Achaemenid Empire

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Achaemenid Empire شاهنشاهی هخامنشی ایران
Map of the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire.
Vexilloid The vexilloid of the Achaemenid Empire was a gold falcon on a field of crimson.[1][2]
Languages Persian, Elamite, Aramaic, Hebrew
Religion Zoroastrianism
Capitals Anshan,
Area Near East, Central Asia, Western South Asia, North Africa, and Southeast Europe
Existed 550-330 BCE

The Achaemenid Empire, or Achaemenid Persian Empire,[3] (550–330 BC) was the first Persian Empire to rule over significant portions of Greater Persia (or Iran). It followed the Median Empire as the second great empire of the Iranian peoples.[4] At the height of its power, the Achaemenid Empire had about 7.5 million square kilometers and was territorially the largest empire of classical antiquity.

The empire was forged by Cyrus the Great. It spanned three continents, including parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan; parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace; much of the Black Sea coastal regions; Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria; and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya. The empire was the foe of the Greek city-states in the Greco-Persian Wars. It freed the Israelites from their Babylonian captivity, and instituted Aramaic as the empire's official language. Because of the Empire's vast extent and long endurance, Persian influence upon the language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law and government of nations around the world lasts to this day.


The empire began as a tributary state of the Medes but ended up conquering and enlarging the Median empire to include Egypt and Asia Minor. Under Xerxes, it came very close to conquering Ancient Greece. The Achaemenids were overthrown by the conquest of Alexander the Great in 330 BCE.

The world, c. 500 BCE, showing the Achaemenid Empire (in brown) relative to the rest of the world at the time.

Achaemenid kings and leaders

Provinces of the Achaemenid empire

Related pages


  1. "Vexilloid of the Achaemenid Empire". Archived from the original on 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
  2. "Flags of Persian History". Archived from the original on 2005-05-28. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
  3. Template:PerB IPA: [haχɒmaneʃijɒn]
  4. The Iranian peoples spoke Indo-European languages such as Old Persian and Avestan.


  • Stronach, David "Darius at Pasargadae: a neglected source for the history of early Persia," Topoi
  • Stronach, David "Anshan and Parsa: early Achaemenid history, art and architecture on the Iranian Plateau". In: John Curtis, ed., Mesopotamia and Iran in the Persian period: conquest and imperialism 539–331, 35–53. London: British Museum Press, 1997.

Further reading

External links