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Encyclopedia > Persian Immortals
A Persian Immortal wielding a spear, wicker shield, dagger, and bow.
A Persian Immortal wielding a spear, wicker shield, dagger, and bow.

The Achaemenid Persian Immortals, also known as the Persian Immortals or The Immortals were an elite force of soldiers which performed the dual roles of both Imperial Guard and standing army during the Greco-Persian Wars. Herodotus describes the Immortals as being heavy infantry led by Hydarnes that were kept constantly at a strength of exactly 10,000 men — every killed, seriously wounded or sick member was immediately replaced with a new one, maintaining the cohesion of the unit. [1] The regiment accepted only Median, Elamite or Persian applicants (Herodotus). Image File history File links Size of this preview: 300 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (400 × 800 pixel, file size: 219 KB, MIME type: image/png) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 300 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (400 × 800 pixel, file size: 219 KB, MIME type: image/png) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... This article is about a military rank. ... An imperial guard describes any group of military bodyguard or retainers responsible for the protection of an imperial person, be they an Emperor, Empress or Imperial Prince or Princess. ... Persian Wars redirects here. ... Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: HÄ“rodotos Halikarnāsseus) was a Greek historian from Ionia who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, bicycles, or other means. ... Hydarnes, son of Hydarnes, was an eminent Persian, the commander of the Ten Thousand Immortals during the time of the Persian Wars with Greece. ... Cohesion may mean: Cohesion (chemistry): the intermolecular attraction between like-molecules. ... Mede nobility. ... Elam (Persian: تمدن ایلام) is one of the oldest recorded civilizations. ... The Persian Empire was a series of historical empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the old Persian homeland, and beyond in Western Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. ...

Contents

Terminology

The term Immortals comes from Herodotus who called them either the Ten Thousand or Athanatoi (lit. immortals). There are no other sources and the Persians themselves have no record of such a unit. Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: Hērodotos Halikarnāsseus) was a Greek historian from Ionia who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... Look up immortal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Herodotus' source may have confused the name Anûšiya (companions) with Anauša (Immortals). Alexander the Great's historians mention a Persian unit similar to Herodotus' Immortals that they called 'Apple Bearers'.[1] For the film of the same name, see Alexander the Great (1956 film). ...


Equipment and training

The Immortals were equipped with a leather and wicker shield, a short spear with an iron point and a counterbalance on the other end, a bow with cane arrows, a quiver for them and a dagger or short sword. The regiment's clothing was not a uniform in the modern sense but consisted of a fairly standardised tiara or soft felt cap, an embroidered long-sleeved tunic, trousers, and a coat of metal. Their usual tactics involved a front rank charge at the enemy while the rear ranks shot arrows to support the assault. Modern leather-working tools Leather is a material created through the tanning of hides and skins of animals, primarily cattlehide. ... A wickerwork scratching post A wicker balloon basket capable of holding 16 passengers. ... A shield is a protective device, meant to intercept attacks. ... For other uses, see Spear (disambiguation) and Spears (disambiguation). ... Archery is the practice of using a bow to shoot arrows. ... Look up cane in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Quiver (disambiguation). ... Bold text This article is about the weapon. ... Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century Look up Sword in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A uniform is a set of standard clothing worn by members of an organisation whilst participating in that organisations activity. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Embroidery in silk thread on linen, 19th century Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with designs stitched in strands of thread or yarn using a needle. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Military tactics (Greek: Taktikē, the art of organizing an army) are the collective name for methods for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. ... Battle of Wołodarka Polish infantry charging enemy positions during the Polish Defensive War A charge is a maneuver in battle in which soldiers advance towards their enemy at their best speed to engage in close combat. ...


The Immortals had variegated costumes and acted as the Imperial Guards. "Of these one thousand carried spears with golden pomegranate at the lower end instead of spikes; and these encircled the other nine thousand, who bore on their spears pomegranates of silver."


The regiment was followed by a caravan of covered carriages, camels and mules that transported their women and servants. The Immortals received special food.[1]


The Immortals were trained from childhood how to handle their weapons, how to march, how to dress, and more. The training was rigorous and group selective. Immortals were required to be of Persian bloodlines, a good shot with a bow, and able to ride well. Later in time, a strict adherence to the religion of the prophet Zarathustra and his teachings, or "truth" as the Persians called it, was required. Zarathustra can refer to one of two people: Zarathustra, also spelled Zarathushtra or Zoroaster, was an ancient Iranian prophet, founder of the Zoroastrian religion. ...


The Immortals in history

Lancers, detail from the archers' frieze in Darius' palace in Susa. Silicious glazed bricks, c. 510 BC.
Lancers, detail from the archers' frieze in Darius' palace in Susa. Silicious glazed bricks, c. 510 BC.

