c1500BC-1200BC The Persian prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra) founded the religion known as Zoroastrianism. The principal beliefs included the existence of a supreme deity called Ahura Mazda and a cosmic struggle between the spirit of good, Spenta Mainyu, and the spirit of evil, Angra Mainyu. Later adherents to Zoroastrianism are represented by the Parsees of India and the
Gabars of Iran.
(Econ, 12/18/04, p.35)(www.livius.org/za-zn/zarathustra/zarathustra.htm)
747BC Feb 26, Origin of Era of Nabonassar.
605BC-562BC Nebuchadnezzar ruled over his empire centered at Babylon.
(SFC, 12/25/98, p.B5)
600BC Cyrus I, king of Persia, was succeeded by his son Cambyses I who reigned until 559 BC.
600BC The first polo game was recorded in north Persia about this
(Hem., 7/95, p.87)
c600 BC Zoroaster introduced a new religion in Bactria (Balkh), also known as ancient Afghanistan. Zoroastrianism is a Monotheistic religion. [see 1500-1200BCE]
586BC Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, ruler of Mesopotamia, destroyed Jerusalem and recorded his deeds at the Nahr al Kalb (Dog River) cliff face between Beirut and Byblos. He destroyed the first Temple, built by Solomon and took the Jewish people into
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.157)(SFC, 12/31/96, p.A11)(Econ, 12/20/03, p.26)
586BC Ezekial, in exile at Babylon, described Tyre as it was before Nebuchadnezzar's attack in the Bible: (Ezekial 27:1-25). This time is known as the "Babylonian
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.162)(eawc, p.8)
560-546BC The rule of Croesus. The first coins were produced in Lydia under the rule of Croesus. It was a kingdom in western Turkey. Croesus made a treaty with the Spartans
and attacked Persia and was defeated.
(SFEC, 1/19/96, Par p.5)(WUD, 1994, p.345)(WSJ, 11/11/99, p.A24)
559BC Cyrus the Great (d.530BC), the son of Cambyses I, began his rule Persia. Cyrus II
established his capital at Pasargadae.
(Arch, 5/05, p.12)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great)
546BC The Persians destroyed Egypt’s alliance with the Chaldeans, Lydia and Sparta by first
capturing Lydia then the Chaldaeans.
c539BC Cyrus the Great founded Persia’s Achaemenian Empire which he expanded into India, Libya and Egypt. Pasargadae was his first
(SFEC, 7/5/98, p.T4)
539BC Babylon, under Chaldean rule since 612BC, fell to the Persians. Cyrus the Persian captured Babylon after the New Babylonian leader, Belshazaar, failed to read "the
handwriting on the wall." The Persian Empire under Cyrus lasted to 331BC, when it was conquered by Alexander the Great. Cyrus returned some of the exiled Jews to Palestine, while other Jews preferred to stay and establish a 2nd Jewish center, the first being in Jerusalem. The Cyrus Cylinder was created following the Persian conquest of Babylon, when Cyrus overthrew the Babylonian king Nabonidus
and replaced him as ruler, ending the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It was discovered in 1879 and became considered as the world's first declaration of human rights.
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.174)(eawc, p.8,9)(http://tinyurl.com/lma678)(AFP, 2/7/10)
537BC Cyrus the Persian campaigned west of the Indus River.
530BC Dec, Cyrus the Great, ruler of Persia, died in battle, fighting the Scythians along the Syr Darya. He
was succeeded by his son, Cambyses II, who managed to add to the empire by conquering Egypt, Nubia, and Cyrenaica during his short rule.
525BC Cambyses, king of Persia, met and defeated the Egyptians in front of their city at Pelusium just a few weeks after the death of Pharaoh Amasis. This marked the beginning of Egypt’s 27th Dynasty. Psammetichus III tried to revolt against Cambyses and was killed.
525BC-522BC Cambyses II, son of Cyrus and ruler of Persia, served as the 1st ruler of Egypt’s 27th Dynasty. Cambyses added to his Persian empire by conquering Egypt. During his rule an army sent to Siwa Oasis
was overcome by sandstorm and buried. Herodotus said the army numbered 50,000 men. A Jewish document from 407 BC known as 'The Demotic Chronicle' speaks of the Cambyses destroying all the temples of the Egyptian gods. Herodotus informs us that Cambyses II was a monster of cruelty and impiety.
(eawc.edu, p.9)(Arch, 9/00,
522 Mar, Bardiya (Smerdis), another son of Cyrus and pretender to the throne, seized power in Persia as Cambyses was returning home.
522BC Aug, Cambyses II, son of Cyrus of Persia and the 1st ruler of Egypt’s 27th Dynasty, died from a dagger wound in Syrian Ecbatana.
522BC Sep, Darius hastened to Media, Persia, and with the help of six Persian nobles, killed Bardiya (Smerdis), another son of Cyrus, who had usurped the throne. Darius defended this deed and his own assumption of kingship on the
grounds that the usurper was actually Gaumata, a Magian, who had impersonated Bardiya after Bardiya had been murdered secretly by Cambyses.
522BC A revolt broke
out in Egypt following the death of Cambyses, but it was put down by a Persian general named Darius, who succeeded Cambyses.
522BC Darius the Great (558-486), son of Hystaspes, succeeded Cambyses as emperor of Persia. He engaged in
many large building programs including a system of roads and instituted the first postal system.
