Chihor-Vishnasp

Chihor-Vishnasp Suren, also known as Chihr-Gushnasp and Suren, was an Iranian military officer from the Suren family, who served as the governor (marzban) of Persian Armenia from 564 until his murder on 23 February 572 by the Armenian rebel Vardan III Mamikonian.

Chihor-Vishnasp
Marzban of Persian Armenia
In office
564–572
MonarchKhosrau I
Preceded byVarazdat
Succeeded byVardan III Mamikonian
Personal details
Died23 February 572
Dvin, Persian Armenia

Biography

A member of the Suren family[1] and a relative of the Sasanian king Khosrau I himself,[1][2] Chihor-Vishnasp enjoyed a high status, and served as the hazarapet (minister of the interior) of Persian Armenia, before he was appointed as the marzban of the province in 564.[2] During this period, the Armenian aristocracy was split between two parties, the national one which was headed by a member of the Mamikonian family, and a pro-Sasanian one, which was headed by a member of the Siunia family.

Chihor Vishnasp not only harshly treated the Christian Armenians who were suspected of secretly siding with the Byzantines, but also did the same with the rest of the Christian Armenian population. Claiming to exploit on the command of the king, he persecuted the Christian Armenians and even built a fire-temple in their capital, Dvin.[1] These actions soon resulted in a massive uprising in late 571 or early 572, which was led by Vardan III Mamikonian. On 23 February 572, the Armenian rebels managed to capture Dvin, and had Chihor-Vishnasp killed.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Chaumont 1986, pp. 418–438.
  2. ^ a b Greatrex & Lieu 2002, p. 138.

Sources

  • 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.
  • Chaumont, M. L. (1986). "ARMENIA AND IRAN ii. The pre-Islamic period". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. II, Fasc. 4. pp. 418–438.
Preceded by
Varazdat
Marzban of Persian Armenia
564–572
Succeeded by
Vardan III Mamikonian
Golon Mihran

Golon Mihran, also known as Mihran Mihrevandak, was a Sasanian spahbed, and also the marzban of Persian Armenia from 572 to 574. Golon was mentioned by Sebeos as an Sasanian commander in Armenia. He was also a member of the House of Mihran.

Khosrow I

Khosrow I (also known as Chosroes I and Kisrā in classical sources; 501–579, most commonly known in Persian as Anushiruwān (Persian: انوشيروان‎, "the immortal soul"; also known as Anushiruwan the Just (انوشيروان دادگر, Anushiruwān-e Dādgar)), was the King of Kings (Shahanshah) of the Sasanian Empire from 531 to 579. He was the successor of his father Kavadh I (488–531). Khosrow I was the twenty-second Sasanian Emperor of Persia, and one of its most celebrated emperors.

He laid the foundations of many cities and opulent palaces, and oversaw the repair of trade roads as well as the building of numerous bridges and dams. His reign is furthermore marked by the numerous wars fought against the Sassanid's neighboring archrivals, the Roman-Byzantine Empire, as part of the already centuries-long lasting Roman–Persian Wars. The most important wars under his reign were the Lazic War which was fought over Colchis (western Georgia-Abkhazia) and the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 572–591. During Khosrow's ambitious reign, art and science flourished in Persia and the Sasanian Empire reached its peak of glory and prosperity. His rule was preceded by his father's and succeeded by Hormizd IV. Khosrow Anushiruwan is one of the most popular emperors in Iranian culture and literature and, outside of Iran, his name became, like that of Caesar in the history of Rome, a designation of the Sasanian kings.He also introduced a rational system of taxation, based upon a survey of landed possessions, which his father had begun, and tried in every way to increase the welfare and the revenues of his empire. His army was in discipline decidedly superior to the Byzantines, and apparently was well paid. He was also interested in literature and philosophical discussions. Under his reign chess was introduced from India, and the famous book of Kalilah and Dimnah was translated. He thus became renowned as a wise king.

Marzban

Marzbān, or Marzpān (Middle Persian transliteration: mrzwpn, derived from marz "border, boundary" and the suffix -pān "guardian"; Modern Persian: مرزبان Marzbān) were a class of margraves, warden of the marches, and by extension military commanders, in charge of border provinces of the Parthian Empire (247 BC–224 AD) and mostly Sasanian Empire (224–651 AD) of Iran.

