Ardashir II

Ardashir II (Middle Persian 𐭠𐭥𐭲𐭧𐭱𐭲𐭥, New Persian: اردشیر نیکوکار, Ardashir), was the eleventh king (shah) of the Sasanian Empire, ruling from 379 to 383. He was the brother of his predecessor, Shapur II (r. 309–379). During the reign of Shapur II, Ardashir had served as governor-king of Nodardashiragan, where he fought alongside his brother against the Romans. Ardashir was seemingly a strong willed character, and is known in some sources by the epithet of nihoukar ("the beneficent").[1]

Ardashir II
𐭠𐭥𐭲𐭧𐭱𐭲𐭥
King of kings of Iran and Aniran
Taq-e Bostan - Ardashir II
Relief of Ardashir II in Taq-e Bostan
Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire
Reign379–383
PredecessorShapur II
SuccessorShapur III
Born309/10
Died383
IssueZruanduxt
HouseHouse of Sasan
FatherHormizd II
ReligionZoroastrianism

Name

Ardashir is the New Persian form of the Middle Persian name Ardašīr/Ardašēr (𐭠𐭥𐭲𐭧𐭱𐭲𐭥), which is ultimately from Old Iranian *Artaxšaθra- (𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠), equivalent to Greek Artaxérxēs (Αρταξέρξης), and Armenian Artašēs (Արտաշէս). The name means "whose rule is through truth".

Background

Ardashir was the son of shah Hormizd II (r. 302–309), who was killed by the Iranian nobility whilst hunting. He was succeeded by Adur Narseh, who, after a brief reign which only lasted a few months, was too killed by the nobles,[2] who then proceeded to blind the second,[3] and imprison the third (Hormizd, who later managed to escape to the Roman Empire).[4] Ardashir's infant half-brother Shapur II, who was only slightly older than him, was crowned as king by the nobles so that they could gain greater control of the empire, which they were able to do until Shapur II reached his majority at the age of 16.[5][3]

Ardashir, before becoming king of the Sasanian Empire, was governor-king of Nodardashiragan from 344 to 376. It is believed that during his tenure he took part in the defense of the Sasanian Empire with Shapur when it was invaded by the Roman Emperor Julian (r. 361–363).[1] In 379, Shapur II designated Ardashir as his successor, and made him vow to abdicate when Shapur's son, Shapur III reached adulthood. This led to some Armenian writers to wrongly state that Ardashir was Shapur's son.[1]

Reign

During his reign as shah of the Sasanian Empire, events in Armenia seemed to occupy Ardashir's attention. The son of Arshak II, Pap, had been murdered during Shapur's reign and the Romans had replaced him with a certain Varazdat who was a member of the Arsacid family. However, real power was in the hands of Mushegh I Mamikonian, a noble in the Armenian court. Mushegh was suspected of having conspired with the Emperor of Rome and was murdered by Varasdates. This act roused the indignation of Mushegh's brother Manuel who rebelled against Varasdates and with the support of Iran deposed him and placed upon the Armenian throne Zarmandukht, the widow of Papas who was the mother of Arshak III and Papas' son, who made Manuel the sparapet (commander-in-chief). In return for their services, Manuel allowed the Iranians to maintain a garrison in Armenia.[6]

But this arrangement did not work for long. A nobleman named Merujan wrongly informed Manuel that the commandant of the Iranian garrison desired to capture him. Enraged, Manuel fell upon the ten thousand Iranian soldiers stationed in Armenia and murdered them. But Manuel died soon afterwards and confusion followed. Desirous of maintaining peace in the borderlands, the Roman Emperor Theodosius I and Ardashir decided upon a treaty. But Ardashir was killed in 383 by the Iranian nobility before the treaty could be signed. The reason behind his murder was due to his continuation of Shapur's policy of restricting the authority of power-hungry nobles.[1] Nevertheless, the treaty was the eventually signed and ratified by his nephew and successor Shapur III in 384. Ardashir was survived by his daughter Zruanduxt, who married the King Khosrov IV of Armenia.[7]

Coins

Silver coin of Ardashir II
Coin of Ardashir II.

