Battle of Nahāvand

The Battle of Nahāvand (also Nihāvand or Nahāwand) (Arabic: معركة نهاوند‎, Persian: نبرد نهاوند) was fought in 642 between Arab Muslims and Sassanid armies.[11] The battle is known to Muslims as the "Victory of Victories." The Sassanid King Yazdegerd III escaped to the Merv area, but was unable to raise another substantial army. It was a decisive victory for the Rashidun Caliphate and the Persians consequently lost the surrounding cities including Sephahan (renamed Isfahan).

The former Sassanid provinces, in alliance with Parthian and White Hun nobles, resisted for a few more years in the region south of the Caspian Sea, even as the Rashidun Caliphate was replaced by the Umayyads, thus perpetuating the Sassanid court styles, Zoroastrian religion, and Persian speech.

Battle of Nahāvand
Part of the Muslim conquest of Persia
Castle Nahavend by Eugène Flandin

Painting of the Nahavand Castle, which was one of the last Sasanian strongholds.
Result Decisive Rashidun Caliphate victory[1]
Rashidun Caliphate Derafsh Kaviani.png Sasanian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas
An-Numan ibn Muqarrin [2]
Tulayha [3]
Amru bin Ma'adi Yakrib [4]
Derafsh Kaviani.png Piruz Khosrow 
Derafsh Kaviani.png Mardanshah 
30,000[5] 100,000[6]-120,000[7]
Casualties and losses
Heavy[8][9] Heavy[9][10]


At the time of the death of the Islamic Prophet Muhammed in 632, the religion that he led dominated the Hejaz (western Arabia). Under the first two caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar, Islam expanded into Palestine and Mesopotamia where it respectively confronted the East Roman and Persian (Sāsānian) empires. Both were exhausted by warfare and internal dissent. With the Roman defeat at the Battle of the Yarmuk (636) the Muslim Arabs were free to turn east to the Euphrates and the Persian heartland.[12] In November 636 a Sāsānian army was decisively defeated at the Battle of Qadisiya, resulting in the loss of Iraq to the Muslims.

Number of Arab and Sasanian forces

Following defeat by the Arabs in 639, the "King of Kings" Yazdgerd III was forced to abandon his capital at Ctesiphon. From Mesopotamia he withdrew into the Sāsānian homeland in what is now the southern plateau of Iran. There he was able to assemble an army to replace that lost at Qadisiya.[13]

At Nahāvand an estimated 30,000 Arab warriors, under the command of Nuʿmān, attacked a Sāsānian army reportedly of ca. 100,000 men. The Sāsānian troops, commanded by Fīrūzan, were entrenched in a strong fortified position. After an indecisive skirmish, Nuʿmān pretended to be defeated and withdrew from the battlefield. Fīrūzan then abandoned his position and pursued his foe. The pursuit proved to be a major tactical error because the Sāsānians were forced to fight on unfavourable ground; the Sāsānian army, caught between two mountain defiles, was massacred by the Arabs. Both Nuʿmān and Fīrūzan died in the battle, and Persian casualties were said to have numbered about 38,000.


Various accounts are told about Nahāvand and the early stages of the battle. According to some versions the Muslim Arabs managed to deceive the Persians through the ruse of spreading a false report that Caliph Omar had died. The Persian cavalry mounted an ill-prepared pursuit of the Arabs who retreated to a more secure location. The Arabs then rallied, before surrounding and trapping the Persian force. Finally the Muslim warriors assaulted the Sāsānian host from all sides and decisively defeated it.

According to a different version the Arab commander Nuʿmān was able to outmaneuver his Sāsānian counterpart Fīrūzan through the use of superior tactics rather than misleading rumors. The numerically superior Persians had been deployed in a strong defensive position. This would not normally have been a strategy favored by the loosely disciplined Sāsānian forces; drawn from decentralized sources and led by an alliance of feudal nobles. Nuʿmān was accordingly able to draw out the Persians from their vantage point by skirmishing advances and then a general but cohesive retreat. During the Sāsānian pursuit Fīrūzan found his horsemen caught in extended order across a rough landscape and narrow passes. The highly motivated and well mounted Muslims then rallied and counterattacked inflicting very heavy losses on the disorganized Persians. Both Nuʿmān and Fīrūzan were reportedly killed in the final melee but the Sāsānian defeat was total.

As the historian Tabari notes, the Persians were never again able to unite their forces in such numbers. Many of the Sāsānian nobles were already considering deserting the Empire even before the battle commenced. Many of Yazdegerd's military and civilian officials had already abandoned him.[14]


Nahāvand marked the dissolution of the Sasanian Imperial army, with the fall of the last of the grand marshals of the army and the rise of warlordism among the Persians. The Emperor Yazdegerd III attempted to raise troops by appealing to other neighbouring areas such as the princes of Tukharistan and Sogdia and eventually sent his son Peroz III to the Tang court, but without any success.

Yezdegerd hurriedly fled towards the east where he was ill-treated by several Marzban (provincial governors) in the north as well as in Merv, where the governor Mahoye openly showed his hostility to the Emperor. According to non-Muslim sources, Yazdegerd failed to rally enough support in Eastern Persia where the Sasanians were unpopular with the locals.[15] Muslim sources like Tabari reported that the province of Khorasan revolted against Sasanian rule, just as it had years earlier when it had sided with Khosrau II's uncle Vistahm. When Yazdegerd was crowned in Estakhr, Persia had in fact three Kings ruling in different regions and this province had not given its support to Yazdegerd at first.

Before Yazdegerd had a chance to receive help from the Hepthalites and Turkish tribes, he was assassinated by a local miller in Merv in 651.[15][16] Thereafter, Yazdegerd's son Peroz attempted to re-establish the Sassanid empire against the Rashidun Caliphate and its successor, the Umayyad Caliphate, though the plan did not develop, as Peroz ultimately died in China.


