|Sassanid Empire under Khosrau II in 620|
|Dark green: Traditional borders. |
Medium green: Contested territory.
Light green: Territory annexed in the east, or during war with the Byzantines (7th Century).
|Official languages||Middle Persian|
|Capitals||Ctesiphon, in the early years of the empire Ardashir-Khwarrah|
|Head of state||Shahanshah (شاهنشاه)|
|Deliberative Body||Council of Ministers|
|Dissolution||Arab invasion during the Muslim conquests and death of Yazdegerd III in Merv on 651. Middle Persian is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times (224-654 CE became a Prestige dialect For the Spanish saint see Ctesiphon of Vergium. Ctesiphon (قطسيفون تیسفون was one of the great cities of the Persian Empire For the city in Uttar Pradesh, see Firozabad Firouzabad or Firuzabad ( Sassanid Middle Persian Ardasher-Khwarrah A monarchy is a Form of government in which supreme power is actually or nominally lodged in an individual who is the Head of state, often for life or Shah is an Iranian term for a Monarch (leader that has been adopted in many other languages Events By Place Asia Cao Rui becomes emperor of the Kingdom of Wei of China. The araB gene Promoter is a bacterial promoter activated by e L-arabinose binding The initial Arab Muslim conquests (632–732 (فتح Fatah, literally opening, also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab Yazdgerd III (also spelled Yazdegerd or Yazdiger, Persian: یزدگرد سوم "made by God") was the twenty-ninth and last king of Merv ( Russian: Мерв from Persian: مرو Marv, sometimes transliterated Marw or Mary; cf Events Europe Clovis II, king of Neustria and Burgundy, marries the future Saint Bathilde.|
|First emperor||Ardashir I (226-241)|
|Last Emperor||Yazdegerd III (632-651)|
|Preceding state||Parthian Empire|
|Area||3. Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid dynasty, was ruler of Istakhr (206-241 subsequently Persia Yazdgerd III (also spelled Yazdegerd or Yazdiger, Persian: یزدگرد سوم "made by God") was the twenty-ninth and last king of A caliphate (from the Arabic خلافة or khilāfa) is the political leadership of the Muslim community in classical and medieval Islamic history 5 million km² (under Khosrau II in 550)|
The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Dynasty (Persian: ساسانیان [sɒsɒnijɒn]) is the name used for the third Iranian dynasty and the second Persian Empire (226–651). Khosrau II or Khosrow II ( Chosroes II or Xosrov II in classical sources sometimes called Events By place Byzantine Empire January 16 — Gothic War (535–552: The Ostrogoths, under King Totila Drachma, pl drachmas or drachmae (δραχμή pl δραχμές or δραχμαί (until 1982 is the name of An ancient currency unit found in many The Persian Empire was a series of Iranian empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the original Persian homeland and beyond in Western Asia  The Sassanid dynasty was founded by Ardashir I after defeating the last Parthian (Arsacid) king, Artabanus IV (Persian: اردوان Ardavan) and ended when the last Sassanid Shahanshah (King of Kings), Yazdegerd III (632–651), lost a 14-year struggle to drive out the early Arab Caliphate, the first of the Islamic empires. Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid dynasty, was ruler of Istakhr (206-241 subsequently Persia Artabanus IV of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire from 216 to 224 Shah is an Iranian term for a Monarch (leader that has been adopted in many other languages Yazdgerd III (also spelled Yazdegerd or Yazdiger, Persian: یزدگرد سوم "made by God") was the twenty-ninth and last king of The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs ( ar الخلفاء الراشدون) is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first A caliphate (from the Arabic خلافة or khilāfa) is the political leadership of the Muslim community in classical and medieval Islamic history The Sassanid Empire's traditional territory encompassed all of today's Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Afghanistan, eastern parts of Turkey, and parts of Syria, Pakistan, Caucasia, Central Asia and Arabia. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Armenia (Հայաստան transliterated: Hayastan,) officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն Hayastani Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية Pakistan () officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia, Southwest Asia, Middle East and Central Asia is a region of Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to central China in the east and from southern Russia in the north to northern Pakistan in the south The Arabian Peninsula (in Arabic: شبه الجزيرة العربية šibh al-jazīra al-ʻarabīya or جزيرة العرب jazīrat al-ʻarab) The Sassanids called their empire Eranshahr "Dominion of the Iranians (Aryans)". Aryan is an English word derived from the Sanskrit " Ārya " meaning "noble" or "honorable"
The Sassanid era, encompassing the length of the Late Antiquity period, is considered to be one of Iran's most important and influential historical periods. Late Antiquity (c 300-600 is a Periodization used by historians to describe the transitional centuries from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in In many ways the Sassanid period witnessed the highest achievement of Persian civilization, and constituted the last great Iranian Empire before the Muslim conquest and adoption of Islam. To best understand Iran and its people one must first attempt to acquire an understanding of its ancient culture The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656 led to the end of the Sassanid Empire and the eventual extirpation of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia Persia influenced Roman civilization considerably during the Sassanids' times, and the Romans reserved for the Sassanid Persians alone the status of equals, exemplified in the letters written by the Roman Emperor to the Persian Shahanshah, which were addressed to "my brother. " Their cultural influence extended far beyond the empire's territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa, China and India and played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asiatic medieval art. 
This influence carried forward to the early Islamic world with the Muslim conquest of Iran, especially the dynasty's unique, aristocratic culture. The term Muslim world (or Islamic world) has several meanings  Zarinkoob even goes to the extent of claiming that much of what later became known as Islamic culture, architecture, writing and other skills was borrowed mainly from the Sassanid Persians and propagated throughout the broader Muslim world, although this assertion has not been corroborated by other scholars. 
The Sassanid Dynasty was established by Ardashir I (226–241), a descendant of a line of the priests of goddess Anahita in Istakhr, Persis (Pars), who at the beginning of the third century had acquired the governorship of Persis. Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid dynasty, was ruler of Istakhr (206-241 subsequently Persia ae Aredvi Sura Anahita ( ae Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā) is the Avestan language name of an Indo-Iranian Cosmological figure venerated as the divinity Fars (pronounced/fɑː(ɹs ( Persian: فارس Fârs) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. Fars (pronounced/fɑː(ɹs ( Persian: فارس Fârs) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. His father Papag (also pronounced Papak and Babak), was originally the ruler of a small town called Kheir, but had managed, in 205, to depose Gocihr, the last king of the Bazrangids (the local rulers of Persis as a client of the Arsacids) and appointed himself as the new ruler. The Bazrangids (also known as Bazrangi or Badhrangids) were an ancient mountain-dwelling Iranian tribe that established a maritime empire outside the Parthia ( Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was an Iranian civilization situated in the northeastern part of modern Iran His mother, Rodhagh, was the daughter of the provincial governor of Peris. Periş is a commune in the far northwestern corner of Ilfov county, Romania. The eponymous founder of the line was Ardashir I's paternal grandfather, Sassan, the great priest of the Temple of Anahita. Sasan or Sassan (in Persian ساسان was the great priest of Temple of Anahita and father of Papag (Babak and grandfather of Ardashir ae Aredvi Sura Anahita ( ae Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā) is the Avestan language name of an Indo-Iranian Cosmological figure venerated as the divinity
Pabag's efforts in gaining local power at the time escaped the attention of Artabanus IV, the Arsacid Emperor of the time who was involved in a dynastic struggle with his brother Vologases (Walakhsh) VI in Mesopotamia. Artabanus IV of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire from 216 to 224 Mesopotamia (from the Greek meaning "land between the rivers" is an area geographically located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers largely corresponding Using the relief offered by these problems among the Arsacids, Pabag and his eldest son Shapur managed to expand their power over all of Persis. The subsequent events are unclear, due to the sketchy nature of the sources. It is however certain that following the death of Pabag around 220, Ardashir who at the time was the governor of Darabgird, got involved in a power struggle of his own with his elder brother Shapur. The sources tell us that in 222, Shapur, leaving for a meeting with his brother, was killed when the roof of a building collapsed on him. 
At this point, Ardashir moved his capital further to the south of Persis and founded a capital at Ardashir-Khwarrah (formerly Gur, modern day Firouzabad). For the city in Uttar Pradesh, see Firozabad Firouzabad or Firuzabad ( Sassanid Middle Persian Ardasher-Khwarrah For the city in Uttar Pradesh, see Firozabad Firouzabad or Firuzabad ( Sassanid Middle Persian Ardasher-Khwarrah The city, well supported by high mountains and easily defendable through narrow passes, became the center of Ardashir's efforts to gain more power. The city was surrounded by a high, circular wall, probably copied from that of Darabgird, and on the north-side included a large palace, remains of which still survive.
After establishing his rule over Persis, Ardashir I rapidly extended his territory, demanding fealty from the local princes of Fars, and gaining control over the neighboring provinces of Kerman, Isfahan, Susiana, and Mesene. An Oath of fealty, from the Latin fidelitas ( Faithfulness) is a pledge of Allegiance of one person to another Kermān is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. It is in the south-east of the country Susa ( Biblical שושן ( Shushan) also Greek: Σοῦσα Transliterated as Sousa; Latin Susa) Mesene redirects here For the Genus of Metalmark butterflies, see Mesene (butterfly. This expansion quickly came to the attention of Artabanus IV (216–224), Ardashir I's overlord. Artabanus IV of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire from 216 to 224 Artabanus IV initially ordered the governor of Khuzestan to march against Ardashir in 224, but this ended up in a major victory for Ardashir. Artabanus himself marched a second time against Ardashir I in 224. Their armies clashed at Hormizdeghan, where Artabanus IV was killed. Ardashir I went on to invade the western provinces of the now defunct Parthian (Arsacid) Empire. Parthia ( Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was an Iranian civilization situated in the northeastern part of modern Iran Crowned in 226 at Ctesiphon as the sole ruler of Persia, he took the title Shahanshah, or "King of Kings" (the inscriptions mention Adhur-Anahid as his "Queen of Queens", but her relationship with Ardashir is not established), bringing the 400-year-old Parthian Empire to an end and beginning four centuries of Sassanid rule. For the Spanish saint see Ctesiphon of Vergium. Ctesiphon (قطسيفون تیسفون was one of the great cities of the Persian Empire Shah is an Iranian term for a Monarch (leader that has been adopted in many other languages Banebshenan banebshen (In Persian بانبشنان بانبشن was the Pahlavi title of Sassanid Queens of Persia
Over the next few years, following local rebellions around the empire, Ardashir I further expanded his new empire to the east and northwest, conquering the provinces of Sistan, Gorgan, Khorasan, Margiana (in modern Turkmenistan), Balkh, and Chorasmia. Modern Sistan ( is a border region in southeastern Iran (see Sistan and Baluchestan Province) and southwestern Afghanistan (see Nimruz Province Gorgan ( Persian: گرگان Caspian: Vergen is the capital of the Golestan Province, Iran. Merv ( Russian: Мерв from Persian: مرو Marv, sometimes transliterated Marw or Mary; cf Turkmenistan ( Türkmenistan; also known as Turkmenia) is a Turkic country in Central Asia. Balkh ( - Balḫ) also known as Bactra, was once a major world city but was destroyed entirely by the Mongols. Khwarezm were a series of States centered on the Amu Darya River delta of the He also added Bahrain and Mosul to Sassanid possessions. The Kingdom of Bahrain (in مملكة البحرين,, literally Kingdom of the Two Seas) is an Island country in the Persian Gulf For the village in Azerbaijan see Mosul Azerbaijan. Mosul (الموصل Al Mūṣul, Kurdish: Mosul/Ninawa, Musul Later Sasanid inscriptions also claim the submission of the Kings of Kushan, Turan, and Mekran to Ardashir, although based on numismatic evidence, it is more likely that these actually submitted to Ardashir's son, the future Shapur I. The Kushan Empire (c 1st &ndash 3rd centuries) was a Bactrian state that at its cultural zenith Circa 105 &ndash 250 Tūrān ( is the ancient Iranian name for Central Asia, literally meaning "the land of the Tur" Makran ( Urdu / Persian: مکران) is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along Shapur I was the second Sassanid King of the Second Persian Empire. In the west, assaults against Hatra, Armenia, and Adiabene met with less success. Hatra (الحضر) is an ancient ruined city in the Ninawa Governorate and al-Jazira region of Iraq. The Kingdom of Armenia (or Greater Armenia) was an independent kingdom from 190 BC to AD 387 and a client state of the Roman and Persian empires until Adiabene (from the Αδιαβηνή Adiabene, itself derived from Aramaic syr ܚܕܝܐܒ Ḥaḏy’aḇ or Ḥḏay’aḇ) was In 230 he raided deep into Roman territory, and a Roman counter-offensive two years later ended inconclusively.
