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Ancient Persia was one of the greatest ancient civilizations in history. At its height, Ancient Persia was inhabited by 50 million people out of a little over 100 million population worldwide. Persians also practiced Zoroastrianism as their primary religion popularized by Cyrus the Great, used a standard currency, and built essential structures that become a great source of information among historians.
See the fact file below for more information on the Ancient Persia or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Ancient Persia worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
LAND OF THE ARYANS
- Most of the history of Persia was inscribed by the Greeks.
- It is the Western people, particularly Greeks who used the name Persia, as Persis or Pars. In the modern times, “Fars” is where the first real Persian empire, Achaemenid Empire, emerged. The inhabitants of this civilization called their country as “Land of the Aryans” followed by the name of their state or place.
- They also called themselves Aryans.
ANCIENT PERSIANS DYNASTIES
- The first recorded dynasty in Ancient Persia is the Median Dynasty. It was founded by Deioces, who reigned from 728 to 675 BCE and established the capital Ecbatana.
- Cyrus the Great conquered the Median Empire when his grandfather ruled it in 550 BC.
- He extended his power by conquering the other empire, the Lydian Empire, in 540 BC, the Neo Babylonian Empire in 539, and other lands surrounding Mesopotamia.
- He failed to triumph over Egypt. It was his son, Cambyses, who won over Egypt.
- The fourth king, Darius the Great, continued to dominate the land surrounding Persia and further increased their territory.
- He incited the Greco-Persian Wars, battling the Athenians in what was called The Battle of Marathon but was lost due to the excellent fighting capability of the Greeks.
- He died in 486 BC. His son, Xerxes, continued the conquest, albeit unsuccessfully.
- The King of Greeks, Alexander the Great, ended the Achaemenid Empire by defeating its last king, Darius III.
- Alexander burned the Persepolis to avenge the Greeks from the burning of their temples and cities by the Persians.
- His death caused conflicts among his generals because he left no heir to control the massive empire.
- At the end of 400 BC, Seleucus I Nicator and his son assumed the ultimate power.
- They ruled the Seleucus Kingdom until they were invaded by the Parthians led by the chief of the Parni, Arcases in 232 BC.
- The Parthian Kingdom, the Kingdom started by Arcases, ruled the Ancient Persia for almost five centuries.
- It was during this period that Rome invaded Persia, but the Parthians won against them.
- The wars with Rome had weakened and divided the Kingdom, making it more vulnerable to outside invasion.
- The Sasanian period began in 224 AD by Ardeshir I. It was the last Kingdom in Ancient Persia before Islam took over the country.
- Being a Persian native, Ardeshir I also came from Fars, where the Achaemenid Dynasty came from. He enforced the return of the “Iranian ways” of the country.
- In 640 C.E., the Arabs overtook the heartland of Iran, and the Sasanian territories came under Arab control.
ANCIENT PERSIANS’ DAILY LIFE
- Persians call their kings as Shahanshah or Shah, meaning King of Kings.
- Cyrus the Great, the leader of the first true Persian Empire, created a multi-state empire and installed governors, called satraps, to disseminate control among their territories, called satrapy.
- This multi-state empire was governed in four capital cities called Pasargadae, Babylon, Susa, and Ecbatana.
- The Persian Empire government practiced tolerance and diplomacy. They let the conquered stay on their land but they needed to abide by their laws and pay taxes.
- The Ancient Persians practiced the religion Zoroastrianism.
- The Zoroastrianism symbol is called Faravahar, which means to connect the universe to humanity.
- It was popularized by Cyrus the Great and had a significant influence on other modern religions.
- There are estimated an 200,000 worshipers around the world today.
- Zoroaster developed this religion. He was a Persian prophet who lived in 600 BCE.
- SOCIAL STRUCTURE
- Kings, followed by his noble family, were the highest level of the social structure.
- Priests were next. They performed religious rituals. Their order was considered a divine law, and they could question the decisions and rules of the King.
- The Aristocracy was in the third level as they were the famous people and once served as advisors to the king.
- Being a member of the military in this era was such a huge honor that they were in the middle in the social class.
- Traders and craftsmen were fifth, and sixth belonged to the middle class and had a few more privileges than the lower part of the class.
- Peasants were the farmers, laborers, or owners of small farms.
- Slaves were at the lowest level. They had no rights. Most of them were from conquered lands who refuse to adhere to Persian law.
- CULTURE AND TRADE
- Persepolis is one of the architectural contributions of Ancient Persia, along with Behistun Inscription and the Palace of Darius.
- Darius the Great standardized the coinage system making it easier for traders from other countries to follow the system.
- The Royal Road was not only successfully used for trading but as a route for faster communication especially for an empire as vast as Persia.
- Persian carpets are also one of the most famous contributions of Ancient Persia to the world.
Ancient Persia Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Ancient Persia across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Ancient Persia worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Ancient Persia which was one of the greatest ancient civilizations in history. At its height, Ancient Persia was inhabited by 50 million people out of a little over 100 million population worldwide. Persians also practiced Zoroastrianism as their primary religion popularized by Cyrus the Great, used a standard currency, and built essential structures that become a great source of information among historians.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Facts File
- Alexander the Great
- Ancient Persia Timeline
- The Great Persian Leaders
- Conquests of the Greats
- How to be Persian?
- Ahura Mazda
- Famous Ancient Persons
- The Great Usurper
- A Look Back
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Link will appear as Ancient Persia Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 6, 2019
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