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This article is about the civilization in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. For the civilization in Age of Empires, see Persians (Age of Empires).
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Emerging from inner Persia, the House of Sasan toppled feeble Parthia, establishing a dynasty capable of challenging their Roman neighbors to the west. Even after the Muslim conquest, the Sasanian legacy lived on in the structure of the medieval Persian states. Stun your enemies with a stampede of mahouted War Elephants and hails of arrows thick enough to blot out the sun while your Savaran ride them down, or field an army of gunpowder units worthy of the great Safavid Empire. Nothing is beyond your grasp!

The Persians' civilization music theme in the Definitive Edition

The Persians are a Middle Eastern civilization in Age of Empires II. They focus on cavalry.

The Persians are based on the large number of Persian/Iranian dynasties that existed throughout the Middle Ages. Although their design and description were largely inspired by the Sasanian Empire, they are supposed to represent all Persian factions that existed during the Middle Ages (As can be noticed in the Persian AI player names).

They were best known for their rivalry with the Roman Empire and gradual adoption of Islam following the Arab invasions. They would grow to become a major hub and center of the Islamic world, contributing much to Islamic art and culture. Like their predecessor in the original game, the Persians specialize in cavalry and navy.

Since BC, the region of Persia has been known as the place where various large empires like Parthia and Sassanid once stood. In addition, the region of Persia was also part of international trade routes between India, Far East, and the Middle East. This is reflected by two of their bonuses: They start the game with more food and wood, and their Town Centers possess higher HP and working speed. To ensure the safety of traveling ships in the Persian Gulf, the ruling empires stationed their military (including naval vessels) in the region. Therefore, Persian Docks also possess higher HP and work faster.

The Persians were known to employ powerful armored cavalry on the battlefield. This is reflected by their virtually complete Stable. The borders of the Sassanian Empire were often raided by various nomadic tribesmen; by Arabs to the south and by Central Asians to the north and east. Using neighboring vassal states (e.g. the Lakhmid Kingdom of Arab) as a buffer zone was one of the methods used by the Sassanian to stop these raids. To reflect this, the Persians have a team bonus which increases the attack of their Knights against archers.

During the Sassanian, Ghaznavid, and Timurid era, war elephants were part of the Persian military force. This is reflected by their unique unit, the War Elephant. The riders of elephants were known as Mahouts, and this name is used as one of the Persians unique technologies, which increases the War Elephants' movement speed.

During the Sassanian era, the Persians fielded elite archers, who often fought intermingled with heavy cavalry, creating a deadly formation that greatly vexed their Roman opponents. These archers give their name to the new Persian unique technology, Kamandaran, which removes the Gold cost from Archer-line units.


The Persians are a cavalry civilization. They have access to Hussars, Paladins, and Heavy Camels, with all their Stable and Blacksmith upgrades, which also benefits their unique unit, the War Elephant. And these food- and gold-intensive Cavalry units are sustained thanks to faster-working Town Centers, which provide Persians with a quick economic boom that aids into achieving the required Villager production of their key units.

Infantry are weak for Persians, and their archer units are not very prominent, due to missing important upgrades such as Bracer, Two-Handed Swordsman, and Arbalester. Still, the Persians can utilize fully upgraded Halberdiers and Hand Cannoneers. They also have access to a large variety of siege weapons, but they lack Siege Engineers.

In the water, the Persian navy is above average until the Castle Age, thanks to the faster working rate of their Docks. But once they hit Imperial Age, the lack of Shipwright can be unfavorable in longer games, and the lack of Bracer for their Galleons does not go unnoticed.

The Persian Monks are among the weakest of all civilizations. The lack of Heresy is unfortunate, as the Persians rely on expensive Heavy Cavalry units that are prone to conversion: the Paladin and the War Elephant.

About their defenses, they lack Fortified Wall and Keep as upgrades, and also they're missing on Bombard Towers, and the absence of Bracer and Siege Engineers haunts Persians again in the aspect of their defensive options. Nevertheless, Persians can fully upgrade the armor and HP of their buildings, having both access to Hoardings and Architecture, and it is very worth noting that Persian Town Centers and Docks have a massive double HP. In the HD Edition, they used to have Boiling Oil as their unique technology, but due to their disuse, it was replaced with Kamandaran in the Definitive Edition.

Their economy is simply excellent; they get all economic upgrades, as well as a head start with additional resources given at the start of the game. All of this is further bolstered by their faster working Town Centers and Docks across all Ages, which also gets them villager lead over their opponents, furthermore, translating into economic, and military production advantages.

Campaign appearances[]

The Persians have a scenario devoted to their civilization: Bukhara from the Battles of the Forgotten campaign. They also appear in:


Genghis Khan[]


Attila the Hun[]

El Cid[]


  • All scenarios in the HD Edition:
    • Yakub - Enemy


In the HD Edition:

In the Definitive Edition:

Battles of the Forgotten[]

The Bukhara scenario is played as the Persians.

Francisco de Almeida[]

  • A Son's Blood
    • Gujarati Traders - Ally
    • Enemy Leaders - Ally > Enemy
    • Diu - Ally > Enemy



Unique unit[]

WarElephantIcon-DE.png War Elephant: Slow but extremely powerful cavalry unit.

