A report on Achaemenid Empire

The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Family tree of the Achaemenid rulers.
Map of the expansion process of Achaemenid territories
Cyrus the Great is said, in the Bible, to have liberated the Hebrew captives in Babylon to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. At Pasargadae, Iran.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
The Persian queen Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great, sister-wife of Cambyses II, Darius the Great's wife, and mother of Xerxes the Great
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
Achaemenid gold ornaments, Brooklyn Museum
Persian Empire timeline including important events and territorial evolution – 550–323 BC
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis
The 24 countries subject to the Achaemenid Empire at the time of Darius, on the Egyptian statue of Darius I.
The Battle of Issus, between Alexander the Great on horseback to the left, and Darius III in the chariot to the right, represented in a Pompeii mosaic dated 1st century BC – Naples National Archaeological Museum
Alexander's first victory over Darius, the Persian king depicted in medieval European style in the 15th century romance The History of Alexander's Battles
Frataraka dynasty ruler Vadfradad I (Autophradates I). 3rd century BC. Istakhr (Persepolis) mint.
Dārēv I (Darios I) used for the first time the title of mlk (King). 2nd century BC.
Winged sphinx from the Palace of Darius in Susa, Louvre
Daric of Artaxerxes II
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire, according to Herodotus.
Achaemenid tax collector, calculating on an Abax or Abacus, according to the Darius Vase (340–320 BC).
Letter from the Satrap of Bactria to the governor of Khulmi, concerning camel keepers, 353 BC
Relief of throne-bearing soldiers in their native clothing at the tomb of Xerxes I, demonstrating the satrapies under his rule.
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. c. 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Persian soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians. Cylinder seal impression.
Color reconstruction of Achaemenid infantry on the Alexander Sarcophagus (end of 4th century BC).
Seal of Darius the Great hunting in a chariot, reading "I am Darius, the Great King" in Old Persian (𐎠𐎭𐎶𐏐𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁𐎴 𐏋, "adam Dārayavaʰuš xšāyaθiya"), as well as in Elamite and Babylonian. The word "great" only appears in Babylonian. British Museum.
Achaemenid calvalryman in the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Armoured cavalry: Achaemenid Dynast of Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Reconstitution of Persian landing ships at the Battle of Marathon.
Greek ships against Achaemenid ships at the Battle of Salamis.
Iconic relief of lion and bull fighting, Apadana of Persepolis
Achaemenid golden bowl with lioness imagery of Mazandaran
The ruins of Persepolis
A section of the Old Persian part of the trilingual Behistun inscription. Other versions are in Babylonian and Elamite.
A copy of the Behistun inscription in Aramaic on a papyrus. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the empire.
An Achaemenid drinking vessel
Bas-relief of Farvahar at Persepolis
Tomb of Artaxerxes III in Persepolis
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven wonders of the ancient world, was built by Greek architects for the local Persian satrap of Caria, Mausolus (Scale model)
Achamenid dynasty timeline
Reconstruction of the Palace of Darius at Susa. The palace served as a model for Persepolis.
Lion on a decorative panel from Darius I the Great's palace, Louvre
Ruins of Throne Hall, Persepolis
Apadana Hall, Persian and Median soldiers at Persepolis
Lateral view of tomb of Cambyses II, Pasargadae, Iran
Plaque with horned lion-griffins. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia that was founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. It reached its greatest extent under Xerxes I, who conquered most of northern and central ancient Greece.

- Achaemenid Empire

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Alexander riding Bucephalus on a Roman mosaic

Alexander the Great

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King of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.

King of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.