The Immortals played an important role in Cyrus the Great's conquest of the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 547 BC, Cambyses' campaign against Egypt in 525 BC and Darius' invasion of India and Scythia in 520 BC and 513 BC. Immortals participated in the Battle of Marathon 490 BC and the Battle of Thermopylae 480 BC[2] and were in the Persian occupation troops in Greece in 479 BC under Mardonius. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (924x1322, 1084 KB) Summary Description: Lancers, detail from the archers frieze in Darius palace, Susa. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (924x1322, 1084 KB) Summary Description: Lancers, detail from the archers frieze in Darius palace, Susa. ... Winged sphinx from the palace of Darius the Great at Susa. ... “Cyrus” redirects here. ... Through the centuries of Assyrian domination, Babylonia enjoyed a prominent status, or revolting at the slightest indication that it did not. ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 590s BC - 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC Events and Trends 548 BC -- Croesus, Lydian king, defeated by Cyrus. ... Cambyses II (Persian Kambujiya (کمبوجیه), d. ... In the military sciences, a military campaign encompasses related military operations, usually conducted by a defense or fighting force, directed at gaining a particular desired state of affairs, usually within geographical and temporal limitations. ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC Events 529 BC - Cambyses II succeeds his father Cyrus as ruler of Persia. ... Darius the Great (c. ... Approximate extent of Scythia and Sarmatia in the 1st century BC (the orange background shows the spread of Eastern Iranian languages, among them Scytho-Sarmatian). ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC Events 529 BC - Cambyses II succeeds his father Cyrus as ruler of Persia. ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC - 460s BC Events and Trends Establishment of the Roman Republic March 12, 515 BC - Construction is completed on the... Combatants Athens, Plataea Persia Commanders Miltiades, Callimachus â€ , Arimnestus Datis â€ ?, Artaphernes Strength 10,000 Athenians, 1,000 Plataeans 20,000 - 100,000 a Casualties 192 Athenians killed, 11 Plataeans killed (Herodotus) 6,400 killed, 7 ships captured (Herodotus) a These are modern consensus estimates. ... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 540s BC 530s BC 520s BC 510s BC 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC Years: 495 BC 494 BC 493 BC 492 BC 491 BC - 490 BC - 489 BC 488 BC... Combatants Greek city-states Achaemenid Persia Commanders Leonidas â€  Xerxes the Great Strength 300 Spartans 700 Thespians[1] 6,000 other Greek allies1 200,000 to 300,000+ (Estimates vary) (See below) Casualties 299 Spartans 700 Thespians[1] 1,400 other Greek allies 20,000 (Herodotus)[2] 1 Out of the... The Persian invasion of Greece in 480-479 BC May — King Xerxes I of Persia marches from Sardis and onto Thrace and Macedonia. ... 479 pr. ... Mardonius was a Persian commander during the Persian Wars with Greece in the 5th century BC. He was the son of Gobryas and the son-in-law of Darius I of Persia, whose daughter Artozostra he had married. ...


Successors

The title of "Immortals" was first revived under the Sassanids. The most famous of the Savaran units were the Zhayedan (Immortals) and numbered 10,000 men, like the Achaemenid predecessors, with the difference that they were cavalry. Their task was mainly to secure any breakthroughs and to enter battles at crucial stages.

Main article: Immortals (Byzantine)

The title of "Immortals" was again revived under the Byzantine Empire, under the Emperor Michael VII (1071–1081). His general Nikephoros reorganised the central field army ("Tagmata") of the Eastern Empire following the disastrous defeat of Manzikert by the Turks in 1071. The remnants of the provincial troops of the Eastern Themes (military provinces) were brought together in a new Imperial Guard regiment named after the Persian Immortals and reportedly also numbering about 10,000 men. These were however cavalry, like the remainder of the Byzantine field army. The Immortals were a corps of the Byzantine army, raised during the latter part of the 11th century. ... “Byzantine” redirects here. ... Michael VII Doukas or Ducas (Greek: Μιχαήλ Ζ΄ Δούκας, MikhaÄ“l VII Doukas), nicknamed ParapinakÄ“s, Byzantine emperor from 1071 to 1078. ... Nikephoros or Nicephorus (Greek: , Bringer of Victory) is the name of: Nikephoros I, Byzantine emperor 802-811. ... The Byzantine Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, centered at its capital in Constantinople. ... Manzikert (in Turkish Malazgirt) is a town in MuÅŸ in eastern Turkey, with a population of 23 697 (year 2000) (??of 68 990). ... Events Byzantine Empire loses Battle of Manzikert to Turkish army under Alp Arslan. ... Not to be confused with Golgotha, which was called Calvary. ...