On the long-term impact of this battle, Sir Muhammad Iqbal wrote: "If you ask me what is the most important event in the history of Islam, I shall say without any hesitation: “The Conquest of Persia.” The battle of Nehawand gave the Arabs not only a beautiful country, but also an ancient civilization; or, more properly, a people who could make a new civilisation with the Semitic and Aryan material. Our Muslim civilisation is a product of the cross-fertilisation of the Semitic and the Aryan ideas. It is a child who inherits the softness and refinement of his Aryan mother, and the sterling character of his Semitic father. But for the conquest of Persia, the civilisation of Islam would have been one-sided. The conquest of Persia gave us what the conquest of Greece gave to the Romans."[17]


  1. ^ The Expansion of the Saracens-The East, C.H. Becker, The Cambridge Medieval History: The Rise of the Saracens and the Foundation of the Western Empire, Vol. 2, ed. John Bagnell Bury, (MacMillan Company, 1913), 348.
  2. ^ Iran, Arab Conquest of (636-671), Adam Ali, Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia, Vol.1, ed. Alexander Mikaberidze, (ABC-CLIO, 2011), 406.
  3. ^ Islamic desk reference, By E. J. van Donzel, pg.458
  4. ^ "The fall of Persia", Vol. 2, ed. Sayyid Ali Al-Jumjumani
  5. ^ "Battle of Nahāvand". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
  6. ^ John Laffin, Brassey's Dictionary of Battles, (Barnes & Noble, 1995), 306.
  7. ^ Parvaneh Pourshariati, Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire, (I.B.Tauris, 2009), 216.
  8. ^ Iran in the Early Islamic Period, Michael G. Morony, The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, ed. Touraj Daryaee, (Oxford University Press, 2012), 211.
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ Iran in the Early Islamic Period, Michael G. Morony, The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, 211.
  11. ^ Willem Vogelsang (2002), The Afghans, Blackwell Publishing, ISBN 0-631-19841-5
  12. ^ Barraclough, Geoffrey. The Times Atlas of World History. pp. 104–105. ISBN 0-7230-0161-8.
  13. ^ Khodadad Rezakhani "Arab Conquests and Sasanian Iran", pages 35-36 History Today April 2007
  14. ^ Iranian History and Politics: The Dialectic of State and Society By Homa Katouzian, pg. 25
  15. ^ a b The History of Iran By Elton L. Daniel, pg 67
  16. ^ History of Islamic Philosophy - With View of Greek Philosophy and Early History of Islam By I. M. N. Al-Jubouri, pg. 142
  17. ^ Stray Reflections: The Private Notebook of Muhammad Iqbal, Ed. Dr. Javid Iqbal, pg. 49



The 640s decade ran from January 1, 640, to December 31, 649.

== Events ==

=== 640 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

February 27 – Pepin the Elder, Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, dies and is succeeded by his son Grimoald. He becomes the head of the Frankish household, and the most powerful man in the Frankish Kingdom (approximate date).

King Chintila dies of natural causes after a 3-year reign, in which he permitted the bishops wide authority in Hispania, Septimania and Galicia. He is succeeded by his son Tulga, who becomes ruler of the Visigothic Kingdom (approximate date).

At the request of Porga of Croatia, one of the first dukes or princes (Croatian: knez) of Dalmatian Croatia, the Byzantine emperor Heraclius sends Christian missionaries to the Croatian Provinces (approximate date).

The French city of Lille (according to the legend) is founded by Lydéric. He kills Phinaert in a duel to avenges his parents' deaths (approximate date).

====== Britain ======

King Eadbald of Kent dies after a 24-year reign. He is succeeded by his sons, Eorcenberht and Eormenred, who jointly rule the Kingdom of Kent (now South East England).

Hartlepool Abbey in Northumbria (Northern England) is founded. Wooden huts surrounding a church are built in Saxon style.

====== Africa ======

May – Siege of Babylon Fortress: The Rashidun army lays siege to Babylon Fortress in the Nile Delta (near Cairo). The next two months' fighting remain inconclusive, the Byzantines having the upper hand by repulsing every Muslim assault.

July 6 – Battle of Heliopolis: The Muslim Arab army (15,000 men) under 'Amr ibn al-'As defeats the Byzantine forces near Heliopolis (Egypt). Amr divides his troops into three parts, surrounding the Byzantines.

December 21 – Muslim Arabs capture Babylon after a seven-month siege; during a night assault Arab warriors open the city gates. The Thebaid region (Upper Egypt) is annexed by the Rashidun Caliphate.

December 22 – On orders of the Saracen leader, Amar, the Serapeum of Alexandria, containing works that had survived the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, is burned down, along with its collection of 500,000 manuscripts .

====== Asia ======

Emperor Taizong of Tang begins the military campaigns against the Western Regions states in the Tarim Basin. General Hou Junji captures the kingdom of Gaochang, to solidify Chinese rule in Central Asia.

Nestorian missionaries build the Daqin Pagoda in Chang'an (Shaanxi). Daqin is the name for the Roman Empire or the Near East.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Disibod, Irish monk and hermit, arrives as a missionary in Francia. He begins his religious work in the Vosges and Ardennes.

May 28 – Pope Severinus succeeds Honorius I as the 71st pope. He dies in Rome only two months after being consecrated.

December 24 – Pope John IV succeeds Severinus as the 72nd pope. His election is accepted by the Exarchate of Ravenna.

=== 641 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

February 11 – Emperor Heraclius, age 65, dies of dropsy at Constantinople after a 31-year reign. He reorganized the imperial administration, but lost Armenia, Egypt, Palestine, Syria and much of Mesopotamia to the Muslim Arabs. Heraclius is succeeded by his sons Constantine III and Heraklonas.

