Bahram Chobin

Bahrām Chōbīn (Persian: بهرام چوبین‎) or Wahrām Chōbēn (Middle Persian:

BChobinPahlavi
wlhl’n), also known by his epithet Mihrevandak ("servant of Mithra"),[1] was a nobleman, general, and political leader of the late Sasanian Empire and briefly its ruler as Bahram VI (r. 590-591).

BChobinPahlavi

Son of general Bahram Gushnasp and hailing from the noble House of Mihran, Bahram began his career as the governor of Ray, and was promoted to the army chief (spahbed) of the northwestern portions of the empire after capturing the Byzantine stronghold of Dara, fighting in the war of 572–591. After a massive Hephthalite-Turkic invasion of the eastern Sasanian domains in 588, he was appointed as the spahbed in Khorasan, beginning a campaign that decisively ended with Iranian victory.

Bahram earned an elevated position in Iran due to his noble descent, character, skills, and accomplishments. The Sasanian king (shah) Hormizd IV (r. 579–590) was already distrustful of Bahram and stripped the increasingly popular general of his commands. Bahram began a rebellion aiming to reestablish the "more rightful" Arsacid Empire, identifying himself with the promised savior of the Zoroastrian faith. Before he had reached the Sasanian capital of Ctesiphon, Hormizd was assassinated in support of his son, Khosrow II, by another anti-Hormizd faction led by the two Ispahbudhan brothers, Vistahm and Vinduyih. As Bahram captured Ctesiphon, Khosrow II fled to the Byzantine Empire, with the assistance of which he launched a campaign against Bahram, who was defeated with his outnumbered forces, but managed to flee to the Western Turkic Khaganate where he was well received. He was shortly assassinated at the instigation of Khosrow II, who was then the shah.

Bahram Chobin left a legacy even after Arab conquest of Iran among Iranian nationalists, as well as in the Persian literature.

Bahram Chobin
BahramChobinCoinHistoryofIran
Coin of Bahram Chobin, minted at Arrajan in 590
King of Kings of Iran and Aniran
Reign590–591
PredecessorKhosrow II
SuccessorKhosrow II (restored)
Died591
Fergana, Western Turkic Khaganate
Issue
Regnal name
Bahram VI
HouseHouse of Mihran
FatherBahram Gushnasp
ReligionZoroastrianism

Name

His theophoric name "Bahram" is the New Persian form of the Middle Persian Warahrān (also spelled Wahrām), which is derived from the Old Iranian Vṛθragna. The Avestan equivalent was Vərəθraγna, the name of the god of victory, whilst the Parthian version was *Warθagn. Bahram's surname, Chobin ("Wooden Shaft", "Javelin-like"), was a nickname given to him due to his tall and slender appearance.[2] His appearance was also emphasized by the Persian poet Ferdowsi, who in his Shahnameh ("The Book of Kings"), described Bahram as a towering and dark-complexioned warrior with black curly hair.[2]

Background

Bahram was a member of the House of Mihran, one of the seven Great Houses of Iran. The family was of Parthian origin, and was centered in Ray, south of Tehran, the capital of present-day Iran. Bahram's father was Bahram Gushnasp, a military officer who had fought the Byzantines and campaigned in Yemen during the reign of Khosrow I (r. 531–579). His grandfather Gurgin Milad had served as the marzban (general of a frontier province, "margrave") of Armenia from 572 to 574.[3] Bahram Chobin had three siblings whom were named: Gordiya, Gorduya and Mardansina.

Rise

The Battle between Bahram Chubina and Sava Shah LACMA M.2009.44.1 (3 of 9)
Bahram Chobin fighting Bagha Qaghan.

