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Persian Immortals

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When fighting the Persian army of Xerxes, the battle proven Spartans of the movie 300, encounter an elite fighting force referred to as the Immortals. The Immortals were both an elite infantry unit and imperial guard to a succession of ancient Persian rulers of the Achaemenid dynasty: Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great and Xerxes the 1st. According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, the Immortals got their name because wounded, sick or fallen members of the unit, would immediately be replaced by new soldiers. Thus the unit always maintained a cohesive and IMMORTAL number of 10’000 men. The Immortals had special privileges. When going to war, they were accompanied by their servants and concubines who followed them in carriages. And they ate special food, much better than what the other soldiers had to eat. The Immortals were the military driving force for their Empire’s enormous expansion. At the height of its power around 500 B.C., the Achaemenid Empire encompassed more than three million square miles, spanning three continents including the modern territories of Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Lybia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, China, northern Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Oman and the Arab Emirates. The Achaemenid Empire of ancient Persia had an estimated 50million inhabitants, which at the time was more than 44% of the world population. According to the Guinness book of world records this is the highest such figure of any empire in history. The story of the immortals came to an end, when the Persian Empire fell to the military genius of Alexander The Great Honoring the elite Persian army, many rulers called their own elite forces Immortals throughout the centuries: From the medieval Byzantine cavalries to the Imperial guard of Napoleon in the 19th Century and the Iranian Shah’s elite force and palatial guard which got disbanded after the Iranian Revolution in 1979 The legacy of the immortals has lived on.

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Duration: 2 minutes and 54 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: watm on May 4, 2015

Persian Immortals

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