DARIUS III . (336-330) . Thechronology is exactly verified by the Ptolemaic
See also:canon, by numerous Babylonian and a few
See also:Egyptian documents, and by the evidence of the Greeks . The
See also:present article gives only a brief conspectus of the
See also:main events in the
See also:history of the
See also:empire . Though, unlike Cyrus and Cambyses, Darius made no new expeditions of
See also:conquest, yet a
See also:great empire, which is not bounded The
See also:Wars by another equally great, but touches on many small against tribes and
See also:independent communities, is inevitably
See also:Greece. driven to expansion . We have already seen that the attempt of Darius to
See also:control the predatory nomads in the
See also:north led to his expedition against the Scythians; this, again, led to the incorporation of
See also:Thrace and
See also:Macedonia, whose
See also:Perdiccas submitted . And since a great portion of the Mediterranean
See also:line belonged to the empire, further complications resulted automatically . In contrast with the Greeks
See also:Carthage took the
See also:part of
See also:Persia . Darius, indeed, numbers the city—under the name of Karka—among his dominions: as also the Maxyans (Maciya) on the Syrtes (Andreas, Verhandl. d. xiii.
See also:oriental . Congresses,
See also:Hamburg, 1902, p . 97) . But, above all, the Greek cities with their endless feuds and violent
See also:internal factions, were incessant in their appeals for intervention .
See also:European Greece to itself, till the support accorded to the Ionian and Carian insurgents by Athens and
See also:Eretria (490 B.C.) made war inevitable . But not only the expeditions of Mardonius (492) and Datis (490), but even the carefully prepared
See also:campaign of
See also:Xerxes, in conjunction with Carthage, completely failed (480-479) . On the
See also:fields of
See also:Marathon and
See also:Plataea, the Persian archers succumbed to the Greek phalanx of hoplites; but the actual decision was effected by
See also:Themistocles, who had meanwhile created the Athenian
See also:fleet which at
See also:Salamis proved its superiority over the Perso-Phoenician
See also:armada, and thus precluded beforehand the success of the
See also:land-forces . The
See also:wreck of Xerxes' expedition is the turning-point in the history of the Persian Empire . The superiority of the Greeks was so pronounced that the Persians never found courage to repeat their attack . On the contrary, in 466 B.C. their army and fleet were again defeated by
See also:Cimon on the
See also:Eurymedon, the sequel being that the Greek provinces on the
See also:Asiatic coast, with all the Thracian possessions, were lost . In itself, indeed, this loss was of no great significance to such a vast empire; and the attempts of Athens to annex Cyprus and conquer the Nile valley, in
See also:alliance with the revolted Egyptians, ended in failure . Athens, in fact, had not sufficient strength to undertake a serious invasion of the empire or an extensive
See also:scheme of conquest . Her struggles with the other Hellenic states constrained her, by the peace of
See also:Callias (448), definitely to renounce the Persian war; to abandon Cyprus and
See also:Egypt to the king; and to content herself with his promise—not that he would surrender the littoral towns, but that he would abstain from an armed attack upon them . The really decisive point was, rather, that the disasters of Salamis and Plataea definitely shattered the offensive powerof the empire; that the centre of gravity in the
See also:world's history had shifted from Susa and
See also:Babylon to the
See also:Sea; and that the Persians were conscious that in spite of all their courage they were henceforward in the presence of an enemy,
See also:superior in arms as well as in intellect, whom they could not hope to subdue by their own strength . Thus the great empire was reduced to immobility and stagnation—a
See also:process which was assisted by the deteriorating influences of
See also:civilization and world-dominion upon the character Internal of the ruling
See also:race . True, the Persians continued state of the to produce brave and honourable men .
But the Empire. influences of the
See also:harem, the eunuchs, and similar Rebellions.
See also:court officials, made appalling progress, and men of energy began to find the temptations of power stronger than their patriotism and devotion to the king . Thus the satraps aspired to independence, not merely owing to unjust treatment, but also to avarice or favourable conditions . As early as 465 B.C., Xerxes was assassinated by his powerful
See also:vizier (chiliarch)
See also:Artabanus, who attempted to seize the reins of empire in fact, if not in name . A similar instance may be found in
See also:Bagoas (q.v.), after the
See also:murder of
See also:Artaxerxes III . (338 B.C.) . To these factors must be added the degeneration of the royal line—a degeneration inevitable in Oriental states .
See also:Kings like Xerxes and more especially Artaxerxes I. and Artaxerxes II., so far from being gloomy despots, were
See also:good-natured potentates, but weak, capricious and readily accessible to
See also:personal influences . The only really brutal tyrants were Darius II., who was completely dominated by his bloodthirsty wife
See also:Parysatis, and Artaxerxes III. who, though he
See also:rivers of
See also:blood and all but exterminated his whole
See also:family, was successful in once more uniting the empire, which under the feeble sway of his
See also:father had been threatened with dissolution . The upshot of these conditions was, that the empire never again undertook an important enterprise, but neglected more and more its great civilizing
See also:mission . In considering, however, the subsequent disorders and wars, it must be
See also:borne in mind that they affected only individual portions of the empire, and only on isolated occasions involved more extensive areas in long and serious strife . To most of the provinces the Achaemenid dominion was synonymous with two centuries of peace and
See also:order . Naturally, however, the
See also:wild tribes of the mountains and deserts, who could be curbed only by strict imperial control, asserted their independence and harassed the neighbouring provinces .
Among these tribes were the Carduchians in Zagros, the Cossaeans and Uxians in the interior of
See also:Elam, the Cadusians and other non-
See also:Aryan tribes in
See also:Media, the Pisidians, Isaurians and Lycaonians in the
See also:Taurus, and the Mysians in
See also:Olympus . All efforts to restore order in these districts were fruitless; and when the kings removed their court to
See also:Ecbatana, they were actually obliged to
See also:purchase a
See also:free passage from the
See also:mountain tribes (
See also:Strabo xi . 524;
See also:Arrian iii . 17, z) . The kings (e.g . Artaxerxes II.) repeatedly took the
See also:field in great force against the Cadusians, but unsuccessfully . When, in 400 B.C.,
See also:Xenophon marched with the mercenaries of Cyrus, from the
See also:Tigris to the Black Sea, the authority of the king was non-existent north of Armenia, and the tribes of the Pontic mountains, with the Greek cities on the coast, were completely independent . In
See also:Paphlagonia, the native dynasts founded a powerful though
See also:kingdom, and the chieftains of the Bithynians were absolutely their own masters . The frontier provinces of India were also lost . Egypt, which had already revolted under Libyan princes in the years 486-484, and again with Athenian help in 460-454, finally asserted its independence in 404 . Henceforward the native dynasties repelled every attack, till they succumbed once more before Artaxerxes III. and
See also:Mentor of Rhodes . In the other civilized countries, indeed, the old passion for freedom had been completely obliterated; and after the days of Darius I.—apart from the Greek, Lycian and Phoenician towns—not a single
See also:people in all these provinces dreamed of shaking off the
See also:foreign dominion .
All the more clearly, then, was the inner weakness of the empire revealed by the revolts of the satraps . These were facilitated by the custom—quite contrary to the
See also:original imperial organization—which entrusted the provincial military commands to the satraps, who began to receive great masses of Greek mercenaries into their service . Under Artaxerxes I. and Darius II., these insurrections were still rare . But when the revolt of the younger Cyrus against his
See also:brother (401 B.C.) had demonstrated the surprising ease and rapidity with which a courageous army could penetrate into the heart of the empire—when the whole force of that empire had proved powerless, not only to prevent some 12,000 Greek troops, completely surrounded, cut off from their communications, and deprived through treachery of their leaders, from escaping to the coast, but even to make a serious attack on them—then, indeed, the imperial impotence became manifest . After that, revolts of the satraps in
See also:Asia Minor and
See also:Syria were of everyday occurrence, and the task of suppressing them was complicated by the foreign wars which the ertipire had to sustain against Greece and Egypt . At this very
See also:period, however, the foreign policy of the empire gained a brilliant success . The collapse of the Athenian power Later wars before Syracuse (413 B.c.) induced Darius II. to with the order his satraps
See also:Tissaphernes and
See also:Pharnabazus, Greeks. in Asia Minor, to collect the tribute overdue from Peace of the Greek cities . In alliance with
See also:Sparta (see Antakidas . PELOPONNESIAN WAR), Persia intervened in the conflict against Athens, and it was Persian gold that made it possible for
See also:Lysander to
See also:complete her overthrow (404 B.c.) . True, war with Sparta followed immediately, over the division of the spoils, and the
See also:campaigns of the Spartan generals in Asia Minor (399-395) were all the more dangerous as they gave occasion to numerous rebellions . But Persia joined the Greek
See also:league against Sparta, and in 394 Pharnabazus and
See also:Conon annihilated the Lacedaemonian fleet at
See also:Cnidus . Thus the Spartan power of offence was crippled; and the upshot of the long-protracted war was that Sparta ruefully returned to the Persian alliance, and by the Peace of
See also:Antalcidas (q.v.), concluded with the king in 387 B.c., not only renounced all claims to the Asiatic possessions, but officially proclaimed the Persian
See also:suzerainty over Greece .
Ninety years after Salamis and Plataea, the
See also:goal for which Xerxes had striven was actually attained, and the king's will was
See also:law in Greece . In the following decades, no Hellenic state ventured to violate the king's peace, and all the feuds that followed centred
See also:round the efforts of the combatants—Sparta,
See also:Thebes, Athens 'and Argos—to draw the royal
See also:powers to their side (see GREECE:
See also:Ancient History) . But, for these successes, the empire had to thank the internecine strife of its Greek opponents, rather than its own strength . Its feebleness, when thrown on its own resources, is evident from the fact that, during the next years, it failed both to reconquer Egypt and to suppress completely King
See also:Evagoras of Salamis in Cyprus . The
See also:satrap revolts, moreover, assumed more and more formidable proportions, and the Greek states began once more to tamper with them . Thus the reign of Artaxerxes II. ended, in 359 B.c., with a complete dissolution of the imperial authority in the west . His successor, Artaxerxes Ochus, succeeded yet again in restoring the empire in its full extent . In 355 B.C., he spoke the fatal word, which, a second—or rather a third—time, demolished the essentially unsound power of Athens . In 343 he reduced Egypt, and his generals Mentor and
See also:Memnon, with his vizier Bagoas (q.v.), crushed once and for all the resistance in Asia Minor . At his
See also:death in 338, immediately before the final catastrophe, the empire to all appearances was more powerful and more firmly established than it had been since the days of Xerxes . These successes, however, were won only by means Of Greek armies and Greek generals . And simultaneously the Greek Progress civilization—diffused by mercenaries, traders, artists, of Greek prostitutes and slaves,—advanced in ever greater Influence. force .
In Asia Minor and
See also:Phoenicia we can clearly trace the progress of
See also:Hellenism (q.v.), especially by the coinage . The
See also:stamp is cut by Greek hands and the Greek
See also:tongue pre-dominates more and more in the inscription . We can see that the victory of Greek civilization had long been prepared on every side . But the vital point is that the absolute superiority of the Hellene was recognized as incontestable on both hands . The Persian sought to protect himself against danger, by employing Greeks in the
See also:national service and turning Greek policy to the interests of the empire . In the Greek world itself the disgrace that a people, called to universal dominion and capable of wielding it, should be dependent on the
See also:mandate of an impotent Asiatic
See also:monarchy, was keenly
See also:felt by all who were not 'yet absorbed in the rivalry of city with city . The spokesman of this national sentiment was Isocrates; but numerous other writers gave expression to it, notably, the historian
See also:Callisthenes of
See also:Olynthus . Union between Greeks, voluntary or compulsory, and an offensive war against Persia, was the
See also:programme they propounded . Nor was the
See also:time for its fulfilment far distant . The new power which now
See also:rose to the first
See also:rank, created by
See also:Philip of Macedon, had no engrained tendency inimical to the Persian Rise of Empire . Its immediate programme was rather macedon . Macedonian expansion, at the expense of Thrace and
See also:Illyria, and the subjection of the
See also:Balkan Peninsula .
But, in its efforts to extend its power over the Greek states, it wasbound to make use of the tendencies which aimed at the unification of Greece for the struggle against Persia: and this ideal demand it dared not reject . Thus the conflict became inevitable . In 340, Artaxerxes III. and his satraps supported the Greek towns in Thrace—Perinthus and Byzantium—against Macedonian aggression; in 338 he concluded an alliance with
See also:Demosthenes . When Philip, after the victory of Chaeronea, had founded the league of Corinth (337) embracing the whole of Greece, he accepted the national programme, and in 336 despatched his army to Asia Minor . That he never entertained the thought of conquering the whole Persian Empire is certain . Presumably, his ambitions would have been satisfied with the liberation of the Greek cities, and, perhaps, the subjection of Asia Minor as far as the Taurus . With this his dominion would have attained much the same compass as later under
See also:Lysimachus; farther than this the boldest hopes of Isocrates never went . But Philip's assassination in 336 fundamentally altered the situation . In the
See also:person of his son, the
See also:throne was occupied , by a soldier and statesman of
See also:genius, saturated with Greek culture and Greek thought, and intolerant of every goal but the highest . To conquer the whole world for Hellenic civilization by the aid of Macedonian spears, and to reduce the whole
See also:earth to unity, was the task that this
See also:heir of Heracles and Achilles . saw before him . This idea of universal conquest was with him a conception much stronger
See also:developed than that which had inspired the Achaemenid rulers, and he entered on the project; with full consciousness in the strictest sense of the phrase . In fact, if we are to understand
See also:Alexander aright, it is fatal to forget that he was overtaken by death, not at the end of his career, but at the beginning, at the age of
See also:thirty-three .
VI . The Macedonian Dominion.—How Alexander conquered Persia, and how he framed his world-empire,' cannot be related here . The essential fact, however, is that after the victory of Gaugamela (Oct . 1, 331 B.c.) and, still Alexander the Great: more completely, after the assassination of Darius avenged according to the Persian
See also:laws, on the perpetrators—Alexander regarded himself as the legitimate
See also:head of the Persian Empire, and therefore adopted the
See also:dress and ceremonial of the Persian kings . With the capture of the capitals, the Persian war was at an end, and the
See also:atonement for the expedition of Xerxes was cornplete—a truth symbolically expressed in the burning of the palace at
See also:Persepolis .. Now began the world-conquest . For an universal empire, however, the forces of Macedonia and Greece were insufficient; the monarch of a world-empire could not be bound by the limitations imposed on the tribal king of Macedon or the general of a league of Hellenic republics . He must stand as ' See ALEXANDER THE GREAT; MACEDONIAN EMPIRE; HgLLENISM (for later results) . an autocrat, above them and above the law, realizing the theoretical doctrines of
See also:Plato and Aristotle, as the true king, who is a
See also:god among men, bound no more than
See also:Zeus by a law, because " himself he is the law." Thus the divine kingship of Alexander derives indirect line, not from the Oriental polities—which (Egypt apart) know nothing of royal apotheosis—but from these Hellenic theories of the state . Henceforward it becomes the
See also:form of every absolute monarchy in a civilized land, being formally mitigated only in Christian states by the
See also:assumption that the king is not God, but king " by the
See also:grace of God." The expedition of 332 B.C. to the
See also:shrine of Ammon was a preliminary to this procedure, which, in 324, was sealed by his official
See also:elevation to divine rank in all the republics of Greece . To this corresponds the fact that, instead of acting on the doctrines of Aristotle and Callisthenes, - and treating the Macedonians and Greeks as masters, the Asiatics as servants, Alexander had impartial recourse to the powers of all his subjects and strove to amalgamate them . In the Persians particularly he sought a second pillar for his world-empire .
Therefore, as early as 330 B.C., he drafted 30,000
See also:young Persians, educated them in Greek customs, and trained them to war on the Macedonian
See also:model . The
See also:Indian campaign showed that his Macedonian troops were in fact inadequate to the conquest of the world, and in the summer of 326 they compelled him to turn back from the
See also:banks of the Hyphasis . On his return to Persia,. he consummated at Susa (Feb . 324 B.C.) the union of Persian and Macedonian by the great
See also:marriage-feast, at which all his superior
See also:officers, with some ro,000 more Macedonians, were wedded to Persian wives . The Macedonian veterans were then disbanded, and the Persians taken into his army . Simultaneously, at the Olympian festival of 324, the command was issued to all the cities of Greece to recognize him as god and to receive the exiles home.' In 323 B.C. the preparations for the circumnavigation and subjection of
See also:Arabia were complete: the next enterprise being the conquest of the West, and the
See also:battle for Hellenic culture against Carthage and the
See also:Italian tribes . At that point Alexander died in Babylon on the 13th of
See also:June 323 B.C . Alexander left no heir . Consequently, his death not only ended the scheme of universal conquest, but led to an immediate The Macedonian reaction . The army, which was
See also:con-Kingdoms sidered as the representative of the people, took of the over the
See also:government under the direction of its Diadochi . generals . The Persian wives were practically all discarded and the Persian satraps removed—at least from all important provinces .
But the attempt to maintain the empire in its unity proved impracticable; and almost immediately there began the embittered war, waged for several decades by the generals (diadochi), for the
See also:inheritance of the great king.2 It was soon obvious that the eastern rulers, at all events, could not dispense with the native
See also:element . Peucestas, the
See also:governor of
See also:Persis, there played the role of Alexander and won the Persians completely to his side; for which he was dismissed by Antigonus in 315 (Diod. xix . 48) . A similar position was attained by Seleucus—the only one of the diadochi, who had not divorced his Persian wife, Apama—in Babylonia, which he governed from 319 to 316 and regained in the autumn of 312 . While Antigonus, who, since 315,, had striven to win the kingdom of Alexander for himself—was detained by the war with his rivals in the west, Seleucus, with Babylon as his headquarters, conquered the whole of
See also:Iran as far as the
See also:Indus . In northern Media alone, which
See also:lay outside the main scene of operations and had only been partially subject to the later Achaemenids, the Persian satrap Atropates, appointed by Alexander, maintained his independence and bequeathed his province to his successors . His name is borne by north Media to the present day—Atropatene,
See also:Azerbaijan or Adherbeijan (see MEDIA) . So, too, in Armenia the Persian
See also:dynasty of the ' The discussion of these events by
See also:Hogarth " The Deification of Alexander the Great," in the
See also:Historical Review, ii . (1887), is quite unsatisfactory . 2 See
See also:PTOLEMIES; SELEUCID DYNASTY.Hydarnids held its ground; and to these must be added, in the east of Asia Minor, the kingdoms of
See also:Pontus and
See also:Cappadocia, founded c . 301, by the Persians
See also:Mithradates I. and Ariarathes I . These states were fragments of the Achaemenid Empire, which had safely transferred themselves to the Hellenistic state-
See also:system .