Bahram Chobin originally started his career as marzban of Ray, but in 572 he commanded a cavalry force and took part in the siege and capture of the key Byzantine stronghold of Dara and was promoted to army chief (spahbed) of the "North" (Adurbadagan and Greater Media).[1] After being promoted he fought a long, indecisive campaign in 572–591 against the Byzantines in northern Mesopotamia. In 588, the Turkic Khagan Bagha Qaghan (known as Sabeh/Saba in Persian sources), together with his Hephthalite subjects, invaded the Sasanian territories south of the Oxus, where they attacked and routed the Sasanian soldiers stationed in Balkh, and then proceeded to conquer the city along with Talaqan, Badghis, and Herat.[4]

In a council of war, Bahram was chosen to lead an army against them and was given the governorship of Khorasan. Bahram's army supposedly consisted of 12,000 hand-picked horsemen.[1] His army ambushed a large army of Turks and Hephthalites in April 588, at the battle of Hyrcanian rock,[5] and again in 589, re-conquering Balkh, where Bahram captured the Turkic treasury and the golden throne of the Khagan.[6] He then proceeded to cross the Oxus river and won a decisive victory over Turks, personally killing Bagha Qaghan with an arrowshot.[1][7] He managed to reach as far as Baykand, near Bukhara, and also contain an attack by the son of the deceased Khagan, Birmudha, whom Bahram had captured and sent to the Sasanian capital of Ctesiphon.[6] Birmudha was well received there by the Sasanian king (shah) Hormizd IV, who forty days later had him sent back to Bahram with the order that the Turkic prince should get sent back to Transoxiana.[6] The Sasanians now held suzerainty over the Sogdian cities of Chach and Samarkand, where Hormizd minted coins.[6][a]

Coin of Hormizd IV, Darabgerd mint
Coin of the Sasanian king (shah) Hormizd IV (r. 579–590).

After Bahram's great victory against the Turks he was sent to Caucasus to repel an invasion of nomads, possibly the Khazars, where he was victorious. He was later made commander of the Sasanian forces against the Byzantines once again, and successfully defeated a Byzantine force in Georgia. However, he afterwards suffered a minor defeat by a Byzantine army on the banks of the Aras. Hormizd, who was jealous of Bahram, used this defeat as an excuse to dismiss him from his office, and had him humiliated.[8][9]

According to another source, Bahram was the subject of jealousy after his victory against the Turks. Hormizd's minister Azen Gushnasp, who was reportedly jealous of Bahram, accused him of having kept the best part of the booty for himself and only sending a small part to Hormizd.[10] According to other sources, however, it was Birmudha or the courtiers that raised Hormizd's suspicion.[10] Regardless, Hormizd could not tolerate the rising fame of Bahram, and thus had him disgraced and removed from the Sasanian office for supposedly having kept some of the booty for himself. Furthermore, Hormizd also sent him a chain and a spindle to show that he considered him as a lowly slave "as ungrateful as a woman".[1] Enraged, Bahram, who was still in the east, rebelled against Hormizd.[1] The version of Bahram rebelling after his defeat against the Byzantines was supported by Nöldeke in 1879. However, a source found ten years later confirmed Bahram's rebellion took in fact place while he was still in the east.[1]

Rebellion

The Night Attack of Bahram Chubina on the Army of Khusraw Parvis LACMA M.2009.44.3 (2 of 8)
Bahram Chobin fighting Sasanian loyalists near Ctesiphon.

Bahram, infuriated by Hormizd's actions, responded by rebelling, and due to his noble status and great military knowledge, was joined by his soldiers and many others. He then appointed a new governor for Khorasan, and afterwards set for Ctesiphon. Azen Gushnasp was sent to suppress to the rebellion, but was murdered in Hamadan by one of his own men, Zadespras. Another force under Sarames the Elder was also sent to stop Bahram, who defeated him and had him trampled to death by elephants.[11] Meanwhile, Hormizd tried to come to terms with his brothers-in-law Vistahm and Vinduyih, "who equally hated Hormizd".[9] Hormizd shortly had Vinduyih imprisoned, while Vistahm managed to flee from the court. After a short period of time, a palace coup under the two brothers occurred in Ctesiphon, which resulted in the blinding of Hormizd and the accession of the latter's oldest son Khosrow II (who was their nephew through his mother's side). The two brothers shortly had Hormizd killed. Nevertheless, Bahram continued his march to Ctesiphon, now with the pretext of claiming to avenge Hormizd.[1][6]

