Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Shapur

Persia/Iran civilizations: Sassanide Dynasty (Part 3, February 27, 2009)

Note:  There is a follow up chapter to the Sassanide period because it had considerable consequences to the Arab’s civilization.

 

The Sassanide Dynasty reigned from 224 to 651 AC.  As usual, it started in the South East region of Iran.  The ancestor of this dynasty is Sassan who was the administrator of the Immaculate Goddess Anahita; the head of a tribe was the guardian of their particular idol God.  Most of the written accounts are due to the Romans, Byzantium, and Armenians who were the enemies of this dynasty; the remaining information can be found on monuments and current archeological finds.

            Ardashir vanquished the Parthian King Artaban IV in 224 and inherit an Empire extending from current Iraq to the Indus River in current Pakistan.  The Parthian Empire was a formidable adversary to the Roman Empire and checked and defeated the Romans on several occasions due to their heavy cavalry.  The small horses of the cavalry were the ancestors of the Arab stallions.

            “Shapur I” crushes three Roman Emperors’ attacks.  Emperor Gordien dies in the battlefield.  Emperor Philip the Arab or Syrian had to sign a humiliating treaty by which Rome had to pay a yearly tribute.  Emperor Philip was born in Damascus of an Arab tribe that settled in that vicinity. It happened that Emperor Philip was engaged in the preparation for the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the establishment of Rome and badly needed peace in the Roman Empire. After the assassination of Philip the Syrian, two successive short lived Roman Emperors resumed paying the tribute to Shapur.  Emperor Valerian broke the treaty and was defeated and made prisoner in 260 for 20 years before another Roman Emperor decided to pay for his release and the thousands of other Roman soldiers.  Thus, Shapur expanded his territories to include Syria, Antioch, and Doura Europa in 253 where the secretaries of the Sassanide Empire visited the Jewish synagogues. . 

It was during Shapur reign that the “prophet” Mani preached his new brand of religion that swept Persia, to the Indus and reached North Africa; Saint Augustine attended lectures in Tunisia on that religion. You may read my review of “The Gardens of Light” by Amin Maaluf.

            In the following century, nomadic tribes from Central Asia harass the Sasanide Empire as well as Byzantium in the Caucasus. Emperor Theodose I of Byzantium pays Shapur III to contain those nomadic hordes called Chionites, Kidarites, and especially the Hephtalites “white Huns”.  The Sassanide Dynasty will finally contain the Central Asian attacks by the year 560 thanks to the succor of the western Turks and the Sasanide Dynasty will control Afghanistan.

            Khosro I signed a treaty of peace in 562 with Emperor Justinian for 50 years.  Thirty years later, Khosro II captures Syria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Gaza, Babylon, and most of current Turkey.  Emperor Heraclius would counter attack and enter one of the Sassanide Capitals of Ctesiphon, close to present Baghdad.  The two arch enemies would be vanquished by the new Moslem Arab armies coming from the Arab Peninsula.  In 637, Ctesiphon falls in the hand of the Moslems.  After the defeat in Nahawand in 642, the last Sassanide monarch Yazdgerd III flee to Merv and then to Balkh (north of Afghanistan) and was assassinated in 651.  This Persian Dynasty lasted over 400 years.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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