Sasanian Empire

Shahrbaraz, shah of the Sasanian Empire. April 27, 630.

Shahrbaraz belonged to the House of Mihran, a leading Iranian noble family, one of the Seven Great Houses of the Sassanid Persian Empire which claimed descent from the earlier Arsacid dynasty. He joined the Sasanian army, where he rose to high offices, and was appointed as spahbed (general) of Nēmrōz. He was even married to the sister of the Sasanian king Khosrow II, Mirhran. Shahrbaraz is first mentioned by chroniclers when Khosrow II started the last and most devastating of the Byzantine–Sasanian wars, which would last 26 years. Khosrow II, along with Shahrbaraz and his other best generals, conquered Dara and Edessa in 604, and in the north, the Byzantines were driven back to the old, pre-591 frontier, losing many of their territories. After this, Khosrow II withdrew from the battlefield...

The Battle of Nineveh. December 12, 627.

The Battle of Nineveh was the climactic battle of the Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602–628. The Byzantine victory later resulted in civil war in Persia, and for a period of time, restored the Roman Empire to its ancient boundaries in the Middle East. This resurgence of power and prestige was not to last, as after a few years, an Arab Caliphate emerged from Arabia and once again brought the empire to the brink of destruction. The victory at Nineveh was not total: the Byzantines were unable to capture the Persian camp. However, this victory was significant enough to shatter the resistance of the Persians. With no Persian army left to oppose him, Heraclius’ victorious army plundered Dastagird, Khosrau’s palace, and gained tremendous riches. Khosrau had already fled to the mountains o...

Sasanian Empire

The Sasanian Empire began after the fall of the Parthian Empire and existed from 224 AD under Ardashir I, to 651 AD under Yazdgard III. It was the last Iranian empire before the rise of Islam. The power and extent of the Sassanian kings grew so great, King Shapur I captured the Roman Emperor Valerian I in 260 at the Battle of Edessa and used the emperor as a footstool when mounting his horse. There are various accounts of what happened to Valerian after his capture, but the Sasanians would have their advancement into Roman territory halted by forces at Palmyra. At its greatest extent, the Sasanian Empire controlled nearly all of the modern Middle East, along with a great part of Western and Central Asia, the Caucasus, parts of North Africa and the Levant. Their success branched off to othe...

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