Theannexation of Iran by Seleucus Nicator led to a war for the countries on the Indian frontier; his opponent being Sandracottus or Chandragupta Maurya (q.v.), the founder Seleucus L of the great Indian Empire of Maurya (Palimbothra). maniac, and The result was that Seleucus abandoned to the
See also:Antiochus L Indian king, not merely the Indian provinces, but even the frontier districts west of the Indus (Strabo xv . 689-724), receiving as compensation 50o elephants, with other presents (
See also:Appian, Syr . 55;
See also:Justin xv . 4; Plut . Alex . 62; Athen. i . 18 D.) . His next expedition was to the west to assist Lysimachus,
See also:Ptolemy and Cassander in the overthrow of Antigonus . The battle of Ipsus, in 301, gave him Syria and the east of Asia Minor; and from then .he resided at the Syrian
See also:town of Antiochia on the
See also:Orontes . Shortly afterwards he handed over the provinces east of the
See also:Euphrates to his son Antiochus, who, in the following years, till 282, exercised in the East a very energetic and beneficial activity, which continued the
See also:work of his father and gave the new empire and the Oriental Hellenistic civilization their form . In order to protect his conquests Alexander had founded several cities in
See also:Bactria, Sogdiana and India, in which he settled his veterans . On his death, these revolted and endeavoured to return to Greece, but were attacked and cut to pieces by Pithon (Diod. xviii .
7) . Of Greek the other Greek towns in Asia scarcely any were Towns in founded by Alexander himself, though theplan Iran. adopted by his successors of securing their dominions by
See also:building Greek cities may perhaps be due to him (cf . Polyb. x . 27) . Most of these new cities were based on older settlements; but the essential point is, that they were peopled by Greek and Macedonian colonists, and enjoyed civic independence with laws, officials,
See also:councils and assemblies of their own, in other words, an autonomous communal constitution, under the suzerainty of the empire . A portion, moreover, of the surrounding land was assigned to them . Thus a great number of the
See also:country districts—the EOvrt above mentioned—were transformed into municipal corporations, and thereby withdrawn from the immediate government of the king and his officials (satraps or strategi), though still subject to their control, except in the cases where they received unconditional freedom and so ranked as " confederates." The native population of these villages and rural districts, at first, had no civic rights, but were governed by the foreign settlers . Soon, however, the two elements began to coalesce; in the Seleucid Empire, the process seems generally to have been both rapid and complete . Thus the cities became the main factors in the diffusion of Hellenism, the Greek language and the Greek civilization over all Asia as far as the Indus . At the same time they were the centres of commerce and
See also:life: and this, in conjunction with the royal favour, and the privileges accorded them, continually drew new settlers (especially Jews), and many of them developed into great and flourishing towns (see further under HELLENISM) . Shortly after his conquest of Babylonia, Seleucus had founded a new capital,
See also:Seleucia (q.v.), on the Tigris: his intention being at once to displace the ancient Babylon from its former central position, and to replace it by a Greek city . This was followed by a series of other
See also:foundations in
See also:Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Susiana (Elam) .
" Media," says
See also:Polybius (x . 27), " was en-circled by a sequence of Greek towns, designed as a barrier against the barbarians." Among those mentioned are: Rhagae (Rai), which Seleucus metamorphosed into a Hellenic city, Europus, Laodicea,
See also:Apamea and
See also:Heraclea (Strabo xi . 52g . Plin. vi . 43: cf . MEDIA) . To these must be added
See also:Achaea in
See also:Parthia, and, farther to the east, Alexandria
See also:Arion in
See also:Aria, the modern
See also:Herat: also Antiochia Margiana (Strabo xi . 514, 516 Plin . 46, 93), now
See also:Merv, and many others . Further, Alexandria in Aradrosia, near
See also:Kandahar, and the towns founded by Alexander on the
See also:Hindu-Kush and in Sogdiana . Thus an active Hellenic life soon arose in the East; and . Greek settlers must have come in numbers and founded new cities, which afterwards formed the basis of the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom .
Antiochus's general Demodamas crossed the Jaxartes and set up an
See also:altar to the Didymaean
See also:Apollo (Plin. vi . 49) . Another general,
See also:Patrocles, took up the investigation of the
See also:Caspian, already begun by Alexander . In contrast with the better knowledge of an older period, he came to the conclusion that the Caspian was connected with the ocean, and that it was possible to reach India on
See also:board by that route (Strabo ii . 74, xi . 518; Plin. vi . 38) . A project of Seleucus to connect the Caspian with the Sea of Azov by means of a canal is mentioned by Pliny (vi . 31) . To Patrocles is due the information that an active commerce in Indian wares was carried on with the shores of the Black Sea, via the Caspian (Strabo xi . 509) . While Hellenism was thus gaining a
See also:firm footing in all the East, the native population remained absolutely passive .
Apart The Persian from the
See also:rude mountain tribes, no national resis- Religion tance was dreamed of for centuries . The Iranians under quietly accepted the foreign yoke, and the higher Greek
See also:Rule. classes adopted the
See also:external forms of the
See also:alien civilization (cf. the dedication of a Bactrian, Hyspasines, son of Mithroaxes, in the inventory of the
See also:temple of Apollo in
See also:Delos, Dittenberger, Sylloge, 588, 1 . 109) even though they were unable to renounce their innate characteristics.` Eratosthenes, for instance, speaks (ap . Strabo i . 66) in high terms of the Iranians (Ariani), ranking them (as well as the
See also:Indians, Romans and Carthaginians) on a level with the Greeks, as regards their capacity for adopting city civilization . The later Parsee tradition contends that Alexander burned the sacred books of Zoroaster, the Avesta, and that only a few fragments were saved and afterwards reconstructed by the Arsacids and Sassanids . This is absolutely unhistorical . The Persian religion was never attacked by the Macedonians and Greeks . Under their dominion, on the contrary, it
See also:expanded with great vigour, not only in the west (Armenia, north Syria and Asia Minor, where it was the official religion of the kings of Pontus and Cappadocia), but also in the east, in the countries of the Indian frontier . That the popular gods—Mithras, Anaitis, &c.—had come to the forefront has already been mentioned . This propagandism, however, was void of all national character, and ran on precisely the same lines as the propagandism of the Syrian, Jewish and Egyptian cults . Only in Persia itself, so far as we can
See also:judge from a few scanty traces, the national character of the religion seems to have survived among the people side by side with the memory of their old imperial position .
In 282 B.C . Seleucus took the field against Lysimachus, and annexed his dominions in Asia Minor and Thrace . In 281 he Independent was assassinated in
See also:crossing to
See also:Europe, and his son Kingdoms Antiochus I. was left supreme over the whole empire. in Bactria From that time onward the Seleucid Empire was and never at
See also:rest . Its gigantic extent, from the Aegean Parthia. to the Indus, everywhere offered points of attack to the enemy . The Lagidae, especially, with their much more compact and effective empire, employed every means to weaken their Asiatic rivals; and auxiliaries were found in the minor states on the frontier—Atropatene, Armenia, Cappadocia, Pontus and
See also:Bithynia, the
See also:Pergamum, Rhodes and other Greek states . Moreover, the promotion of Greek civilization and city life had created numerous
See also:local centres, with
See also:separate interests and centrifugal tendencies, struggling to attain complete independence, and perpetually forcing new concessions from the empire . Thus the Seleucid kings, courageous as many of them were, were always battling for existence (see SELEUCID DYNASTY) . These disturbances severely affected the
See also:borders of Iran . While the Seleucid Empire, under Antiochus II . Theos (264-247), was being harried by Ptolemy II . Philadelphus, and the king's
See also:attention was wholly engaged in the defence of the western provinces, the Greeks revolted in Bactria, under their governor
See also:Diodotus (q.v.) . Obviously, it was principally the need ofprotection against the nomadic tribes which led to the foundation of an independent kingdom; and Diodotus soon attained considerable power over the provinces north of the Hindu-Kush .
In other provinces, too, insurrectionbroke out (Strabo xi . 575, Justin xli . 4); and
See also:Arsaces, a chief of the Parni or Aparni—an Iranian nomad tribe (therefore often called Dahan Scythians), inhabiting the steppe east of the Caspian—made himself
See also:master of the
See also:district of Parthia (q.v.) in 248 B.C . He and his brother
See also:Tiridates (q.v.) were the founders of the
See also:Parthian kingdom, which, however, was confined within very modest limits during the following decades . Seleucus II . Callinicus (247-226) successfully encountered Arsaces (or Tiridates), and even expelled him (c . 238); but new risings recalled Seleucus to Syria, and Arsaces was enabled to return to Parthia . Greater success attended Antiochus III., the Great (222-187) . At the beginning of his reign (220) he subdued, with the help of his
See also:Hermias, an insurrection of the Antiochus satrap Molon of Media, who had assumed the royal Iii., the title and was supported by his brother Alexander, Great. satrap of Persis (Polyb. v . 40 sqq.) . He further seized the opportunity of extorting an advantageous peace from King Artabazanes of Atropatene, who had considerably extended his power (Polyb. v . 55) .
After waging an unsuccessful war with Ptolemy IV. for the conquest of Coele-Syria, but suppressing the revolt of Achaeus in Asia Minor, and recovering the former provinces of the empire in thatquarter, Antiochus led a great expedition into the East, designing to restore the imperial authority in its full extent . He first removed (211) the Armenian king Xerxes by treachery (Polyb. viii . 25;
See also:John of
See also:Antioch, fr . 53), and appointed two
See also:governors, Artaxias and Zariadris, in his place (Strabo xi . 531) . During the next
See also:year he reduced the affairs of Media to order (Polyb. x . 27); he then conducted a successful campaign against Arsaces of Parthia (209), and against
See also:Euthydemus (q.v.) of Bactria (208-206), who had over-thrown the dynasty of Diodotus (Polyb. x . 28 sqq., 48 sqq., xi . 34; Justin xli . 5) . In spite of his successes he concluded peace with both kingdoms, rightly considering that it would be impossible to retain these remote frontier provinces permanently . He next renewed his old friendship with the Indian king Sophagasenus (Subhagasena), and received from him 150 elephants (206 B.c.) .
Through Arachosia and Drangiane, in the valley of the Etymander (Helmand), he marched to Carmania and Persis (Polyb. xi . 34) . Both here and in Babylonia he re-established the imperial authority, and in 205 undertook a voyage from the mouth of the Tigris, through the Arabian gulf to the flourishing
See also:mercantile town of
See also:Gerrha in Arabia (now Bahrein) (Polyb. xiii . 9) . Shortly afterwards, however, his successful campaign against Ptolemy V . Epiphanes led to a war with Rome in which the power of the Seleucid Empire was shattered (190 B.C.), Decayotthe Asia Minor lost, and the king compelled to pay a Seleucid heavy contribution to Rome for a long
See also:term of years . B1IIp1'e• In order to raise
See also:money he plundered a wealthy temple of
See also:Bel in Elam, but was killed by the inhabitants, 187 B.C . (Diod.
See also:xxviii . 3,
See also:xxix . 15; Strabo xvi . 744; Justin xxxii . 2; S .
See also:Jerome (Hieronymus) on
See also:Dan. xi . 19; Euseb . Chron. i . 253) . The consequence of this enfeeblement of the empire was that the governors of Armenia asserted their independence . Artaxias founded the kingdom of Great Armenia; Zariadris, that of Sophene on the Euphrates and the
See also:sources of the Tigris (Strabo xi . 531) . In other districts, also, rebellions occurred; and in the east, Euthydemus and his successors (
See also:Demetrius, Eucratidas, &c.) began the conquest of the Indus region and the Iranian borderland (Arachosia, Aria) . (See BACTRIA; EUTHYDEMUS; EUCRATIDAS; DEMETRIUS; MENANDER.) But the energetic Seleucids fought desperately against their
See also:fate . Antiochus IV . Epiphanes (176-163) restored once more the Eastern dominion, defeated Artaxias of Armenia (Appian, Syr . 45; Diod. xxxi .
17a; S . Jerome on Dan. xi . 40), restored several towns in Babylonia and subdued the Elymaeans . His attempt, however, to
See also:plunder the sanctuary of Anaitis failed (Polyb. xxxi . I1; cf . Maccab. i . 6, ii . 1, 13; App . Syr . 66) . Persis, also, and Media were still subject to him . But after his death at Tabae in Persis (163 B.C.; cf .
Polyb. xxxi . Maccab. i . 6, ii. g; Jos .
See also:Ant .
See also:Jud. xii . 9, 1), the Romans took
See also:advantage of the dynastic broils to destroy the Seleucid Empire . They reduced its army and fleet, and favoured every
See also:rebellion: among others, that of the Jews . In spite of all, Demetrius I .
See also:Soter (161-150) succeeded in suppressing (159) a revolt of Timarchus of
See also:Miletus, governor of Babylon, who had occupied Media, assumed the title of " great king," and had been recognized by the Romans (Appian, Syr . 45-47;
See also:Trogus, Prol . 34; Diod. xxxi . 27 A: cf. the coins of Timarchus).1 During these wars great changes had taken place in eastern Iran .
In 159 Mongolian tribes, whom the
See also:call Yue-chi Mithra- and the Greeks Scythians, forced their way into
See also:dates u, and Sogdiana, and, in 139, conquered Bactria (Strabo his Suc- Xi . 571; Justin xlii . 1; Trog . Prol . 41; see BACTRIA) . censors . From Bactria they tried to advance farther into Iran and India . Entering into an alliance with Antiochus ' For the whole of this period see further ANTIGONUS; ANTIOCHUS I.–IV.; SELEUCID DYNASTY; HELLENISM.confused the situation was is shown by the fact that in 76 B.C. the octogenarian king Sanatruces was seated on the Parthian throne by the Scythian tribe of the Sacaraucians (cf . Strabo xi . 511; Trog . Prol . 42) .
The names of his predecessors are not known to us . Obviously this period was marked by continual dynastic feuds (cf . Trog . Prol . 42: " ut
See also:varia complurium regum in Parthia successione imperium accepit Orodes qui Crassum delevit" ) . Not till Sanatruces' successor Phraates III . (7o—57) do we find the kingdom again in a settled state . A fact of decisive significance was that the Romans now began to advance against
See also:Tigranes . In vain Mithradates of Pontus and Tigranes turned to the Parthian king, the latter conflicts even proffering restitution of the conquered frontier with the provinces . Phraates, though rightly distrusting Romans . Rome, nevertheless concluded a treaty with
See also:Lucullus (69 B.C.) and with
See also:Pompey, and even supported the latter in his campaign against Tigranes in 66 . But after the victory it was manifest that the
See also:Roman general did not consider himself bound by the Parthian treaty .
When Tigranes had submitted, Pompey received him into favour and extended the Roman supremacy over thevassal states of Gordyene and
See also:Osroene; though he had allured the Parthian king with the prospect of the recovery of his old possessions as far as the Euphrates . Phraates complained, and simultaneously attacked Tigranes, now a Roman vassal (64 B.c.) . But when Pompey refused reparation Phraates recognized that he was too weak to begin the struggle with Rome, and contented himself with forming an alliance with Tigranes, in hopes that the future would bring an opportunity for his revenge (Dio
See also:xxxvi . 3, 5;
See also:xxxvii . 5 sqq.; Plut . Luc . 30; Pomp . 33, 38; cf . Sallust's
See also:letter of Mithradates to Arsaces) . Although Phraates III. had not succeeded in regaining the full power of his predecessors, he felt justified.in again assuming the title " king of kings"—which Pompey declined to acknowledge—and even in proclaiming himself as " god " (
See also:Phlegon, fr . 12 ap . Phot.
See also:cod .
97; and on part of his coins), but in 57 B.C. the " god " was assassinated by his sons Orodes and Mithradates . The Parthian Empire, as founded by the conquests of Mithradates I. and restored, once by Mithradates II. and again by Phraates III., was, to all exteriorappearance, a con- tinuation of the Achaemenid dominion . Thus the aoa . rgantzati Arsacids now began to assume the old title " king of kings " (the shahanshah of modern Persia), though previously their coins, as a rule, had borne only the
See also:legend " great king." The official version, preserved by Arrian in his Parthica (ap . Phot. cod . 58: see PARTHIA), derives the line of these chieftains of the Parnian nomads from Artaxerxes II . In reality, however, the Parthian Empire was totally different from its predecessor, both externally and internally . It was anything rather than a world-empire . The countries west of the Euphrates never owned its dominion, and even of Iran itself not one
See also:half was subject to the Arsacids . There were indeed vassal states on every
See also:hand, but the actual possessions of the kings—the provinces governed by their satraps—consisted of a rather narrow
See also:strip of land, stretching from the Euphrates and north Babylonia through
See also:southern Media and Parthia as far as Arachosia (north-west
See also:Afghanistan), and following the course of the great
See also:trade-route which from time immemorial had carried the
See also:traffic between the west of Asia and India . We still possess a description of this route by Isidore of Charax, probably dating from the Augustan period (in C .
See also:Muller, Geographi graeci minores, vol. i.), in which is contained a
See also:list of the 18 imperial provinces, known also to Pliny (vi .
112; cf . 41) . Isidore, indeed, enumerates nineteen; but, of these, Sacastene formed no part of the Parthian Empire, as has been shown by vonGutschmid . The
See also:lower provinces (i.e. the districts west of Parthia) are: (i) Mesopotamia, with northern Babylonia, from the Euphrates
See also:bridge at Zeugma to Seleucia on the Tigris; (2) Apolloniatis, the Provinces. plain east of the Tigris, with Artemita; (3) Chalonitis, the
See also:hill-country of Zagros; (4) Western Media; (5) Cambadene, with Bagistana (
See also:Behistun)—the mountainous portions of Media; (6) Upper Media, with Ecbatana; (7) Rhagiane or Eastern Media . Then with the Caspian Gates—the pass between Elburz and the central
See also:desert, through which lay the route from west Iran to east Iran—the upper provinces begin; (8) Choarene and (9) Comisene, the districts on the
See also:verge of the desert; (to)
See also:Hyrcania; (Ti) Astabene, with the royal town Asaac on the Attruck (see PARTHIA) ; (12) Parthyene with Parthaunisa, where the 'sepulchres of the kings were laid ; (13) Apavarcticene (now Abiward, with the capital Kelat); (14) Margiane (Merv); (15) Aria (Herat); (16) Anauon, the southern portion of Aria; (17) Zarangiane, the country of the Drangians, on the lake of Haman; (18) Arachosia, on the Etymander (Helmand), called by the Parthians "
See also:White India," extending as far as Alexandropolis (Kandahar), the frontier city of the Parthian Empire . On the lower Etymander, the Sacae had established themselves —obviously on the inroad of the Scythian tribes—and after them the country was named Sacastene (now Sejistan,
See also:Seistan) . Through it lay the route to Kandahar; and for this reason the district is described by Isidore, though it formed no part of the Parthian Empire . Round these provinces lay a
See also:ring of numerous minor states, which as a rule were dependent on the Arsacids . They might, Vassw! however, partially transfer their
See also:allegiance on the rise States. of a new power (e.g . Tigranes in Armenia) or a Roman invasion . Thus it is not without
See also:justice that the Arsacid period is described, in the later Persian and Arabian tradition, as the period of " the kings of the part-kingdoms "—among which the Ashkanians (i.e. the Arsacids, from Ashak, the later pronunciation of the name Arshak = Arsaces) had won the :first place . This tradition, however, is nebulous in the extreme;' the whole list of kings, which it gives, is totally unhistorical; only the names of one Balash (=
See also:Vologaeses) and of the last Ardewan (=Artabanus) having been preserved .
