Liang Qichao once named Babylon, Ancient Egypt, India and China as world's four ancient civilizations. However, this statement is not recognized by world, because there are many more ancient civilizations in world than four, such as Greece, Iran, Phenicia and Hittites. There are even a few countries with a longer history than China, and Iran is one of them.1. From ancient Elamite kingdom to Persian Empire
The earliest civilization in Iran was ancient land of Elamites in Susa, southwest of Iran. The founders of ancient kingdom of Elam were earliest natives of Iran. Scientists have established that Elamites and Dravidians in Indus Valley are similar people. Around 3000 BC Elamites began to establish city-states. The Xia dynasty in China arose 1000 years later than ancient country of Elam. Later, history of Elam was divided into three periods: Ancient Elam (2700-1600 BC), Middle Elam (1400-1100 BC) and New Elam (800-600 BC) .). The script used by the Elamites has changed over time. Ancient Elamite used hieroglyphs, while Middle Elamite used cuneiform.
When ancient kingdom of Elam existed, Aryans began to migrate south from Central Asia. They entered Indus River basin and destroyed Harapan civilization; entered another branch of Iranian plateau, where Medes settled in northwestern part of Iran, and Persians - in southwestern part of Iran. In 8th century BC, Medes entered state phase. Initially, Media was under control of Assyrian kingdom, and later they were freed from Assyrian control. Under leadership of first king, Diocaeus, they moved towards unity and founded mighty Kingdom of Media (700-550 BC) with capital Ecbatana . y>. The kingdom of Media conquered Persia, united with kingdom of New Babylon to destroy Assyria, and became largest country in world at that time.
Media Kingdom (yellow part)
In 558 B.C. e. Cyrus of Persia, known in history as "Cyrus II", became king, and his capital was Pasaipolis, which marked founding of Achaemenid dynasty. In 550 BC Persia destroyed Median kingdom, and Ecbatana became second capital of Persia; in 549 BC Persia destroyed ancient kingdom of Elam, and Susa became third capital of Persia; in 548 BC Persia conquered Parthia, Hyrcania. , Armenia, marks first unification of Iranian Plateau. At this time, Persia became world's first empire, known in history as "Persian Empire". After emergence of Persian Empire, it successively destroyed Kingdom of Lydia, Neo-Babylonian Kingdom and Ancient Egypt in Western Asia and North Africa, and turned into a large empire spanning Asia, Europe and Africa. area reached 7 million square kilometers, and its population was 2000. Ten thousand people.
The Persian Empire is master of ancient civilizations of Western Asia and North Africa. In order to manage vast territory, Darius divided country into 23 provinces and 5 large military districts, built a single system of roads, a single currency and tariffs. In terms of culture and thought, Zoroastrianism is accepted as state religion, but it does not exclude other cultures and religions, but actively absorbs cultures of other peoples. Persia also built a large number of water conservation projects, most representative of which is Nile-Red Sea canal project. When Persian Empire dominated world, Greece was still in its city-state renaissance, India was at war with sixteen countries, and China was vying for hegemony during Spring and Autumn period. It is a pity that Persian Empire was militaristic and repeatedly launched wars against Greece and failed, which aggravated intra-ethnic conflicts and eventually fell into decline.
DariusII. From rule of Greeks to Sassanid dynasty
In 334 BC. Tsar Alexander Great led an elite 35,000-strong Greek coalition army that marched east, engulfing entire Persian Empire. In 330 BC The Persian empire fell. By 324 B.C. Alexander founded an unprecedentedly vast Hellenistic empire with its capital in Babylon. Since then, Persia has become part of Hellenistic world. After split of Macedonian Empire, ruler of Seleucid Empire was initially West Asia region of Persian Empire. This era, Seleucus is constantly absorbing Persian culture, and there is a tendency to integrate Persian and Greek civilizations.
In 247 B.C. The Parthia of Seleucid Empire became independent, and its leader As-Sahid established As-Sahid dynasty (247-226 BC), also known as "Second Persian Empire" according to Chinese history books. "Rest in Peace", now commonly referred to as Parthian Kingdom. The Parthians continued to fight Seleucids in an attempt to rebuild Persia, but for a long time both sides defeated each other and it is hard to tell them apart. Only after rise of Rome, when Seleucus faced enemies from both sides, did it decline. In reign of Mithridates I, revival of Persia took place. In 155 BC Parthia occupied Media, in 141 BC. Seleucus was banished to Syria, so Rome named Seleucus Kingdom of Syria. After Rome annexed Syria, Parthia and Rome went to war again, both sides saw each other for a long time, draining national power of two countries.