Alexander riding Bucephalus on a Roman mosaic
Alexander III riding Bucephalus on a Roman mosaic
Map of The Kingdom of Macedon in 336 BC, birthplace of Alexander
Roman medallion depicting Olympias, Alexander's mother
Archaeological Site of Pella, Greece, Alexander's birthplace
Philip II of Macedon, Alexander's father
Battle plan from the Battle of Chaeronea
Pausanius assassinates Philip II, Alexander's father, during his procession into the theatre
The emblema of the Stag Hunt Mosaic, c. 300 BC, from Pella; the figure on the right is possibly Alexander the Great due to the date of the mosaic along with the depicted upsweep of his centrally-parted hair (anastole); the figure on the left wielding a double-edged axe (associated with Hephaistos) is perhaps Hephaestion, one of Alexander's loyal companions.
The Macedonian phalanx at the "Battle of the Carts" against the Thracians in 335 BC
Map of Alexander's empire and his route
Gérard Audran after Charles LeBrun, 'Alexander Entering Babylon,' original print first published 1675, engraving, Department of Image Collections, National Gallery of Art Library, Washington, DC.
Alexander Cuts the Gordian Knot (1767) by Jean-Simon Berthélemy
Name of Alexander the Great in Egyptian hieroglyphs (written from right to left), c. 332 BC, Egypt. Louvre Museum.
Site of the Persian Gate in modern-day Iran; the road was built in the 1990s.
Administrative document from Bactria dated to the seventh year of Alexander's reign (324 BC), bearing the first known use of the "Alexandros" form of his name, Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents
The Killing of Cleitus, by André Castaigne (1898–1899)
Silver tetradrachm of Alexander the Great found in Byblos (ca 330-300 bc.) (BnF 1998–859; 17,33g; Byblos, Price 3426b)
The Phalanx Attacking the Centre in the Battle of the Hydaspes by André Castaigne (1898–1899)
Alexander's invasion of the Indian subcontinent
Porus surrenders to Alexander
Asia in 323 BC, the Nanda Empire and the Gangaridai of the Indian subcontinent, in relation to Alexander's Empire and neighbours
Alexander (left) and Hephaestion (right): Both were connected by a tight friendship
Alexander at the Tomb of Cyrus the Great, by Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (1796)
A Babylonian astronomical diary (c. 323–322 BC) recording the death of Alexander (British Museum, London)
19th-century depiction of Alexander's funeral procession, based on the description by Diodorus Siculus
Detail of Alexander on the Alexander Sarcophagus
Kingdoms of the Diadochi in 301 BC: the Ptolemaic Kingdom (dark blue), the Seleucid Empire (yellow), Kingdom of Pergamon (orange), and Kingdom of Macedon (green). Also shown are the Roman Republic (light blue), the Carthaginian Republic (purple), and the Kingdom of Epirus (red).
A coin of Alexander the Great struck by Balakros or his successor Menes, both former somatophylakes (bodyguards) of Alexander, when they held the position of satrap of Cilicia in the lifetime of Alexander, circa 333-327 BC. The obverse shows Heracles, ancestor of the Macedonian royal line and the reverse shows a seated Zeus Aëtophoros.
The Battle of the Granicus, 334 BC
The Battle of Issus, 333 BC
Alexander Cameo by Pyrgoteles
Alexander portrayal by Lysippos
Alexander (left), wearing a kausia and fighting an Asiatic lion with his friend Craterus (detail); late 4th century BC mosaic, Pella Museum
A Roman copy of an original 3rd century BC Greek bust depicting Alexander the Great, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
A mural in Pompeii, depicting the marriage of Alexander to Barsine (Stateira) in 324 BC; the couple are apparently dressed as Ares and Aphrodite.
The Hellenistic world view: world map of Eratosthenes (276–194 BC), using information from the campaigns of Alexander and his successors
Plan of Alexandria c. 30 BC
Dedication of Alexander the Great to Athena Polias at Priene, now housed in the British Museum
Alexander's empire was the largest state of its time, covering approximately 5.2 million square km.
The Buddha, in Greco-Buddhist style, 1st to 2nd century AD, Gandhara, northern Pakistan. Tokyo National Museum.
This medallion was produced in Imperial Rome, demonstrating the influence of Alexander's memory. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Alexander in a 14th-century Armenian manuscript
Alexander in a 14th-century Byzantine manuscript
Alexander conquering the air. Jean Wauquelin, Les faits et conquêtes d'Alexandre le Grand, 1448–1449
Folio from the Shahnameh showing Alexander praying at the Kaaba, mid-16th century
Detail of a 16th-century Islamic painting depicting Alexander being lowered in a glass submersible
A Hellenistic bust of a young Alexander the Great, possibly from Ptolemaic Egypt, 2nd-1st century BC, now in the British Museum
A fresco depicting a hunt scene at the tomb of Philip II, Alexander's father, at the Archaeological Site of Aigai, the only known depiction of Alexander made during his lifetime, 330s BC

In 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Persian Empire and began a series of campaigns that lasted for 10 years.

Cyrus the Great with a Hemhem crown, or four-winged Cherub tutelary divinity, from a relief in the residence of Cyrus in Pasagardae

Cyrus the Great

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Cyrus II of Persia (c.

Cyrus II of Persia (c.

Cyrus the Great with a Hemhem crown, or four-winged Cherub tutelary divinity, from a relief in the residence of Cyrus in Pasagardae
The four-winged guardian figure representing Cyrus the Great or a four-winged Cherub tutelary deity. Bas-relief found on a doorway pillar at Pasargadae on top of which was once inscribed in three languages the sentence "I am Cyrus the king, an Achaemenian." Scholars who doubt that the relief depicts Cyrus note that the same inscription is written on other palaces in the complex.
"I am Cyrus the King, an Achaemenian" in Old Persian, Elamite and Akkadian languages. It is known as the "CMa inscription", carved in a column of Palace P in Pasargadae. These inscriptions on behalf of Cyrus were probably made later by Darius I in order to affirm his lineage, using the Old Persian script he had designed.
Painting of king Astyages sending Harpagus to kill young Cyrus
Detail of Cyrus Hunting Wild Boar by Claude Audran the Younger, Palace of Versailles
Victory of Cyrus over Lydia's Croesus at the Battle of Thymbra, 546 BC
Croesus on the pyre. Attic red-figure amphora, 500–490 BC, Louvre (G 197)
Ancient Near East circa 540 BC, prior to the invasion of Babylon by Cyrus the Great
Achaemenid soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians, 5th century BC. Cylinder seal impression (drawing).
Queen Tomyris of the Massagetae receiving the head of Cyrus
Tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae, Iran, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2015)
Cyrus the Great is said in the Bible to have liberated the Jews from the Babylonian captivity to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
Cyrus the Great (center) with his General Harpagus behind him, as he receives the submission of Astyages (18th century tapestry)
The Cyrus Street, Jerusalem
Painting of Daniel and Cyrus before the Idol Bel
Statue of Cyrus the great at Olympic Park in Sydney
17th-century bust of Cyrus the Great in Hamburg, Germany
The Cyrus cylinder, a contemporary cuneiform script proclaiming Cyrus as legitimate king of Babylon

600–530 BC; Kūruš), commonly known as Cyrus the Great and also called Cyrus the Elder by the Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian empire.