Ardashir I's son Shapur I (241–272) continued the expansion of the empire, conquering Bactria and the western portion of the Kushan Empire, while leading several campaigns against Rome. Shapur I was the second Sassanid King of the Second Persian Empire. "Bactrian" redirects here For the camel see Bactrian camel. The Kushan Empire (c 1st &ndash 3rd centuries) was a Bactrian state that at its cultural zenith Circa 105 &ndash 250 Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 Invading Roman Mesopotamia, Shapur I captured Carrhae and Nisibis, but in 243 the Roman general Timesitheus defeated the Persians at Rhesaina and regained the lost territories. Nusaybin ancient Nisibis, Nisibia Nisibin is a city in Mardin Province, southeastern Turkey populated by Turks, Aramean-Syriacs Gaius Furius Sabinius Aquila Timesitheus (?-243 was a Roman knight who lived in the 3rd century and was the most important advisor to Roman Emperor Gordian III. The Battle of Resaena or Resaina, near Ceylanpinar TR was fought in 243 between the forces of the Roman Empire, led by Praetorian Prefect The emperor Gordian III's (238–244) subsequent advance down the Euphrates was defeated at Meshike (244), leading to Gordian's murder by his own troops and enabling Shapur to conclude a highly advantageous peace treaty with the new emperor Philip the Arab (244–249), by which he secured the immediate payment of 500,000 denari and further annual payments. Marcus Antonius Gordianus ( January 20 225 – February 11, 244) known in English as Gordian III, was Roman Emperor The Battle of Misiche (dated between Jan 13 and March 14 244AD was fought between the Sassanid Persians and the Romans somewhere in ancient Mesopotamia Marcus Julius Philippus or Philippus I Arabs (c 204 - 249 known in English as Philip the Arab or formerly (prior to World War II in Shapur soon resumed the war, defeating the Romans at Barbalissos (252), overrunning Syria and sacking Antioch (253 or 256). The Battle of Barbalissos was fought between the Sassanid Persians and Romans at Barbalissos. Antioch on the Orontes (Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ Μεγάλη Antiochia ad Orontem also Roman counter-attacks under the emperor Valerian (253–260) ended in disaster when the Roman army was defeated and besieged at Edessa and Valerian was captured by Shapur at a peace conference, remaining Shapur's prisoner for the rest of his life. For other uses see Valerian. Publius Licinius Valerianus (c 200 - after 260 commonly known in English as Valerian The Battle of Edessa took place between the armies of the Roman Empire under the command of Emperor Valerian and Sassanid forces under King Shapur Shapur I celebrated his victory and the unprecedented achievement of capturing a Roman emperor by carving the impressive rock reliefs in Naqsh-e Rostam and Bishapur, as well as a monumental inscription in Persian and Greek in the vicinity of Persepolis. Naqsh-e Rustam (in Persian: نقش رستم Nāqš-e Rostām) is an archaeological site located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars province Bishapur (or Bishâpûr) is an ancient city situated south of modern Faliyan, Iran on the ancient road between Persis and Elam. Persepolis ( Old Persian: Pārsa, Modern Persian: تخت جمشید/پارسه Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar) was the ceremonial He exploited his success by advancing into Anatolia (260), but withdrew in disarray after defeats at the hands of the Romans and their Palmyrene ally Odaenathus, suffering the capture of his harem and the loss of all the Roman territories he had occupied. Palmyra ( Arabic: تدمر Tadmor) was in ancient times an important city of central Syria, located in an Oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus Lucius Septimius Odaenathus, or Odenatus ( Greek: (Hodainathos ( Arabic: أذينة = little ear Othayna) the Latinized form of Odainath
Shapur I had intensive development plans. He founded many cities, some settled in part by emigrants from the Roman territories. These included Christians who could exercise their faith freely under Sassanid rule. Two cities, Bishapur and Nishapur, are named after him. Bishapur (or Bishâpûr) is an ancient city situated south of modern Faliyan, Iran on the ancient road between Persis and Elam. Nishapur, or Neyshābūr ( is a city in the Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, situated in a fertile plain at the foot Shapur I particularly favored Manichaeism. Manichaeism (in Modern Persian fa-Arab آیین مانی Āyin e Māni; Chinese zh 摩尼教 was one of the major Gnostic Religions originating He protected Mani (who dedicated one of his books, the Shabuhragan, to him) and sent many Manichaean missionaries abroad. Mani (in Persian: مانی Syriac: syr-Syrc ܡܐܢܝ (c 210–276 AD was the founder of Manichaeism, an ancient Gnostic Religion The Shabuhragan was a sacred writing of the Manichaean religion written by the founder Mani (c Shapur I also befriended a Babylonian rabbi called Shmuel. Samuel of Nehardea or Samuel bar Abba ( Hebrew: שמואל) was a Jewish Talmudist who lived in Babylonia, known as an This friendship was advantageous for the Jewish community and gave them a respite from the oppressive laws enacted against them.
Later kings reversed Shapur I's policy of religious tolerance. Succeeding Shapur I, Bahram I (273–276) persecuted Mani and his followers under pressure from Zoroastrian Magi. Bahram I (also spelled Varahran or Vahram, r 273&ndash276 was the fourth Sassanid emperor of the second Persian Empire. The Magi (singular Magus, from Latin via Greek μάγος; Old English: Mage; from Persian maguš and Kurdish Bahram I imprisoned Mani and ordered him killed; Mani died, according to the legend, in jail awaiting his execution, while another tale claims that he was flayed and beheaded. 
Bahram II (276–293) followed his father's religious policy. Bahram II was the fifth Sassanid King of Persia in 276&ndash293 During his reign the Sassanid capital Ctesiphon was sacked by the Romans, led by the emperor Carus (282–283). For the Spanish saint see Ctesiphon of Vergium. Ctesiphon (قطسيفون تیسفون was one of the great cities of the Persian Empire Marcus Aurelius Carus (c 230 - late July/early August 283 was a Roman Emperor (282-283 During his rule most of Armenia, after half a century of Persian rule, was ceded to Diocletian (284–305). Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus ( ca. December 22 244 The modern historian Timothy Barnes takes December 22 as his birthdate 
Succeeding Bahram III (who ruled briefly in 293), Narseh (293–302) embarked on another war with the Romans. Bahram III (died 293 was the sixth Sassanid King of Persia in 293 Narseh (whose name is also sometimes written as Narses or Narseus) was the seventh Sassanid King of Persia (293&ndash302 and son of Shapur After an early success against the Emperor Galerius (293–305 as Caesar, 305–311 as Augustus) near Callinicum on the Euphrates in 296, Narseh was decisively defeated in an ambush while he was with his harem in Armenia in 297. Galerius Maximianus ( ca. 260&ndashlate April or early May 311 formally Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus was Roman Emperor from 305 to 311 Ar-Raqqah ( الرقة, also spelled Rakka) is a city in north central Syria located on the north bank of the Euphrates River, about 160 km The Euphrates ( ( Arabic: ar نهر الفرات; Turkish: tr Fırat Syriac: syr ܦܪܬ; Hebrew: he פרת In the treaty that concluded this war, the Sassanids ceded five provinces east of the Tigris and agreed not to interfere in the affairs of Armenia and Georgia.  Following this crushing defeat, Narseh resigned in 301 and died in grief a year later. Narseh's son Hormizd II (302–309) assumed the throne. Hormizd II, was the eighth Persia king of the Sassanid dynasty who reigned for seven years and five months from 302 to 309 Although he suppressed revolts in Sistan and Kushan, Hormizd II was another weak ruler, unable to control the nobles. He was killed by Bedouins while hunting in 309.
Following Hormizd II's death, Arabs from the south started to ravage and plunder the southern cities of the empire, even attacking the province of Fars, the birthplace of the Sassanid kings. Meanwhile, Persian nobles killed Hormizd II's eldest son, blinded the second, and imprisoned the third (who later escaped to Roman territory). The throne was reserved for the unborn child of one of Hormizd II's wives. It is said that Shapur II (309–379) may have been the only king in history to be crowned in utero: the crown was placed upon his mother's belly. Shapur II was the ninth King of the Sassanid Empire from 309 to 379 This child, named Shapur, was therefore born king. During his youth the empire was controlled by his mother and the nobles. Upon Shapur II's coming of age, he assumed power and quickly proved to be an active and effective ruler.
Shapur II first led his small but disciplined army south against the Arabs, whom he defeated, securing the southern areas of the empire.  He then started his first campaign against the Romans in the west, where Persian forces won a series of battles but were unable to make territorial gains due to the failure of repeated sieges of the key frontier city of Nisibis and Roman success in retaking the cities of Singara and Amida after they fell to the Persians. Nusaybin ancient Nisibis, Nisibia Nisibin is a city in Mardin Province, southeastern Turkey populated by Turks, Aramean-Syriacs Singara ( was a strongly fortified post at the northern extremity of Mesopotamia, which for awhile as appears from many coins still extant was occupied by the Romans Diyarbakır (دیاربکر Diyâr-i Bekr 'land of the Bekr ' (from Persian) Kurdish Amed Zazaki language Dêrbekir Syriac These campaigns were halted by nomadic raids along the eastern borders of the empire, which threatened Transoxiana, a strategically critical area for control of the Silk Road. Transoxiana (sometimes spelled Transoxania "河中“Chinese / Ma Wara'un-Nahr ( Arabic: ما وراء النهر / Farārood (فرارود The Silk Road, or Silk Routes, are an extensive interconnected network of Trade routes across the Asian continent connecting East South and Western Asia with the Shapur therefore signed a peace treaty with Constantius II (353–361) in which both sides agreed not to attack each other's territory for a limited period of time. Flavius Iulius Constantius, known in English as Constantius II ( 7 August, 317 - November 3, 361) was a Roman Emperor
Shapur II then marched east toward Transoxiana to meet the eastern nomads. Transoxiana (sometimes spelled Transoxania "河中“Chinese / Ma Wara'un-Nahr ( Arabic: ما وراء النهر / Farārood (فرارود He crushed the Central Asian tribes, and annexed the area as a new province. He completed the conquest of the area now known as Afghanistan. Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, Cultural expansion followed this victory, and Sassanid art penetrated Turkistan, reaching as far as China. Turkestan (literally meaning "Land of the Turks" is a region in Central Asia, which today is largely inhabited by Turkic peoples. Shapur II, along with the nomad King Grumbates, started his second campaign against the Romans in 359, and soon succeeded in taking Singara and Amida again. Kama Tarkhan was a legendary ancestor-King mentioned in sources on the Altyn Oba Horde located on the steppes to the north of the Black Sea In response to this, the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate (361–363) struck deep into Persian territory and defeated Shapur's forces at Ctesiphon, but having failed to take the capital, Julian was killed while trying to retreat back to Roman territory. Flavius Claudius Julianus, known also as Julian or Julian the Apostate (331 or 332 to 26 June 363) was Roman Emperor (Caesar His successor Jovian (361–363), trapped on the east bank of the Tigris, had to agree to hand over all the provinces which the Persians had ceded to Rome in 298 as well as Nisibis and Singara, in order to secure safe conduct for his army out of Persia. For other meanings see Jovian (disambiguation. Flavius Iovianus, Anglicized to Jovian, ( 331 - 17 February
Shapur II pursued a harsh religious policy. Under his reign the collection of the Avesta, the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, was completed, heresy and apostasy were punished, and Christians were persecuted. The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language. The latter was a reaction against the Christianization of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great (324–337). Shapur II, like Shapur I, was amicable towards Jews, who lived in relative freedom and gained many advantages in his period (see also Raba (Talmud)). Rava (רבא was a Jewish Talmudist who lived in Babylonia, known as an Amora, born in 270 and one of the most often-cited Rabbis in the
At the time of Shapur's death, the Persian Empire was stronger than ever, with its enemies to the east pacified and Armenia under Persian control.
From Shapur II's death until Kavadh I's (488–531) first coronation, Persia was largely stable with few wars against the Byzantine Empire. Kavadh I (b 449 r 488&ndash531 also spelled Kaveh, Kavad) son of Peroz I (457&ndash484 was the nineteenth Sassanid King of Persia from Throughout this era Sassanid religious policy differed dramatically from king to king. Despite a series of weak leaders, the administrative system established during Shapur II's reign remained strong, and the empire continued to function effectively.
After Shapur II died in 379, he left a powerful empire to his half-brother Ardashir II (379–383; son of Vahram of Kushan) and his son Shapur III (383–388), neither of whom demonstrated their predecessor's talent. Ardashir II was the tenth Sassanid King of Persia from 379 to 383 Shapur III was the eleventh Sassanid King of Persia from 383 to 388 Ardashir II, who was raised as the "half-brother" of the emperor, failed to fill his brother's shoes, and Shapur III was too much of a melancholy character to achieve anything. Bahram IV (388–399), although not as inactive as his father, still failed to achieve anything important for the empire. Bahram IV was twelfth Sassanid King of Persia (388&ndash399 son and successor of Shapur III of Persia (383&ndash388 under whom he had been governor of Kerman During this time Armenia was divided by treaty between the Roman and Sassanid empires. The Sassanids reestablished their rule over Greater Armenia, while the Byzantine Empire held a small portion of western Armenia.
Bahram IV's son Yazdegerd I (399–421) is often compared to Constantine I. Yazdegerd I or Izdekerti ("made by God" Izdigerdes) (in modern Persian:یزدگرد یکم was thirteenth Sassanid King of Persia Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (27 February ca. 272 &ndash 22 May 337 commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or Saint Constantine Like him, he was powerful both physically and diplomatically. Much like his Roman counterpart, Yazdegerd I was opportunistic. Like Constantine the Great, Yazdgerd I practiced religious tolerance and provided freedom for the rise of religious minorities. He stopped the persecution against the Christians and even punished nobles and priests who persecuted them. His reign marked a relatively peaceful era. He made lasting peace with the Romans and even took the young Theodosius II (408–450) under his guardianship. Flavius Theodosius ( 10 April, 401 – July 28, 450) called the Calligrapher, known in English as Theodosius II, was He also married a Jewish princess who bore him a son called Narsi.
