Bahram IV

Bahram IV (Middle Persian: 𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭‎ <wlhlʾn>, archaic Warahrān, pronounced Wahrām and sometimes written 𐭥𐭠𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭬 <wʾhlʾm>; New Persian: بهرام, Bahrām), was the thirteenth king of the Sasanian Empire from 388 to 399. He was the son and successor of Shapur III (r. 383–388).

Bahram IV is often regarded as a harsh man who neglected his duties. He has been portrayed as a weak king, under whom his vassals regained influence lost under Shapur II.[1]

Bahram IV
𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭
King of Kings of Iranians and non-Iranians
Coin of Bahram IV (cropped), Herat mint
Coin of Bahram IV, minted at Herat
Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire
Reign388–399
PredecessorShapur III
SuccessorYazdegerd I
BornUnknown
Died399
IssueKhosrow the Usurper
HouseHouse of Sasan
FatherShapur III
ReligionZoroastrianism

Early life

According to al-Tabari, Bahram IV was the son of Shapur II (r. 309–379), however, several other historians, such as Hamza al-Isfahani, states that he was the son of Shapur III (r. 383–388), which seems more likely.[2] Bahram, during the reign of his father, was the governor of Kirman, where he built the town of Shiragan, which would serve as the capital of the province for the remainder of the Sasanian period.[3][4] The town played an important economic role, as it served as a mint city and had a great agricultural importance to the province.[5] As many other governors of Kirman, Bahram bore the title of Kirmanshah (meaning "king of Kerman"), which would serve as the name of the city he later´founded in western Iran.[6] In 388, his father was killed by a group of Sasanian nobles. Bahram thus succeeded him as the ruler of the Sasanian Empire.

Reign

Armenia had been divided during the reign of Shapur III according to the terms of a peace treaty. But this arrangement barely survived the reign of Shapur III. In 389, Khosrov IV, the vassal king of Armenia under Sasanian suzerainty grew wary of his subordination to Iran and entered into a treaty with the Roman emperor Theodosius I, who made him the king of a united Armenia in return for his allegiance.[2] This enraged Bahram and made him have Khosrov imprisoned in the Castle of Oblivion. Bahram shortly made the latter's brother Vramshapuh the new ruler of Armenia.[7] In 395, the Huns invaded the Sasanian province of Asuristan, where they ravaged much of the countryside and took many captives. Bahram IV then had an army sent against them, which managed to kill a great deal of them and regain the riches they had taken including the captives.[8]

In 399, Bahram's conduct, it is recorded, grew so unbearable that he was ultimately assassinated by his own troops who surrounded him and shot him with arrows. He was succeeded by his brother Yazdegerd I.

References

  1. ^ Pourshariati 2008, p. 58.
  2. ^ a b Klíma 1988, pp. 514–522.
  3. ^ Al-Tabari 1985–2007, v. 5: p. 69.
  4. ^ Christensen 1993, p. 182.
  5. ^ Brunner 1983, pp. 771-772.
  6. ^ Brunner 1983, p. 767.
  7. ^ The Armenian Alphabet, The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the Oral Tradition to the Golden Age, Vol.I, ed. A. J. Hacikyan, Gabriel Basmajian, Edward S. Franchuk, Nourhan Ouzounian, (Wayne State University Press, 2000), 84.
  8. ^ Greatrex & Lieu 2002, p. 17.

Sources

  • 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.
  • Shapur Shahbazi, A. (2005). "SASANIAN DYNASTY". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  • Greatrex, Geoffrey; Lieu, Samuel N. C. (2002). The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars (Part II, 363–630 AD). New York, New York and London, United Kingdom: Routledge (Taylor & Francis). ISBN 0-415-14687-9.
  • Klíma, O. (1988). "Bahrām IV". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. III, Fasc. 5. pp. 514–522.
  • Brunner, Christopher (1983). "Geographical and Administrative divisions: Settlements and Economy". The Cambridge History of Iran: The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian periods (2). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 747–778. ISBN 978-0-521-24693-4.
  • Al-Tabari, Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir (1985–2007). Ehsan Yar-Shater, ed. The History of Al-Ṭabarī. 40 vols. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Christensen, Peter (1993). The Decline of Iranshahr: Irrigation and Environments in the History of the Middle East, 500 B.C. to A.D. 1500. Museum Tusculanum Press. pp. 1–351. ISBN 9788772892597.
Bahram IV
Preceded by
Shapur III
King of kings of Iran and Aniran
388–399
Succeeded by
Yazdegerd I
388

Year 388 (CCCLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus without colleague (or, less frequently, year 1141 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 388 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.