The relief stone of Darius the Great in the Behistun Inscription

Darius the Great

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The relief stone of Darius the Great in the Behistun Inscription
Lineage of Darius the Great according to the Behistun Inscription.
Darius the Great, by Eugène Flandin (1840)
Eastern border of the Achaemenid Empire
Ethnicities of the Achaemenid Army, on the tomb of Darius I. The nationalities mentioned in the DNa inscription are also depicted on the upper registers of all the tombs at Naqsh-e Rustam, starting with the tomb of Darius I. The ethnicities on the tomb of Darius further have trilingual labels on the lintel directly over them for identification, collectively known as the DNe inscription. One of the best preserved friezes, identical in content, is that of Xerxes I.
Map showing key sites during the Persian invasions of Greece
Tomb of Darius at Naqsh-e Rostam
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire.
Gold daric, minted at Sardis
Reconstruction drawing of the Palace of Darius in Susa
The ruins of Tachara palace in Persepolis
thumb|upright|Egyptian statue of Darius I, as Pharaoh of the Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt;<ref>{{cite book |last1=Razmjou |first1=Shahrokh |title=Ars orientalis; the arts of Islam and the East |date=1954 |publisher=Freer Gallery of Art |pages=81–101 |url=https://archive.org/details/arsorient323320022003univ/page/n95/mode/2up}}</ref> 522–486 BC; greywacke; height: 2.46 m;<ref>{{cite book |last1=Manley|first1=Bill|title=Egyptian Art|year=2017|publisher=Thames & Hudson|pages=280|isbn=978-0-500-20428-3}}</ref> National Museum of Iran (Teheran)
Darius as Pharaoh of Egypt at the Temple of Hibis
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis

Darius I ( ; c. 550 – 486 BCE), commonly known as Darius the Great, was a Persian ruler who served as the third King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, reigning from 522 BCE until his death in 486 BCE.

Iran

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Country in Western Asia.

Country in Western Asia.

Inscription of Ardeshir Babakan (r. 224–242) in Naqsh-e Rostam: "This is the figure of Mazdaworshiper, the lord Ardashir, Shahanshah of Iran..."
An Ashrafi Coin of Nader Shah (r. 1736–1747), reverse:"Coined on gold the word of kingdom in the world, Nader of Greater Iran and the world-conquerer king."
A cave painting in Doushe cave, Lorestan, from the 8th millennium BC
A bas-relief at Persepolis, depicting the united Medes and Persians
Tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire, in Pasargadae
The Achaemenid Empire (550 BC–330 BC) around the time of Darius the Great and Xerxes I
The Parthian Empire (247 BC–224 AD) in 94 BC at its greatest extent, during the reign of Mithridates II
Tomb of Hafez, a medieval Persian poet whose works are regarded as a pinnacle in Persian literature and have left a considerable mark on later Western writers, most notably Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Henry David Thoreau, and Emerson
Venetian portrait, kept at the Uffizi, of Ismail I, the founder of the Safavid Empire
A portrait of AbbasI, the powerful, pragmatic Safavid ruler who reinforced Iran's military, political, and economic power
Statue of Nader Shah, the first Afsharid ruler of Iran, at his Tomb
A map showing the 19th-century northwestern borders of Iran, comprising modern-day eastern Georgia, Dagestan, Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan, before being ceded to the neighboring Russian Empire by the Russo-Iranian wars
The first national Iranian Parliament was established in 1906 during the Persian Constitutional Revolution
Reza Shah, the first Pahlavi king of Iran, in military uniform
The Allied "Big Three" at the 1943 Tehran Conference.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the Imperial Family during the coronation ceremony of the Shah of Iran in 1967.
Ruhollah Khomeini's return to Iran on 1February 1979
An Iranian soldier wearing a gas mask on the front-line during the Iran–Iraq War
The Green Movement's Silent Demonstration during the 2009–10 Iranian election protests
The 2017–18 Iranian protests were initiated on 31 December 2017 and continued for months.
Mount Damavand, Iran's highest point, is located in Amol, Mazenderan.
Persian leopard, listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Iran's most populated cities (2010)
Iran's syncretic political system combines elements of an Islamic theocracy with vetted democracy.
Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, meeting with his counterpart, China's paramount leader Xi Jinping on 23 January 2016. Iran and China are strategic allies.
Ali Khamenei voting in the 2017 presidential election
Iranian former President Hassan Rouhani meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Iran and Russia are strategic allies.
The Islamic Consultative Assembly, also known as the Iranian Parliament
Protest against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. Tehran, 11 December 2017.
Sophisticated indigenous long range missile system Bavar-373 paraded in Tehran.
Iran's provinces by their contribution to national GDP (2014)
Historical GDP per capita development
A proportional representation of Iran exports, 2019
More than a million tourists visit Kish Island each year.
Iran holds 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and 15% of its gas. It is OPEC's second largest exporter and the world's 7th largest oil producer.
Literacy rate of Iran's population plus 15, 1975–2015, according to UNESCO Institute of Statistics
Sharif University of Technology is one of Iran's most prestigious higher education institutions.
The production line for AryoSeven at the Iranian biopharmaceutical company of AryoGen
Simorgh launch, Iranian Space Agency
Iran's population growth (1880–2016)
Iran's provinces by population density (2013)
Iron Age gold cup from Marlik, kept at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art
Kamal-ol-Molk's Mirror Hall, often considered a starting point in Iranian modern art
Tomb of the 10th-century Persian poet Ferdowsi, author of Šāhnāme, the classical Persian composition of the Iranian national epics, in Tus
Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism, depicted on Raphael's The School of Athens
Karna, an ancient Iranian musical instrument from the 6th century BC, kept at the Persepolis Museum
The Roudaki Hall, constructed between 1957 and 1967 in Tehran
Reproduction of the 3rd-millennium BC goblet from southeastern Iran, possibly the world's oldest example of animation.
Abbas Kiarostami (1940–2016), an acclaimed Iranian film director
Behrouz Vossoughi, a well-known Iranian actor who has appeared in more than 90 films
Haft-Seen, a customary of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year
Chelow kabab (rice and kebab), one of Iran's national dishes
Skiers at the Dizin Ski Resort
The Azadi Stadium in Tehran is West Asia's largest football stadium.
Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, meeting with his counterpart, China's paramount leader Xi Jinping on 23 January 2016. Iran and China are strategic allies.
An Iranian tea tray served near Garden of Mausoleum of Omar Khayyam in Nishapur

