Sassanid Empire (224-651 A.D.) 16/10/2018




224  : Successful revolt of Ardeshir against Artabanus V
224-244 : The rule of Gordian III, the Roman Emperor
244-249 : The rule of Philip the Arabian, the Roman Emperor
243 : Shapur I is defeated at Resaina
244 : Shapur takes revenge on the Romans at the Battle of Massice (west of Baghdad), and forces the Roman Emperor Philip the Arabian to make a dishonorable peace with the Persians
253-260 : The rule of Valerian, the Roman Emperor
260 : Persian forces defeat the Roman army at Edessa (in modern Greece), and Shapur I takes Emperor Valerian prisoner
301  : Tiridates III, the king of Armenia, adopts Christianity as the religion of this kingdom, making Armenia he world's first Christian state
324-337  : The rule of Constantine the Great
337-361 : Persian-Roman wars
528 : Mazdak advocates abolition of private property and the devision of wealth - the world's first "communist/socialist" ideology
539-662 : Persian-Byzattine wars
570 : Birth of the Propher Mohammad
622 : The year of the Islamic Prophet's exodus from Mecca to (Hijra) - the starting point of the Islamic calendar
632 : Death of the Prophet Mohammad; Abu Bakr becomes the first Islamic claiph
633 : Arab forces led by Khalid ibn Walid attack Persia
634 : The first caliph, Abu Bakr, succeeded by Omar
636 : Arabs defeat the Sasanids at Qadesia
637 : Arabs take Ctesiphon
642 : Arabs defeat the Sassanids at Nahavand
644 : Caliph Omar is assassinated by Abu Lulu and is succeeded by Osman
651 : Yazdgerd III, the last Sassanid king is murdered

Parthian Empire Territories


The last Parthian king, Artabanus V, lost the final battle to the Sasanians around 224 A.D. A legend has it that Ardashir Babakan, a vassal of Artabanus V, provoked the encounter when he founded a city called Gur, or the "Glory of Ardashir", near Firu-zabad. Ardashir traced his ancestry to Sasan, a Zoroastrian priest, who gave his name to the last native dynasty in Persia before the Arab conquest. A strong centralized gOvernment, a strict principle of dynastic legitimacy, and an official religion, which were quite contrary to the Parthian confederation and freedom of religious practices, characterized the Sasanid domain, which rapidly rose to rank among the world's largest empires. Under Ardashir's successor, Shapur I, the Sasanid Empire extended from the Indian Punjab to the eastern border of Capadocia in Anatolia. The level of prosperity had risen so much that Shapur I was able to wage a war against Rome and even to take the Roman Emperor Valerian prisoner. In contrast to Ardashir, who claimed to be "king of kings of Iran", Shapur 1 assumed the title "king of kings of Iran and non-Iran", a title that was retained by his successors. The Sasanians chose the Zoroastrian religion as the main means of unifying the diverse peoples of their expanded country. Shapur 1, however, did not oppose Manichaeism, a teaching combining the beliefs of Zoroaster, Jesus, and Buddha. However, his successors suppressed other faiths severely, and the high priest, Kartir, was the most infamous instigator of this intolerance. Kartir certainly had a hand in killing Mani, and this was the first manifestation of religious strife in Iranian history. Christians were also persecuted, particularly after the Roman Empire, the archenemy of the Sasanid Empire, had become Christian. Shapur II, the next important ruler af-ter Shapur I, is credited with the longest reign in Iranian history - 70 years. His period was darkened only by perennial wars with Byzantium over the newly Christianized Armenia. Shapur had several unsuccessful successors until Yazdgerd I initiated a relatively peaceful era. Yazdgerd I left the country to his son, Bahram V. Surnamed Gur (Wild Ass), Bahram became the favorite of Persian popular tradition, which exuberantly celebrated his prowess in hunting and love. Bahram's descendant, Qobad, was an unusual king in Iranian history in the sense that he actually cared more about the opinions of the common people than of the highly-placed courtiers. He moved away from official religion and greatly welcomed Mazdak and his teach-ing. His son Khosrow I (Chosroes), an orthodox Zoroastrian, however, destroyed the Mazdakites in a great massacre. Nonetheless, this act has not prevented him from being entitled "the Just". Khosrow's grandson, Khosrow II, was surnamed Parviz ("the Victorious"). He was immortalized in Persian literature for his devotion to his wife, an Armenian Christian called Shirin, who kept her husband entranced during her whole lifetime, a remarkable fact in Oriental history. During Khosrow's rule, the Persian Empire was marked by the highest level of civilization. At this time, a message was brought to the king from Medina, bidding him acknowledge Mohammad as the Prophet of God. The king treated the missive with contempt, little thinking that before many years had passed the followers of the Prophet would have swept away the Sasanid line. Instead, he ordered his agent in Yemen called Bazan to capture the Prophet and bring him before the king. However, this mission was never accomplished be-cause of Bazan's conversion to Islam. At Khosrow's death, eleven rulers succeeded one another to the vacant throne, two queens among their number - the first women who had ever held the scepter in Persia - but their united reigns amounted to only five years. After a succession of short-time rulers, Khosrow's grandson, Yazdgerd III, took the throne, His story is remi-niscent of the story of Darius III Achaemenid. Like Darius, Yazdgerd was not destined to rule. A new force was coming from the Arabian deserts, a force that changed both the state and the religion. In 650, only a few years after the death of the Prophet Mohammad, the Muslim armies led by Khalid ibn Walid attacked the southern provinces of the Sasanid Empire. Soon afterwards, Ctesiphon, the Sasanid glorious capital and the largest city in the world, was invaded and sacked by the Muslim armies. At the battle of Nehavand, the Arabs utterly defeated the Persians and gained pos-session of their national standard, the blacksmith Kaveh's leather apron. Yazdgerd sought refuge in one province after another, until he was assassinated near Merv.

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