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Welcome to the Persian World!
In our timeline, Iran (Modern Persia in 2010) is an Islamic theocracy where the government rules under the rules of the Muslim faith, where your daily life is under the control of the Muslim codes of ethics. The western world distrusts Iran, and vice-versa. Thousands, if not millions have died since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, which created the Iran in which we know today.
In this alternate timeline, Persia (In 378 BC) is the World's first major superpower which is experiencing a glorious golden age. The Arts, Science and the quality of life in Persia are flourishing under a strong, democratic senate. The Republic of Persia controls lands stretching from classical Greece to India. Racism, slavery and crime are non-existent. Although enemies like the ever-aggressive Scythian tribes exist, the Republic continues to remain stable. (As of now)
The 'Point of Divergeance'
The Point-of-Divergeance occurs at 490 BC, during the Battle of Marathon, during the Greco-Persian Wars. In the first stage of the battle, where the Persian archers are marching forward, a small group of Persian archers are arguing over their positions, with one side wanting to go to the front, while the other side wishes to remain at the back. In our timeline, an officer breaks up the fight, but in this alternate timeline, he decides it is none of his business and he does not break up the fight. Thus, the fight continues. Eventually, the two sides come to an agreement, they both choose a representative from both sides, and decide that whoever can shoot further will win the argument. It is agreed and they both aim and shoot.Meanwhile, the Athenians don't notice the two lone arrows flying towards them. The arrows land right in the middle of the Athenian army.
One of the arrows hits the Athenian General and kills him.
The Athenians turn around, hearing a scream. They are bewilded at the death of their leader. Soon, panic grows as the Athenians worry over their strategy. Then, the Persian General, like in our timeline, orders the archers to take aim and fire. The Athenians, who are so engrossed over their general's death, are caught completely by surprise. Thousands die as the Persian arrows rain down on them, and the Athenians scamper and retreat as complete chaos takes over. The Persian light infantry and the elite 'Immortals' mop up the remaining Athenians. With most of their army defeated, Athens is defenceless. Within two weeks, Athens is taken without much of a fight, and the Acropolis is razed.
As the days past, the Spartans, the Athenians' allies, are demoralised as they march on to Athens, due to the various encounters of the defeated Athenian Army. The Persians, on the other hand, feel invincible and happily prepare to defend their newly-occupied city. As the Spartans try to liberate the city after a few days, the Persians put up an amazing defense. The Spartans are massacred. The other Greek nations, scared of the prospect of being defeated too, surrender to the Persian Empire.