(WUD, 1994, p.367)(eawc.edu, p.9)(ON, 4/04, p.9)
c522BC Zoroaster died during a nomadic invasion near Balkh [ancient
522BC-486BC Darius the Great expanded the Achaemenid (Persian) empire to its peak, when it took most of Afghanistan, including Aria (Herat), Bactriana (Balk, and present-day
Mazar-i-Shariff), Margiana (Merv), Gandhara (Kabul, Jalalabad and Peshawar), Sattagydia (Ghazni to the Indus river), Arachosia (Kandahar, and Quetta), and Drangiana (Sistan). The Persian empire was plagued by constant bitter and bloody tribal revolts from Afghans living in Arachosia (Kandahar, and Quetta).
521BC Darius of Persia made Susa his administrative capital. He restored the fortifications and built an audience hall (apadana) and a residential palace.
521BC The name Armenian was mentioned for the first time in the Behistan (Behistun) inscription of the Mede (Persian) Emperor Darius from this year: "I defeated the Armenians."
520BC-519BC Darius of Persia authorized the Jews to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem, in accordance with an earlier decree of Cyrus. The Hebrew’s began to rebuild Solomon’s Temple destroyed in the sack of 586BCE. The Second Temple in Jerusalem was begun. It was remodeled many
times and destroyed in 70CE.
(SFC, 5/23/95, p.A-10)(eawc, p.10)(www.crystalinks.com/dynasty27.html)
520BC-486BC Darius, ruler of Persia, occupied Egypt and is considered the 2nd ruler of the 27th
Dynasty. During his rule a canal from the Nile River to the Red Sea, probably begun by Necho I in the 7th century BC, was repaired and completed.
519BC Darius put
down a third rising in Susiana, Persia, and established his authority in the east.
519BC Darius of Persia authorized the Jews to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem, in accordance with an earlier decree of
519BC Darius of Persia attacked the Scythians east of the Caspian Sea and a few years later conquered the Indus Valley.
518BC Darius visited Egypt and put to death its satrap, Aryandes.
518BC Persian leader Darius the Great founded Persepolis as his ceremonial capital.
(SSFC, 11/27/05, p.A26)
Darius the Persian conquered the Indus Valley region.
513BC Darius, after subduing eastern Thrace and the Getae, crossed the Danube River into European Scythia, but
the Scythian nomads devastated the country as they retreated from him, and he was forced, for lack of supplies, to abandon the campaign.
512BC Darius the Great
began constructing the Persian city of Persepolis. Construction lasted nearly 150 years. In 330BC the army of Alexander the Great burned it to the ground.
(SSFC, 1/14/07, p.G5)
c500BC-400BC Mordechai, a Jew, became the
prime minister of Persia.
(SFC, 10/21/00, p.C1)
499BC Athens and Eretria supported an Ionian revolt against Persian rule.
492BC Darius put his son-in-law, Mardonius, in charge of a Persian expedition against Athens and Eretria, but the loss of the fleet in a storm off Mount Athos forced him to abandon the operation.
490BC Sep 9, First Persian attack on Greece. Greeks led by Miltiades defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. Pheidipiddes, a hemerodromi or long-distance foot messenger, was dispatched to run 26 miles from marathon to
Athens to announce the victory. He reached Athens and proclaimed: “Rejoice! We conquer!” The he dropped dead. In the Battle of Marathon Darius the Great of Persia was defeated by the Greeks. The Greeks initiated the war when Persia, the strongest power in western Asia, established rule over Greek-speaking cities in Asia Minor. [see Sep 12]
(HFA, '96, p.38)(V.D.-H.K.p.49)(SFC, 7/14/96, p.T7)(eawc.edu, p.10)
490BC Sep 12, Athenian and Plataean Hoplites commanded by General Miltiades drove back a Persian invasion force under General Datis at Marathon. [see Sep
490BC A Persian force under Datis, a Mede, destroyed Eretria and enslaved its inhabitants but was defeated by the Athenians at Marathon.
490-479BC The Greco-Persian War is commonly regarded as one of the most significant wars in all of history. The Greeks emerged victorious and put an end to the possibility of Persian despotism.
486BC Darius (b.550), ruler of Persia, died. His preparations for a 3rd expedition against Greece were delayed by an insurrection in Egypt. He was succeeded by his son Xerxes.
486BC-465BC Xerxes the Great (b.519BC), king of Persia, ruled Egypt as the 3rd king of the 27th Dynasty. His rule extended from India to the lands below the Caspian and Black seas, to the east coast of
the Mediterranean including Egypt and Thrace. Persia’s great cities Sardis, Ninevah, Babylon, and Susa were joined by the Royal Road. East of Susa was Persopolis, a vast religious monument. To the north of Persia were the Scythians.
484-420BC Herodotus mentioned gold-digging ants and that some were kept at the palace of the Persian king. It was later learned that the Persian word for marmot is equivalent to mountain ant, and that marmots in the Dansar plain of northern Pakistan
bring up gold dust from their burrows.
(SFC, 11/25/96, p.A10)
483BC Themistocles, fearing destruction at the hands of the Persians, persuaded his fellow Athenians to build a navy of one hundred
triremes. He also oversaw the fortification of the harbor at Piraeus, which then replaced Phaleron as the port of Athens.
(www.historyguide.org/ancient/lecture7b.html)(AM, 7/05, p.12)
480BC Aug 9, The
Persian army defeated Leonidas and his Spartan army at the battle Thermopylae, Persia. In 1998 Steven Pressfield authored: "Gates of Fire, An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae." In 2006 Paul Cartledge authored “Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World.”