The period, from the death of Alexander to theSassanid
See also:Ardashir I., is put by the Persian tradition at 266 years; which was afterwards corrected, after Syro-Grecian evidence, to 523 years . The actual number is 548 years (i.e . 323 B.C. to A.D . 226) . The statements of the Armenian historians as to this period are also absolutely worthless . The ten most important of the vassal states were: i . The kingdom of Osroene (q.v.) in the north-east of Mesopotamia, with Edessa as capital, founded about 130 H.C. by the chieftain of an Arabian tribe, the Orrhoei, which established itself there . 2 . To this must be added the numerous Arabian tribes of the Mesopotamian desert, under their chiefs, among whom one Alchaudonius comes into prominence in the period of Tigranes and Crassus . Their settlement in Mesopotamia was encouraged by Tigranes, according to Plutarch (Luc . 21) and Pliny (vi . 142) .
In later times the Arabic town Atra in an
See also:oasis on the west of the Tigris, governed by its own kings, gained
See also:special importance . 3 and 4 . To the east of the Tigris lay two kingdoms: Gordyene (or Cordyene), the country of the Carduchians (now Bohtan), a wild, mountainous district south of Armenia; and Adiabene (Hadyab), the ancient
See also:Assyria, on either side of the Zab (Locus) . 5 . On the farther side of Zagros, adjoining Adiabene on the east, was the kingdom of Atropatene in north Media, now often simply called Media (q.v.) . While the power of Armenia was at its height under Tigranes (86-69 B.c.) all these states owned his rule . After the victories of Pompey, however, the Romans claimed the suzerainty, so that, during the next decades and the expeditions of Crassus and Antony, they oscillated between Rome and Parthia, though their inclination was generally to the latter . For they were all Orientals and, consciously or unconsciously, representatives of a reaction against that Hellenism which had become the heritage of Rome . At the same time the loose organization of the Parthian Empire, afforded them a greater measure of independence than they could hope to enjoy under Roman suzerainty . 6 . In the south of Babylonia, in the district of Mesene (the modern Maisan), after the fall of Antiochus Sidetes (129 s.c.), an Arabian
See also:prince, Hyspaosines or Spasines (in a cuneiform inscription of 127, on a
See also:clay tablet dated after this year, he is called Aspasine) founded a kingdom which existed till the rise of the
See also:Sassanian Empire . Its capital was a city (mod .
Mohammerah), first founded by Alexander on an artificial hill by the junction of the Eulaeus (
See also:Karun) with the Tigris, and peopled by his veterans . The town, which was originally named Alexandria and then rebuilt by Antiochus I. as Antiochia, was now refortified with dikes by Spasines, and christened Spasinu Charax (" the
See also:wall of Spasines "), or simply Charax (Plin. vi . 138 seq.) . In the following centuries it was the main mercantile centre on the Tigris estuary . The kingdom of Mesene, also called Characene, is known to us from occasional references in various authors, especially Lucian (Ma.crobii, 16), as well as from numerous coins, dated by the Seleucian era, which allow us to
See also:frame a fairly complete list of the kings.' The Arabian dynasty speedily assimilated itself to the native population; and most of the kings bear Babylonian—in a few cases, Parthian—names . The official language was Greek, till, on the destruction of Seleucia (A.D . 164), it was replaced on the coinage by Aramaic . Another Babylonian dynast must have i See
See also:Martin, Recherches sur la Mesene et la Characeene (1838) ; Reinaud, Membires sur le royaume de in Mesene (1861) ; E . Babelon, " Numism. et chronol.
See also:des dynastes de la Characene," in Journ. internat. d'archeol. numism. vol. i . (1898).been Hadadnadinaches (c . Too s.c.), who built in Tello the fortified palace which has been excavated by de Sarzec . 7 .
East of the Tigris lay the kingdom of Elymais (Elam), to which belonged Susa and its modern representative Ahwaz, farther down on the Eulaeus . The Elymaeans, who had already offered a repeated resistance to the Seleucids, were subdued by Mithradates I., as we have mentioned above; but they remained a separate state, which often rebelled against the Arsacids (Strabo xvi . 744; cf . Plat . Pomp . 36; Tac .
See also:Ann. vi . 5o) . Of the kings who apparently belonged to a Parthian dynasty, several bearing the name Cammascires are known to us from coins dated 81 and 71 E.C . One of these is designated by Lucian (Macrobii, 16) " king of the Parthians "; while the coinage of another, Orodes, displays Aramaic script (Allotte de la Fuye, Rev. num., 4me serie, t. vi. p . 92 sgcl., 1902) . The kingdom, which is seldom mentioned, survived till Ardashir I .
In its neighbourhood Strabo mentions " the minor dynasties of the Sagapenians and Silacenians " (xvi . 745) . The Uxians, moreover, with the Cossaeans and other mountain tribes, maintained their independence exactly as under the later Achaemenids (Strabo xvi . 744; Plin. vi . 133) . 8 . The district of Persis, also, became independent soon after the time of Antiochus IV., and was ruled by its own kings, who perpetuated the Achaemenian traditions, and on their coins—which bear the Persian language in Aramaic characters, i.e. the so-called Pahlavi—appear as zealous adherents of Zoroastrianism and the
See also:Fire-cult (see PERSIS) . They were forced, however, to acknowledge the suzerainty of Parthia, to which they stood in the same position as the Persians of Cyrus and his forefathers to the Median Empire (cf . Strabo xv . 728, 733, 736; Lucian, Macrob . 15) . In later times, before the foundation of the Sassanid dominion, Persis was disintegrated into numerous small local states .
Even in Carmania we find independent kings, one of whom gave his name to a town Vologesocerta (Balashkert) . 9 . The east of Iran—Bactria with Sogdiana, Eastern Arachosia and Gedrosia—was never subject to the Arsacids . Here the Graeco-Bactrian and Graeco-Indian kingdoms held their own, till, in 139 B.C., they succumbed before the invading Mongolian and Scythian tribes (see BACTRIA and
See also:works quoted there) . But in the Indus district the Greek kings held their ground for an appreciably longer period and, for a while, widely extended their power (see MENANDER OF INDIA) . Among the kings then following, only known to us from their coins, there appears a dynasty with Iranian and sometimes peculiarly Parthian names which seems to have reigned in the
See also:Punjab and Arachosia . Its best-known representative,
See also:Gondophares or Hyndopherres, to whom legend makes the apostle
See also:Thomas write, reigned over Arachosia and the Indus district about A.D . 20 . Further, about A.D . 70, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentions that the great commercial town of Minnagar in the Indus
See also:Delta was under Parthian kings, " who spent their time in expelling one another." Here,
See also:theft, it would seem there existed a Parthian dynasty, which probably went back to the conquests of Mithradates I . (cf . Vincent A .
See also:Smith, " The Indo-Parthian Dynasties from about 120 B.C. to A.D . Too," in the Zeitschr. der deutschen morgenl . Gesellsch . 6o, 1906) . Naturally, such a dynasty would not long have recognized the suzerainty of the Arsacids . It succumbed to the Indo-Scythian Empire of the Kushana, who had obtained the
See also:sovereignty of Bactria as early as about A.D . 50, and thence pressed onward into India . In the period of the Periplus (c . A.D . 70) the Scythians were already settled in the Indus valley (pp . 38, 41, 48), their dominion reaching its
See also:zenith under
See also:Kanishka (c . A.D .
123-153) . This empire of the Kushana merits special mention here, onaccount of its
See also:peculiar religious attitude, which we may gather from the coins of its kings, particularly those of Kanishka and his successor Huvishka, on which an
See also:alphabet adapted from the Greek is employed (cf . Aurel Stein, " Zoroastrian Deities on Indo-Scythian Coins," in The Babylonian and Oriental Record, vol. i., 1887) . Kanishka, as is well known, had embraced
See also:Buddhism, and many of his coins bear the image and name of
See also:Buddha . Iranian divinities, how-ever, predominate on his currency:
See also:Mithras (Mihro or Helios) ; the
See also:Moon Mah (also Selene) ; Athro, the Fire; Orthragno (Verethragna) ; Pharro =Farna (hvarena), " the
See also:majesty of kingship "; Teiro=Tir (Tistrya " the
See also:archer ") ; Nana (Nanaia) ; and others . Here, then, we have a perfect example of
See also:syncretism ; as in the Mithras cult in Armenia, Asia Minor, and still further in the Roman Empire . Buddhism and Zoroastrianism have been wedded in the state religion, and, in characteristic Indian fashion, are on the best of terms with one another, precisely as, in the Chinese Empire at the present
See also:day, we find the most varied religions, side by side, and on an equal footing . To . Originally a part of the Turanian steppe belonged to the Arsacids; it was the starting-point of their power . Soon, however, the nomads (Dahae) gained their independence, and, as we have seen, repeatedly attacked and devastated the Parthian Empire in conjunction with the Tocharians and other tribes of Sacae and Scythians . In the subsequent period, again, we shall frequently meet them . It may appear surprising that the Arsacids made no attempt to incorporate the minor states in the empire and create a great and
See also:united dominion, such as existed under the Achaemenids and was afterwards restored by the Sassanids .
This fact is the clearest symptom of the inner weakness of character of their empire and of the small power wielded by the the Parthian " king of kings." In contrast alike with its prede-Bmpire. cessors and its successors, the Arsacid dominion was peculiarly a
See also:chance formation—a state which had come into existence through fortuitous external circumstances, and had no firm foundation within itself, or any
See also:intrinsic raison d'etre . Three elements, of widely different kinds, contributed , to its origin and defined its character . It was sprung from a predatory nomad tribe (the Parnian Dahae, Scythians) which had established itself in Khorasan (Parthia), on the borders of civilization, and thence gradually annexed further districts as the
See also:political situation or the weakness of its neighbours allowed . Consequently, these nomads were the main pillar of the empire, and from them were obviously derived the great magnates, with their huge estates and hosts of
See also:serfs, who composed the imperial council, led the armies, governed the provinces and made and unmade the kings (Strabo xi . 515; Justin xli . 2; the former terming them etyyeveis, " kinsmen " of the king, the latter, probuli) . Of these great families that of Surenas held the
See also:privilege of setting the diadem on the head of the new king (Plut . Crass . 21; Tac . Ann. vi . 42) . The military organization, moreover, was wholly nomadic in character .
Thenucleus of the army was formed of armoured
See also:horse-men, excellently practised for long-distance fighting with
See also:bow and
See also:javelin, but totally unable to venture on a hand-to-hand conflict, their tactics being rather to swarm round the enemy's squadrons and overwhelm them under a
See also:hail of missiles . When attacked they broke up, as it seemed, in hasty and complete
See also:flight, and having thus led the hostile army to break its formation, they them-selves rapidly reformed and renewed the assault . How difficult it was for
See also:infantry to hold their own against these mounted squadrons was demonstrated by the Roman campaigns, especially in broad plains like those of Mesopotamia . In winter, however, the Parthians were powerless to wage war, as the moisture of the atmosphere relaxed their bows . The infantry, in contrast with its earlier status under the Persians, was wholly neglected . On the other hand, every magnate put into the field as many mounted warriors as possible, chiefly servants and bought slaves, who, like the Janissaries and Mamelukes, were trained exclusively for war . Thus Surenas, in 53 B.C., is said to have put at the king's disposal moo mailed horsemen and, in all, io,000 men, including the
See also:train, which also comprised his attendants and harem (Plut . Crass . 21; description of the military organization; Dio Cass . 40, 15; Justin xli . 2) . In the army of 50,000 mounted men which took the field against Mark Antony there were, says Justin, only 400 freemen .
How vital was the nomadic element in the Parthian Empire is obvious from the fact that, in
See also:civil wars, the deposed kings con-Thelranlan sistently took
See also:refuge among the Dahae or Scythians Population. and were restored by them . But, in Parthia, these nomads were amalgamated with the native peasantry, and, with their religion, had adopted their dress and
See also:manners . Even the kings, after the first two or three,
See also:wear their hair and
See also:beard long, in the Iranian fashion, whereas their predecessors are beardless . Although the Arsacids are strangers to any deep religious
See also:interest (in contrast to the Achaemenids and Sassanids), they acknowledge the Persian gods and the leading tenets of Zoroastrianism . They erect fire-altars, and even obey the command to abandon all corpses to the
See also:dogs and fowls (Justin xli . 3) . The union, moreover, recommended by that creed, between brother and sister—and even son and mother—occurs among them . Consequently, beside the council of the
See also:nobility, there is a second council of " Magians and wise men " (Strabo xi . 515) . Again, they perpetuate the traditions of the Achaemenid Empire . The Arsacids assume the title " king of kings " and derive their line from Artaxerxes II . Further, the royal
See also:apotheosis, so
See also:common among them and recurring under the Sassanids, is probably not so much of Greek origin as a development of Iranian views .
For at the side of the great god Ahuramazda there stands a
See also:host of sub-
See also:ordinate divine beings who execute his will—among these the deified heroes of legend, to whose circle the king is now admitted, since on him Ahuramazda has bestowed victory and might . This gradual Iranianization of the Parthian Empire is shown by the fact that the subsequent Iranian traditions, and Firdousi in particular, apply the name of the " Parthian " magnates (Pahlavan) to the glorious heroes of the legendary epoch . Consequently, also, the language and writing of the Parthian period, which are retained under the Sassanids, received the name
See also:Pahlavi, i.e . " Parthian." The script was derived from the Aramaic . But to these Oriental elements must be added that of Hellenism, the dominant world-culture which had penetrated into Parthia Relation and Media . It was indispensable to every state whichexternal institutions were borrowed from the Seleucid Empire: their coinage with its Greek inscriptions and nomenclature; their
See also:Attic standard of currency; and, doubtless, a great part of their administration also . In the towns Greek merchants were every-where settled: Mithradates I. even followed the precedent of the Seleucids in building a new city, Arsacia, which replaced the ancient Rhagae (Rai, Europus) in Media . The further the Arsacids expanded the deeper they penetrated into the province of Hellenism; the first Mithradates himself assumed, after his great conquests, the title of Philhellen, " the
See also:protector of Hellenism," which was retained by almost all his successors . Then follow the surnames Epiphanes " the revealed god," Dicaeus " the just," Euergetes " the benefactor," all of them essentially Greek in their reference, and also regularly borne by all the kings . After the conquest of the Euphrates and Tigris provinces it was imperative that the royal residence should be fixed there . But as no one ventured to transfer the royal
See also:household and the army, with its hordes of wild horsemen, to the Greek town of Seleucia, and thus disorganize its commerce, the Arsacids set up their abode in the great
See also:village of
See also:Ctesiphon, on the Ieft
See also:bank of the Tigris, opposite to Seleucia, which accordingly retained its free Hellenic constitution (see CTESIPHON and SELEUCIA) . So, also, Orodes I. spoke good Greek, and Greek tragedies were staged at his court (Plut .
Crass . 33) . In spite of this, however, the rise of the Arsacid Empire marks the beginning of a reaction against Hellenism—not, indeed, a conscious or official reaction, but a reaction which was Reaction all the more effective because it depended on the impetus against of circumstances working with all the power of a natural Hellenism. force . The essential point is that the East is completely divorced from the Mediterranean and the Hellenic world, that it can derive no fresh powers from that quarter, and that, consequently, the influence of the Oriental elements must steadily increase . This process can be most clearly traced on the coins—almost the
See also:sole: memorials that the Parthian Empire has left . From reign to reign the portraits grow poorer and more stereotyped, and the inscriptions more neglected, till it becomes obvious that the engraver himself no longer understood Greek but copied mechanically the signs before his eyes, as is the case with the contemporary Indo-Scythian coinage, and also in Mesene . Indeed, after Vologaeses I . (51-77), the Aramaic script is occasionally employed . The political opposition to the western empires, the Seleucids first, then the Romans, precipitated this development . Naturally enough the Greek cities beheld a liberator in every army that marched from the West, and were ever ready to
See also:cast in their lot with such—a disposition for which the subsequent
See also:penalty was not lacking . The Parthian magnates, on the other hand, with the army, would have little to do with Greek culture and Greek modes of life, which they contemptuously regarded as effeminate and unmanly . Moreover, they required of their rulers that they should live in the fashion of their country, practise arms and the
See also:chase, and appear as Oriental sultans, not as Grecian kings .
These tendencies taken together explain the
See also:radical weakness of the Parthian Empire . It was easy enough to collect a great army and achieve a great victory; it was absolutely impossible to hold the army together for any longer period, or to conduct a
See also:regular campaign . The Parthians proved incapable of creating a firm, united organization, such as the Achaemenids before them, and the Sassanids after them gave to their empire . The kings themselves were toys in the hands of the magnates and the army who, tenaciously as they clung to the anointed dynasty of the Arsacids, were utterly indifferent to the person of the individual Arsacid . Every moment they were ready to overthrow the reigning monarch and to seat another on his throne . The kings, for their part, sought
See also:protection in craft, treachery and cruelty, and only succeeded in aggravating the situation . More especially they saw an enemy in every prince, and the worst of enemies in their own sons . Sanguinary crimes were thus of everyday occurrence in the royal
See also:house-hold; and frequently it was merely a
See also:matter of chance whether the father anticipated the son, or the son the father . The conditions were the same as obtained subsequently under the
See also:Caliphate (q.v.) and the empire of the Ottomans . The internal history of the Parthian dominion is an unbroken sequence of civil war and dynastic strife . For the literature dealing with the Parthian Empire and
See also:numismatics, see PARTHIA, under which heading will be found a complete list of the kings, so far as we are able to reconstitute them . These conditions elucidate the fact that the Parthian Empire, though founded on annexation and perpetually menaced by hostile arms in both the East and the West, yet Later His-never took a strong offensive after the days of tors- of the Mithradates II .
It was bound to protect itself Arsacid against Scythian aggression in the East and Bmpire . Roman aggression in the West . To maintain, or regain, the suzerainty over Mesopotamia and the vassal states of that region, as also over Atropatene and Armenia, was its most imperative task . Yet it always remained on the defensive and even so was towards hoped to
See also:play some part in the world and was not so Hellenism. utterly secluded as Persis and Atropatene; and the Arsacids entertained the less thought of opposition as they were destitute of an independent national basis . All their lacking in energy . Whenever it made an effort to enforce its claims, it retreated so soon as it was confronted by a resolute foe . Thus the wars between Parthia and Rome proceeded, not from the Parthians—deeply injured though they were by the wars with encroachments of Pompey—but from Rome herself. crassus and Rome had been obliged, reluctantly enough, to enter Aatonh,s. upon the inheritance of Alexander the Great; and, since the time of Pompey, had definitely subjected to he; dominion the Hellenistic countries as far as the Euphrates . Thus the task now faced them of annexing the
See also:remainder of the Macedonian Empire, the whole East from the Euphrates to the Indus, and of thereby saving Greek civilization (cf . Plut . Comp . Nic. et Crass . 4) .
The aristocraticrepublic quailed before such an enterprise, though Lucullus, at the height of his successes, entertained the thought (Plut . Luc . 30) . But the ambitious men, whose goal was to erect their own sovereignty on the ruins of the republic, took up the project . With this
See also:objective M .
