Persian Empire

What is the Persian Empire?

Cyrus rules (Around 550 B.C.)

The empire was founded by Cyrus the Great. Cyrus first conquered the Median Empire in 550 BC and then went on to conquer the Lydians and the Babylonians. Under later kings, the empire would grow to where it ruled Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, and Turkey. Its borders would eventually stretch over 3,000 miles from east to west making it the largest empire on Earth at the time.

Under Cyrus the Great, the Persians allowed the peoples they conquered to continue their lives and cultures. They could keep their customs and religion as long as they paid their taxes and obeyed the Persian rulers. This was different from how earlier conquerors such as the Assyrians had ruled.

Forgotten Empires: Persian Empire | Full Documentary

Job Speacialization

Workers were paid in wine and grain, with skilled laborers paid more than unskilled, and supervisors paid more than workers. Men were paid slightly more than women, but female supervisors were paid more than the men working under them. Young women received maternity leave and were paid money for each child they had.

  • Farmers
  • Laborers
  • Merchants
  • Landlord
  • Soldiers
  • Slaves


Since the Empire was so massive in size each area of the empire had a ruler (Governor) called a satrap. They enforced laws and taxes. There were around twenty to thirty satraps in the empire.

The empire was connected by one main road called "Royal Road". It was built by King Darius the Great and it stretches over 1,700.

Arts and Architecture

The most distinctive feature of Persian architecture is the columns. They were modeled after the Greeks, though the Persian's columns are thinner. The greatest example of architecture is the palace of Apadana. The Palace is were the king resided.

Social Classes

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Each culture was allowed to have their own religion, but most the Persians followed the teaching of the prophet Zoroaster. This religion was called Zoroastrianism and believed in one main god called Ahura Mazda.


Persia is the the old city of modern iran.

Fun Facts

  • The longest reigning Persian King was Artaxerxes II who ruled 45 years from 404-358 BC. His reign was a time of peace and prosperity for the empire
  • The capital of the empire was the great city of Persepolis. Which is Greek for "Persian City".
  • The King's eyes were like enforcers that visited the Satraps, they over watched kings orders.