|Weapons||Sagaris, Spear (Persian), Bow and Arrow (Persian), Chariot Scythe|
|Activities||Bodyguards for the royal class
Fighting for the Persian Empire
|Battle Status||Won vs the Celt|
|Experts||Ardeshir Radpour (Persian Historian/Equestrian)
Cyrus Zahiri (Persian Sword Master)
"The Persian Immortals were the special forces of the ancient world. They were trained from the age of five to do nothing but kill and destroy other soldiers."
- Ardeshir Radpour, Persian historian/equestrian
The Persian Immortals: the precision killer in a massive war machine who forged the largest empire the middle east has ever seen.
the Celt, the savage war loving barbarian from 400 BC, who dominated Europe through brute force and raw fighting skills.
WHO IS DEADLIEST?!
- Year - 500 BC
- Height - 5' 8"
- Weight - 160 lbs
- Armor - Bronze Scales & Wicker Shield
- Symbol - Zoroastrian Faravahar (Persian religious symbol)
The first known Persian civilization was named Elam; isolated between the Zagros Mountains and the Persian Gulf. However there is evidence of 'Proto-Elamites', which had one of the first written languages (most likely branching off of Sumerian languages). During the Iron Age the first empire to control most of the Middle East was the Neo-Assyrian Empire. During the 600s BC, the Neo-Assyrian Empire was split into the Neo-Babylonian and Medes Empires.
The Medes or Median Empire would temporarily conquer Elma; which regained independence, and by 550 BC, the Persians Achaemenid Empire formed by King Cyrus. Cyrus was able to conquer the larger Median Empire through both military and political means; the Persian Empire promised to respect the people they conquered equally to Persians. This idea was popular with the nobles of the Median Empire; especially multiple ethnic groups that were repressed by the Medians. This tolerance for other societies allowed the Empire to not only grow rapidly but maintain its massive size.
The Persian Empire would continue to expand under Cyrus; conquering most of Iran, Turkey, Israel, The Levant, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Cyrus's son Cambyses II succeeded him after his death in 530 BC. Cambyses II was a ruthless conqueror unlike his father. Despite conquering Egypt; Cambyses II was unpopular for his warcrimes and assassinated. He was temporarily succeeded by Bardiya who was replaced by Darius I.
Darius I's reign faced initial hostilities due to the assassination of Cambyses II; but such revolts were put down. Darius I expanded further; primarily in Rajasthan and the modern-day Tekirdağ Subregion of Turkey.
498BC began the tensions between Greece and Persia; with Anatolian city-states revolted against Persia. The Ionians of Anatolia had close ties with Athens, and Athens' support of the revolt angered the Persians.
Eventually; the Empire faced political infighting due to the debates over the rightful successions of Persian kings. With the Empire busy with revolts, they were unprepared for the rise of the Macedonian Empire under the military genius Alexander the Great.
The Immortals served as an Imperial Guard and a standing army during the Persian Empire's expansion and the Greco-Persian Wars. They were so named because the group always contained exactly 10,000 men, as each man who retired, was killed, wounded, or seriously ill would be immediately replaced by a reserve. The Immortals also immediately removed all of their killed and wounded from the battlefield which heightened the illusion that they couldn't be killed.
The majority of Immortals mimicked the common Sparabara: a Persian soldier with a shield and spear. The Immortals accepted both nobels and commoners in their ranks.
From birth young boys were kept sepret from thier fathers until the age of five and would then be taken to start their training. The young boys were trained in a wide range of skills including archery, hand-to-hand fighting, living off the land, marching long distences and how to tame a wild horse. The Immortals went into military service when they were 15 years old and retired at the age of 50.
Contrary to popular belief, the Immortals did not die out after Alexander conquered Persia. Later Persian Empires revived the Immortals and their reputation continued to survive. Only until the rise of modern warfare have the Immortals truly died out.