May – Constantine III, age 29, dies of tuberculosis after a four-month reign, leaving his half-brother Heraklonas sole emperor. Rumors spread that Constantine has been poisoned by Heraclius's second wife (and niece) Martina.

September – The Byzantine Senate turns against Martina and her son Heraklonas, who are both mutilated and exiled to Rhodes. Supported by general Valentinus, Constantine's son Constans II, age 10, succeeds to the throne.

Constans II establishes a new civil-military defensive organisation, based upon geographical military district. Byzantine forces maintain the frontier along the line of the Taurus Mountains (Southern Turkey).

====== Europe ======

Aega, Mayor of the Palace and regent (alongside of queen mother Nanthild) of Neustria and Burgundy, dies during the reign of King Clovis II. He is replaced by Erchinoald, a relative of Dagobert I's mother.

The Lombards under King Rothari conquer Genoa (Liguria) and all remaining Byzantine territories in the lower Po Valley, including Oderzo (Opitergium).

Arechis I, duke of Benevento (northeast of Naples), dies after a 50-year reign and is succeeded by his son Aiulf I.

====== Britain ======

Prince Oswiu of Bernicia conquers Gododdin (or "The Old North") as far north as Manau (modern Scotland), on behalf of his half-brother, King Oswald (approximate date).

King Bridei II dies after a 5-year reign, and is succeeded by his brother Talorc III as ruler of the Picts.

====== Africa ======

November 8 – Siege of Alexandria: Muslim Arabs under 'Amr ibn al-'As capture Alexandria after a fourteen-month siege. Byzantine officials formally capitulate to Amr, turning the city over to Arab hands.

The city of Fustat (later Cairo) is founded in Egypt. It becomes the first capital of Egypt under Muslim rule.

====== Asia ======

Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty (China) instigates a civil war in the Western Turkic Khaganate, by supporting Isbara Yabghu Qaghan.

November 17 – Emperor Jomei of Japan, age 48, dies after a 12-year reign.

=== 642 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Emperor Constans II marries Fausta, daughter of Valentinus, a general of Armenian origin. He proclaims her Augusta, and appoints his father-in-law to commander-in-chief of the Byzantine army. Valentinus is allowed to wear the imperial purple, and becomes the most powerful man in the Byzantine Empire.

====== Europe ======

April 30 – Chindasuinth, a Gothic warlord (already 79 years old), commences a rebellion and deposes King Tulga in Toledo, Spain. He is proclaimed king by the Visigothic nobility and anointed by the bishops. Tulga is tonsured and sent out to live his days in a monastery.

Radulf, a Frankish aristocrat, revolts against King Sigebert III of Austrasia and defeats his army, taking the title of rex or king of Thuringia.

====== Britain ======

August 5 – Battle of Maserfield: King Penda of Mercia defeats and kills King Oswald of Northumbria, age 38, at Oswestry (West Midlands). He commands a united British and Mercian force, which includes the Welsh army of Kings Cadafael Cadomedd of Gwynedd and Cynddylan of Pengwern. The Mercians become dominant in the English Midlands.

Oswiu succeeds his half-brother Oswald as king of Bernicia. He strengthens his position by marrying Eanflæd, daughter of King Edwin of Northumbria, then in exile in the Kingdom of Kent. This marriage takes place between 642 and 644.

====== Persia ======

Battle of Nahāvand: The Rashidun army (30,000 men) under Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas defeats the Persians at Nahāvand (modern Iran). The Persian cavalry, full of confidence, mounts an ill-prepared attack. The Arabs retreat to a safe area, where they outmanoeuvre and destroy the Persians in a narrow mountain valley.

====== Africa ======

Battle of Dongola: 'Amr ibn al-'As sends an Arab expedition of 20,000 horsemen, under his cousin Uqba ibn Nafi, to Makuria (Southern Egypt). The Nubians strike hard against the Muslims near Dongola with hit-and-run attacks. The Arab incursions into Nubia are temporarily halted.

====== Asia ======

Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty issues a decree throughout China, that increases the punishment for men who deliberately inflict injuries upon themselves (most commonly breaking their own legs) in order to avoid military conscription. This decree is an effort to eradicate this practice that has grown as a trend since the time of the rebellion against the Sui Dynasty.

Taizong supports a revolt by Turkic tribes against the rebellious Tu-lu Qaghan of the Western Turkic Khaganate.

Empress Kōgyoku ascends to the throne of Japan, after her husband (and uncle) Emperor Jomei's death in 641.

Winter – Yeon Gaesomun seizes power over Goguryeo (Korea), and places King Bojang on the throne.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

The earliest surviving dated Arabic-language papyrus (PERF 558), found in Heracleopolis (Egypt), and the earliest known Arabic text with diacritical marks is written.

====== Architecture ======

Arabs begin construction of the Mosque of Amr at Cairo, the first mosque built in Egypt and in all of Africa.

====== Religion ======

October 12 – Pope John IV dies after a 2-year reign. He is succeeded by a Jerusalem-born cleric of Greek descent, Theodore I, as the 73rd pope of Rome.

A monastic settlement is founded in Hampshire (England) which later becomes Winchester Cathedral.

=== 643 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Emperor Constans II recognises Theodore Rshtuni as ruler of Armenia, after his successful campaign against the Muslims. He names him commander (nakharar) of the Armenian army.

Maurikios names himself dux of Rome, and revolts against exarch Isaac (Exarchate of Ravenna). He declares Rome's independence from the Exarchate and from the Byzantine Empire.

====== Europe ======

King Rothari of the Lombards issues the Edictum Rothari, which is the first codification of Lombard law (written in Latin). The edict guarantees rights only for Lombard subjects.

Duke Leuthari II has Otto, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, murdered. He is succeeded by Grimoald the Elder, the eldest son of Pepin of Landen.