Khosrow then took a carrot and stick attitude, and wrote a message to Bahram, stressing his rightful claim to the Sasanian kingship: "Khosrow, kings of kings, ruler over the ruling, lord of the peoples, prince of peace, salvation of men, among gods the good and eternally living man, among men the most esteemed god, the highly illustrious, the victor, the one who rises with the sun and who lends the night his eyesight, the one famed through his ancestors, the king who hates, the benefactor who engaged the Sasanians and saved the Iranians their kingship—to Bahram, the general of the Iranians, our friend.... We have also taken over the royal throne in a lawful manner and have no upset Iranian customs.... We have so firmly decided not to take off the diadem that we even expected to rule over other worlds, if this were possible.... If you wish your welfare, think about what is to be done."[12]

Bahram, however, ignored his warning—a few days later, he reached the Nahrawan Canal near Ctesiphon, where he fought Khosrow's men, who were heavily outnumbered, but managed to hold Bahram's men back in several clashes. However, Khosrow's men eventually began losing their morale, and were in the end defeated by Bahram's forces. Khosrow, together with his two uncles, his wives, and a retinue of 30 nobles, thereafter fled to Byzantine territory, while Ctesiphon fell to Bahram.[13] Bahram declared himself king of kings in the summer of 590, asserting that the first Sasanian king Ardashir I (r. 224–242) had usurped the throne of the Arsacids, and that he now was restoring their rule.[1]

Reign

Coin of Bahram Chobin, Susa mint
Coin of Bahram Chobin, Susa mint.

Bahram tried to support his cause with the Zoroastrian apocalyptic belief that by the end of Zoroaster's millennium, chaos and destructive wars with the Hephthalites/Huns and the Romans occurs and then a savior would appear. Indeed, the Sasanians had misidentified Zoroaster's era with that of the Seleucids (312 BC), which put Bahram's life almost at the end of Zoroaster's millennium, he was therefore hailed by many as the promised savior Kay Bahram Varjavand.[1] Bahram was to re-establish the Arsacid Empire and commenced a new millennium of dynastic rule. He started minting coins, where he is on the front imitated as an exalted figure, bearded and wearing a crenellation-shaped crown with two crescents of the moon, whilst the reverse shows the traditional fire altar flanked by two attendants.[1] Regardless, many nobles and priests still chose to side with the inexperienced and less dominant Khosrow II.[1]

In order to get the attention of the Byzantine emperor Maurice (r. 582–602), Khosrow II went to Syria, and sent a message to the Sasanian occupied city of Martyropolis to stop their resistance against the Byzantines, but with no avail.[14] He then sent a message to Maurice, and requested his help to regain the Sasanian throne, which the Byzantine emperor agreed with; in return, the Byzantines would re-gain sovereignty over the cities of Amida, Carrhae, Dara and Martyropolis. Furthermore, Iran was required to stop intervening in the affairs of Iberia and Armenia, effectively ceding control of Lazistan to the Byzantines.[15]

The battle between kusrau parvis and Bhram Chubineh
Illustration of the forces of Bahram Chobin and Khosrow II fighting.

In 591, Khosrow moved to Constantia and prepared to invade Bahram's territories in Mesopotamia, while Vistahm and Vinduyih were raising an army in Adurbadagan under the observation of the Byzantine commander John Mystacon, who was also raising an army in Armenia. After some time, Khosrow, along with the Byzantine commander of the south, Comentiolus, invaded Mesopotamia. During this invasion, Nisibis and Martyropolis quickly defected to them,[15] and Bahram's commander Zatsparham was defeated and killed.[16] One of Bahram's other commanders, Bryzacius, was captured in Mosil and had his nose and ears cut off, and was thereafter sent to Khosrow, where he was killed.[17][18] Khosrow II and the Byzantine general Narses then penetrated deeper into Bahram's territory, seizing Dara and then Mardin in February, where Khosrow was re-proclaimed king.[16] Shortly after this, Khosrow sent one of his Iranian supporters, Mahbodh, to capture Ctesiphon, which he managed to accomplish.[19]

Roman-Persian Frontier in Late Antiquity
Map of the Roman-Sasanian frontier during Late Antiquity, including the 591 border that was established between the two empires after Khosrow II's victory over Bahram.