After the Macedonian Empire fell, the former Persian Empire fractured into smaller states before returning to the Seleucid Empire between 312 BC–63 BC. Despite the fall; Greek peoples, language and culture would remain relevant in Persia for several centuries. At one point, a princess from the Seleucid Empire Cleopatra I Syra was married to Ptolemy V Epiphanies of Egypt.
The Parthian Empire 247 BC–224 AD and the Sasanian Empire 224–651 existed between the Roman Empire and the Indian Empire. This made these empires essential for the Silk Road connecting Rome with China; creating Golden Ages for many. The Parthians revived the tolerant policies of Cyrus II and Darius I. The Roman Empire attempted to expand into the Middle East. In retaliation; the Persians inflicted a crushing defeat to the Romans at the Battle to Carrhae and executed the Roman general Crassus. This outraged Rome and encouraged Roman generals to invade Persia. However the Roman Army was mostly heavy foot-soldiers; who could do very little against the agile Persian horse-archers and thier hit-and-run tactics: especially when the horse-archers fought on open desert ground. Roman forts combined with siege tactics resisted Parthian invasions into Roman territory. The stalemate between the two Empires were costly, and thus were factors in both Empires collapsing; with the Parthians being taken over by the Sasanians.
The Sasanian originated in the same region that was once Elma, and so the Sasanians wanted to reintroduce ancient Persian and Zoroastrian culture by removing Macedonian influence. At first the Sasanians were very tolerent of other religions and cultures but Shah Shaper II, unlike previous Persian emperors, had little tolerance of other cultures and was relatively repressive to non-Persians. The Sasanians also removed Roman influence from the Middle East as the Roman Empire collapsed; becoming too weak to fend off Persian invasions.
When the Medieval ages began and the European king Constantine declared himself protector of all Christians; the Zoroastrian Sasanian Shah, Shapur II, saw Christians as a threat and so began to repress non-Zoroastrian religious groups. Kavadh I would launch similar acts of repression as Christians (especially in Iberia) and Mazdakites who influenced political movements that threatened national stability.
Peroz I (reigning 459–484) led three failed wars against the Hephthalites, dying in the third campaign. Kavadh I (Peroz I's son) was held hostage as a result of the second campaign. Despite being rescued by the Persian military hero Sukhra; he was imprisoned as Balash took power. However Kavadh escaped the prison and fled to the Hephthalites; who believed that his imprisonment has made him influenced by their empire. In 488 AD, Kavadh led a revolt and easily took the throne from Balash: becoming the new Shah (reigning 488–496 & 498–531). Sukhra initially tried to use his fame to rise to power; exploiting the fact that Kavadh was still a child during this time. Sukhra managed to maintain the support of nobles for 5 years before being fired by Kavadh, but Sukhra maintained too much wealth and military power despite this: so Kavadh turned the nobles against each other, causing the armies of these nobles to overthrow and execute Kavadh. Kavadh then crippled the nobility by dispersing their land and wealth. Kavadh was arrested by the nobles; but again escaped and the Hephthalites again assisted him in restoring his power. However this combination of political infighting and bankruptcy (primarily from peace tributes to the Hephthalites) weakened the Sasanians significantly. Kavadh demanded the Byzantine Empire to follow a military alliance for the Darial Gorge (aka the Caucasian Gates) that prevented both Empires from being invaded by northern nomads. The alliance demanded both Empires to fund this northern front, but the Byzantines failed to pay: leading to war between the empires. The Byzantines surrendered and agreed to pay the tribute, but tensions between the Empires would continue to be hostile and would lead to several wars later.
Kohsrow I (also known as Anushiruwan the Just or the Immortal Soul) led the Sasanins into a golden-age. 
Khosrow II (591–628) reintroduced tolerance to these minorities; but the European Christians remained hostile to Persia ever since. Khosrow II attempted to reconquer Turkey, Israel and Egypt; but this was only temporary and the war ended in failure, high costs and high casualties. This weakening of Persia allowed Muhammad's Arabic Empire (Rashidun Caliphate) to conquer the Sasanians in 651 AD.