====== Britain ======

King Cynegils of Wessex dies after a 32-year reign, and is succeeded by his son Cenwalh (who is still pagan); he marries the sister of King Penda of Mercia (approximate date).

====== Persia ======

Peroz III, son of Yazdegerd III, the last Sassanid king of Persia, flees to territory under the control of the Tang Dynasty in China (approximate date).

====== Africa ======

Arab–Byzantine War: Arab armies continue their military expansion into North Africa and lay siege to Tripoli. The city is captured after one month.

'Amr ibn al-'As sends a detachment to Sabratha (modern Libya). The city puts up feeble resistance, but soon surrenders and agrees to pay Jizya.

====== Asia ======

Chinese prefectural government officials travel to the capital of Chang'an, to give the annual report of the affairs in their districts. Emperor Taizong discovers that many have no proper quarters to rest in, and are renting rooms with merchants. Therefore, Taizong orders the government agencies in charge of municipal construction to build every visiting official his own private mansion in the capital.

A Chinese embassy is sent to the North Indian Empire. They are invited by Emperor Harsha, who holds a Buddhist convocation at the capital Kannauj, which is attended by 20 kings and thousands of pilgrims.

Taizong commissions artist Yan Liben to paint in the Lingyan Pavilion the life-size portraits of 24 government officials, to commemorate their service and contributions to the founding of the Tang Dynasty.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Æbbe establishes a monastery at Ebchester, known as Kirk Hill at St Abb's Head near Coldingham (Scotland).

=== 644 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Valentinus, Byzantine general, attempts to usurp the throne of his son-in-law Constans II. He appears at the gates of Constantinople with a contingent of Byzantine troops, and demands to be crowned emperor. His claim is rejected, and Valentinus is lynched by the populace.

====== Britain ======

Oswine, son of the late king Osric of Deira, manages, despite armed objections from King Oswiu of Bernicia, to establish himself as king of Deira (Northern England). His succession, probably the choice of the people of Deira, splits the Kingdom of Northumbria.

====== Arabian Empire ======

November 6 – Caliph Umar, age 65, dies of wounds inflicted on November 3 by the Persian slave Piruz Nahavandi at Medina, after a 10-year reign. On his death bed he appoints a committee to determine his successor. They select Uthman ibn Affan, who becomes caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate.

====== Asia ======

Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty sends a Chinese expeditionary force, to invade and annex the Tarim Basin kingdom of Karasahr in Xinjiang, a vassal of the Western Turkic Khaganate. The oasis state is conquered, and Western Turks sent to assist Karasahr are defeated by the Tang forces.

=== 645 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Alexandria revolts against Arab rule at the appearance of a Byzantine fleet, (300 ships) and Byzantine forces recapture the city. Abdullah ibn Sa'ad, Arab governor of Egypt, mounts an assault and retakes it. He begins building a Muslim fleet.

====== Europe ======

Plato, exarch (imperial governor) of Ravenna, invades the southern Po Valley. The Lombards under King Rothari defeat him on the banks of the Panaro River (near Modena); 8,000 imperial troops are killed.

====== Britain ======

King Cenwalh of Wessex (according to Bede) is driven from his kingdom by his brother-in-law, King Penda of Mercia. He flees to the court of king Anna of East Anglia, and is baptised while in exile. Penda overruns Wessex.

Gwynedd and much of Wales is in the grasp of famine. Would-be king Cadwaladr Fendigaid flees to Brittany. Civil war continues in his kingdom (approximate date).

====== Japan ======

July 10 – Isshi Incident: Prince Naka-no-Ōe and Fujiwara no Kamatari assassinate Soga no Iruka, during a coup d'état at the imperial palace.

Empress Kōgyoku is forced to abdicate the throne in favor of her younger brother Kōtoku, age 49, who becomes the 36th emperor of Japan.

Naka-no-Ōe becomes crown prince and prime minister. Supporters of the semi-legendary regent Prince Shōtoku gain supremacy in Japan.

Emperor Kōtoku establishes the Taika Reform: a land reform based on Confucian ideas and philosophies from China (approximate date).

Kōtoku creates a new city at Naniwa, and moves the capital from Yamato Province. The capital has a sea port, establishing foreign trade and diplomatic relations.

====== China ======

Goguryeo–Tang War: A Chinese expeditionary army under Emperor Taizong crosses the Liao River into Goguryeo (One of the Three kingdoms of Korea).

July 18 – Tang forces under Li Shiji heading southeast, toward the Yalu River, put the strategic fortress city of Ansi (Liaoning) under siege.

September – Taizong is unable to capture Ansi fortress defended by Korean general Yang Manchun. Food supplies running low, he withdraws his forces.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Xuanzang, Chinese Buddhist monk, returns to China after a 16-year pilgrimage to India. He is greeted with much honor by Emperor Taizong.

The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda at Ci'en Temple, Xi'an (Shanxi) is first erected during the Tang Dynasty (approximate date).

=== 646 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Arab-Byzantine War: Alexandria is recaptured by the Muslim Arabs after a Byzantine attempt (see 645) to retake Egypt fails, ending nearly 1,000 years of Greco-Roman civilization.

Gregory the Patrician, Byzantine exarch of Africa, begins a rebellion against Constans II and proclaims himself emperor. The revolt finds broad support among the populace.

====== Arabian Empire ======

Caliph Uthman ibn Affan founds the city of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) on the coast of the Red Sea. He establishes a port for Muslim pilgrims making the required Hajj to Mecca.

====== Africa ======

Battle of Nikiou: The Rashidun army (15,000 men) under Amr ibn al-'As defeats a smaller Byzantine force, near the fortified town of Nikiou (Egypt).

Amr ibn al-'As builds fortifications in Alexandria and quarters in the vicinity a strong garrison, which twice a year is relieved from Upper Egypt.