The coins minted under Ardashir imitates him wearing the same dome-shaped crown worn by the first Sasanian shah, Ardashir I (r. 224–242). The reverse shows the traditional fire altar flanked by two attendants, but in some cases also shows the shah's head appearing from the fire, which may symbolize the royal xwarra ("glory"). The inscription of his coins are usually "Ardashir, king of kings of the Iranians" whilst rare instances of "and of non-Iranians" also being part of the inscription.[1]

Rock relief

Taq-e Bostan - High-relief of Ardeshir II investiture
Rock relief at Taq-e Bostan of the investiture of Ardashir II, flanked by Mithra and Shapur II.

Ardashir, like his forefathers, also had himself memorialized on reliefs. However, instead of using the sites of Pars (present-day Fars Province) as a place for his relief, he instead had a relief carved in Taq-e Bostan in the province of Media (near present-day Kermanshah).[1] The relief shows three standing figures wearing regalia; Ardashir being in the middle, flanked by two male figures. The figure to the right, who is giving the diadem to Ardashir originally used to recognized as the Zoroastrian supreme god Ahura Mazda, but is now agreed to be Shapur II due to the style of his crown, and which also fits well due to Shapur being the one designating Ardashir as shah to begin with. The two shahs are standing on the body of a fallen enemy, unmistakably a Roman, whose crown indicates that he is an emperor. The fallen figure is most likely supposed to represent the Roman emperor Julian, who invaded Iran in 363 and was killed west of the Sasanian capital of Ctesiphon. The figure standing to the far left, perceived by some to be the Zoroastrian prophet Zoroaster, is most likely the angelic divinity Mithra.[1] He is wearing a crown embellished with twelve rays of the sun, whilst holding a raised barsom, thus sanctifying the investiture.[8][1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Shahbazi 1986, pp. 380–381.
  2. ^ Tafazzoli 1983, p. 477.
  3. ^ a b Al-Tabari 1991, p. 50.
  4. ^ Shahbazi 2004, pp. 461-462.
  5. ^ Daryaee 2009.
  6. ^ Faustus of Byzantium, vi. 1.
  7. ^ Faustus of Byzantium, vi. 1.
  8. ^ Grenet 2006.

Bibliography

Ancient works

Modern works

  • Pourshariati, Parvaneh (2008). Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-645-3.
  • Shahbazi, A. Shapur (2005). "Sasanian dynasty". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  • Shahbazi, A. Shapur (1986). "Ardašīr II". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. II, Fasc. 4. pp. 380–381.
  • Shayegan, M. Rahim (2004). "Hormozd I". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XII, Fasc. 5. pp. 462–464.
  • Al-Tabari, Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir (1991). Yar-Shater, Ehsan, ed. The History of al-Ṭabarī, Volume V: The Sasanids, the Byzantines, the Lakhmids, and Yemen. Trans. Clifford Edmund Bosworth. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-0493-5.
  • Tafazzoli, Ahmad (1983). "Ādur Narseh". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. I, Fasc. 5. p. 477.
  • Daryaee, Touraj (2009). Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B.Tauris. pp. 1–240. ISBN 0857716662.
  • Shahbazi, A. Shapur (2004). "Hormozd (2)". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XII, Fasc. 5. pp. 461–462.
  • Grenet, Franz (2006). "Mithra ii. iconography in Iran and Central Asia". Encyclopaedia Iranica.
Ardashir II
Preceded by
Shapur II
King of kings of Iran and Aniran
379–383
Succeeded by
Shapur III
379

Year 379 (CCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Ausonius and Hermogenianus (or, less frequently, year 1132 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 379 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

383

Year 383 (CCCLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Merobaudes and Saturninus (or, less frequently, year 1136 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 383 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Abda and Abdjesus

Abda and Abdjesus were two Christian bishops who were martyred at Kashkar under Shapur II on 16 May, in either 366 AD or 375 AD. They were first placed between heavy boards to crush their bones, and later beheaded.