See also:Licinius €rassus, the triumvir, in 54 B.C., took the aggressive against Parthia, the occasion being favourable owing to the dynastic troubles between Orodes I., the son of Phraates XI., and his brother Mithradates III . Crassus fell on the field of Carrhae (June 9, 53 B.C.) . With this Mesopotamia was regained by the Parthians, and King Artavasdes of Armenia now entered their alliance . But, apart from the ravaging of Syria (51 B.C.) by
See also:Pacorus the son of Orodes, the threatened attack on the Roman Empire was carried into effect neither then nor during the civil wars of Caesar and Pompey . At the time of his assassination Caesar was
See also:intent on resuming the expedition of Crassus . The Parthians formed a league with
See also:Brutus and Cassius, as previously with Pompey, but gave them no support, until in 40 B.C. a Parthian army, led by Pacorus and the republican general
See also:Labienus, harried Syria and Asia Minor . But it was easily repulsed by Ventidius Bassus, the
See also:lieutenant of Mark Antony .
Pacorus himself fell on the 9th of June 38 B.C. at Gindarus in northern Syria . Antony then attacked the Parthians in 36 B.C., and penetrated through Armenia into Atropatene, but was defeated by Phraates IV.—who in 37 B.C. had murdered his father Orodes I.—and compelled toretreat with heavy losses . The continuation of the war was frustrated by the conflict with Octavian . Armenia alone was again subdued in 34 B.C. by Antony, who treacherously captured and executed King Artavasdes . Roman opinion universally expected that
See also:Augustus would take up the work of his predecessors, annihilate the Parthian Pol>cyoi dominion, and subdue the East as far as the Augustus . Indians, Scythians and Seres (cf . Horace and the other Augustan poets). iBut Augustus disappointed these expectations . His whole policy and the needs of the newly organized Roman Empire demanded peace . His efforts were devoted to reaching a modus vivendi, by which the authority of Rome and her most:vital claims might be peacefully vindicated . This the weakness of Parthia enabled him to effect without much difficulty . His endeavours were seconded by the revolt of Tiridates II., before whom Phraates IV. was compelled to flee (32 B.C.), till restored by the Scythians . Augustus
See also:lent no support to Tiridates in his second
See also:march on Ctesiphon (26 B.c.), but Phraates was all the more inclined on that account to stand on good terms with him .
Consequently in 20 B.C., he restored the
See also:standards captured in the victories over Crassus and Antony, and recognized the Roman suzerainty over Osroene and Armenia . In return, the Parthian dominion in Babylonia and the other vassal states was left undisputed . Thus it was due not to the successes and strength of the Parthians but entirely to the principles of Roman policy as defined by Augustus that their empire appears as a second great independent power, side by side with Rome . The precedence of the Caesars, indeed, was always admitted by the Arsacids; and- Phraates IV. soon entered into a state of dependency on Rome by sending (9 B.C.) four of his sons as hostages to Augustus—a convenient method of obviating the danger threatened in their person, without the
See also:necessity of killing them . In 4 B.C., however, Phraates was assassinated by his favourite wife Musa and her son Phraates V . In the subsequent broils a Parthian
See also:faction obtained the
See also:release of one of the princes interned in Rome as
See also:Vonones I . (A.D . 8) . He failed, however, to maintain his position for long . He was a stranger to the Parthian customs, and the feeling of shame at dependency on the foreigner was too strong . So the
See also:rival faction brought out another .Arsacid,
See also:resident among the Scythian nomads, Artabanus II., who easily expelled Vonones—only to create a host of enemies by his brutal cruelty, and to call forth fresh disorders . Similar proceedings were frequently repeated in the period following .
In the intervals the Parthians made several attempts to reassert their dominion over Armenia and there install an Arsacid prince ; but on each occasion velgn s1 ~ Vologaeses / . they retreated without giving battle so soon as the Romans prepared for war . Only the dynasty of Atropatene was finally deposed and the country placed under an Arsacid ruler . Actual war with Rome broke out under Vologaeses I . (51-77), who made his brother Tiridates king of Armenia . After protracted hostilities, in which the Roman army was commanded by Cn . DomitiusCorbulo, a peace was concluded in A.D . 63, confirming the Roman suzerainty over Armenia but recognizing Tiridates as king (see CORBULO) . Tiridates himself visited Rome and was there invested with the diadem by
See also:Nero (A.D . 66) . After that Armenia continued under the rule of an Arsacid dynasty . These successes of Vologaeses were counterbalanced by serious losses in the East .
He was hampered in an energetic campaign against Rome by attacks of the Dahae and Sacae . Hyrcania, also, revolted and asserted its independence under a separate line of kings . A little later, the Alans, a great Iranian tribe in the south of Russia—the ancestors of the present-day Ossets—broke for the first time through the Caucasian passes, and ravaged Media and Armenia—an incursion which they often repeated in the following centuries . On the other side, the reign of Vologaeses I. is characterized by a great advance in the Oriental reaction against Hellenism . The line of Arsacids which came to the throne in the person of Artabanus II . (A.D. ro) stands in open opposition to the old kings with their leanings to Rome and, at least external, tinge of Hellenism . The new regime obviously laid much more stress on the Oriental character of their state, though
See also:Philostratus, in his life of
See also:Apollonius of Tyana(who visited the Parthian court), states that
See also:Vardanes I . (A.D . 40—45), the rival king to the brutal
See also:Gotarzes (A.D . 40-51), was a cultivated man (Vit . Ap. i . 22, 28, 31 sqq.); and Vologaeses I. is distinguished by the excellent relations which subsisted all his life between himself and his
See also:brothers Pacorus and Tiridates, the kings of Media and Armenia .
But the coins of Vologaeses I. are quite barbarous, and for the first time on some of them appear theinitials of the name of the king in Aramaic letters by the side of the Greek legend . The Hellenism of Seleucia was now attacked with greater determination . For seven years (A.D . 37-43) the city maintained itself in open rebellion (Tac . Ann. xi . 8 seq.), till at last it surrendered to Vardanes, who in consequence enlarged Ctesiphon, which was afterwards fortified by Pacorus (A.D . 78—105: v . Ammian . 23, 6, 23) . In the neighbourhood of the same town Vologaeses I. founded a city Vologesocerta (Balashkert), to which he attempted to transplant the population to Seleucia (Plin. vi . 122: cf . Th .
Noldeke in Zeitschr. d. deutsch. morgenl . Gesellschaft, xxviii.,
See also:loo) . Another of his foundations was Vologesias (the Arabian Ullaish), situated near
See also:Hira on the Euphrates, south of Babylon, which did appreciable damage to the commerce of Seleucia and is often mentioned in inscriptions as the destination of the Palmyrene caravans . After Vologaeses I. follows a period of great disturbances . The
See also:literary tradition, indeed, deserts us almost entirely, but the coins ,and isolated literary references prove that during the years A.D . 77 to 147, two kings, and sometimes three or more, were often reigning concurrently (Vologaeses II . 77-79, and 111—147; Pacorus 78-c . 105;
See also:Osroes 106—129; Mithradates V . 129-147: also Artabanus III . 8o-81; Mithradates IV. and his son Sanatruces II . 115; and Parthamaspates r16-117) . Obviously the empire can never have been at peace during these years, a fact which materially assisted the aggressive campaigns Wars with of Trajan (113-117) .
Trajan resuscitated the Traian and old project of Crassus and Caesar, by which the
See also:Marcus empire of Alexander as far as India was to be won A"`ei"'s' for Western civilization . In pursuance of this plan he reduced Armenia, Mesopotamia and Babylonia to the position of imperial provinces . On his death, however,
See also:Hadrian immediately reverted to the Augustan policy and restored the conquests . Simultaneously there arose in the East the powerful Indo-Scythian empire of the Kushana, which doubtless limited still further the Parthian possessions in eastern Iran . An era of quiet seems to have returned with Vologaeses III . (147-191), and we hear no more of rival kings . With the Roman Empire a profound peace had reigned since Hadrian (117), which was first disturbed by the attack of Marcus Aurelius and Aelius Verus in 162 . This war, which broke out on the question of Armenia and Osroene, proved of decisive significance for the future development of the East, for, in its course, Seleucia was destroyed by the Romans tinder Avidius Cassius (164) . The downfall of the great Greek city sealed the fate of Hellenism in the countries east of the Euphrates . Henceforward Greek culture practically vanishes and gives place to Aramaic; it is significant that in future the kings of Mesene stamped their coinage with Aramaic legends . This Aramaic victory was powerfully aided by the ever-increasing progress of
See also:Christianity, which soon created, as is well known, an Aramaic literature Christianity. of which the language was the dialect of Edessa, a city in which the last king of Osroene,
See also:Abgar IX . (179-214), had been converted to the faith .
After that Greek culture and Greek literature were only accessible to the Orientals in an Aramaic dress . Vologaeses III. is probably also the king Valgash, who, according to a native tradition, preserved in the Dinkart, began a collection of the sacred writings of Zoroaster—the origin of the Avesta which has come down to us . This would show how the national Iranian element in the Parthian Empire was continually gathering strength . The Roman war was closed in 165 by a peace which ceded north-west Mesopotamia to Rome . Similar conflicts took place in 195-202 between Vologaeses IV . (191-209) and SeptimiusSeverus, and again in 216-217 between Artabanus IV . (2o9-226) and Caracalla . They failed, however, to affect materially the position of the two empires . should have endured some 350 years after its foundation by Ardash;ri . Mithradates I. and Phraates II., was a result, not of internal strength, but of chance working in its external development . It might equally well have so existed for centuries more . But under Artabanus IV. the catastrophe came .
In his days there arose in Persis—precisely as Cyrus had arisen under
See also:Astyages the Mede—a great
See also:personality . Ardashir (Artaxerxes) I., son of Papak (Babek), the descendant of Sasan, was the
See also:sovereign of one of the small states into which Persis had gradually fallen . His father Papak had taken possession of the district of Istakhr, which had replaced the old Persepolis, long a mass of ruins . Thence Ardashir I., who reigned from about A.D . 212, subdued the neighbouring poten- tates—disposing of his own brothers among the rest . This proceeding quickly led to war with his suzerain Artabanus IV . The conflict was protracted through several years, and the Parthians were worsted in three battles . The last of these witnessed the fall of Artabanus (A.D . 226), though a Parthian king, Artavasdes—perhaps a son of Artabanus IV.—who is only known to us from his own coins, appears to have retained a portion of the empire for some time longer . The members of the Arsacid line who fell into the hands of the victor were put to death; a number of the princes found refuge in Armenia, where the Arsacid dynasty maintained itself till A.D . 429 . The remainder of the vassal states—Carmania, Susiana, Mesene —were ended by Ardashir; and the autonomous desert fortress of Hatra in Mesopotamia was destroyed by his son Shapur (Sapor) I., according to the Persian and Arabian traditions, which, in this point, are deserving of
See also:credence .
The victorious Ardashir then took possession of the palace of Ctesiphon and assumed the title " King of the kings of the Iranians " ((3aatXeus i3aWLXEWV 'Apravwv) . The new empire founded by Ardashir I.—the Sassanian, or Neo-Persian Empire—is essentially different from that of his Arsacid predecessors . It is, rather, a continua- sassanian tion of the Achaemenid traditions which were still wars with alive on their native
See also:soil . Consequently the national Rome. impetus—already clearly revealed in the title of the new sovereign—again becomes strikingly manifest . The Sassanian Empire, in fact, is once more a national Persian or Iranian Empire . The religious element is, of course, inseparable from the national, and Ardashir, like all the dynasts of Persis, was an ardent devotee of the Zoroastrian
See also:doctrine, and closely connected with the priesthood . In his royal
See also:style he assumed the designation " Mazdayasnian" (MaQ4l&o 'as), and the fire-cult was everywhere vigorously disseminated . Simultaneously the old claims to world dominion made their reappearance . After the defeat of Artabanus, Ardashir, as heir of the Achaemenids, formulated his pretensions to the dominion of western Asia (Dio . Lass . 8o, 3; Herodian vi . 2, 4; Zonar. xii .
15; similarly under Shapur II.: Ammian . Marc. xvii . 5, 5) . He attacked Armenia, though without permanent success (cf. von Gutschmid in Zeitschr. d. d. morgenl . Ges. xxxi . 47, on the fabulous Armenian account of these wars), and despatched his armies against Roman Mesopotamia . They strayed as far as Syria and Cappadocia . The inner decay of the Roman Empire, and the widespread tendency of its troops to
See also:mutiny and usurpation, favoured his enterprise . Nevertheless, the armies of Alexander Severus, supported by the king of Armenia, succeeded in repelling the Persians, though the Romans sustained severe losses (231-233) . Towards the end of his reign Ardashir resumed the attack; while his son Shapur I . (241-272) reduced Nisibis and Carrhae and penetrated into Syria, but was defeated by Shaper[
See also:Gordian III. at Resaena (243) . Soon afterwards, however, the Roman Empire seemed to collapse utterly .
The Goths defeatedDecius (251) and harried the Balkan Peninsula and Asia Minor, while insurrections broke out everywhere and the legions created one Caesar after the other . Then Shapur resumed the war, subdued Armenia and plundered Antioch . The emperor
See also:Valerian, who marched to encounter him, was overthrown at Edessa and taken prisoner (26o) . The Persian armies advanced into Cappadocia; but here Ballista or Balista (d. c . 264)
See also:beat them back, and Odenathus (Odainath), prince of
See also:Palmyra (q.v.), rose in their
See also:rear, defeated Shapur, captured his harem, and twice forced his way to Ctesiphon (263-265) . Shapur was in no position to repair the defeat, or even to hold Armenia; so that the Sassanid power failed to pass the
See also:bounds of the Arsacid Empire . Nevertheless Shapur I., in contrast to his father, assumed the title " King of the kings of the Iranians and non-Iranians" (/3aa Xeis f3acn.Xcav 'Apcavwv xal 'Avaptavmv; shah an shah Iran we Aniran), thus emphasizing his claim to world dominion . His successors retained the designation, little as it corresponded to the facts, for the single non-Iranian land governed by the Sassanids was, as under the Parthians, the district of the Tigris and Euphrates as far as the Mesopotamian desert; western and northern Mesopotamia remained Roman . The Sassanid ruler is the representative of the " Kingly Majesty," derived from Ormuzd, which appears in the Avesta as the
See also:angel Kavaem Hvareno, " the royal
See also:glory," and, according to Organize legend, once beamed in the Iranian kings, unattainable to tirga all but those of royal blood . A picture, which frequently recurs in the
See also:rock-reliefs of Ardashir I. and Shapur I., represents the king and the god Ormuzd both on horseback, the latter in the
See also:act of handing to his
See also:companion the ring of sovereignty . Thus it is explicable that all the Sassanids, as many of the Arsacids before them, include the designation of god " in their formal style . From this developed (as already under the Arsacids) that strict principle of
See also:legitimacy which is still vigorous in Firdousi .
It applies, however, to the whole royal house, precisely as in the
See also:Ottoman Empire of to-day . The person of the individual ruler is, on the other hand; a matter of indifference . He can readily be removed and replaced by another; but no usurper who was not of the legitimate blood can hope co become the genuine king . Therefore the native tradition carries the Sassanid line back to the Achaemenids and, still further, to the kings of the legendary period . Officially the king is all-powerful, and his will, which is guided by God and bound up in His law, unfettered . Thus, externally, he is surrounded by all the splendour of sovereignty; on his head he wears a great and resplendent
See also:crown, with a high circular centre-piece; he is clothed in gold and jewels; round him is a brilliant court, composed of his submissive servants . He sits in dazzling state on his throne in Ctesiphon . All who approach fling them-selves to the ground, life and death depend on his nod . Among his people he is accounted the fairest, strongest and wisest man of the empire; and from him is required the practice of all piety and virtue, as well as skill in the chase and in arms—especially the bow . Ardashir I., moreover, and his successors endeavoured to establish the validity of the royal will by absorbing the vassal states and instituting a firmer organization . Nevertheless they failed to attain the complete independence and power of the Achaemenids . Not strong enough to break up the nobility, with its great estates, they were forced to utilize its services and still further to promote its interests; while their dependence on its good-will and assistance led inevitably to incessant gifts of money, lands and men .
This state of affairs had also prevailed under the later Achaemenids, and had materially contributed to the disintegration of the empire and the numerous insurrections of the satraps . But the older Achaemenids held an entirely different position; and hardly a single Sassanid enjoyed even that degree of power which was still retained by the later Achaemenids . It was of fundamental importance .that the Sassanian Empire could not make good its claim to world dominion; and, in spite of the title of its kings, it always remained essentially the kingdom of Iran—or rather west Iran, together with the districts on the Tigris and Euphrates . This fact, again, is most closely connected with its military and administrative organization . The external and internal conditions of the empire are in mutual reaction upon one another . The empire, which in extent did not exceed that of the Arsacids with its vassal states, was protected on the east and west by the great deserts of central Iran and Mesopotamia . For the defence of these provinces the mounted archers, who formed the basis of the army, possessed adequate strength; and though the Scythian nomads from the east, or the Romans from the west, might occasionally penetrate deep into the country, they never succeeded in maintaining their position . But the power of the neo-Persian Empire was not great enough for further conquests, though its army was capable and animated by a far stronger national feeling than that of the Parthians . It still consisted, however, of levies from theretinue of the magnates led by their territorial lords; and, although these troops would stream in at the beginning of a war, they could not be kept permanently together . For, on the one hand, they were actuated by the most varied personal interests and antipathies, not all of which the king could satisfy; on the other hand he could not, owing to the natural character and organization of his dominions, maintain and pay a large army for any length of time . Thus the great hosts soon melted away, and a war, begun successfully, ended ingloriously, and often disastrously . Under such circumstances an elaborate
See also:tactical organization employing different
See also:species of arms, or the execution of a comprehensive plan of campaign, was out of the question .
The successes of the Sassanids in the east were gained in the later period of their dominion; and the Roman armies, in spite of decay in discipline and military spirit, still remained their tactical and strategical superiors . A great victory might be won—even an emperor might be captured, like Valerian—but immediately afterwards successes, such as those gained against Shapur I . (who was certainly an able general) by Ballista and Odenathus of Palmyra, or the later victories ofCarus, Julian and others, demonstrated how far the Persians were from being on an equality with the Romans . That Babylonia permanently remained a Sassanian province was due merely to the
See also:geographical conditions and to the political situation of the Roman Empire, not to the strength of the Persians . Among the magnates six great houses—seven, if we include the royal house—were still regarded .as the foremost, precisely as The under the Achaemenids, and from these were
See also:drawn Nohility. the generals, crown officials and governors (cf . Procop . Pers. i . 6, 13 sqq.) . In the last of these positions we frequently find princes of the blood, who then bear the royal title (shah) . Some of these houses—whose origin the legends derive from King Gushtasp (i.e . Vishtaspa), the protector of Zoroaster (Marquart, Zeitschr. d. d. morgenl . Ges. xlix .
635 sqq.), already existed under the Arsacids, e.g. the Suren (Surenas, vide supra, p . 798) and
See also:Karen (Carenes, Tac . Ann. xii . 12 sqq.), who had obviously embraced the cause of the victorious dynasty at the correct moment and so retained their position . The name Pahlavan, moreover, which denoted the Parthian magnates, passed over into the new empire . Below these there was an inferior nobility, the dikhans (" village-lords ") and the " knights " (aswar) ; who, as among the Parthians, took the field in heavy scale-
See also:armour . To an even greater extent thanunder the Arsacids the empire was subdivided into a host of small provinces, at the head of each being a Marzban (" boundary-
See also:lord," ` lord of the
See also:marches ") . These were again comprised in four great districts . With each of these local potentates the king could
See also:deal with as scant
See also:consideration as he pleased, always provided that he had the power or understood the
See also:art of making himself feared . But to break through the system or replace it by another was impossible . In fact he was compelled to proceed with great caution whenever he wished to elevate a favourite of humbler origin to an
See also:office which
See also:custom reserved for the nobility . Thus it is all the more worthy of recognition that the Sassanian Empire was a fairly orderly empire, with an excellent legal administration, and that the later sovereigns did their utmost to repress the encroachments of the nobility, to protect the commonalty, and, above all, to carry out a just system of
See also:taxation .
