Ardashir I

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Ardashir I

(ärdäshēr`) [another form of Artaxerxes], d. 240, king of Persia (226?–240). He overthrew the last Parthian king, Artabanus IV, entered Ctesiphon, and reunited Persia out of the confusion of Seleucid decline. He established the strong SassanidSassanid,
, or Sassanian
, last dynasty of native rulers to reign in Persia before the Arab conquest. The period of their dominion extended from c.A.D. 224, when the Parthians were overthrown and the capital, Ctesiphon, was taken, until c.
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, or Sassanian, dynasty and reconquered the old eastern territories. Ardashir established ZoroastrianismZoroastrianism
, religion founded by Zoroaster, but with many later accretions. Scriptures

Zoroastrianism's scriptures are the Avesta or the Zend Avesta [Pahlavi avesta=law, zend=commentary].
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 as the state religion and gave much power to the priestly caste. His move against Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Cappadocia caused the Roman emperor Alexander SeverusAlexander Severus
(Marcus Aurelius Alexander Severus) , d. 235, Roman emperor (222–35), b. Syria. His name was changed (221) from Alexius Bassianus when he was adopted as the successor to Heliogabalus.
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 to campaign against him. A great battle in 232 cost both armies heavy losses. It was Alexander who had to retire, and though Alexander celebrated a triumph in Rome, Ardashir took Armenia, and Persian power was firmly established. He is sometimes called Ardashir Papakan, for his father, Papak. Shapur I succeeded him.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ardashir I


(Artashir Papakan). Born circa 180; died Aug. 22, 239 (according to different data, 241). Founder and first king of the Iranian Sassanid dynasty.

Sasan, the grandfather of Ardashir I, was evidently a priest in the chief temple at Istakhr, the capital of Fars (Persis). Ardashir served the administrator of Darabgird (a fortress in Fars), who was a vassal of the Parthian king Artabanus V (209–224). Around the year 200, Ardashir became ruler of this fortress, and he soon brought under his power all of Fars, Kerman, and Gayy (modern Isfahan). Supported by the aristocracy and the priesthood, Ardashir then proceeded against Artabanus V. On April 28, 224, he inflicted a decisive defeat on Artabanus at the Plain of Hormizdagan, and after this battle the Parthian kingdom ceased to exist. Ardashir was crowned with the title Shah in-Shah (“king of kings”) in 226/227. His struggle with Rome over Mesopotamia and Armenia, as well as the wars which he waged in the east, led to a considerable enlargement of the territory controlled by the Sassanid state.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Situated on a mountain slope neighboring the Firouzabad-Kavar road, Qaleh Dokhtar (literally meaning Daughter's Fortress) was built under Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasaanian Empire (224-651).
The Sassanid Empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Arsacid Empire and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus V.
Jullien provide 'Or, cet autre regne des Perses qui avait trouve sa realisation grace a Ardashir n'avait pas encore commence', the Ardashir here being taken as Ardashir I, the first Sasanian shah.
Harrak thus likewise takes Ardashir as Ardashir I, but sees him as the cause of the ending of the Parthian dynasty (loosely described earlier in the sentence as 'the kingdom of the Persians', despite the fact that the author of the Acts goes on to speak of the Parthians).
He was born to a princely family in a country which witnessed the conflict between the two empires, the encounter between two cultures, Hellenistic and Persian, and the rivalry between two major religions, Christianity and Zoroastrianism.(41) His birth occurred barely a decade before Ardashir I established the Sasanid dynasty in Persia.
He consolidated and expanded the Sassanid Empire founded by his father, Ardashir I.
Askari's focus on the figure of Ardashir is particularly pertinent, since, as she explains, the section devoted to this monarch is commonly taken to mark the movement in the Shahnama from the mythological and legendary eras to the fully historical period, yet Firdawsi's Ardashlrian corpus combines both legendary and "historical" narratives.