Dynasties & Rulers
Median Dynasty
728-550 BCE
Achaemenid Dynasty
ca. 550-330 BCE
Macedonian Dynasty
330-310 BCE; Foreign rulers
Alexander the Great 330-323
Philip 3 323-317
Alexander 4
Official co-ruler since 323
Seleucid Dynasty
312-164 BCE
Parthian Dynasty
246 BCE-224 CE
Sassanid Dynasty
Seljuq Dynasty
Hülegü 1256-1265
Abaqa 1265-1281
Tegüder 1281-1284
Arghun 1284-1291
Gaikhatu 1291-1295
Baidu 1295
Ghazan 1295-1304
Öljeitü 1304-1316
Abu Said 1316-1335
Arpa Keun 1335-1336
Musa 1336-1337
Muhammad 1337-1338
Persia divided
Timurid Dynasty
Timur Lenk 1380-1405
Shah Rukh 1405-1447
Ulugh Beg 1447-1449
Persia divided
Safavid Dynasty
Nadir Shah 1736-1747
Zand Dynasty
Qajar Dynasty
Pahlavi Dynasty
The name “Persia” ceased to be used in 1935, when replaced with “Iran“.

Name for the Iranian plateau, comprising today’s Iran and Afghanistan. The name came from an area in southern Iran called Persia but came to be used for the larger area with the expansion performed by the Greeks in the last centuries BCE.

There were, and are, several peoples living in this area, all considering themselves as Iranians. From the earliest sources we know that in the 3rd millennium BCE, the following people lived here: In the south, the Elamites; north of them the Kassites; in the northwestern parts of today’s Iran lived the Manneans; south of the Caspian Sea lived the Caspians. We know little of what relationship there were between these peoples, and we know little of their languages.

From the 2nd Millenium BCE, we hear of the Aryans invading from the north. It is in the 1st Millenium BCE that a people called Persians appear in the south, these were descendants of the Aryans.

There is quite a bit of confusion about what should be called Persia, and what Iran throughout history.
The name Persia was used up until 1935 when there came a demand to change from Persia considered to be a Western name into the name used by people of the region: Iran.

Even if the people of Persia can be divided, they consider themselves more or less as one racial entity, the different peoples are often set apart due to geography and culture.

The peoples today often overlap one another, especially is this true in major cities. Azerbaijanis live in the northwestern corner; Kurds along the border to Turkey and Iran; Lors live in central-western Iran; south of the Lors live the Bakhtiari; Persians live in the central and southern Iran; Baloch live in southeastern Iran, as well as in southwestern Pakistan; Pathans live in southern Afghanistan; Tadchiks live in northern Afghanistan; as well as Uzbeks, Turcomans, and Kygyzians live in northeastern Afghanistan.


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