Persepolis was the capital of the Persian Achaemenid Empire from the reign of Darius I (the Great, r. 522-486 BCE) until its destruction in 330 BCE. Its name comes from the Greek Perses-polis (Persian City), but the Persians knew it as Parsa...
Sardis (near modern-day Sart, Turkey) was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia founded (according to Herodotus) by the Heracleidae, the Heraclid Dynasty descended from the hero Heracles (Hercules). The city was famous in antiquity...
Susa was one of the oldest cities in the world and part of the site is still inhabited as Shush, Khuzestan Province, Iran. Excavations have uncovered evidence of continual habitation dating back to 4395 BCE but that early community grew from...
Cambyses II (r. 530-522 BCE) was the second king of the Achaemenid Empire. The Greek historian Herodotus portrays Cambyses as a mad king who committed many acts of sacrilege during his stay in Egypt, including the slaying of the sacred Apis...
Twelve Great Women of Ancient Persia
Women in ancient Persia had more rights and greater freedom than any other ancient civilization including, according to some scholars, even ancient Egypt which is famous for its respect for the feminine principle in religion as well as daily...
The Achaemenid Empire: Persia
This video delves deeper into the reign of Cyrus the Great as he overthrows the Medians to establish the Achaemenid Empire, the first official Persian Empire.
Xerxes I (l. 519-465, r. 486-465 BCE), also known as Xerxes the Great, was the king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. His official title was Shahanshah which, though usually translated as `emperor', actually means `king of kings'. He is identified...
The qanat (called foggara in North Africa and the Levant, falaj in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, kariz in Iran, and puquios in Peru) is an ancient Middle Eastern irrigation technique in which a long tunnel is dug into arid land that...
Late Period of Ancient Egypt
The Late Period of Egypt (525-332 BCE) is the era following the Third Intermediate Period (1069-525) and preceding the brief Hellenistic Period (332-323 BCE) when Egypt was ruled by the Argead officials installed by Alexander the Great prior...
Polycrates (r. c. 535-522 BCE) was the tyrant of Samos who established Samian naval supremacy in the eastern Aegean and strove for control of the Aegean Sea and mainland towns of Ionia in the 6th century BCE. Polycrates had a successful career...