Iraq 500 CE

Under Persian rule, Mesopotamia reaches a peak of prosperity.

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What is happening in Iraq in 500CE

Along with other regions in the Middle East, Mesopotamia passed from the Parthian empire to the Sassanid empire in 222 CE. This Persian dynasty has created a centralized empire, and the small kingdoms which the Parthians tolerated have now come firmly under Sassanid control.

As in the Roman empire to its west, new religions have spread in the region. Whilst the Persian ruling class is loyal to Zoroastrianism, Christianity is widespread amongst the population at large, and many of the cities house flourishing Jewish colonies. A new religion also makes its appearance in Sassanid Mesopotamia, that of Manichaeism.

Under the Sasanian dynasty of Persia, Iraq has experienced one of its golden ages. The ancient irrigation system has been brought up to a pitch never before seen; new land has been brought under cultivation; cities have flourished, and the population has expanded. Iraq is the bread-basket of the Persian empire. Economically, the region probably attains its highest levels prior to the twentieth century.

Next map, Iraq in 750 CE

 

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