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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


The Anniversary of the "Battle of the Persian Gate" & the Iranian Resistance


12 August 2008



LONDON, (CAIS) -- Today is the anniversary of “Battle of the Persian Gate” which is the symbol of Iranian bravery and ultimate sacrifice.


2338 years ago a regiment of the Persian army, led by the General Ario-Barzan held up the vast Alexander’s Macedonian army for 30 days before finally yielding to the sheer number of Macedonian army lead by Alexander II.

The battle has remained for Iranians as an epitome of strength through patriotism, training, truth and obedience as well as final sacrifice. It was the West’s first victory, the victory of chaos over the order.

Ariobarzan also spelled as Ario Barzan or Aryo Barzān, meaning the "exalting the Aryans/Iranians". His exact birth-date is unknown, it is speculated that he was born around 368 BCE.


Ariobarzan son of Artabazus was a Persian nobleman appointed as the satrap of Persepolis and Persis (the southern province of Fars in present-day Iran) by king Darius III, in 335 BCE.


For many researchers it is surprising that Darius III had appointed a satrap for Persepolis and Persis. It seems that previously, this office did not exist.


Following the Iranian defeat at Gaugamela in 331 BCE, Darius realized he could not defend his ceremonial capital Persepolis and travelled east to rebuild his armies, leaving Ariobarzan in command.


Meanwhile Alexander split his army and led his 14,000 strong force towards the Persepolis via the Persian Gates (Darband-e Pars).


There, Ariobarzan with his regiment (1000 or 1200 soldiers) successfully ambushed overwhelming Alexander's army, inflicting heavy casualties. The General’s success at the Battle of the Persian Gate was short lived though; after being held off for 30 days Alexander outflanked and destroyed the defending warriors.


Ariobarzan along with his sister Youtāb who was one of his captains and remaining 500 soldiers lost their lives defending Iran.


Some historical sources indicate that Azriobarzan was betrayed by a captured tribal chief named Libāni or Lubāni who showed the Macedonians an alternate path that allowed them to outflank Ariobarzan.


Alexander’s heirs ruled Iran for nearly 90 years until in a national uprising led by Arsaces I, the founder of third Iranian dynastic empire, the Arscaids defeated the invaders and freed Iranian from foreign oppression.



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