Side by side with the nobles ranked the spiritual chiefs, now afar more powerful
See also:body than under the Arsacids . Every larger district had its upper Magian (Magupat, mobed, i.e . Religious Lord of the Magians ") . At their head was the supreme Mobed, resident in Rhagae (Rai), who was re- Developgarded as the successor of Zoroaster . In the new empire, ment . of which the king and people were alike zealous professors of the true faith, their influence was extraordinarily strong (cf .
See also:Agathias ii . 26)—comparable to the influence of the priesthood in later Egypt, and especially in
See also:Byzantium and
See also:medieval Christendom . As has already been indicated, it was in their religious attitudes that the essential difference lay between the Sassanid Empire and the older Iranian states . But, in details, the fluctuations were so manifold that it is necessary at this point to enter more fully into the historyy of Persian religion (cf. especially H . Gelzer, " Eznik u. d . Entwickel. des pers .
Religions-systems," in the Zeitschr. f. armen . Philol . i . 149 sqq.) . The Persian religion, as we have seen, spread more and more widely after the Achaemenian period . In the Indo-Scythian Empire the Persian gods were zealously worshipped; in Armenia the old national religion was almost entirely banished by the Persian cults (Gelzer, " Zur armen . Gotterlehre," in Ber. d. sacks . Gesch. d . Wissensch., 1895) ; in Cappadocia, North Syria and the west of Asia Minor, the Persian gods were everywhere adored side by side with the native deities . It was in the thirdcentury that the cult of Mithras, with its mysteries and a
See also:theology evolved from Zoroastrianism, attained the widest diffusion in all Latin-speaking provinces of the Roman dominion; and it even seemed for a while as though the Sol invictus Mithras, highly favoured by the Caesars, would become the official deity-in-chief of the empire . But in all these cults the Persian gods are perfectly tolerant of other native or foreign divinities; vigorous as was their propagandism, it was yet equally far removed from an attack on other creeds . Thus this Parseeism always bears a syncretic character; and the supreme god of Zoroastrian theory, Ahuramazda (i.e .
See also:Jupiter), in practice yields place to his attendant deities, who work in the world and are able to lead the believer, who has been initiated and keeps the commandments of purity, to salvation . But, meanwhile, in its Iranian home and especially in Persis, the religion of Zoroaster lived a quiet life, undisturbed by the proceedings of the outside world . Here the poems of the
See also:prophet and fragments of ancient religious literature survived, understood by the Magians and rendered accessible to the faithful laity by versions in the modern dialect (Pahlavi) . Here the opposition between the good spirit of
See also:light and the demons of evil—between Ormuzd and Ahriman—still remained the
See also:dogma of the creed; while all other gods and angels, however estimable their aid, were but subordinate servants of Ormuzd, whose highest manifestation on earth was not the
See also:sun-god Mithras, but the
See also:holy fire guarded by his priests . Here all the prescriptions of purity—partly connected with national customs, and impossible of execution abroad—were diligently observed; and even the
See also:injunction not to pollute earth with corpses, but to cast out the dead to
See also:vulture and
See also:dog, was obeyed in its full force . At the same time Ahuramazda preserved his character as a national god, who bestowed on his worshippers victory and world dominion . In the sculptures of the Sassanids, as also in Armenian traditions, he appears on horse-back as a war-god . Here, again, the theology was further developed, and an attempt made to annul the old dualism by envisaging both Ormuzd and
See also:Ahriman as emanations of an original principle of infinite time (Zervan), a doctrine which long enjoyed official validity under the Sassanids till, in the reign of
See also:Chosroes I., " the
See also:sect of Zervanites " was pronounced heretical.' But, above all, the ritual and the doctrine of purity were elaborated and expanded, and there was evolved a complete and detailed system of casuistry, dealing with all things allowed and forbidden, the forms of pollution and the expiation for each, &c., which, in its arid and spiritless monotony vividly recalls the similar prescriptions in the
See also:Pentateuch . The consequences of this development were that orthodoxy and literal obedience to all priestly injunctions now assumed an importancefar greater than previously; henceforward, the great commandment of Zoroastrianism, as of Judaism, is to combat the heresies 1It may be observed that this innovation was also known to the Mithras-cult of the West, wh're Zervan appears as a 6a . Military Achievements . of the
See also:heathen, a
See also:movement which had "already had an energetic representative in the prophet himself . Heathenish cults and for-bidden manners and customs are a pollution to the land and a deep insult to the true God .
See also:duty of the believer is to combat and destroy the unbeliever and the heretic . In short, th'e tolerance of the Achaemenids and the indifference of the Arsacids are now replaced by intolerance and religious persecution . Such were the views in which Ardashir I.
See also:grew up, and in their energetic
See also:prosecution he found a potent instrument for the building up of his empire . It has previously been mentioned that Vologaeses III. had already begun a collection of the holy writings; and the task was resumed under Ardashir . At his order the orthodox doctrines and texts were compiled by the high
See also:priest Jansar; all divergent theories were prohibited and their adherents proscribed . Thus arose the Avesta, the sacred
See also:book of the
See also:Parsees . Above all, the sacred book of laws, the Vendidad, breathes through-out the spirit of the Sassanian period, in its intolerance, its casuistry degenerating into absurdity, and its soulless monotony . Subscription to the restored orthodox doctrine was to the Iranian a matter of course . The schismatics Ardashir imprisoned for a year; if, at its expiration, they still refused to listen to reason, and remained stiff-necked, they were executed . It is even related that, in his zeal for uniformity of creed, Ardashir wished to extinguish the holy fires in the great cities of the empire and the Parthian vassal states, with the exception of that which burned in the residence of the dynasty . This plan he was unable to execute . In Armenia, also, Ardashir and Shapur, during the period of their occupation, sought to introduce the orthodox religion, destroyed the heathen images—even those of the Iranian gods which were here considered heathen,—and turned the shrines into fire-altars (Geiser, Ber. sacks .
Ges. p . 135, 1895) . Shapur I., who appears to have had a broader outlook, added to the religious writings a collection of scientific
See also:treatises on
See also:medicine, astronomy,
See also:mathematics, philosophy, zoology, &c., partly from Indian and Greek sources . This religious development was most strongly influenced by the fact that, meanwhile, a powerful opponent of Zoroastrianism had Relation arisen with an equally zealous propagandism and an to Ghrlti- equal exclusiveness and intolerance . More especially antty. in the countries of the Tigris and Euphrates, now
See also:alto- gether Aramaic, Christianity had everywhere gained a firm footing., But its missionary enterprise stretched over the whole of Iran, and even farther . The time was come when, in the western and eastern worlds alike, the religious question was for large masses of people the most important question in life, and the diffusion of their own creed and the suppression of all others the highest and holiest of tasks . The man who thinks thus knows no compromise, and so Zoroastrianism and Christianity confronted each other as mortal enemies . Still the old idea that every religion contained a portion of the truth, and that it was possible to
See also:borrow something from one and amalgamate it with another, had not yet lost all its power . From such a conception arose the teaching of Mani or
See also:Manes . For
See also:Manichaeism (q.v.) is an attempt to weld the Manlc6ae- doctrine of the
See also:Gospel and the doctrine of Zoroaster team. into a
See also:uniform system, though naturally not without an admixture of other elements, principally Babylonian and Gnostic . Mani, perhaps a Persian from Babylonia, is said to have made his first appearance as a teacher on the
See also:coronation day of Shapur I . At all events he found numerous adherents, both at court and among the magnates of the empire .
The king even inclined to him, till in a great disputation the Magians gained the predominance . None the less Mani found means to diffuse his creed far and wide over the whole empire . Even the heir to the throne,
See also:Hormizd I . (reigned 272-273), was favourably disposed to him; but Shapur's younger son, Bahram I . (273-276), yielded to sacerdotal pressure, and Mani was executed . After that Manichaeism was persecuted and extirpated in Iran . Yet it maintained itself not merely in the west, where its head resided at Babylon—propagating thence far into the Roman Empire—but also in the east, in Khorasan and beyond the bounds of the Sassanian dominion . There the seat of its pontiff was at
See also:Samarkand; thence it penetrated into Central Asia, where, buried in the desert sands which entomb the cities of eastern Turkestan, numerous fragments of the works of Mani and his disciples, in the Persian language (Pahlavi) and Syrian script, and in an East Iranian dialect, called Sogdian, which was used by the Manichaeans of Central Asia, have been discovered (K . Muller, Handschriftenreste in Estrangelo-schrift aus Turfan, in Chinesisch-Turkestan," in Abh. d. berl . Akad., 1904) ; among them
See also:translations of texts of the New Testament (K . Muller, Berichte der Berl., 1907, p . 26o seq.) .
In these texts God the Father is identified with the Zervan of Zarathustrism, thedevil with . Ahriman . The further religious development of the Sassanid Empire will be touched upon later . ' For the
See also:propagation and history of the Christians in the Sassanid Empire, cf . Labourt, Le Christianisme daps l'empire perse sous la dynastie sassanide (1904);
See also:Harnack, Die Mission and Ausbreitung des Christenthums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten, 2 . Aufl . (1906), Bd . II. p . 121 seq . ;
See also:Chabot, Synodicon orientate (1902) (a collection of the acts of the Nestorian synods held under the rule of the Sassanids) . Like the Arsacids the kings resided in Ctesiphon, where, out of the vast palace built by Chosroes I., a portion at least of the great
See also:hall is still erect . On the ruins of Seleucia, on the Archttedure opposite bank of the Tigris, Ardashir I. built the city arch''e t of Veh-Ardashir ("good is Ardashir"), to which the later kings added new towns, or rather new quarters .
In Susiana Shapur I. built the great city of Gondev-Shapur, which succeeded the ancient capital of the Persian Empire . At the same time the
See also:mother-country again gained importance; especially the capital of Persis, Istakhr, which had replaced the former Persepolis (now the ruins of Hajji-abad) . Farther in the south-east, Ardashir I. built Gur (now
See also:Firuzabad), under the name of Ardashir-khurre (" the glory of Ardashir ") . At these places and in Sarwistan, near
See also:Shiraz and elsewhere, lie ruins of the Sassanid palaces, which in their design go back to the Achaemenid architecture, blending with it, however, Graeco-Syrian elements and serving in their turn as
See also:models for the structures of the Caliphs (see ARCHITECTURE: § Sassanian) . After its long quiescence under the Arsacids native art underwent a general
See also:renaissance, which, though not aspiring to the Achaemenian creations, was still of no small importance . Of the Sassanian rock-sculptures some have already been mentioned ; besides these, numerous engraved signet-stones have been preserved . The
See also:metal-work, carpets and fabrics of this period enjoyed a high reputation; they were widely distributed and even influenced western art . In the intellectual life and literature of the Sassanid era the main characteristic is the complete disappearance of Hellenism and the Greek language . Ardashir I. and Shapur I. still Literature. appended Greek translations to some of their inscrip- tions; but all of later date are drawn up in Pahlavi alone . The coins invariably bear a Pahlavi legend—on the obverse the king's head with his name and title; on the
See also:reverse, a fire-altar (generally with the ascription " fire of Ardashir, Shapur, &c,," i.e. the fire of the royal palace), and the name of the place of coinage, usually abbreviated . The real missionaries of culture in the empire were the Aramaeans (Syrians), who were connected with the West by their Christianity, and in their translations diffused Greek literature through the Orient . But there also developed a rather extensive Pahlavi literature, not limited to religious subjects, but containing works in belles lettres, modernizations of the old Iranian sagas and native traditions, e.g. the surviving fabulous history of Ardashir I., ethical tales, &c., with translations of foreign literature, principally Indian,—one instance being the celebrated book of tales Kalilah and Dimnah (see
See also:SYRIAC LITERATURE), dating from Chosroes I., in whose reign
See also:chess also was introduced from India .
The fundamental work on Sassanian history is Theodor Ndldeke's Gesch. der Perser u . Araber zur Zeit der Sassaniden, aus der arabischen Chronik desTabari (1879, trans. with notes and excursuses chiefly on the chronology and organization of the empire) . On this is based Noldeke's Aufsatze zur pers . Gesch . (1887 ; containing a history of the Sassanian Empire, pp . 86 sqq.) . The only other works requiring mention are: G .
See also:Rawlinson, The Seventh Great Oriental Monarchy (1876), and F . Justi's
See also:sketch in the Grundriss der iranischen Philologie, vol. ii . (1904) . For the geography and numerous details of administration: J . Marquart, " Eranshahr " (Abh. d. gutting .
Ges. d . Wissensch., 1901) . For the numismatology the works of A . D . Mordtmann are of
See also:prime importance, especially his articles in the Zeitschr. d. d. morgenl . Ges . (1879), xxxiii . 113 sqq, and xxxiv. t sqq . (188o), where the inscriptions of the individual kings are also enumerated . Also Noldeke, ibid. xxxi . 147 sqq . (1877) .
For facsimiles of coins the principal work is J. de Bartholomaei, Collection de monnaies sassanides (2nd ed., St
See also:Petersburg, 1875): For the inscriptions:
See also:Edward Thomas, " Early Sassanian Inscriptions," Journ . R . A .
See also:Soc. vol. ii . (1868) ; West, ' Pahlavi Literature " in the Grundriss d. iron . Philol. vol. ii . For the monuments: Flandin and Coste, Voyage en Perse (1851); Stolze, Persepolis (1882); Fr . Sarre, Iran . Felsreliefs a. d . Z. der Achaemeniden and Sassaniden (1908) . In foreign policy the problems under the Sassanid kings2 2 List of kings (after Noldeke, Tabari, p . 435) .
Ardashir I., 226-241 . Ardashir II., 379-383 . Shapur I., 241-272 . Shapur III., 383-388 . Hormizd I., 272-273 . Bahram IV., 388-399 . Bahram I., 273-276 .Yazdegerd I., 399-420 . Bahram II., 276-293 . Bahram V., Gor . 420-438 . Bahram III., 293 .
Yazdegerd II., 438-457 . Narseh "(Narses), 293-302 . Hormizd III., 457-459 . Hormizd II., 302-310 .
See also:Peroz, 457-484 . Shapur II., 310-379 . Balash, 484-488 . remained as of old, the defence and, when possible, the expansion state, defection from the true faith pronounced a capital
See also:crime, of the eastern and western frontiers . In the first two centuries ylsto,y of the Sassanid Empire we hear practically nothing of the of its relations with the East . Only occasional sassanian notices show that the inroads of the Oriental nomads Empire' had not ceased, and that the extent of the empire had by no means exceeded the bounds of the Parthian dominion —Sacastene (Seistan) and western Afghanistan . Far to the east, on both sides of the Indus, the Kushana Empire was still in existence, though it was already hastening to decay, and about A.D . 320 was displaced from its position in India by the
See also:Gupta dynasty .
In the west the old conflict for Osroene and northern Mesopotamia (now Roman provinces), with the fortresses of Edessa, Carrhae and Nisibis, still smouldered . Armenia the Sassanids were all the more eager to regain, since there the Arsacid dynasty still survived and turned for protection to Rome, with whom, in consequence, new wars perpetually broke out . In the reign of Bahram II . (276-293), the emperor Carus, burning to avenge the disaster of Valerian, penetrated into Mesopotamia without
See also:meeting opposition, and reduced Coche (near Seleucia) and Ctesiphon; but his sudden death, in
See also:December of 283, precluded further success, and the Roman army returned home . Bahram, however, was unable to effect any-thing, as his brother Hormizd was in arms, supported by the Sacae and other tribes . (Mamertin, Panegyr . Maximin . 7 . Io; Genethl . Maximin . 5, 17.) He
See also:chose, consequently, to buy peace with
See also:Diocletian by means of presents . Some years later his
See also:uncle and successor, Narses, after subduing his rival Bahram III., occupied Armenia and defeated the emperor Galerius at Callinicum (296) .
But in the following year he sustained a severe reverse in Armenia, in which he lost his war-chest and harem . He then concluded a peace, by the terms of which Armenia remained under Roman suzerainty, and the
See also:steppes of northern Mesopotamia, with Singara and the hill-country on the left bank of the Tigris as far as Gordyene, were ceded to the victor (Ammian . Marc.
See also:xxv . 7, 9; Petr . Patr. fr . 13, 14; Rufus brev . 25) . In return Narses regained his household . This peace, ratified in 297 and completely expelling the Sassanids from the disputed districts, lasted for
See also:forty years . For the rest, practically nothing is known of the history of the first six successors of Shapur I . After the death of Hormizd II . (302-310), the son of Narses, the magnates imprisoned or put to death his adult sons, one of whom,
See also:Hormisdas, later escaped to the Romans, who used him as a pretender in their wars .
Shapur II., a
See also:child of the
See also:late king, was then raised to the throne, a
See also:proof that the great magnates held the sovereignty in their own hands and attempted to order matters at their own pleasure . Shapur, however, when he came to manhood proved himself an independent and energetic ruler . Meanwhile the Roman Empire had become Christian, the sequel of which was that the Syro-Christian population of Shaper Ir . Mesopotamia and Babylonia—even more than the Persecution Hellenic cities in former times—gravitated to the of the west and looked to Rome for deliverance from the Christians. infidel yoke . On similar grounds Christianity, as opposed to the Mazdaism enforced officially by the Sassanids, became predominant in Armenia . Between these two great creeds the old Armenian religion was unable to hold its own; as early as A.D . 294 King Tiridates was converted by
See also:Gregory the Illuminator and adopted the Christian faith . For this very reason the Sassanid Empire was the more constrained to
See also:champion Zoroastrianism . It was under Shapur II. that the compilation of the Avesta was completed and the state orthodoxy perfected by the chief mobed, Aturpad . All
See also:heresy was proscribed by the
See also:Kavadh I., 488-531 . (Bahram VI., Cobin, Bistam 590- (Djamasp, 496-498) . 596.) Chosroes (Khosrau) I., Anushir- Kavadh II., Sheroe, 628 .
See also:van, 531-579 . Ardashir III., 628-630 . Hormizd IV., 579-590 . (Shahrbaraz, 630.) Chosroes II., Parvez, 590-628 . (Boran and others, 630-632.) Yazdegerd III., 632-651 . On most of these kings there are separate articles . and the persecution of the heterodox—particularly the Christians—began (cf . Sachall, " Die rechtlichen Verhaltnisse der Christen in Sassanidenreich," in Mitteilungen des Seminars fiir orientalische Sprachen fiir Berlin, Bd . X.,
See also:Abt . 2, 1907) . Thus the duel between the two great empires now becomes simultaneously a duel between the two religions . In such a position of affairs a fresh war with Rome was inevitable.1 It was begun by Shapur in A.D .
