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The Persian people represent a civilization in Civilization VI. They are led by Cyrus, under whom their default colors are light purple and dark red; and Nader Shah, under whom their default colors are reversed. They are available with the Persia and Macedon Civilization & Scenario Pack, which was released on March 28, 2017.

The Persians' civilization ability is Satrapies, which provides +1 Trade Route Trade Route capacity when they discover Political Philosophy, increases the Gold Gold and Culture Culture yield of their domestic Trade Route Trade Routes, and gives them earlier access to advanced roads. Their unique unit is the Immortal (which replaces the Swordsman), and their unique tile improvement is the Pairidaeza.


Starting bias: None

Well-equipped for both a Domination and a Cultural Victory, the Persians are the masters of using roads, Trade Route Trade Routes, and the element of surprise in war.


Extra Trade Route with Political Philosophy[]

Political Philosophy is a key civic that every civilization wants to beeline in the early game, since it unlocks Tier 1 governments, but it's especially important for Persia since it provides +1 Trade Route Trade Route capacity. Note that unlike the Cree, this ability doesn't come with a free Trader.

The best form of government for Persia early on to couple with the powerful Immortal is definitely Oligarchy. The Immortal is the only unit in the game with a ranged attack that can benefit from this government. With an extra Trade Route Trade Route early on, you can stock up Gold Gold sooner to upgrade a meaningful number of Warriors into Immortals.

Domestic Trade Routes provide Gold and Culture[]

The Persians' special features point toward developing them as a military civilization first and a cultural civilization second. Their civilization ability makes it easy for them to develop a strong infrastructure and road network, so your first order of business when playing as Persia should be to expand your empire and start establishing Trade Route Trade Routes between your cities. Normally, these Trade Route Trade Routes can hamper your economy, which is especially devastating for civilizations with early conquests in mind. For Persia, this is great, since domestic Trade Route Trade Routes can help their cities grow very fast, yet they still have a stable income to upgrade Warriors into Immortals, and some Culture Culture to unlock Political Philosophy and other leaf military civics a bit faster.

Unlike Tokugawa's bonus, this one doesn't scale. Later in the game, when international Trade Route Trade Routes clearly overpowers domestic ones in terms of yields, you can switch to sending your Trade Route Trade Routes outward instead. This is especially important starting from the Modern Era, since your Tourism Tourism starts to grow quickly, and 25% extra Tourism Tourism is crucial to earn you a Cultural Victory.

Roads inside Persian territory are more advanced[]

In Civilization VI, roads are created by Traders, and when you send internal Trade Route Trade Routes, these roads will help your units move around more rapidly. Before the availability of Military Engineers, this is the only way to create roads.

There's four levels of advancements of road in the game:

  • Ancient Road:
    • Units ignore terrain movement costs except for river crossings
  • Classical Road:
    • Units ignore terrain movement costs
    • Forms bridges over rivers allowing units to cross them for no additional movement cost
  • Industrial Road:
    • Units ignore terrain movement cost
    • Forms bridges over rivers allowing units to cross them for no additional movement cost
    • Units use 0.75 movement points per road tile instead of 1
  • Modern Road
    • Units ignore terrain movement costs
    • Forms bridges over rivers allowing units to cross them for no additional movement cost
    • Units use 0.5 movement points per road tile instead of 1

Normally, roads are automatically upgraded once your empire's advancement reaches the respective era. For Persia, roads inside your territory are always 1 level more advanced than other civilizations, meaning you start the game with Classical roads and move on to Industrial roads in Classical Era. Combined with the fact that Persia loves domestic Trade Route Trade Routes, it will create an instant advantage in terms of mobilization and defense when crossing rough terrains. In other situations, however, it is only useful for units that start with at least 3 Movement Movement, which means Cyrus will use this ability better than Nader Shah.

Modern roads, unlike industrial roads, offer a strong speed boost to all land units, including those with only 2 Movement Movement. However, this advantage won't last long, since other civilizations can unlock railroads at Steam Power, allowing units to travel considerably faster than they can on any kind of regular road.

Fall of Babylon (Cyrus)[]

Diplomatic benefits of declaring a Surprise War[]

There are three leaders who can declare a certain type of war for a bonus, with Cyrus's being both the most powerful and easiest to use. You don't need to satisfy any condition or even denounce the target to declare a Surprise War, so you'll always have the element of surprise.

