Through the ashes of various brutal conflicts in ancient Persia and Mesopotamia, a spectacular commander, Cyrus the Great, created the largest empire the world had ever known in 550 BC. The Achaemenid Empire, also known as the First Persian Empire, expanded its territory from Persia to Mesopotamia, the Levant, Egypt, the Caucasus, and Asia Minor.
The empire grew to take much of the known world and came into conflict with the most powerful adversary, the Greek city-states. In multiple wars that would determine the fate of the ancient world, we look at the Persian perspective of the Greco-Persian Wars.
The Achaemenid Empire was vast; Persians were not the only ethnic group within the empire. Ethnic groups included Afghans, Turkic ethnic groups, Indians, Assyrians, Armenians, Jews, Egyptians, Lydians, Phoenicians, and Greeks within Asia Minor.