What Ancient Civilization Was Conquered by the Persian Empire?

Ancient history is filled with tales of mighty empires and their conquests. One such empire was the Persian Empire, which conquered and ruled over a vast expanse of land.

But which ancient civilization did the Persian Empire conquer? Let’s delve into the history books and find out.

Background of the Persian Empire

The Persian Empire, also known as the Achaemenid Empire, was founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BCE. It was one of the largest empires in ancient history, spanning across Asia, Europe, and Africa. The Persians were known for their military might, administrative skills, and cultural achievements.

The Conquests of the Persian Empire

The Persian Empire was an expansionist state that aimed to conquer new territories and expand its power. The first major conquest of the Persians was Lydia in 547 BCE, followed by Babylonia in 539 BCE. These conquests gave the Persians control over important trade routes and resources.

However, it was the conquest of ancient Greece that brought both fame and infamy to the Persian Empire. In 490 BCE, Darius I launched an invasion of Greece but was defeated at the Battle of Marathon by a smaller Greek force led by Miltiades.

This defeat did not deter Darius I’s successor Xerxes I from launching a second invasion in 480 BCE. This time, however, he faced fierce resistance from a coalition of Greek city-states led by Athens and Sparta. The Greeks emerged victorious after a series of battles that included Thermopylae and Salamis.

The Conquered Civilization

Despite these famous battles with Greece, it was not actually Greece that was conquered by the Persian Empire. In fact, there were several civilizations that fell under Persian rule during its reign.

One such civilization was Babylon. The Persians conquered Babylon in 539 BCE and established it as their capital city.

Babylon was an important cultural and religious center in the ancient world, and its conquest by the Persians marked a significant turning point in history. The Persians also conquered Egypt, which was a major center of power and wealth at the time.

Another civilization that fell to Persian rule was the ancient kingdom of Lydia. Located in what is now modern-day Turkey, Lydia was known for its wealth and prosperity. It was conquered by Cyrus the Great in 547 BCE and became a valuable addition to the Persian Empire.

The Legacy of the Persian Empire

The Persian Empire was one of the most influential empires in history, leaving behind a lasting legacy that can still be seen today. The Persians were skilled administrators who developed complex systems of government and taxation. They were also great builders who left behind impressive architectural achievements such as Persepolis.

The Persian Empire’s conquests helped to spread ideas, culture, and technology across different regions. They also played a significant role in shaping world history by introducing new ideas such as Zoroastrianism, which would later influence other religions such as Christianity and Islam.


In conclusion, while the Persian Empire is often associated with its battles with Greece, it actually conquered many other civilizations during its reign. From Babylon to Egypt to Lydia, the Persians left their mark on history through their military conquests and cultural achievements. Their legacy can still be felt today through their architectural wonders, administrative systems, and religious beliefs.