chogha Zanbil (Persian: چغازنبيل‎); Elamite: Dur Untash) is an ancient Elamite complex in the Khuzestan province of Iran. Chogha in Bakhtiari means hill. It is one of the few existent ziggurats outside of Mesopotamia. It lies approximately 42 km (26 mi) south-southwest of Dezfoul, 30 km (19 mi) west of Susa and 80 km (50 mi) north of Ahvaz.

"Bear Woman" Vessel Marlik, Iran 1200-1000 BC