(HN, 8/9/98)(SFEC, 11/29/98, BR p.3)(WSJ, 11/11/06,
480 BC Sep 20, Themistocles and his Greek fleet won one of history's first decisive naval victories over Xerxes' Persian force off Salamis. Persia under Xerxes attacked Greece. Athens got burned but the Athenian fleet under Themistocles trapped and destroyed the Persian navy at
Salamis. Phoenician squadrons were at the heart of Xerxes’ fleet; the king of Sidon was among his admirals.
(V.D.-H.K.p.49), (NG, Aug., 1974, S.W. Matthews, p.174)(HN, 9/20/98)
480BC Oct 20, Greeks
defeated the Persians in a naval battle at Salamis. [see Sep 20]
480BC Xerxes performed a sacrifice at the site of Troy on his way to battle the
(Nat. Hist., 4/96, p.50)
479BC Aug 27, A combined Greek army stopped the Persians at the battle at Plataea.
(NG, Aug., 1974, S.W. Matthews, p.174)
465BC Xerxes the Great, king of Persia, was assassinated.
465BC-424BC Artaxerxes, son of Xerxes I, ruled Persia in the Achaemenis dynasty and Egypt as the 4th king of the 27th Dynasty.
(WSJ, 4/10/09, p.W13)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artaxerxes_I)
455BC Artaxerxes, ruler of Persia, put down a revolt in Egypt.
423BC-404BC Darius II, son of Artaxerxes, ruled Persia and Egypt.
420BC Pissuthnes, satrap of Lydia, revolted against the Persian king Darius II. The Persian soldier and statesman Tissaphernes a grandson of Hydarnes, was sent by Darius II to Lydia to arrest and execute Pissuthnes. Tissaphernes became satrap of Lydia in 415 BC and continue to fight Amorges, son of
413BC Darius II, ruler of Persia, quelled a revolt in Lydia.
410BC Darius II, ruler of Persia, quelled a revolt in Media but lost control of Egypt.
404BC Artaxerxes II succeeded Darius II over Persia and ruled to 358BC. It was during this 45-year period of relative peace that many of the monuments of the era were
404BC-399BC Amyrtaios (Amyrtaeus), believed to be a Libyan, ruled Egypt following the death of Darius II from Sais as the 1st and only
ruler of the 28th Dynasty.
401BC In the Battle of Cunaxa Cyrus attempted to oust his brother Artaxerxes from rule over Babylon. Greek forces, hired to help
Cyrus, were left stranded when Cyrus died. The Greek army elected Xenophon to lead them back home. Xenophon later authored his “Anabasis” (expedition up country), which told the story of return home. In 2005 Tim Rood authored “The Sea, The Sea,” an analysis of Xenophon’s life story following his death.
400-300BC The Greek writer Ephorus referred to the Celts, Scythians, Persians and Libyans as the four great barbarian peoples in the known world.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97
399BC-393BC Nepherites served as the 1st ruler of Egypt’s 29th Dynasty. During his rule he entered into an alliance with Sparta against the Persians.
393BC-380BC Hakoris (Hakor) served as the 2nd or 3rd ruler of Egypt’s 29th Dynasty. There is some confusion because a king named Psammuthis ruled in 393BC. During Hakoris’ reign there was a 3 year war with
391BC-377BC Hecatomnus, satrap of Caria, ruled over Mylasa about this time. The Persian king Artaxerxes II Mnemon appointed Hecatomnus as satrap of this
part of the Achaemenid Empire. A 2,800-year-old tomb and carved coffin, decorated with reliefs of a bearded reclining man, believed to be Hecatomnus, was discovered in 2010.
373BC The Persian army moved to attack Egypt. They abandoned the effort when the Nile flooded over the Delta.
son of Nectanebo, served as the 2nd ruler of Egypt’s 30th Dynasty. He failed in an attempted attack on Persia and was deserted by the Egyptians and Greek mercenaries. He fled to Persia where Artaxerxes II gave him refuge.
363BC Artaxerxes III (Ochus), son of Artaxerxes II, became king of Persia.
Alexander the Great (d.323BCE) was born in Macedonia.
343BC Artaxerxes III of Persia led a successful campaign against Egypt and Nectanebo II fled to Ethiopia.
Artaxerxes appointed Pherendares as satrap of Egypt and returned to Babylon laden with treasures.
343BC-338BC Artaxerxes III (Ochus), king of Persia, served as 1st
ruler of Egypt’s 31st Dynasty.
343-332BC In Egypt the Persians ruled for a 2nd time.
338BC Artaxerxes III (Ochus), king of Persia, was murdered by his own commander Bagoas.
Arses, the youngest son of Ochus, succeeded his father as king of Persia. He served as the 2nd ruler of Egypt’s 31st Dynasty.
336BC Arses, king
of Persia and ruler of Egypt’s 31st Dynasty, was murdered by his commander Bagoas.
335BC-332BC Darius III was raised to the throne of Persia by the eunuch Bagoas,
who had killed the 2 previous rulers. Darius in turn had Bagoas murdered.
333BC Alexander first confronted Darius, king of Persia, and defeated him at the
battlefield of Issus. During the Renaissance German painter Albrecht Altdorfer (1480-1538) painted a depiction of the battle.
(NG, Jan, 1968 , p.18)(WSJ, 5/15/98, p.W11)
333BC Alexander the Great
(353BC-323BC), married a barbarian (Sogdian) princess, Roxana, the daughter of the Bactrian chief Oxyartes. Alexander also married the daughter of Darius, whom he defeated in 333, while staying firmly attached to his comrade, Hephaistion.
