Famous Iranian Historical Personalities

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 1 
Cyrus the Great
(Founder of First Persian Empire)

Cyrus the Great
29
Birthdate: 0590 BC
Birthplace: Anshan, Iran
Died: 0530 BC

Cyrus II, or Cyrus the Great, founded the first Persian empire, the Achaemenid Empire. His kingdom extended from Western Asia to Central Asia. He advocated centralized administration, with the help of local governors. The biblical Edict of Cyrus, named after him, talks about the return of the Jews to Israel.

 2 
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
(Shah of Iran (1941-79))

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
43
Birthdate: October 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: July 27, 1980

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi served as the last king of Iran from 1941 to 1979. During his reign, Iran witnessed rapid military and industrial modernization and several social and economic reforms. During his rule, Iran also enjoyed a spike in economic growth, surpassing France, England, and the US. However, the Iranian Revolution, which was unusual in many ways, overthrew the king.

 3 
Xerxes I
(King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire (486-465))

Xerxes I
19
Birthdate: 0519 BC
Birthplace: Achaemenid Empire
Died: July 31, 0466

Xerxes I ruled the Achaemenid Empire from 486 to 465 BC as the fourth King of Kings. During his reign, Xerxes I supervised the completion of several construction projects at Persepolis and Susa. A popular ruler, his life has been adapted into several plays and films; in the 1960 movie Esther and the King, Xerxes is played by Richard Egan.

 4 
Darius the Great
(King of Persia)

Darius the Great
15
Birthdate: 0550 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: September 30, 0487

Darius the Great was a Persian ruler. He served as the third King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 522 BCE until he died in 486 BCE. The empire was at the peak of its glory under his reign and included much of Western Asia and parts of the Balkans. He invested a lot in construction projects.  

 5 
Farah Pahlavi
(Widow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi)

Farah Pahlavi
11
Birthdate: October 14, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Farah Pahlavi was the Shahbanu of Iran from 1961 to 1979, as the wife of Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Though she was not allowed to hold a political role, she worked for many charities and helped found Iran's first American-style university. She has continued her involvement in charity work even after her husband’s death in 1980. 

 6 
Rezā Shāh
(Shah of Iran (1925-41))

Rezā Shāh
4
Birthdate: March 15, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alasht, Iran
Died: July 26, 1944

Rezā Shāh was a military colonel who founded the Pahlavi dynasty and reigned as the Shah of Iran from December 1925 to September 1941. He was also the prime minister of Iran from October 1923 to November 1925. His tenure saw the introduction of many social, economic, and political reforms, and he is regarded as the founder of modern Iran. 

 7 
Nader Shah
(Shah of Iran (1736-47))

Nader Shah
18
Birthdate: October 22, 1688
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dargaz, Iran
Died: June 19, 1747

Nader Shah reigned over Iran as the Shah of Iran from 1736 until his death in 1747. He is widely regarded as one of the most powerful rulers in the history of Iran. He has also been described as the Napoleon of Persia, thanks to his military genius, which was evident in his several campaigns.

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 8 

Darius III
4
Birthdate: 0381 BC
Birthplace: Iran
Died: June 30, 0330

Darius III was the last Achaemenid King of Kings of Persia. He reigned from 336 BC to his death in 330 BC. Alexander the Great began his invasion of the Persian Empire in 334 BC and subsequently defeated the Persians in several battles. He then pursued Darius III. Before Alexander could reach him, Darius was killed by his relative Bessus. 

 9 
Artaxerxes I of Persia
(King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire (465-424))

Artaxerxes I of Persia
7
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Susa, Iran
Died: 0424 BC
Son of Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I of Persia, ascended to the throne after commander Artabanus killed his father. When he came to know of the crime, Artaxerxes killed Artabanus in a fight. He was also known as Longimanus, or long-handed, due to right hand being longer than his left.

 10 

Cambyses II
9
Birthdate: 0559 BC
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: June 30, 0522

Cambyses II was the second King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire. He ruled from 530 BC to 522 BC. He was the son of Cyrus the Great and Cassandane. Before claiming the throne, he served as the governor of northern Babylonia under his father. His reign was relatively brief and marked by his conquests in Africa, notably Egypt. 