====== China ======

Summer – Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty destroys the Xueyantuo state, during the campaign against the Xueyantuo (Central Asia).

====== Japan ======

Emperor Kōtoku makes a decree about the policies of building tombs. He discontinues the old customs of sacrificing people in honor of a dead man, and forbids ill-considered rituals about purgation.

A Great Reform edict changes Japan's political order. It will lead to the establishment of a centralized government with Kōtoku ruling from his palace, Naniwa Nagara-Toyosaki Palace, in Osaka.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Xuanzang completes his book Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, which becomes later one of the primary sources for the study of medieval Central Asia and India.

=== 647 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Arab–Byzantine War: An Arab army (20,000 men) under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad invades the Byzantine Exarchate of Africa. It conquers Tripolitania and the city of Sufetula, 150 miles (240 km) south of Carthage.

Self-proclaimed emperor Gregory the Patrician is killed during the Arab invasion at Sufetula. Africa returns to imperial allegiance after his death, but the foundation of Byzantine rule is fatally undermined.

====== Asia ======

Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty sends a Chinese mission to study Indian techniques of sugar manufacturing, at Bihar in the Ganges Valley.

Taizong establishes a Chinese military government to pacify the former territory of Xueyantuo, which extends to the Altai Mountains in the west.

Emperor Harsha, ruler of northern India, dies after a 41-year reign. His kingdom disintegrates into smaller states.

==== By topic ====

====== Astronomy and science ======

A stone tower astronomical observatory (named Cheomseongdae) at Gyeongju is constructed in Silla (South Korea) around this time.

====== Religion ======

Hilda of Whitby, age 33, is persuaded by Aidan, bishop of Lindisfarne, to enter the monastic life at Hartlepool Abbey (Northumbria).

=== 648 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Emperor Constans II, to quiet the intense controversy caused by the Monothelete doctrine, issues an imperial edict forbidding the subject to be discussed. This edict, distributed by patriarch Paul II in Constans' name, is known as the Typos.

====== Europe ======

King Sigebert II of Austrasia is advised by Remaclus to establish a double-monastery at Stavelot and Malmedy. As a missionary bishop he founds an abbey on the River Amblève (modern Belgium).

====== Britain ======

King Cenwalh of Wessex returns from a 3-year exile in East Anglia to reclaim his kingdom. He gives 3,000 hides of land around Ashdown to his nephew Cuthred, possibly sub-king of Berkshire (England).

Cenwahl invites bishop Birinus to establish under his direction the Old Minster in Winchester. Together they have a small stone church built.

====== Asia ======

Tang general Ashina She'er re-establishes Tang control of Karasahr, and leads a military campaign against the Tarim Basin kingdom of Kucha in Xinjiang, a vassal of the Western Turkic Khaganate.

====== Americas ======

In an early skirmish in the run up to the Second Tikal-Calakmul War, B'alaj Chan K'awiil scores a military victory, apparently over his half-brother, who had galled him by using the same royal emblem (or emblem glyph) as he did.

Dos Pilas breaks away from Tikal and becomes a vassal state of Calakmul.

==== By topic ====

====== Literature ======

The Book of Jin is compiled in China during the Tang Dynasty. Its chief editor is the chancellor Fang Xuanling, who dies in this year as well.

====== Religion ======

Pope Theodore I excommunicates Paul II of Constantinople.

=== 649 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Arab–Byzantine War: Arab naval forces under Abdullah ibn Saad conquer Cyprus, sacking the capital Constantia after a short siege, and looting the rest of the island. The Cypriots agree to pay the same revenue as they have done to Emperor Constans II.

Constans II orders Olympius, exarch of the Exarchate of Ravenna, to arrest Pope Martin I on the ostensible grounds that the pope's election has not been submitted to the emperor for approval, but in fact because of the Lateran Council of 649's condemnation of Monothelitism and the Type of Constans. Olympius attempts to gain the support of the citizens of Rome and the bishops, with little success, and perhaps considers the assassination of the Pope.

====== Europe ======

January 20 – King Chindasuinth, at the urging of bishop Braulio of Zaragoza, crowns his son Recceswinth as co-ruler of the Visigothic Kingdom.

====== Arabian Empire ======

Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, governor of Syria, develops an Arab navy in the Levant and uses it to confront the Byzantine Empire in the Aegean Sea. It is manned by Monophysitise Christian, Coptic and Syrian Christian sailors.

====== China ======

January 19 – The Tang campaign against Kucha ends after the forces of Kucha surrender, following a 40-day siege led by general Ashina She'er, establishing Chinese control over the northern Tarim Basin (Xinjiang).

July 10 – Emperor Tai Zong dies after a 23-year reign, in which he has restored the civil administration in the Chinese Empire. He is succeeded by his son Gao Zong, age 20, who becomes ruler of the Tang dynasty.

====== Japan ======

Emperor Kōtoku has Soga no Kurayamada accused of treason. He strangles himself at the temple of Yamada-dera. Other relatives of the Soga clan are captured and executed.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

May 14 – Pope Theodore I dies after a 7-year reign, in which he has shown generosity to the poor. He is succeeded on July 5 by Martin I as the 74th pope.

October 5 – The Lateran Council of 649, summoned by Theodore and carried forward by Martin, opens. It strongly condemns Monothelitism and the Type of Constans.


Year 642 (DCXLII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 642 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.

Abbasid Caliphate

The Abbasid Caliphate ( or Arabic: ٱلْخِلافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّة‎, al-Khilāfatu al-ʿAbbāsiyyah) was the third of the Islamic caliphates to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib (566–653 CE), from whom the dynasty takes its name. They ruled as caliphs for most of the caliphate from their capital in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, after having overthrown the Umayyad Caliphate in the Abbasid Revolution of 750 CE (132 AH).