Yazdegerd I's successor was his son Bahram V (421–438), one of the most well-known Sassanid kings and the hero of many myths. Bahram V ( Persian:بهرام گور was the fourteenth Sassanid King of Persia (421&ndash438 These myths persisted even after the destruction of the Sassanid empire by the Arabs. Bahram V, better known as Bahram-e Gur, gained the crown after Yazdgerd I's sudden death (or assassination) against the opposition of the grandees with the help of al-Mundhir, the Arabic dynast of al-Hirah. Al-Mundhir ( المنذر) (c 842 &ndash 888 was Emir of Cordoba from 886 to 888 Al Hīra ( Arabic, الحيرة) was an ancient city located south of Al-Kufah in south-central Iraq. Bahram V's mother was Soshandukht, the daughter of the Jewish Exilarch. Exilarch ( Aramaic: ריש גלותא Reish Galuta lit "Head of the Exile" ( Greek: Æchmalotarcha) refers to the leader of the In 427 he crushed an invasion in the east by the nomadic Hephthalites, extending his influence into Central Asia, where his portrait survived for centuries on the coinage of Bukhara (in modern Uzbekistan). The Hephthalites or White Huns were a Central Asian Nomadic confederation whose precise origins and composition remain obscure Bukhara (Buxoro Бухоро بُخارا Бухара also spelled as Bukhoro and Bokhara, from the Soghdian βuxārak ("lucky Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi or Ўзбекистон Республикаси is a doubly Bahram V deposed the vassal King of the Persian part of Armenia and made it a province. Armenia (Հայաստան transliterated: Hayastan,) officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն Hayastani
Bahram V is a great favorite in Persian tradition, which relates many stories of his valor and beauty, of his victories over the Romans, Turks, Indians and Africans, and of his adventures in hunting and in love; he is called Bahram-e Gur, Gur meaning Onager, on account of his love for hunting and, in particular, hunting onagers. The Turkic peoples are Eurasian peoples residing in northern central and western Eurasia who speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country The Onager ( Equus hemionus) is a large Mammal belonging to the horse family and native to the deserts of Syria, Iran, Pakistan He symbolized a king in the height of a golden age. He had won his crown by competing with his brother and spent time fighting foreign enemies, but mostly kept himself amused by hunting and court parties with his famous band of ladies and courtiers. He embodied royal prosperity. During his time the best pieces of Sassanid literature were written, notable pieces of Sassanid music were composed, and sports such as polo became royal pastimes, a tradition that continues to this day in many kingdoms. Middle Persian literature is Persian literature of the 1st millennium AD, especially of the Sassanid period Sassanid music refers to the golden age of Persian music that occurred under the reign of the Sassanid dynasty Polo is a team sport played outdoors on Horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team 
Bahram V's son Yazdegerd II (438–457) was a just, moderate ruler but, in contrast to Yazdegerd I, practiced a harsh policy towards minority religions, particularly Christianity. Yazdegerd II, ("made by God" Izdegerdes) fifteenth Sassanid King of Persia, was the son of Bahram V (421&ndash438 and reigned Yazdegerd I or Izdekerti ("made by God" Izdigerdes) (in modern Persian:یزدگرد یکم was thirteenth Sassanid King of Persia 
At the beginning of his reign, Yazdegerd II gathered a mixed army of various nations, including his Indian allies, and attacked the Eastern Roman Empire in 441, but peace was soon restored after small-scale fighting. He then gathered his forces in Neishabur in 443 and launched a prolonged campaign against the Kidarites. Nishapur, or Neyshābūr ( is a city in the Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, situated in a fertile plain at the foot Finally after a number of battles, he crushed the Kidarites and drove them out beyond Oxus river in 450. The Amu Darya (formerly Oxus River the Greeks (Ptolemeus called it Oxiana palus) is the longest river in Central Asia. 
During his eastern campaign, Yazdegerd II grew suspicious of the Christians in the army and expelled them all from the governing body and army. He then persecuted the Christians and, to a much lesser extent, the Jews. Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings PLEASE TAKE NOTE************  In order to reestablish Zoroastrianism in Armenia, he crushed an uprising of Armenian Christians at the Battle of Vartanantz in 451. Battle of Avarayr (Ավարայրի ճակատամարտ May 26, 451, also known as Battle of Vartanantz, hy Վարդանանց Պատերազմ The Armenians, however, remained primarily Christian. In his later years, he was engaged yet again with Kidarites until his death in 457. Hormizd III (457–459), younger son of Yazdegerd II, ascended to the throne. Hormizd III, sixteenth Sassanid King of Persia son of Yazdegerd II (438&ndash457 succeeded his father in 457 During his short rule, he continually fought with his elder brother Peroz, who had the support of nobility, and with the Hephthalites in Bactria. Peroz I (Pirooz Peirozes Priscus fr 33 Perozes Procop Pers I 3 and Agath The Hephthalites or White Huns were a Central Asian Nomadic confederation whose precise origins and composition remain obscure "Bactrian" redirects here For the camel see Bactrian camel. He was killed by his brother Peroz in 459.
In the beginning of the 5th century, the Hephthalites (White Huns), along with other nomadic groups, attacked Persia. The Hephthalites or White Huns were a Central Asian Nomadic confederation whose precise origins and composition remain obscure At first Bahram V and Yazdegerd II inflicted decisive defeats against them and drove them back eastward. Bahram V ( Persian:بهرام گور was the fourteenth Sassanid King of Persia (421&ndash438 Yazdegerd II, ("made by God" Izdegerdes) fifteenth Sassanid King of Persia, was the son of Bahram V (421&ndash438 and reigned The Huns returned at the end of 5th century and defeated Peroz I (457–484) in 483. Peroz I (Pirooz Peirozes Priscus fr 33 Perozes Procop Pers I 3 and Agath Following this victory the Huns invaded and plundered parts of eastern Persia for two years. They exacted heavy tribute for some years thereafter.
These attacks brought instability and chaos to the kingdom. Peroz I tried again to drive out the Hephthalites, but on the way to Herat, he and his army were trapped by the Huns in the desert; Peroz I was killed, and his army was wiped out. After this victory the Hephthalites advanced forward to the city of Herat, throwing the empire into chaos. area3018 sq mi Herāt ( classically called the Aria, is a city in western Afghanistan, in the province also known as Herāt. Eventually, a noble Persian from the old family of Karen, Zarmihr (or Sokhra), restored some degree of order. He raised Balash, one of Peroz I's brothers, to the throne, although the Hunnic threat persisted until the reign of Khosrau I. Balash (in the Greek authors Balas; the later form of the name Vologases) the eighteenth Sassanid King of Persia in 484 &ndash Khosrau I or Khosrow I ( Chosroes I in classical sources most commonly known in Persian as Anushirvan, Persian انوشيروان meaning Balash (484–488) was a mild and generous monarch, who made concessions to the Christians; however, he took no action against the empire's enemies, particularly, the White Huns. Balash (in the Greek authors Balas; the later form of the name Vologases) the eighteenth Sassanid King of Persia in 484 &ndash Balash, after a reign of four years, was blinded and deposed (attributed to magnates), and his nephew Kavadh I was raised to the throne.
Kavadh I (488–531) was an energetic and reformist ruler. Kavadh I (b 449 r 488&ndash531 also spelled Kaveh, Kavad) son of Peroz I (457&ndash484 was the nineteenth Sassanid King of Persia from Kavadh I gave his support to the communistic sect founded by Mazdak, son of Bamdad, who demanded that the rich should divide their wives and their wealth with the poor. Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based Mazdak (in Persian مزدک (died c 524 or 528 was a proto- socialist Persian reformer who gained influence under the reign of the Sassanian His intention evidently was, by adopting the doctrine of the Mazdakites, to break the influence of the magnates and the growing aristocracy. These reforms led to his deposition and imprisonment in the "Castle of Oblivion" (Lethe) in Susa, and his younger brother Jamasp (Zamaspes) was raised to the throne in 496. In Classical Greek, Lethe (λήθη Classical Greek, Modern Greek:) literally means "forgetfulness" or "concealment" Susa ( Biblical שושן ( Shushan) also Greek: Σοῦσα Transliterated as Sousa; Latin Susa) Djamasp (also transcribed as Jamasp or Zamasp) was a Sassanid king who ruled from 496 - 498. Kavadh I, however, escaped in 498 and was given refuge by the White Hun king.
Djamasp (496–498) was installed on the Sassanid throne upon the deposition of Kavadh I by members of the nobility. Djamasp (also transcribed as Jamasp or Zamasp) was a Sassanid king who ruled from 496 - 498. Djamasp was a good and kind king, and he reduced taxes in order to relieve the peasants and the poor. A peasant is an agricultural worker who subsists by working a small plot of ground He was also an adherent of the mainstream Mazdean religion, diversions from which had cost Kavadh I his throne and freedom. Zoroastrianism (ˌzɔroʊˈæstriəˌnɪzəm is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings His reign soon ended when Kavadh I, at the head of a large army granted to him by the Hephthalite king, returned to the empire's capital. Djamasp stepped down from his position and restored the throne to his brother. No further mention of Djamasp is made after the restoration of Kavadh I, but it is widely believed that he was treated favorably at the court of his brother. 
The second golden era began after the second reign of Kavadh I. Kavadh I (b 449 r 488&ndash531 also spelled Kaveh, Kavad) son of Peroz I (457&ndash484 was the nineteenth Sassanid King of Persia from With the support of the Hephtalites, Kavadh I launched a campaign against the Romans. In 502, he took Theodosiopolis (Erzurum) in Modern Turkey, but lost it soon afterwards. Theodosiopolis redirects here it is also a name of the ancient city of Apros, Thrace In 503 he took Amida (Diarbekr) on the Tigris. In 504, an invasion of Armenia by the western Huns from the Caucasus led to an armistice, the return of Amida to Roman control and a peace treaty in 506. In 521/2 Kavadh lost control of Lazica, whose rulers switched their allegiance to the Romans; an attempt by the Iberians in 524/5 to do likewise triggered a war between Rome and Persia. Egrisi (ეგრისი is a medieval Georgian name for the region and kingdom in the western part of modern-day Georgia, known to the Byzantine This article is about the people of ancient Georgia For the Iberians of ancient Iberian Peninsula see Iberians. In 527 a Roman offensive against Nisibis was repulsed and Roman efforts to fortify positions near the frontier were thwarted. Nusaybin ancient Nisibis, Nisibia Nisibin is a city in Mardin Province, southeastern Turkey populated by Turks, Aramean-Syriacs In 530, Kavadh sent an army under Firouz the Mirranes to attack the important Roman frontier city of Dara. Daraa (درعا also Dera ("fortress" compare Dura-Europos) is a city in southwestern Syria The army was met by the Roman general Belisarius, and though superior in numbers, was defeated at the Battle of Dara. Flavius Belisarius (Βελισάριος (505(? – 565 was one of the greatest Generals of the Byzantine Empire and one of the most acclaimed generals in history The Battle of Dara was fought between the Sassanids and the Byzantine Empire in 530. In the same year, a second Persian army under Mihr-Mihroe was defeated at Satala by Roman forces under Sittas and Dorotheus, but in 531 a Persian army accompanied by a Lakhmid contingent under al-Mundhir IV defeated Belisarius at the Battle of Callinicum, and in 532 an "eternal" peace was concluded. The Lakhmids ( Arabic:) Banu Lakhm ( Arabic:) Muntherids ( Arabic:) were a group of Arab Christians who lived in The Battle of Callinicum took place between the armies of the Eastern Roman Empire under the command of General Belisarius and Sassanid Persians under  Although he could not free himself from the yoke of the Ephthalites, Kavadh succeeded in restoring order in the interior and fought with general success against the Eastern Romans, founded several cities, some of which were named after him, and began to regulate the taxation and internal administration.
After Kavadh I, his son Khosrau I, also known as Anushirvan ("with the immortal soul"; ruled 531–579), ascended to the throne. Kavadh I (b 449 r 488&ndash531 also spelled Kaveh, Kavad) son of Peroz I (457&ndash484 was the nineteenth Sassanid King of Persia from Khosrau I or Khosrow I ( Chosroes I in classical sources most commonly known in Persian as Anushirvan, Persian انوشيروان meaning He is the most celebrated of the Sassanid rulers. Khosrau I is most famous for his reforms in the aging governing body of Sassanids. In his reforms he introduced a rational system of taxation, based upon a survey of landed possessions, which his father had begun and tried in every way to increase the welfare and the revenues of his empire. Landed property or landed estates is a Real estate term that usually refers to a property that generates income for the owner without the owner having to Previous great feudal lords fielded their own military equipment, followers and retainers. Khosrau I developed a new force of dehkans or "knights" paid and equipped by the central government and the bureaucracy, tying the army and bureaucracy more closely to the central government than to local lords. (For more about Khosrau I's reforms, visit ).
Although the Emperor Justinian I (527–565) had paid him a bribe of 440,000 pieces of gold to keep the peace, in 540 Khosrau I broke the "eternal peace" of 532 and invaded Syria, where he sacked the city of Antioch and extorted large sums of money from a number of other cities. Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus ( Greek: Φλάβιος Πέτρος Σαββάτιος Ιουστινιανός; known in English as Justinian I or Further successes followed: in 541 Lazica defected to the Persian side, and in 542 a major Byzantine offensive in Armenia was defeated at Anglon. Egrisi (ეგრისი is a medieval Georgian name for the region and kingdom in the western part of modern-day Georgia, known to the Byzantine Armenia (Հայաստան transliterated: Hayastan,) officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն Hayastani A five-year truce agreed in 545 was interrupted in 547 when Lazica again switched sides and eventually expelled its Persian garrison with Byzantine help; the war resumed, but remained confined to Lazica, which was retained by the Byzantines when peace was concluded in 562.
In 565, Justinian I died and was succeeded by Justin II (565–578), who resolved to stop subsidies to Arab chieftains to restrain them from raiding Byzantine territory in Syria. Flavius Iustinus (Iunior Augustus (c 520 - 578 was Eastern Roman emperor from 565 to 578 A year earlier the Sassanid governor of Armenia, of the Suren family, built a fire temple at Dvin near modern Yerevan, and he put to death an influential member of the Mamikonian family, touching off a revolt which led to the massacre of the Persian governor and his guard in 571, while rebellion also broke out in Iberia. For the modern town see Dvin (town. Dvin (Դվին Δουσιος Τισιον was a large commercial city the capital of Early medieval Yerevan (Երևան Երեւան or Երեվան ˌjɛrəˈvɑːn sometimes written as Erevan, Iravan, Erewan, Ayrivan, and Erivan Mamikonian or Mamikoneans (Մամիկոնյան was a noble family which dominated Armenian politics between the 4th and 8th century This article is about the people of ancient Georgia For the Iberians of ancient Iberian Peninsula see Iberians. Justin II took advantage of the Armenian revolt to stop his yearly payments to Khosrau I for the defense of the Caucasus passes. The Armenians were welcomed as allies, and an army was sent into Sassanid territory which besieged Nisibis in 573. Nusaybin ancient Nisibis, Nisibia Nisibin is a city in Mardin Province, southeastern Turkey populated by Turks, Aramean-Syriacs However, dissension among the Byzantine generals not only led to an abandonment of the siege, but they in turn were besieged in the city of Dara, which was taken by the Persians who then ravaged Syria, causing Justin II to agree to make annual payments in exchange for a five-year truce on the Mesopotamian front, although the war continued elsewhere. Daraa (درعا also Dera ("fortress" compare Dura-Europos) is a city in southwestern Syria In 576 Khosrau I led his last campaign, an offensive into Anatolia which sacked Sebasteia and Melitene, but ended in disaster: defeated outside Melitene, the Persians suffered heavy losses as they fled across the Euphrates under Byzantine attack. Anatolia (Anadolu Ανατολία Anatolía) or Asia minor, comprising most of modern Turkey, is the geographic region bounded by the Black Sivas (the late-Classical and Medieval Sebastia, sometimes spelt Sebastea or Sebasteia, Greek: Σεβάστεια, Armenian Malatya ( Hittite: Melid; Greek: Μαλάτεια Malateia; Armenian: Մալաթիա Malatia; Kurdish: The Euphrates ( ( Arabic: ar نهر الفرات; Turkish: tr Fırat Syriac: syr ܦܪܬ; Hebrew: he פרת Taking advantage of Persian disarray, the Byzantines raided deep into Khosrau's territory, even mounting amphibious attacks across the Caspian Sea. The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged Sea. Khosrau sued for peace, but he decided to continue the war after a victory by his general Tamkhosrau in Armenia in 577 and fighting resumed in Mesopotamia. The Armenian revolt came to an end with a general amnesty, which brought Armenia back into the Sassanid Empire. 