The country is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. It was first unified by the Medes, an ancient Iranian people, in the seventh century BC, and reached its territorial height in the sixth century BC, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Persian Empire, which became one of the largest empires in history and has been described as the world's first effective superpower.

The Parthian Empire in 94 BC at its greatest extent, during the reign of Mithridates II ((r. 124 – 91))

Parthian Empire

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Major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran from 247 BC to 224 AD. Its latter name comes from its founder, Arsaces I, who led the Parni tribe in conquering the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire.

Major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran from 247 BC to 224 AD. Its latter name comes from its founder, Arsaces I, who led the Parni tribe in conquering the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire.

The Parthian Empire in 94 BC at its greatest extent, during the reign of Mithridates II ((r. 124 – 91))
The silver drachma of Arsaces I (r. c. 247–211 BC) with the Greek language inscription ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ "of Arsaces"
Parthia, shaded yellow, alongside the Seleucid Empire (blue) and the Roman Republic (purple) around 200 BC
Drachma of Mithridates I, showing him wearing a beard and a royal diadem on his head. Reverse side: Heracles/Verethragna, holding a club in his left hand and a cup in his right hand; Greek inscription reading ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ "of the Great King Arsaces the Philhellene"
Drachma of Mithridates II (r. c. 124–91 BC). Reverse side: seated archer carrying a bow; inscription reading "of the King of Kings Arsaces the Renowned/Manifest Philhellene."
Han dynasty Chinese silk from Mawangdui, 2nd century BC, silk from China was perhaps the most lucrative luxury item the Parthians traded at the western end of the Silk Road.
Bronze statue of a Parthian nobleman from the sanctuary at Shami in Elymais (modern-day Khūzestān Province, Iran, along the Persian Gulf), now located at the National Museum of Iran. Dated 50 BC-150 AD, Parthian School.
A Roman marble head of the triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus, who was defeated at Carrhae by Surena
Roman aurei bearing the portraits of Mark Antony (left) and Octavian (right), issued in 41 BC to celebrate the establishment of the Second Triumvirate by Octavian, Antony and Marcus Lepidus in 43 BC
Drachma of Phraates IV (r. c. 38–2 BC). Inscription reading ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ "of the King of Kings Arsaces the Renowned/Manifest Benefactor Philhellene"
A close-up view of the breastplate on the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta, showing a Parthian man returning to Augustus the legionary standards lost by Marcus Licinius Crassus at Carrhae
A denarius struck in 19 BC during the reign of Augustus, with the goddess Feronia depicted on the obverse, and on the reverse a Parthian man kneeling in submission while offering the Roman military standards taken at the Battle of Carrhae
Map of the troop movements during the first two years of the Roman–Parthian War of 58–63 AD over the Kingdom of Armenia, detailing the Roman offensive into Armenia and capture of the country by Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo
Parthian king making an offering to god Herakles-Verethragna. Masdjid-e Suleiman, Iran. 2nd–3rd century AD. Louvre Museum Sb 7302.
Rock relief of Parthian king at Behistun, most likely Vologases III (r. c. 110–147 AD)
A Parthian (right) wearing a Phrygian cap, depicted as a prisoner of war in chains held by a Roman (left); Arch of Septimius Severus, Rome, 203 AD
A Sarmatian-Parthian gold necklace and amulet, 2nd century AD. Located in Tamoikin Art Fund
Parthian golden necklace, 2nd century AD, Iran, Reza Abbasi Museum
A Parthian ceramic oil lamp, Khūzestān Province, Iran, National Museum of Iran
Coin of Kamnaskires III, king of Elymais (modern Khūzestān Province), and his wife Queen Anzaze, 1st century BC
A statue of a young Palmyran in fine Parthian trousers, from a funerary stele at Palmyra, early 3rd century AD
Coin of Mithridates II of Parthia. The clothing is Parthian, while the style is Hellenistic (sitting on an omphalos). The Greek inscription reads "King Arsaces, the philhellene"
A ceramic Parthian water spout in the shape of a man's head, dated 1st or 2nd century AD
Parthian votive relief from Khūzestān Province, Iran, 2nd century AD
A barrel vaulted iwan at the entrance at the ancient site of Hatra, modern-day Iraq, built c. 50 AD
The Parthian Temple of Charyios in Uruk.
A wall mural depicting a scene from the Book of Esther at the Dura-Europos synagogue, dated 245 AD, which Curtis and Schlumberger describe as a fine example of 'Parthian frontality'
A sculpted head (broken off from a larger statue) of a Parthian soldier wearing a Hellenistic-style helmet, from the Parthian royal residence and necropolis of Nisa, Turkmenistan, 2nd century BC
Parthian long-necked lute, c. 3 BC – 3 AD
Royal Parthian objects at the Persia exhibition, Getty Museum

