This chapter gives a brief overview of pre-Parthian history in Iran. Such an overview of the more than three thousand years of history in Iran enables a better understanding of the developments that led to the emergence of the Parthian Empire. First, the cultural developments of the empire of Elam (c. 3100–640 BC) are described, in which cuneiform writing was already in use. Second, the story of the immigration of the Medes and the Persians (c. 1500–550 BC) into Iranian territory. Third, how the Achaemenid Empire (c. 559–333 BC) emerged from these peoples is described. Alexander the Great’s (c. 333–323 BC) victory over the Achaemenid Empire shattered the then-existing world structure. In just ten years, Alexander created a huge empire, which was followed by the Seleucid Empire (c. 311–64/63 BC), named after Alexander’s successor, Seleucus I. With the decline of the Seleucid Empire the Parthian Empire (c. 247 BC – 224 AD) emerged.