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Sasanid(both: săs`ənĭd), or
Sassanian(săsā`nyən), 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, CtesiphonCtesiphon
, ruined ancient city, 20 mi (32 km) SE of Baghdad, Iraq, on the left bank of the Tigris opposite Seleucia and at the mouth of the Diyala River. After 129 B.C. it was the winter residence of the Parthian kings. Ctesiphon grew rapidly and was of renowned splendor.
..... Click the link for more information. , was taken, until c.640, when the country fell under the power of the Arabs. The last Sassanid king died a fugitive in 651, but he had been forced to yield Ctesiphon to the Arabs in 636. Under the Sassanids, who revived AchaemenidAchaemenids
, dynasty of ancient Persia. They were descended presumably from one Achaemenes, a minor ruler in a mountainous district of SW Iran. His successors, when Elam declined, spread their power westward.
..... Click the link for more information. tradition, 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].
..... Click the link for more information. was reestablished as the state religion. The name of the dynasty was derived from Sassan, an ancestor of the founder of the dynasty, Ardashir IArdashir I
[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.
..... Click the link for more information. , who took and ruled Ctesiphon (224–40). During his reign and many that followed, war with the Romans occupied much attention. Sassanid persecution of Christians led to wars with Byzantium. Syria and Armenia suffered particularly from invading armies. Ardashir I was succeeded by his son Shapur IShapur I
or Sapor I
, d.272, king of Persia (241–72), son and successor of Ardashir I, of the Sassanid, or Sassanian, dynasty. He was an able warrior king.
..... Click the link for more information. , who was victorious over Roman Emperor Valerian and ruled until 272. The next reign of importance was that of Shapur IIShapur II
or Sapor II,
310–79, king of Persia (310–79), of the Sassanid, or Sassanian, dynasty. He was the posthumous son of Hormuz II and therefore was born king. His long reign was marked by great military success.
..... Click the link for more information. (309–79), a period of particular significance and glory. Bahram V, ruling 420–38, was defeated by the Emperor Theodosius but succeeded against the White Huns. The Armenians were overwhelmed by Yazdagird II in 451, and their land was overrun by Sassanids under Khosrow IKhosrow I
(Khosrow Anüshirvan) , d. 579, king of Persia (531–79), greatest of the Sassanid, or Sassanian, monarchs. He is also known as Chosroes I or Khosru I. He succeeded his father, Kavadh I, but before becoming king, Khosrow was responsible for a great massacre (c.
..... Click the link for more information. , who reigned 531–79 and who also invaded Syria. Both countries were again overrun by Khosrow IIKhosrow II
(Khosrow Parviz) , d. 628, king of Persia of the Sassanid, or Sassanian, dynasty; grandson of Khosrow I. He is also called Chosroes II or Khosru II. He succeeded his father Hormizd, or Hormoz, in 590, but he was opposed by the usurper Bahram Chubin, and forced to flee
..... Click the link for more information. (ruled 590–628), whose conquest of Egypt was the final victorious achievement of the dynasty. The last representative of the family on the throne was Yazdagird III, who began his reign in 632. His struggle against the Arabs ended in the fall of the Sassanid dynasty. See PersiaPersia
, old alternate name for the Asian country Iran. The article Iran contains a description of the geography and economy of the modern country and a short account of its history since the Arab invasion of the 7th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. .