Around 570, "Ma 'd-Karib", half-brother of the King of Yemen, requested Khosrau I's intervention. Khosrau I sent a fleet and a small army under a commander called Vahriz to the area near present Aden, and they marched against the capital San'a'l, which was occupied. Vahriz was a Deylamite Spahbod (commander in the service of the Sassanid Empire of Persia (Iran. Aden (ˈeɪdən Arabic: عدن) is a city in Yemen, 170 kilometers east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Saif, son of Mard-Karib, who had accompanied the expedition, became King sometime between 575 and 577. Thus the Sassanids were able to establish a base in south Arabia to control the sea trade with the east. Later the south Arabian kingdom renounced Sassanid overlordship, and another Persian expedition was sent in 598 that successfully annexed southern Arabia as a Sassanid province, which lasted until the time of troubles after Khosrau II. 
Khosrau I's reign witnessed the rise of the dihqans (literally, village lords), the petty landholding nobility who were the backbone of later Sassanid provincial administration and the tax collection system.  Khosrau I was a great builder, embellishing his capital, founding new towns, and constructing new buildings. He rebuilt the canals and restocked the farms destroyed in the wars. He built strong fortifications at the passes and placed subject tribes in carefully chosen towns on the frontiers to act as guardians against invaders. He was tolerant of all religions, though he decreed that Zoroastrianism should be the official state religion, and was not unduly disturbed when one of his sons became a Christian. Zoroastrianism (ˌzɔroʊˈæstriəˌnɪzəm is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings
After Khosrau I, Hormizd IV (579–590) took the throne. Hormizd IV, son of Khosrau I, reigned as the twenty-first King of Persia from 579 to 590 The war with the Byzantines continued to rage intensely but inconclusively until the general Bahram Chobin, dismissed and humiliated by Hormizd, rose in revolt in 589. Bahram Chobin (Chubin Chobina (in Persian بهرام چوبین was a famous Eran spahbod (military commander during Khosrau II 's rule in Sassanid The following year Hormizd was overthrown by a palace coup and his son Khosrau II (590–628) placed on the throne, but this change of ruler failed to placate Bahram, who defeated Khosrau, forcing him to flee to Byzantine territory, and seized the throne for himself as Bahram VI. Khosrau II or Khosrow II ( Chosroes II or Xosrov II in classical sources sometimes called With the aid of troops provided by the Byzantine emperor Maurice (582–602), Khosrau II raised a new rebellion against Bahram, and the combined armies of Khosrau and the Byzantine generals Narses and John Mystacon won a decisive victory over Bahram at Ganzak (591), restoring Khosrau to power. Flavius Mauricius Tiberius Augustus (Φλάβιος Μαυρίκιος Τιβέριος Αύγουστος Մավրիկ Mavrig; 539 &ndash November 27 For the similarly named locations see Takht-e-Sulaiman in Balochistan, and Sulayman Mountain near Osh, Kyrgyzstan. In return for Maurice's help, Khosrau was obliged to return all Byzantine territory occupied during the war and to hand over control of the western parts of Armenia and Iberia. Armenia (Հայաստան transliterated: Hayastan,) officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն Hayastani This article is about the people of ancient Georgia For the Iberians of ancient Iberian Peninsula see Iberians.
When Maurice was overthrown and killed by Phocas (602–610) in 602, Khosrau II used the murder of his benefactor as a pretext to begin a new invasion, which benefited from continuing civil war in the Byzantine Empire and met little effective resistance. Flavius Phocas Augustus, (el Φωκάς Phokas; reigned 602–610 called the Tyrant, usurped the Byzantine throne from the Emperor Maurice Khosrau's generals systematically subdued the heavily fortified frontier cities of Byzantine Mesopotamia and Armenia, laying the foundations for unprecedented expansion. Syria was overrun and Antioch captured in 611, and in 613 a major counter-attack led in person by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius (602–610) was decisively defeated outside Antioch by the Persian generals Shahrbaraz and Shahin. Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية Antioch on the Orontes (Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ Μεγάλη Antiochia ad Orontem also Heraclius, or Herakleios (Flavius Heraclius Augustus;) (c 575 - February 11, 641) was a Byzantine Emperor, who ruled the East Shahrbaraz (or Shahrwaraz) (died June 9, 630) was a general with the rank of Eran Spahbod ( Commander of the Army of Iran) under Shāhin son of Dulnak (Persian دولناک ( (died c 626 was a senior Sassanid general ( Spahbod) during the reign of Khosrau II Thereafter the Persian advance continued unchecked. Jerusalem fell in 614, Alexandria in 619 and the rest of Egypt by 621. Jerusalem (יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, he-Latn Yerushaláyim; Arabic: ar القُدس, ar-Latn al-Quds) is the Alexandria ( Egyptian Arabic: اسكندريه Eskendereyya; Standard Arabic: ar الإسكندرية Al-Iskandariyya; Ἀλεξάνδρεια This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. The Sassanid dream of restoring the Achaemenid boundaries was close to completion. The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenid Persian Empire ( haχɒmaneʃijɒn (558–330 BC was the first of the Persian Empires to rule over significant portions of This remarkable peak of expansion was paralleled by a blossoming of Persian art, music, and architecture. The Byzantine Empire was on the verge of collapse and the borders of the Achaemenid Empire came close to being restored on all fronts.
Although hugely successful at first glance, Khosrau II's campaign had in fact overextended the Persian army and overtaxed the people. Khosrau II or Khosrow II ( Chosroes II or Xosrov II in classical sources sometimes called The Byzantine emperor Heraclius (610–641) drew on all his diminished and devastated empire's remaining resources, reorganised his armies and mounted a remarkable counter-offensive. Heraclius, or Herakleios (Flavius Heraclius Augustus;) (c 575 - February 11, 641) was a Byzantine Emperor, who ruled the East Between 622 and 627 he campaigned against the Persians in Anatolia and the Caucasus, winning a string of victories against Persian forces under Khosrau, Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan, sacking the great Zoroastrian temple at Ganzak and securing assistance from the Khazars and Western Turkic Khaganate. Anatolia (Anadolu Ανατολία Anatolía) or Asia minor, comprising most of modern Turkey, is the geographic region bounded by the Black The Caucasus ( also referred to as North Caucasus) is a geopolitical region located between Europe Asia & Middle East Shahrbaraz (or Shahrwaraz) (died June 9, 630) was a general with the rank of Eran Spahbod ( Commander of the Army of Iran) under Shāhin son of Dulnak (Persian دولناک ( (died c 626 was a senior Sassanid general ( Spahbod) during the reign of Khosrau II Zoroastrianism (ˌzɔroʊˈæstriəˌnɪzəm is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings For the similarly named locations see Takht-e-Sulaiman in Balochistan, and Sulayman Mountain near Osh, Kyrgyzstan. The Third Perso-Turkic War was the third and final conflict between the Sassanian Empire and the Western Turkic Khaganate. "Kazar" redirects here for the Marvel Comics character see Ka-Zar; for the village in Azerbaijan see Xəzər. The Western Turkic Khaganate was formed as a result of the internecine wars in the beginning of the 7th century ( 600 – 603 AD after the Göktürk In 626 Constantinople was besieged by Slavic and Avar forces which were supported by a Persian army under Shahrbaraz on the far side of the Bosphorus, but attempts to ferry the Persians across were blocked by the Byzantine fleet and the siege ended in failure. Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS The Caucasian Avars are a modern people of Caucasus, mainly of Dagestan. The Bosporus or Bosphorus, also known as the Istanbul Strait, (İstanbul Boğazı (Βόσπορος is a Strait that forms the boundary between the In 627-8 Heraclius mounted a winter invasion of Mesopotamia and, despite the departure of his Khazar allies, defeated a Persian army commanded by Rhahzadh in the Battle of Nineveh. Rhahzadh, alternatively known as Razates was a Persian Spahbod (commander from the Mihran family under Sassanid king Khosrau II. The Battle of Nineveh was the climactic battle of the last of the Roman-Persian Wars between the Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Empire, in 627 He then marched down the Tigris, devastating the country and sacking Khosrau's palace of Dastagerd. The Tigris is the eastern member of the two great Rivers that define Mesopotamia, along with the Euphrates, which flows from the mountains of southeastern He was prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal and conducted further raids before withdrawing up the Diyala into north-western Iran. For the Spanish saint see Ctesiphon of Vergium. Ctesiphon (قطسيفون تیسفون was one of the great cities of the Persian Empire The Diyala River (نهر ديالى Persian: دیاله Kurdish: Sirwan سيروان) is a River and tributary of the Tigris that
The impact of Heraclius's victories, the devastation of the richest territories of the Sassanid Empire and the humiliating destruction of high-profile targets such as Ganzak and Dastagerd fatally undermined Khosrau's prestige and his support among the Persian aristocracy, and early in 628 he was overthrown and murdered by his son Kavadh II (628), who immediately brought an end to the war, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. Kavadh II (Siroes twenty-third Sassanid King of Persia son of Khosrau II (590&ndash628 was raised to the throne in opposition to his father in February 628 Kavadh died within months and chaos and civil war followed. Over a period of four years and five successive kings, including two daughters of Khosrau II and spahbod Shahrbaraz, the Sassanid Empire weakened considerably. Spahbod or Spahbed ( Persian: سپهبد in Modern Persian Sepahbod, is derived from the words Spah سپه army bod Shahrbaraz (or Shahrwaraz) (died June 9, 630) was a general with the rank of Eran Spahbod ( Commander of the Army of Iran) under The power of the central authority passed into the hands of the generals. It would take several years for a strong king to emerge from a series of coups, and the Sassanids never had time to recover fully. 