The Islamic Empire spread the religion of Islam across Africa and South Asia; making Islam one of the largest religions even today. Persia and Babylon were considered to be significant in establishing the Islamic Golden Age; a period of economic, artistic, political and technological prosperity.
The rise of the Seljuq Turkish Dynasty (1037–1194 AD) led to the first Crusades when the Byzantine Empire requested the Pope to send Knights to prevent Islamic expansion.
The Khwarazmian Empire lasted 1077–1231.
In 1218, Genghis Khan attempted to establish trade and peaceful relationships with the Khwarazmians. The militaristic Shah Muhammad II of Khwarezm assumed that Genghis had imperial interests in conquering Persia and assumed that his traders and ambassadors were spies: executing or mutilating them. Genghis was furious and invaded and conquered the Khwarezm: committing genocide against the Persian cities that resisted.
As a result of the fragmentation of the Mongolian Empire, the Timurid Empire (1370–1507) was formed.
The Safavid Dynasty
The Safavid Dynasty (1501–1736) was noticeable for converting Persia to Shia Islam.
The Afsharid Dynasty (1736–1796) was founded by the military genius Nader Shah: but after his death the Empire fragmented, with the Zand Dynasty (1751–1794) controlling most of Western Iran. The Afsharid and Zand were conquered in the 1790s by the Qajar.
The Qajar Dynasty (1789–1925) quickly faced competition from European Empires, which led to a political and economic decline. The Russian Empire conquered the Caucasus in 1828 as a result of the Russo-Persian Wars.
Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (5 September 1848 – 1 May 1896) was heavily influenced by Western powers; leading his nation to bankruptcy, foreign manipulation and corruption. Western influence would remain strong in Persia until the rise of Iran.
Russia, Britain and Ottoman armies each occupied Iran during WWI. The Pahlavi Dynasty (1925–1979) was in the crossfire of UK, USA and Soviet influence due primarily to its oil-fields and the Western Powers' fears of Communist expansion. During this dynasty: 75% of Europe's oil came from Iran: primarily under British Petroleum (BP).
During WWI: The Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran was a direct occupation to prevent Iranian oil-fields from being taken by the Nazis. This allowed Iran to house the Tehran Conference: which organized the plans for the Western Front of WWII.
Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh caused The Abadan Crisis from 1951 to 1954 in an attempt to nationalize Iranian Oil Fields from the Western companies that owned them (especially BP). As this was the height of the Cold War: this Anti-Western policy sparked fears that Mosaddegh would eventually side with the Soviet Union. In 15–19 August 1953 the American CIA and British MI6 led Operation Ajax to remove Mosaddegh and install the Western puppet Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The Shah was heavily influenced by the Western Powers and attempted to spread Western culture into Iran. However this only made him despised by his nation. The Shah repressed these protests, but it only continued to fuel resentment. One of these protesters who was exiled by the Shah was Ayatollah Khomeini. The Iranian Revolution lasted 7 January 1978 – 11 February 1979 and was led by Khomeini and his supporters.
Islamic Republic of Iran
On 24 October 1979 , Ruhollah Khomeini created the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The nation faced immediate hostilities and international isolation. Khomeini was viewed by his enemies as a theocratic tyrant and radical. Western Powers were outraged by the loss of their puppet government being replaced by a Anti-Western leader; with hostilities intensifying further with the 444 day long hostage crisis of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The Soviet Union was the first state to recognize the Islamic republic in February 1979, however the Atheist Soviets and Shia Iranians were hostile to each other due to their conflicting religious policies. Iran and Israel would launch multiple threats and small-scale attacks against each other and the hostilities between the two nations are still intense today.