The Arsacid rulers were titled the "King of Kings", as a claim to be the heirs to the Achaemenid Empire; indeed, they accepted many local kings as vassals where the Achaemenids would have had centrally appointed, albeit largely autonomous, satraps.

The Nike of Samothrace is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Hellenistic art.

Hellenistic period

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The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt the following year.

The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt the following year.

The Nike of Samothrace is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Hellenistic art.
Hellenistic period. Sculpture of Dionysus from the Ancient Art Collection at Yale.
Alexander fighting the Persian king Darius III. From the Alexander Mosaic, Naples National Archaeological Museum.
Alexander's empire at the time of its maximum expansion.
The distribution of satrapies in the Macedonian Empire after the Settlement in Babylon (323 BC).
The Kingdoms of Antigonos and his rivals c. 303 BC.
The major Hellenistic kingdoms in 240 BC, including territories controlled by the Seleucid dynasty, the Ptolemaic dynasty, the Attalid dynasty, the Antigonid dynasty, and independent poleis of Hellenistic Greece
Philip V, "the darling of Hellas", wearing the royal diadem.
Greece and the Aegean World c. 200 BC.
Painting of a groom and bride from the Hellenistic Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, near the ancient city of Seuthopolis, 4th century BC.
Gallo-Greek inscription: "Segomaros, son of Uillū, citizen (toutious) of Namausos, dedicated this sanctuary to Belesama"
A silver drachma from Massalia (modern Marseille, France), dated 375–200 BC, with the head of the goddess Artemis on the obverse and a lion on the reverse
Seleucus I Nicator founded the Seleucid Empire.
The Hellenistic world c. 200 BC.
The Dying Gaul is a Roman marble copy of a Hellenistic work of the late 3rd century BC. Capitoline Museums, Rome.
Bust of Mithridates VI sporting a lion pelt headdress, a symbol of Herakles.
Tigranes the Great's Armenian Empire
Coin of Phraates IV with Hellenistic titles such as Euergetes, Epiphanes and Philhellene (fond of Greek [culture])
A sculpted head (broken off from a larger statue) of a Parthian wearing a Hellenistic-style helmet, from the Parthian royal residence and necropolis of Nisa, Turkmenistan, 2nd century BC
Al-Khazneh in Petra shows the Hellenistic influences on the Nabatean capital city
Model of Herod's Temple (renovation of the Second Temple) in the Israel Museum
The Greco-Bactrian kingdom at its maximum extent (c. 180 BC).
Silver coin depicting Demetrius I of Bactria (reigned c. 200–180 BC), wearing an elephant scalp, symbol of his conquests of areas in the northwest of South Asia, where Afghanistan and Pakistan are today.
Indo-Greek Kingdoms in 100 BC.
Heracles as protector of Buddha, Vajrapani, 2nd-century Gandhara.
Greco-Scythian golden comb, from Solokha, early 4th century, Hermitage Museum
Statuette of Nike, Greek goddess of victory, from Vani, Georgia (country)
Carthaginian hoplite (Sacred Band, end of the 4th century BC)
Eastern hemisphere at the end of the 2nd century BC.
Perseus of Macedon surrenders to Paullus. Painting by Jean-François Pierre Peyron from 1802. Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.
The Library of Alexandria in the Ptolemaic Kingdom, here shown in an artist's impression, was the largest and most significant library of the ancient world.
The Rosetta Stone, a trilingual Ptolemaic decree establishing the religious cult of Ptolemy V
One of the first representations of the Buddha, and an example of Greco-Buddhist art, 1st-2nd century AD, Gandhara: Standing Buddha (Tokyo National Museum).
Bull capital from Rampurva, one of the Pillars of Ashoka, Maurya Empire, 3rd century BC. Located in the Presidential Palace of Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. The subject matter is Indian (zebu), the global shape is influenced by Achaemenid styles, and the floral band incorporates Hellenistic designs (flame palmettes).
Bust of Zeus-Ammon, a deity with attributes from Greek and Egyptian gods.
Cybele, a Phrygian mother Goddess, enthroned, with lion, cornucopia and Mural crown.
Relief with Menander and New Comedy Masks (Roman, AD 40–60). The masks show three New Comedy stock characters: youth, false maiden, old man. Princeton University Art Museum
Zeno of Citium founded Stoic philosophy.
One of the oldest surviving fragments of Euclid's Elements, found at Oxyrhynchus and dated to c. AD 100 (P. Oxy. 29). The diagram accompanies Book II, Proposition 5.
The Antikythera mechanism was an ancient analog computer designed to calculate astronomical positions.
Ancient mechanical artillery: Catapults (standing), the chain drive of Polybolos (bottom center), Gastraphetes (on wall)
Head of an old woman, a good example of realism.
Sculpture of Cupid and Psyche, an example of the sensualism of Hellenistic art. 2nd-century AD Roman copy of a 2nd-century BC Greek original.
Kingdoms of the Diadochi after the battle of Ipsus, c. 301 BC.
Kingdom of Ptolemy I Soter
Kingdom of Cassander
Kingdom of Lysimachus
Kingdom of Seleucus I Nicator

