10 Greatest Persian Queens and Empresses In History

Also known as Persia in Western countries, Iran houses one of the oldest consistent major civilizations in the world. Throughout the history of Persia, women play a vital role in each period. In ancient period, Persia has great contribution from women in all aspects of life. They ruled several states and cities of prehistoric Persian Empire and they also had their army of women commanders. Women played a significant role in Ancient Persia and it was both fascinated and terrified. They were truly revered and honored like goddesses considered as the mothers before imposition of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

In this guide, you will get the glimpse to some of the most beautiful, famous and brave Persian queens who run the country wisely for thousands of years. This list of historical Persian Princess, Queens and Empresses and other warriors hails from epic Amazons.

10. Atusa Shahbanu

Atossa or Atussa was the Persian queen of Achaemenid Empire. She was a part-sister of Cambyses II and daughter of Cyrus the Great. Later on, she married Darius the Great and Xerxes the Great was her son.  She had great authority in royal house and court of Achaemenid and she married Darius I due to her influence and power and she was also a successor to the Cyrus the Great. Her younger son Xerxes succeeds his father due to her special position.

9. Amestris Shahbanu

She was the beautiful daughter of Otanes, a Persian nobleman. She is known to be the defender of the thought of democracy in the histories of Herodotus. Amestris Shahbanu was the Queen of Persia and first wife of King Xerxes (before Esther) and gave birth to King Artaxerxes. She was also notorious to be more bloodthirsty as compared to any Persian king and was also a military commander in Achaemenid.

8. Esther

Esther (also named Hadassah) is the eponymous lead of the book of Esther in Bible. She was the first Jewish queen of Persia in Achaemenid Emprire as well as the spouse of King Xerxes. Her story is the main reason for the Purim celebration in Jewish tradition. Any non-biblical account cannot verify her existence.

According to another view, Esther came from Theonym Ishtar. Jews in exile were mentioned in the Book of Daniel which is being assigned related to the gods of Babylon and Mordecai is known to become the servant of a Babylonian god, Marduk. Esther is supposed to be another interpretation of Hebrew from Proto-Semitic root.

7. Princess Estatira

Stateira II or Princess Estatira is also called as Barsine and daughter of Darius II and Stateira I of Persia. When her father was defeated at the Battle of Issus, Stateira along with her sister were captivated by the Alexander of Macedon. They got better treatment. When Alexander returned from India in 324 BC, she married to him and became second wife of him at Susa weddings. In same event, he also married Parysatis, her cousin, and daughter of predecessor of Darius. A year later, Alexander passed away and Stateira was murdered by Roxana, his first wife.

6. Roxana

She was first wife of Alexander the Great and a Bactrian princess. King Darius III was her father. She accompanied Alexander bravely on his campaign in the country. After Alexander passed away suddenly at Babylon in 323 BC, Roxana bore the king a posthumous son named him Alexander and killed by other wife of Alexander, Stateira II, along with either her sister Drypteis or his third wife Parysatis II.

5. Zand Shahbanu

She was the mighty spouse of King Khosrow Anushirvan (531-579) and the Queen of Persia, as well as the niece of Gen. Behram Chubin. She was very confident and intelligent lady and the counselor of Persian courthouse.

4. Shirin Shahbanu

She was the King Khosrow Parviz’s wife and the queen of the Sassanid Persian Empire. As a Christian princess, Shirin often consented to marry Khosrow following several romantic and heroic events. After a long time of her death, she becomes a vital heroine and honest wife and faithful lover of Persian literature. She seems to be in Shahnameh as well as the romantic relationship between Shirin and Khosrow seems to be in several other works by Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209).

3. Boran

Borandukht (590-631) was an empress of Sasanian Empire. Emperor Khosrow II was the father of Boran. She was one of just two women and first to rule Sasanian Empire and other was her successor and sister, Azarmidokht. Her reign has been placed by several authors between four months and one year to two years. She is often called as Boran on her coinage. Ferdowsi, a Persian poet calls her Porandokht in his poem, Shahnameh. She decided to revive the prestige and memory of her father under whom the Sasanian Empire expanded to its utmost territorial extent.

Her father was believed to have shahbestan with around 3000 concubines and it is known if her mom was among these concubines or the favorite wife of king, Shirin. She also had several other half-siblings and siblings, including Juvansher, Mardanshah, Kavadh II, Farrukhzad Khosrow V, Azarmidokht and Shahriyar. The Sasanian nobles deposed her father in 628 in favor of Kavadh II, her brother who executed king with 30 brothers of them due to the fear of rivalry and competition. She reproached Kavadh officially due to his barbaric acts.

2. Azarmidokht

Empress Azarmidokht was the queen of Sasania in Persia from 630 to 631 and daughter of Khosrow Parviz. After Shapur-iShahravaraz, she became the queen of Persia. With around 3000 concubines, she was supposed to have Shabestan and it was not known if these concubines have had her mother of Shirin, Khosrau’s favorite wife. She was one of several Sassanid Monarchs of Persia and had several other siblings. She ruled the empire when Purandokht passed away during Sassanid Dynasty period. She also had half-siblings named Borandukht, Mardanshah, Juvansher, Kavadh II, Shahriyar, and Farrukhzad Khosrau V. Her father was deposed in 628 by Sasanian nobles for Kavadh II, her brother who executed all of them except Farrukhzad and Juvansher who were hidden.

1. Turandokht

She was the prettiest Princess of Persia during the period of Sassanid dynasty. She was the sibling of Azarmidokht and Purandokht and daughter of mighty ruler King Khosrow Parviz. She was one of the greatest female warriors in Persian era. On their first Persia invading, she conquered Saracenesi by sustaining the fury of assailants. This list of some of the greatest Persian queens is incomplete without Turandokht. In ancient Persian Empire, women were said to be very valuable. They really played a great role in ruling the empire.

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