A smart opponent can counter Cyrus by denouncing him, limiting his ability to declare Surprise Wars. Once denounced, he must either declare a Surprise War against that opponent within 5 turns or wait 30 turns for the denunciation to expire; otherwise, it counts as a Formal War.

Surprise Wars normally carry a penalty of 150 Grievances Grievances, but this penalty is reduced to 100 Grievances Grievances under Cyrus. This means your relationships with your enemies will get back to normal faster once the war ends (provided that you don't wipe them out completely), and the reduced Diplomatic Favor Diplomatic Favor penalty allows you to stay more relevant in the World Congress than other warmongers.

Extra Movement after declaring a Surprise War[]

With advanced Road systems from Satrapies and extra Movement Movement from Surprise War declarations, the blazing speed of Persian troops can carry them to victory in wartime. It should be noted that any Surprise War declaration will give the Movement Movement bonus to your units. Thus, if your war is drawn out more than planned and your ten turns of increased Movement Movement run out, it is a relatively safe strategy to declare a Surprise War on a far-off civilization to keep the Movement Movement bonus in your war against your real target.

Movement Movement has so many uses in wars. Slow front line and ranged units now move as fast as cavalry. Light cavalry units, especially ones with Depredation, can pillage the entire enemy city within a turn or two. Reinforcements, when combined with Satrapies, will be blazingly fast. Siege units can move and shoot within the same turn without Expert Crew. On an unrelated note, even your civilian units, most notably your Settlers and Builders, and your religious units benefit from this Movement Movement bonus (read more here). On another hand, exploration will also be helped tremendously. Naval units can also traverse a longer distance, which is especially useful, since every water tile is basically a flat land tile with no terrain features, so any extra Movement Movement will be even more valuable than on land.

Occupied cities have no yield penalty and receive extra Loyalty from garrisoned units[]

Another amazing war bonus for Cyrus. Although captured cities still suffer from Citizen Population loss and damaged infrastructure, they are not prevented from growing and being productive. Normally, you would have to wait until the war ends and the original owner of those cities cede them to you, but for Cyrus, he doesn't have to wait, as these cities can start producing right after being captured.

Your internal Trade Route Trade Routes go really well with this aspect of Cyrus, since you can start sending those Trade Route Trade Routes from occupied cities to boost their growth and make them the prime spot to produce reinforcements for your army and continue your conquest.

Additionally, a garrisoned unit will give an occupied city 10 Loyalty, instead of 5. Loyalty is something other warmongers may struggle with, but definitely not Cyrus. When coupled with Governors and policy cards, this bonus almost guarantees that Cyrus will be able to hold on to his spoils of war and make them productive right from the first turn of ownership.

Sword of Persia (Nader Shah)[]

Nader Shah is not exactly an interesting addition to the leader roster of Persia, since half of his leader ability is almost identical to the civilization ability, and the other half is quite underwhelming. Therefore, he doesn't introduce a new way, or bring a fresh perspective to play the civilization, he pretty much double-downs on what the civilization already does.

Extra Combat Strength when attacking full health units[]

This is a rather underwhelming Strength Combat Strength bonus, since it only applies on the first strike when the enemy is at full HP. It complements his needs for conquest and in terms of battles between two units, this ability is really nice with ranged units, since they can dish out extra damage without being retaliated against, widening the health discrepancy between your units and the enemies for the next round. For this reason, starting your conquest as soon as possible with your Immortals is even more of priority as Nader Shah compared to Cyrus, since Nader Shah's war bonus is significantly worse than Cyrus, he needs to capitalize on an Immortal push more.

Note that, similar to the Hul'che and how Tomyris' ability works in battle, your units won't get extra Strength Combat Strength when defending against full health units. Since if their units with melee attacks are able to get in the first hit, these units will take damage themselves, resulting in the Strength Combat Strength bonus being nullified, being able to strike first as Nader Shah is critical.

