Wikipedia

List of kings of the Sasanian Empire

King of Iran
Imperial
Derafsh Kaviani flag of the late Sassanid Empire.svg
The Derafsh Kaviani, the legendary royal standard of the Sasanian kings
Sasanid Plate, Azerbaijan Museum, Tabriz, Iran.jpg
Plate of a Sasanian king, located in the Azerbaijan Museum in Iran
Details
First monarch Ardashir I (224–242)
Last monarch Yazdegerd III (632–651)
Residence
Appointer Divine right, hereditary

The Sasanian kings were the rulers of Iran after their victory against their former suzerain, the Parthian Empire, at the Battle of Hormozdgan in 224. At its height, the Sasanian empire spanned from Turkey and Rhodes in the west to Pakistan in the east, and also included territory in contemporary Caucasus, Yemen, UAE, Oman, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Central Asia.

The Sasanian Empire was recognized as one of the main powers in the world alongside its neighboring arch rival, the Roman-Byzantine Empire, for a period of more than 400 years.[1][2][3][4] The Sasanian dynasty began with Ardashir I in 224, who was a Persian from Istakhr, and ended with Yazdegerd III in 651.[5]

The period from 631 (when Boran died) to 632 (when Yazdgerd III takes the throne) is confusing in determining proper succession because a number of rulers who took the throne were later removed or challenged by other members of the House of Sasan. The period was one of factionalism and division within the Sasanian Empire.[6]

Titles [ edit ]

Ardashir I (r. 224–242), the founder of the Sasanian Empire, introduced the title "Shahanshah of the Iranians" (Middle Persian: šāhān šāh ī ērān; Parthian: šāhān šāh ī aryān). Ardashir's immediate successor, Shapur I (r. 240/42–270/72) chooses the titles in a precise manner in the inscription at Ka'ba-ye Zartosht. In that Shapur names four of his Sasanian predecessors with different titles and in "an ascending order of importance" by giving the title (Xwaday) "the lord" to Sasan, "the king" to Papag, "King of Kings of Iranians" to Ardashir, and "king of kings of Iranians and non-Iranians" (Middle Persian: MLKAn MLKA 'yr'n W 'nyr'nšāhān šāh ī ērān ud anērān;; Ancient Greek: βασιλεύς βασιλέων Αριανών basileús basiléōn Arianṓn) to himself.[7] The title "King of Kings of Iranians and non-Iranians" has also seen on a single silver coin of Shapur I, which indicates that the title was introduced after his victory over Romans and incorporation of non-Iranian lands into the Sasanian realms. The title was later used in coins of all later Sasanian kings.[8]

Yazdegerd I's reign (r. 399–420), marks a shift in the political perspective of the Sasanian Empire, which (originally disposed towards the West) moved to the East.[9] The shift may have been triggered by hostile tribes in eastern Iran.[9] The war with the Iranian Huns may have reawakened the mythical rivalry between the mythological Iranian Kayanian rulers and their Turanian enemies, which is illustrated by Younger Avestan texts.[9] The title of Ramshahr (peacekeeper in [his] dominion) was added to the traditional "King of Kings of the Iranians and non-Iranians" on Yazdegerd I's coins.[10][11][a] In the Middle Persian heroic poem Ayadgar-i Zariran (The Testament of Zarer), the title was used by the last Kayanian monarch (Vishtaspa) and occurs in the 10th-century Zoroastrian Denkard.[13] Sasanian interest in Kayanian ideology and history would continue until the end of the empire.[14] Bahram V (r. 420–438), on some rare coins minted in Pars, used the title of kirbakkar ("beneficent").[15]

The reign of Yazdegerd II (r. 438–457) marks the start of a new inscription on the Sasanian coins; mazdēsn bay kay ("The Mazda-worshipping majesty, the king"), which displays his fondness of the Kayanians, who also used the title of kay.[16][17][b] Under Peroz I (r. 459–484), the traditional titulature of šāhānšāh ("King of Kings") is omitted on his coins, and only the two aspects of kay Pērōz ("King Peroz") are displayed.[15] However, a seal demonstrates that the traditional titulature was still used, which indicates that coins do not with certainty display the full formal titulature of the Sasanian monarchs.[15] His brother and successor, Balash (r. 484–488), used the title of hukay ("the good king").[15][19]

