550-330 BC – The Achaemenids rule the first Persian Empire with Persepolis as its capital. At its greatest extent under Darius I, it stretches from the Aegean Sea and Libya to the Indus Valley.
330 BC – Alexander the Great conquers the Persian Empire.
312-140 BC – Most of Persia is part of the Greek-dominated Seleucid Empire.
140 BC – 224 AD – Persia – known as the Parthian Empire – is ruled by the Arsacid dynasty.
224-651 AD – The Sassanids rule Persia and Zoroastrianism is the dominant religion.
636 AD – The Arab invasion starts the Islamic rule.
9th-13th century – A series of Iranian and Turkic dynasties come into power, including the Shia Buyids, the Seljuk Turks and the Empire of Khwarezm.
1220 – The Mongol forces of Genghis Khan overrun Persia, which becomes part of the Ilkhanate.
15th century – In eastern Iran Iranian, Turkic and Mongol dynasties compete, including the empire of Timur the Lame (Tamerlane).
1501 – The Safavid come into power and declare Shia Islam state religion.
1736 – Nadir Shah founds the short-lived Afsharid dynasty.
1751 – The Zand dynasty briefly takes over.
1794 – The Qajar dynasty restores stability to Iran after half a century of turmoil.
1926 – Reza Shah founds the Pahlavi dynasty, being later succeeded by his son Mohammad Reza.
1979 – The Islamic Revolution happens.