337, the year that saw the death of
See also:Constantine the Great . The conflict centred round the Mesopotamian fortresses; Shapur thrice besieged Nisibis without success, but reduced several others, as Amida (359) and Singara (360), and transplanted great masses of inhabitants into Susiana . The emperor
See also:Constantius conducted the war feebly and was consistently beaten in the field . But, in spite of all, Shapur found it impossible to penetrate deeper into the Roman territory . He was hampered by the attack of nomadic tribes in the east, among whom the Chionites now begin to be mentioned . Year after year he took the field against them (353-358), till finally he compelled them to support him with auxiliaries (Ammian . Marc . 14, 3; 16, 9; 17, 5; 18, 4, 6) . With this war is evidently connected the foundation of the great town New-Shapur (Nishapur) in Khorasan . By the
See also:resolution of Julian (363) to begin an energetic attack on the Persian Empire, the conflict, after the lapse of a quarter of a century, assumed a new phase . Julian pressed forward to Ctesiphon but succumbed to a
See also:wound; and his successor Jovian soon found himself in such straits, that he could only extricate himself and his army by a disgraceful peace at the close of 363, which ceded the possessions on the Tigris and the great fortress of Nisibis, and pledged Rome to abandon Armenia and her Arsacid protege, Arsaces III., to the Persian . Shapur endeavoured to occupy Armenia and introduce the Zoroastrian orthodoxy .
He captured Arsaces III. by treachery and compelled him to commitsuicide; but the Armenian magnates proved refractory, placed Arsaces' son Pap on the throne, and found secret support among the Romans . This all but led to a new war; but in 374
See also:Valens sacrificed Pap and had him killed in
See also:Tarsus . The subsequent invasions of the Goths, in battle with whom Valens fell at Adrianople (375), definitely precluded Roman intervention; and the end of the Armenian troubles was that (c . 390) Bahram IV. and
See also:Theodosius the Great concluded a treaty which abandoned the extreme west of Armenia to the Romans and confirmed the remainder in the Persian possession . Thus peace and friendship could at last exist with Rome; and in 408 Yazdegerd I. contracted an alliance with Theodosius II . In Armenia the Persians immediately removed the last kings Armenia . of the house of Conquest of Arsaces (430), and thenceforward the main portion of the country remained a Persian province under the control of a marzban, though the Armenian nobles still made repeated attempts at insurrection . The introduction of Zoroastrianism was abandoned; Christianity was already far too deeply rooted . But the sequel to the Roman sacrifice of Armenian interests was that the Armenian Christians now seceded from the orthodoxy of Rome and Constantinople, and organized themselves into an independent national
See also:church . This church was due, before all, to the efforts of the Catholicos Sahak (390-439), whose colleague Mesrob, by his
See also:translation of the 'Bible, laid the foundations of an Armenian literature (see ARMENIAN CHURCH) . In the interior of the Sassanian Empire the old troubles broke out anew on the death of Shapur II . (379) .
At first the magnates raised his aged brother Ardashir II. to the throne, then in 383 deposed him and enthroned Shapur's son as Shapur III . In 388, however, he was assassinated, Yazdegerdl. as was also his brother, Bahram IV., in 399 . But the son of the latter, Yazdegerd I . (399-420), was an energetic and intelligent sovereign, who held the magnates within bounds and severely chastised their attempts at encroachment . He even sought to emancipate himself from the Magian Church, 1 For the succeeding events see also under ROME: Ancient History: and articles on the Roman emperors and Persian kings . put an end to the persecutions, and allowed the Persian Christians (Pahlavi), and declared its contents binding . Defection from Zoroastrianism was punished with death, and therefore also the proselytizing of the Christians, though the Syrian martyrologies prove that the kings frequently ignored these proceedings so long as it was at all possible to do so . Chosroes I. was one of the most illustrious sovereigns of the Sassanian Empire . From him dates a new and equitable
See also:adjustment of the imperial taxation, which was later adopted by the
See also:Arabs . His reputation as an enlightened ruler stood so high that when Justinian, in 529, closed the school of Athens, the last Neoplatonists bent their steps to him in hopes of finding in him the true philosopher-king . Their disillusionment, indeed, was speedy and complete, and their gratitude was great, when, by the conditions of the armistice of 549, he allowed their return . From 540 onward he conducted a great war against Justinian (527–565), which, though interrupted by several armistices, lasted till the fifty years' peace of 562 .
See also:net result, indeed, was merely to restore the status quo; but during the campaign Chosroes sacked Antioch and transplanted the population to a new quarter of Ctesiphon (540) . He also extended his power to the Black Sea and the
See also:Caucasus; on the other hand, a
See also:siege of Edessa failed (544) . A second war broke out in 577, chiefly on the question of Armenia and the Caucasus territory . In this Chosroes ravaged Cappadocia in 575; but the campaign in Mesopotamia was unsuccessful . In the
See also:interval between these two struggles (57o) he despatched assistance to the Arabs of
See also:Yemen, who had been assailed and subdued by the Abyssinian Christians; after which period Yemen remained nominally under Persian suzerainty till its fate was sealed by the conquests of Mahomet and
See also:Islam . Meanwhile, about A.D . 560, a new nation had sprung up in the East, the
See also:Turks . Chosroes concluded an alliance with them against the
See also:Ephthalites and so conquered pirst Ap-Bactria south of the
See also:Oxus, with its capital
See also:Balkh. perran of Thus this province, which, since the insurrection the Turks. of Diodotus in 25o B.C., had undergone entirely Sassanid different vicissitudes from the rest of Iran, was Bactria Coagaest of once more united to an Iranian Empire, and the Sassanid dominions, for the first time, passed the frontiers of the Arsacids . This, however, was the limit of their expansion . Neither the territories north of the Oxus, nor eastern Afghanistan and the Indus provinces, were ever subject to them . That the alliance with the Turks should soon
See also:change to hostility .and mutual attack was inevitable from the nature of the case; in the second Roman war the
See also:Turkish Khan was leagued with Rome . Chosroes bequeathed this war to his son Hormizd IV .
(579-590), who, in spite of repeated negotiations, failed to re-establish peace . Hormizd had not the ability to retain the authority of his father, and he further affronted the Magian priesthood by declining to proceed against the Christians and by requiring that, in his empire, both religions should dwell together in peace . Eventually he succumbed to a
See also:conspiracy of his magnates, at whose head stood the general Bahram Cobin, who had defeated the Turks, but afterwards was beaten by the Romans . Hormizd's son, Chosroes II., was set up against his father and forced to acquiesce in his execution . But immediately new risings broke out, in which Bahram Cobin—though not of the royal line—attempted to secure the crown, while simultaneously a Prince Chosroes It . Bistam entered the lists . Chosroes fled to the Romans and the emperor
See also:Maurice undertook his restoration at the head of a great army . The people flocked to his standard; Bahram Cobin was routed (591) and fled to the Turks, who slew him, and Chosroes once more ascended the throne of Ctesiphon; Bistam held out in Media till 596 . Maurice made no attempt to turn the opportunity to Roman advantage, and in the peace then concluded he even abandoned Nisibis to the Persians . Chosroes II . (59o—628) is distinguished by the surname of Parvez (" the conqueror "), though, in point of fact, he was immeasurably inferior to a powerful sovereign like his
See also:grand-father, or even to a competent general . He lived, however, to witness unparalleled vicissitudes of
See also:fortune .
The assassination an individual organization . In the Persian tradition he is consequently known as " the sinner." In the end he was probably assassinated . So great was the bitterness against him that the magnates would admit none of his sons to the throne . One of them, however, Bahram V., found an
See also:auxiliary in the Arab chief Mondhir, who had founded a principality in Hira, west of the lower Euphrates; and, as he pledged him- Bahram self to govern otherwise than his father, he received tior . general recognition . This
See also:pledge he redeemed, and he is, in consequence, the darling of Persian tradition, which bestows on him the title of Gor (" the wild ass "), and is eloquent on his adventures in the chase and in love . This reversal of policy led to a Christian persecution and a new war with Rome . Bahram, however, was worsted; and in the peace of 422 Persia agreed to allow the Christians free exercise of their religion in the empire, while the same privilege was accorded to Zoroastrian-ism by Rome . Under his son, Yazdegerd II . (438-457), who once more revived the persecutions of the Christians and the Jews, a short conflict with Rome again ensued (441): while at the same time war prevailed in the east against the remnants of the Kushan Empire and the tribe of Kidarites, also named
See also:Huns . Here a new foe soon arose in the shape of the Ephthalites (Haitab), also known as the " White Huns," a barbaric tribe TheBphtha- which shortly after A.D . 450 raided Bactria and ter-Res or minated the Kushana dominion (Procop .
Pers. i . 3) . WhfeHuns . These Ephthalite attacks harassed and weakened the Sassanids, exactly as the Tocharians had harassed and weakened the Arsacids after Phraates II . Peroz (457–484) fell in battle against them; his treasures and family were captured and the country devastated far and near . His brother Balash (484-488), being unable to repel them, was deposed and blinded, and the crown was bestowed on Kavadh I . (488–531), the son of Peroz . As the external and internal
See also:distress still continued he was dethroned and imprisoned, but took refuge among the Ephthalites and was restored in 499 by their assistance—like Kavadht. so many Arsacids by the arms of the Dahae and Sacae . To these struggles obviously must be attributed mainly the fact that in the whole of this period no Roman war broke out . But, at the same time, the religious' duel had lost in intensity, since, among the Persian Christians, the Nestorian doctrine was now dominant . Peroz had already favoured the diffusion of Nestorianism, and in 483 it was officially adopted by a synod, after which it remained the Christian Church of the Persian Empire, its head being the
See also:patriarch of Seleucia—Ctesiphon . Kavadh proved himself a vigorous ruler .
On his return he restored order in the interior . In 502 he attacked the TheMazda-Romans and captured and destroyed Amida (mod .
See also:kite red Diarbekr), but was compelled to ratify a peace owing to an inroad of the Huns . Toward the close of his reign (527) he resumed the war, defeating
See also:Belisarius at Callinicum (531), with the zealous support of the wild Arab Mondhir II. of Hira . On his death his son Chosroes I. concluded a peace with Justinian (532), pledging the Romans to an
See also:subsidy for the
See also:maintenance of the Caucasus fortresses . In his home policy Kavadh is reminiscent of Yazdegerd I . Like him he had little inclination to the orthodox church, and favoured Mazdak, the founder of a communistic sect which had made headway among the people and might be used as a weapon against the nobles, of whom Mazdak demanded that they should cut down their luxury and distribute their superfluous
See also:wealth . Another feature of his programme was the community of wives . The crown-prince, Chosroes, was, on the other hand, wholly orthodox; and, towards the close of his father's reign, in con- junction with the chief Magian, he carried through a sacrifice of the Mazdakites, who were butchered in a great
See also:massacre (528) . Chosroes I . (531–579), surnamed Anushirvan (" the blessed "), then restored the orthodox doctrine in full,
See also:publishing his decision in a religious edict . At the same time he produced the official exposition of the Avesta, an exegetical translation in the popular tongue Chosroes L .
Aauthirvan . of Maurice in 602 impelled him to a war of revenge against Rome, in the course of which his armies—in 6o8 and, again; in 615 and 626—penetrated as far asChalcedon opposite Constantinople, ravaged Syria, reduced Antioch (611),
See also:Damascus (613), and Jerusalem (614), and carried off the holy
See also:cross to Ctesiphon; in 619 Egypt was occupied . Meanwhile, the Roman Empire was at the lowest ebb . The great emperor
See also:Heraclius, who assumed the crown in 61o, took years to create the nucleus of a new military power . This done, however, he took the field in 623, and repaid the Persians with interest . Their armies were everywhere defeated . In 624 he penetrated into Atropatene (Azerbaijan), and there destroyed the great fire-temple; in 627 he advanced into the Tigris provinces . Chosroes at-tempted no resistance, but fled from his residence at Dastagerd to Ctesiphon . These proceedings, in conjunction with the avarice and licence of the king, led to revolution . Chosroes was deposed and slain by his son Kavadh II . (628); but the
See also:parricide died in a few months and absolute
See also:chaos resulted . A whole list of kings and pretenders—among them the General Shahrbaraz and Boran, a daughter of Chosroes—followed rapidly on one another; till finally the magnates united and, in 632, elevated a child to the throne, Yazdegerd III.,
See also:grandson of Chosroes .
In the interval—presumably during the reign of
See also:Queen Boranpeace was concluded with Heraclius, the old frontier being apparently restored . The cross had already been given back. to the emperor . Thus the
See also:hundred years' struggle between Rome and Persia, which had begun in 527 with the attack of the first Kavadh The Arab on Justinian, had run its fruitless course, utterly conquest. enfeebling both empires and consuming their powers . So it was that
See also:room was given to a new enemy who now arose between either state and either religion the Arabs and Islam . In the same year that saw the coronation of Yazdegerd IIL—the beginning of 633-the first Arab squadrons made their entry into Persian territory . After several encounters there ensued (637) the battle of Kadisiya (Qadisiya, Cadesia), fought on one of the Euphrates canals, where the fate of the Sassanian Empire was decided . A little previously, in the
See also:August of 636, Syria had fallen in a battle on the Yarmuk (Hieromax), and in 639 the Arabs penetrated into Egypt . The field of Kadisiya laid Ctesiphon, with all its treasures, at the mercy of the victor . The king fled to Media, where his generals attempted to organize the resistance; but the battle of
See also:Nehavend ( ? 64 r) decided matters there . Yazdegerd sought refuge in one province after the other, till, at last, in 651, he was assassinated in Mery (see CALIPHATE: § A, § 1) . Thus ended the empire of the Sassanids, no less precipitately and ingloriously than that of the Achaemenids .
By 65o the Arabs had occupied every province to Balkh and the Oxus . Only in the secluded districts of northern Media (Tabaristan), the " generals " of the house of •Karen (Spahpat, Ispehbed) maintained themselves for a century as vassals of the caliphs—exactly as Atropates and his dynasty had done before them . The fall of the empire sealed the fate of its religion . The Moslems officially tolerated the Zoroastrian creed, though occasional persecutions were not lacking . But little by little it vanished from Iran, with the exception of a few remnants (chiefly in the oasis ofYezd), the faithful finding a refuge in India at Bombay . These Parsees have preserved but a small part of the sacred writings; but to-day they still number their years by the era which begins on the 16th of June A.D . 632, with the accession of Yazdegerd III., the last king of their faith and the last lawful sovereign of Iran, on whom rested the god-given Royal Glory of Ormuzd . AuTxoRITrss.—Besides the works on special periods quoted above, the following general works should be consulted: Spiegel, Eranische Altertumshunde (3 vols., 1876 sqq.) ; W . Geiger and
See also:Ernst Kuhn, Grundriss der iranischen Philologie herausg., vol. ii . (Literature, History and Civilization, 1896 sqq.) ; G . Rawlinson, The Five Great Monarchies, The
See also:Sixth Monarchy, The Seventh Monarchy . Further the mutually supplementary work of Th .
Noldeke, Aufsatze zur persischen Geschichte (1887,
See also:Medea, Persians and Sassanids), and A. v . Gutschmid, Geschichte Irans von Alexander d . Gr. bis
See also:rum Untergang der Arsaciden (1888) . A valuable work of reference is F . Justi, Iranisches Namenbuch (1895) . The most important works on the monuments are : Flandin et
See also:Costa, Voyage en Perse (6 vols., 184o sqq.) ; Texier, L'Armi nie, la Perse, et la Mesopotamie (2 vols., 1842) ; Stolze, Persepolis (2 vols., 188z) ; Sarre, Iranische Felsreliefs (1908) . For works on the external history of Persia see those quoted under articles on Persian kings; also RoME; GREECE; EGYPT; SYRIA; &C . (ED . M.) B.—Transition Period: from the Fall of the Sassanid Dynasty to the Death of Timur (7405) . With the final defeat of the Sassanids under Yazdegerd III. at the battles of Kadisiya (Kadessia) (637) and Nehavend (641), Persia ceased to exist as a single political unit . The All country passed under a succession of alien rulers Rulers. who cared nothing for its ancient institutions or its religion . For about 150 years it was governed, first from Medina and afterwards from
See also:Bagdad, by officers of the Mahommedan caliphs whose principal aim it was to destroy the old
See also:nationality by the suppression of its religion .
The success of this policy was, however, only apparent, especially in Iran, the inhabitants of which adopted Islam only in the most superficial manner, and it was from Persia that the
See also:blow fell which' destroyed the Omayyad caliphate and set up the
See also:Abbasids in its place (see CALIPHATE) . Even before this event adventurers and dissatisfied Moslem officers had utilized the slumbering hostility of the Persian peoples to aid them in attacks on the caliphs (e.g . Ziyad, son of
See also:Abu Sofian, in the reign of Moawiya I.), and the policy of eastern expansion brought the Arab armies perpetually into the Persian provinces . In the reign of Merwan I. the Persians (who were mostly Shi'ites) under a Moslem officer named Mokhtar (Mukhtar), whom they regarded as their
See also:mandi, vainly attempted to assert their independence in Kula, but were soon defeated . This rising was followed by many more (see CALIPHATE: § B) in which the caliphs were generally successful, and Abdaimalik (d . 705) considerably strengthened the Moslem power by instituting a thorough system of Moslem coins and enforcing Arabic as the official language throughout the empire . In the succeeding reign Persia was further subdued by the great conqueror Qoteiba (Qotaiba) b . Moslim, the Arabic governor of Khorasan .
See also:Omar II., however, extended to non-Arabic Moslems immunity from all taxes except the zakat (poor-
See also:rate), with the result that a large number of Persians, who still smarted under their defeat• under Mokhtar, embraced Islam and drifted into the towns to form a nucleus of sedition under the Shi'ite preachers . In the reign of Yazid II . (720-724) serious risings took place in Khorasan, and in spite of the wise administration of his successor Hisham (d . 743), the disorder continued to spread, fanned by the Abbasids and the Shi'ite preachers .
Ultimately in the reign of Merwan II.the non-Arabic Moslems found a
See also:leader in AbuMoslim, a maula (client) of Persian origin and a henchman of
See also:Ibrahim b . Mahommed b .
See also:Ali, the Shi'ite
See also:imam, who raised a great army, drove the
See also:caliph's general Nasr b . Sayyar into headlong flight, and finally expelled Merwan . Thus the Abbasids became masters of Persia and also of the Arab Empire . They had gained their success largely by the aid of the Persians, who began thenceforward to recover their lost sense of nationality; according to the
See also:Spanish author
See also:Ibn Hazm the Abbasids were a Persian dynasty which destroyed the old tribal system of the Arabs and ruled despotically as Chosroes had done . At the same time the Khorasanians had fought for the old Alid family, not for the Abbasids, and with the murder of Abu Moslim discontent again began to grow among the Shi'ites (q.v.) . In the reign of
See also:Harun al-Rashid disturbances broke out in Khorasan which were temporarily appeased by a visit from Harun himself . Immediately afterwards Raft' b . Laith, grandson of the Omayyad general Nasr b . Sayyar, revolted in Samarkand, and Harun on his way to attack him died at Tus (8o9) . Harun's sons Amin and
See also:Mamun quarrelled over the succession; Amin became caliph, but Mamun by the aid of Tahir b .
