Introduction on iran’s history

When we’re talking on iran’s history we must notice to the point, are we talking about peoples or ethnics whom lived in iran’s current borders from beginning till now? or we are talking about a geography that includes current iran and lands which are historically parts of great iran “iranshahr”.

In some cases iran’s history begins from migration of Aryans to Iranian plateau which iran’s name deviated from their name. but it doesn’t mean iran’s plateu had no residence or civilization before their entrance.  Many civilizations before Aryan has risen and fallen in this monument and some were still existed.

Generally iran’s history divided into two parts, pre-islamic and post-islamic . And these parts can divided to smaller parts.

Pre-islamic iran

Divided into 3 parts:

  • Pro-aryan iran
  • Aryan migration to iran
  • Ancient iran.

Pro- Aryan iran

Before Aryans different ethnics lived in iran’s plateu. Shahr-e Sukhteh civilization(burnt city) in sistan, Elam civilization(in north of Khuzestan) ,jiroft civilization(in kerman) , Tepe Sialk  civilization in kashan, Urartu in azerbaijan , tepe gian in nahavand, kasi civilization(in Kermanshah and lorestan) ,tapur’s in Mazandaran.

Elam’s civilization was largest Iranian civilization, their territory is approximately equal with current Khuzestan. Susa(Susiana) was capital of Elam state and their antiquities found in this region. Apparently different parts in Elam were free and had their own king.

These four free regions were Avan, Anshan, Simsh and Susiana. Elamite states was in war with more progressed Mesopotamian states, such as Akkadian, Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrians.

In a period Elamite state was among largest powers in region. From beginning of Iranian kingdom it was among iran’s tax-payers. In this time Susiana was glorious and rich city. Elamite language was among three official royal language of iran’s kingdom.

Aryan migration to iran

Aryan race is vast group of white race. Probably their first territory was from north of black sea and Caspian lake to Amu-darya and syr-darya. later groups of them migrated to iran and india, and other groups migrated to Europe.

Aryan means “honorable” , indian and Iranian Aryans live together and then they separated. Before the separation they had common myth, social system and beliefs.

In some Iranian historical books date of Aryan entrance estimated about 2000 BC and in some other 1400 BC to 600 BC.

At beginning of their entrance they killed and suppressed native ethnics but then they used of them. After their entrance to iran they divided into different groups. Medians, Parthians and Persians are the most important groups of them. Iran’s name deviated from Aryan and it means “land of Aryans”

History of ancient iran

History of ancient iran starts from establishment of median state till extinction of sassanids.

Median empire 708-550 BC

Median was Iranian group from Aryan race and settles in western parts of Iranian plateau. Azerbaijan in northwest of Iranian plateau known as small media and other parts of zagros mountains known as great media.

Achaemenid 550-330 BC

Achaemenes was apical ancestor of this dynasty. after him his son teisepes became king of Anshan (east of sustar).later they chose pasargad as center of their kingdom. till the time of Cyrus the third(cyrus the great) six kings from this dynasty had ruled.



After death of alexander(323 BC) his territories divided among his generals. Most of his Asian colonies in which iran was its main region ruled by selucids. for 80 years they ruled major part of iran but they never gain peace.

After a while Parthians expanded their dominance and became capable to destroy selucids. Because of name of first king of this dynasty “ashk” name of this dynasty became ashkanian.

parthians 250BC  to 226 AD

parthians respected to greek civilization that had established in selucid era. Many of their kings has well knowledge on greek literature and some greek theaters played in their palace.

They had a parliament called “mahestan” and it contained  two parliament. One for aristocrats and one for wise people (danayan and moghan) which was advisory and had not large power.

In this period agriculture was booming and slavery increased. Their religion was Zoroastrianism and worshiping ancestors. Other religions had their  own freedom. Belash the first (Ashk 22) was the first person whom collected Avesta.

Their language was mid-persian and roman language used due to interaction with romans. They used Syro – Aramic alphabets, and in some coins there are greek phrases. Anahita temple in kangavar, Anahita temple ruins and reliefs from mehrdad or gudarz period in bistoun are some of their historical monuments.


Sasanid royalty is an Iranian dynasty ruled from 224 AD to  652 .Sasanid state was national and religion based state and gained too much this period Iranian-roman war continued.

