Presumably it was a tribe of herdsmen who settled in the south-west of present-day Iran in the 8th century B.C.. This region was known as Parsa, or Persis as the Greeks called it. When, in 550 B.C., the Achaemenid Kyros ascended the throne, it took only a few years for the Persian Empire to be feared as a terrifying opponent.
One of his successors, Dareios I, had a residence built for himself which was to be more magnificent than anything ever known before: Persepolis. It soon gained a reputation as "the richest city under the sun".
After conquering the city, Alexander the Great employed 20,000 mules and 5,000 camels to carry away the riches of the city.
Nevertheless, the splendid reliefs and ruins still convey a picture of a royal court which reveled in pomp and luxury.
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