The Medes or Medians were a group of Indo-Iranian-speaking people from central Asia who migrated westwards and entered northern Iran around the end of the 2nd millennium BCE. They settled in the highlands of Zagros (Zagreus in Greek) and, by the end of the 7th century BCE, founded the kingdom of Media (Mada in Old Persian).

More about: Medes


  • c. 1200 BCE
    The Median clans are among the Indo-Iranian migrant tribes from Central Asia and/or Caucasus to North Zagros, Iran.
  • 850 BCE
    Medes migrate into Iran from Asia.
  • c. 834 BCE
    First Assyrian records of the Medes: Shalmaneser III receives tribute from the "Amadi".
  • 727 BCE - 675 BCE
    Medes unite during the reign of their king Dayukku (aka Deioces).
  • 647 BCE - 625 BCE
    Phraortes is ruler of the Medes.
  • c. 647 BCE
    Akkadian/Assyrian system of government adopted by the Medes under Phraortes.
  • 625 BCE - 585 BCE
    Cyaxares is ruler of the Medes.
  • 625 BCE
    Incursions by Babylonians, Elamites, Medes and Scythians weakens the city of Nineveh.
  • 625 BCE - 585 BCE
    Median army organized during the reign of Cyaxares of the Medes.
  • 612 BCE
    Nineveh is sacked and burned by combined forces of Babylonians and Medes.
  • 612 BCE
    The great Assyrian cities of Ashur, Kalhu, and Nineveh are sacked and burned by the Medes, Babylonians, and Persian forces.
  • 585 BCE
    The Erebuni fortress in ancient Armenia is occupied by the Median Empire.
  • c. 585 BCE - c. 550 BCE
    Ishtuvaigu/Astyages expands the Median control over Elam. He finally loses his kingdom to Cyrus II of Persia.
  • 28 May 585 BCE
    A battle between Media and Lydia broke off immediately as a result of a total eclipse of the sun and the two armies made peace. The eclipse was successfully predicted by Thales of Miletus.
  • 553 BCE
    Cyrus the Great successfully rebels against the Medes and establishes the Achaemenid Empire of Persia.