At the same time a force of 8,000 Iranians under Vistahm and Vinduyih and 12,000 Armenians under Mushegh II Mamikonian invaded Adurbadagan.[1] Bahram tried to disrupt the force by writing a letter to Mushegh II, the letter said: "As for you Armenians who demonstrate an unseasonable loyalty, did not the house of Sasan destroy your land and sovereignty? Why otherwise did your fathers rebel and extricate themselves from their service, fighting up until today for your country?"[20] Bahram in his letter promised that the Armenians would become partners of the new Iranian empire ruled by a Parthian dynastic family if he accepted his proposal to betray Khosrow II.[21] Mushegh, however, rejected the offer.[21]

Flight and death

Bahram was then defeated at the Battle of Blarathon, forcing him to flee with 4,000 men eastwards. He marched towards Nishapur, where he defeated a pursuing army as well as an army led by a Karenid nobleman at Qumis. Constantly troubled, he finally arrived in Fergana[22][1] where he was received honorably by the Khagan of the Turks, who was most likely Birmudha–the same Turkic prince that Bahram had defeated and captured a few years earlier during his wars against the Turks.[6] Bahram entered his service, and was appointed as a commander in the army, achieving further military accomplishments there.[23][1] Bahram became a highly popular figure after saving the Khagan from a conspiracy instigated by the latters brother Byghu (conceivably an incorrect translation of yabghu).[6] Khosrow II, however, could not feel safe as long as Bahram lived, and succeeded in having him assassinated.[1] The assassination was reportedly achieved out through distribution of presents and bribes between the members of the Turkic royal family, notably the queen.[23] What remained of Bahram's supporters went back to northern Iran and joined the rebellion of Vistahm (590/1–596 or 594/5–600).[24]

The fate of his family

After Bahram's death, his sister Gordiya traveled to Khorasan, where she married Vistahm, who during that time was also rebelling against Khosrow II. Bahram had three sons named Shapur, Mihran Bahram-i Chobin, and Noshrad. Shapur continued to oppose the Sasanians and later joined the rebellion of Vistahm. After the end of the rebellion, Shapur was executed.[1] Mihran is mentioned in 633 as a general in the Sasanian forces that fought against the Arabs at the Battle of Ayn al-Tamr during the Arab invasion of Iran.[25] His son Siyavakhsh ruled Ray, and killed Vinduyih's son Farrukh Hormizd in retribution for the family's role in Bahram's downfall and death.[26] Bahram's last son, Noshrad, was the ancestor of the Samanids, who ruled the eastern Iranian lands of Transoxiana and Khorasan during most of their existence, stressing their ancestry from Bahram.[1]

Legacy

Bahram's life is composed in the Pahlavi romance Bahrām Chōbīn Nāma ("Book of Bahram Chobin"), which was later translated by Jabalah bin Sālim, and found its way—mixed with a pro-Khosrow II account—into the works of Dinawari, Ferdowsi, and Bal'ami.[1] There are many fables attributed to Bahram VI, as is the norm for many heroes in Persian literature. The chapters in Volume VIII of Ferdowsi's 11th-century Shahnameh[27] on the reigns of "Hormizd, Son of Khosrow I," and "Khosrow Parviz," both of which are almost as much about Bahram Chobin as about Hormizd or his son. In his catalogue Kitab al-Fihrist, Ibn al-Nadim has credited Bahram Chobin with a manual of archery.[1] Long after his death in the 8th century, Sunpadh claimed that Abu Muslim had not died but he is with "al-Mahdi" (the Savior) in a "Brazen Hold" (that is, the residence of Bahram in Turkistan), and will return. This shows the persisting popularity of Bahram Chobin among Iranian nationalists.[1] Following the collapse of the Sasanian Empire, the Samanid dynasty formed of descendants of Bahram Chobin, became one of the first independent Iranian dynasties.[28]

Family tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bahram Gushnasp
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mardansina
 
Unknown
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bahram Chobin
 
Gorduya
 
Gordiya
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Noshrad
 
 
 
 
 
Mihran Bahram-i Chobin
 
Shapur
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Siyavakhsh
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Toghmath
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jotman
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Saman Khuda
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Notes