The Abbasid Caliphate first centred its government in Kufa, modern-day Iraq, but in 762 the caliph Al-Mansur founded the city of Baghdad, near the ancient Sasanian capital city of Ctesiphon. The Abbasid period was marked by reliance on Persian bureaucrats (notably the Barmakid family) for governing the territories as well as an increasing inclusion of non-Arab Muslims in the ummah (national community). Persianate customs were broadly adopted by the ruling elite, and they began patronage of artists and scholars. Baghdad became a centre of science, culture, philosophy and invention in what became known as the Golden Age of Islam.

Despite this initial cooperation, the Abbasids of the late 8th century had alienated both non-Arab mawali (clients) and Iranian bureaucrats. They were forced to cede authority over Al-Andalus and the Maghreb to the Umayyads in 756, Morocco to the Idrisid dynasty in 788, Ifriqiya to the Aghlabids in 800 and Egypt to the Isma'ili-Shia caliphate of the Fatimids in 969.

The political power of the caliphs largely ended with the rise of the Iranian Buyids and the Seljuq Turks, who captured Baghdad in 945 and 1055, respectively. Although Abbasid leadership over the vast Islamic empire was gradually reduced to a ceremonial religious function, the dynasty retained control over its Mesopotamian domain. The Abbasids' period of cultural fruition ended in 1258 with the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols under Hulagu Khan. The Abbasid line of rulers, and Muslim culture in general, re-centred themselves in the Mamluk capital of Cairo in 1261. Though lacking in political power, the dynasty continued to claim religious authority until after the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517.

Amru bin Ma'adi Yakrib

Amr (Amru) ibn Maadi bin Yakrib al-Zubaidi al-Madhhiji was a famous Arabian knight before and during Islam. He was from the prominent House of Zubaid, part of the House of Madhhij. He was very brave and he converted to Islam at time of Muhammad, being one of his Sahabah. When Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas asked the Khalifah Umar ibn al-Khattab to send him reinforcement for the battle of Qadisiyah. Umar replied: "I have sent you 2000 men: Amr bin Ma'adi

Yakrib and Tulayhah al-Asadi. Each one of them counts as a thousand."

The bravery of Amru is well recorded and the fact that he participated as a commander in the 3 greatest battles in the Rashidun Caliphate's Islamic expansion only increases the regard which he is held at. Amru was one of the commanders in the battles of Al-Qādisiyyah, Yarmouk and Nahāvand. His military expertise and strategy was instrumental in the defeat of the persians in al-Qādisiyyah; when he and Tulayha composed a plan to turn the tide of the battle. He was one of the three men who infiltrated the Persian camp at night and captured one of the Persian commanders under the noses of the Persians. He was a martyr in the battle of Nahāvand, a battle which was instrumental in Muslim expansion into modern day Iran and consolidation of their presence in Iraq. He was mentioned by al-Hamdani in Geography of the Arabian Peninsula as a valiant knight of the Madhhij of Yemen.

Fall of the Sasanian Empire

The Sasanian era is one of the most influential periods in Iran's history. It also marks the third rise of a great Iranian empire, a dynasty that rivaled its predecessor, the Achaemenids, who too, like the Sassanids, were native to the province of Pars, and in some instances the Parthians, in glory and power. Although it fought many campaigns against the Romans/Byzantines in the west and the nomadic people in the east and north, the Sasanian Empire met its demise not by the Byzantine-Roman Empire, but by emerging Arab Muslims from across its southern borders. However, the conflict with the Byzantines greatly contributed to its weakness, by draining Sassanid resources, leaving it a prime target for the Muslims.

Feigned retreat

A feigned retreat is a military tactic whereby a military force pretends to withdraw or to have been routed, in order to lure an enemy into a position of vulnerability.A feigned retreat is one of the more difficult tactics for a military force to undertake, and requires well-disciplined soldiers. This is because, if the enemy presses into the retreating body, undisciplined troops are likely to lose coherence and the rout will become genuine.


Kerman (pronunciation ) (Persian: كرمان‎, also romanized as Kermān, Kermun, and Kirman; also known as Carmania) is the capital city of Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 821,374, in 221,389 households, making it the 10th most populous city of Iran.It is the largest and most developed city in Kerman Province and the most important city in the southeast of Iran. It is also one of the largest cities of Iran in terms of area. Kerman is famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. The city is home to many historic mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples. Kerman became the capital city of Iranian dynasties several times during its history. It is located on a large, flat plain, 800 km (500 mi) south-east of Tehran, the capital of Iran.

Khuzestan Province

Khuzestan Province (Persian: استان خوزستان‎ Ostān-e Khūzestān, is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahvaz and it covers an area of 63,238 km2. Since 2014 it has been part of Iran's Region 4.As the Iranian province with the oldest history, it is often referred to as the "birthplace of the nation", as this is where the history of the Elamites begins. Historically, one of the most important regions of the Ancient Near East, Khuzestan is what historians refer to as ancient Elam, whose capital was in Susa. The Achaemenid Old Persian term for Elam was Hujiyā when they conquered it from the Elamites, which is present in the modern name. Khuzestan, meaning "the Land of the Khuz", refers to the original inhabitants of this province, the "Susian" people (Old Persian "Huza" or Huja, as in the inscription at the tomb of Darius the Great at Naqsh-e Rostam). They are the Shushan of the Hebrew sources where they are recorded as "Hauja" or "Huja". In Middle Persian, the term evolves into "Khuz" and "Kuzi". The pre-Islamic Partho-Sasanian inscriptions gives the name of the province as Khwuzestan.