Saddam Hussein believed that the Iranian Revolution left Iran politically frail due to the chaos and international isolation. Saddam was also a Sunni and known for his violent repression against the Shia. Saddam invaded Iran, leading to the Iraq-Iran War of 22 September 1980 – 20 August 1988. This war was one of the most violent conflicts in modern Middle Eastern history. Western Powers and the Soviet Union supported Saddam as they all shared a hatred for the Iranians. However Saddam's poor leadership and tactics made him unable to make any significant achievements, and the war ended in a stalemate. There is also evidence to suggest that both the USA and Soviet Union prevented either side from maintaining an advantage: to maintain a regional balance of power.
The modern state of Iran, while no longer an Empire, has one of the strongest and most advanced militaries in their region as part of their experience fighting Saddam Hussein in the Iraq/Iran War and for self-defense against threats by NATO and Israel. They have used their new military might to assist and protect other Shia nations and peoples, though enemies of Iran declare such actions as supporting terrorism. Some nations have also accused Iran of trying to rebuild the Persian Empire by influencing Iraq, Bahrain, and nations within The Levant. Despite being considered a 'rouge nation', Iran has shown significant economic and cultural growth in the modern world. Despite being a theocracy; many consider Iran to be a relatively progressive nation in the modern Islamic world.
|Weapons 689||Persian Immortal|
|Long-Range:||Bow and Arrow 180|
|Special Weapons:||Chariot Scythe 135|
The Persian Immortals wore a corset of overlapping leather, iron, and bronze scales underneath their robes (though in Deadliest Warrior the Immortal is shown wearing it outside of his robes). The show proved that the armor can protect the Immortal, but will break or fall apart if it receives heavy damage. They carried a wicker shield known as a gerron, though they adopted the Greek aspis during the Greco-Persian Wars after realizing that it offered far greater protection against the Greeks' weapons.
The battle begins in a open field with the Persian Immortal and Celt in their own chariots, each with its own charioteer. The Celt raises his Long Sword and points at the other chariot, signaling his charioteer to advance. The Immortal's chariot signals for the chariot to charge as well. As the two chariots race across the field, the Immortal fires an arrow from his bow and hits the Celt's charioteer in his chest. The Persian chariot closes in and breaks one of the Chariot's wheels with a Chariot Scythe. The collision throws the Celt off of his chariot and flips the chariot over. The Celt runs up to the fallen vehicle and grabs his Lancea, choosing to abandon his shield. With a loud battlecry, he charges at the Persian Immortal and his chariot. The Persian fires another arrow, but misses. As he readies another arrow, the Celt throws his Lancea. It misses, but it distracts the Immortal and prevents him from getting a clear shot. The Celt runs past the Persian chariot, vaulting over the incoming Scythe. He grabs his Lancea and tries to distance himself from the chariot. He realizes that it won't do him any good, however, and chooses to discard it in favor of his Sling. The Persian Immortal jumps off his chariot with his spear and shield just before the Celt swings his Sling around and throws a rock. The rock hits the Persian charioteer and knocks him unconsious. The Immortal runs towards the Celt, but the Celt picks up his Lancea just as the Immortal approaches him. He thrusts at the Immortal, knocking his spear out of his hand. The Immortal tries to back off, but the Celt jumps up and kicks him. The Immortal draws his Sagaris axe and glares at the Celt. The two begin to swing at each other, but cannot pull off a successful blow. After a few misses, the Celt aims at the Immortal's thigh and stabs it. The Persian Immortal yells in pain and swings, forcing the Celt to pull out his Lancea. The Immortal tries an overhand swing, but the Celt blocks with his Lancea. The Persian seizes the opportunity to kick him in the stomach and knock him down. The Celt gets back up and draws his Long Sword and Burda club. He distracts the Immortal with the Long Sword, and then hits the Immortal with the club. The Persian Immortal blocks the Long Sword with his Sagaris, but the Celt kicks him again. The Celt tries to finish the fight with a stab, but the Immortal rolls out of the way. He gets back up and swings the Sagaris, but the Celt parries and hits him twice with the Burda Club. The Immortal falls to the floor, but manages to roll over and block the Long Sword with the Sagaris. He gets up and spins around the Sagaris, piercing the Celt's arm. The Celt hits the Sagaris out of the Persian Immortal's hands and leaves him without a weapon. The Immortal runs away, forcing the Celt to chase him down, dropping the Burda from his wounded arm. The Immortal finds his spear laying on the floor and grabs it. He thrusts it at the Celt twice, but misses. The Celt tries to swing the sword downward, but the Immortal flips the Spear over and hits him in the head with the iron counterweight on the bottom of the spear. The Celt throws his head back in pain, giving the Immortal enough time to flip the Spear again and stab the Celt in the chest. He drives the Spear harder through the leather armor and forces the Celt to the floor. The Immortal pushes the spear deeper until blood spews out of the Celt's mouth as the Immortal pulls out his spear. The Persian Immortal, standing over the dead body, raises his spear and yell out "Parsa!" (Persia) in victory.