Bonus Gold and Faith for domestic Trade Routes when sent from cities not founded by Persia[]

This is a decent bonus early on, since it goes well with the Persian civilization ability and their incentive to send domestic Trade Route Trade Routes. However, Nader Shah's internal Trade Route Trade Routes have one restriction, they have to send from cities not founded by him in order for this bonus to be active. Both Persian and Shah's don't scale, so being able to activate them as soon as possible is critical. In the early game, scout for Barbarians, kill 3 of them to trigger the Eureka Eureka for Bronze Working, which reveals Iron Iron. This cannot be stressed enough, but as Persia, especially as Nader Shah whose bonus will become insignificant quite quickly, you need to own at least 2 sources of Iron Iron in the early game in order to accumulate it fast enough. Next, train Warriors en masse to upgrade them into Immortals. Each upgrade cost 130 Gold Gold so use that information to estimate how many upgrades you can do before unlocking Iron Working. The Immortal is a great early unique unit, and can function to siege and capture cities, and they, coupled with the unintentional bonus, can work through cities easily.

As mentioned before, different from Tokugawa, neither of Nader Shah's nor the civilization ability scales, but Persian international Trade Route Trade Routes do not receive any penalty either, so it is crucial to know when to ditch trading internally and open your empire up to the outside world. The best time for this is when your Grievances Grievances early game get forgotten by the world, Diplomatic Service and Wisselbanken are unlocked which allows you to establish bountiful Trade Route Trade Routes to your allies. Of course, if you insist on waging wars and aiming for a domination victory instead, the entire world is probably going to hate you, you won't have any friends, so just stick to domestic Trade Route Trade Routes.


With the introduction of the Man-At-Arms, the power level and significance of Swordsman replacements got hampered, since now their opportunity windows become very narrow. The Immortal is not an exception, but its power spike got hit the least. Thanks to its unique attribute, the Immortal functions as both a Swordsman and an Archer, allowing it to perform things other unique Swordsmen cannot.

In the early game, sieging cities is mainly the job for Archers, since they can shoot cities without fear of retaliation, but Archers come with a major downside similar to other ranged units: they are very vulnerable up close, especially against Swordsmen and Horsemen, and they become practically a liability once enemy cities get their Walls up. For this reason, early armies that rely heavily on Archers need to be quite big, since they need a frontline to protect the Archers, and because they need to act quickly before Walls are finished, this frontline most likely comprises of Warriors only. This typical Archer rush can be feast-or-famine, since it depends a lot on how inept the response from the enemies is. The moment an enemy Horseman or Swordsman shows up, their cities will be almost twice as tanky, or if Walls get finished in time, a lot of your Production Production will go down the drain. And this is what makes the Immortal so powerful, since it is a foolproof unit that fixes all of these issues.

The Immortal is an anomaly: in spite of being a melee unit and following the appropriate promotion table, it is essentially an Archer with 20 extra Strength Combat Strength and the ability to capture cities. Being able to pelt enemies with arrows from a distance while having the resilience to defend itself against attacks allows the Immortal to quickly and safely gain XP and levels, and groups of them can chip away at cities until they're ripe for the taking. Having a ranged attack also gives the Immortal an unparalleled ability to focus fire and finish units within a turn, if the enemy tries to throw resistance back your way. Also, since they are melee units, they exert zone of control and can put cities under siege, something an army heavy on ranged units cannot perform easily. They can also use their melee attacks to capture cities, and they benefit from Battering Rams to counteract Walls.

The Immortals are exceptionally good at killing anti-cavalry units, since the Strength Combat Strength bonus against anti-cavalry units works on their ranged attacks. Also, their ranged attacks also benefit from Oligarchy's Strength Combat Strength bonus, making this government a priority for Persia in early conquest.

The bottleneck of using Immortals is the accumulation of Iron Iron. In the early game, hunt down 3 Barbarians to trigger the Eureka Eureka for Bronze Working, and make sure your empire has at least 2 sources of Iron Iron. Since the Immortal is a one-size-fits-all unit, there is almost no need for any other types of units in your army, besides a Battering Ram, so being able accumulate Iron Iron and Gold Gold quickly should be your priority within the first 2 eras. You can train en masse Warriors to upgrade at the beginning (each upgrade costs 130 Gold Gold), and then train Immortals the traditional way with Agoge after.

Later on, when the Persians have researched Apprenticeship and stockpiled some Iron Iron, they can upgrade their Immortals to Men-At-Arms and have a powerful force of melee units at their disposal.