The seat of the province has for the most of its history been in the northern reaches of the land, first at Susa (Shush) and then at Shushtar. During a short spell in the Sasanian era, the capital of the province was moved to its geographical center, where the river town of Hormuz-Ardasher, founded over the foundation of the ancient Hoorpahir by Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasanian Dynasty in the 3rd century CE. This town is now known as Ahvaz. However, later in the Sasanian time and throughout the Islamic era, the provincial seat returned and stayed at Shushtar, until the late Qajar period. With the increase in the international sea commerce arriving on the shores of Khuzistan, Ahvaz became a more suitable location for the provincial capital. The River Karun is navigable all the way to Ahvaz (above which, it flows through rapids). The town was thus refurbished by the order of the Qajar king, Naser al-Din Shah and renamed after him, Nâseri. Shushtar quickly declined, while Ahvaz/Nâseri prospered to the present day.

Khuzestan is known for its ethnic diversity; the population of Khuzestan consists of Lurs, Iranian Arabs, Qashqai people, Afshar tribe, indigenous Persians and Iranian Armenians. Khuzestan's population is predominantly Shia Muslim, but there are small Christian, Jewish, Sunni and Mandean minorities. Half of Khuzestan's population is Bakhtiari.Since the 1920s, tensions on religious and ethnic grounds have often resulted in violence and attempted separatism, including an uprising in 1979, unrest in 2005, bombings in 2005–06 and protests in 2011, drawing much criticism of Iran by international human rights organizations. In 1980, the region was invaded by Ba'athist Iraq, leading to the Iran–Iraq War. Currently, Khuzestan has 18 representatives in Iran's parliament, the Majlis. Meanwhile, it has six representatives in the Assembly of Experts, including Ayatollahs Mousavi Jazayeri, Ka'bi, Heidari, Farhani, Ali Shafi'i, Muhammad Hussain Ahmadi.

List of battles by casualties

The following is a list of the casualties count in battles in world history. The list includes both sieges (not technically battles but usually yielding similar combat-related deaths) and civilian casualties during the battles. Large battle casualty counts are almost impossible to calculate precisely. Many of these figures are estimates, and, where possible, a range of estimates is presented. Figures display numbers of all types of casualties when available (killed, wounded, missing, and sick) but may only include number killed. Where possible, the list specifies whether or not prisoners are included in the count. This list does not include bombing runs (such as the attack on Pearl Harbor and the bombing of Tokyo) or massacres such as the Rape of Nanking, which, despite potentially massive casualties, are not typically classified as "battles", since they are usually one-sided engagements or the nation attacked upon is not officially at war with the attackers. Tactical or strategic strikes, however, may form part of larger engagements which are themselves battles.

List of conflicts in Asia

This is a list of wars and conflicts in Asia, particularly East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Russia. For a list of conflicts in Southwest Asia, see List of conflicts in the Near East for historical conflicts and List of conflicts in the Middle East for contemporary conflicts.

List of conflicts in the Near East

The area known as the "Near East" is usually referred to as Middle East in modern contexts.

For periods predating Classical Antiquity, the common term is Ancient Near East.

The Near East is generally associated with Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Caucasus.

Military conquests of Umar's era

Umar was the second Rashidun Caliph and reigned during 634-644. Umar's caliphate is notable for its vast conquests, aided by brilliant field commanders, he was able to incorporate present day Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon ,Egypt, and part of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and south western Pakistan into the empire of the Muslims. All of these were permanent conquests. The Byzantines lost more than three fourths of their territory and in Persia, the Sassanid empire ceased to exist.

Muslim conquest of the Maghreb

The Muslim conquest of the Maghreb (Arabic: الفَتْحُ الإسْلَامِيُّ لِلمَغْرِبِ‎) continued the century of rapid Arab Early Muslim conquests following the death of Muhammad in 632 AD and into the Byzantine-controlled territories of Northern Africa. In a series of three stages, the conquest of the Maghreb commenced in 647 and concluded in 709 with the "Byzantine" Roman Empire losing its last remaining strongholds to the then-Umayyad Caliphate.

By 642 AD, under Caliph Umar, Arab Muslim forces had laid control of Mesopotamia (638), Syria (641), Egypt (642), and had invaded Armenia, all previously territories split between the warring Byzantine and Persian Empires, and were concluding their conquest of the Persian Empire with their defeat of the Persian army at the Battle of Nahāvand. It was at this point that Arab military expeditions into North African regions west of Egypt were first launched, continuing for years and furthering the spread of Islam.

In 644 at Madinah, Caliph Umar (Omar) was succeeded by Uthman ibn Affan (Othman), during whose twelve-year rule Armenia, Cyprus, and all of Iran, would be added to the growing Islamic empire; Afghanistan and North Africa would receive major invasions; and Muslim sea raids would range from Rhodes to the southern coasts of the Iberian Peninsula. The Byzantine navy would be defeated in the eastern Mediterranean.