  1. ^ The Sasanians only managed to retain Chach and Samarkand for a few years, until it was re-captured by the Turks, who seemingly also conquered the eastern Sasanian province of Kadagistan.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Shahbazi 1988, pp. 514–522.
  2. ^ a b Kia 2016, p. 240.
  3. ^ Pourshariati 2008, p. 103.
  4. ^ Rezakhani 2017, p. 177.
  5. ^ Jaques 2007, p. 463.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Rezakhani 2017, p. 178.
  7. ^ Litvinsky & Dani 1996, pp. 368-369.
  8. ^ Martindale, Jones & Morris 1992, p. 167.
  9. ^ a b Shahbazi 1988, pp. 514-522.
  10. ^ a b Tafazzoli 1988, p. 260.
  11. ^ Warren, p. 26.
  12. ^ Kia 2016, p. 241.
  13. ^ James Howard-Johnston.
  14. ^ Greatrex & Lieu 2002, p. 172.
  15. ^ a b Howard-Johnston 2010.
  16. ^ a b Greatrex & Lieu 2002, p. 173.
  17. ^ Martindale, Jones & Morris 1992, p. 251.
  18. ^ Rawlinson 2004, p. 509.
  19. ^ Greatrex & Lieu 2002, p. 174.
  20. ^ Pourshariati 2008, pp. 128-129.
  21. ^ a b Pourshariati 2008, p. 129.
  22. ^ Gumilev L.N. Bahram Chubin, pp. 229 - 230
  23. ^ a b Kia 2016, p. 242.
  24. ^ Pourshariati 2008, p. 133-134.
  25. ^ Pourshariati 2008, p. 201.
  26. ^ Pourshariati 2008, p. 206.
  27. ^ online at http://persian.packhum.org/persian/
  28. ^ Narshakhī, Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Jaʻfar; Frye, Richard N. (2007). The History of Bukhara. Markus Wiener Publishers. ISBN 978-1-55876-419-4., pages 77-78.

Sources

External links

Bahram Chobin
Preceded by
Khosrow II
King of kings of Iran and Aniran
590–591
Succeeded by
Khosrow II (restored)
590

Year 590 (DXC) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 590 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.

Bagha Qaghan

Bagha Qaghan was the seventh ruler (587–589) of the Turkic Kaganate. He may have been

the 'great kaghan' that was killed with an arrow by Persian commander Bahrām Chobin during First Perso-Turkic War.

He is given as Chǔluóhóu (处罗侯) in Chinese records, and as Šāwa, Sāva, or Sāba in Sasanian-based sources. He was hunchback.

Bahram Siyavashan

Bahram Siyavashan (Middle Persian: Wahrām Siyāvakhšan) was an Iranian commander, who supported the distinguished Sasanian military leader Bahram Chobin, and played a active role in the early stages of the Sasanian civil war of 589-591, till he was killed by Bahram Chobin himself in 590 after trying to assassinate the latter.

Battle of Blarathon

The Battle of Blarathon was fought in 591 near Ganzak between a combined Byzantine–Persian force and a Persian army led by the usurper Bahram Chobin.

Kadagistan

Kadagistan (Middle Persian: Kadagistān) was the name of an eastern Sasanian province in the region of Tokharistan (in what is now north-eastern Afghanistan), established by Khosrow I (r. 531–579) after his victory over the Hephthalite Empire in 557. The capital of the province was Warlu, a city located in the valley of the Kunduz River.

In 587, the province was briefly seized by the Turkic Khagan Bagha Qaghan (known as Sabeh in Persian sources), who penetrated as far as Herat, thus violating the 557 consensus between Khosrow I and the Khagan Istämi which set the Oxus as the frontier between the two empires. The lands were reconquered by the Sasanian military leader Bahram Chobin in 589. The province was, however, most likely permanently seized by the Turks a few years later, due to the absence of Sasanian coins from the period.