(V.D.-H.K.p.68)(Hem., 2/97, p.116)(WSJ, 5/15/98,
331BC Oct 1, Alexander the Great decisively shattered King Darius III's Persian army at Gaugamela (Arbela), in a tactical masterstroke that left him master of the Persian Empire.
331BC Alexander conquered the Persian Empire and then made his way to India and conquered part of it.
331BC The Achaemenid King of Persia, Darius III, died in Bactria. Bessus, the satrap of Bactria had him murdered.
(AHD, 1971, p.10)(www.crystalinks.com/dynasty29.html)
330BC The army of Alexander the Great reached Persopolis, the capital of Persia, and looted the city. After a 4-month stay there he ordered his army to burn the palace of Persopolis.
323BC Jun 10, Alexander died in Persia at Babylon at the age of 32. His general, Ptolemy, took possession of Egypt. Apelles was a painter in Alexander's court. He had been
commissioned by Alexander to paint a portrait of Campaspe, Alexander's concubine. Apelles fell in love with Campaspe and Alexander granted her to him in marriage. In 1984 Curtius Quintas Rufus authored "the History of Alexander." In 1991 Peter Green authored "Alexander of Macedon, A Historical Biography." “Alexander the Great” by Norman F. Cantor (d.2004) was published in
(BS, 5/3/98, p.12E)(WSJ, 2/11/00, p.W6) (ON, 1/01, p.11)(SSFC, 12/25/05, p.M3)
250BC In Persia about this time two brothers, Arashk (Arash Pers. Arsaces, Lat.) and Tirdat (Tiridates), with their
forces under the command of five other chiefs, occupied the district of upper Tejen. Arashk (Arsaces) was to become the first king of the Ashkanian (Arsacid or Parthian) dynasty. In 2005 the Ashkali community in Kosovo claimed roots to this period.
238BC-227CE The Parthians (238 B.C.-A.D. 227) ruled the Persian Empire despite attempts by the Roman Republic (133-27 B.C.), the Roman Empire (27 B.C.-A.D. 476) to conquer it. During the centuries-long struggle, border towns and
provinces in the Near East passed back and forth like Alsace-Lorraine or the Polish Corridor would in nineteenth-and twentieth-century Europe. Rarely in the history of human conflict has a feud such as the one between the empires of Rome and Persia lasted so long and accomplished so little.
c200BC Drawings in stone of this time showed women milking elk in what later became northern Iran.
(SFEC, 7/19/98, Z1 p.8)
53BC The Persians defeated the Romans in the Battle of Carrhae. Some 20,000 Romans under Crassus were killed by the Parthian army and 10,000 were captured. The Parthians then used the Romans as guards on their eastern frontier in what later became Turkmenistan.
(ATC, p.33)(HC, 9/3/04)(Econ, 12/18/04, p.59)
3CE Feb 19, Sadiq Hidajat, Persian writer (Blind Person Owl), was born.
c216-276 Manes, aka Manicheus or Mani, Persian profit and founder of the dualistic religious system called Manichaeism. It was a combination of Gnostic Christianity, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism and other elements. The basic doctrine was based on a conflict between light and dark, with matter being regarded as dark and
(WUD, 1994, p.871)
226CE The Iranians [Persians] conquered the Parthians.
c226 In Iran Zoroastrianism was revitalized as a state religion under the Sassanians.
(WSJ, 2/2/00, p.A24)
227-261CE The Sassanids (A.D. 227-651), ruled the Persian Empire despite attempts by the Roman Empire (27 B.C.-A.D. 476) and later the Byzantine (or Eastern Roman) Empire to conquer it. Bam was founded during the Sassanian Period along one of the East-West trade routes collectively known as the Silk
(HNQ, 12/22/00)(SFC, 12/27/03, p.A12)
256 The Anatolian city of Zeugma on the Euphrates was sacked by Persian King Shapur I. This was soon followed by a devastating fire and an earthquake and
Zeugma was abandoned. In 2000 the area was submerged as part of the Southeast Anatolia Project of dams for power.
(SFEC, 5/7/00, p.A23)(Arch, 9/00, p.41)
258 A red agate cup with gold handles, the
Santo Caliz, was sent to Spain by Pope Sixtus II and St. Laurence as Rome went under siege by the Persians. In 1437 the church moved it to the Cathedral of Valencia.
(SSFC, 5/27/06, p.G3)
258-260 Persia and Rome engaged
in a 2-year war.
(WUD, 1994 ed., p.1667)
260 Persia’s King Shapur I captured Roman Emp. Valerian.
363CE Jun 27, The death of Roman Emperor Julian brought an end to the Pagan Revival. Julian received a mortal wound in battle with the Sassanian Persians, whom he tried to conquer.
6/27/98)(WSJ, 3/24/99, p.A27)
387CE The Parthians and Romans agreed to settle the Armenian question by the drastic expedient of partition. The Sassanid kings of Persia (who had superseded the Parthians in the Empire of Iran) secured the lion's share of the spoils,
while the Romans only received a strip of country on the western border which gave them Erzeroum and Diyarbekir for their frontier fortresses.
Bahram V ruled Persia.
428CE The Arsacid (Arshakuni) monarchy of Armenia ended and control fell to the rule of the Persian Sassanids.
438-457 The Persian King Yazdegird II ruled. He pressured the Armenians to accept Zoroastrianism and worship the supreme god Ahura Mazda. Mihr-Nerseh, the Persian grand vizier, promulgated an edict that enjoined the Armenians to
449CE The Armenians held a General Assembly to ponder the Persian edict that demanded conversion to Zoroastrianism. They chose to remain Christian and their leaders were summoned
to Persia to answer to the king. The leaders opted to yield under heavy pressure but were renounced on their return home.