After Alexander the Great's invasion of the Achaemenid Empire in 330 BC and its disintegration shortly after, the Hellenistic kingdoms were established throughout south-west Asia (Seleucid Empire, Kingdom of Pergamon), north-east Africa (Ptolemaic Kingdom) and South Asia (Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, Indo-Greek Kingdom).

The Seleucid Empire (light blue) in 281 BC on the eve of the murder of Seleucus I Nicator

Seleucid Empire

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Greek state in West Asia that existed during the Hellenistic period from 312 BC to 63 BC. The Seleucid Empire was founded by the Macedonian general Seleucus I Nicator, following the division of the Macedonian Empire originally founded by Alexander the Great.

Greek state in West Asia that existed during the Hellenistic period from 312 BC to 63 BC. The Seleucid Empire was founded by the Macedonian general Seleucus I Nicator, following the division of the Macedonian Empire originally founded by Alexander the Great.

The Seleucid Empire (light blue) in 281 BC on the eve of the murder of Seleucus I Nicator
"Chandra Gupta Maurya entertains his bride from Babylon": a conjectural interpretation of the "marriage agreement" between the Seleucids and Chandragupta Maurya, related by Appian
The Seleucid Empire (light blue) in 281 BC on the eve of the murder of Seleucus I Nicator
Coin of Seleucus I Nicator
In Bactria, the satrap Diodotus asserted independence to form the Greco-Bactrian kingdom c. 245 BC.
Drachm of the Frataraka ruler Vahbarz (Oborzos), thought to have initiated the independence of Persis from the Seleucid Empire. The coin shows on the reverse an Achaemenid king slaying an armoured, possibly Greek or Macedonian, soldier. This possibly refers to the events related by Polyainos (Strat. 7.40), in which Vahbarz (Oborzos) is said to have killed 3000 Seleucid settlers.
Silver coin of Antiochus III the Great.
The Seleucid Empire in 200 BC (before expansion into Anatolia and Greece).
The reduced empire (titled: Syria, Kingdom of the Seleucids) and the expanded states of Pergamum and Rhodes, after the defeat of Antiochus III by Rome. Circa 188 BC.
The Hellenistic Prince, a bronze statue originally thought to be a Seleucid, or Attalus II of Pergamon, now considered a portrait of a Roman general, made by a Greek artist working in Rome in the 2nd century BC.
Coin of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Seleucid Syria in early 124 BC under Alexander II Zabinas, who ruled the country with the exception of the city of Ptolemais
Seleucid Kingdom in 87 BC
Bagadates I (Minted 290–280 BC) was the first native Seleucid satrap to be appointed.
Seleucid Bronze Coin depicting Antiochus III with Laureate head of Apollo Circa. 200 BCE
Price of barley and dates per tonne
Episodes of Seleucid dispoliation from Michael J. Taylor's Sacred Plunder

After receiving the Mesopotamian region of Babylonia in 321 BC, Seleucus I began expanding his dominions to include the Near Eastern territories that encompass modern-day Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, all of which had been under Macedonian control after the fall of the former Persian Achaemenid Empire.

The Kingdom of Macedonia in 336 BC (orange)

Macedonia (ancient kingdom)

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Ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece.

Ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece.