There may have been a political aspect to the persecution, since the king was attempting to establish Mazdeism as the state religion and judged Christians as the natural allies of the Romans. In 339-340 the king began the prosecution with the help of Jews and Magi of bishop of Seleucia and Ctesifonte, Simeone Bar Sabbã, having accused him in the friendly support of Roman Empire. The historian Sozomen wrote about 22 martyrs who were tortured together. In his book he mentioned Abdas and Abdjesus in 15-th and 16-th places in his list of martyrs. This information is worth of trusting because it was written in less than 100 years after their death. ll of the martyrs were first interrogated by the king but later he charged his brother Ardashir to continue. He urged the martyrs to deny Christ and worship the Sun, but they were firm in their faith.Their feast day is commemorated on 16 May according to the Martyrologium Romanum, the Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church, and in the Syrian Church as well. The biographical text Ausgewählte Akten Persischer Märtyrer by Oskar Braun also mentions the names of several of the other martyrs, including:

16 priests - Abdallah, Simeon, Abraham, Abda of Kashkar, Ajabel, Joseph, Han, Ebedjesu, Abdallah, John, Ebedjesu, Maris, Berhadbesciaba, Rozichaeus, Abdallah, and Ebedjesu

9 deacons - Eliab, Ebedjesu, Marjab, Maris, Abdias, Berhadbesciaba, Han, Simeon, and Maris

6 monks - Papa, Evolesus, Ebedjesu and others, and

7 unnamed virgins.

Ardashir II (Bavandid ruler)

Ardashir II (Persian: اردشیر‎) was the ruler of the Bavand dynasty from 1238 to 1249. His grandmother was a sister of Rustam V, and he was also related to the Nizari Ismaili Jalaluddin Hasan through his mother.

Ardashir II Kushanshah

Ardashir II Kushanshah (?-246), was the second Kushano-Sasanids Kushanshas ruler, after Ardashir I Kushanshah, in effect a governor of the Sassanid Empire for the eastern regions of Sogdiana, Bactria and Gandhara which had been captured following the fall of the Kushans in 225 CE.He minted his own coinage and took the title of Kushansha, ie "Kings of the Kushans".

Coronation of Ardashir II

The Coronation of Ardashir II is a rock relief that was carved between 379 and 383 by Ardashir II, the eleventh king of kings (shahanshah) of the Sasanian Empire. The rock relief is located in Taq-e Bostan in today Iran. The relief shows three standing figures wearing regalia; Ardashir being in the middle, flanked by two male figures. The figure to the right, who is giving the diadem to Ardashir originally used to recognized as the Zoroastrian supreme god Ahura Mazda, but is now agreed to be Shapur II due to the style of his crown, and which also fits well due to Shapur being the one designating Ardashir as shah to begin with. The two shahs are standing on the body of a fallen enemy, unmistakably a Roman, whose crown indicates that he is an emperor. The fallen figure is most likely supposed to represent the Roman emperor Julian, who invaded Iran in 363 and was killed west of the Sasanian capital of Ctesiphon. The figure standing to the far left, perceived by some to be the Zoroastrian prophet Zoroaster, is most likely the angelic divinity Mithra. He is holding a raised barsom, thus sanctifying the investiture.

House of Kayus

The Kayusid or House of Kayus (also Kâvos) or Kâvusakân was a semi-independent Iranian kingdom centered in present-day northern Iraq, ruling as Sasanian vassals from 226 to 380.

Kings of Persis

The Kings of Persis are a series of Persian kings, who ruled the region of Persis in southwestern Iran, from the 2nd century BCE to the 3rd century CE (c. 230 BCE – c. 210 CE). They ruled as sub-kings of the Parthian Empire, until they toppled the Parthians and established the Sassanid Empire. They effectively form some Persian dynastic continuity between the Achaemenid Empire (6th century BCE-4th century BCE) and the Sasanian Empire (3rd century CE-7th century CE).