Unique technologies[]

CastleAgeUnique.png Boiling Oil: Gives Castles +9 attack against rams (only available before the Definitive Edition).
CastleAgeUnique.png Kamandaran: Archer-line gold cost is replaced by additional wood cost (only in the Definitive Edition).
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Mahouts: Increases War Elephant speed by +30%.

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Start the game with +50 food and +50 wood.
  • Town Centers and Docks have double HP and work 10%/15%/20% faster in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.

Team bonus[]

Knights have +2 attack against archers.


The Age of Kings[]

The Conquerors[]

The Forgotten[]

The African Kingdoms[]

  • Initially can research Arrowslits. With patch 4.8, it was removed from the technology tree.

Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Both non-Elite and Elite War Elephants now deal trample damage.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Boiling Oil is replaced with Kamandaran. Kamandaran (200f, 200g) replaces gold cost of foot archers with additional wood cost. With update 35584, Kamandaran cost is raised to 400f, 300g.
  • Originally, Town Centers and Docks work 5% faster in the Dark Age. With update 36906, Town Centers and Docks no longer work +5% faster in the Dark Age (like before the Definitive Edition).

Lords of the West[]

In-game dialogue language[]

In-game, Persian units speak Persian (Persian : فارسی, Farsi). It is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

  • Select 1 Āri? (آری؟) - Yes?
  • Select 2 Salām (سلام) - Hello
  • Select 3 Āmāde (آماده) - Ready
  • Task 2 Āri (آری) - Yes
  • Task 3 Sahih (صحیح) - Correct
  • Task 4 Mikonam (می‌کنم) - I'm doing it
  • Build Me'mār (معمار) - Builder
  • Chop Chubbor (چوب‌ بر) - Cut wood
  • Farm Mikonam (می‌کنم) - I'm doing it
  • Fish Māhigir (ماهی‌گیر) - Fisher
  • Forage Olufe jam'kon (علوفه جمع‌کن) - Gather the harvest
  • Hunt Shekārchi (شکارچی) - Hunter
  • Mine Ma'danchi (معدن‌چی) - Miner
  • Repair Ta'mir kār (تعمیر کار) - Repairer
  • Attack Hamle! (!حمله) - Attack! (not used)
  • Select 1 Āri? (آری؟) - Yes?
  • Select 2 Āmāde (آماده) - Ready
  • Select 3 Farmān? (فرمان؟) - Order?
  • Move 1 Āri (آری) - Yes
  • Move 2 Mikonam (می‌کنم) - I'm doing it
  • Attack 1 Hamle! (!حمله) - Attack!
  • Attack 2 Bejangid! (بجنگید!) - Fight!
  • Attack 3 Āri! (!آری) - Yes!
  • Attack 4 Hamle! (!حمله) - Attack!
  • Select 1 Āri? (آری؟) - Yes?
  • Select 2 Salām (سلام) - Hello
  • Select 3 Āmāde (آماده) - Ready
  • Select 4 Farmān? (فرمان؟) - Order?
  • Move 2 Āri (آری) - Yes
  • Move 3 Sahih (صحیح) - Correct
  • Move 4 Mikonam (می‌کنم) - I'm doing it
  • Select 1 Āri? (آری؟) - Yes?
  • Select 2 Salām (سلام) - Hello
  • Select 3 Āmāde (آماده) - Ready
  • Select 4 Farmān? (فرمان؟) - Order?
  • Move 2 Āri (آری) - Yes
  • Move 3 Sahih (صحیح) - Correct
  • Move 4 Mikonam (می‌کنم) - I'm doing it

AI player names[]