The reason for the Persian Immortal's victory was that every one of his weapons were extremely deadly and efficient (all scoring in the triple digits) whereas the only efficient weapons of the Celt were the Long Sword and the Lancea. Besides that, the Persian Immortal is a well-disciplined fighter unlike the Celt who fought recklessly and it doesn't help when the latter has better physical attributes than him.
- 44% of the world's population lived in the Persian Empire during the reign of said Empire. This is twice as much as the British Empire, which controlled 20% of the world population. This is due to the fact that most other regions of the world were mostly tribal while Persia was one of the few intact civilizations other than India and China.
- Modern day China, India, USA and Indonesia combined make up about 44% of the world's population.
- Like the empire itself, the Persian army was very diverse with Persians, Europeans, Assyrians, Bactrians, Phoenicians, Sogdians, Egyptians, Arabians, Ethiopians of Africa, Indians and even Greeks just to name a few.
- Persian armies would clear the battlefield of their corpses to imply that they had little to no casualties; hence why the warriors were called Immortals. Immortals also always had reserves to replenish their forces to complement this rumor. Immortals always had 10,000 active soldiers.
- Contrary to Western views of the Empire (including those shown in the film 300); Cyrus II and Darius I were not evil tyrants but progressive and tolerant towards their multi-ethnic subjects (including introducing gender equality reforms). However since Greece was at war with Persia; anti-Persian propaganda demonized the Persians.
- Modern day Iran shares similar policies to integrate minorities into the nation; although they are harsh against independent movements and foreign or non-Islamic influences.
- It should be noted however that the Sasanian Shah Shapur II did reverse many of these gender-equality reforms and repressed Western or Christian peoples. Khosrow II however did make attempts to reverse Shapur's policies.
- 'Persia' is a western term; Iran is the official term for the region throughout its history. Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, was also called Parsa: which inspired the word 'Persia'.
- During battle the Persian Immortal's would cover their head with a cloth or felt cap which could completely cover their faces to keep out wind and dust. The cloth was see-through so the Immortal's could still see and fight their enemies during battle.
- The term "Immortal" was coined only by non-Persian sources, possibly a mistranslation between the similarly-sounding Persian words for "Companions" and "Immortals".
- High ranking Immortals regularly hunted large cats for sport; including lions. Pelt collecting was seen as a luxury trophy of the hunt.
- In the Battle of Pelusium, the Persian Immortals used cats as meat-shields to defeat the Egyptians. This was successful because Egyptians refused to attack cats due to their religious significance. The Persians however did not have this taboo and so exploited it to their advantage: allowing the conquest of Egypt.
- During the Sasanian Empire there was an elite unit in the army called the Zhayedan, which appers to have been modeled on the Immortals of the Achaemenid Empire as seen on the show.
- Zoroastrianism was a major influence in other religions of the Middle-East; especially Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
- At first the Sasanian Persian Empire was very tolerent of other religions with religious sites for Nestorian and Orthodox Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Jews.