Khosrow II

Khosrow II (Chosroes II in classical sources; Middle Persian: Husrō(y)), entitled "Aparvēz" ("The Victorious"), also Khusraw Parvēz (New Persian: خسرو پرویز), was the last great king of the Sasanian Empire, reigning from 590 to 628.He was the son of Hormizd IV (reigned 579–590) and the grandson of Khosrow I (reigned 531–579). He was the last king of Persia to have a lengthy reign before the Muslim conquest of Iran, which began five years after his death by execution. He lost his throne, then recovered it with Roman help, and, a decade later, went on to emulate the feats of the Achaemenids, conquering the rich Roman provinces of the Middle East; much of his reign was spent in wars with the Byzantine Empire and struggling against usurpers such as Bahram Chobin and Vistahm.

During the climactic Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, Khosrow expanded deep into western Asia Minor, eventually besieging the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 626 alongside Avar and Slavic allies. Following the failure of the siege, Heraclius started a counterattack, undoing all territorial gains by Khosrow in the Levant, most of Anatolia, the western Caucasus, and Egypt, eventually marching into the Sassanian capital of Ctesiphon. The Byzantines also regained the True Cross, which Khosrow had captured following his conquest of the Levant during the same 602–628 war.

In works of Persian literature such as the Shahnameh and Khosrow and Shirin, a famous tragic romance by Nizami Ganjavi (1141–1209), a highly elaborated fictional version of Khosrow's life made him one of the greatest heroes of the culture, as much as a lover as a king. Khosrow and Shirin tells the story of his love for the Aramean or Roman princess Shirin, who becomes his queen after a lengthy courtship strewn with mishaps and difficulties.

Mardansina

Mardansina (also spelled Mardan Sina) was an Iranian nobleman from the House of Mihran—he was the son of Bahram Gushnasp and thus the brother of the prominent Sasanian military leader Bahram Chobin, who managed to overthrow the Sasanian king himself briefly in 590–591, but was eventually defeated and killed. Mardansina thereafter became the new leader of the rebel movement of Bahram Chobin, and later took part in the rebellion of Vistahm (591–596 or 594/5–600).

Mihran Bahram-i Chobin

Mihran Bahram-i Chubin was an Iranian nobleman from the House of Mihran. He was the son of Bahram Chobin, the famous Sasanian spahbed and briefly shahanshah. Mihran, with the aid of Christian Arab tribes, fought against the Muslim Arabs at Ayn al-Tamir. He was however, defeated. What happened to Mihran afterwards is unknown; however, it is known that he had a son named Siyavakhsh, who fell to the Arabs in 651 at Ray.

Narses (general under Maurice)

Narses was a Byzantine general of Armenian ancestry active during the reigns of the emperors Maurice and Phocas in the late sixth and early seventh centuries. He commanded the army in Mesopotamia under Maurice. Together with Khosrow II, he fought against the Sasanian usurper Bahram Chobin. When Phocas overthrew Maurice and seized the throne, Narses refused to recognize the usurper. Besieged by Phocas' troops in the city of Edessa, Narses called for Khosrau to aid him and was rescued by the Persian forces. He attempted to salvage the situation with a diplomatic mission but was burned alive in Constantinople by Phocas' government after having been promised safety.

Saman Khuda

Saman Khuda (Saman Khoda, Saman-khudat) was an 8th-century Persian noble whose descendants (the House of Saman) later became rulers of Persia (the Samanid Empire). He was a Dehqan from the village of Saman in Balkh province in present-day northern Afghanistan (then part of Persia). In the early 8th century, he came to Merv, seat of the Caliphal governor of Khorasan, Asad ibn 'Abd Allah al-Qasri (ruled 723-727). Saman was originally a Zoroastrian. However, he was so impressed with the piety of Asad ibn 'Abd-Allah al-Qasri, the Caliphal governor of Khorasan, that he converted to Islam. He named his son Asad, allegedly in the governor's honor.

Caliph al-Mamun (786-833) subsequently appointed Asad's four sons – Saman Khuda's grandsons – as governors of Samarkand, Ferghana, Shash and Ustrushana, and Herat in recognition of their role in the suppression of a revolt. This began the House of Saman; Saman Khuda's great-grandson Isma'il ibn Ahmad (849-907) became Amir of Transoxiana and Khorasan.

Saman was a 4th or 5th generation descendant of Bahram Chobin, a noble of the ancient House of Mihran, who played an important role in the history of the later Sassanian Empire.