In the spring of 632, a grandson of Khosrau I, Yazdegerd III who had lived in hiding, ascended the throne. Yazdgerd III (also spelled Yazdegerd or Yazdiger, Persian: یزدگرد سوم "made by God") was the twenty-ninth and last king of In that same year, the first raiders from the Arab tribes, newly united by Islam, made their raids into Persian territory. The araB gene Promoter is a bacterial promoter activated by e L-arabinose binding For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. Years of warfare had exhausted both the Byzantines and the Persians. The Sassanids were further weakened by economic decline, heavy taxation, religious unrest, rigid social stratification, the increasing power of the provincial landholders, and a rapid turnover of rulers. These factors facilitated the Islamic conquest of Persia. The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656 led to the end of the Sassanid Empire and the eventual extirpation of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia
The Sassanids never mounted a truly effective resistance to the pressure applied by the initial Arab armies. Yazdegerd was a boy at the mercy of his advisers and incapable of uniting a vast country crumbling into small feudal kingdoms, despite the fact that the Byzantines, under similar pressure from the newly expansive Arabs, no longer threatened. The first encounter between Sassanids and Muslim Arabs was in the Battle of the Bridge in 634 which resulted in a Sassanid victory, however the Arab threat did not stop there and reappeared shortly from the disciplined armies of Khalid ibn Walid, once one of Muhammad's chosen companions-in-arms and leader of the Arab army. The Battle of the Bridge was fought in 634 between Arab Muslims led by Abu Ubaid and the Sassanid Empire forces led by Bahman Khālid ibn al-Walīd (592-642 ( خالد بن الوليد) also known by Sunnis as Sayf-'ullah al-Maslul (the Drawn Sword of God, God's Withdrawn IMPORTANT PLEASE READ ##### For all questions relating to the addition of (pbuh peace be upon him or other honorifics Under the Caliph `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, a Muslim army defeated a larger Persian force lead by general Rostam Farrokhzad at the plains of al-Qādisiyyah in 637 and besieged Ctesiphon. The Caliph is the Head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the leader of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah Umar (a=عمر بن الخطاب|t=`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c 581-83 CE &ndash 7 November, 644) also known as Umar the Great or Omar the Great For the character in the 10th century Persian epic Shahnameh or Epic of Kings, see Rostam. The Battle of al-Qādisiyyah ( transliteration, Ma'rakat al-Qādisiyyah;; alternate spellings Qadisiyya Qadisiyyah Kadisiya was the decisive engagement For the Spanish saint see Ctesiphon of Vergium. Ctesiphon (قطسيفون تیسفون was one of the great cities of the Persian Empire Ctesiphon fell after a prolonged siege. Yazdgerd fled eastward from Ctesiphon, leaving behind him most of the Empire's vast treasury. The Arabs captured Ctesiphon shortly afterward, leaving the Sassanid government strapped for funds and acquiring a powerful financial resource for their own use. A number of Sassanid governors attempted to combine their forces to throw back the invaders, but the effort was crippled by the lack of a strong central authority, and the governors were defeated at the Battle of Nihawānd; the empire, with its military command structure non-existent, its non-noble troop levies decimated, its financial resources effectively destroyed, and the Asawaran (Azatan) knightly caste destroyed piecemeal, was now utterly helpless in the face of the invaders. The Battle of Nihawānd was fought in 642 between Arab and Sassanid armies The birth of the Sassanid army (ارتش ساسانيان Artesh-e Sāsānīyān, Pahlavi Spâh سپاه "army" dates back to the rise of
Upon hearing the defeat in Nihawānd, Yazdgerd along with most of Persian nobilities fled further inland to the eastern province of Khorasan. He was assassinated by a miller in Merv in late 651 while the rest of the nobles settled in central Asia where they contributed greatly in spreading Persian culture and language in those regions and the establishment of the first native Iranian Islamic dynasty, the Samanid dynasty, which sought to revive and resuscitate Sassanid traditions and culture after the invasion of Islam. Merv ( Russian: Мерв from Persian: مرو Marv, sometimes transliterated Marw or Mary; cf The Samanids (819–999 ( Sāmāniyān) were a Persian dynasty in Central Asia and Greater Khorasan, named after its founder Saman
The abrupt fall of Sassanid Empire was completed in a period of five years, and most of its territory was absorbed into the Islamic caliphate; however, many Iranian cities resisted and fought against the invaders several times. A caliphate (from the Arabic خلافة or khilāfa) is the political leadership of the Muslim community in classical and medieval Islamic history Cities such as Rayy, Isfahan and Hamadan were exterminated thrice by Islamic caliphates in order to suppress revolts. See Rayshahr for the Sassanid center of learning in Fars province Esfahān or Isfahan (historically also rendered as Ispahan or Hispahan, Old Persian: Aspadana, Middle Persian: Spahān Hamedān or Hamadān ( Persian: همدان, Old Persian: Hagmatana Hebrew: המזיין Ancient Greek: Ecbatana)  The local population either willingly accepted Islam, stayed as dhimmi subjects of the Muslim state and paid a poll tax (jizya), or were forced to convert by the invading armies. A dhimmi ( ذمي, collectively أهل الذمة, ahl al-dhimma, the people of the dhimma or pact of protection Ottoman Turkish A poll tax, head tax, or capitation is a Tax of a uniform fixed amount per individual (as opposed to a percentage of income Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah (جزْية ʤɪzjæh Ottoman Turkish: cizye both derived from Pahlavi and ultimately from Aramaic The latter measure is usually disputed in its use though as most conversion took place primarily in the Abbasids caliphate.  Invaders destroyed the Academy of Gundishapur and its library, burning piles of books. The Academy of Gundishapur (in دانشگاه گنديشاپور Dânešgâh Gondišâpur was a renowned academy of learning in the city of Gundeshapur during Late antiquity Most Sassanid records and literary works were destroyed. A few that escaped this fate were later translated into Arabic and later to Modern Persian.  During the Islamic invasion many Iranian cities were destroyed or deserted, palaces and bridges were ruined and many magnificent imperial Persian gardens were burned to the ground. The tradition and style of Garden design of Persian gardens ( Persian باغ ایرانی influenced the design of gardens from Andalusia to India  Persian poets such as Ferdowsi lamented the downfall of the Sassanids in their work:
کجا آن بزرگان ساسانیان
kojā ān bozorgān-e Sāsānīyān
The Sassanids established an empire roughly within the frontiers achieved by the Achaemenids, with the capital at Ctesiphon in the Khvarvaran province. The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenid Persian Empire ( haχɒmaneʃijɒn (558–330 BC was the first of the Persian Empires to rule over significant portions of For the Spanish saint see Ctesiphon of Vergium. Ctesiphon (قطسيفون تیسفون was one of the great cities of the Persian Empire Khvārvarān, also known as Iraq or Mesopotamia, was a province of the Iranian Persian Empire, which ruled the region since the time of Cyrus In administering this empire, Sassanid rulers, took the title of Shāhanshāh (King of Kings), became the central overlords and also assumed guardianship of the sacred fire, the symbol of the national religion. Shah is an Iranian term for a Monarch (leader that has been adopted in many other languages Atar ( ātar, Avestan) is the Zoroastrian concept for "burning and unburning fire" and "visible and invisible fire" (Mirza 1987389 This symbol is explicit on Sassanid coins where the reigning monarch, with his crown and regalia of office, appears on the obverse, backed by the sacred fire, the symbol of the national religion, on the coin's reverse.  Sassanid queens had the title of Banebshenan banebshen (the Queen of Queens). Banebshenan banebshen (In Persian بانبشنان بانبشن was the Pahlavi title of Sassanid Queens of Persia
On smaller scale the territory might also be ruled by a number of petty rulers from Sassanid royal family, known as Shahrdar (شهردار) overseen directly by Shahanshah. Sassanid rule was characterized by considerable centralization, ambitious urban planning, agricultural development, and technological improvements.  Below the king a powerful bureaucracy carried out much of the affairs of government; The head of the bureaucracy and Vice-Chancellor, was the "Vuzorg (Bozorg) Farmadar" (بزرگ فرمادار). A Vice-Chancellor (commonly called the VC) of a University in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Within this bureaucracy the Zoroastrian priesthood was immensely powerful. The head of the Magi priestly class, the Mobadan (موبدان), along with the commander in chief, the Iran (Eran) Spahbod (ايران سپهد), the head of traders and merchants syndicate "Ho Tokhshan Bod" (هوتوخشان بد) and minister of agriculture "Vastrioshansalar" (واستریوشانسالار) who was also head of farmers, were below the emperor the most powerful men of the Sassanid state. The Magi (singular Magus, from Latin via Greek μάγος; Old English: Mage; from Persian maguš and Kurdish Spahbod or Spahbed ( Persian: سپهبد in Modern Persian Sepahbod, is derived from the words Spah سپه army bod 
The Sassanid monarch usually acted with the advice of his ministers, who composed a council of state. Masudi, the Muslim historian, praised the "excellent administration of the [Sassanid] kings, their well-ordered policy, their care for their subjects, and the prosperity of their domains. TemplateInfobox Muslim scholars --> Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn íbn Ali al-Mas'udi (transl) (born c "
In normal times the monarchical office was hereditary, but might be transmitted by the king to a younger son; in two instances the supreme power was held by queens. When no direct heir was available, the nobles and prelates chose a ruler, but their choice was restricted to members of the royal family. 
The Sassanid nobility was a mixture of old Parthian clans, Persian aristocratic families, and noble families from subjected territories. Many new noble families had risen after the dissolution of the Parthian dynasty, while several of the once-dominant Seven Parthian clans remained of high importance. The Seven Parthian clans or Seven Houses (in Persian "Haft Khandan" were seven purportedly "Parthian" feudal aristocracies allied with the Sassanid At the court of Ardashir I, the old Arsacid families of the House of Karen and the House of Suren, along with several Persian families, the Varazes and Andigans, held positions of great honor. The House of Karen (also Karen-Pahlevi, -Karan, -Kiran, -Qaran and -Qaren) were an aristocratic feudal family of Hyrcania (Gorgan Surena may refer to either a noble family of Parthia also known as the House of Suren, or to a renowned 1st century BCE General Surena who was Alongside these Iranian and non-Iranian noble families, the kings of Merv, Abarshahr, Carmania, Sakastan, Iberia, and Adiabene, who are mentioned as holding positions of honor amongst the nobles, appeared at the court of the Shahanshah. Merv ( Russian: Мерв from Persian: مرو Marv, sometimes transliterated Marw or Mary; cf Abarshahr was a Satrapy (province of the Sassanid Empire. The population was supported by the Hari river which was used for irrigation Kermān is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. It is in the south-east of the country Modern Sistan ( is a border region in southeastern Iran (see Sistan and Baluchestan Province) and southwestern Afghanistan (see Nimruz Province Arran ( also known as Aran, Ardhan (in Parthian) Al-Ran (in Arabic) including the highland and lowland Karabakh) Adiabene (from the Αδιαβηνή Adiabene, itself derived from Aramaic syr ܚܕܝܐܒ Ḥaḏy’aḇ or Ḥḏay’aḇ) was Indeed, the extensive domains of the Surens, Karens, and Varazes had become part of the original Sassanid state as semi-independent states. Thus, the noble families that attended at the court of the Sassanid empire continued to be ruling lines in their own right, although subordinate to the Shahanshah.
In general, Bozorgan from Persian families held the most powerful positions in the imperial administration, including governorships of border provinces (Marzban مرزبان). Marzban (in مرزبان derived from the words Marz مرز meaning "border" or "boundary" and the suffix -ban بان meaning guardian were Most of these positions were patrimonial, and many were passed down through a single family for generations. Those Marzbans of greatest seniority were permitted a silver throne, while Marzbans of the most strategic border provinces, such as the Caucasus province, were allowed a golden throne. The Caucasus ( also referred to as North Caucasus) is a geopolitical region located between Europe Asia & Middle East  In military campaigns the regional Marzbans could be regarded as field marshals, while lesser spahbods could command a field army. Spahbod or Spahbed ( Persian: سپهبد in Modern Persian Sepahbod, is derived from the words Spah سپه army bod 
Culturally, the Sassanids implemented a system of social stratification. This system was supported by Zoroastrianism, which was established as the state religion. Other religions appear to have been largely tolerated (although this claim is the subject of heated discussion; see, for example, Wiesehöfer, Ancient Persia, or the Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 3). Sassanid emperors consciously sought to resuscitate Persian traditions and to obliterate Greek cultural influence. The Persian Empire was a series of Iranian empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the original Persian homeland and beyond in Western Asia 
The backbone of the Persian army (Spah) in the Sassanid era was composed of two types of heavy cavalry units: Clibanarii and Cataphracts. The Clibanarii or Klibanophoroi (κλιβανοφόροι meaning “camp oven-bearers” from the Greek word κλίβανος meaning "camp oven" or "metallic A cataphract was a form of Heavy cavalry used by nomadic eastern Iranian tribes and dynasties and later Ancient Greeks and Romans. This cavalry force, composed of elite noblemen trained since youth for military service, was supported by light cavalry, infantry, and archers. Sassanid tactics centered around disrupting the enemy with archers, war elephants, and other troops, thus opening up gaps the cavalry forces could exploit.
Unlike their predecessors, the Parthians, the Sassanids developed advanced siege engines. A siege engine is a device that is designed to Break or circumvent City walls and other Fortifications in Siege warfare. This development served the empire well in conflicts with Rome, in which success hinged upon the ability to seize cities and other fortified points; conversely, the Sassanids also developed a number of techniques for defending their own cities from attack. The Sassanid army was famous for its heavy cavalry, which was much like the preceding Parthian army, albeit only some of the Sassanid heavy cavalry were equipped with lances. The Greek historian Ammianus Marcellinus's description of Shapur II's clibanarii cavalry manifestly shows how heavily equipped it was, and how only a portion were spear equipped:
All the companies were clad in iron, and all parts of their bodies were covered with thick plates, so fitted that the stiff-joints conformed with those of their limbs; and the forms of human faces were so skillfully fitted to their heads, that since their entire body was covered with metal, arrows that fell upon them could lodge only where they could see a little through tiny openings opposite the pupil of the eye, or where through the tip of their nose they were able to get a little breath. Amiricanus Gambilinus (325/330-after 391 was a fourth-century Roman historian. Of these some who were armed with pikes, stood so motionless that you would have thought them held fast by clamps of bronze.
The Byzantine emperor Maurikios also emphasizes in his Strategikon that many of the Sassanid heavy cavalry did not carry spears, relying on their bows as their primary weapons.
The amount of money involved in maintaining a warrior of the Asawaran (Azatan) knightly caste required a small estate, and the Asawaran (Azatan) knightly caste received that from the throne, and in return, were the throne's most notable defenders in time of war. The birth of the Sassanid army (ارتش ساسانيان Artesh-e Sāsānīyān, Pahlavi Spâh سپاه "army" dates back to the rise of The birth of the Sassanid army (ارتش ساسانيان Artesh-e Sāsānīyān, Pahlavi Spâh سپاه "army" dates back to the rise of
The Sassanids, like the Parthians, were in constant hostilities with the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial Following the division of the Roman Empire in 395, the Eastern Roman Empire, with its capital at Constantinople, replaced the Roman Empire as Persia's principle western enemy. Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS Hostilities between the two empires became more frequent.  The Sassanids, similar to the Roman Empire, were in a constant state of conflict with neighboring kingdoms and nomadic hordes. The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial Although the threat of nomadic incursions could never be fully resolved, the Sassanids generally dealt much more successfully with these matters than did the Romans, due to their policy of making coordinated campaigns against threatening nomads. 
In the west, Sassanid territory abutted that of the large and stable Roman state, but to the east its nearest neighbors were the Kushan Empire and nomadic tribes such as the White Huns. The Kushan Empire (c 1st &ndash 3rd centuries) was a Bactrian state that at its cultural zenith Circa 105 &ndash 250 The Hephthalites or White Huns were a Central Asian Nomadic confederation whose precise origins and composition remain obscure The construction of fortifications such as Tus citadel or the city of Nishapur, which later became a center of learning and trade, also assisted in defending the eastern provinces from attack. The Citadel of Tus, or Arg e Tus, is a citadel from the Sassanid era located in Tus, in Razavi Khorasan province of Iran. Nishapur, or Neyshābūr ( is a city in the Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, situated in a fertile plain at the foot
In the south and central Arabia, Bedouin Arab tribes occasionally raided the Sassanid empire. The Bedouin, (from the Arabic (ar بدوي pl badū) are a desert-dwelling Arab Nomadic pastoralist, or previously The Kingdom of Al-Hirah, a Sassanid vassal kingdom, was established to form a buffer zone between the empire's mainland and the Bedouin tribes. The Lakhmids ( Arabic:) Banu Lakhm ( Arabic:) Muntherids ( Arabic:) were a group of Arab Christians who lived in The dissolution of the Kingdom of Al-Hirah by Pervaiz(King) Khosrau II in 602 contributed greatly to decisive Sassanid defeats suffered against Bedouin Arabs later in the century. These defeats resulted in a sudden takeover of the Sassanid empire by Bedouin tribes under the Islamic banner.