Sasanian Armenia

Sasanian Armenia, also known as Persian Armenia and Persarmenia (Armenian: Պարսկահայաստան – Parskahayastan), may either refer to the periods where Armenia (Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭫𐭬𐭭𐭩‎ – Armin) was under the suzerainty of the Sasanian Empire, or specifically to the parts of Armenia under its control such as after the partition of 387 AD when parts of western Armenia were incorporated into the Byzantine Empire while the rest of Armenia came under Sasanian suzerainty whilst maintaining its existing kingdom until 428.

In 428, Armenian nobles petitioned Bahram V to depose Artaxias IV (r. 422); Bahram V (r. 420–438) abolished the Kingdom of Armenia and appointed Veh Mihr Shapur as marzban (governor of a frontier province, "margrave") of the country, which marked the start of a new era known as the Marzpanate period (Armenian: Մարզպանական Հայաստան – Marzpanakan Hayastan), a period when marzbans, nominated by the Sasanian emperor, governed eastern Armenia, as opposed to the western Byzantine Armenia which was ruled by several princes, and later governors, under Byzantine suzerainty. The Marzpanate period ended with the Arab conquest of Armenia in the 7th century, when the Principality of Armenia was established. An estimated three million Armenians were under the influence of the Sasanian marzpans during this period.The marzban was invested with supreme power, even imposing death sentences; but he could not interfere with the age-long privileges of the Armenian nakharars. The country as a whole enjoyed considerable autonomy. The office of Hazarapet, corresponding to that of Minister of the Interior, public works and finance, was mostly entrusted to an Armenian, while the post of Sparapet (commander-in-chief) was only entrusted to an Armenian. Each nakharar had his own army, according to the extent of his domain. The "National Cavalry" or "Royal force" was under the Commander-in-chief. The tax collectors were all Armenians. The courts of justice and the schools were directed by the Armenian clergy. Several times, an Armenian nakharar became Marzpan, as did Vahan Mamikonian in 485 after a period of rebellion against the Iranians.

Three times during the Marzpanic period, Iranian kings launched persecutions against Christianity in Armenia. The Iranians had tolerated the invention of the Armenian alphabet and the founding of schools, thinking these would encourage the spiritual separation of Armenia from the Byzantines, but on the contrary, the new cultural movement among the Armenians proved to be conducive to closer relations with Byzantium.

Sasanian Empire

The Sasanian Empire (), also known as the Sassanian, Sasanid, Sassanid or Neo-Persian Empire (known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr, or Iran, in Middle Persian), was the last kingdom of the Persian Empire before the rise of Islam. Named after the House of Sasan, it ruled from 224 to 651 AD. The Sasanian Empire succeeded the Parthian Empire and was recognised as one of the leading world powers alongside its neighbouring arch-rival the Roman-Byzantine Empire for a period of more than 400 years.The Sasanian Empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Parthian Empire and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus V. At its greatest extent, the Sasanian Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Iraq, Eastern Arabia (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatif, Qatar, UAE), the Levant (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan), the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan), Egypt, large parts of Turkey, much of Central Asia (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan), Yemen and Pakistan. According to a legend, the vexilloid of the Sasanian Empire was the Derafsh Kaviani.The Sasanian Empire during Late Antiquity is considered to have been one of Iran's most important, and influential historical periods and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam. In many ways, the Sasanian period witnessed the peak of ancient Iranian civilisation. The Sasanians' cultural influence extended far beyond the empire's territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa, China and India. It played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asian medieval art. Much of what later became known as Islamic culture in art, architecture, music and other subject matter was transferred from the Sasanians throughout the Muslim world.

Varazdat (marzban)

Varazdat (Middle Persian: Warāzdātan), was an Iranian nobleman who served as the marzban of Persian Armenia from 560 to 564. During his governorship, Armenia was relatively peaceful. In 561, the Sasanian Empire and the Byzantine Empire, concluded a peace treaty known as the "Fifty-Year Peace Treaty", which ended the Lazic War. In 564, Varazdat was succeeded by Chihor-Vishnasp.

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