Muhammad (Bavandid ruler)

Muhammad of Tabaristan (Persian: محمد) was the ruler of the Bavand dynasty from 1249 to 1271. He was the son and successor of Ardashir II of Tabaristan.

Peroz I Kushanshah

Peroz I Kushanshah was Kushanshah of the Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom from 246 to 285. He was an energetic ruler, who minted coins in Balkh, Herat, and Gandhara. He was the son and successor of Ardashir II Kushanshah, and was later succeeded by Hormizd I Kushanshah.

Rustam V

Rustam V (Persian: رستم), was the ruler of the Bavand dynasty from 1205 to 1210. He was the son and successor of Ardashir I.

Sasanian family tree

This is a family tree of the Sasanian emperors, their ancestors, and Sasanian princes/princesses.

Shapur II

Shapur II (Middle Persian: 𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩‎ Šāpuhr), also known as Shapur II the Great, was the tenth Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire. The longest-reigning monarch in Iranian history, he reigned for his entire 70-year life from 309 to 379. He was the son of Hormizd II (r. 302–309).

His reign saw the military resurgence of the country, and the expansion of its territory, which marked the start of the first Sasanian golden era. He is thus along with Shapur I, Kavadh I and Khosrow I, regarded as one of the most illustrious Sasanian kings. His three direct successors, on the other hand, were less successful.

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 latter was a reaction against the Christianization of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great. Shapur II, like Shapur I, was amicable towards Jews, who lived in relative freedom and gained many advantages in his period (see also Rava). At the time of Shapur's death, the Sasanian Empire was stronger than ever, with its enemies to the east pacified and Armenia under Sasanian control.

Shapur III

Shapur III (Middle Persian: 𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩‎, New Persian: شاپور سوم), was the twelfth king of the Sasanian Empire from 383 to 388. He was the son of Shapur II (r. 309–379) and succeeded his uncle Ardashir II (r. 379–383). Shapur's cousin Zruanduxt married the King Khosrov IV of Armenia.

Taq-e Bostan

Taq-e Bostan (Persian: طاق بستان‎, Southern Kurdish: تاقوەسان) means "Arch of the Garden" or "Arch made by stone" is a site with a series of large rock reliefs from the era of Sassanid Empire of Persia (Iran), carved around the 4th century AD.

This example of Persian Sassanid art is located 5 km from the city center of Kermanshah. It is located in the heart of the Zagros mountains, where it has endured almost 1,700 years of wind and rain. Originally, several sources were visible next to and below the reliefs and arches, some of which are now covered. Sources next to the reliefs still feed a large basin in front of the rock. The site has been turned into an archaeological park and a series of late Sasanian and Islamic column capitals have been brought together (some found at Taq Bostan, others at Bisutun and Kermanshah).

The carvings, some of the finest and best-preserved examples of Persian sculpture under the Sassanids, include representations of the investitures of Ardashir II (379–383) and Shapur III (383–388). Like other Sassanid symbols, Taq-e Bostan, and its relief patterns accentuate power, religious tendencies, glory, honor, the vastness of the court, game and fighting spirit, festivity, joy, and rejoicing.

Sassanid kings chose a beautiful setting for their rock reliefs along an historic Silk Road caravan route waypoint and campground. The reliefs are adjacent a sacred springs that empty into a large reflecting pool at the base of a mountain cliff.

Taq-e Bostan and its rock relief are one of the 30 surviving Sassanid relics of the Zagros mountains. According to Arthur Pope, the founder of Iranian art and archeology Institute in the US, "art was characteristic of the Iranian people and the gift which they endowed the world with."

Timeline of the Sasanian Empire

The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Dynasty is the name mused for the Persian dynasty which lasted from 224 to 651 AD.