451CE Apr 13, A Persian Army of 300,000 men under Mushkan
Nusalavurd arrived at a place between Her and Zarevand (now Khoy and Salmast in Iran) to face the Armenian forces.
451CE May 26, The Battle of Avarair. Vardan Mamikonian, son of Sparapet
(general) Hamazasp Mamikonian and Sahakanush, daughter of the Catholicos Sahak Bartev, led a force of 66,000 Armenians to face the Persians. Prior to battle Vardan read aloud the story of the Jewish Maccabees. Persian losses tripled the Armenian dead, but Mushkan won and Vardan was killed.
451-484 Vahan Mamikonian led the Armenians in a 33-year guerrilla war. The Persian Sassanids underwent 3 rulers and pressure from the Ephthalites, White Huns, and when King Peroz was killed by the White Huns, his successor, Balash, sued for peace. Vahan demanded and was granted
484CE The Armenians signed a treaty in the village of Nuwarsak with the Persians and Vahan Mamikonian was appointed marzban of
614 Christian Palestine was invaded by the Persians. The 5th century monastery of St. Theodosius east of Beit Sahour near Bethlehem was destroyed by the Persians. The Jews of
Jerusalem allied with the Persians during the invasion and entered into the cave beneath the tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
(SFEC, 12/22/96, p.T3)(WSJ, 4/5/02, p.W12)(SFC, 10/23/06, p.A15)
Aug 7, Battle at Constantinople: Slavs, Persians and Avars were defeated. Emp. Heraclius repelled the attacks. The attacks began in 625.
(PCh, 1992, p.60)(MC, 8/7/02)
628 Apr 3, In
Persia Kavadh sued for peace with the Byzantines. He handed back Armenia, Byzantine Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt.
628 Apr 3, Chosroes II, emperor of Persia (579-628), was murdered by his
630 Mar 21, Heraclius restored the True Cross, which he had recaptured from the Persians.
632 Jun 16, Origin of Persian [Yazdegird] Era.
Rashidun Caliphate, also known as the Rightly Guided Caliphate, comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia in the east. It was the one of the largest empires in history up until that
651 Yazdegird III, the last Sassanian king, was murdered.
748 Wasil ibn Ata, Muslim theologian and jurist, died. He had left the teaching lessons of Hasan al-Basri after a theological dispute regarding the issue of Al-Manzilah bayna al-Manzilatayn. He and his followers, including Amr ibn Ubayd (d.761), were labeled
Mu'tazili. The adherents of the Mu'tazili school (Mutazilites) are best known for their having asserted that, because of the perfect unity and eternal nature of God, the Qur'an must therefore have been created, as it could not be co-eternal with God. Mutazilites stressed human reason.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasil_ibn_Ata)(Econ, 8/6/11, p.22)
750-1258AD Muslim power in Persia was held by the Abbassid family headed by al Abbas. One Abbasid general, Abdullah, invited 80 Umayyad leaders to a banquet where they were killed by Abdullah’s men. Only one Umayyad, Abd
al Rahman, was able to escape. He fled all the way to Spain where he united the warring Muslin groups there and built a new Umayyad government. So now the Muslims were split in two groups. The Abbassid dynasty of the Moslem Empire ruled Arabia and the eastern empire. All of the caliphs of this era claim descended from Abbas, the uncle of Mohammed.
(AHD, 1971, p.2)(ATC, p.84)
770 The Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Thomas (Mar Toma) was built in Mosul.
(SFC, 12/24/09, p.A3)
776 Al-Jahiz (d.868), Muslim theologian and scholar, was born in Basra about this time. He is credited with writing nearly two hundred works, although fewer than one hundred survive today. His most famous work is Al-Hayawan” (The Book of animals), which merges discussions of zoology with philosophy.
(Econ, 2/7/09, p.72)(www.enotes.com/classical-medieval-criticism/al-jahiz)
809 Mar 24, Harun al-Rashid (Arabic for The Rightly Guided), caliph of the Abbasid empire (786-809), died at age 44. His
reign is immortalized in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights. His work included the construction of a House of Wisdom in Baghdad.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harun_al-Rashid)(WSJ, 2/8/06, p.D12)
Abu-Nuwas al-Hasan ben Hani al-Hakami (b.756), one of the greatest of classical Arabic poets, died. He also composed in Persian on occasion. Born in the city of Ahvaz in Persia, of an Arab father and a Persian mother, he became a master of all the contemporary genres of Arabic poetry. Abu Nuwas has entered the folkloric tradition, and he appears several times in The Book of One
Thousand and One Nights. His odes included verses on Baghdad liquor that was "as hot between the ribs as a firebrand."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Nuwas)(Econ, 12/20/03, p.68)
Reza, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, died. Shiites later believed that he was fed poisonous grapes by a Sunni leader of the Muslim world. Reza was buried in Sanabad, which later became known as Mashad, “place of martyrdom.” A major shrine grew at the site and by 2007 the Imam Reza Shrine Foundation was the largest (bonyad) in Iran and accounted for 7.1% of the country’s
(WSJ, 6/2/07, p.A12)
836 Caliph al-Mutasim built a new capital at Samarra to replace Baghdad as the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. It was abandoned by Caliph al-Mutamid in
(SFC, 2/23/06, p.A15)
838 Jan 4, Babak, Persian social and religious reformer, was martyred.
868 The 10th imam, Ali al-Hadi, died. His remains were placed in the Askariya shrine in Samarra (Persia-Iraq).
889 Ibn Qutayba (b.828), a renowned Islamic scholar from Kufa, Iraq, died.
The 11th imam, Hassan al-Askari, son of Ali al-Hadi, died. His remains were also placed in the Askariya shrine in Samarra (Persia-Iraq). Hassan al-Askari was the father of Al-Mahdi, the hidden imam.
