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Persian Immortal
Mm.jpg
Weapons Sagaris, Spear (Persian), Bow and Arrow (Persian), Chariot Scythe
Origin Persian Empire
Activities Bodyguards for the royal class

Fighting for the Persian Empire

Service
Battle Status Won vs the Celt
Experts Ardeshir Radpour (Persian Historian/Equestrian)

Cyrus Zahiri (Persian Sword Master)

"The Persian Immortals were the special forces of the ancient world. They were trained from the age of five to do nothing but kill and destroy other soldiers."

- Ardeshir Radpour, Persian historian/equestrian

The Persian Immortals: the precision killer in a massive war machine who forged the largest empire the middle east has ever seen.


Vs...

the Celt, the savage war loving barbarian from 400 BC, who dominated Europe through brute force and raw fighting skills.

WHO IS DEADLIEST?!

Stats

  • Year - 500 BC
  • Height - 5' 8"
  • Weight - 160 lbs
  • Armor - Bronze Scales & Wicker Shield
  • Symbol - Zoroastrian Faravahar (Persian religious symbol)

History

The first known Persian civilization was named Elam; isolated between the Zagros Mountains and the Persian Gulf. However there is evidence of 'Proto-Elamites', which had one of the first written languages (most likely branching off of Sumerian languages). During the Iron Age the first empire to control most of the Middle East was the Neo-Assyrian Empire. During the 600s BC, the Neo-Assyrian Empire was split into the Neo-Babylonian and Medes Empires.

The Medes or Median Empire would temporarily conquer Elma; which regained independence and by 550 BC, the Persians Achaemenid Empire formed by King Cyrus. Cyrus was able to conquer the larger Median Empire through both military and political means; the Persian Empire promised to respect the people they conquered equally to Persians. This idea was popular with the nobles of the Median Empire; especially multiple ethnic groups that were repressed by the Medians. This tolerance for other societies allowed the Empire to not only grow rapidly but maintain its massive size.

The Persian Empire would continue to expand under Cyrus; conquering most of Iran, Turkey, Israel, The Levant, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Cyrus's son Cambyses II succeeded him after his death in 530 BC. Cambyses II was a ruthless conqueror unlike his father. Despite conquering Egypt; Cambyses II was unpopular for his warcrimes and assassinated. He was temporarily succeeded by Bardiya who was replaced by Darius I.

Darius I's reign faced initial hostilities due to the assassination of Cambyses II; but such revolts were put down. Darius I expanded further; primarily in Rajasthan and the modern-day Tekirdağ Subregion of Turkey.

498BC began the tensions between Greece and Persia; with Anatolian city-states revolted against Persia. The Ionians of Anatolia had close ties with Athens, and Athens' support of the revolt angered the Persians.

The Immortals served as an Imperial Guard and a standing army during the Persian Empire's expansion and the Greco-Persian Wars. They were so named because the group always contained exactly 10,000 men, as each man who retired, was killed, wounded, or seriously ill would be immediately replaced by a reserve. The Immortals also immediately removed all of their killed and wounded from the battlefield which heightened the illusion that they couldn't be killed.

Eventually; the Empire faced political infighting due to the debates over the rightful successions of Persian kings. With the Empire busy with revolts, they were unprepared for the rise of the Macedonian Empire under the military genius Alexander the Great.

Contrary to popular belief, the Immortals did not die out after Alexander conquered Persia. Later Persian Empires revived the Immortals and their reputation continued to survive. Only until the rise of modern warfare have the Immortals truly died out.

After the Macedonian Empire fell, the former Persian Empire fractured into smaller states before returning to the Seleucid Empire between 312 BC–63 BC. Despite the fall; Greek peoples, language and culture would remain relevant in Persia for several centuries.

The Parthian Empire 247 BC–224 AD and the Sasanian Empire 224–651 existed between the Roman Empire and the Indian Empire. This made these empires essential for the Silk Road connecting Rome with China; creating Golden Ages for many. The Parthians revived the tolerant policies of Cyrus II and Darius I. The Roman Empire attempted to expand into the Middle East. In retaliation; the Persians executed the Roman general Crassus. This outraged Rome and encouraged Roman generals to invade Persia. However the Roman Army was mostly heavy foot-soldiers; who could do very little against the agile Persian horse-archers: especially when the horse-archers fought on open desert ground. Roman forts combined wit hit-and-run tactics resisted Parthian invasions into Roman territory. The stalemate between the two Empires were costly, and thus were factors in both Empires collapsing; with the Parthians being taken over by the Sasanians.