IJosain Dhu '1-Yamir;ain• (" the man with two right hands ") and others succeeded in deposing and killing him . Tahir ultimately (82o) received the governorship of Khorasan. where he succeeded in establishing a practically independent Moslem dynasty (the Tahirids)* which ruled until about 873 in nominal obedience to Bagdad . From 825 to about 898 a similar dynasty, the Dulafids2 or Dolafids reigned nominally as governors under the caliphs till they were put down by Motadid . In the reign of the caliph Motasim a serious revolt of Persian Mazdakite sectaries (the Khorrami) in alliance with Byzantium was with difficulty suppressed, as also a rising of Tabaristan under an hereditary chief Maziyar who was secretly supported by the Turkish mercenaries (e.g., Af shin) whom the caliph had invited to his court . To another Turk, Itakh, the caliph Wathiq gave a titular authority over all the eastern provinces . In the reign of the tenth caliph Motawakkil the Tahirids fell before Yakub b . Laith al-Saffar, who with the approbation of the caliph founded a dynasty, the Saffarid (q.v.), in Seistan . It is convenient at this point to mention several other minor dynasties founded by nominal governors in various parts of Persia and its borderland . From 879 to about 93o minor the Sajids ruled in Azerbaijan, while in Tabaristan Dynasties . an Alid dynasty (the Zaidites) was independent from 864 to 928, when it fell before the
See also:Samanids . Subsequently descendants of this house ruled in Dailam and
See also:Gilan . Through-out this period the caliphate was falling completely under the power of the Turkish officers .
Mohtadi, the fourteenth Abbasid caliph, endeavoured vainly to replace them by Persians (the Abna) . His successor Motamid was attacked by the Saffarid Yakub who however was compelled to flee (see CALIPHATE: § C, § 15) . Yakub's brother Amr (reigned 878-900) received the vacant position, but was taken prisoner by
See also:Ismail b . Ahmad, the Samanid, and the Saffarids were henceforward a merely nomi- Samanids. nal dynasty under the Samanids (900-1229) . The Samanids (q.z'.) were the first really important non- Arabic Persian dynasty since the fall of Yazdegerd III . They held sway over most of Persia and Transoxiana, and under their rule scholarship and the arts flourished exceedingly in spite of numerous civil wars . Ultimately they fell before the Ghaznevid dynasty of Sabuktagin . In the reign of Motadid (CALIPHATE: § C, § 16) who, as we have seen, put down the Dolafids, and also checked the Sajids of Azerbaijan in their designs on Syria' and Egypt, the Kharijites of Mesopotamia were put down by the aid of the Hamdanites of
See also:Mosul, who were to become an important dynasty (see below) . Subsequently the caliphate, which had temporarily recovered some of its authority, resumed its downward course, and the great families of Persia once again asserted themselves . In the reign of Qahir (d . 934), a new dynasty arose in Persia, that Buyids. of the Buyids (Buwayhids) . This family was descended from one Abu Shaja Buya, who claimed to be of the old Sassanian house and had become a chieftain in Dailam .
He had successively fought for the Samanids and the Ziyarids,' a dynasty of Jorjan, and his son Imad addaula (ed-dowleh, originally Abu '1 Masan Ali) received from Mardawij of the latter house the governorship of Karaj; his second son Rokn addaula (Abu All
See also:Hasan) subsequently held Rai and
See also:Isfahan, while the third, Moizz addaula (Abu '1 Hosain Ahmad) secured Kerman,
See also:Ahvaz and even Bagdad . The reign of the caliph Mottaqi (CALIPHATE: § C, §21) was a period of perpetual strife between the Dailamites, the Turks and the Hamdanid Nasir addaula of Mosul . In the next reign Moizz addaula took Bagdad (945) and was recognized by the caliph Mostakfi as sultan' and amir al-Omara . It was at this Tahir died 822 or 824; Talha d . 828; Abdallah, 828-844; Tahir II., 844–862; Mahommed, 862-873 . 2 Abu Dolaf Qasim b . Idris-'Ijli (825); 'Abdalaziz (842); Dolaf (873) ; Ahmad (878) ; Omar 893-898) . ' The Ziyarid dynasty was founded by Mardawij b . Ziyar (928–935) . His successors were Zahir addaula (ud-daula, ed-dowleh) Abu Mansur Washmagir (935-967), Bistun (967-976), Shams al Ma'ali Qabus (976–1o12), Falak al Ma'ali Manushahr (1012–1029), Anushirwa.n (1029-1042) . They were Alyite in religion . They were of progressively less importance under the Samanids, and were ultimately expelled by the Ghaznevids .
' This 1s denied by S .Lane
See also:Poole, who points out that they did not use the title on their coins . For these and other minor dynasties such as the Hasanwayhids of
See also:Kurdistan (c . 959–1015) and the Kakwayhids of Kurdistan (100 -1051), see Stockvis,
See also:Manuel d'histoire, 1 . 113 sqq . (
See also:Leiden, 1888) . The centre of force in Persian politics now changes from west to east . Hitherto the ultimate power, at least nominally, had resided in the caliphate at Bagdad, and all the dynasties which have been noticed derived their authority formally from that source . With the rise of the Ghaznevids and laterGhaznevida. the
See also:Seljuks, the Abbasid caliphate ceased to count as an independent power . As we have seen, the Ghaznevid armies in a brief space destroyed most of the native dynasties of Persia . The first of the house was Alptagin, a Turkish slave of the Samanid Mansur I., who, having quarrelled with his master, took refuge in Afghanistan and founded a semi-independent authority . After his death three unimportant governors of his house held sway, but in 977 the power fell to another former slave, Sabuktagin, who was recognized by the Samanid Nuh II .
His son and successor Mahmud (q.v.) was attacked by a brother, Isma `il, and retired from Khorasan (of which he had been governor) . The Samanids then fell under the power of the Tatar Ilkhans, but Mahmud returned, triumphed over both the Samanids and theTatars, and assumed the independent title of sultan with authority over Khorasan, Transoxiana and parts of north-west India . Mahmud was a great conqueror, and wherever he went he replaced the existing religion by Mahommedanism . He is described as the
See also:patron (if a somewhat ungenerous one) of literature; it was under his auspices that Firdousi collected the ancient myths of Persia and produced the great epic Shahnama (Book of the Kings) . His descendants held a nominal rule till 1187, but in 1152 they lost all their extra-Indian territories to the Ghorids, and during the last thirty-five years reigned in diminished splendour at
See also:Lahore . Even before this time, however, the supremacy which they enjoyed under Mahmud in Persia had fallen into the hands of the Seljuks who, in the reign of Masud I., son seiivks. of Mahmud, conquered Khorasan . In 1037 Seljuk princes were recognized in Mery and Nishapur, and in the ensuing eighteen years the Seljuks conquered Balkh, Jorjan, Tabaristan, Kl-warizm,
See also:Hamadan, Rai, Isfahan, and finally Bagdad (1055) . The Abbasid caliphs, who still enjoyed a
See also:precarious and shadowy authority at the pleasure of Turkish viziers, gladly surrendered themselves to the protection of the Mahommedan Seljuks, who paid them all outward respect . Thus for the first time since the Arab conquest of the Sassanian
See also:realm Persia was ruled by a single authority, which extended its conquests westward into Asia Minor, where it checked the rulers of Byzantium, and eastward to India and Central Asia . The history of this period is treated at length in the articles CALIPHATE: § C, §§ 26 sqq.; and SELJUxs . A
See also:bare outline only is required here . The first three Seljuk rulers were Toghrul Beg,
See also:Alp Arslan and Malik Shah .
On the death of the last the empire was distracted by civil war between his sons Barkiyaroq, Mahommed and Sinjar, with the result that, although the Seljuks of the
See also:direct line maintained nominal supremacy till the death of Sinjar (1157), other branches of the family established themselves in various parts of the empire—Syria, Rum (Asia Minor), t Kerman, and
See also:Irak with Kurdistan . Sinjar himself lost all his dominions except Khorasan in wars with the Karakitai . The sultans of Kerman were rarely independent in the full sense, but they enjoyed
See also:comparative peace and prosperity till the death of Toghrul Shah (1170), after which their power fell before the Ghuzz tribes; Kerman was finally captured in 1195 by the Khwarizm shahs . Meanwhile an independent dynasty was formed about 1136 in Azerbaijan by the governors (atabegs) appointed by the Seljuks; this dynasty was overthrown by the Khwarizm shahs in 1225 . Similar dynasties existed in
See also:Laristan and Fars . The empire of the Seljuks was essentially military . Their authority over their own officers was so precarious that they preferred to entrust the command to Turkish slaves . These officers, however, were far from loyal to their lords . In every part of the empire they gradually superseded the Seljuk princes, and the minor dynasties above mentioned all owed their existence to the ambition of the Turkish regents or atabegs . The last important dynasty in Persia
See also:prior to the Mongol invasion was that of the Salgharids in Fars, founded by the descendants of a Turkish general Salaghar, who had formerly been a
See also:Turkoman leader and ultimately became
See also:chamberlain to Toghrul Beg . The first ruler was Sonkor b . Modud, who made himself independent in Fars in 1148 .
See also:fourth, Sa`d, became tributary to the Khwarizm shahs in 1195, and the fifth acknowledged allegiance to the Mongol Ogotai and received the title Kutbegh K
See also:ban . His successors were vassals of the
See also:Mongols, and the last, the Princess `Abish (d . 1287), was the wife of Hulagu's son Mangu Timur . Before passing on to the Mongol conquerors of Persia it is necessary briefly to
See also:notice the shahs of Khwarizm, who have xrvwartzm. frequently been mentioned as overthrowing the",tninor dynasties which arose with the decay of the Seljuks . These rulers were descended from Anushtajin, a Turkish slave of
See also:Ghazni, who became cupbearer to the Seljuk Malik Shah, and afterwards governor of Khwarizm (
See also:Khiva) in 1077 . In 1138 the third of the line, Atsiz, revolted but was defeated and expelled by Sinjar . Shortly afterwards he returned, firmly established his power, and extended the Khwarizm Empire as far as Jand on the Sihun . The brief reigns of Il-Arslan and Sultan Shah Mahmud were succeeded by that of Tukush (1172—1199) and
See also:Ala ed-din Mahommedl (1199—1220) . The former of these subdued Khorasan, Rai and Isfahan, while the latter brought practically all Persia under his sway, conquered
See also:Bokhara, Samarkand and Otrar, capital of the Karakitai, and had even made himself master of Ghazni when his career was stopped by the hordes of the Mongol Jenghiz Khan . In 1231 the last of his house, Jelal ud-din (Jalaluddin) Mangbarti, or
See also:Mango-berti, was banished, and thus the empire of the Khwarizm shahs, which for a brief period had included practically all the lands conquered by the Seljuks, passed away . Thus from the fall of the Samanids to the invasion of the Mongols five or at most six important dynasties held sway over Persia, while some forty small dynasties enjoyed a measure of local autonomy . During the whole of this period the Abbasid caliphs had been nominally reigning throughout the Mahommedan world with their capital at Bagdad .
But with hardly any exceptions they had been the merest puppets, now in the hands of Turkish ministers, now under the protection of practically independent dynasts . The real rulers of Persia during the years 874–1231 were, as we have seen, the Samanids, the Buyids, the Ghaznevids, the Seljuks, the Salgharids and the Khwarizm shahs . We now come to a new period in Persian history, when the numerous .
See also:petty dynasties which succeeded the Seliuks were all swallowed up in the great Mongol invasion . In the later years of the 12th century the, Mongols began their westward march and, after the conquest of the ancient Mongols. kingdom of the Kajakitai, reached the borders of the territory of the Khwarizm shahs, which was at once overwhelmed . Jenghiz Khan died in 1272, and the Mongol i It was this prince who destroyed the Ghorid dynasty, which claimed descent from the legendary Persian monarch Zohak . Except for a brief period of submission to the Ghaznevids (1009–iO49) they ruled at
See also:Ghor until 1215, when they were conquered after a fierce struggle . Empire stretching from the Caspian to the Yellow Sea was divided up among his sons . Persia itself fell partly in the domain of Jagatai and partly in that of the
See also:Horde . The actual governor of Persia was Tului or Tule, whose son Hulagu or Hulaku is the first who can be rightly regarded as the sovereign of Persia . His accession occurred in 1256, and henceforward Persia becomes after boo years of spasmodic government a national unit . Hulagu at once proceeded to destroy a number of nascent dynasties which endeavoured to establish themselves on the ruins of the Khwarizm Empire; about 1255 he destroyed the dynasty of the Assassins2 by the capture of their stronghold of Alamut (Eagle's
See also:Nest), and finally in 1258 captured Bagdad . The thirty-eighth and last Abbasid caliph, Mostasim, was brutally murdered, and thus the Mahommedan caliphate ceased to exist even as an emasculated pontificate .
The Persian Empire under Hulagu and his descendants extended from the dominions of Jagatai on the north to that of the Egyptian dynasts on the south, and from the
See also:Byzantine Empire on the west to the confines of
See also:China . Its rulers paid a nominal homage to the Khakhan (Great Khan) in China, and officially recognized this dependence in their title of Ilkhan, i.e. provincial or dependent khan . From 1258 to 1J35 the Ilkhans were not seriously challenged . Hulagu fixed his capital at
See also:Maragha (Meragha) in Azerbaijan,where he erected an
See also:observatory for Nasir ud-din Tusi, who at his
See also:request prepared the astronomical tables known as the Zidj-i-Ilkhani . He died in 1265 and was succeeded by his son Abagha or Abaka, who married the daughter of Michael
See also:Palaeologus, the Byzantine ruler . Abagha was a peaceful ruler and endeavoured by wise administration to give order and prosperity to a country torn asunder by a long period of
See also:intestine war and the Mongol invasion . He succeeded in repelling two attacks by other Mongolian princes of the house of Jenghiz Khan; otherwise his reign was uneventful . His brother Nikudar (originally Nicolas) Ahmad Khan succeeded him in 1281 . This prince was converted to Islam, an event of great moment both to the internal peace and to the external relations of Persia . His persecution of the Christians led them into alliance with the Mongols, who detested Islam; the combined forces were too strong for Nikudar, who was murdered in 1284 . The external results were of more importance . The Ilkhans, who had failed in their attempt to wrest Syria from the Mameluke rulers of Egypt, had subsequently endeavoured to effect their
See also:object by inducing the European Powers to make a new crusade .
Theconversion of Nikudar put an end to this policy and Egypt was for some time free from Persian attack (see EGYPT: History) . The Mongol leaders put on the throne a son of Abagha, by name Arghun . His reign was troubled . His first minister Shams ud-din was suspected of having poisoned Abagha, and was soon put to death . His successor, the amir Bogha, conspired against Arghun and was executed . Under the third minister (1289—1291), a Jewish
See also:doctor named Sa'd addaula (ed-Dowleh), religious troubles arose owing to his persecution of the Mahommedans and his favouring the Christians . The
See also:financial administratbn of Sa'd was prudent and successful, if somewhat severe, and the revenue benefited considerably under his care . But he committed the tactical error of appointing a disproportionate number of Jews and Christians as revenue officials, and thus made many enemies among the Mongol nobles, who had him assassinated in 1291 when Arghun was lying fatally
See also:ill . It is possible that it was Sa'd's
See also:diplomacy which led
See also:Nicholas IV. to send a mission to Arghun with a view to a new crusade . The reign of Arghun was also disturbed by a rebellion of a grandson of Hulagu, Baidu Khan . Arghun died soon after the murder of Sa'd, and was succeeded by his brother Kaikhatu, or Gaykhatu, who was taken prisoner by Baidu Khan and killed (1295) . Baidu's reign was cut short in the same year by Arghun's son Ghazan Mahmud, whose reign (1295-1304) was a period of prosperity in war and administration .
Ghazan 2 The dynasty of the Assassins or Isma'ilites was founded in 1090 and extended its rule over much of western Persia and Syria (for the rulers see Stockvis, op. cit. i . 131, and article Assassr'i) . was a man of great ability . He established a permanent
See also:staff to deal with legal, financial and military affairs, put on a firm basis the monetary system and the system of weights and
See also:measures, and perfected the mounted postal service . Ghazan fought with success against Egypt (which country had already from 1293 to December 1294 been ruled by a Mongol usurper Kitboga), and even held Damascus for a few months . In 1303, however, his troops were defeated at Merj al-Saffar, and Mongol claims on Syria were definitely abandoned . It was even suggested that the titular Abbasid caliphs (who retained an empty title in Cairo under Mameluke protection, should be reinstated at Bagdad, but this proposal was not carried into effect . Ghazan is historically important, however, mainly as the first Mongol ruler who definitely adopted Islam with a large number of his subjects . He died in 1304, traditionally of anger at the Syrian fiasco, and was succeeded by his brother Uljaitu (Oeljeitu) . The chief events of his reign were a successful war against Tatar invaders and the substitution of the new city of Sultania as capital for
See also:Tabriz, which had been Ghazan's headquarters . Uljaitu was a Shi'ite and even stamped his coins with the names of the twelve Shi'ite imams . He died in 1316, and was succeeded by Abu Sa'id,his son .
The prince, under whom a definite peace was made with Malik al-Nasir, the Mameluke ruler of Egypt, had great trouble with poweriul viziers and generals which he accentuated by his passion for Bagdad-Khatun, wife of the amir IJosain and daughter of the amir Chupan . This
See also:lady he eventually married, with the result that Chupan headed a revolt of his tribe, the Selduz . Abu Sa'id died of fever in 1335, and with him the first Mongol or Ilkhan dynasty of Persia practically came to an end . The real power was divided between Chupan and Mosain the Jelair (or Jalair), or the Ilkhanian, and their sons, known respectively as the Little Masan (Masan Kuchuk) and the great Masan (Masan Buzurg) . Two puppet kings, Arpa Khan, a descendant of Hulagu's brother Arikbuhga, and Musa Khan, a descendant of Baidu, nominally reigned for a few months each . Then Masan Kuchuk set up one Sati-beg, Abu Sa'id's daughter, and wife successively of Chupan, Arfa Khan and one
See also:Suleiman, the last of whom was khan from 1339 to 1343; in the same time Masan Buzurg set up successively Mahommed, Tugha-Timur and Jahan-Timur . A sixth nonentity, Nushirwan, was a Chupani nominee in 1344, after which time Masan Buzurg definitely installed himself as the first khan of the Jelairid or Ilkhanian-Jelairid dynasty . Practically from the reign of Abu Sa'id Persia was divided under five minor dynasties, (I) the Jelairids, (2) the Mozaffarids, (3) the Sarbadarids (Serbedarians), (4) the Beni Kurt, and (5) the Jubanians, all of which ultimately fell before the armies of Timur . r . The Jelairid rulers were Hasan Buzurg (1336, strictly 1344-1356), Owais (1356-1374), Ilosain (1374–1382), Sultan Ahmad (1382-1410), Shah Walad (1410-1411) . Their capital was Bagdad, and their dominion was increased under Ijasan . Owais added Azerbaijan, Tabriz, and even Mosul and Diarbekr .