390s

The 390s decade ran from January 1, 390, to December 31, 399.

399

Year 399 (CCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Eutropius and Theodorus (or, less frequently, year 1152 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 399 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.

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.

Arsaces (son of Khosrov IV of Armenia)

Arsaces (Armenian: Արշակ) was an Armenian Prince of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia who lived in the second half of the 4th century and possibly first half of the 5th century.

According to modern genealogies, Arsaces was a son born to the Armenian Monarchs Khosrov IV and Zruanduxt, while his brother was Tigranes. The father of Arsaces, Khosrov IV was an Arsacid Prince who was the first Armenian Monarch to serve as a Client King of Eastern Armenia under Sassanid rule who reigned from 387 until 389. His mother Zruanduxt, was a Sassanid Princess from Persia who was the sister of the Sassanid King Shapur III who reigned from 383 until 388.

Arsaces was named in honor of his late relative Arsaces III (Arshak III), the last serving Roman Client King of Armenia. He was also named in honor of his Parthian, Pontian and Armenian ancestors who ruled with this name as King. He was born at an unknown date in his father’s kingship and raised in Eastern Armenia. It is unknown whether he became a Christian in faith or a follower of the religion of Zoroastrianism.

In 389 the Sassanid King Bahram IV, dethroned Khosrov IV and placed him in confinement in Ctesiphon. Bahram IV was unsatisfied with Khosrov IV. Bahram IV considered Khosrov IV, as being too assertive in his royal authority as a governing Client Monarch and did various acts in his kingship without consultation from the Sassanid dynasty. Bahram IV in 389 replaced Khosrov IV, with his brother Vramshapuh as Sassanid Client King of Arsacid Armenia. After this moment, the fate of Zruanduxt, Arsaces and Tigranes is unknown.

Bahram

Bahrām (Persian: بهرام‎) is a male given name.

The older form is Vahrām (Middle Persian: 𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭‎, in Latin: Varrames), also spelled Wahrām, literally meaning "smiting of resistance" or "victorious". It is name of several prominent figures in pre-Islamic Persia.

Verethragna (the Avestan form) or Bahram, the Zoroastrian divinity that is the hypostasis of victory

Bahram (name)

Bahram or Vahram or Behram (Persian: بهرام‎), variant Bahran or Vahran, (Uzbek: Баҳром, Bahrom and Tajik: Баҳром, Bahrom) meaning "smiting of resistance" or "victorious", is a Persian surname or a male Persian given name.

Bahram means "victorious" in Middle Persian and Avestan.

Kermanshah Province

Kermanshah Province (Persian: استان كرمانشاه‎, Ostān-e Kermanšah) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. The province was known from 1969 to 1986 as Kermanshahan and from 1986 to 1995 as Bakhtaran. According to a 2014 segmentation by the Ministry of Interior it is center of Region 4, with the region's central secretariat located at the province's capital city, Kermanshah. A majority of people in Kermanshah Province are Shia, and there are Sunni and Yarsanist minority groups.

Khosrov IV of Armenia

Khosrov IV (Armenian: Խոսրով), was a Prince who served as a Sassanid King of Arsacid Armenia, which flourished during the second half of the 4th century & first half of the 5th century, from 387 until 389.

Khosrow the Usurper

Khosrow (Middle Persian: 𐭧𐭥𐭮𐭫𐭥𐭣𐭩‎), better known as Khosrow the Usurper, was a Sasanian pretender in 420.

Kirman (Sasanian province)

Kirman (Middle Persian: Kirmān) was a Sasanian province in Late Antiquity, which almost corresponded to the present-day province of Kerman. The province bordered Pars in the west, Abarshahr and Sakastan in the northeast, Paradan in the east, Spahan in the north, and Mazun in the south. The capital of the province of Shiragan.

The province allegedly functioned as some kind of vassal kingdom, being mostly ruled by princes from the royal family, who bore the title of Kirmanshah ("King of Kirman"). The non-royal governors of the province bore the title of marzban ("margrave").

Sasanian family tree

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

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.

Shapur IV

Shapur IV (Middle Persian: 𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩‎ Šāhpuhr), was king of Persian Armenia from 415 to 420, who briefly ruled the Sasanian Empire in 420.

Tigranes (son of Khosrov IV of Armenia)

Tigranes (Armenian: Տիգրան) was an Armenian Prince of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia who lived in the second half of the 4th century and possibly first half of the 5th century.