The Sasanian originated in the same region that was once Elma, and so the Sasanians wanted to reintroduce ancient Persian and Zoroastrian culture by removing Macedonian influence. The Sasanians, unlike previous Persian empires, have little tolerance of other cultures and were relatively repressive to non-Persians. The Sasanians also removed Roman influence from the Middle East as the Roman Empire collapsed; becoming too weak to fend off Persian invasions. When the Medieval ages began and the European king Constantine declared himself protector of all Christians; the Zoroastrian Sasanian Shah, Shapur II, saw Christians as a threat and so began to repress non-Zoroastrian religious groups. Khosrow II reintroduced tolerance to these minorities; but the European Christians remained hostile to Persia ever since. Khosrow II attempted to reconquer Turkey, Israel and Egypt; but this was only temporary and the war ended in failure, high costs and high casualties. This weakening of Persia allowed Muhammad's Arabic Empire (Rashidun Caliphate) to conquer the Sasanians in 651 AD.

The Islamic Empire spread the religion of Islam across Africa and South Asia; making Islam one of the largest religions even today. Persia and Babylon were considered to be significant in establishing the Islamic Golden Age; a period of economic, artistic, political and technological prosperity.

The rise of the Seljuq Turkish Dynasty (1037–1194 AD) led to the first Crusades when the Byzantine Empire requested the Pope to send Knights to prevent Islamic expansion.

The Safavid Dynasty (1501–1736) was noticeable for converting Persia to Shia Islam.

The modern state of Iran, while no longer an Empire, has one of the strongest and most advanced militaries in their region as part of their experience fighting Saddam Hussein in the Iraq/Iran War and for self-defense against threats by NATO and Israel. They have used their new military might to assist and protect other Shia nations and peoples, though enemies of Iran declare such actions as supporting terrorism. Some nations have also accused Iran of trying to rebuild the Persian Empire by influencing Iraq, Bahrain, and nations within The Levant. Despite being considered a 'rouge nation', Iran has shown significant economic and cultural growth in the modern world. Despite being a theocracy; many consider Iran to be a relatively progressive nation in the modern Islamic world.

Weapons

Weapons 689 Persian Immortal
Close-Range: Sagaris 127
Mid-Range: Spear 247
Long-Range: Bow and Arrow 180
Special Weapons: Chariot Scythe 135

Armor

The Persian Immortals wore a corset of overlapping bronze scales underneath their robes (though in Deadliest Warrior the Immortal is shown wearing it outside of his robes). The show proved that the armor can protect the Immortal, but will break or fall apart if it recieves heavy damage. They carried a wicker shield known as a gerron, though they adopted the Greek aspis during the Greco-Persian Wars after realizing that it offered far greater protection against the Greeks' weapons.