The Kingdom of Macedonia in 336 BC (orange)
The entrance to one of the royal tombs at Vergina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Kingdom of Macedonia in 336 BC (orange)
A silver octadrachm of Alexander I of Macedon ((r. 498 – 454)), minted c. 465–460 BC, showing an equestrian figure wearing a chlamys (short cloak) and petasos (head cap) while holding two spears and leading a horse
Macedon (orange) during the Peloponnesian War around 431BC, with Athens and the Delian League (yellow), Sparta and Peloponnesian League (red), independent states (blue), and the Persian Achaemenid Empire (purple)
A Macedonian didrachm minted during the reign of Archelaus I of Macedon ((r. 413 – 399))
A silver stater of Amyntas III of Macedon ((r. 393 – 370))
Map of the Kingdom of Macedon at the death of PhilipII in 336BC (light blue), with the original territory that existed in 431BC (red outline), and dependent states (yellow)
Alexander's empire and his route
The Stag Hunt Mosaic, c.300BC, from Pella; the figure on the right is possibly Alexander the Great due to the date of the mosaic along with the depicted upsweep of his centrally-parted hair (anastole); the figure on the left wielding a double-edged axe (associated with Hephaistos) is perhaps Hephaestion, one of Alexander's loyal companions.
A golden stater of Philip III Arrhidaeus ((r. 323 – 317)) bearing images of Athena (left) and Nike (right)
Paintings of Hellenistic-era military arms and armor from a tomb in ancient Mieza (modern-day Lefkadia), Imathia, Central Macedonia, Greece, 2nd centuryBC
The Temple of Apollo at Corinth, built c.540BC, with the Acrocorinth (i.e. the acropolis of Corinth that once held a Macedonian garrison) seen in the background
A tetradrachm minted during the reign of Antigonus III Doson ((r. 229 – 221)), possibly at Amphipolis, bearing the portrait image of Poseidon on the obverse and on the reverse a scene depicting Apollo sitting on the prow of a ship
The Kingdom of Macedonia (orange) under PhilipV ((r. 221 – 179)), with Macedonian dependent states (dark yellow), the Seleucid Empire (bright yellow), Roman protectorates (dark green), the Kingdom of Pergamon (light green), independent states (light purple), and possessions of the Ptolemaic Empire (violet purple)
A tetradrachm of Philip V of Macedon ((r. 221 – 179)), with the king's portrait on the obverse and Athena Alkidemos brandishing a thunderbolt on the reverse
Bronze bust of Eumenes II of Pergamon, a Roman copy of a Hellenistic Greek original, from the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum
The Vergina Sun, the 16-ray star covering the royal burial larnax of Philip II of Macedon ((r. 359 – 336)), discovered in the tomb of Vergina, formerly ancient Aigai
Hades abducting Persephone, fresco in the small Macedonian royal tomb at Vergina, Macedonia, Greece, c.340BC
Fresco of an ancient Macedonian soldier (thorakites) wearing chainmail armor and bearing a thureos shield, 3rd centuryBC, İstanbul Archaeology Museums
A mosaic of the Kasta Tomb in Amphipolis depicting the abduction of Persephone by Pluto, 4thcenturyBC
The Lion of Amphipolis in Amphipolis, northern Greece, a 4th-centuryBC marble tomb sculpture erected in honor of Laomedon of Mytilene, a general who served under Alexander the Great
Alexander (left), wearing a kausia and fighting an Asiatic lion with his friend Craterus (detail); late 4th-centuryBC mosaic, Pella Museum.
Portrait bust of Aristotle, an Imperial Roman (1st or 2nd centuryAD) copy of a lost bronze sculpture made by Lysippos
A fresco showing Hades and Persephone riding in a chariot, from the tomb of Queen Eurydice I of Macedon at Vergina, Greece, 4thcenturyBC
A banquet scene from a Macedonian tomb of Agios Athanasios, Thessaloniki, 4thcenturyBC; shown are six men reclining on couches, with food arranged on nearby tables, a male servant in attendance, and female musicians providing entertainment.
Ruins of the ancient theatre in Maroneia, Rhodope, East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece
Tetradrachms (above) and drachms (below) issued during the reign of Alexander the Great, now in the Numismatic Museum of Athens
The Alexander Mosaic, a Roman mosaic from Pompeii, Italy, c. 100 BC
Kingdoms of the diadochi c.301BC, after the Battle of Ipsus
Kingdom of Ptolemy I Soter
Kingdom of Cassander
Kingdom of Lysimachus
Kingdom of Seleucus I Nicator
Epirus
Other
Carthage
Roman Republic
Greek States

Before the 4th century BC, Macedonia was a small kingdom outside of the area dominated by the great city-states of Athens, Sparta and Thebes, and briefly subordinate to Achaemenid Persia.

Rock relief of an Achaemenid king, most likely Xerxes, located in the National Museum of Iran

Xerxes I

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Rock relief of an Achaemenid king, most likely Xerxes, located in the National Museum of Iran
The "Caylus vase", a quadrilingual alabaster jar with cuneiform and hieroglyphic inscriptions in the name of "Xerxes, the Great King". Cabinet des Médailles, Paris
Engraving of Babylon by H. Fletcher, 1690
The soldiers of Xerxes I, of all ethnicities, on the tomb of Xerxes I, at Naqsh-e Rostam
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. Impression from a cylinder seal, sculpted c. 500 BC – 475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I Metropolitan Museum of Art
Foundations of the Old Temple of Athena, destroyed by the armies of Xerxes I during the Destruction of Athens in 480 BC
The rock-cut tomb at Naqsh-e Rustam north of Persepolis, copying that of Darius, is usually assumed to be that of Xerxes
This cuneiform text mentions the murder of Xerxes I by his son. From Babylon, Iraq. British Museum
Xerxes being designated by Darius I. Tripylon, Persepolis. The ethnicities of the Empire are shown supporting the throne. Ahuramazda crowns the scene.
Trilingual inscription of Xerxes at Van (present-day Turkey)
The Persian king in the Biblical Book of Esther is commonly thought to be Xerxes
Xerxes (Ahasuerus) by Ernest Normand, 1888 (detail)

Xerxes I ( Xšayār̥šā; ; c. 518 – August 465 BC), commonly known as Xerxes the Great, was the fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 465 BC. He was the son and successor of Darius the Great ((r.

Sasanian Empire

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The last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the.

The last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the.