892 Caliph al-Mutamid abandoned Samarra, established in 836, as the capital of the Abassid Caliphate.
(SFC, 2/23/06, p.A15)
922 Mar 27, Al-Hallaj
al-Mughith-al-Hsayn Mansur (64), Persian mystic, was beheaded.
936 Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari (b.1874), Muslim theologian, died. He had become a pupil of the great Mutazalite teacher
al-Jubba'i (d.915), and himself remained a Mutazalite until his fortieth year. Disciples of his school are known as Asharites. It held that complete comprehension of the unique nature and attributes of God is beyond the capacity of human reasoning and sense experience.
945 The Buyids (Buwayhids) came to power in Baghdad. They were ousted by the Seljuks in 1055 under Tughril Beg.
c996 The Astan Ghods Ravazi religious foundation was started.
(WSJ, 7/11/96, p.A4)
1010 Abolqasem Firdawsi (Ferdowsi), a Persian poet, completed the “Shahnameh,” or “Book of Kings.” It is an epic of more than 50,000 rhyming couplets weaving the history of ancient shahs with myth and legend. One might call it the Iliad of Persia. Over the centuries shahs have had the poem copied and illustrated
by the best artists of the day. In 2006 Dick Harris made an abridged translation to English in prose.
(WSJ, p. A-18, 10/13/94)(WSJ, 3/7/06, p.D8)
1019-20 BabaTaher, Persian poet,
(WSJ, 1/25/00, p.A18)
1055 The Seljuks under Tughril Beg ousted the Buyids (Buwayhids) in Baghdad. The nomadic Turks from Central Asia, descended from a warrior named Seljuk, took control of the
government and continued governing the empire in the tradition of Islamic law.
1100-1200 Era of the 12 century Persian poet Nizami of
(SFC, 5/19/96, p.C-13)
1123 Omar Khayyam, Persian poet and mathematician, died.
1174 Nureddin, the ruler of Syria died. Saladin, the vizier of Egypt, married Nureddin’s widow and assumed control of both state. The Ayyubids under Saladin spent the next decade launching conquests throughout the region and by 1183, the territories under
their control included Egypt, Syria, northern Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen, and the North African coast up to the borders of modern-day Tunisia.
(ON, 6/07, p.5)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayyubid_dynasty)
Persia introduced polo to Arabia, China and India.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)
1207 Sep 30, Jalal ud-din Rumi (Jelaluddin Rumi, d.1273), Persian poet and mystic was born in the area of
Balkh, Afghanistan. He later fled the Mongol invasions with his family to Konya (Iconium), Anatolia. His work “Mathwani” (Spiritual Couplets) filled 6 volumes and had a great impact on Islamic civilization. He founded the Mevlevi order of Sufis, later known as the “whirling dervishes.” In 1998 a film was made about the Sufi poet’s influence on the 20th century. In 1998 Kabir Helminski edited “The
Rumi Collection” with translation by Robert Bly and others. His work also included the “Shams I-Tabriz” in which he dismissed the terminology of Jew, Christian and Muslim as “false distinctions.” The poet Rumi was also known as Mowlana.
(SFC, 7/9/96, p.B5)(SFEC, 9/20/98, DB p.50)(SFEC, 10/25/98, BR p.6)(WSJ, 9/7/01, p.A14)(SSFC,
10/28/01, p.B7)(SSFC, 4/1/07, p.E3)
1258 Feb 10, Huegu (Hulega Khan), a Mongol leader and grandson of Genghis Khan, seized Baghdad following a 4-day assault. Mongol invaders from Central Asia took over Baghdad and ended the Abbasid-Seljuk Empire. They included
Uzbeks, Kazaks, Georgians and other groups. Some 200 to 800 thousand people were killed and looting lasted 17 days. Their destruction included the razing of Baghdad’s House of Wisdom.
(ATC, p.91)(AP, 2/10/99)(SFC, 4/12/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 2/8/06, p.D12)
1291 Mar 5, Sa'ad al'Da'ulah, Jewish grand vizier of Persia, was assassinated.
1371 Ubaid Zakani,
Persian writer, died. His work included “Mush va Gorbeh” (Mouse and Cat), a match for Rabelais when it comes to mocking religion.
(WSJ, 2/8/06, p.A16)(www.britannica.com/eb/article-13737)
1389-1390 Hafez (Khwaja Shams
ud-Din Hafiz) (b.1325/26), Persian poet, died about this time.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafez)(SSFC, 10/23/05, p.E3)(www.thesongsofhafiz.com/)
1418 The Gawhar Shad Mosque in Meshed, Iran was
completed by the wife of Shah Rukh.
(NG, Sept. 1939, Baroness Ravensdale, p.353)
1512 Shi’ism became the state religion of Persia.
1514 Selim I, Sultan of Turkey, declared war on Persia.
Afonso d’Albuquerque, Viceroy of the Portuguese Indies, captured Hormuz (Ormuz) and forced all other traders to round the Cape of Good Hope. This established Portugal’s supremacy in trade with the Far East. Hormuz is the strait between Iran and Trucial Oman.