Simulated Battle

The battle begins in a open field with the Persian Immortal and Celt in their own chariots, each with its own charioteer. The Celt raises his Long Sword and points at the other chariot, signaling his charioteer to advance. The Immortal's chariot signals for the chariot to charge as well. As the two chariots race across the field, the Immortal fires an arrow from his bow and hits the Celt's charioteer in his chest. The Persian chariot closes in and breaks one of the Chariot's wheels with a Chariot Scythe. The collision throws the Celt off of his chariot and flips the chariot over. The Celt runs up to the fallen vehicle and grabs his Lancea, choosing to abandon his shield. With a loud battlecry, he charges at the Persian Immortal and his chariot. The Persian fires another arrow, but misses. As he readies another arrow, the Celt throws his Lancea. It misses, but it distracts the Immortal and prevents him from getting a clear shot. The Celt runs past the Persian chariot, vaulting over the incoming Scythe. He grabs his Lancea and tries to distance himself from the chariot. He realizes that it won't do him any good, however, and chooses to discard it in favor of his Sling. The Persian Immortal jumps off his chariot with his spear and shield just before the Celt swings his Sling around and throws a rock. The rock hits the Persian charioteer and knocks him unconsious. The Immortal runs towards the Celt, but the Celt picks up his Lancea just as the Immortal approaches him. He thrusts at the Immortal, knocking his spear out of his hand. The Immortal tries to back off, but the Celt jumps up and kicks him. The Immortal draws his Sagaris axe and glares at the Celt. The two begin to swing at each other, but cannot pull off a successful blow. After a few misses, the Celt aims at the Immortal's thigh and stabs it. The Persian Immortal yells in pain and swings, forcing the Celt to pull out his Lancea. The Immortal tries an overhand swing, but the Celt blocks with his Lancea. The Persian seizes the opportunity to kick him in the stomach and knock him down. The Celt gets back up and draws his Long Sword and Burda club. He distracts the Immortal with the Long Sword, and then hits the Immortal with the club. The Persian Immortal blocks the Long Sword with his Sagaris, but the Celt kicks him again. The Celt tries to finish the fight with a stab, but the Immortal rolls out of the way. He gets back up and swings the Sagaris, but the Celt parries and hits him twice with the Burda Club. The Immortal falls to the floor, but manages to roll over and block the Long Sword with the Sagaris. He gets up and spins around the Sagaris, piercing the Celt's arm. The Celt hits the Sagaris out of the Persian Immortal's hands and leaves him without a weapon. The Immortal runs away, forcing the Celt to chase him down, dropping the Burda from his wounded arm. The Immortal finds his spear laying on the floor and grabs it. He thrusts it at the Celt twice, but misses. The Celt tries to swing the sword downward, but the Immortal flips the Spear over and hits him in the head with the iron counterweight on the bottom of the spear. The Celt throws his head back in pain, giving the Immortal enough time to flip the Spear again and stab the Celt in the chest. He drives the Spear harder through the leather armor and forces the Celt to the floor. The Immortal pushes the spear deeper until blood spews out of the Celt's mouth as the Immortal pulls out his spear. The Persian Immortal, standing over the dead body, raises his spear and yell out "Parsa!" (Persia) in victory.


Expert's Opinion

The reason for the Persian Immortal's victory was that every one of his weapons were extremely deadly and efficient (all scoring in the triple digits) whereas the only efficient weapons of the Celt were the Long Sword and the Lancea. Besides that, the Persian Immortal is a well-disciplined fighter unlike the Celt who fought recklessly and it doesn't help when the latter has better physical attributes than him.

Trivia

  • Contrary to Western views of the Empire (including those shown in the film 300); Cyrus II and Darius I were not evil tyrants but progressive and tolerant towards their multi-ethnic subjects (including introducing gender equality reforms). However since Greece was at war with Persia; anti-Persian propaganda demonized the Persians.
    • Modern day Iran shares similar policies to integrate minorities into the nation; although they are harsh against independent movements and foreign or non-Islamic influences.
    • It should be noted however that the Sasanian Shah Shapur II did reverse many of these gender-equality reforms and repressed Western or Christian peoples. Khosrow II however did make attempts to reverse Shapur's policies.
  • The Immortals appeared in the Alexander/Attila episode, fighting Alexander's army. Alexander would eventually win against the Persian Empire, ending the reign of the classical Immortals.
  • The term "Immortal" was coined only by non-Persian sources, possibly a mistranslation between the similarly-sounding Persian words for "Companions" and "Immortals".
  • 44% of the world's population lived in the Persian Empire during the reign of said Empire. This is twice as much as the British Empire, which controlled 20% of the world population. This is due to the fact that most other regions of the world were mostly tribal while Persia was one of the few intact civilizations other than India and China.
  • Immortals regularly hunted large cats for sport; including lions. Pelt collecting was seen as a luxury trophy of the hunt.
  • In the Battle of Pelusium, the Persian Immortals used cats as meat-shields to defeat the Egyptians. This was successful because Egyptians refused to attack cats due to their religious significance. The Persians however did not have this taboo and so exploited it to their advantage: allowing the conquest of Egypt.
  • During the Sasanian Empire there was an elite unit in the army called the Zhayedan, which appers to have been modeled on the Immortals of the Achaemenid Empire as seen on the show.
  • Persian-Jewish relationships were initially very positive. Cyrus the Great authorized the construction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem and the Jews within the Persian Empire did not face large-scale persecution. Today, Iran does tolerate its own populations of non-muslims; however the construction of synagogues and churches are outlawed.
  • The Persians and Celts, were considered by the Romans to be two of the four great barbarians peoples. The other two were the Scythians and the Visigoths.
  • Zoroastrianism was a major influence in other religions of the Middle-East; especially Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Gallery

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