Muslim conquests of Afghanistan

The Muslim conquests of Afghanistan began during the Muslim conquest of Persia as the Arab Muslims were drawn eastwards to Khorasan, Sistan and Transoxiana. Fifteen years after the Battle of Nahāvand, they controlled all Sasanian domains except parts of Afghanistan and Makran. Nancy Dupree states that Arabs carrying the religion of Islam captured Herat and Sistan, but the eastern areas often revolted and converted back to their old faiths whenever the Arab armies withdrew. The harshness of the Arab rule caused the native dynasties to revolt after the Arab power weakened like the Saffarids. Fuller Islamization wasn't achieved until the period between 10th-12th century under Ghaznavid and Ghurid dynasty's rule who patronized Muslim religious institutions.Khorasan and Sistan where Zoroastrianism was well-established, were conquered but Qandahar remained unconquered. The Arabs had begun to move towards the lands east of Persia and in 652 they captured the city of Herat, establishing an Arab governor there. The Muslim frontier in modern Afghanistan had become stabilized after the first century of Hijri calendar as the relative importance of the Afghan areas diminished. From historical evidence, it appears Tokharistan was the only area heavily colonized by Arabs where Buddhism flourished. Balkh's final conquest was undertaken by Qutayba ibn Muslim in 705. Hui'Chao who visited around 726, mentions the Arabs ruled it and all the inhabitants were Buddhists.The eastern regions of Afghanistan were always regarded politically as parts of India, and rest of the territory remained Indian in culture although subjected to influence of various other civilizations over time. Buddhism and Brahmanism (Hinduism) had a strong influence over the area until the advent of Islam. Kabul and Zabulistan which housed Buddhism and other Indian religions, offered stiff resistance to the Muslim advance for two centuries, with the Kabul Shahi and Zunbils remaining unconquered until the Saffarid and Ghaznavid conquests. The significance of the realm of Zun and its rulers Zunbils had laid in them blocking the path of Arabs in invading the Indus Valley.The Caliph Al-Ma'mun (r. 813-833 A.D.) was paid double the tribute by the Rutbil. His were the last Arab expeditions on Kabul and Zabul. The king of Kabul was captured by him and converted to Islam. The last Zunbil was killed by Ya'qub bin al-Layth along with his former overlord Salih b. al-Nadr in 865 while Zabulistan's people were converted by Ya'qub. Meanwhile, the Hindu Shahi of Kabul were defeated under Mahmud of Ghazni. Indian soldiers formed one of the components of the Ghaznavid army and remained loyal to Mahmud under their commander. Baihaki also mentions a Hindu officer being made the commander of Ghaznavid forces. The 14th-century scholar Muslim scholar Ibn Battuta described that the Hindu Kush meant "slayer of Indians" because large number of slaves brought from India died because of its treacherous weather.The geographer Ya'qubi states that the rulers of Bamiyan, called the Sher, converted in the late eighth-century. Ya'qub is recorded as having plundered its pagan idols in 870 while a much later historian Shabankara'i claims that Alp-Tegin obtained conversion of its ruler in 962. No permanent Arab control was established in Ghur and it became Islamised after Ghaznavid raids. Its interior wasn't even conquered by Mahmud or Ma'sud and Ghur gradually became Muslim under the influence of mystic movements. By the time of Bahram-Shah, the conversion and unification of Ghur was a fact.The Afghan habitat during their conquest by Mahmud was located in the Sulaiman Mountains. They were enlisted by both Sabuktigin and Mahmud according to Tarikh-i-Yamini. Al-Biruni alludes to the Afghans as Hindus. Firishta mentions Muslim and Hindu Afghans in the time of Muizz al-din Muhammed b. Sam. The Pashtuns later began migrating westward and displaced or subjugated the indigenous populations such as Tajiks, Hazaras, the Farsiwanis, Kakars and Baloch people before or during 16th-17th century. They also displaced the Kafir people from Kunar Valley and Laghman valley to the less fertile mountains.Before their conversion, the Kafir people of Kafiristan practiced a form of ancient Hinduism infused with locally developed accretions. Previously the region from Nooristan to Kashmir was called Peristan and was host to a vast number of "Kafir" cultures. They were called Kafirs due to their enduring paganism, remaining politically independent until being conquered and forcibly converted by Afghan Amir Abdul Rahman Khan in 1895-1896 while others also converted to avoid paying jizya.

Piruz Khosrow

Piruz Khosrow (Middle Persian: Pērōz Khusraw), also known as Piruzan or Firuzan, was a powerful Persian aristocrat who was the leader of the Parsig (Persian) faction that controlled much of the affairs of the Sasanian Empire during the Sasanian civil war of 628-632. He was killed at the Battle of Nahāvand in 642.

Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas

Saʿd ibn Abī Waqqās (Arabic: سعد بن أبي وقاص‎) was one of the companions of the Islamic prophet. Sa'd was the third or fourth person to embrace Islam at the age of seventeen. He is mainly known for his commandership in the Battle of Qadisiyyah and in the conquest of Persia in 636, governorship over it, and diplomatic sojourns to China in 651.

Tulayha ibn Khuwaylid ibn Nawfal al-Asadi

Tulayha ibn Khuwaylid ibn Nawfal al-Asadi (Arabic: طليحة بن خويلد بن نوفل الأسدي‎) was a prominent Arab clan chief and military commander during the time of Muhammad; he belonged to the Banu Asad ibn Khuzaymah tribe. He was known as a wealthy chief. In 625 he was defeated in the Expedition of Qatan, a Muslim expedition against him. He also took part in the Battle of the Trench in 627 and in Battle of Buzakha and Battle of Ghamra in 632 against Muhammad and later in Battle of Qadisiya and the Battle of Nahāvand on the Muslim side.


Zunbil, also written as Zhunbil, was a royal dynasty south of the Hindu Kush in present southern Afghanistan region. They ruled from the early 7th century until the Saffarid conquest in 870 AD. The Zunbils are believed to be an offspring of the southern-Hephthalite rulers of Zabulistan. The dynasty was related to the Kabul Shahis of the northeast in Kabul. They are described as having Turkish troops in their service by Arabic sources like Tarikh al-Tabari and Tarikh-i Sistan.The Zunbils worshipped the sun, which they named Zun (read as ; ZOON) from which they derived their name. The cult of this god was primarily Hindu though parallels have also been noted with pre-Buddhist religious and monarchy practices in Tibet and had Zoroastrian influence in its ritual.Their territory included between what is now the city of Zaranj in southwestern Afghanistan and Kabulistan in the northeast, with Zamindawar and Ghazni serving as their capitals. The title Zunbil can be traced back to the Middle-Persian original Zūn-dātbar, 'Zun the Justice-giver'. The geographical name Zamindawar would also reflect this, from Middle Persian 'Zamin-i dātbar' (Land of the Justice-giver).

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