Note that, by default, the Immortal attacks in melee. This matters because the right-click attack shortcut will trigger a melee attack instead of a ranged shot (as it does for ranged units). If you want your Immortal to shoot the target instead of approaching and attacking it in melee, you should explicitly give a ranged strike command, and not right-click!


Once upon a time, the Pairidaeza used to be one of the strongest improvements in the game, especially when used in combination with the Earth Goddess pantheon. After a series of nerfs to both the improvement itself and the pantheon, the Pairidaeza, just like the rest of Persia's toolkits, is more like a middle of the road improvement and nowhere near the power level it used to be at.

The first major bonus of the Pairidaeza is extra Gold Gold and Culture Culture, which are boosted even higher if it is next to City Centers, Commercial Hubs, Holy Sites or Theater Squares. Although the Pairidaeza is unlocked in the Ancient Era, don't go overboard with it, since growth and productivity is still prioritized at this point. However, Gold Gold and Culture Culture are both crucial for the early war strategy of Persia, so a few of this improvement is decent to help you upgrade and support an Immortal army and work through the civic tree. Its base yield is pretty good, but after the warring period ends, focus on developing your infrastructure, prioritizing Commercial Hubs, Holy Sites and Theater Squares, so you can shift focus to a cultural victory. This is the time when the Pairidaeza truly shines, especially after Diplomatic Service is unlocked.

The second bonus of the Pairidaeza is that it also increases the Appeal of all surrounding tiles by 1, which can create ideal spots for Neighborhoods, Seaside Resorts, and National Parks. This Appeal bonus used to be what made the Pairidaeza stand out, and players would often try to leverage this Appeal bonus much more than the yields. The Appeal bonus used to be +2, and Earth Goddess used to grant 2 Faith Faith for every Breathtaking tile, instead of 1, making this a really broken combo. Any tiles that are adjacent to 2 Pairidaeza used to receive 4 Appeal, reliably push those tiles' Appeal rating to Breathtaking, allowing Persia to generate a huge amount of Faith Faith independently from Holy Sites, which can be used for both cultural and domination victory. Now, with only +1 Appeal and the Faith Faith bonus from Earth Goddess is now halved, not only the Pairidaeza cannot reliably make every tile in your empire Breathtaking anymore, it is also not really worth the effort and resources invested.

For the reasons above, the main bonus of the Pairidaeza right now is the Gold Gold and Culture Culture yield from adjacent District Districts, and while this improvement still helps Persia tremendously on a cultural path, it is because it promotes the construction of Holy Sites and Theater Squares, not because it allows reliable establishment of National Parks and Seaside Resorts, since a bonus Appeal of 1 is basically the same as every other "spam-able" Tourism Tourism-orientated improvements, except for the Sphinx.

Victory Types[]

As detailed above, either a Domination Victory or a Cultural Victory is the best choice for the Persians. Their bonuses can also assist with a Religious Victory to some degree: the Movement Movement bonus from Surprise Wars applies to religious units as well, the extra early Culture Culture can help them unlock Theocracy sooner, and Appeal from Pairidaezas can reliably generate a lot of Faith Faith if they have the Earth Goddess pantheon. With Persia, these three victory conditions go very well together, since you can pick up Crusade and use your military prowess to spread your good words, and a strong Faith Faith income and high-Appeal tiles are great for patronizing Great Person Great People and establishing National Parks.

Counter Strategy[]

Persia can be an imposing neighbor to have during the early game. Their bonuses toward Surprise Wars combined with their potent Immortals can spell doom for any unprepared civilization in the Classical Era. But it is crucial to always remain wary of Persia, even when their era of dominance has passed. Even with evenly matched armies, your units can be easily toppled by Persia's quicker, stronger ones. No matter your advantage, a war with Persia will always be costly, expending time, attention, and Production Production. Thus, you should try to avoid a war with Persia by any means possible. Send a delegation, trade open borders, and make Cyrus happy by whatever means possible so you can declare friendship. Once you have done so, you can merely renew your friendship every time it ends to ensure you will be safe from Persia for the rest of the game.