Kavad I (r. 488–496, 498–531) was the last Sasanian monarch to have kay inscribed on his coins—the last one issued in 513.[20] The regular obverse inscription on his coins simply has his name; in 504, however, the slogan abzōn ("may he prosper/increase") was added.[20][15] Khosrow II (r. 590–590, 591–628), during his second reign, added the ideogram GDH, meaning xwarrah ("royal splendor") on his coins. He combined this together with the word abzōt ("he has increased"), making the full inscription thus read as: "Khosrow, he has increased the royal splendor" (Khūsrōkhwarrah abzōt).[15] The title of King of Kings was also restored on his coins.[15] His two successors, Kavad II (r. 628–628) and Ardashir III (r. 628–630), refrained from using the title, seemingly in order distance themselves from Khosrow II.[15]

The king [ edit ]

The head of the Sasanian Empire was the [shahanshah] (king of kings), also simply known as the shah (king). His health and welfare were always important and the phrase “May you be immortal" was used to reply to him with. By looking on the Sasanian coins which appeared from the 6th-century and afterward, a moon and sun are noticeable. The meaning of the moon and sun, in the words of the Iranian historian [Touraj Daryaee], “suggest that the king was at the center of the world and the sun and moon revolved around him. In effect, he was the “king of the four corners of the world," which was an old Mesopotamian idea."[21] The king saw all other rulers, such as the Romans, Turks, and Chinese, as being beneath him. The king wore colorful clothes, makeup, a heavy crown, while his beard was decorated with gold. The early Sasanian kings considered themselves of divine descent; they called themselves for “bay" (divine).[22]

When the king went to the publicity, he was hidden behind a curtain,[21] and had some of his men in front of him, whose duty was to keep the masses away from the king and to make his way clear.[23] When one came to the king, he/she had to prostrate before him, also known as proskynesis. The king was guarded by a group of royal guards, known as the pushtigban. On other occasions, the king was protected by a group of palace guards, known as the darigan. Both of these groups were enlisted from royal families of the Sasanian Empire,[23] and were under the command of the hazarbed, who was in charge of the king's safety, controlled the entrance of the kings palace, presented visitors to the king, and was allowed to be given military command or used in negotiations. The hazarbed was also allowed in some cases to serve as the royal executioner.[23] During Nowruz (Iranian new year) and Mihragan (Mihr's day), the king would hold a speech.[22]

List of rulers [ edit ]

The table below lists the rulers of the Sasanian Empire.

Portrait Name Title(s)/Slogans Reign Relationship to Predecessor Notes
House of Sasan
Coin of Ardashir I (phase 3), Hamadan mint.jpg Ardashir I

𐭠𐭥𐭲𐭧𐭱𐭲𐭥 (Ardašīr)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) 224 –

242
ShapurICoinHistoryofIran.jpg Shapur I

𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩 (Šābuhr)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 240 –

May 270
Son
  • Co-ruled with his father since 12 April 240
  • Died of natural causes in May 270
HormizdICoinHistoryofIran.jpg Hormizd I

𐭠𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭬𐭦𐭣 (Ōhrmazd)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) May 270 –

June 271
Son
  • Reigned only for 1 year
Coin of Bahram I (cropped).jpg Bahram I

𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭 (Warahrān)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) June 271 –

September 274
Brother
  • Committed the persecution of Manichaeism, including the death of Mani
  • Died of disease/natural causes in September 274
Silver coin of Bahram II (cropped).jpg Bahram II

𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭 (Warahrān)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 274 –

293
Son
  • Died of natural causes in 293
Bahram III.jpg Bahram III

𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭 (Warahrān)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 293 –

293
Son
  • Possibly executed during the uprising which had been led by his own grand uncle Narseh
Coin of Narseh, obverse.jpg Narseh

𐭭𐭥𐭮𐭧𐭩‎ (Narsē)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 293 –

302
Grand-uncle
  • Enthroned after seizing power from Bahram III in a rebellion led against him
Coin of the Sasanian king Hormizd II (1, cropped).jpg Hormizd II

𐭠𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭬𐭦𐭣 (Ōhrmazd)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 302 –

309
Son
  • Enthroned after abdicating the throne from his father
Sin foto.svg Adur Narseh King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 309 –

309
Son
  • Deposed by Sasanian nobles because of his cruelty
The portrait of Shapur II on the obverse of a silver drachm, struck circa 309–320.jpg Shapur II

𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩 (Šābuhr)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 309 –

379
Brother
  • After the death of his brother, Adarnases, Shapur II was still in his mother's womb when he was crowned.
ArdashirIICoinHistoryofIran.jpg Ardashir II

