the most civilized and powerful empire until even after the romans fell. in 559 BC, the persian king Cyrus the great defeated the Mades controlling what is now iran, iraq, and some other countries. Cyrus set out to create a powerful empire. in fact, he created THE FIRST EMPIRE. the word "Persia" comes from the greek word "persis" which means empire. the relative strength of the persian empire at the height of its power was like the relative strength of modern day, china, india, russia, EU, US and japan put together. the persians were the first people in history to give men and women equal rights, abolish slavery and write the very first human and animal bill of rights. they also built in 400s BC the very first stadium, the apadana in persepolis (later burnt down by alexander). the apadana was able to seat 15 (yes, fifteen thousand) people in it, with space left for a grand ceremony. this massive bulding was roofed. unlike the collosium. the arcitectural and worth of this single building, if it lived through the fire alexander put it through, would have dwarfed the city of rome.
The persian empire was a god compared to rome. when rome attacked persia (battle of carhae) with 44 thousand soldiers, a 10 thousand man army from the persian empire crushed the romans, and sent tehir general's head back to rome.
people commonly mistake persians for arabs, this is a fatal mistake, persians are aryans like the germans. they migrated from southern russia. NEVER CALL A PERSIAN AN ARAB! THEY WILL SNAP, THEY MIGHT DO SOMETHING DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH AND/OR REPUTATION!
the persian empire at the height of its power ruled from eastern india, to southern russia, to egypt, to thrace and the persian gulf. they ruled over 80% of the civilized world.
the end of persian supremacy:
after the arab invasion of persia, their culture was weakened by islam. the islamic hordes burnt all books in the persia libraries, destroying the knowledge that took europe 1000 years to re-invent. even after the arab invasion, persia still held a powerful seat in international sayings. Nader (Na-dde-r) shah of persia, restored the persian glory around the 1600s.
until 1935, persia was the actuall name, after than, reza shah changed that to "iran" which was the original name the mades and other aryan tribes gave it. the word "iran" literally means "land of the aryans". in 1953, a coup organized by the CIA to bring down iran's first democrtically elected official (mossadeq) because he nationalized the oil industry. they then installed the dictatoric mohamad reza shah, who was a puppet of the americans. he was overthrown in 1979 after the islamic revolution. which produced a more democratic government compared to the Shah's, but not quite democratic enough. in 1980, iraq invaded iran. possibly a work of the CIA, or the americans, in payback for the iranian's hostage crisis (that was nothing compared to what the US did later to iran). iran fought iraq bravely for 8 years, contributed some 1 million casualties, and pushed iraq back. at this time, iran had no weapons program. iraq was aided by the west with sattelite pictures, and chemical and biological weapons, which they launched into iranian cities. after the war was over, at around 1995, iran started to produce its own fighter jet, and tank. they recently developed their medium range missile. they are now working on their controversial nuclear energy program, which the US labels as a plot to develop nuclear weapons.
the persian empire was the longest lasting power on earth. it lasted for about 1500 years as a world power. 1200 of those, it was THE world power. if it were up to me, the only nation truely deserving of being called an empire was the persian empire. iran is doing much better than all other islamic countries at the moment. it holds 17% of all of the world's resources. it has what it takes to become an empire again, but unfortunatly, the current world power, and the current government make that impossible. you generally dont learn about the persian empire in schools in the US, canada, mexico, and most of europe, simply because of politics. to give you an image of what they are not teaching you, consider this: you were never taught about rome, wwi, wwii, the cold war and the american colonies. all those put together come close to the magnitude of the importance of the persian empire in shaping the world as we see it today.
the persian empire conquered 80% of the civilized world, and managed to keep its borders intact for 1500 years.