 11 
Ismail I
(sovereign, poet, writer)

Ismail I
13
Birthdate: July 17, 1487
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ardabil
Died: May 23, 1524

Ismail I was the originator of the Safavid dynasty and ruled as the Shahanshah of Iran from 1501 to 1524. His reign is considered one of the most vital in Iranian history and his empire is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of Iran and one of the most powerful empires of the world during its peak. 

Antiochus III the Great
7
Birthdate: 0241 BC
Birthplace: Susa
Died: 0187 BC

 13 
Tomyris
(Ruler)

Tomyris
7
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Iran

A legendary figure, Tomyris was the fabled queen of the Massagetai, an Iranian tribal population. She is perhaps best remembered for her campaign against Cyrus II the Great of Persia, whom she attacked and killed, thus defending her forces. She has been the subject of many literary and artistic creations.

 14 
Zoroaster
(Founder of Zoroastrianism)

Zoroaster
8
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, was an Iranian spiritual leader who founded the religion Zoroastrianism, which challenged the traditional religious ideas of Ancient Persia. There is no record that states the exact period of his existence with certainty. He is said to have authored the Gathas and the Yasna Haptanghaiti.

 15 
Bardiya
(King)

Bardiya
7
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Pasargadae, Iran
Died: 0522 AD

Born to Cyrus the Great of Persia, Bardiya was also known as Tanyoxarces. Though most sources believe he was the king of Persia, some sources claim an impersonator ruled Persia, pretending to be the real son of Cyrus. Both historian Herodotus and king Darius believed the impersonator was Gaumata, a magus.

 16 

Muhammad of Ghor
8
Birthdate: 1149 AD
Birthplace: Ghor, Afghanistan
Died: March 15, 1206

Muhammad of Ghor of the Ghurid Empire went down in history as the man who established Muslim rule in the Indian subcontinent and set the tone for the upcoming Mughal dynasty. He ruled over a vast area, which included India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, among others, along with his brother, Ghiyath ad-Din Muhammad.

 17 
Esther
(Queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus)

Esther
12
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Birthplace: Achaemenid Empire
Esther from the Book of Esther was a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus. While the king’s advisor, Haman, angered by Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, planned to kill all Jews, Esther reversed the plan with the king’s permission. The Jewish festival Purim marks the day the Jews murdered their enemies.

 18 
Malik-Shah I
(Sultan)

Malik-Shah I
5
Birthdate: August 8, 1055
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Isfahan, Iran
Died: November 19, 1092

Malik-Shah I was sultan of the Seljuk Empire from 1072 to 1092. He was the son of Alp Arslan and spent much of his youth in campaigns under his father. He was crowned after the death of his father but had to fight off other contenders before he could claim the throne. He waged a major war against the Karakhanids.    

 19 

Yazdegerd III
6
Birthdate: 0624 AD
Birthplace: Estakhr, Iran
Died: 0651 AD

 20 
Darius II Ochus
(King of Persia)

Darius II Ochus
6
Birthdate: 0475 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: 0404 AD

Darius II Ochus was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 423 BC to 405 or 404 BC. He was not a prince with a rightful claim to the throne; he became the king after a fight with Sogdianus, who claimed the throne after the death of Persian King Xerxes II. Not much is known about Darius II's reign. 

 21 
Nabonidus
(king)

Nabonidus
7
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Harran
Died: 0539 BC

Nabonidus was the last ruler of Neo-Babylonian Empire. A strong believer of the moon god Sin, Nabonidus was faced with a revolt by the worshippers of Babylon’s national god, Marduk, and thus left his kingdom in the hands of his son, co-regent Belshazzar. He was later exiled.

 22 

Artaxerxes III
5
Birthdate: 0425 AD
Birthplace: Achaemenid Empire, iran
Died: November 30, 0338

Artaxerxes III, also known as Ochus, was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 359/8 to 338 BC. He was the son of Artaxerxes II and his wife Stateira. As a young man, he commanded his father’s army and claimed the throne after his father and brothers died. He conquered Egypt in 340 or 339 BC. 

