希腊资料提供了一些典型的波斯教育思想。根据希罗多德的说法，波斯男孩直到五岁才被允许到他们父亲面前;在那之前，他们一直生活在妇女中间。从5岁到20岁，他们接受了马术、射箭和讲真话的训练(希罗多德，1.136)。波斯人认为说谎是最严重的罪行，而勇猛的武器是男子气概的标志。色诺芬在《Cyropaedia》中写道，直到十六、十七岁，波斯贵族的儿子们才在宫廷中长大，他们练习骑马、射箭、投掷长矛和打猎。他们还接受了正义、服从、忍耐和自制方面的训练(1.2.2-12、7.5.86、8.6.10;cf. idem, Anabasis 1.9.2-6;斯特拉博15.3.18)。显然，除了道德指导之外，波斯教育的目的是培养高效率的士兵。这一结论在大流士一世的墓志铭上得到了证实:“我受过手脚的训练。作为一名骑手，我是一名优秀的骑手。作为一个弓箭手，我是一个很好的弓箭手，无论是步行还是骑马。作为一个矛兵，我是一个很好的矛兵，无论是步行还是骑马”(DNb 40-45;肯特，《老波斯人》，第139-40页)。在《亚西比德书》(柏拉图著，1.120-23)中提到，波斯王子在十四岁时被指派给四个杰出的波斯人，他们分别被称为“最聪明的”、“最公正的”、“最温和的”和“最勇敢的”，他们分别教导他们崇拜神、政府、节制和勇气。普鲁塔克(亚达薛西3章3节)提到一位牧师，他向小居鲁士传授“东方三博士的智慧”。
Greek sources provide some idea of typical Persian education. According to Herodotus, Persian boys were not allowed into the presence of their fathers until the age of five years; until then they lived among the women. From ages five to twenty years they were trained in horsemanship, archery, and telling the truth (Herodotus, 1.136). Persians regarded lying as the worst of offenses, whereas prowess in arms was the mark of manliness. Xenophon wrote in Cyropaedia that until the age of sixteen or seventeen years the sons of Persian nobles were brought up at the royal court, practicing riding, archery, throwing the spear, and hunting. They were also instructed in justice, obedience, endurance, and self-restraint (1.2.2-12, 7.5.86, 8.6.10; cf. idem, Anabasis 1.9.2-6; Strabo, 15.3.18). Clearly, apart from ethical guidance, the aim of Persian education was to produce efficient soldiers. This conclusion is confirmed by the tomb inscription of Darius I: “Trained am I both with hands and with feet. As a horseman I am a good horseman. As a bowman I am a good bowman both afoot and on horseback. As a spearman I am a good spearman both afoot and on horseback” (DNb 40-45; Kent, Old Persian, pp. 139-40). In Alcibiades (attributed to Plato, 1.120-23) it is noted that Persian princes were assigned at the age of fourteen years to four eminent Persians, called respectively the “wisest,” “most just,” “most temperate,” and “bravest,” who tutored them in the worship of the gods, government, temperance, and courage respectively. Plutarch (Artaxerxes 3.3) mentioned a priest who taught “the wisdom of the Magi” to Cyrus the Younger.