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Top image: Immortals, Persian warriors bas relief in Darius palace, Persepolis, Iran.  Source: grigvovan

What Contributed to the Immense Power of the Persian Empire? (Video)

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The Persian Empire, also known as the Achaemenid Empire, was a dominant force from 559 BC to 331 BC, spanning modern-day Turkey, Egypt, Iran, and parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Several factors contributed to its immense power and extensive control over such a vast territory.

One key factor was the military strength of the Persians. Their army, modeled after the Medians, included elite units like the Immortals, an infantry force that appeared invincible due to their constant replenishment. The military comprised diverse recruits from conquered nations, enhancing its size and adaptability.

Administrative efficiency also played a crucial role. The empire was divided into provinces, each governed by a satrap, or governor, who handled local affairs. This decentralized approach allowed effective management while maintaining central oversight for military matters. The central authority-controlled military forces, preventing provincial rebellions.

The Persians' lenient policies toward conquered peoples were another significant factor. They allowed the continuation of local customs, religions, and social structures, fostering loyalty among the subjugated populations. This approach contrasted sharply with the harsh tactics of their predecessors and minimized large-scale uprisings.

Infrastructure development further cemented the empire's strength. The Royal Road, an extensive network of roads and communication routes, facilitated rapid movement of troops and information. This network supported trade, boosted economic prosperity, and enhanced administrative efficiency across the empire.


Top image: Immortals, Persian warriors bas relief in Darius palace, Persepolis, Iran.  Source: grigvovan

 By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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