𐭠𐭥𐭲𐭧𐭱𐭲𐭥 (Ardašīr)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 379 –

383
Brother
  • Died of natural causes in 384
Coin of Shapur III, Merv mint.jpg Shapur III

𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩 (Šābuhr)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 383 –

388
Nephew
Coin of Bahram IV (cropped), Herat mint.jpg Bahram IV

𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭 (Warahrān)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 388 –

399
Son
YazdegerdICroppedCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Yazdegerd I

𐭩𐭦𐭣𐭪𐭥𐭲𐭩‎ (Yazdekert)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians)

Ramshahr ("peacekeeper in [his] dominion")
399 –

420
Brother
Sin foto.svg Shapur IV

𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩 (Šābuhr)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 420 –

420
Son
Sin foto.svg Khosrow King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 420 –

420
Cousin
Drachm of Bahram V, Rew-Ardashir mint.jpg Bahram V

𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭 (Warahrān)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians)

Kirbakkar ("beneficent")
420 –

438
Cousin
YazdegerdIICroppedCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Yazdegerd II

𐭩𐭦𐭣𐭪𐭥𐭲𐭩‎ (Yazdekert)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians)

Kay ("king")
438 –

457
Son
King Hormizd II or Hormizd III Hunting Lions, 400-600.jpg Hormizd III

𐭠𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭬𐭦𐭣 (Ōhrmazd)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 457 –

459
Son
PerozICroppedCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Peroz I King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians)

Kay (king)
457 –

484
Brother
Coin of the Sasanian king Balash from Susa.jpg Balash King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians)

Hukay ("the good king")
484 –

488
Brother
  • Two rebellions rose from two of Peroz's sons (his nephews)
  • The first rebellion was from Zarir, but he was unsuccessful and executed
  • The second rebellion was from Kavad, who at first unsuccessful requested help from Hephthalites
KavadhIGoldenCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Kavad I

𐭪𐭥𐭠𐭲‎ (Kawād)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians)

Kay ("king")
488 –

496
Nephew
  • Enthroned after leading a rebellion against his uncle Balash with assistance from Hephthalites
Coin of the Sasanian king Jamasp from Susa.jpg Jamasp King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 496 –

498
Brother
KavadhIGoldenCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Kavad I

𐭪𐭥𐭠𐭲‎ (Kawād)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians)

Kay ("king")

Abzōn ("may he prosper/increase")
498 –

531
Brother
Khosrow I Anushirvan (cropped), Gundeshapur mint.jpg Khosrow I King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians)

Ērān abē-bēm kard ("Iranians has become fearless")

Ērān abzonhēnēd ("Iranians became strong")
531 –

579
Son
Drachma of Hormidz IV - cropped.jpg Hormizd IV

𐭠𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭬𐭦𐭣 (Ōhrmazd)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 579 –

590
Son
KhosrauIIGoldCoinCroppedHistoryofIran.jpg Khosrow II King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians)

Khūsrōkhwarrah abzōt ("Khosrow, he has increased the royal splendor")
590 –

590
Son
  • Rebelled against his father and proclaimed himself as king of Persia, however he was then overthrown by Bahram Chobin
House of Mihran
BahramChobinCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Bahram VI Chobin King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 590 –

591
Rebel
  • Rebelled against Hormizd IV and Khosrow II and proclaimed himself to be king
House of Sasan
KhosrauIIGoldCoinCroppedHistoryofIran.jpg Khosrow II King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 591 –

628
Son of Hormizd IV
House of Ispahbudhan
BistamCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Vistahm King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 591 –

595
Uncle
  • Uncle of Khosrow II
  • Founded the city of Bastam
House of Sasan
Coin of the Sasanian king Kavadh II (cropped), minted at Ray in 628.jpg Kavad II

𐭪𐭥𐭠𐭲‎ (Kawād)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 628 –

628
Greatnephew of Khosrow II
  • Enthroned after killing his father and eighteen brothers
  • Died after a few months of reign
ArdashirIIICoinHistoryofIran.jpg Ardashir III

𐭠𐭥𐭲𐭧𐭱𐭲𐭥 (Ardašīr)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 628 –

630
Son
House of Mihran
ShahrbarazCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Shahrbaraz King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 27 April 630 –

17 June 630
General
House of Sasan
XusravIIICoinHistoryofIran.jpg Khosrow III King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 630 –

630
Nephew of Khosrow II Briefly ruled in Khorasan as rival king
BorandukhtCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Boran Queen of Queen of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 630 –

630
Daughter of Khosrow II
  • Daughter of Khosrow II
  • One of two only women who attained the Sasanian throne
Sin foto.svg Shapur-i Shahrvaraz King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 630 –

