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This article is about the civilization in Age of Empires. For the civilization in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, see Persians (Age of Empires II).
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Throw off the Median yoke, conquer Babylon, and build a diverse empire stretching from India and Egypt to Thrace. Powerful elephants will trample anything that stands in your way!

The Persians are a playable civilization in Age of Empires that comes with powerful aggressive units to reflect their rapid expansion of their empire under Cyrus the Great. They are based on the Achaemenid Empire.

The Persians re-appear in Age of Empires II.


Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonus[]

Stables work 20% faster.

Missing technologies[]

Academy, Ballista Tower, Craftsmanship, Siegecraft, Irrigation, City Watch, Aristocracy

Missing units[]

Chariot Archer, Chariot, Heavy Catapult, Ballista, Fire Galley


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.


ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

RomeIcon The Rise of Rome[]

  • Farming penalty eliminated.

Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Hunters work 30% faster and carry +3 food.
  • War Elephants and Elephant Archers move 20% faster. With update 38862, War Elephants and Elephant Archers move 25% faster.
  • Triremes fire 33% faster (but stated 25%).
  • Artisanship, Wheel, and Coinage are available.
  • With update 38862, Plow is available.

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • Team bonus added.
  • Walls cost -20%.
  • The Trireme firing rate bonus is extended: the Scout Ship line fires 18%/25%/33% faster in the Tool/Bronze/Iron Age.
  • Ballistics is available.

Campaign appearances[]

The Persians appear as AI players in:

NuRoR hoplite idle Glory of Greece[]

NuRoR priest idle Voices of Babylon[]

  • 2. The Tigris Valley
    • Ebla Raiders - Enemy (since the Definitive Edition)
  • 5. The Great Hunt (original)
    • Elam - Enemy
  • 5. The Great Hunt (since the Definitive Edition)
    • Susa - Enemy
    • Elamites - Neutral
  • 5. The Great Hunt (since Return of Rome)
    • Susa - Enemy
    • Elamites - Enemy
    • Elamites - Enemy
  • 6. The Caravan
    • Elamites - Enemy (since the Definitive Edition)
    • Elamites - Enemy

Reign of the Hittites[]

The Rise of Rome[]

  • 6. Mithridates
    • Artaxiad Armenia - Enemy (since the Definitive Edition)

Imperium Romanum[]

Enemies of Rome[]

RoR Sargon of Akkad Sargon of Akkad[]

RoR Trajan Trajan[]

RoR Pyrrhus of Epirus Pyrrhus of Epirus[]

AI player names[]

When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Persians AI characters.

  • Cyrus (𐏂𐎢𐎽𐎿𐏃; کوروش) - Name of severals Achaemenid kings, the most famous being Cyrus II the Great, king of Persia 559-530 BC
  • Darius (𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁) - Darius (I) the Great, king of Persia 522-486 BC
  • Cambyses (𐎣𐎲𐎢𐎪𐎡𐎹; کامبیز) - King of Anshan 580-559 BC (Cambyses I); King of Persia 530-522 BC (II)
  • Datis (داتیس) - Median admiral under Darius I, leader of Persian forces during the Persian Wars
  • Xerxes (𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠; خشایار شاه) - King of Persia 486-465 BC
  • Bessus - King of Persia 330-329 BC
  • Mardonius (𐎶𐎼𐎯𐎢𐎴𐎡𐎹; مردونیوس) - Persian military commander during the Persian Wars, lived ?-479 BC, died in Battle of Plataea
  • Spitamenes - Sogdian warlord, leader of the Sogdian and Bactrian uprising against Alexander the Great, lived 370-328 BC
  • Artaphernes - Brother of Darius I and satrap of Sardis; His son, also Arthaphernes, was military commander under Darius I, leader of Persian forces during the Persian Wars

The following AI players are only present before the Definitive Edition:

  • Cyrus II (𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁) - Cyrus the Great, king of Persia 559-530 BC
  • Darius II (𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁) - King of Persia 423-405 BC
  • Xerxes II (𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠) - King of Persia 424 BC
  • Cyrus III - Did not exist in Persia


Main article: /History
700 to 332 BC

The Persians were unlikely empire builders but in a relatively short span of years they conquered most of the Near and Middle East. They benefited from the leadership of a series of strong kings in succession and by a lack of competent leaders among their neighbors. They expanded very quickly, wobbled for a few hundred years under internal and external pressures, and then collapsed suddenly and utterly.

Despite their accomplishments and the breadth of their influence, our knowledge of the Persians is surprisingly limited. Very few Persian records have survived and many of these are written in Elamite, a language we understand poorly today. There is nothing to compare with surviving records of the Egyptians, Greeks, Hittites, and others. Historians rely heavily on what neighbors wrote about the Persians, such as Herodotus who traveled widely within their empire during its peak. Archaeology has revealed that while the empire was certainly in decline prior to Alexander's conquest, it was once well-governed, efficient, and no fluke of history.
—Excerpt from the Age of Empires manual


  • The civilization's icon introduced in Return of Rome portrays the royal standard of the Achaemenid Empire, Shahbaz, which means the Royal Falcon. The standard is shown on top of a type of common Persian shield shape, usually made of wicker and reed. Such shields were also found among Assyrians and Cypriots, as well as among the Mycenean Greeks where it was called the Dipylon shield or Boeotian shield.
  • The user interface image in Return of Rome depicts the Faravahar, a major symbol of Zoroastrianism, an ancient Iranian religion beginning around 15th Century BC and declining after the Arab conquest of Persia in 7th Century AD. It is also used by their civilization equivalent in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.



Civilizations in Age of Empires categorised by architecture set
East Asian architectureChoson AoE Choson · Lac Viet AoE Lac Viet · Shang AoE Shang · Yamato AoE Yamato
Egyptian architectureAssyrians AoE Assyrians · Egyptians AoE Egyptians · Hittites AoE Hittites
Greek architectureGreeks AoE Greeks · Minoans AoE Minoans · Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians
Mesopotamian architectureBabylonians AoE Babylonians · Persians AoE Persians · Sumerians AoE Sumerians
Roman architectureCarthaginians AoE Carthaginians · Macedonians AoE Macedonians · Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans · Romans AoE Romans