According to modern genealogies, Tigranes was a son born to the Armenian Monarchs Khosrov IV and Zruanduxt, while his brother was Arsaces. The father of Tigranes, Khosrov IV was an Arsacid Prince who was the first Armenian Monarch to serve as a Client King of Eastern Armenia under Sassanid rule who reigned from 387 until 389. His mother Zruanduxt, was a Sassanid Princess from Persia who was the sister of the Sassanid King Shapur III who reigned from 383 until 388.

Tigranes was named in honor of his ancestor Tigranes VII, also known as Tiran and he was also named in honor of the monarchs named Tigranes of the Artaxiad Dynasty. The name Tigranes, was the most common royal name in the Artaxiad Dynasty and was among the most ancient names of the Kings of Armenia. He was born at an unknown date in his father’s kingship and raised in Eastern Armenia. It is unknown whether he became a Christian in faith or a follower of the religion of Zoroastrianism.

In 389 the Sassanid King Bahram IV, dethroned Khosrov IV and placed him in confinement in Ctesiphon. Bahram IV was unsatisfied with Khosrov IV. Bahram IV considered Khosrov IV, as being too assertive in his royal authority as a governing Client Monarch and did various acts in his kingship without consultation from the Sassanid dynasty. Bahram IV in 389 replaced Khosrov IV, with his brother Vramshapuh as Sassanid Client King of Arsacid Armenia. After this moment, the fate of Zruanduxt, Tigranes and Arsaces is unknown.

Vramshapuh

Vramshapuh, whose name is also spelt as Vramshapouh, Vramšapuh, Vrhamshapuh, Vram-Shapouh, Bahram Shapur and Bahram-Shahpur (Armenian: Վռամշապուհ, flourished second half of the 4th century & first half of the 5th century, died 414) was a prince who served as a Sasanian client king of Arsacid Armenia from 389 until 414.

Yazdegerd I

Yazdegerd I (Middle Persian: 𐭩𐭦𐭣𐭪𐭥𐭲𐭩‎ Yazdekert, meaning "made by God"; New Persian: یزدگرد Yazdegerd) was the twelfth king (shah) of the Sasanian Empire, ruling from 399 to 420. He was the son of Shapur III (383–388). He succeeded to the Sasanian throne on the assassination of his brother Bahram IV in 399 and ruled for twenty-one years till his death in 420.

Yazdegerd I's reign was largely uneventful. The shah is described as being of a peaceful disposition. There were cordial relations between Persia and the Eastern Roman Empire as well as between Persia and the Western Roman Empire. Early during his reign, Yazdegerd was entrusted the care of the Roman prince Theodosius by his father Arcadius on the latter's death in 408, and Yazdegerd faithfully defended the life, power and possessions of the Roman prince.Yazdegerd promoted Christianity in the early years of his reign and later opposed it. He is known in Sasanian sources (and also in Islamic Persian sources who use Sasanian sources as their references) as "the Sinner". However, this was propaganda made by the Zoroastrian aristocrats and priests due to his persecution of them due to their opposition towards him, and his tolerance towards his non-Zoroastrian subjects, such as the Christians and the Jews. Yazdegerd also used the title of "Ramshahr" ("who maintains peace in his dominion"), which fitted to him, due to his peace with the Romans and tolerance towards his subjects. The title of "Ramshahr" was used by the legendary Kayanid kings, and thus starts the Sasanian interest in Kayanid history, where they later would adopt the title of "Kay" and use the slogan "xwarrah". However, due to the Christians' use of his tolerance to attack the Zoroastrians, the appointment of the intolerant vizier Mihr Narseh, resulted in persecutions of the Christians, and also the struggle to convert Armenia to Zoroastrianism.

Since the death of the powerful Sasanian shah Shapur II (r. 309–379), the aristocrats and priests had expanded their influence and authority at the cost of the Sasanian government, nominating, dethroning, and murdering shahs, which included Yazdegerd, who was murdered in 21 January 420. They then sought to stop the sons of Yazdegerd from the ascending the throne—Shapur IV, who was the eldest son of Yazdegerd and governor of Armenia, quickly rushed to the Sasanian capital of Ctesiphon, and ascended the throne. He was, however, shortly murdered by the nobles and priests, who elected a son of Bahram IV, Khosrow, as shah. Another son of Yazdegerd, Bahram V hurried to the Sasanian capital of Ctesiphon with an Lakhmid army, and won the favour of the nobles and priests, according to a long-existing popular legend, after withstanding a trial against two lions.

Zruanduxt

Zruanduxt was a Sasanian Princess from Persia who lived in the 4th century. She became queen consort to King Khosrov IV of Armenia.

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