(TL-MB, p.11)(WUD, 1994,
1520-1530 The “Shahnameh” (Persian Book of Kings), completed in 1010AD by Persian poet Firdawsi (Ferdowsi) was commissioned to be illustrated for Shah Tahmasp by more than a dozen artists. 258 miniatures were made with 750 folios of Farsi text. In 1568 it was given to the
Ottoman Sultan. In 1981 Stuart Cary Welch and martin Dickinson published “The Houghton Shahnameh,” a 2-volume study.
(www.mazdapublisher.com/BookDetails.aspx?BookID=186)(WSJ, 10/13/94, p. A18,)(Econ, 4/9/11, p.95)
Shah Ismail, ruler of Persia, died.
1534 Jul 13, Ottoman armies captured Tabriz in northwestern
1571 Jan 27, Shah Abbas, King of the Safavid dynasty in Persia, was born. He established a monopoly on the production and sale of silk and used the wealth to develop the city of
Isfahan. Fearful of assassination he turned on his own family, executed one son, and blinded 2 sons, his father and his brothers.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)(http://4dw.net/royalark/Persia/safawi3.htm)
Abbas I (16) became Shah of Persia following the forced abdication of his father, Shah Muhammad Khodabandeh. A revolt by Qizilbash leaders finally removed Khodabandeh from power and installed his son Abbas as shah.
1587 Mohammad Khodabandeh, Shah of Persia, died.
(PC, 1992 ed, p.203)
1612 The square of Esfahan, Persia, was built.
(SSFC, 1/14/07, p.G5)
1615 The Persians sacked the monastic complex of David Gareja in
(Econ, 8/28/10, p.50)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Gareja_monastery_complex)
1622 Safavid Persia ruled Kandahar [aka Afghanistan].
1629 Jan 21, Abbas I (b.1571), Shah of Persia (1588-1629), died.
1638 Dec 24, The Ottomans under Murad IV recaptured Baghdad from Safavid Persia.
1650 The Khaju
bridge in Esfahan, Persia (Iran), was built over the Zayandeh Rood river.
(SSFC, 1/14/07, p.G5)
1722 Mar 8, Afghan monarch Mir Mahmud occupied Persia.
1722 Sep 12, The Treaty of St. Petersburg put an end to the Russo-Persian War.
1722 Oct 12, Shah Sultan Husayn surrendered the Persian capital of Isfahan to Afghan rebels after a seven month siege. Mir Wais' son, Mir Mahmud of Afghanistan, had invaded Persia and occupied Isfahan. At the same time, the Durranis revolted, and terminated the Persian occupation of
(www.afghan, 5/25/98)(HN, 10/12/98)
1725 Apr 25, Mir Mahmud of Afghanistan was mysteriously killed after going mad. Afghans started to lose control of
1736 Nadir Shah (head of Persia) occupied southwest Afghanistan, and southeast Persia.
1738 Nadir Shah (head of Persia) took Kandahar [Afghanistan].
1739 Mar 20, In India, Nadir Shah of Persia occupied Delhi and took possession of the Peacock thrown. King Nadir Shah later took the golden Peacock Throne back to Persia.
(HN, 3/20/99)(SFEC, 5/21/00, p.T8)
1747 Jul 10, Persian ruler Nadir Shah was assassinated at Fathabad in Persia. The Afghans rise rose again in revolt under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Abdali and retook Kandahar to establish modern Afghanistan.
1747-1773 Rule of Ahmad Shah Abdali (Durrani). Ahmad Shah consolidated and enlarged Afghanistan. He defeated the Moghuls in the west of the Indus, and he takes Herat away from the Persians. Ahmad Shah Durrani's empire extended from Central Asia to Delhi, from Kashmir to the
Arabian sea. It became the greatest Muslim empire in the second half of the 18th century.
1785-1925 The Qajar Epoch.
1795 Persians invaded Khurasan (province) in Afghanistan.
1797 Jun 17, Aga Mohammed Khan, cruel ruler of Persia, was castrated and killed.
1809 Mar 12, Great Britain signed a treaty with Persia forcing the
French out of the country.
1814 Mir Ali created a full-length portrait of Persia’s Fath-Ali Shah (1771) shortly after Shah’s loss of a major battle against the
(WSJ, 8/1/06, p.D6)(www.jsenterprises.com/john/thesis/chapter2.htm)
1820s The last jihad started by mullahs alone forced the Persian Empire to war against Christian Russia. Persia lost the
(WSJ, 10/10/01, p.A10)
1824 James Morier authored “The Adventures of Haji Bab of Ispahan,” the tale of a barber’s son who seeks his fortunes in
(WSJ, 10/6/07, p.W8)
1826 Sep 26, The Persian cavalry was routed by the Russians at the Battle of Ganja in the Russian Caucasus.
1828 Russia conquered the Armenian provinces of Persia, and this brought within her frontier the Monastery of Etchmiadzin, in the Khanate of Erivan, which was the seat of the Katholikos of All the
1829 Feb 11, Alexander Griboyedov (b.1795), Russian diplomat, playwright and composer, was beheaded by a mob attack on the Russian
embassy in Tehran. Griboyedov was protecting an Armenian eunuch, who had escaped from the harem of the Persian shah along with 2 Armenian girls. The Russians let the incident pass after an Iranian apology. They were already at war with the Turks and in regional competition with the British.
1833 Sir Henry C. Rawlinson was sent to Persia as one of a group of British officers charged with reorganizing the Shah’s army.