224 - Ardashir I introduces the name of Šāhanšāh (king of kings); the Sasanid reign is founded.

c. 224-240 – Zoroastrianism belief experiences an era of recovery under Ardashir I kingdom.

230 - Sassanian army assaults the Roman-controlled fraction of Upper Mesopotamia and lay hands on Nisibis, however is not capable to catch it.

237-238 - Ardashir I begins another rushes on the Eastern Roman Provinces and occupies Harran and Nisibis.

241 - Coronation of Shapur I.

c. 242-273 - Mani makes a journey in Persia.

252-256 - Shapur I moves forward to the Eastern Roman Provinces.

c. 259 - Failure and detention of Valerian by Shapur I.

c. 260 - 2nd foray of the Eastern Roman Provinces by Shapur I.

c. 261 - Odaenathus, the ruler of Palmyra, stops the triumphant Persian troops coming back home following the looting of Antioch, scores a notable conquest against Shapur I and drives the Persians back across the Euphrates.

271 - Coronation of Hormizd I.

273 - Coronation of Bahram I.

274 or 277 - The death penalty of Mani by influential Zoroastrian high priest Kartir.

276 - Coronation of Bahram II.

276 - The Kartir is chosen as extreme power of the Zoroastrian place of worship and victimizes the supporters of other believes; his engravings at Ka'ba-ye Zartosht, Naqsh-e Rajab, and Sar Mashad (south of Kazerun) declare to prove his principles.

283 - Roman Emperor Carus seizes Mesopotamia and catches Ctesiphon, but his troops comes back his unexpected passing.

286 - Tiridates takes the Armenian throne and the Persians are discharged from there.

293 - Narseh overwhelms his competitors and triumphs to the Persian throne.

c. 294 - Narseh’s Paikuli inscription in Iraq next to the Persian frontier.

296 - Narseh raids Armenia, expels Tiridates, and quells the Romans.

297- Roman Emperor Galerius undoes Narseh. The Treaty of Nisibis compels Narseh to abandon Armenia and Mesopotamia.

c. 301 - Realm of Armenia is the primitive power to accept Christianity as the kingdom creed.

302 - Resignation of Narseh; Coronation of Hormizd II.

309 - Coronation of Shapur II.

325 - Shapur II falls upon Arab people and makes impregnable the empire’s frontiers.

338 - Shapur II retrieves the five regions gave in by Narseh to Rome.

348 - Shapur II seizes Mesopotamia.

c. 360 - Fondation of the Kidarite kingdom.

363 - War between Julian and Persian troops follows his back off and demise; the surrendered territories and Nisibis are brought back to Persia.

376 - The armistice signed by Rome and Persia.

379 - Death of Shapur II and the accession of Ardashir II.

383 - Coronation of Shapur III.

399 - Coronation of Yazdegerd I, titled “the Sinner” owing to his efforts to control the influence of Zoroastrian clergy and his leniency towards other believes.

409 - Christian are allowed to publicly worship and to construct churches.

420 - Coronation of Bahram V (Bahram Gūr).

421 - Peace between Persia and Rome comes to an end.

422 - Bahram V triumphs in driving off an assault by the Hephtalites.

c. 425 - Bahram V brings in gypsies from India to amuse people according to the Shahnameh.

428 - Dissolution of Arsacid dynasty of Armenia. Establishment of Persian Armenia.

438 - Coronation of Yazdegerd II.

451 - Battle of Avarayr fought against the Christian Armenian rebels led by Vardan Mamikonian.

457 - Coronation of Hormizd III.

459 - Coronation of Peroz I.

484 - Hephthalite Empire conquer Peroz I.

484 - Coronation of Balash. The Nvarsak Treaty grants the Armenians the right to profess Christianity freely.

488 - Coronation of Kavadh I; expedition against Khazars.

c. 490 - Mazdak teaches his ideology, egalitarian idea; he has the benefit of Kavadh I’s help.

c. 490 - Initiation of agrarian and tax reforms.