Additionally, there is one civilization that completely denies the power of Persia's Surprise Wars by merely existing: Canada. Thanks to Four Faces of Peace, no civilization can declare Surprise Wars on them, leaving Cyrus's Fall of Babylon ability practically useless. While Canada lacks any early game bonuses to defend against Persia's Immortals, they are still an excellent option to survive against Persia. Merely separating Persian units from their Movement Movement and Strength Combat Strength bonuses makes their army substantially weaker, so as long as Canada builds walls and plenty of ranged units, they can defend against Persia with little effort.

In times of peace, Persia is truly threatening only to other players pursuing a Cultural Victory, thanks to the Appeal bonus of their Pairidaezas enabling National Parks. But any Tourism Tourism Persia could muster from their Pairidaezas is easily surpassed by any directly culturally-focused civilizations, such as America or Canada. And even if Persia's Tourism Tourism becomes too much of an issue, one should never feel afraid to give them a taste of their own medicine and utilize some Surprise Wars of your own.

Civilopedia entry[]

At its height, the Persian Empire encompassed most of Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, the shores of the Black Sea, some of Central Asia (what would one day become Afghanistan), parts of the Caucasus mountains, Egypt, Thrace, and Macedon. For nearly two centuries, Persia had mastered the “cradle of civilization”—until a Macedone upstart named Alexander crushed the world's greatest power in less than four years.

Just as notable as its ignominious collapse was its improbable start. According to several accounts (all of them suspect), it all began when a young Cyrus II couldn’t get along with his grandfather Astyages. To be fair, the old king did try to have Cyrus killed at birth … so when Cyrus proclaimed himself king of Persia in 546 BCE, his grandfather’s lands were first on the list of conquest. By roughly 540 BCE he overran Lydia and a year later marched in triumph to capture Babylon. He now ruled an empire that reached from the borders of Egypt to the shores of the Black Sea, encompassing all of ancient Mesopotamia.

By all accounts, Cyrus II—now known as "Cyrus the Great," or the “King of Kings”—was, for his time, an relatively enlightened ruler. His Persian Empire was the first in history to govern a slew of distinct ethnic groups on the basis of equitable responsibilities and rights for each, so long as his subjects paid their taxes and kept the peace. Cyrus established a system of local nobles called "satraps" to administer each province autonomously, and pledged not to interfere in the local customs, religions, and economies of the conquered peoples. He built fortresses along the eastern border to limit the depredations of barbarians from the steppes, such as the Scythians, who may (or may not) have been the cause of his untimely death in 530 BCE.

Cyrus was succeeded by his son Cambyses II, who promptly murdered his own brother Bardiya to ensure his rule would not be challenged. As was the style at the time, he followed fratricide with an invasion. Cambyses marched his armies to Egypt in 525 BCE, winning victories at Pelusium and Memphis, but his attacks on neighboring Carthage and Nubia did not fare as well. Nonetheless, Egypt and its wealth was a nice addition to the empire. In the midst of all this campaigning, Cambyses received word of a revolt against him led by his brother, Bardiya—the same one he had previously murdered. On the way home to make sure his brother's death took this time, Cambyses himself died under mysterious circumstances.

Coincidentally, a distant relative of Cambyses named Darius—one of the Persian generals with access to his king around the time of his death—claimed that Cambyses took his own life out of despair. Darius marched his troops to Media and killed Bardiya, who he labeled an imposter. Without a clear line of succession to dissuade him, Darius claimed the throne, leading several provinces to immediately revolt at his presumption. After 19 battles in a single year, Darius had put paid to most of these uprisings.

Tranquility returned to the empire. Darius was in firm enough control by 521 BCE that he reorganized the administration, made Aramaic the official language of the sprawling empire, and created a uniform monetary system based around the “daric,” because naming a coin after one's self was one of the perks of (presumed) usurpation. Under Darius, the Persian Empire also standardized weights and measures, instituted a program of road construction, such as the rebuilding and completion of the 1677-mile “Royal Road” from Susa to Sardis, and began lots of public works in the cities of Susa, Babylon, Memphis, Pasargadae and new Persepolis.

By 516 BCE, he considered his rule stable enough to invade the distant Indus Valley, which he conquered within the year. After appointing the Greek Scylax to serve as his satrap from the city of Gandhara, Darius decided to reorganize the empire. He divided it into 20 provinces, each under a satrap he appointed (usually one of his relatives), and each paying a fixed rate of tribute. To prevent the satraps from building a power base to threaten rebellion, Darius appointed a separate military commander in each satrapy, answerable only to him. Imperial spies (known as “King’s ears”) kept tabs on both satrap and military commander, reporting back to Darius on a regular basis.

