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Date of birth unknown; died 531. Ruler of the state of the Sassanids from 488 to 496 and from 499 to 531.
In order to weaken the political power of the nobility and priesthood, Kavadh allied himself with the Mazdakites and carried through some measures corresponding to their objectives. About 496, Kavadh was overthrown by the nobility, whereupon he fled to the Ephthalites. With their help he returned to the throne in 499 and continued his policies against the nobility. He conducted a successful war against Byzantium (502 to 505 or 506) and repelled an invasion of the northern Huns. During his reign, a number of cities were founded, the network of canals was broadened, and reforms were begun that were later continued during the reign of his son Khosrau I. Toward the end of his reign, Kavadh broke with the Mazdakites, and with the help of his third son, Khosrau (Kavadh’s eldest son was educated by the Mazdakites), organized a massacre of the Mazdakite followers (in 528–529 or 524).