Sasanian civil war of 589-591

The Sasanian civil war of 589-591 was a conflict that broke out in 589, due to the great deal of dissatisfaction among the nobles towards the rule of Hormizd IV. The civil war lasted until 591, ending with the overthrow of the Mihranid usurper Bahram Chobin and the restoration of the Sasanian family as the rulers of Iran.

The reason for the civil war was due to king Hormizd IV's hard treatment towards the nobility and clergy, whom he distrusted. This eventually made Bahram Chobin start a major rebellion, while the two Ispahbudhan brothers Vistahm and Vinduyih made a palace coup against him, resulting in the blinding and eventually death of Hormizd IV. His son, Khosrow II, was thereafter crowned as king.

However, this did not change the mind of Bahram Chobin, who wanted to restore Parthian rule in Iran. Khosrow II was eventually forced to flee to Byzantine territory, where he made an alliance with the Byzantine emperor Maurice against Bahram Chobin. In 591, Khosrow II and his Byzantine allies invaded Bahram Chobin's territories in Mesopotamia, where they successfully managed to defeat him, while Khosrow II regained the throne. Bahram Chobin thereafter fled to the territory of the Turks in Transoxiana, but was not long afterwards assassinated or executed at the instigation of Khosrow II.

Shahran Goraz

Shahran Goraz (Persian: شهران‌گراز) is a character in Shahnameh. he is father of Ahura Mazda and he approbated with coronation of Bahram Chobin.

Siege of Dara (573)

The Siege of Dara occurred in 573, during the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 572–591. The siege lasted 4 months and ended with the city's fall to the Sasanian Persians. The news of the fall of Dara, long a major Byzantine stronghold in Upper Mesopotamia, reportedly drove Emperor Justin II insane.

The Sasanians used captured Roman ballistae from the abandoned Roman Siege of Nisibis (573).Bahram Chobin was commander of the cavalry force in the siege, and was promoted to the spahbed of the North after this victory.

Siyavakhsh

Siyavakhsh (also spelled Siyavash) was an Iranian aristocrat from the House of Mihran who was descended from Bahram Chobin, the famous spahbed of the Sasanian Empire and briefly its emperor.

The Stolen Throne

The Stolen Throne is a fantasy novel written by Harry Turtledove and set in the Videssos universe. It is the first book in the Time of Troubles tetralogy. The events depicted are strongly based on the historical interaction of Sassanid Persia and Byzantium in the 6th and 7th century. The first book depicts the rise of Sharbaraz (the analog to Khosrau II) to overcome the usurper Smerdis (Bahram Chobin) to become the King of Kings of Makuran (Persia) with the help of the Videssian Emperor Likinios (Maurice).

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).

Vinduyih

Vinduyih (Middle Persian: Windōē) or Bendoy (Persian: بندوی‎) was a Sasanian nobleman from the Ispahbudhan family. His sister was the mother of Khosrau II, thus making Vinduyih the uncle of Khosrau. Vinduyih and Vistahm played an important role in restoring the throne for Khosrau II from Bahram Chobin. He was later deposed in Ctesiphon by the orders of Khosrau II.

Vistahm

Bistam or Vistahm (also transliterated Wistaxm, Persian: بیستام‎), was a Parthian dynast of the Ispahbudhan house, and maternal uncle of the Sasanian shah of Persia, Khosrow II (reigned 591–628). Vistahm helped Khosrow regain his throne after the rebellion of Bahram Chobin, but later led a revolt himself, which encompassed the entire Iranian East before being suppressed.

Zoarab

Zoarab was king of the Daylamites in the late 6th-century. He is first mentioned in 590, when he together with Sarames the Younger, betrayed the Sasanian king Hormizd IV (r. 579–590) by murdering his general Pherochanes. Zoarab then joined the rebellion of Bahram Chobin, while Sarames joined a group of dissatisfied nobles led by Vistahm and Vinduyih.

Bahram Chobin managed to briefly become king of the Sasanian Empire from 590 until he was defeated and killed in 591. Hormizd IV's son Khosrow II thereafter became king, but Vistahm later rebelled himself; Zoarab joined his rebellion, which lasted from 591 to 596 or from 594/5 to 600.

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