Iran's Historical Development Quiz



9 Questions

What was the official religion of the Safavid dynasty?

Which empire was the eastern enemy of the Roman Empire during the Parthian period?

Which empire became the largest empire in human history under Cyrus the Great and Darius I?

What was the impact of the Sasanian Empire on Roman civilization?

Which dynasty reunified Iran as an independent state in 1501?

Which empire controlled Iran for almost 1,000 years after the Medes?

What was the impact of the Mongol invasion on Iran?

Which dynasty was responsible for launching Islam into a mainly Hindu India?

Which empire was responsible for deporting around 200,000 Georgians, 300,000 Armenians and 100,000–150,000 Circassians to Iran?


Historical Development of Iran (Persia):

  • Iran is part of Greater Iran, which includes the area from Anatolia to the Indus river and from the Caucasus to the Persian Gulf.

  • Iran has one of the world's oldest civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC.

  • The Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC, followed by the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian Empires, who successively governed Iran for almost 1,000 years.

  • Iran has endured invasions by the Macedonians, Arabs, Turks, and Mongols, but has continually reasserted its national identity and developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.

  • The Muslim conquest of Persia in the 7th century led to the decline of Zoroastrianism and the rise of Islam in Iran.

  • Iran was reunified as an independent state in 1501 by the Safavid dynasty, which set Shia Islam as the empire's official religion.

  • Iran was ruled by an emperor almost without interruption from 1501 until the 1979 Iranian Revolution, when it officially became an Islamic republic.

  • Iran lost many of its territories in the Caucasus to the Russian Empire in the 19th century.

  • The earliest archaeological artifacts in Iran date back to 10,000 years ago in the Middle Paleolithic.

  • Early agricultural communities began to flourish in Iran around 8000 BC, and the south-western part of Iran was part of the Fertile Crescent where most of humanity's first major crops were grown.

  • Susa is one of the oldest-known settlements of Iran and the world, dating back to 4395 BC.

  • Under Cyrus the Great and Darius I, the Persian Empire eventually became the largest empire in human history up until that point, ruling and administrating over most of the then known world.A Brief History of Iran

  • Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire in 331 BC, and his general Seleucus I Nicator established the Seleucid Empire.

  • The Parthian Empire, ruled by the Arsacid dynasty, controlled Mesopotamia and Eastern Arabia from 248 BC to 224 AD, and was the eastern enemy of the Roman Empire.

  • The Sasanian Empire, which lasted from 224 to 651 AD, was one of the most important periods in Iran's history and had a major impact on the world. It was the last great Iranian Empire before the adoption of Islam and influenced Roman civilization considerably.

  • The Islamic conquest of Persia began in 633 AD, and over time, most Iranians converted to Islam. The Arab conquerors imposed Arabic as the primary language of the subject peoples throughout their empire.

  • During the Umayyad Caliphate, the Arab conquerors adopted many Persian customs, especially the administrative and the court mannerisms.

  • The Abbasid Revolution in 750 AD marked the end of the Arab empire and the beginning of a more inclusive, multi-ethnic state in the Middle East.

  • The city of Baghdad was constructed on the Tigris River in 762 AD to serve as the new Abbasid capital, and a new Persian bureaucracy began to replace the old Arab aristocracy.

  • By the 9th century, regional leaders challenged the central authority of the Abbasid caliphate, and the real power of the caliphs began to wane.

  • The 9th century also saw the Khurramite revolt by native Zoroastrians against oppressive Arab rule, led by Persian freedom fighter Babak Khorramdin.

  • The Tahirids, Saffarids, and Samanids were among the most important dynasties that rose in various parts of Iran after the power of the Abbasid caliphs diminished.

  • The Ghaznavid Empire, Seljuk Empire, and Khwarezmian Empire were among the other major dynasties that ruled Iran in the medieval period.

  • The Mongol invasion of Iran in the 13th century led to the fall of the Abbasid caliphate, and the Ilkhanate and Timurid Empire were established in Iran in the following centuries.Iran under the Abbasid dynasty, including the Persian Buyid dynasty, which quietly assumed real power in Baghdad, and the Seljuq Turks who exerted influence over the Abbasids while pledging allegiance to them. During the Abbasid period, a shift was made from a primarily Arab empire to a Muslim empire, and a Persianization process occurred to protect and revive Persian language and culture. The Shu'ubiyya movement was created by non-Arab subjects of the Ummah in response to the privileged status of Arabs, and the Samanid dynasty led the revival of Persian culture. The Ghaznavids are credited with launching Islam into a mainly Hindu India, and the Seljuqs slowly conquered Iran over the course of the 11th century, establishing a Sunni Muslim rule over parts of Central Asia and the Middle East. The Mongol invasion was disastrous for Iranians, with much of the Islamic scholarship, culture, and infrastructure being destroyed. The Ilkhanate was established by Hulagu Khan, and Islam became the state religion under Ghazan. Sunni Islam was the dominant religion in pre-Safavid Iran, accounting for around 90% of the population, but Shia scholars also existed.Iranian history from 10th century to 18th century

  • Shia inclinations among many Sunnis and original Imami Shiism as well as Zaydī Shiism had prevalence in some parts of Iran.

  • Fatimids sent Ismailis Da'i (missioners) to Iran as well as other Muslim lands.

  • Timur invaded Iran in 1381 and eventually conquered most of it.

  • Safavid dynasty (1502–1736) established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning points in Muslim history.

  • Safavid Iran was one of the Islamic "gunpowder empires".

  • Shah Abbas I and his successors would significantly expand the policy and plan initiated by Tahmasp, deporting during his reign alone around some 200,000 Georgians, 300,000 Armenians and 100,000–150,000 Circassians to Iran.

  • The Safavid dynasty had already established itself during Shah Ismail I, but under Abbas I it really became a major power in the world.

  • Except for Shah Abbas the Great, Shah Ismail I, Shah Tahmasp I, and Shah Abbas II, many of the Safavid rulers were ineffectual.

  • In 1722, an Afghan army led by Mir Wais' son Mahmud marched across eastern Iran, besieged and took Isfahan.

  • Iran's territorial integrity was restored by a native Iranian Turkic Afshar warlord from Khorasan, Nader Shah.

  • Nader Shah briefly presided over what was probably the most powerful empire in the world.

  • Nader was one of the last great conquerors of Asia.


Test your knowledge of Iran's rich historical development with this quiz! From the earliest civilizations to the rise and fall of empires, including the Achaemenid, Parthian, Sasanian, and Safavid dynasties, learn about the invasions, conquests, and cultural influences that have shaped Iran's identity. Explore the impact of Islam on Persia and the emergence of the Shia Twelver school of Islam, and discover the important role of Iran in the medieval period and

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