Having returned from India victorious, Darius (now known as “the Great”) turned his attention to the Scythians. The horse barbarians refused to engage in a pitched battle, but their constant withdrawals cost the Scythians their best pasture lands, scattered their herds, and lost them several allies. Still, the Persian infantry were suffering from fatigue and privation themselves after a month of marching into the wilderness. Darius, concerned that the fruitless campaign would only cost him more men, and convinced that Scythian fortunes had been damaged enough, halted his army on the banks of the Oarus. According to Herodotus he built “eight great forts, each some distance from each other." After declaring his stalemate a victory, he departed to seek far less mobile foes in Europe.

The expedition began with Darius crossing the Hellespont and getting involved in fractious Greek politics. This led to the invasion of Thrace, followed by the capture of several city-states in the northern Aegean. Macedon submitted voluntarily to Persia, becoming a vassal kingdom. Darius left his general Megabyzus to finish off Thrace while the king returned to relax at Sardis. But it wasn’t long until a number of Greek cities in Ionia revolted and, supported by Athens and Eretria, an Ionian force captured and burnt Sardis in 498 BCE—to the presumed irritation of Darius.

With the “Ionian Revolt” finally and utterly crushed, Darius sent his son-in-law to reconquer Thrace and Macedon in 492 BCE, then dispatched an expedition to Greece to force Eretria and Athens to submit to his will. After island hopping across the Aegean, overwhelming Naxos on the way, the Persians besieged, captured and burnt Eretria in 490 BCE. They then marched south along the coast of Attica, looking to do the same to Athens, but were thoroughly defeated by 30,000 allied Greek soldiers at Marathon. Darius immediately began preparations for another invasion, this time planning to personally take command, but died three years into the effort.

His successors—starting with his son Xerxes I—were left to deal with the upstart Greeks. And, despite ruling the greatest empire yet known to the world, they managed to bungle it.

Xerxes first quelled a revolt in Egypt, but unlike his predecessors, Xerxes dealt harshly with the rebellious province by removing the local leaders and imposing direct Persian control on the citizens. He did the same to the Babylonians when they revolted in 482 BCE. Finally, Xerxes led a great army into northern Greece, supported by a powerful Persian navy. The city-states in his path fell to the invaders fairly easily, and despite a heroic stand of Spartans and Boeotians at Thermopylae, the Greeks were unable to stop Xerxes’s army from marching to Athens and sacking the most important city-state in Greece.

However, the Athenians had evacuated their city before the Persians arrived, and their navy remained a potent force. Xerxes learned just how potent at the battle of Salamis in 480 BCE, when a Greek fleet of some 370 triremes soundly defeated 800 Persian galleys, destroying perhaps 300 Persian vessels at a cost of 40 Greek ships. This defeat delayed the planned Persian offensive further into Greece for a year, giving the Greeks time to strengthen their defenses against the invaders. Xerxes was forced to return to Persia, leaving his general Mardonius in command, and the Greeks promptly won several important naval and land battles against the new leader. With Mardonius's death in the battle of Plataea, the campaign was over and the surviving Persians withdrew from Greece in disorder.

Xerxes never mounted another invasion of Greece, though this was more due to his assassination than a lack of interest. In 465 BCE he fell victim to a plot engineered by the commander of his own royal bodyguard, who was in turn was killed by Xerxes's son Artaxerxes.

Ruling from 465 BCE to 404 BCE, the three Persian kings who followed Xerxes I—Artaxerxes I, Xerxes II, and Darius II—were weak and uninspiring. At the end of the 5th Century BCE the Persians regained some power in the Aegean, successfully playing the Greeks against one-another during the long Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. However, an Egyptian revolt in 405 BCE wrested the wayward province out of Persian control for more than 50 years.

Darius II was succeeded by Artaxerxes II, who ruled for 45 years. During his long reign Artaxerxes II fought a war against Sparta, once again over the Greek colonies in Asia Minor. Persia allied with the Athenians (who were recovering from their disastrous defeat in the Peloponnesian War) and Sparta was forced to come to terms.

