Persian Empire

Capital: Susa

Government: Hereditary Monarchy with a counsel of Lords.

Population: 225,867,920

Religions: Zoroastrianism (64%), Islam (25%), Judaism (4%), Hinduism (4%), Buddhism (2%), Christianity (1%), Other (1%)

Allies: Egyptian Empire

Enemies: Byzantine Empire

Neutral: Crusader States and the Abbasid Sultanate

History: The Perisan Empire was founded around 3,200 BCE by the Elamites. Historians divide the Persian Empire’s history into the Ancient Period, the  Imperial Period, and the Medieval Period.

The Ancient Period lasted from around 3,200 BCE until 616 BCE. This period is marked by the formation of the Persian Language and expansion as well as war with the Assyrians, Babylonians, and other groups.

The Imperial Period lasted from 616 BCE to 651 CE. This period is highlighted by the great expansion of Persian borders from the Indus Valley to the east to Lower Egypt in the West. In 331 BCE, Persia fell to Alexander the Great’s forces, causing them to be absorbed into the Macedonian Empire. After the death of Alexander the Great, the empire fell into disarray. Persia was consolidated into the Seleucid Empire in 312 BCE, and remained so until the Persians succeeded in 247 BCE. Persia began to reconquer most of the Persian Gulf as well as Mesopotamia.

The Medieval Period began in 651 CE and lasted until 1507 CE. During this period, a series of wars with the Byzantines and the Arabian Caliphates reduced western holdings of Persia back to the  Shatt al-Arab River. In 1221 CE, the Mongols invaded the Persian Empire. The Mongols were eventually halted, but at the cost of most of Persia’s lands. Persia did not begin a period of expansion until 1307 CE, when the lands lost to the Mongols were re-conquered. By 1507 CE, the Persian Empire covered Mesopotamia and a large swath of central Turkey all the way to the Indus Valley and into Southern Afghanistan.