The Persian Empire was a series of historical empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the old Persian homeland, and beyond in Western Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus.

For Persia in stories with a point of divergence after 1935, see Iran.

Persia in Agent of Byzantium[]

See also: Persia (Departures)

In the 7th century, Persia captured Syria from its main rival, the Roman Empire. The occupation lasted for approximately 15 years before Syria was retaken by the Byzantines.

By the early 14th Century, Persia was one of the three great powers in the known world. The others were the Byzantine Empire and China.

Persia in "Counting Potsherds"[]

The Persian Empire at the time of Khsrish I.

In 480 BC, the Persian Empire, under the rule of Khsrish I, crushed resistance from Yauna and razed Athens. Khsrish went on to create the greatest empire that the world had ever seen.

Persia in "The Daimon"[]

In the generations before the Peloponnesian War, Persia had been Greece's most persistent enemy. After Alkibiades led the Athenian military to victory over Sparta (and the whole of the Peloponnesian War),[1] he consolidated a tyrannical rule.[2] He further, cynically, planned a joint Athenian-Spartan war against Persia. Alkibiades had grand plans of conquering the entire Persian Empire, burning down its capital Persepolis, and reaching all the way to India. He assumed that once the conquest was achieved, the victorious Greeks would fall out with each other - and was preparing in advance to turn on and defeat the Spartans and other rivals, and establish his own personal power.[3]

Persia in "Departures"[]

See also: Persia (Agent of Byzantium)

In the seventh century, Khorsau II of Persia aggressively expanded westward into the territory of the Roman Empire while the latter was in turmoil over the succession by Emperor Phokas. Among other provinces, the Persians occupied Syria and held it for about 15 years before the Romans drove them off.

Prior to the Persian invasion, Father Abbot Isaac foresaw the threat and ordered the evacuation of his monastery in Ir-Ruhaiyeh to Constantinople.

Persia in Gunpowder Empire[]

For more than two thousand years, the Persian Empire and the Roman Empire had existed side by side. They were rivals which occasionally went to war and conquered some territory from each other but neither was able to or particularly interested in totally defeating the other empire. Wars were almost invariably confined to peripheral areas and did not touch the heartlands of either empire. The introduction of gunpowder and artillery changed the means by which such wars were conducted but not the basic pattern.

On its other flank, Persia had rather similar relations with the westernmost of the two empires into which India was divided.

In between wars, Persia had long periods of peace with its neighbors, during which there were considerable trade and significant cultural influences.

Persia in "Occupation Duty"[]

Hierosolyma had been occupied by the Persians at one point during its long, turbulent history. Philip II of Macedon laid siege to the city during this time period.[4]

Persia in Thessalonica[]

Persia was at peace with the Roman Empire when the Slavs and Avars invaded the empire in the east in the sixth century. When the two empires were at peace, Persian traders periodically visited Thessalonica. However, no traders were present during the siege of the city. George reflected that, if they had been, their worship of a fire-god may have rendered their fires proof against an Avar spell which extinguished all flames in the city's Christian homes.

Persia in Through Darkest Europe[]

Although Persia fully embraced modernity, it was perceived as being prickly about its modernity. Persia had adopted modernity much earlier than its Arab neighbors, and so looked down its nose at them. Persia maintained its own language and Shi'a Islam to distinguish itself, and in many ways, leaned more theocratic than much of the rest of the Dar al-Islam. The influence the Grand Ayatollah at Qom wielded over Persia was akin to the influence the Aquinists had in Europe.[5] Consequently, Persia was entangled sporadically in bloody wars with its neighbor Iraq.[6]

Persia had a sizable firearms industry; Persian rifles were used by militaries around the world, including the Grand Duchy of Italy.[7] On a more positive note, a Persian healer had laid the foundation for smallpox vaccination.[8]

Persia in The Two Georges[]

Persia was one of the very few Asian countries which managed to avoid becoming a protectorate or an outright colony of a European power. It was wedged in between the Russian Empire to its north, independent Afghanistan to its east, British India to its southeast and the Ottoman Empire (a British protectorate) to its west.[9]


  1. See e.g.: Atlantis and Other Places, pgs. 180-183, HC.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 192-203.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 209-214.
  4. See e.g.: Atlantis and Other Places, pg. 241, HC.
  5. Through Darkest Europe, pg. 201, HC.
  6. Ibid., pg. 140.
  7. Ibid., see, e.g., pg. 17, 23.
  8. Ibid., pg. 87.
  9. Map The Two Georges, frontispiece.