Ancient Persian Warfare


The ancient Persian military evolved from the earlier armed forces of the Medes which, in turn, developed from the warrior class of the indigenous people of the Iranian Plateau, the Aryan migrants (including the Persians) who later settled there, and the Assyrian army which was defeated by the Medes.

More about: Ancient Persian Warfare


  • 625 BCE - 585 BCE
    Median army organized during the reign of Cyaxares of the Medes.
  • c. 550 BCE - 530 BCE
    Achaemenid Army organized under Cyrus the Great of Persia based on Cyaxares' model.
  • 522 BCE - 486 BCE
    The Achaemenid Persian military is expanded and refined under the reign of Darius I the Great.
  • 486 BCE - 465 BCE
    Achaemenid Persian military expanded further under the reign of Xerxes I.
  • 247 BCE - 224 CE
    Under the Parthian Empire, cavalry becomes the dominant force of the military in the region.
  • 224 CE - 240 CE
    Reign of Ardashir I who founds Sassanian Empire and reorganizes the military drawing on all the models of the past and present.
  • 224 CE - 651 CE
    Under the Sassanian Empire, the Persian military becomes the greatest fighting force in the ancient world, repeatedly defeating Roman Empire.
  • 651 CE
    Sassanian Empire falls to invading Muslim Arabs; Persian army and navy are disbanded.