The Sasanian Empire at its greatest extent c. 620, under Khosrow II
Initial coinage of founder Ardashir I, as King of Persis Artaxerxes (Ardaxsir) V. c. 205/6–223/4 CE. Obv: Bearded facing head, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara, legend "The divine Ardaxir, king" in Pahlavi. Rev: Bearded head of Papak, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara, legend "son of the divinity Papak, king" in Pahlavi.
The Sasanian Empire at its greatest extent c. 620, under Khosrow II
1840 illustration of a Sasanian relief at Firuzabad, showing Ardashir I's victory over Artabanus IV and his forces.
Rock relief of Ardashir I receiving the ring of kingship by the Zoroastrian supreme god Ahura Mazda.
Rock-face relief at Naqsh-e Rostam of Persian emperor Shapur I (on horseback) capturing Roman emperor Valerian (standing) and Philip the Arab (kneeling), suing for peace, following the victory at Edessa.
The Humiliation of Valerian by Shapur (Hans Holbein the Younger, 1521, pen and black ink on a chalk sketch, Kunstmuseum Basel)
The spread of Manichaeism (300–500)
Rome and satellite kingdom of Armenia around 300, after Narseh's defeat
Bust of Shapur II ((r. 309 – 379))
Early Alchon Huns coin based on the coin design of Shapur II, adding the Alchon Tamgha symbol Alchon_Tamga.png and "Alchono" (αλχοννο) in Bactrian script on the obverse. Dated 400–440.
Bahram V is a great favourite in Persian literature and poetry. "Bahram and the Indian princess in the black pavilion." Depiction of a Khamsa (Quintet) by the great Persian poet Nizami, mid-16th-century Safavid era.
A coin of Yazdegerd II
Plate of Peroz I hunting argali
Plate of a Sasanian king hunting rams, perhaps Kavad I ((r. 488 – 496)).
Plate depicting Khosrow I.
15th-century Shahnameh illustration of Hormizd IV seated on his throne.
Coin of Khosrow II.
The Siege of Constantinople in 626 by the combined Sassanid, Avar, and Slavic forces depicted on the murals of the Moldovița Monastery, Romania
Queen Boran, daughter of Khosrau II, the first woman and one of the last rulers on the throne of the Sasanian Empire, she reigned from 17 June 629 to 16 June 630
Extent of the Sasanian Empire in 632 with modern borders superimposed
Umayyad Caliphate coin imitating Khosrau II. Coin of the time of Mu'awiya I ibn Abi Sufyan. BCRA (Basra) mint; "Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad, governor". Dated AH 56 = 675/6. Sasanian style bust imitating Khosrau II right; bismillah and three pellets in margin; c/m: winged creature right / Fire altar with ribbons and attendants; star and crescent flanking flames; date to left, mint name to right.
The Walls of Derbent, part of the Sasanian defense lines
Sasanian army helmet
A Sassanid king posing as an armored cavalryman, Taq-e Bostan, Iran
Sassanian silver plate showing lance combat between two nobles.
A fine cameo showing an equestrian combat of Shapur I and Roman emperor Valerian in which the Roman emperor is seized following the Battle of Edessa, according to Shapur's own statement, "with our own hand", in 260
Sassanian fortress in Derbent, Dagestan. Now inscribed on Russia's UNESCO world heritage list since 2003.
Egyptian woven pattern woolen curtain or trousers, which was a copy of a Sassanid silk import, which was in turn based on a fresco of King Khosrau II fighting Axum Ethiopian forces in Yemen, 5–6th century
Persian ambassador at the Chinese court of Emperor Yuan of Liang in his capital Jingzhou in 526-539 CE, with explanatory text. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy.
Coin of the Kushanshah Peroz II Kushanshah ((r. 303 – 330))
Foreign dignitary drinking wine, on ceiling of Cave 1, at Ajanta Caves, possibly depicting the Sasanian embassy to Indian king Pulakesin II (610–642), photograph and drawing.
Taq-i Kisra, the facade of the Sasanian palace in the capital Ctesiphon. The city developed into a rich commercial metropolis. It may have been the most populous city of the world in 570–622.
Plate of a Sasanian king, located in the Azerbaijan Museum in Iran.
A bowl with Khosrau I's image at the center
Horse head, gilded silver, 4th century, Sasanian art
A Sasanian silver plate featuring a simurgh. The mythical bird was used as the royal emblem in the Sasanian period.
A Sasanian silver plate depicting a royal lion hunt
The remains of the Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sasanian silk twill textile of a simurgh in a beaded surround, 6th–7th century. Used in the reliquary of Saint Len, Paris
Sasanian sea trade routes
Seal of a Sassanian nobleman holding a flower, ca. 3rd–early 4th century AD.
Ruins of Adur Gushnasp, one of three main Zoroastrian temples in the Sassanian Empire
The Sasanians developed an accurate, phonetic alphabet to write down the sacred Avesta
Sasanian-era cornelian gem, depicting Abraham advancing towards Isaac with a knife in his hands. A ram is depicted to the right of Abraham. Middle Persian (Pahlavi) inscription ZNH mwdly l’styny. Created 4th-5th century AD
A Sasanian fortress in Derbent, Russia (the Caspian Gates)
"Parsees of Bombay" a wood engraving, c. 1873

After defeating the last Parthian shahanshah, Artabanus IV, at the Battle of Hormozdgan in 224, he established the Sasanian dynasty and set out to restore the legacy of the Achaemenid Empire by expanding Iran's dominions.