In the north, Khazars and other Turkic nomads frequently assaulted northern provinces of the empire. "Kazar" redirects here for the Marvel Comics character see Ka-Zar; for the village in Azerbaijan see Xəzər. They plundered the territory of the Medes in 634. The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who lived in the northwestern portions of present-day Iran. Shortly thereafter, the Persian army defeated them and drove them out. The Sassanids built numerous fortifications in the Caucasus region to halt these attacks.
Like their predecessors the Parthians, the Sassanid Empire carried out active foreign relations with China, and ambassadors from Persia frequently traveled to China. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National Chinese documents report on thirteen Sassanid embassies to China. Commercially, land and sea trade with China was important to both the Sassanid and Chinese Empires. Large numbers of Sassanid coins have been found in southern China, confirming maritime trade.
On different occasions Sassanid kings sent their most talented Persian musicians and dancers to the Chinese imperial court at Luoyang during the Jin and Northern Wei dynasties and to Chang'an during the Sui and Tang dynasties. Luoyang ( is a Prefecture-level city in western Henan province, People's Republic of China. The Jìn Dynasty ( 265 – 420) one of the Six Dynasties, followed the Three Kingdoms period and preceded the Southern and Northern Dynasties The Northern Wei Dynasty (北魏 Pinyin: běi wèi 386 - 534) also known as the Tuoba Wei (拓拔魏 Later Wei (後魏 or Chang'an ( is an ancient Capital of more than ten dynasties in Chinese history. The Sui Dynasty ( 581 - 618 AD and in the undertaking of other construction projects including the reconstruction of the Great Wall. The Tang Dynasty ( Middle Chinese: dhɑng (June 18 618&ndashJune 4 907 was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by Both empires benefited from trade along the Silk Road, and shared a common interest in preserving and protecting that trade. The Silk Road, or Silk Routes, are an extensive interconnected network of Trade routes across the Asian continent connecting East South and Western Asia with the They cooperated in guarding the trade routes through central Asia, and both built outposts in border areas to keep caravans safe from nomadic tribes and bandits.
Politically, we hear of several Sassanid and Chinese efforts in forging alliances against the common enemy who were the Hephthalites. The Hephthalites or White Huns were a Central Asian Nomadic confederation whose precise origins and composition remain obscure Upon the rise of the nomadic Gokturk Empire in Inner Asia, we also see what looks like a collaboration between China and the Sassanid to defuse the Turkic advances. Göktürks ( Turkish: Gök Türkler) were a Turkic people of ancient Central Asia. The documents from Mt. Mogh also talk about the presence of a Chinese general in the service of the king of Sogdiana at the time of the Arab invasions. History Hellenistic period The Sogdian Rock or Rock of Ariamazes a fortress in Sogdiana was captured in 327 BC by the forces of Alexander the Great
Following the invasion of Iran by Muslim Arabs, Pirooz, son of Yazdegerd III, escaped along with a few Persian nobles and took refuge in the Chinese imperial court. Both Piroz and his son Narseh (Chinese neh-shie) were given high titles at the Chinese court. Narseh (whose name is also sometimes written as Narses or Narseus) was the seventh Sassanid King of Persia (293&ndash302 and son of Shapur At least in two occasions, the last possibly in 670, Chinese troops were sent with Peroz in order to restore him to the Sassanid throne with mixed results, one possibly ending up in a short rule of Peroz in Sistan (Sakestan) from which we have a few remaining numismatic evidences. Modern Sistan ( is a border region in southeastern Iran (see Sistan and Baluchestan Province) and southwestern Afghanistan (see Nimruz Province Narseh later attained the position of commander of the Chinese imperial guards and his descendants lived in China as respected princes.
After the Sassanids had secured Iran and its neighboring regions under Ardashir I, the second emperor, Shapur I (240–270), extended his authority eastwards into what is today Pakistan and northwestern India. The Indo-Sassanids, Kushano-Sassanids or Kushanshas (also Indo-Sassanians) were a branch of the Sassanid Persians who established their Shapur I was the second Sassanid King of the Second Persian Empire. Pakistan () officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia, Southwest Asia, Middle East and The previously autonomous Kushans were obliged to accept his suzerainty. The Kushan Empire (c 1st &ndash 3rd centuries) was a Bactrian state that at its cultural zenith Circa 105 &ndash 250 Although the Kushan empire declined at the end of the 3rd century, to be replaced by the northern Indian Gupta Empire in the 4th century, it is clear that Sassanid influence remained relevant in India's northwest throughout this period. The Gupta Empire ( Hindi: गुप्त राजवंश was ruled by members of the Gupta dynasty from around 320 to 550 C
Persia and northwestern India engaged in cultural as well as political intercourse during this period, as certain Sassanid practices spread into the Kushan territories. In particular, the Kushan's were influenced by the Sassanid conception of kingship, which spread through the trade of Sassanid silverware and textiles depicting emperors hunting or dispensing justice.
This cultural interchange did not, however, spread Sassanid religious practices or attitudes to the Kushans. While the Sassanids always adhered to a stated policy of religious proselytization, and sporadically engaged in persecution or forced conversion of minority religions, the Kushans preferred to adopt a policy of religious tolerance.
Lower-level cultural interchanges also took place between India and Persia during this period. For example, Persians imported chess from India and changed the game's name from chaturanga to chatrang. Chess is a recreational and competitive Game played between two players. This article is about two-handed ancient game Chaturanga For the four-handed version played with dice see Chaturaji. In exchange, Persians introduced Backgammon to India. Backgammon is a Board game for two players in which the playing pieces are moved according to the roll of Dice.
During Khosrau I's reign many books were brought from India and translated into Pahlavi, the language of the Sassanid Empire. Some of these later found their way into the literature of the Islamic world. The term Muslim world (or Islamic world) has several meanings A notable example of this was the translation of the Indian Panchatantra by one of Khosrau's ministers, Burzoe; this translation, known as the Kelileh va Demneh, later made its way into Arabia and Europe. The Panchatantra (also spelled Pañcatantra, in Sanskrit: पञ्चतन्त्र 'Five Principles' or Kalīleh o Demneh Burzoe or Bozorgmehr ( Burzoe/Borzuyeh/Borzuy: from Middle Persian / Pahlavi "of honour" or "high" Bozorgmehr: from Middle Persian  The details of Burzoe's legendary journey to India and his daring acquirement of Panchatantra is written in full details in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh. Hakīm Abū l-Qāsim Firdawsī Tūsī ( more commonly transliterated as Ferdowsi, (935&ndash1020 was a highly revered Persian Poet. Shāhnāmé, or Shāhnāma ((alternative spellings are Shahnama Shahnameh Shahname Shah-Nama, etc
Sassanid society and civilization were among the most flourishing of their time, rivaled in their region only by the Byzantine civilisation. Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 4th century until the Fall of Constantinople The amount of scientific and intellectual exchange between the two empires is witness to the competition and cooperation of these cradles of civilization. 
The most striking difference between Parthian and Sassanid society was renewed emphasis on charismatic and centralized government. In Sassanid theory, the ideal society was one which could maintain stability and justice and the necessary instrument for this was a strong monarch.  Sassanid society was immensely complex, with separate systems of social organization governing numerous different groups within the empire.  Historians believe that society was divided into four classes: Priests (Atorbanan in Persian: آتروبانان), Warriors (Arteshtaran in Persian: ارتشتاران), Secretaries (Dabiran in Persian: دبيران), and Commoners (Vasteryoshan-Hootkheshan in Persian: هوتخشان-واستريوشان). At the center of the Sassanid caste system was the Shahanshah, ruling over all the nobles. Castes are Hereditary systems of occupation, Endogamy, social culture, Social class, and Political power.  The royal princes, petty rulers, great landlords, and priests together constituted a privileged stratum, and were identified as Bozorgan بزرگان, or nobles. This social system appears to have been fairly rigid. 
Membership in a class was based on birth, although it was possible for an exceptional individual to move to another class on the basis of merit. The function of the king was to ensure that each class remained within its proper boundaries, so that the strong did not oppress the weak, nor the weak the strong. To maintain this social equilibrium was the essence of royal justice, and its effective functioning depended on the glorification of the monarchy above all other classes. 
On a lower level, Sassanid society was divided into Azatan (Azadan) آزادان (freemen), who jealously guarded their status as descendants of ancient Aryan conquerors, and the mass of originally non-Aryan peasantry. The birth of the Sassanid army (ارتش ساسانيان Artesh-e Sāsānīyān, Pahlavi Spâh سپاه "army" dates back to the rise of Aryan is an English word derived from the Sanskrit " Ārya " meaning "noble" or "honorable" The Azatan formed a large low-aristocracy of low-level administrators, mostly living on small estates. The Azatan provided the cavalry backbone of Sassanid army. The birth of the Sassanid army (ارتش ساسانيان Artesh-e Sāsānīyān, Pahlavi Spâh سپاه "army" dates back to the rise of 
The Sassanid kings were enlightened patrons of letters and philosophy. Khosrau I had the works of Plato and Aristotle translated into Pahlavi taught at Gundishapur, and even read them himself. Biography Early life Birth and family Plato was born in Athens Greece Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. During his reign many historical annals were compiled, of which the sole survivor is the Karnamak-i Artaxshir-i Papakan (Deeds of Ardashir), a mixture of history and romance that served as the basis of the Iranian national epic, the Shahnama. The Kārnāmag-ī Ardaxšīr-ī Pābagān ( Modern Persian کارنامه اردشیر بابکان Kārnāme-e Ardešīr-e bābakān or Book of the Deeds of Ardashir Shāhnāmé, or Shāhnāma ((alternative spellings are Shahnama Shahnameh Shahname Shah-Nama, etc When Justinian I closed the schools of Athens, seven of their professors fled to Persia and found refuge at Khosrau's court. In time they grew homesick, and in his treaty of 533 with Justinian, the Sassanid king stipulated that the Greek sages should be allowed to return and be free from persecution. 
Under Khosrau I the college of Gundishapur, which had been founded in the 4th century, became "the greatest intellectual center of the time," drawing students and teachers from every quarter of the world. Nestorian Christians were received there, and brought Syriac translations of Greek works in medicine and philosophy. Nestorius Nestorius (c  386 &ndashc  451) was a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia in Antioch in Syria (modern See Syriac (disambiguation for other uses Syriac (syr ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ leššānā Suryāyā) is an Eastern Aramaic language Neoplatonists, too, came to Gundishapur, where they planted the seeds of Sufi mysticism; the medical lore of India, Persia, Syria, and Greece mingled there to produce a flourishing school of therapy. Sufism ( تصوّف - taṣawwuf, Persian: صوفیگری sufigari, Turkish: tasavvuf, Urdu: تصوف Mysticism (from the Greek grc μυστικός mystikos, an initiate of a Mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with identity 
Artistically, the Sassanid period witnessed some of the highest achievements of Persian civilization. To best understand Iran and its people one must first attempt to acquire an understanding of its ancient culture Much of what later became known as Muslim culture, including architecture and writing, was originally drawn from Persian culture. At its peak the Sassanid Empire stretched from Syria to northwest India, but its influence was felt far beyond these political boundaries. Sassanid motifs found their way into the art of Central Asia and China, the Byzantine Empire, and even Merovingian France. Central Asia is a region of Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to central China in the east and from southern Russia in the north to northern Pakistan in the south The Merovingians (also Merovings) were a Salian Frankish dynasty that came to rule the Franks in a region (known as Francia in Latin Islamic art however, was the true heir to Sassanid art, whose concepts it was to assimilate while, at the same time instilling fresh life and renewed vigor into it. Islamic art encompasses the arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people (not necessarily Muslim) who lived within the territory that was inhabited by culturally  According to Will Durant:
"Sasanian art exported its forms and motifs eastward into India, Turkestan, and China, westward into Syria, Asia Minor, Constantinople, the Balkans, Egypt, and Spain. William James Durant ( November 5, 1885 &ndash November 7, 1981) was a prolific American popularizer in the fields of History Probably its influence helped to change the emphasis in Greek art from classic representation to Byzantine ornament, and in Latin Christian art from wooden ceilings to brick or stone vaults and domes and buttressed walls. "
Sassanid carvings at Taq-e Bostan and Naqsh-e Rustam were colored; so were many features of the palaces; but only traces of such painting remain. Taqwasân or Taq-e Bostan or Taq-i-Bustan ( Persian: طاق بستان, Kurdish: Taqwesan is a series of large rock relief from the era of Naqsh-e Rustam (in Persian: نقش رستم Nāqš-e Rostām) is an archaeological site located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars province The literature, however, makes it clear that the art of painting flourished in Sasanian times; the prophet Mani is reported to have founded a school of painting; Firdowsi speaks of Persian magnates adorning their mansions with pictures of Iranian heroes; and the poet al-Buhturi describes the murals in the palace at Ctesiphon. Mani (in Persian: مانی Syriac: syr-Syrc ܡܐܢܝ (c 210–276 AD was the founder of Manichaeism, an ancient Gnostic Religion Hakīm Abū l-Qāsim Firdawsī Tūsī ( more commonly transliterated as Ferdowsi, (935&ndash1020 was a highly revered Persian Poet. For the Spanish saint see Ctesiphon of Vergium. Ctesiphon (قطسيفون تیسفون was one of the great cities of the Persian Empire When a Sasanian king died, the best painter of the time was called upon to make a portrait of him for a collection kept in the royal treasury.