Despite these occasional successes, Persian weakness and disorganization grew as the 4th Century BCE progressed. In 373 BCE a group of satraps revolted. They were put down, but other revolts followed, and with growing frequency. The position of king was increasingly unstable. Artaxerxes III came to the throne as a result of treachery in 359 BCE, and in an attempt to secure his position he promptly murdered as many of his relatives as he could find. In 338 BCE Artaxerxes III was poisoned at the orders of the eunuch Bagoas, who placed Artaxerxes's youngest son Arses in power. Arses promptly tried to kill Bagoas, but his effort failed and he himself was killed. Bagoas then elevated Darius III to the throne.

A former satrap of Armenia, Darius III was only distantly related to the late king(s)—but nearly everybody else with a better claim was dead. It is difficult to tell if he was an effective leader, for the Persian Empire had been in decline for well over a century by the time he assumed the throne. Its many component parts were in near-constant revolt against the increasingly inept central government. Palace intrigue further crippled the monarchy, and leaders who wished to survive spent as much time watching their backs as they did looking out for the interests of the empire. Any leader who took power under those circumstances would be in trouble.

However bad things were at home, they paled into insignificance with the troubles headed Darius’s way from across the Hellespont. In 336 BCE a young Macedone king named Alexander, later labelled “the Great,” sought to topple the tottering Persian Empire. Darius repeatedly met him in battle, often with far superior numbers, and Alexander simply destroyed his armies one after another. The Persian capital Persepolis fell to Alexander’s armies in 330 BCE, and Darius was murdered the same year. The last Achaemenid “King of Kings” had fallen.



Males Females Modern males Modern females
Ariomardus Artistun Arash Banu
Arsames Cassandane Dariush Darya
Arsites Drypetis Firdaus Firuzeh
Bardiya Parmida Jalal Golnar
Cambyses Parysatis Kianoush Laleh
Gaumata Phaedymia Rostam Niusha
Hydarnes Roxana Saam Roghayeh
Otanes Sisygambis Soheil Simin
Oxyathres Stateira Vahid Yasamin
Sogdianus Amytis Zubin Zareen


  • When the Persians were first added to the game, their colors were periwinkle and blood red. They were later changed to lavender and red, which now applies to all rulesets.
  • The Persian civilization's symbol is an eagle with a sun above its head, based on a stylized variant of the "falcon standard" of the Achaemenid Empire.
  • The Persian civilization ability references the provinces into which the Achaemenid Empire was divided.




CIVILIZATION VI – First Look- Persia

First Look: Persia

Related achievements[]

King of the Four Corners of the World
King of the Four Corners of the World
Win a regular game as Cyrus
A title commonly attributed to the Achaemenid kings of Persia.
Some Wine For Your Soldiers?
Some Wine For Your Soldiers?
Playing as Persia, conquer the original Scythian capital within 10 turns of declaring a surprise war on Scythia
During Cyrus' invasion of Scythia, he set up a trap where some of his soldiers set out a camp and drank wine. Scythians under Tomyris' son's command attacked the camp and drank all the wine there to celebrate. When Cyrus returned, he found little resistance in the drunk Scythians and slaughtered them.
Claimants of the Peacock Throne
Claimants of the Peacock Throne
Win a regular game as Nader Shah.
The Peacock Throne was the throne room for both Mughal and Afsharid kings.

See also[]

External links[]

Civilization VI Civilizations [edit]
AmericanArabianAustralian1AztecBabylonian1BrazilianByzantine1Canadian GS-OnlyChineseCree R&F-OnlyDutch R&F-OnlyEgyptianEnglishEthiopian1FrenchGallic1Georgian R&F-OnlyGermanGran Colombian1GreekHungarian GS-OnlyIncan GS-OnlyIndianIndonesian1JapaneseKhmer1KongoleseKorean R&F-OnlyMacedonian1Malian GS-OnlyMāori GS-OnlyMapuche R&F-OnlyMayan1Mongolian R&F-OnlyNorwegianNubian1Ottoman GS-OnlyPersian1Phoenician GS-OnlyPolish1Portuguese1RomanRussianScottish R&F-OnlyScythianSpanishSumerianSwedish GS-OnlyVietnamese1Zulu R&F-Only
1 Requires DLC

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.