In 226, Parthian Empire fell and Sassanid dynasty (Third Persian Empire: 224-651) succeeded its rule, once again lifting Persia to top. After founding of Sassanid dynasty, it quickly unified Iranian highlands and expanded around. Its territory stretches from Amu Darya River in Central Asia in east to two river basins in west, almost occupying West Asian region of former Persian Empire. At its height, its area exceeded 5 million square kilometers, and its population was 14 million. world at same time.
The Sassanid dynasty restored politics, economy and culture of Achaemenid era. Politically, a centralized authority was established and all people were divided into four levels: priests, soldiers, literati and civilians. Economically, currency was unified and became a transit point for commodity trade between East and West. Culturally, extreme religiosity was implemented against Christianity, Zoroastrianism was declared state religion, and its classic "Old Persian Writings" were compiled and completed. The Sassanid dynasty fought Roman Empire for a long time, which eventually absorbed national power. It was later destroyed by Arab Empire.Third, Iran in Islamic era
In 651, Arab Empire destroyed Sassanid dynasty, and since then Persia has become part of Islamic civilization. During Arab era, Arabic language replaced Persian, and Islam replaced Zoroastrianism. The ancient Persian civilization was interrupted or perished. Starting from 750, Arab Abbasid dynasty ruled here, starting from 833, Abbasid dynasty fell into decay and disintegrated.
In 874, Ahmed from Persian Samanid clan founded Samanid dynasty (874-999) with its capital in Bukhara, and Persia began to rebuild country. But Saman family abandoned Zoroastrianism a long time ago, and Persia at that time was Islamized Persia. When territory of Samanid dynasty was at its largest, it included Central Asia, most of Persia, Afghanistan and other places.
The Turks launched a large-scale invasion of Persia in 10th century. In 962, commanders of Turkic guards of Samanid dynasty founded Ghaznavid kingdom. In 999, Ghaznavids allied with Karakhan kingdom of Central Asian Turks to destroy Samanids, so Ghaznavids replaced power of Samanids, and Persia fell again. In middle of 11th century, Central Asian Oghuz Turks overthrew Ghaznavid dynasty, conquered Baghdad, Syria, Turkish Peninsula and founded Seljuk Empire, but empire did not last long and soon collapsed. In 12th century, Khorezmo arose and began to dominate Central Asia.
In 1219, Mongols began to invade Persia, and in 1231 Khorezm perished. In 1260, Mongolia established Ilkhanate here, becoming one of four major Mongol khanates, but Mongols who entered this place quickly became Islamized. In 1280, Ilkhanate collapsed, and then Mongol-Turkic Timur founded khanate, fought everywhere, occupied entire Iranian plateau, and finally founded Timur's empire. However, reign of empire in Persia was short-lived
At that time, Turkmens and Azerbaijanis ruled Iran. In 1375, Shia founded Black Sheep Dynasty in Azerbaijan, northwestern Iran and Iraq (1375-1468) . . In 1378, Sunnis founded Aries Dynasty (1378-1502). In 1468, Aries dynasty took over black sheep dynasty. In 1502, a group of Shiites overthrew Aries dynasty and established Safavid dynasty (1502-1722).
In 1722, Afghan Girzai tribe defeated Sefi dynasty. In 1736, Turkic leader Nadir expelled Afghans and founded Afshar dynasty (1736-1796). In 1747, Afshars dynasty collapsed and was finally destroyed by Qajar dynasty (1779-1921), founded by Turks. Since 19th century, Western powers have constantly invaded Iran, turning Iran into a semi-colony. In 1921, Qajar dynasty was replaced by Pahlavi dynasty, which, although it carried out a number of social reforms, nature of semi-colonies remained unchanged. In 1979 dynasty fell and the Republic of Iran was established.
Iran was an extremely brilliant man in history: he created a civilization as early as 5,000 years ago, founded world's earliest empire, and is master of civilization in North Africa and West Asia. However, starting from 651, Iran was successively conquered by Arabs, Turks, Mongols and Turkmens. The history of enslavement of Iran lasted almost 1000 years. The successor of ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations, Persian civilization was finally replaced by Islamic civilization.