Painting, sculpture, pottery, and other forms of decoration shared their designs with Sasanian textile art. Pottery is the Ceramic ware made by potters It also refers to a group of materials that includes Earthenware, Stoneware Silks, embroideries, brocades, damasks, tapestries, chair covers, canopies, tents, and rugs were woven with patience and masterly skill, and were dyed in warm tints of yellow, blue, and green. Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven Fabrics often made in colored Silks and with or without Gold and Silver threads Damask ( دمسق) is a figured fabric of Silk, Wool, Linen, Cotton, or Synthetic fibers with a pattern Tapestry is a form of Textile art. It is woven by hand on a vertical Loom. Every Persian but the peasant and the priest aspired to dress above his class; presents often took the form of sumptuous garments; and great colorful carpets had been an appendage of wealth in the East since Assyrian days. Early history The most Neolithic site in Assyria is at Tell Hassuna, the center of the Hassuna culture The two dozen Sasanian textiles that have survived are among the most highly valued fabrics in existence. Even in their own day, Sasanian textiles were admired and imitated from Egypt to the Far East; and during the Middle Ages they were favored for clothing the relics of Christian saints. When Heraclius captured the palace of Khosru Parvez at Dastagird, delicate embroideries and an immense rug were among his most precious spoils. Heraclius, or Herakleios (Flavius Heraclius Augustus;) (c 575 - February 11, 641) was a Byzantine Emperor, who ruled the East Khosrau II or Khosrow II ( Chosroes II or Xosrov II in classical sources sometimes called Famous was the "Winter Carpet", also known as "Khosro's Spring" (Spring Season Carpet قالى بهارستان) of Khosru Anushirvan, designed to make him forget winter in its spring and summer scenes: flowers and fruits made of inwoven rubies and diamonds grew, in this carpet, beside walks of silver and brooks of pearls traced on a ground of gold. Khosrau I or Khosrow I ( Chosroes I in classical sources most commonly known in Persian as Anushirvan, Persian انوشيروان meaning Harun al-Rashid prided himself on a spacious Sasanian rug thickly studded with jewelry. Hārūn al-Rashīd (and Persian: هارون الرشيد) also spelled Harun ar-Rashid; English: Aaron the Upright, Aaron the Persians wrote love poems about their rugs. 
Studies on Sassanid remains show over 100 types of crowns being worn by Sassanid kings. The various Sassanid crowns demonstrate the cultural, economic, social, and historical situation in each period. The crowns also show the character traits of each king in this era. Different symbols and signs on the crowns, the moon, stars, eagle, and palm, each illustrate the wearer's religious faith and beliefs.  (For more on Sassanid crowns please visit )
The Sassand Dynasty, like the Achaemenid, originated in the province of Persis (Fars). Fars (pronounced/fɑː(ɹs ( Persian: فارس Fârs) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. Fars (pronounced/fɑː(ɹs ( Persian: فارس Fârs) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. The Sassanids saw themselves as successors of the Achaemenids, after the Hellenistic and Parthian interlude, and believed that it was their destiny to restore the greatness of Persia. This article focuses on the cultural aspects of the Hellenistic age for the historical aspects see Hellenistic period.
In reviving the glories of the Achaemenid past, the Sassanids were no mere imitators. The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenid Persian Empire ( haχɒmaneʃijɒn (558–330 BC was the first of the Persian Empires to rule over significant portions of The art of this period reveals an astonishing virility, in certain respects anticipating key features of Islamic art. Sassanid art combined elements of traditional Persian art with Hellenistic elements and influences. The conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great had inaugurated the spread of Hellenistic art into Western Asia. The Persian Empire was a series of Iranian empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the original Persian homeland and beyond in Western Asia Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' The Art of the Hellenistic period has long been the victim of the relative disdain attached to the period Though the East accepted the outward form of this art, it never really assimilated its spirit. Already in the Parthian period, Hellenistic art was being interpreted freely by the peoples of the Near East. Parthia ( Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was an Iranian civilization situated in the northeastern part of modern Iran Throughout the Sassanid period there was reaction against it. Sassanid art revived forms and traditions native to Persia, and in the Islamic period, these reached the shores of the Mediterranean.  According to Fergusson:
With the accession of the [Sassanids], Persia regained much of that power and stability to which she had been so long a stranger… The improvement in the fine arts at home indicates returning prosperity, and a degree of security unknown since the fall of the Achaemenidae. 
Surviving palaces illustrate the splendor in which the Sassanid monarchs lived. Examples include palaces at Firouzabad and Bishapur in Fars and the capital city of Ctesiphon in Khvarvaran province, Iraq. For the city in Uttar Pradesh, see Firozabad Firouzabad or Firuzabad ( Sassanid Middle Persian Ardasher-Khwarrah Bishapur (or Bishâpûr) is an ancient city situated south of modern Faliyan, Iran on the ancient road between Persis and Elam. Fars (pronounced/fɑː(ɹs ( Persian: فارس Fârs) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. For the Spanish saint see Ctesiphon of Vergium. Ctesiphon (قطسيفون تیسفون was one of the great cities of the Persian Empire Khvārvarān, also known as Iraq or Mesopotamia, was a province of the Iranian Persian Empire, which ruled the region since the time of Cyrus For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. In addition to local traditions, Parthian architecture influenced Sassanid architectural characteristics. All are characterized by the barrel-vaulted iwans introduced in the Parthian period. An iwan (إيوان eyvān) is defined as a vaulted hall or space walled on three sides with one end entirely open During the Sassanid period, these reached massive proportions, particularly at Ctesiphon. There, the arch of the great vaulted hall, attributed to the reign of Shapur I (241–272), has a span of more than 80 feet (24 m) and reaches a height of 118 feet (36 m). This magnificent structure fascinated architects in the centuries that followed and has been considered one of the most important examples of Persian architecture. Architecture in " Greater Iran " has a continuous history from at least 5000BCE to the present with characteristic examples distributed over a vast area from Syria Many of the palaces contain an inner audience hall consisting, as at Firuzabad, of a chamber surmounted by a dome. The Persians solved the problem of constructing a circular dome on a square building by employing squinches, or arches built across each corner of the square, thereby converting it into an octagon on which it is simple to place the dome. A squinch in architecture is a piece of construction used for filling in the upper angles of a square room so as to form a proper base to receive an Octagonal or spherical The dome chamber in the palace of Firouzabad is the earliest surviving example of the use of the squinch, suggesting that this architectural technique was probably invented in Persia.
The unique characteristic of Sassanid architecture was its distinctive use of space. The Sassanid architect conceived his building in terms of masses and surfaces; hence the use of massive walls of brick decorated with molded or carved stucco. Stucco wall decorations appear at Bishapur, but better examples are preserved from Chal Tarkhan near Rayy (late Sassanid or early Islamic in date), and from Ctesiphon and Kish in Mesopotamia. See Rayshahr for the Sassanid center of learning in Fars province KISH (1029 FM) is Guam 's first all- Chamorro Music formatted FM station The panels show animal figures set in roundels, human busts, and geometric and floral motifs.
At Bishapur some of the floors were decorated with mosaics showing scenes of banqueting. Art History Mosaics of the 4th century BC are found in the Macedonian palace-city of Aegae, and they enriched the floors of Hellenistic The Roman influence here is clear, and the mosaics may have been laid by Roman prisoners. Buildings were decorated with wall paintings. Particularly fine examples have been found on Mount Khajeh in Sistan. Mount Khwaja or Mount Khwajeh (locally Kuh-e Khvājeh) is a flat-topped Sistān o Balūchestān ( Persian: استان سیستان و بلوچستان is one of the 30 provinces of Iran.
Persian industry under the Sassanids developed from domestic to urban forms. Guilds were numerous, and some towns had a revolutionary proletariat. Silk weaving was introduced from China; Sassanid silks were sought after everywhere, and served as models for the textile art in Byzantium, China, and Japan. Chinese merchants came to thriving Iranian ports such as Siraf to sell raw silk and buy rugs, jewels, rouge; Armenians, Syrians, and Jews connected Persia, Byzantium, and Rome in slow exchange. Siraf (also called Bandar-e Si-raf Ta-hiri Taheri Bandar-i Tahiri was a legendary ancient Sassanid Port, destroyed around 970 AD which was located Good roads and bridges, well patrolled, enabled state post and merchant caravans to link Ctesiphon with all provinces; and harbors were built in the Persian Gulf to quicken trade with India.  Sassanid merchants ranged far and wide and gradually ousted Romans from lucrative Indian ocean trade routes.  The recent Archeological discovery has shown an interesting fact that Sassanids used special labels (commercial labels) on goods as a way of promoting their brands and distinguish between different qualities. 
Khosrau I further extended the already vast trade network. The Sassanid state now tended toward monopolistic control of trade, with luxury goods assuming a far greater role in the trade than heretofore, and the great activity in building of ports, caravanserais, bridges, and the like was linked to trade and urbanization. The Persians dominated international trade, both in the Indian Ocean and in Central Asia and South Russia in the time of Khosrau, although competition with the Byzantines was at times intense. The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's Oceanic divisions covering about 20% of the water on the Earth 's surface Sassanian settlements in Oman and Yemen testify to the importance of trade with India, but the silk trade with China was mainly in the hands of Sassanid vassals and the Iranian people, the Sogdians. Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman ( Arabic: سلطنة عُمان) is an Arab Country in Southwest Asia on the southeast Yemen ( Arabic: اليَمَن al-Yaman officially the Republic of Yemen ( Arabic: الجمهورية اليمنية al-Jumhuuriyya 
The main exports of the Sassanids were silk, woolen and golden textile, carpets and rugs, skin, leather and pearls from the Persian gulf. The Persian Gulf, in the Southwest Asian region is an extension of the Also there were goods in transit from China (paper, silk) and India (spices) which Sassanid customs imposed taxes upon and which were re-exported from the Empire to Europe. 
It was also a time of increased metallurgical production, so Iran earned a reputation as the "armory of Asia". Most of the Sassanid mining centers were at the fringes of the Empire, in Armenia, the Caucasus and above all Transoxania. The Caucasus ( also referred to as North Caucasus) is a geopolitical region located between Europe Asia & Middle East Transoxiana (sometimes spelled Transoxania "河中“Chinese / Ma Wara'un-Nahr ( Arabic: ما وراء النهر / Farārood (فرارود The extraordinary mineral wealth of the Pamir Mountains on the eastern horizon of the Sassanid empire led to a legend among the Tajiks, an Iranian people living there, which is still told today. The Pamir Mountains are located in Central Asia and are formed by the junction or Knot of the Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and It said when God was creating the world, he tripped over Pamirs, dropping his jar of minerals which spread across the region. 
The religion of the Sassanid state was Zoroastrianism, but Sassanid Zoroastrianism had clear distinctions from the practices laid out in the Avesta, the holy books of Zoroastrianism. The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language. Sassanid Zoroastrian clergy modified the religion in a way to serve themselves, causing substantial religious uneasiness. Sassanid religious policies contributed to the flourishing of numerous religious reform movements, the most important of these being the Mani and Mazdak religions. Mani (in Persian: مانی Syriac: syr-Syrc ܡܐܢܝ (c 210–276 AD was the founder of Manichaeism, an ancient Gnostic Religion Mazdak (in Persian مزدک (died c 524 or 528 was a proto- socialist Persian reformer who gained influence under the reign of the Sassanian
Extreme and pronounced dualism constituted the most noticeable feature of Zoroastrianism. Dualism denotes a state of two parts The word's origin is the Latin duo, "two". Ormazd and Ahriman, the principles of Good and Evil, were expressly declared to be "twins" who had "in the beginning come together to create Life and Death, and to settle how the world was to be. Ahura Mazda ( ae Ahura Mazdā) is the Avestan language name for a divinity exalted by Zoroaster as the one uncreated Creator "Ahriman" redirects here For other uses see Ahriman (disambiguation. " There was no priority of existence of the one over the other, and no decided superiority. The two, being coeval, had contended since the beginning of time and would continue to contend until the end of the world, when Good would triumph over Evil (see also Zoroastrian eschatology). Zoroastrianism eschatology is the oldest Eschatology in recorded history
These two principles were represented as persons. Ormazd was "the creator of life, the earthly and the spiritual," he who "made the celestial bodies, earth, water, and trees. " He was "good," "holy," "pure," "true," "the Holy God," "the Holiest," "the Essence of Truth," "the father of all truth," "the being best of all," "the master of purity. " He was supremely "happy," being possessed of every blessing, "health, wealth, virtue, wisdom, immortality. " From him came every good gift enjoyed by man; on the pious and the righteous he bestowed, not only earthly advantages, but precious spiritual gifts, truth, devotion, "the good mind," and everlasting happiness; and, as he rewarded the good, so he also punished the bad, though this was an aspect in which he was but seldom represented. 
Zoroastrian worship was intimately connected with fire-temples and fire-altars. A Zoroastrian Fire Temple is a place of worship for Zoroastrians. A Zoroastrian Fire Temple is a place of worship for Zoroastrians. A fire-temple was maintained in every important city throughout the empire; and in these a sacred flame, believed to have been lighted from heaven, was kept perpetually alight by the priests, and was spoken of as "unextinguishable". Fire-altars probably also existed independently of temples; throughout Sassanid history a freestanding fire-altar was given a prominent place on coinage as the main impress on the reverse. It was represented with the flame rising from it, and sometimes with a head in the flame; its stem was ornamented with garlands or fillets; and on either side, as protectors or as worshippers, were represented two figures, sometimes watching the flame, sometimes turned from it, guarding it apparently from external enemies. 