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

  • Ala ad-Din Muhammad II (علاءالدین محمد خوارزمشاه): was the Shah of the Khwarezmian Empire from 1200 to 1220. His ancestor was a Turkic slave who eventually became a viceroy of a small province named Khwarizm. He is perhaps best known for inciting the Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia, which resulted in the utter destruction of his empire.
  • Emp. Hormizd (هرمز چهارم): A name of rulers of the Sasanian Empire, in early Age of Empires II era Hormizd III/Hormizd IV/Hormizd V/Hormizd VI.
  • Emp. Kavadh (قباد): A name of rulers of the Sasanian Empire, Kavadh I/Kavadh II.
  • Emp. Yazdgerd (یزدگرد): A name of kings of the Sasanian Empire, Yazdegerd I/Yazdegerd II/Yazdegerd III.
  • Ismail Samani: (اسماعیل سامانی) was the Samanid amir of Transoxiana (892–907) and Khorasan (900–907). His reign saw the emergence of the Samanids as a powerful force.
  • Khosrau Anushirvan (خسرو): Khosrow I, he was the Sasanian King of Kings of Iran from 531 to 579. He inherited the Sassanid empire at war with the Byzantines. He made a peace treaty with them that will be known as the Perpetual Peace. He was remembered as a patron of the arts.
  • King Bahram (بهرام): A name of rulers of the Sasanian Empire, in early Age of Empires II era Bahram V/Bahram VI Chobin.
  • King Chosroes II (خسرو پرویز): The last great king of the Sasanian Empire, reigning from 590 to 628.
  • Malik Nasir (الناصر يوسف): was the Ayyubid Emir of Syria from his seat in Aleppo (1236–1260) and the Sultan of the Kurdish Ayyubid Empire from 1250 until the sack of Aleppo by the Mongols in 1260.
  • Mahmud Ghaznavi (محمود غزنوی): was the first independent ruler of the Ghaznavid dynasty, ruling from 999 to 1030. At the time of his death, his kingdom had been transformed into an extensive military empire, which extended from northwestern Iran proper to the Punjab in the Indian subcontinent, Khwarazm in Transoxiana, and Makran.
  • Mohammad Shah (محمد شاه): In the Age of Empires II era the last Seljuq amir of Kerman, from 1183 until 1186.
  • Mondhir (ٱلْمُنْذِر): Munzir ibn Sawa Al Tamimi, the governor of the Persian Sasanian Empire in some parts of the Southern Persian Gulf.
  • Muhammad Ghori (محمد غوری):was the Sultan of the Ghurid Empire along with his brother Ghiyath ad-Din Muhammad from 1173 to 1202 and as the sole ruler from 1202 to 1206.
  • Shahanshah Hormizd (هرمز یکم‎): Hormizd I, was the third shahanshah of Persia. He is the founder of the city of Hormizd-Ardashir which will be later called the city of Ahvaz of Iran which is an important fragment of Persian history.
  • Shah Rukh (شاهرخ‎): Shahrukh Mirza, son of Tamerlane was the Timurid ruler of the eastern portion of the empire established by his father.
  • Shah Takash (تكش): Ala ad-Din Tekish, the Shah of Khwarezmian Empire from 1172 to 1200.
  • Shapur the Great (شاپور دوم بزرگ): was the second Sasanian King of Kings of Iran. The dating of his reign is disputed, but it is generally agreed that he ruled from 240 to 270, with his father Ardashir I as co-regent till the death of the latter in 242.
  • Yakub (يعقوب): Ya'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar, a Persian coppersmith, was the founder of the Saffarid dynasty of Sistan.
  • Yaqub al-Saffar (يعقوب): See Yakub.


  • The Persian civilization's icon is based on a real 7th-8th century Sassanid silver plate depicting the Simurgh, a fantastic creature from Persian mythology with the wings of a bird, the head of a dog, and the claws of a lion.
  • The user interface image in the Definitive Edition displays the Faravahar symbol.
  • The Persians are the first civilization in to ever have three different unique technologies with a different name, although not at the same time. The second are the Koreans, the third are the Mayans.
  • The Persians are the only civilization whose Castle Age unique technology costs more than the Imperial Age one.
  • The Persians are the only civilization with no access to the Two-Handed Swordsman.
  • Before Rise of the Rajas, the Persians were the only civilization with access to all Stable units and technologies. They are still the only civilization with fully upgraded Hussars, Paladins and Heavy Camel Riders.
  • Since the Byzantines were changed to the Mediterranean building set in the Definitive Edition, the Persians are the only Middle Eastern civilization with access to the Paladin, and one of only two that does not have one of the European building sets (the other being the Cumans).
  • The Persian Imperial Age unique technology, Mahouts, is a possible callback to the Persians' civilization bonus in Age of Empires, where elephant units move 25% faster (56% before the Definitive Edition).
  • The Persians are the civilization with the fewest amount of civilization bonuses, with 2.
  • Their former buff of extra 5% workrate for Town Centers and Docks in the Dark Age at release of the Definitive Edition, and the introduccion of their new technology Kamandaran, boosted Persians to be one of the "top tier" civilizations on Arabia, Nomad and Hybrid maps, to the point that most of the match-ups at higher levels of competitive games were Persian mirrors. Ironically, in update 36906, they lost the extra workrate in the Dark Age and aren't considered the strongest in those settings, thus no longer being highly picked in non-land-water hybrid or non-nomad maps.


The Persian Empire had existed for many centuries when the Middle Ages began. It had been reassembled following the conquest by Alexander in the fourth century BC and the subsequent breakup of his empire in later centuries. The Persians had been fighting the Romans since the third century AD.

The Persian Empire stretched from Mesopotamia to India and from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf, encompassing the modern nations of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. They fought the Romans, and later the Byzantines, for control of modern Syria, Turkey, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, and Arabia. The capital of the Persian Empire was Ctesiphon, called Baghdad today.

During the third and fourth centuries, the Romans made several attempts to subdue the Persians. In 364 a peace treaty was signed between the two that allowed the Persians to consolidate their power to the east and north. Beginning with the sixth century, the Persians began attacking the Byzantine Empire in Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and modern Turkey. The war between the two powers went back and forth. In 626 the Persians besieged Byzantium itself without success, and the Byzantines were able to invade Persia the following year. Peace was made between the two exhausted empires in 628.

The Persians were unprepared for the fury of the Islamic Arabs in the seventh century. The Sassanid dynasty of Persia ended in battle in 636. The Persians did not have a capital with defenses comparable to those of Constantinople. Muslim conquest of Persia was complete by 651.


Video overview[]