Main article: Imperial Guard

Many centuries later during the Napoleonic Wars/Wars of the Coalitions, French soldiers referred to Napoleon's Imperial Guard as "the Immortals."[3] The Imperial Guard (French:Garde impériale) was originally a small group of elite soldiers of the French Army under the direct command of Napoleon I, but grew considerably over time. ...

The modern Iranian Army under the last Shah included an all volunteer Javedan Guard, also known as the "Immortals" after the ancient Persian royal guard. The "Immortals" were based in the Lavizan Barracks in Tehran. By 1978 this elite force comprised a brigade of 4,000–5,000 men, including a battalion of Chieftain tanks. Following the overthrow of the Imperial regime in 1979 the "Immortals" were disbanded. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... // Introduction The Iranian Army is the national army of Iran and called the Artesh. ... Shah or Shahzad is a Persian term for a monarch (ruler) that has been adopted in many other languages. ... // In 1921 a Persian Royal Guard was in existence comprising 20,000 men. ... For other uses, see Tehran (disambiguation). ... The FV 4201 Chieftain was the Main battle tank of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s. ...


The Immortals in fiction

A 300 movie poster depicting the heavily fictionalized Persian Uber-Immortal.
A 300 movie poster depicting the heavily fictionalized Persian Uber-Immortal.
  • Frank Miller's comic book 300, turned into a motion picture in 2007, presents a heavily fictionalized version of the Immortals at the Battle of Thermopylae. The film illustrated these guards covered fully in black, with metallic masks covering their monstrous faces. The 1962 film The 300 Spartans includes similar depictions, although far less stylized.
  • Many historical strategy videogames featuring the Persian Empire (such as Civilization, Rise of Nations and the Age of Empires series) contain Immortals as a special unit. In the Square Enix game Final Fantasy XI, the Blue Mage job class and the Aht Urhgan Imperial Guard are based heavily on the Immortals.
  • The Drenai series, written by David Gemmell, features a military unit named the Immortals. Similar to the Persian Immortals, its number is maintained at a constant 10,000 soldiers.

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Frank Miller (born January 27, 1957) is an American writer, artist and film director best known for his film noir-style comic book stories. ... 300 is a historically-inspired comic book limited series (later collected into a single hardcover volume) written and illustrated by Frank Miller with painted colors by Lynn Varley. ... 300 is a 2007 film adaptation of the graphic novel 300 by Frank Miller, and is a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. ... Combatants Greek city-states Achaemenid Persia Commanders Leonidas â€  Xerxes the Great Strength 300 Spartans 700 Thespians[1] 6,000 other Greek allies1 200,000 to 300,000+ (Estimates vary) (See below) Casualties 299 Spartans 700 Thespians[1] 1,400 other Greek allies 20,000 (Herodotus)[2] 1 Out of the... The 300 Spartans is a 1962 film depicting the Battle of Thermopylae. ... Civilization is a series of turn-based strategy games produced by Sid Meier. ... Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy computer game, developed by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft on May 20, 2003. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... SQUARE ENIX (Japanese: スクウェア・エニックス) is a Japanese producer of popular video games and manga. ... Final Fantasy XI ), also known as Final Fantasy XI: Online, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) as a part of the Final Fantasy video game series. ... David Andrew Gemmell (August 1, 1948–July 28, 2006) was a popular UK fantasy writer and occasional historical fictionalist. ... David Andrew Gemmell (August 1, 1948–July 28, 2006) was a popular UK fantasy writer and occasional historical fictionalist. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c 'Immortals' by Jona Lendering. Livius: Articles on ancient History. Retrieved 24 March 2007.
  2. ^ Thermopylae (480 BCE) by Jona Lendering. Copyright 2005. Latest revision: 11 March 2007. Retrieved 24 March 2007.
  3. ^ Georges Blond, La Grande Armée, trans. Marshall May (New York: Arms and Armor, 1997), 48, 103, 470

External links

  • The Persian Immortals

  Results from FactBites:
 
Persian Immortals (338 words)
The Persian Immortals were a Persian elite Royal Guard regiment during the Persian Wars.
Immortals participated in the battles of Marathon and Thermopylae and were in the Persian occupation troops in Greece in 479 BC under Mardonius.
Immortals are the Persian special unit in Civilization III, Civilization IV and Rise of Nations.
Immortals (895 words)
The 'Immortals', is the Greek term for the elite of the Persian army.
Although the Immortals are portrayed carrying bow and spear, it is thought that their battle formation was a mixed formation of archers, spearman and shield bearers, rather than a body a soldiers each armed identically.
Persian Immortals in 1971 marching in a military parade in Tehran, celebrating the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian empire.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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