Sasanid kings were originally Persian and conquered large parts of western asia.

Ashkanid extincted by ardeshir the first, he established sasanid dynasty and they ruled till 652.

Post Islamic history of iran

As a result of conquering muslim arabs against Sassanid. Islam became dominant religion in iran. this event made a great political, social and religious change in iran.

Dominance of muslims in iran wasn’t easy. People in cities accepted them easier but in rural areas there were more resistance. eastern iran ,tabarestan and gilan colonized later. muslims forced to attack many times.

Iranian were dissatisfied from class conflict in their country. But they never concealed their opposition against ummayyid, abbasid dominance on their land.

They managed some independent movements and it contributes establishing dynasties such as tahirid(826-881AD)and saffarid(866-903AD).

For the first time tahirid make an independent state and saffarid used non-arabic language for the first time. From samanid period (819-999AD) new Persian alphabet created and arabic alphabet used in Persian language.

Buyyid dynasty invaded  Baghdad after establishment of their dynasty and conquering shiraz. they controlled caliphate system and ruled them.

Ghaznavid dynasty(977-1186AD) introduced themselves as qazid or Islamic warriors. They invaded india.

Seljuciad dynasty(1038-1194AD) established their empire after overcoming ghaznavid. Under ruling of wise viziers(ministers) stabilized their power.

Kharazamshahian dynasty(1077-1231) was among states extincted by mongols invasion. as a result of this invasion many of  Iranians were killed, cities raided and they destroyed iran’s agriculture and economy.

After dominating all land of iran they conquered Baghdad and destroyed Islamic caliphate.(1228AD)

Timurids(1370-1506) after mongols  invaded iran and raided it’s cities again.

Safavid dynasty(1501-1732) had chosen Shiite islam as official religion of iran for the first time in history.

Shiite islam became reason of independence and unity because of its performance and national identity protected country against ottamon’s invasion.

For one more time iran became capable to be a great political and religious power.

During shah Abbas the great Isfahan was capital of iran  and gained highest level of glory and greatness.

As a result of afghan’s invasion and conquering esfahan safavid dynasty eliminated from iran’s history.

Nader shah Afshar conquered afghans and established Afsharid dynasty(1734). Zands after afsharids(1750-1796) gained power and elected shiraz as their great and glorious capital.

In qajarid period(1779-1924) dominance of colonizers such as Russia and united kingdom increased and treaties like turkmenchay, golestan, paris imposed on iran’s government and as a result iran lost vast lands in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Khorasan.

Result of this events was rise of movements like tobacco movement,
Constitutionalism, mohammad khiabany’s movement and jungle movement.

In 1924 Reza khan reached to power and establish pahlavid dynasty. Iran’s oil industry nationalized by Dr mohammad mosaddegh and it leads to movemnts finally reach to revolution 1979.


Post-islamic historical periods of iran

Tahirid(820-873AD) founder: taher zolyaminayn

Saffarid(875-900AD)founder: yaaghub leis

Samanid(875-999 AD) founder: nasr the first,Great kings: esmail samani & nasr bin ahamd

Ziyarid(928-1070 AD)founder: mardavij son of ziyar, well known king:qabus ibn voshmgir

Buyid(932-1049 AD) founder: Emad-ol-dole Great king: Azd-ul-dole

Qaznavid(998-1160 AD) founder: Mahmud qaznavi

Seljuqid(1038-1194 AD) founder: tuqrul beik, Great kings:malekshah & sultan sanjar.

Kharazamshahian(1078-1220 AD) founder:Anushtakin well known king:mohammad kharazmshah

Ilkhanate (1256-1336 AD) Founder:hulaku khan

Timurid(1370-1498 AD) founder: timur gorkani

Safavid(1501-1723 AD) founder:shah ismail the first great king:shah abbs the first

Afsharid(1735-1748 AD) founder: nader shah

Zands (1750-1795 AD) Founder: karim khan

Qajar dynasty(1795- 1927 AD) Founder:Agha mohammad khan Great king:naser al din shah

Pahlavi dynasty(1926-1979 AD) Founder: reza khan

Islamic republic(1979 AD) Founder: Ruhollah khomeini