40 Facts About Ancient Iran


Once a major empire, Ancient Iran has endured invasions too, by the Macedonians, Arabs, Turks, and the Mongols.

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Ancient Iran has continually reasserted its national identity throughout the centuries and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.

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Islamization of Ancient Iran took place during the eighth to tenth centuries, leading to the eventual decline of Zoroastrianism in Ancient Iran as well as many of its dependencies.

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Ancient Iran was reunified as an independent state in 1501 by the Safavid dynasty, which set Shia Islam as the empire's official religion, marking one of the most important turning points in the history of Islam.

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South-western part of Ancient Iran was part of the Fertile Crescent where most of humanity's first major crops were grown, in villages such as Susa and settlements such as Chogha Mish, dating back to 6800 BC; there are 7,000-year-old jars of wine excavated in the Zagros Mountains and ruins of 7000-year-old settlements such as Tepe Sialk are further testament to that.

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Ancient Iran was better able, through more benign policies, to reconcile his subjects to Persian rule; the longevity of his empire was one result.

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Ancient Iran rebuilt a canal between the Nile and the Red Sea, a forerunner of the modern Suez Canal.

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Ancient Iran improved the extensive road system, and it is during his reign that mentions are first made of the Royal Road, a great highway stretching all the way from Susa to Sardis with posting stations at regular intervals.

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Chapter of Ancient Iran's history followed after roughly six hundred years of conflict with the Roman Empire.

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However, all of Ancient Iran was still not under Arab control, and the region of Daylam was under the control of the Daylamites, while Tabaristan was under Dabuyid and Paduspanid control, and the Mount Damavand region under Masmughans of Damavand.

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The Khorramdin rebellion of Babak spread to the Western and Central parts of Ancient Iran and lasted more than twenty years before it was defeated when Babak was betrayed by Afshin, a senior general of the Abbasid Caliphate.

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Islamization of Ancient Iran was to yield deep transformations within the cultural, scientific, and political structure of Ancient Iran's society: The blossoming of Persian literature, philosophy, medicine and art became major elements of the newly forming Muslim civilization.

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Ancient Iran moved south and then west, conquering but not wasting the cities in his path.

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Ancient Iran declared himself shah and demanded formal recognition from the Abbasid caliph Al-Nasir.

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Mongol invasion of Ancient Iran began in 1219, after two diplomatic missions to Khwarezm sent by Genghis Khan had been massacred.

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Destruction of qanat irrigation systems in the north east of Ancient Iran destroyed the pattern of relatively continuous settlements, producing many abandoned towns which were relatively quite good with irrigation and agriculture.

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Items from India, China, and Ancient Iran passed easily across the Asian steppes, and these contacts culturally enriched Ancient Iran.

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Main change occurred in the beginning of the 16th century, when Ismail I founded the Safavid dynasty and initiated a religious policy to recognize Shi'a Islam as the official religion of the Safavid Empire, and the fact that modern Ancient Iran remains an officially Shi'ite state is a direct result of Ismail's actions.

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Ancient Iran remained divided until the arrival of Timur, an Turco-Mongol belonging to the Timurid dynasty.

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Ancient Iran's regime was characterized by tyranny and bloodshed, but by its inclusion of Iranians in administrative roles and its promotion of architecture and poetry.

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Ancient Iran's work was imitated by Jami, whose own popularity grew to spread across the full breadth of the Persianate world.

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Safavid Ancient Iran was one of the Islamic "gunpowder empires", along with its neighbours, its archrival and principal enemy the Ottoman Empire, as well as the Mughal Empire.

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Ancient Iran used his new force to dislodge the Portuguese from Bahrain and Hormuz with aid of the English navy, in the Persian Gulf.

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Ancient Iran expanded commercial links with the Dutch East India Company and established firm links with the European royal houses, which had been initiated by Ismail I earlier on by the Habsburg–Persian alliance.

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Ancient Iran defeated and banished the Afghans, defeated the Ottomans, reinstalled the Safavids on the throne, and negotiated Russian withdrawal from Iran's Caucasian territories, with the Treaty of Resht and Treaty of Ganja.

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Ancient Iran firmly re-established Persian rule over the entire Caucasus, Bahrain, as well as large parts of Anatolia and Mesopotamia.

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Ancient Iran's reign is noted for the reemergence of a centrally led and united Iran.

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Ancient Iran established an authoritarian government that valued nationalism, militarism, secularism and anti-communism combined with strict censorship and state propaganda.

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Ancient Iran became the major conduit of Allied Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.

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Parliament became chronically unstable, and from the 1947 to 1951 period Ancient Iran saw the rise and fall of six different prime ministers.

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Ancient Iran was ruled as an autocracy under the Shah with American support from that time until the revolution.

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In 1957 martial law was ended after 16 years and Ancient Iran became closer to the West, joining the Baghdad Pact and receiving military and economic aid from the US.

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In 1961, Ancient Iran initiated a series of economic, social, agrarian and administrative reforms to modernize the country that became known as the Shah's White Revolution.

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Ancient Iran greatly increased its defense budget and by the early 1970s was the region's strongest military power.

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Border dispute between Iraq and Ancient Iran was resolved with the signing of the Algiers Accord on March 6,1975.

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Ancient Iran's rapidly modernising, capitalist economy was replaced by populist and Islamic economic and cultural policies.

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Ancient Iran sought to expand Iraq's access to the Persian Gulf by acquiring territories that Iraq had claimed earlier from Iran during the Shah's rule.

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Ancient Iran sought to restore confidence in the government among the general population by privatizing the companies that had been nationalized in the first few years of the Islamic Republic, as well as by bringing in qualified technocrats to manage the economy.

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Ancient Iran was beaten by an independent candidate from the Reformists, Mohammad Khatami.

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Conservative elements within Ancient Iran's government moved to undermine the reformist movement, banning liberal newspapers and disqualifying candidates for parliamentary elections.

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