- Persian-Jewish relationships were initially very positive. Cyrus the Great authorized the construction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem and the Jews within the Persian Empire did not face large-scale persecution.
- Today, Iran does tolerate its own populations of non-muslims; however the construction of synagogues and churches are outlawed.
- After the collapse of Alexander the Great's empire, many former provinces of the Achaemenid empire formed smaller kingdoms, one of which was the Kingdom of Pontus which was founded by the Persian Mithridatic dynasty, which may have been directly related to Darius the Great. The Kingdom of Pontus reached it's greatest extent under Mithridates VI the Great, before being conqured by the Roman Republic.
- Mithridates VI was very fascinated with toxicology and repeatedly ingesting sublethal doses of various poisons in order to gain an immunity to them. During the Third Mithridatic War he used arrows that were dipped in snake venom and were designed to break of when they hit an enemy, leaving the venom coated arrowhead in the wound. While retreating into modern Georgia, Mithridates left poisoned honey for the Romans to find, while not many Romans died a large portion of the Roman soldiers were weak and hallucinating from the poison and were unable to fight for nearly a week.
- During the Sasanian Empire, the Persians often recruted foreigners into there auxiliaries, such as the Turks who's weapons and tactics were very similer to the Mongols and Huns.
- One of the first recorded instences of chemical warfare was used by the Sasanian Persians. During the Seige of Dura-Europos, the Persians, under the command of Shapur I, dug tunnels to make the city walls collapse. When the defending Roman army tried to intercept them with counter tunnels, the Sasanian's lit sulfur and bitumen on fire to create toxic smoke, which succeeded in killing nineteen roman soldiers. Eventually the Sasanian's were able to invade and capture the city.
- Another example of the Persians using biological warfare was the Siege of Hatra. While the Roman army was laying siege to the city, the Parthian's filled pots with deadly scorpions, wasps and bees and threw the pots onto the roman soldiers to break on or near them, releasing the stinging scorpions and insects. Some of the soldires died directly from the stings while others became sick and died from a comination of the venom and hot sun. The tactic proved effective as the Roman army retreated from the city in defeat.
- While the Greco-Persian wars were often seen as the Greek city-states uniting against the Persians, there were times when Greeks served as vassals in the Persian army.
- The Persian Empire occasionally hired Spartans as mercenaries; including during the Greco-Persian Wars.
- The great Athenian admiral Themistocles defeted the Persian navy at the Battle of Salamis. After the war however Themistocles was kicked out of Athens after Sparta spred roumers that he was going to betray the city, afterwords he sailed to Persia and spent the rest of his life as a govener for Artaxerxes I.
- The city-state of Thebes was divided, with citezens who supported Persian rule and citizens who were opposed to Persian rule. A contingent of 400 Thebans fought with Leonidas at Thermopylae before being defeated alongside the Spartans but later on the Thebans fought on behalf of the Persians at the Battle of Plataea.
- Artemisia I of Caria was the queen of the city-state of Halicarnassus and was an ally of the Persians during the Greco-Persian war. She notably commanded warships at the navel battles of Artemisium and Salamis under the Persians.
- The Persians and Celts, were considered by the Romans and Greeks to be two of the four great barbarians peoples. The other two were the Scythians and the Visigoths.
- It was very common for a Persian Emperor to enslave a population, and then resettling that population closer to the center of Iran so that the political capital was always near a large population of skilled laborers.
- In an attempt to insult Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I; Khosrau Anushirawan destroyed the city of Antiok, enslaved the population, and resettled that population into an accurate recreation of the city he called Weh Antiok Khusrau, or literally, "better than Antioch Khosrau built this."
- During the Sasanian Empire mass slavery in general was never really practiced. The most common "slaves" were household servants, who received wages and were able to have their own families whether they were female or male, harming a slave was considered a crime that not even the king himself was allowed to commit.
- The Immortals appeared in the Alexander/Attila episode, fighting Alexander's army. Alexander would eventually win against the Persian Empire, ending the reign of the classical Immortals.