630
Son of Shahrbaraz and a sister of Khosrow II
Sin foto.svg Peroz II King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 630 –

630
Descended from Khosrow I
AzarmidokhtCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Azarmidokht Queen of Queen of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 630 –

631
Daughter of Khosrow II
  • Daughter of Khosrow II and sister of Boran
  • Second woman to attain the Sassanid throne
House of Ispahbudhan
FarrokhHormizdVCoin.jpg Farrukh Hormizd King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 630 –

631
General
House of Sasan
HormizdVICoinHistoryofIran.jpg Hormizd VI

𐭠𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭬𐭦𐭣 (Ōhrmazd)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 630 –

632
Usurper
KhosrauIVCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Khosrow IV King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) 630 –

636
Brother of Peroz II
FarrukhzadKhosrauVCoin.jpg Farrukhzad Khosrow V King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) March 631 –

April 631
Son of Khosrow II
BorandukhtCoinHistoryofIran.jpg Boran Queen of Queen of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) June 631 –

June 632
Daughter of Khosrow II
  • Was restored to the Sasanian throne
YazdegerdIIICoinCroppedHistoryofIran.jpg Yazdegerd III

𐭩𐭦𐭣𐭪𐭥𐭲𐭩‎ (Yazdekert)
King of Kings of Iran(ians) and non-Iran(ians) June 632 –

651
Grandson of Khosrau II
Destruction of the Sassanid Empire
Sin foto.svg Peroz III 651 (In exile) 679 (In exile) Son
  • Retreated to Chinese territory where he served as a Tang General
  • Served as the head of the Governorate of Persia, an exiled extension of the Sassanid court
Sin foto.svg Narsieh 679 (In exile) Unknown Son
  • Served as a Tang general, like his father
Sin foto.svg Bahram VII Unknown 710 (in exile) Son of Yazdegerd III
Sin foto.svg Khosrau VI Unknown Unknown Unknown
  • Known to have fought against Islamic forces in Transoxiana alongside the Sogdians and Turks c. 728-729
  • Last known direct descendant of Yazdegerd III, it is unclear whether he was Peroz III or Bahram VII's son

See also [ edit ]

Notes [ edit ]

  1. ^ The word ram may be translated as "peace", "ease", "pleasure", "joy" or "satisfaction"; it is most likely "peace" in Yazdegerd I's case.[12]
  2. ^ The title of kay ("king") had already been in use at least 100 years earlier by the Kushano-Sasanians, a cadet branch of the imperial Sasanian family that ruled in the East before being supplanted by the Kidarites and the imperial Sasanians in the mid 4th-century.[18]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ "The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  2. ^ Shapur Shahbazi, A. (2005), "Sasanian Dynasty", Encyclopedia Iranica, 1, Columbia University Press
  3. ^ Norman A. Stillman The Jews of Arab Lands pp 22 Jewish Publication Society, 1979 ISBN 0827611552
  4. ^ International Congress of Byzantine Studies Proceedings of the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies, London, 21–26 August 2006, Volumes 1-3 pp 29. Ashgate Pub Co, 30 sep. 2006 ISBN 075465740X
  5. ^ Daryaee 2012, p. 392.
  6. ^ Daryaee 2012, p. 201.
  7. ^ Frye, R. N. (1983). "Chapter 4: The political history of Iran under the Sasanians". The Cambridge History of Iran. 3. Cambridge University Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-521-20092-9.
  8. ^ Yücel, Muhammet (2017). "A Unique Drachm Coin of Shapur I". Iranian Studies. 50 (3): 331–344. doi:10.1080/00210862.2017.1303329. S2CID 164631548.
  9. ^ a b c Shayegan 2013, p. 807.
  10. ^ Schindel 2017, pp. 836-837.
  11. ^ Daryaee 2002, p. 91.
  12. ^ Daryaee 2002, p. 90.
  13. ^ Daryaee 2014, p. 22.
  14. ^ Daryaee 2002, p. 94.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Schindel 2013c, p. 837.
  16. ^ Daryaee.
  17. ^ Schindel 2013c, pp. 836–837.
  18. ^ Rezakhani 2017, pp. 79, 83.
  19. ^ Rezakhani 2017, pp. 130–131.
  20. ^ a b Schindel 2013b, pp. 141–143.
  21. ^ a b Daryaee 2012, p. 41.
  22. ^ a b Daryaee 2012, p. 42.
  23. ^ a b c Morony 2005, p. 92.

Sources [ edit ]

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