Alongside Zoroastrianism other religions, primarily Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism existed in Sassanid society, and were largely free to practice and preach their beliefs. Judaism (from the Greek Ioudaïsmos, derived from the Hebrew יהודה Yehudah, " Judah " in Hebrew יַהֲדוּת Yahedut Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices A very large Jewish community flourished under Sassanid rule, with thriving centers at Isfahan, Babylon and Khorasan, and with its own semiautonomous Exilarchate leadership based in Mesopotamia. Esfahān or Isfahan (historically also rendered as Ispahan or Hispahan, Old Persian: Aspadana, Middle Persian: Spahān Babylon was a City-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which can be found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq This community would, in fact, continue to flourish until the advent of Zionism. History of Zionism|Timeline of Zionism|World Zionist Organization|Zionist political violence Zionism is an international political movement that originally supported the  Jewish communities suffered only occasional persecution. They enjoyed a relative freedom of religion, and were granted privileges denied to other religious minorities.  Shapur I (Shabur Malka in Aramaic) was a particular friend to the Jews. His friendship with Shmuel produced many advantages for the Jewish community.  He even offered the Jews in the Sassanid empire a fine white Nisaean horse, just in case the Messiah, who was thought to ride a donkey or a mule, would come.  Shapur II, whose mother was Jewish, had a similar friendship with a Babylonian rabbi named Raba. Rava (רבא was a Jewish Talmudist who lived in Babylonia, known as an Amora, born in 270 and one of the most often-cited Rabbis in the Raba's friendship with Shapur II enabled him to secure a relaxation of the oppressive laws enacted against the Jews in the Persian Empire. Moreover, in the eastern portion of the empire, various Buddhist places of worship, notably in Bamiyan were active as Buddhism gradually became more popular in that region. For the province see Bamyan Province. Bamyan ( is the capital of Bamyan Province and the largest town in Hazarajat, central
Christians in Iran at this time belonged mainly to the Nestorian and Jacobite branches of Christianity, also known as respectively the Assyrian Church of the East and the Syriac Orthodox Church. Nestorius Nestorius (c  386 &ndashc  451) was a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia in Antioch in Syria (modern The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East (ܥܕܬܐ ܩܕܝܫܬܐ ܘܫܠܝܚܝܬܐ ܩܬܘܠܝܩܝ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܪ̈ܝܐ ‘Ittā Qaddishtā wa-Shlikhāitā Qattoliqi The Syriac Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Middle East with members spread throughout the world Although these churches originally maintained ties with the Christian churches in the Roman Empire, they were indeed quite different from them. One of the most important reasons for this, is that the Church language of the Nestorian and Jacobite churches was the Aramaic language, which is also the language spoken by the Jews in Judea and Galilee at the time of Jesus. Judea or Judæa ( Hebrew: יהודה Standard Yəhuda Tiberian Yəhûḏāh, "praised "Galil" redirects here For the weapon see IMI Galil. Galilee (הגליל ha-Galil, lit the province, Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) This language was not used by the vast majority of the Christians in the Roman Empire, who mainly spoke Latin, Koine Greek, or Coptic. Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. Koine Greek (Κοινὴ Ἑλληνική, "common Greek" or, ciˈni ðiˈale̞kto̞s "the common dialect" is the popular form of Greek which emerged in Coptic or Coptic Egyptian ( MetRemenkīmi) is the final stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt
Another reason that the churches within the Persian Empire did not maintain such close ties with their counterparts in the Roman Empire, was the continuous rivalry between these two great empires. And quite often, Christians in Persia were (often falsely) accused of sympathizing with the Romans, especially when the Roman emperor Theodosius I declared Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. Flavius Theodosius (January 11 347 – January 17 395 also called Theodosius I and Theodosius the Great ( Greek: Θεοδόσιος Α΄
But it was not until the Council of Ephesus in 431 that the vast majority of Christians in Persia broke their ties with the churches in the Roman Empire. This article covers the Ecumenical council of 431 For the council of 449 see Second Council of Ephesus. At this council, Nestorius, a theologian of Syrian/Assyrian origin and the patriarch of Constantinople, taught a different view of the Christology that was rejected and regarded as heretical by the majority of Greek, Roman and Coptic Christians. Nestorius (in Greek: Νεστόριος; c 386&ndash c 451 was Archbishop of Constantinople from 10 April 428 Christology (from Christ and Greek grc -λογία -logia) is a field of study within Christian theology which is concerned with History of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria Apostolic foundation Egypt is identified in the Bible as the place of refuge that the One of the differences in Nestorius' teachings, was that he refused to call Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ "Theotokos" or Mother of God. Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) Theotokos (Θεοτόκος translit Theotókos) is a title of Mary the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, The Assyrian Church, however, disagreed with the other churches, and refused to condemn Nestorius' teachings.
Nestorius eventually lost the debate, and was deposed as patriarch. Nestorius (in Greek: Νεστόριος; c 386&ndash c 451 was Archbishop of Constantinople from 10 April 428 He was forced to flee with a number of his followers to the Sassanid Persian Empire where he was allowed to settle in Persian territories. He and his followers were welcomed into the Assyrian Church in Mesopotamia. Several Persian emperors also used this opportunity to strengthen Nestorius' position within the Assyrian Church (which made up the vast majority of the Christians in the Persian Empire) by eliminating the most important pro-catholic clergymen in Persia and making sure that their places were taken by Nestorians. This was to assure that the only loyalty these Christians would have would be to the Persian Empire. (see also Sassanid Church)
Most of the Christians in the Sassanid empire lived on the western edge of the empire, predominantly in Mesopotamia, but there were also important communities on the island of Tylos (present day Bahrain), the southern coast of the Persian Gulf, the area of the Arabian kingdom of Lakhm and the Persian part of Armenia. The Sassanid Church or Sassanian Church was established in 422 under Yezdegird I shah of Sassanid Persia ( Iran) to satisfy Persia's relatively large Bahrain was referred to by the Greeks as Tylos, the centre of pearl trading when Nearchus came to discover it serving under Alexander the Great. The Kingdom of Bahrain (in مملكة البحرين,, literally Kingdom of the Two Seas) is an Island country in the Persian Gulf The Arabian Peninsula (in Arabic: شبه الجزيرة العربية šibh al-jazīra al-ʻarabīya or جزيرة العرب jazīrat al-ʻarab) The Lakhmids ( Arabic:) Banu Lakhm ( Arabic:) Muntherids ( Arabic:) were a group of Arab Christians who lived in Some of these areas were the earliest to be Christianized; the kingdom of Armenia became the first independent Christian state in the world in 301 while a number of Assyrian territories had almost become fully Christianized even earlier during the 3rd century; they never became independent nations. Armenia (Հայաստան transliterated: Hayastan,) officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն Hayastani 
Most Christians in the Persian Empire belonged to a number of predominantly Christian ethnic groups. Some of these groups were the Assyrians, the Arabs of southern Mesopotamia, and the Armenians, as well as some smaller ethnic groups such as the Monophysite Syriacs. The Assyrians are an Ethnic group whose origins lie in what is today Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. The araB gene Promoter is a bacterial promoter activated by e L-arabinose binding The Armenians (Հայեր Hayer) are a Nation and Ethnic group originating in the Caucasus and in the Armenian Highlands A large Monophysitism (from the Greek monos meaning 'one alone' and physis meaning 'nature' or Monophysiticism is the Christological position that The Aramean-Syriac people ( Syriac: arc [[arcܣܘܪܝܝܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ ܐܪܡܝܐ]]) are an Ethnic group who are widely The latter group was taken to Persia as prisoners of war from the many conflicts with the Roman Empire. Conversion did take place among ethnic Persians and other ethnicities residing in the empire. Among them were certain small Caucasian and Kurdish tribes which had converted to Christianity. Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings
The influence of the Sassanids continues long after they ceased to exist:
Sassanids had a significant influence on Roman civilization. The character of the Roman army was affected by the methods of Persian warfare. In a modified form, the Roman Imperial autocracy imitated the royal ceremonies of the court of the Sassanids at Ctesiphon, and those in turn had an influence on the ceremonial traditions of the courts of modern Europe. For the Spanish saint see Ctesiphon of Vergium. Ctesiphon (قطسيفون تیسفون was one of the great cities of the Persian Empire The origin of the formalities of European diplomacy is attributed to the diplomatic relations between the Persian governments and Roman Empire. 
Through the late Roman Empire's adoption of Cataphract cavalry, the principles of the European knighthood (heavily armoured cavalry) of the Middle Ages can be traced to the Sassanid Asawaran (Azatan) knightly caste with whom it also shares a number of similarities. The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial A cataphract was a form of Heavy cavalry used by nomadic eastern Iranian tribes and dynasties and later Ancient Greeks and Romans. The birth of the Sassanid army (ارتش ساسانيان Artesh-e Sāsānīyān, Pahlavi Spâh سپاه "army" dates back to the rise of 
From the perspective of Jewish history, the Sassanid Empire was highly significant when it became the center of the Jewish world after the destruction of the Second Commonwealth in 70 AD. Jewish history is the History of the Jewish people, faith, and culture. In Jewish history the Second Commonwealth is the period during which the Second Temple of Jerusalem was in existence roughly 530 BCE - 70 CE The period saw major developments in Judaism, including the making of the Babylonian Talmud, when the great Talmudic Academies in Babylonia flourished during the Rabbinic era of the Amoraim. Judaism (from the Greek Ioudaïsmos, derived from the Hebrew יהודה Yehudah, " Judah " in Hebrew יַהֲדוּת Yahedut The Talmud ( Hebrew: he תַּלְמוּד is a record of Rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs and history The Talmudic Academies in Babylonia, also known as the Geonic Academies were the center for Jewish scholarship and the development of Jewish law in
Following the collapse of the Sassanid Empire, after which Zoroastrianism was supplanted by Islam, Zoroastrians increasingly became a persecuted minority, and a number of them chose to emigrate. According to the Qissa-i Sanjan, one group of those refugees landed in what is now Gujarat, India, where they were allowed greater freedom to observe their old customs and to preserve their faith. The Story of Sanjan (also Qissa-i Sanjan or Kisse-i Sanjan) is an account of the early years of Zoroastrian settlers on the Indian subcontinent Gujarat (ગુજરાત Gujǎrāt, pronounced) is a state in western India. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country The descendants of those Zoroastrians, now known as the Parsis, would play a significant role in the development of India. Today there are around 70,000 Parsis in India. 
The Parsis, as Zoroastrians, still use a variant of the religious calendar instituted under the Sassanids. That calendar still marks the number of years since the accession of Yazdegerd III, just as it did in 632. Yazdgerd III (also spelled Yazdegerd or Yazdiger, Persian: یزدگرد سوم "made by God") was the twenty-ninth and last king of (See also: Zoroastrian calendar)
|Ardashir I||224 to 241|
|Shapur I||241 to 272|
|Hormizd I||272 to 273|
|Bahram I||273 to 276|
|Bahram II||276 to 293|
|Narseh||293 to 302|
|Hormizd II||302 to 310|
|Shapur II||310 to 379|
|Ardashir II||379 to 383|
|Shapur III||383 to 388|
|Bahram IV||388 to 399|
|Yazdegerd I||399 to 420|
|Bahram V||420 to 438|
|Yazdegerd II||438 to 457|
|Hormizd III||457 to 459|
|Peroz I||457 to 484|
|Balash||484 to 488|
|Kavadh I||488 to 531|
|Djamasp||496 to 498|
|Khosrau I||531 to 579|
|Hormizd IV||579 to 590|
|Bahram Chobin||590 to 591|
|Khosrau II||591 to 628|
|Ardashir III||628 to 630|
|Purandokht (Empress)||630 to 631|
|Hormizd VI||631 to 632|
|Yazdgerd III||632 to 651|
226–241: Reign of Ardashir I:
241–271: Reign of Shapur I:
271–301: A period of dynastic struggles.
283: War with Rome. Romans sack Ctesiphon
296-8: War with Rome. Persia cedes five provinces east of the Tigris to Rome.
309–379: Reign of Shapur II "the Great":
387: Armenia partitioned into Roman and Persian zones.
399–420: Reign of Yazdegerd I "the Sinner":
420–438: Reign of Bahram V:
438–457: Reign of Yazdegerd II:
482-3: Armenian and Iberian revolt.
483: Edict of Toleration granted to Christians.
484: Peroz I defeated and killed by Hephthalites. Peroz I (Pirooz Peirozes Priscus fr 33 Perozes Procop Pers I 3 and Agath The Hephthalites or White Huns were a Central Asian Nomadic confederation whose precise origins and composition remain obscure
491: Armenian revolt. Armenian Church repudiates the Council of Chalcedon:
502-506: War with Constantinople.
526-532: War with Constantinople.
531–579: Reign of Khosrau I, "with the immortal soul" (Anushirvan)
540–562: War with Constantinople. Khosrau I or Khosrow I ( Chosroes I in classical sources most commonly known in Persian as Anushirvan, Persian انوشيروان meaning
572-591: War with Constantinople. Persia cedes much of Armenia and Iberia to Constantinople.
590–628: Reign of Khosrau II
603–628: War with Byzantium. Khosrau II or Khosrow II ( Chosroes II or Xosrov II in classical sources sometimes called Persia occupies Byzantine Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and the Transcaucasus, before being driven to withdraw to pre-war frontiers by Byzantine counter-offensive.
610: Arabs defeat a Sassanid army at Dhu-Qar. Battle of Thi Qar ( Arabic, معركة ذي قار) was a Pre-Islamic battle on 609 between Arabs and Persians.
626: Unsuccessful siege of Constantinople by Avars and Persians. Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS
627: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius invades Assyria and Mesopotamia. Heraclius, or Herakleios (Flavius Heraclius Augustus;) (c 575 - February 11, 641) was a Byzantine Emperor, who ruled the East Decisive defeat of Persian forces at the battle of Nineveh.
628–632: Chaotic period of multiple rulers.
632–642: Reign of Yazdegerd III. Yazdgerd III (also spelled Yazdegerd or Yazdiger, Persian: یزدگرد سوم "made by God") was the twenty-ninth and last king of
636: Decisive Sassanid defeat at the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah during the Islamic conquest of Iran. The Battle of al-Qādisiyyah ( transliteration, Ma'rakat al-Qādisiyyah;; alternate spellings Qadisiyya Qadisiyyah Kadisiya was the decisive engagement The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656 led to the end of the Sassanid Empire and the eventual extirpation of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia
642: Final victory of Arabs when Persian army destroyed at Nahavand (Nehavand). Nahāvand is a town in Hamadan Province in Iran. It is located in south of Hamadan, east of Malayer and shouthwest of Borujerd
651: Last Sassanid ruler Yazdegerd III was captured and beheaded by Arabian army invaders at Merv, present-day Turkmenistan, ending the dynasty.  His son Pirooz and many others went into exile in China. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National
|History of Greater Iran|
|Empires of Persia · Kings of Persia|