The Achaemenid Empire, called the Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia, founded by Cyrus the Great. The empires successes inspired similar systems in empires and it is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was built in a Hellenistic style in the empire as well. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes, Alexander, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered the empire in its entirety by 330 BC. Upon his death, most of the former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire. The Persian population of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire, the historical mark of the Achaemenid Empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social and religious influences as well.
Many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange. The impact of Cyruss edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, the empire set the tone for the politics and history of modern Iran. Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details Due to the duration of their reigns, Xerxes II. The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here, the Pasargadae and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished, they contain the clan of the Achaemenids from which spring the Perseid kings. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the Achaemenid Empire was created by nomadic Persians. The Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as by 6th century BC another group of ancient Iranian peoples had established the short lived Median Empire. The Iranian peoples had arrived in the region of what is today Iran c.1000 BC and had for a number of centuries fallen under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia.
However, the Medes and Persians, Cimmerians and Chaldeans played a role in the overthrow of the Assyrian empire. The term Achaemenid means of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes, despite the derivation of the name, Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, and a vassal of Assyria. At some point in 550 BC, Cyrus rose in rebellion against the Medes, eventually conquering the Medes and creating the first Persian empire
Iran, known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars and thinkers.
During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris and Lurs.
Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably