List of Sassanid rulers

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The Neo-Persian Sassanid Empire (224 / 26–651) was a rival of the Roman and Eastern Roman Empire in the Middle East for four centuries (see also Roman-Persian Wars ) before it went under in the course of the Arab expansion in the 7th century. Culturally, Persia flourished in the Sassanid period, which continued to have an effect even later in the Abbasid caliphate .

The following list of Sassanid rulers provides a general overview based on the results of more recent research. However, it should be noted that due to the sometimes problematic source situation, the ruler's chronology can sometimes not be precisely determined. Especially towards the end of the empire, only approximate information is possible (such as in the case of Hormizds V. and Chosraus IV., Who is sometimes also referred to as Chosrau V.). Except Bahram Tschobin and Schahrbaraz all the rulers of the house came Sasan and except in the case borane and her sister Azarmeducht always acted it is men.

Ruler list

king Dating comment portrait
Ardashir I. 224-242 Overthrown the Parthian rule and founded the Sassanid Empire. Ardaschiri coin 3.jpg
Shapur I. (also Sapor , Sabuhr etc.) 240 and 242-270 / 272, respectively Before 240 as co-ruler, from 240/42 sole king. He consolidated the empire and fought violent, mostly successful military conflicts with the Roman Empire (climax: the capture of Emperor Valerian in 260).
Hormizd I. ( Hormisdas ) 270 / 272-273 King of Armenia before he became Sassanid Great King. Hormizdi.jpg
Bahram I. (also Vahram ) 273-276 Promoted Zoroastrianism and persecuted the Manicheans . Bahrami.jpg
Bahram II 276-293 Waged war against Rome, the heyday of the arts. Usurpation attempt by his relative (brother?) Hormizd . BahramIICroppedCoinHistoryofIran.jpg
Bahram III 293 Was overthrown by his uncle Narseh.
Narseh 293-302 Suffered a heavy defeat against the Romans and ceded several territories in the Treaty of Nisibis (298/99). Narseh.gif
Hormizd II. 302-309 Married a Kushan princess . Hormidzii.jpg
Shapur II. 309-379 Ruled very successfully and waged war against Rome several times. Fended off the invasion of Julian in 363 . Shapurii.jpg
Ardashir II. 379-383 Made Armenia a Persian protectorate. Taq-e Bostan - Ardashir II.jpg
Shapur III. 383-388 Made a treaty with Emperor Theodosius I regarding Armenia. Beginning of a long balancing act with Rome.
Bahram IV. 388-399 Fended off a break in by the Huns (395).
Yazdegerd I. (also Yazdgird ) 399-420 Exercised great tolerance towards the Christians in his kingdom, which angered the devout Zoroastrians and earned him the nickname "the sinner". Yazdgardi.jpg
Bahram V. Gor 420 / 21-438 / 39 Asserted himself against his brother Chosrau in the power struggle after the death of Yazdegerd I. King famous for his passion for hunting, who was stylized as a hero in Persian literature. Fought a brief war against Rome and successful campaigns on the northeast border against the Iranian Huns . Bahramv.jpg
Yazdegerd II. 439-457 Waged war against Rome, which was soon ended by a peace treaty. Yadzgardii.jpg
Hormizd III. 457-459 Eldest son of Yazdegerd and his successor. Was overthrown by his brother Peroz.
Peroz I. 459-484 Suffered a crushing defeat against the Hephthalites . Perozi.jpg
Balash 484-488 Brother of Peroz, was overthrown by a nobility revolt and replaced by Peroz's son Kavadh. Balash.jpg
Kavadh I. 488-496 and 499-531 Stabilized the royal rule and had to wage war against Rome since 502. Was dethroned by a conspiracy in 496, but was able to come back to power with the help of the Hephthalites .
Zamasp 496-498 Replaced Kavadh 496, but was expelled by him only three years later. Zamarzp.jpg
Chosrau I. (also Chosroes , Husrav , Xusro ) 531-579 Son of Kavadh I and arguably the most important of all Sassanid kings. Became Justinian's great adversary, reformed internally and promoted culture. At the same time, however, the empire was exhausted by its many wars. Khosrawi.jpg
Hormizd IV. 579-590 Son of Chosraus, continued the war against Rome. Because of his unpopularity, he was overthrown and murdered. Hormidziv.jpg
Bahram Chobin 590-591 Usurper who was beaten with Eastern Roman support.
Chosrau II. 590-628 Last important great king. Reached the throne with Eastern Roman help. After the death of his patron Maurikios , he began a war against Eastern Stream, but the Emperor Herakleios was ultimately able to decide for Eastern Stream through a successful counter-offensive. Was dethroned by a noble conspiracy and then murdered. Gold coin with the image of Khosrau II.jpg
Kavadh II 628 Kavadh Siroe. Overthrew his father Chosrau II, but held out like all subsequent rulers until Yazdegerd III. only for a few months on the throne. Kavadhii.jpg
Ardashir III. 628-630 Aradashiriii.jpg
Schahrbaraz 630 Persian general who usurped the throne but could not hold out for long. Farrukhan.jpg
Borane 630-631 First reigning queen of the Sassanid Empire. Boran.jpg
Azar addict 631/632 Reigning queen, was overthrown by insurgent troops.
Chosrau III. 630 Ruling only regionally and for a short time.
Peroz II 631-632
Hormizd V. 631-632
Chosrau IV. 631-633
Yazdegerd III. 632-651 Last great king. Defeated by the invading Arabs and murdered in 651. His sons, Peroz and Bahram , and their sons, Narseh and Chosrau , made attempts to recapture the empire. Yazdgardiii.jpg

See also


See also the references in the article Sassanid Empire .

  • Touraj Daryaee: Sasanian Iran 224-651 CE. Portrait of a Late Antique Empire. Mazda Pub., Costa Mesa (Calif.) 2008.
  • Klaus Schippmann : Basic features of the history of the Sassanid Empire . Scientific Book Society , Darmstadt 1990.
  • Josef Wiesehöfer : Ancient Persia . Updated edition. Albatros, Düsseldorf 2005.

Web links


  1. The following chronology is based primarily on Wiesehöfer, Das antike Persien , pp. 412f., And Schippmann, Grundzüge , pp. 141–146.
  2. On the kings of the 3rd century cf. especially the prosopography of the Sāsānid Empire in the 3rd century AD (University of Kiel) , which is not yet complete.
  3. Ardaschir lived until 241/42, but from 240 Shapur exercised the business of government.
  4. It is not entirely clear whether he ruled from 270 or from 272, as this depends on the determined year of death of Shapur. However, 270 is now often accepted.
  5. With the death of Chosraus II the period of crisis in the empire began, which only ended in 632, shortly before the Arab expansion began. All subsequent kings (and queens) have hardly left any traces in the tradition, but in Persia during this time there was apparently almost anarchic conditions. See for a summary Schippmann, Grundzüge , pp. 72–74.
  6. As about Peroz II., Hormizd V. and Chosrau IV. There is hardly any information about him. See Touraj Daryaee: When the End is Near: Barbarized Armies and Barracks Kings of Late Antique Iran. In: Maria Macuch u. a. (Ed.): Ancient and Middle Iranian Studies. Wiesbaden 2010, pp. 43–52.