 23 
Ardashir I
(Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire (224–242))

Ardashir I
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Banvan, Iran
Died: January 31, 0242

Ardashir I was the founder of the Sasanian Empire. According to some sources, he was a son of Papak, son of Sasan. He began his career as the commander of Fort Darabgard and steadily rose in power, eventually defeating the last Parthian shahanshah Artabanus IV on the Hormozdgan plain. After this, he crowned himself "shahanshah” and continued his conquests. 

 24 
Tahmasp I
(Second Shah of Safavid Iran from 1524 to 1576)

Tahmasp I
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1514
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shahabad, Iran
Died: May 14, 1576

Tahmasp I ruled as the Shah of Safavid Iran from 23 May 1524 to 25 May 1576. At the age of 14, Tahmasp faced the Uzbeks in the Battle of Jam where he defeated the Uzbeks after surprising them with artillery. Tahmasp I also had a longstanding conflict with the Ottoman Empire over Baghdad, Kurdistan, and Georgia.

 25 
Bessus
(King)

Bessus
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Died: 0329 BC

Bessus was initially an Achaemenid dynasty satrap of Bactria. He came to power as the king after murdering King Darius III and took the name Artaxerxes V. He later tried to counter the forces of Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great but was eventually captured and killed.

 26 
Artaxerxes II of Persia
(King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 405/4 BC to 358 BC.)

Artaxerxes II of Persia
2
Birthdate: 0404 BC
Birthplace: Achaemenid Empire
Died: 0358 BC

Persian king Artaxerxes II was the son of King Darius II. After he lost Egypt, he faced a strong revolt led by his brother, Cyrus the Younger, and though Cyrus was later killed, his rebellion kickstarted multiple successive revolts. Artaxerxes’s reign also saw major deviations in religion, with the worship of Anāhitā.

 27 

Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar
16
Birthdate: March 14, 1742
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gorgān, Iran
Died: June 17, 1797

Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar was 6 when Adil Shah got him castrated to prevent him from challenging him as a political rival in the future. However, Agha Moḥammad grew up to lead the Qavanlu clan of the Qajars and later founded the Qajar dynasty of Iran.

 28 

Ahmad Shah Qajar
4
Birthdate: January 21, 1898
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tabriz, Iran
Died: February 21, 1930
Ahmad Shah Qajar was Shah of Iran from 1909 to 1925. He was the last ruling member of the Qajar dynasty. He was the son of Mohammad-Ali Shah and came to power after his father was removed by the parliament. He was just 12 when he ascended to the throne and was formally crowned upon reaching the age of majority. 

 29 

Cambyses I
3
Birthdate: 0600 BC
Birthplace: Anshan, Iran
Died: 0559 BC

Cambyses I was the king of Anshan from c. 580 to 559 BC. He was an early member of the Achaemenid dynasty and was a great-grandson of its founder Achaemenes. Not much is known about his life other than the fact that he reigned under the overlordship of Astyages.  

 30 
Abbas I of Persia
(5th Safavid Shah (king) of Iran)

Abbas I of Persia
5
Birthdate: January 27, 1571
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Herat, Afghanistan
Died: January 19, 1629

 31 
Cyaxares
(King)

Cyaxares
2
Birthdate: 0625 BC
Birthplace: Ecbatana
Died: 0584 BC

Cyaxares ruled as the king of the Medes from 625 to 585 BC. He is credited with founding the Median Empire and helped transform the empire into a regional power by uniting most of the ancient Iranian tribes after collaborating with the Babylonians to wipe out the Assyrian Empire.

Naser al-Din Shah Qajar
20
Birthdate: July 16, 1831
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tabrīz, Iran
Died: May 1, 1896

 33 
Tughril
(King)

Tughril
6
Birthdate: 0990 AD
Birthplace: Persia
Died: September 4, 1063

Tughril not just established the Seljuq dynasty but also established the Seljuq dominance over the Abbāsid caliphate in Baghdad. He also helped unite the various provinces of Iran that were ruled by different groups, such as the Saffarids and the Buyids, and were constantly in conflict among themselves.