1835 Lt. Henry Creswicke Rawlinson (25) began examining the ancient inscriptions on the rock of Behistun in the Kurdish foothills of the Zagros mountain range. He soon found that they had been made to honor Darius the Great, Persian ruler in the 5th century
(ON, 4/04, p.7)
1863 In Iran the Bahai faith was founded by Hussain Ali. It reflected the attitudes of the Shiah sect with an emphasis on tolerance. Among its principles are full equality between
the sexes, universal education and the establishment of a world of a world federal system.
(WUD, 1994, p.111)(SFC, 10/30/98, p.A20)
1879 The Cyrus Cylinder was discovered by the Assyro-British
archaeologist Hormuzd Rassam in the foundations of the Esagila, the main temple of Babylon, and was later placed in the British Museum in London. The cylinder was created following the Persian conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, when Cyrus overthrew the Babylonian king Nabonidus and replaced him as ruler, ending the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It was later considered as the world's first declaration
of human rights.
1892 May 29, Baha'u'llah [Mirza HA Noeri], Persian founder of Baha’i faith, died at 74.
1896 May 1, Nasr-ed-Din (65), shah of Persia, was murdered.
1902 Mar 22, Great Britain and Persia agreed to link Europe and India by telegraph.
1907 Britain and Russia carved Iran into spheres of
(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)
1908 May 26, The first major oil strike in the Middle East took place as engineers working for British entrepreneur William Knox D'Arcy and led by George B. Reynolds hit
a gusher more than 1,100 feet below ground in Masjid-i-Suleiman, Persia (Iran). The Anglo-Persian Oil Co. Struck oil in Iran.
(WSJ, 9/13/99, p.R4)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)(AP, 5/26/08)
1908 Jun 26, Shah
Muhammad Ali’s forces squelched the reform elements of Parliament in Persia.
1909 Mar 26, Russian troops invaded Persia to support Muhammad Ali as the Shah in place of the constitutional
1909 Apr 19, In Persia Howard Baskerville (b.1885), an American Presbyterian preacher, was shot dead while trying to break the siege of Tabriz as a defender of the new
(Econ, 7/17/10, p.87)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Baskerville)
1910 Jan 21, A British-Russian military intervention took place in
1910 A portrait was painted of Princess Taj al-Saltaneh, a memoirist and founder of the Society for the Emancipation of Women.
(WSJ, 10/29/98, p.A20)
1911 May, Morgan Shuster (1877-1960), an American lawyer, began serving as treasurer-general of the Persian empire. In December under Russian and British pressure, the vice-regent of Persia expelled Shuster from office
against the will of the Persian parliament.
(Econ, 7/17/10, p.87)
1912 Morgan Shuster, American financial expert, authored “The Strangling of Persia.” He describes his failed efforts to introduce
virtuous financial practices in Iran in the face of British and Russian barriers.
(WSJ, 10/6/07, p.W8)
1916 Feb 26, Russian troops conquered Kermansjah,
1916 Aug 7, Persia formed an alliance with Britain and Russia.
1921 Feb 20, Riza Khan Pahlevi seized control of Iran. Pahlevi marched into Tehran with 2,500 soldiers and took over the government. Britain helped topple the Qajar dynasty and replaced it with Reza Shah Pahlavi, a former military officer. Five years later he
was crowned Shah and placed the crown upon his head with his own hands, as did Napoleon.
(NG, Sept. 1939, p.330)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)
1926 Apr 25, In Iran (Persia), Reza Kahn was crowned Shah and chose
the name "Pehlevi".
1926 Aug 20, There was an uprising against Reza Shah Pahlavi in Persia.
1932 Reza Shah revoked the Anglo-Persian Co. oil monopoly.
(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)
1935 Mar 22, Persia was renamed Iran.
(SFC,11/19/97, Z1 p.7)(HN, 3/22/97)
1941 Aug 27, The Shah of Iran abdicated the throne to his son Reza Pahlavi. Britain
forced Reza Shah to abdicate and installed his son Mohammed.
(www.indiana.edu/~league/1941.htm)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)
1951 Mar 15, The Iranian parliament (the Majlis) voted to nationalize the
Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and its holdings, and shortly thereafter elected a widely respected statesman and champion of nationalization, Mohammed Mossadegh as Prime Minister.
1953 Aug 15, In Iran a CIA plot, masterminded by Kermit Roosevelt, to unseat PM Mossadeq failed. A 2nd attempt succeeded on August 19.
(Econ, 5/15/10, p.92)
Aug 19, Gen'l. Zahedi ousted PM Mossadegh and became the Premier of Iran in a bloody coup that left 300 dead. Britain and the US CIA under Allen Dulles planned a secret mission to overthrow the government. PM Mossadeq had sought to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. The US government made a formal apology for the coup in 2000. A 1954 CIA description of the coup was made public in 2000. In 1979
Kermit Roosevelt (d.2000) published “Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran,” an account of his role in the coup. In 2010 Darioush Bayandor authored “Iran and the CIA: The Fall of Mossadeq Revisited.”
(SFC, 11/20/53, p.A1)(SFC, 11/15/99, p.E6)(SFC, 5/29/97, p.A4)(WSJ, 3/20/00, p.A1)(SFEC, 4/16/00, p.A18)(SFEC, 6/11/00,
p.D6)(WSJ, 4/2/07, p.A6)(Econ, 5/15/10, p.91)
1953 Aug 20, Iran’s PM Mossadeq was arrested. He was soon tried for treason, and sentenced to three years in prison.
1953 Aug 22, Shah of Persia returned to Teheran.
End of file.