496 - Kavadh I is dethroned by his brother Djamasp.

499 - Return of Kavadh I with support of Hephtalites.

524 - War between Byzantine Empire and Sassanid Empire.

526 - Romans assault Persia, Armenia, and Mesopotamia, however they are beaten. Start of the Iberian War.

531 - Coronation of Khosrow I.

c. 531 - Slaughter and crackdown of the Mazdak's followers.

c. 531 - Farming, governmental, military, communal reforms.

c. 531 - Conversion of Panchatantra, a Sanskrit-written book-story to Middle Persian.

533 - End of conflict between Persia and Byzantine Empire (the one that started in 524).

541 - Lazic War commences between the Byzantines and the Sassanids for control over Lazica.

c. 554 - Procopius, Byzantine expert and observer to the battles between Khosrow I and Justinian I, which he writes in his De bello Persico (Latin tr., 1833), dies.

c. 570 - Conquest of Yemen.

c. 570 - Birth of the Muḥammad (Prophet of Muslims).

579 - Death of Khosrow I and the Coronation of Hormizd IV.

580 - Sassanids abolish the monarchy of the Kingdom of Iberia. Direct control through self-appointed governors commences.

588 - First Perso-Turkic War (with Göktürks) and their defeat at the hands of the Persian General Bahrām Chobin.

590 - Hormizd IV is assassinated; Coronation of Khosrow II.

590 - Uprising of Bahrām Chobin and his seizure of the Persian throne.

591 - Overwhelming of Bahrām Chobin; he escapes to the Turks in Central Asia but is killed after a year. Khosrow II regains the throne.

596 - Muḥammad gets marry Khadija bint Khuwaylid.

602 - Climactic Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 commences.

603 - Khosrow II’s invasion of Byzantium in revenge for the murder of Emperor Maurice and his relatives by the tyrant Phocas.

611-616 - Khosrow II’s conquest of Syria and Egypt.

622 - Muḥammad moves in secrecy from Mecca to Medina, accompanied by Abu Bakr; Muḥammad gets marry Abu Bakr’s young daughter, Aisha.

626 - The Sassanids alongside the allied Avars and Slavs besiege the Byzantine capital, Constantinople

627 - Heraclius defeats the troops of the Sasanian Empire near Nineveh.

628 - Deposition, trial, and execution of Khosrow II by his son and successor Kavadh II (Shīrūya); peace concluded with Byzantine Empire.

628 - Murdering of many Sasanian princes by Kavadh II.

628 - Kavadh II dies.

628-635 - Weakening of the Sasanian dynasty due to a succession of ineffectual kings and queens including the queens Boran and Azarmidokht; chaotic situation prevails.

632 - Pond of Khumm event.

632 - The Prophet Moḥammad dies; there ensues a dispute over his succession.

632-634 - Abu Bakr’s caliphate.

633 - Yazdegerd III succeeds to the Persian throne.

634 - Umar elected caliph; he plans a successful invasion of Byzantine and Persian (Sasanian) lands.

635 - Arabs capture Damascus.

635-641 - Arab troops capture Jerusalem, Antioch, Tripoli, and Egypt.

636 - Persians are beaten by Arab Muslims at Qādisiyyah.

637 - Arab Muslims capture Ctesiphon, the Sasanian capital; Yazdegerd III escapes to Ray.

637 - Arab Muslim conquest of Mesopotamia.

642 - Final defeat of Persians by Arab Muslims at Nehavand.

644 - Umar (Muslims Caliph) is assassinated by Piruz Nahavandi (Hormozan), a Persian captive.

644-656 - Othman’s caliphate.

651 - Murder of Yazdegerd III; end of the Sasanian dynasty; Persia is annexed to the Rashidun Caliphate (Islamic Empire).

Yazdagird (Bavandid ruler)

Yazdagird (Persian: یزدگرد) was the ruler of the Bavand dynasty from 1271 to 1298. He was the cousin and successor of Ali of Tabaristan.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.