 34 
Ghazan
(Ruler)

Ghazan
11
Birthdate: November 5, 1271
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Iran
Died: May 11, 1304

Mahmud Ghazan, also known as Ghazan Khan, was an influential ruler of Iran’s Mongol dynasty. Raised in a tolerant environment, where he learned the tenets of both Buddhism and Christianity, he interestingly converted to Islam after taking to the throne. He also waged a war against the Egyptian army in Syria.

 35 
Sogdianus of Persia
(Ruler of the Achaemenid Empire for a period in 424–423 BC.)

Sogdianus of Persia
2
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Died: 0423 BC

Sogdianus of Persia ruled over the Achaemenid Empire from 424 to 423 BC. His rule was cut short by his untimely death as he was captured and killed by his half-brother Ochus who succeeded Sogdianus and ruled over the Persian Empire until 404 BC. Interestingly, Sogdianus of Persia had ascended the throne after having his elder half-brother Xerxes II killed.

 36 

Arses of Persia
2
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Birthplace: Iran
Died: 0336 BC

The youngest son of Achaemenid king Artaxerxes III, Arses of Persia was placed on the throne by Bagoas, a eunuch who had poisoned Artaxerxes III and all of Arses’s brothers. Though Arses later revolted against Bagoas’s control, he was killed, along with his children, and the throne was given to Darius III.

 37 

Cyrus the Younger
2
Birthdate: 0423 BC
Died: 0401 BC

 38 
Fath-Ali Shah Qajar
(Shah of Qajar Iran)

Fath-Ali Shah Qajar
15
Birthdate: September 25, 1772
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Damghan, Iran
Died: October 23, 1834

Mithridates I of Parthia
2
Birthdate: 0195 BC
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0132 BC

Parthian ruler Mithridates I belonged to the Arsacid dynasty and was the first ruler of Parthia to assume the title King of Kings. He is remembered for his aggressive expansion of his kingdom and his war against the Seleucid Empire. His affinity for Greeks was evident by his title Philhellene.  

Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar
8
Birthdate: March 23, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tabriz, Iran
Died: January 3, 1907

 41 
Cyrus I
(King)

Cyrus I
2
Birthdate: 0649 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: 0580 AD

 42 
Mohammad Shah Qajar
(Shah of Qajar Iran from 23 October 1834 to 5 September 1848)

Mohammad Shah Qajar
2
Birthdate: January 5, 1808
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tabriz, Iran
Died: September 5, 1848

The son of Abbas Mirza, Mohammad Shah Qajar was chosen as the heir by his grandfather, Fat′h Ali Shah Qajar, the second Shah of Iran. After Fat’h Ali’s death, one of his sons, Ali Mirza, laid claim to the throne but was deposed, while Mohammad ruled as the Shah of Persia.

 43 
Bahram V
(King)

Bahram V
1
Birthdate: 0400 AD
Died: 0438 AD

Bahram V was the Sasanian King of Kings from 420 to 438. He was the son of Sasanian Shah Yazdegerd I and was groomed for succeeding his father from an early age. He was trained under the Lakhmid kings and took over the kingdom upon his father’s death, becoming one of the most famous kings in Iranian history. 

 44 

Karim Khan Zand
1
Birthdate: 1705 AD
Birthplace: Malayer, Iran
Died: March 1, 1779

 45 
Enmebaragesi
(King of Kish)

Enmebaragesi
1
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: 2680 AD

 46 
Abbas Mirza
(Military officer)

Abbas Mirza
1
Birthdate: August 20, 1789
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nava, Iran
Died: October 25, 1833

Abbas Mirza was the son of Fath Ali Shah, the second Shah of Qajar Iran, and his wife Asiyeh Khanum. As the crown prince, he developed a reputation as a military commander during the Russo-Persian War. He made many attempts to modernize the Persian army but without any success. He predeceased his father and died in 1833. 

 47 
Deioces
(King)

Deioces
1
Birthdate: 0710 AD
Birthplace: Media
Died: 0657 AD

 48 
Kaykaus II
(Sultan of the Seljuqs of Rûm from 1246 until 1262.)

Kaykaus II
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Turkic
Died: 1279 AD

 49 
Shah Rukh
(Ruler)

Shah Rukh
3
Birthdate: August 20, 1377
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Died: March 13, 1447

 50 

Gondophares
1
Birthdate: August 20, 1377, 0000
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0046 AD