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Persian Empire

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Extent of the first Persian Empire, the Achaemenid Empire.
Extent of the second Persian Empire, the Parthian Empire.
Extent of the third Persian Empire, the Sassanian Empire, at 621 AD.
The maximum extent of the Afsharid Empire under Nader Shah.

The Persian Empire is any of a series of imperial dynasties centered in Persia (now Iran). The first of these was established by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, with the Persian conquest of Media, Lydia and Babylonia. Persian dynastic history was interrupted by the Islamic conquest (651 AD) and later by the Mongol invasion. The main religion of ancient Persia was Zoroastrianism, but after the 7th century this was replaced by Islam. In the modern era, a series of Islamic dynasties ruled Persia independently of the universal caliphate. Since 1979 Persia (Iran) has been an Islamic republic.

List of dynasties

See also