Hosain fought with the Mozaffarids of Shiraz and the Black
See also:Sheep Turkomans (Kara Kuyunli) of Armenia, with the latter of whom he ultimately entered into alliance . On his death Azerbaijan and Irak fell to his brother, Sultan Ahmad, while another brother Bayezid ruled for a few months in part of Kurdistan . It was about this time that Timur (q.v.) began his great career of conquest, under which the power of the various Persian dynasties collapsed . By 1393 he had conquered northern Persia and Armenia, Bagdad, Mesopotamia, Diarbekr and Van, and Ahmad fled to Egypt, where he was received by Barkuk (Barquq) the Mameluke sultan . Barkuk, who had already excited the enmity of Timur by slaying one of his envoys, espoused Ahmad's cause, and restored him to Bagdad after Timur's return to his normal capital Samarkand . Timur retaliated and until his death Ahmad ruled only from time to time . In 1406 Ahmad was finally restored, but almost immediately entered upon a
See also:quarrel with Kara Yusuf, leader of the Black Sheep Turkomans (Kara Kuyunli), who defeated and killed him in 1410 . His
See also:nephew Shah Walad reigned for a few months only and the throne was occupied by his widow Tandu, formerly wife of Barkuk, who ruled over Basra, Wasit and Shuster till 1416, paying allegiance to Shah Rukh, the second Timurid ruler . Walad's sons Mahmud, Owais and Mahommed, and Hosain, grandson of Sultan Ahmad, successively occupied the throne . The last of these was killed by the Kara Kuyunli, who had established a-dynasty in western Persia after Kara Yusuf's victory in 1410 . 2 . The Mozaffarids, who ruled roughly from 1313 to 1399 in Fars, Kerman and Kurdistan, were descended from the Amir Mozaffar, or Muzaffar, who held a
See also:post as governor under the Ilkhan ruler .
His son Mobariz ud-din Mahommed, who followed him in 1313, became governor in Fars under Abu Sa'id, in Kerman in 1340, and subsequently made himself independent at Fars and Shiraz (1353) and in Isfahan (1356) . In 1357 he was deposed and blinded, and though restored was exiled again and died in 1364 . His descendants, except for Jelal ed-din (Jalaluddin) Shah Shuja', the patron of the poet
See also:Hafiz, were unimportant, and the dynasty was wiped out by Timur about 1392 . 3 . The Sarbadarids (so called from their
See also:motto Sar-ba-
See also:dar, " Head to the Gibbet "), descendants of Abd al-Razzak, who rebelled in Khorasan about 1337, enjoyed some measure of independence under twelve rulers till they also were destroyed by Timur (c . 1380) . 4 . The Beni Kurt (or Kart), who had governed in Khorasan from 1245, became independent in the early 14th century; they were abolished by Timur (c . 1383) . 5 . The Jubanians had some power in Azerbaijan from 1337 to 1355, when they were dethroned by the Kipchaks of the house of Jenghiz Khan . The authority of Timur, which, as we have seen, was dominant throughout Persia from at least as early as 1395 till his death in 1405, was never unchallenged .
He passed from one victory to another, but the conquered districts were never really settled under his administration . Fresh risings of the defeated dynasties followed each new enterprise, and he had also to deal with the Mongol hordes whose territory marched with northern Persia . His descendants were for a brief period the overlords of Persia, but after Shah Rukh (reigned 1409-1446) and Ala addaula (1447), the so-called Timurid dynasty ceased to have any authority over Persia . There were Timurid governors of Fars under Shah Rukh, Pir Mahommed (14o5-14o9), Iskendar (1409-1414), Ibrahim (1415-1434) and Abdallah (1434); in other parts of Persia many of the Timurid family held governor-
See also:ships of greater or less importance . C.—From the . Death of Timur to the Fall of the Safawid Dynasty, 1405-1736 . Timur died in 1405, when in the seventieth year of his age and about to invade China . Besides exercising sovereignty over Transoxiana and those vast regions more or The Timor less absorbed in Asiatic Russia of the 19th century, rides and inclusive of the Caucasus,
See also:Astrakhan and the Turkomans, lower
See also:Volga, and overrunning Mesopotamia, Syria, 1405-1499 . Asia Minor, Afghanistan and India, he had at this time left his indelible mark upon the chief cities and provinces of Persia . Khorasan and
See also:Mazandaran had submitted to him in 1381, Azerbaijan had shortly after followed their example, and Isfahan was seized in 1387 . From Isfahan he passed on to Shiraz, and thence returned in
See also:triumph to his own capital of Samarkand . Five years later he subdued Mazandaran, and later still he was again at Shiraz, having effected the subjugation of Luristan and other provinces in the west .
It may be said that from north to south, or from
See also:Astarabad to
See also:Hormuz, the whole country had been brought within his dominion . The third son of Timur, Miran Shah, had ruled over part of Persia in his father's lifetime; but he was said to be insane, and his incapacity for government had caused the loss of Bagdad and revolt in other provinces . His claim to succession had been put aside by Timur in favour of Pir Mahommed, the son of a deceased son, but Khalil Shah, a son of the discarded prince, won the day . His waste of time and treasure upon a fascinating
See also:mistress named Shadu `l-Mulk, the " delight of the kingdom," soon brought about his deposition, and in 1408 he gave way to Shah Rukh, who, with the exception of Miran Shah, was the only surviving son of Timur . In fact the uncle and nephew changed places—the one quitting his government of Khorasan Minor Dynasties . to take possession of the Central-Asian throne, the other consenting to become governor of the vacated Persian province and abandon the cares of the empire at Samarkand . In 1409 Khalil Shah died; and the
See also:story goes that Shadu 'l-Mulk stabbed herself and was buried with her royal
See also:lover at Rai, one of the towns which his grandfather had partly destroyed . Shah Rukh, the fourth son of Timur, reigned for thirty-eight years, and appears to have been a brave, generous, and enlightened monarch . He removed his capital from Samarkand to Herat, of which place he rebuilt the citadel, restoring and improving the town . Mery also profited from his attention to its material 'interests .
See also:Sir John Malcolm speaks of the splendour of his court and of his encouragement of science and learning . He sent an
See also:embassy to China; and an English version of the travels to India of one of his emissaries, Abd ur-Razzak, is to be found in R .
H .Major's India in the Fifteenth Century (
See also:Hakluyt Society, 1857) . As regards his Persian possessions, he had some trouble in the north-west, where the Turkomans of Asia Minor, known as the Kara Kuyun,' or " Black Sheep," led by Kara Yusuf2 and his sons Iskandar and Jahan Shah, had advanced upon Tabriz, the capital of Azerbaijan . On the death of the Shah Rukh in 1446 he was succeeded by his son Ulugh Bey, whose scientific tastes are demonstrated in the astronomical tables bearing his name, quoted by European writers when determining the latitude of places in Persia . He was, moreover, himself a poet and patron of literature, and built a
See also:college as well as an observatory at Samarkand . There is no evidence to show that he did much to consolidate his grand-father's conquests south of the Caspian . Ulugh Bey was put to death by his son Abd ul-Latif, who, six months later, was slain by his own soldiers . Babar—not the illustrious founder of the Mughal dynasty in India, but an elder member of the same house—next obtained possession of the sovereign power, and established himself in the government of Khorasan and the neighbouring countries . He died after a short rule, from habitual intemperance . After him Abu Said, grandson of Miran Shah, and once governor of Fars, became a
See also:candidate for empire, and allied himself with the Uzbeg Tatars, seized Bokhara, entered Khorasan, and waged war upon the Turkoman tribe aforesaid, which, since the invasion of Azerbaijan, had, under Jahan Shah, overrun Irak, Fars and Kerman, and pillaged Herat . But he was eventually taken prisoner by Uzun Ijasan, and killed in 1468 . It is difficult to assign dates to a few events recorded in Persian history for the eighteen years following the death of Abd ul- Latif; and, were it not for chance European
See also:missions, the same difficulty would be felt in dealing with the period after the death of Abu Said up to the accession of Isma'il Sufi in 1499 .
Sultan Ahmad, eldest son of Abu Sa'id, reigned in Bokhara; his brother, Ornar
See also:Sheikh, in
See also:Ferghana; but the son of the latter, the great Babar, was driven by the Uzbegs to
See also:Kabul and India . More to the purpose is it that Sultan Ijosain Mirza, great-grandson of Omar Sheikh, son of Timur, reigned in Herat from 1487 to 1506 . He was a patron of learned men, among others of the historians Mirk- hond and Khwadamir, and the poets Jami and Hatifi . But at no time could his control have extended over central and western Persia . The nearest approach to a sovereignty in those parts on the death of Abu Sa'id is that of Uzun Ijasan, the leader of the Ak Kuyun, or " White Sheep" Turkomans, and conqueror of the " Black Sheep," whose chief, Jahan Shah, he defeated and slew . Between the two tribes there had long been usun toasan.a deadly
See also:feud . Both were composed of settlers in Asia Minor, the " Black Sheep " having consolidated their power at Van, the " White " at Diarbekr . Sir John Malcolm states that at the death of Abu Said, Sultan Ijosain Mirza " made himself master of the empire," ' They were commonly called Kara Kuyun-lu and the" White Sheep " Turkomans Ak Kuyun-lu, the affix " lu " signifying posession, i.e. possession of a standard bearing the image of a black or white sheep . ' According to
See also:Erskine, this chief killed Miran Shah, whose dwelling-place was Tabriz.and, a little later, that Uzun Ijasan, after he had made himself master of Persia, turned his arms in the direction of
See also:Turkey "; but the reader is left to infer for himself what the real empire " of Ijosain Mirza, and what the limit of the " Persia " of Uzun $asap . The second could not well be included in the first, because the Turkomans were in possession of the greater part of the Persian
See also:plateau, while the " sultan " was in Herat, to which Khorasan belonged . It may be assumed that an empire like that acquired by Timur could not long be maintained by his descendants in its integrity . The Turkish adjective uzun, 03111 " long," applied to Ijasan, the Turkoman monarch of Persia (called also by the Arabs Ijasanu 't-Tawil), is precisely the qualifying Persian word jb) used in the compound designation of Artaxerxes Longimanus; and Malcolm quotes the statement of a Venetian
See also:envoy in evidence that Uzun Ijasan was "a tall thin man, of a very open and engaging countenance." This reference, and a further notice in
See also:Markham's history, supply the
See also:clue to a
See also:store of valuable information made available by the publications of the Hakluyt Society .
The narratives of Caterino
See also:Zeno, Barbaro and
See also:Contarini, envoys from Venice to the court of Uzun Ijasan, are in this respect especially interesting . Zeno was sent in 1471 to incite this warlike ruler against the Ottoman sultan, and succeeded in his mission . That the result was disastrous to the shah is not surprising, but the war seems to hold a comparatively unimportant place in the
See also:annals of Turkey . Uzun Ijasan had married Despina (Gr . 1 r,rocva), daughter of the emperor of
See also:Trebizond, Calo Johannes of the house of the Comneni; and Zeno's wife was niece to this Christian princess . The relationship naturally strengthened the envoy's position at the court, and he was permitted to visit the queen in the name of the republic which he represented . Barbaro and Contarini met at Isfahan in 1474, and there paid their respects to the shah together .
See also:Kum and Tauris or Tabriz (then the capital) were also visited by the Italian envoys ,following in the royal suite; and the incidental notice of these cities, added to Contarini's formal statement that " the extensive country of Ussuncassan [sic] is bounded by the Ottoman Empire and by Cara-
See also:mania," and that Siras (Shiraz) is comprehended in it, proves that at least Azerbaijan, Irak, and the main part of the provinces to the south, inclusive of Fars, were within the dominions of the reigning monarch . There is good reason to suppose that Jahan Shah, the Black Sheep Turkoman, before his defeat by Uzun Ijasan, had set up the standard of
See also:royalty; and Zeno, at the outset of his travels, calls him " king of Persia "' in 1450 . Chardin alludes to him in the same sense; but Ijasan the Long is a far more prominent figure, and has hardly received justice at the hands of the historian . Indeed, his identity seems to have been lost in the various modes of spelling his name adopted by the older chroniclers, who call him indiscriminately-4 Alymbeius, Asembeius, Asembec, Assimbeo, or Ussan
See also:Cassano . He is said to have earned the character of a wise and valiant monarch, to. have reigned eleven years, to have lived to the age of seventy, and, on his death in 1477 or (according to Krusinski and Zeno) 1478, to have been succeeded on the throne of Persia by his son Ya'qub .
This prince, who had slain an elder brother, died by
See also:poison (1485), after a reign of seven years . The dose was offered to him by his wife, who had been unfaithful to him and sought to set her paramour on his throne . Writers differ as to the succession to Ya'qub . Zeno's account is that a son named Allamur (called also, Alamut, Alvante, El-wand and Alwung Bey) was the next king, who, Anarchy. besides Persia, possessed Diarbekr and part of greater Armenia near the Euphrates . On the other hand, Krusinski states that, Ya'qub dying childless, his relative Julaver, one of the grandees of the kingdom, seized the throne, and held possession of it for three years . Baisingar, it is added, succeeded him in 1488 and reigned till 1490, when a young
See also:noble-man named Rustan (Rustam?) obtained the sovereign power and exercised it for seven years . This account is confirmed by See also
See also:Ramusio's preface . 4 Knolles,
See also:Purchas, Zeno . tfosein Mirsa . Angiolello, a traveller who followed his countrymen Barbaro and Contarini to Persia; and from the two authorities combined may be gathered the further narration of the murder of Rustam and usurpation of the throne by a certain Ahmad, whose death, under torture, six months afterwards, made way for Alamut, the young son of Hasan . These discrepancies can be reconciled on reference to yet another record bound up with the narratives of the four Italians aforesaid, and of much the same period . In the Travels of a
See also:Merchant in Persia the story of Ya'qub's death is supplemented by the statement that " the great lords,
See also:hearing of their king's decease, had quarrels among themselves, so that for five or six years all Persia was in a state of civil war, first one and then another of the nobles becoming sultans .
At last a youth named Alamut, aged fourteen years, was raised to the throne, which he held till the succession of Sheikh Isma'il." Who this young man was is not specified; but other writers call Alamut and his brother
See also:Murad the sons of Ya'qub, as though the relationship were unquestionable . Now little is known, save incidentally, of Julaver or Rustam; but Baisingar is the name of a nephew of Omar Sheikh, king of Ferghana and contemporary of Uzun Iiasan . There was no doubt much anarchy and confusion in the interval between the death of Ya'qub and the restoration, for two years, of the dynasty of the White Sheep . But the
See also:tender age of Alamut would, even in civilized countries, have necessitated a regency; and it may be assumed that he was the next legitimate and more generally recognized sovereign . Markham, in designating this prince the last of his house, states that he was dethroned by the renowned founder of the Safawi dynasty . This event brings us to one of the most interesting periods of Persian history, any account of which must be defective without a prefatory sketch of Isma'il Sufi . The Sufi or Safawid (Safawi) Dynasty (2499-1736).—Sheikh Saifu 'd-Din Izhak '—lineally descended from Musa, the seventh Sheikh imam—was a resident at
See also:Ardebil (Ardabil) southsalhPd-DIf.west of the Caspian, some time during the 14th century . It is said that his reputation for sanctity attracted the attention of Timur, who sought him out in his abode, and was so charmed by the visit that he released, at the holy man's request, a number of captives of Turkish origin, or Georgians, taken in the wars with Bayezid . The act ensured to the Sheikh the
See also:constant devotion and gratitude of these men—a feeling which was loyally maintained by their descendants for the members of his family in successive generations . His son Sadru'd-Din and grandson Kwaja 'Ali (who visited
See also:Mecca and died at Jerusalem) retained the high reputation of their pious predecessor . Junaid, a grandson of the last, married a
See also:sister of Uzun Iiasan, and by her had a son named Sheikh Sheikh Haidar, who married his
See also:cousin Martha, daughter Haidar. of Uzun Iiasan and Queen Despina . Three sons were the issue of this marriage, Sultan 'Ali, Ibrahim Mirza, and the youngest, Ismail, the date of whose
See also:birth is put down as 1480 for reasons which will appear hereafter .
So great was the influence of Sheikh Haidar, and so earnestly did he carry out the principles of conduct which had characterized his family for five generations, that his name has become, as it were, inseparable from the dynasty of his son Isma'il; and the term " Haidari " (leonine) is applied by many persons to indicate generally the Safawids of Persia . The outcome of his teaching was a division of Mahommedanism vitally momentous to the world of Islam . The Persian mind was peculiarly adapted to receive the form of religion prepared for it by the philosophers of Ardebil . The doctrines presented were dreamy and mystic; they rejected the
See also:infallibility of human wisdom, and threw suspicion on the order and arrangement of human orthodoxy . There was free
See also:scope given for the indulgence of that political
See also:imagination which
See also:revels in revolution and chafes at prescriptive bondage . As Malcolm remarks, " the very essence of Sufi-ism is
See also:poetry." 1 According to Langles, the annotator of Chardin, his real designation was Abu 'l-Fath Izhak, the Sheikh Saifu '1-Hakk wu 'd-Din or " pure one of truth and religion." Those authorities who maintain that Ya'qub Shah left no son to succeed him consider valid the claim to the vacant throne of Sheikh Haidar Sufi . Purchas says that Ya'qub himself, " jealous of the multitude of Aidar's disciples and the greatness of his fame, caused him to be secretly murthered "; but Krusinski attributes the act to Rustam a few years later . Zeno, the
See also:anonymous merchant and Angiolello affirm that the devotee was defeated and killed in battle—the first making his conqueror to be Alamut, the second a general of Alamut's, and the third. an officer sent by Rustam named Suleiman Bey . Malcolm, following the Zubdatu 't-tawarikh, relates that Sheikh Haidar was vanquished and slain by the governor of
See also:Shirvan . The subsequent statement that his son, Sultan 'Ali, was seized, in
See also:company with two younger brothers, by Ya'qub, " one of the descendants of their grandfather Uzun Iiasan, who, jealous of the numerous disciples that resorted to Ardebil, confined them to the hill fort of Istakhr in Fars," seems to indicate a second
See also:interpretation of the passage just extracted from Purchas, and that there is confusion of persons and incident somewhere . One of the sons here alluded to was Isma'il, whom Malcolm makes to have been only seven years of age when he fled to Gilan in 1492 . Zeno states that he was then thirteen, which is much more probable,2 and the several data available for reference are in favour of this supposition .
The life of the young Sufi from this period to his assumption of royalty in 1499 was full of stirringadventure; and his career as Isma'il I. was a brilliant one . According to Isma•II/ . Zeno, who seems to have carefully recorded the events of the time, he left his temporary home on an
See also:island of Lake Van before he was eighteen, and, passing into Karabakh,3 between the
See also:Aras and Kur, turned iri a south-easterly direction into Gilan . Here he was enabled, through the assistance of a friend of his father, to raise a small force with which to take possession of
See also:Baku on the Caspian, and thence to march upon
See also:Shemakha in Shirvan, a town abandoned to him without a struggle . Hearing, however, that Alamut was advancing to meet him, he was compelled to seek new levies from among the Jengian Christians and others . At the head of 16,000 men, he thoroughly routed his opponents, and, having cleared the way before him, marched straight upon Tabriz, which at once surrendered . He was soon after proclaimed shah of Persia (1499), under the designation which marked the family school of thought . Alamut had taken refuge at Diarbekr; but his brother Murad, at the head of an army strengthened by Turkish auxiliaries, was still in the field with the object of contesting the paternal crown . Isma'il lost no time in moving against him, and won a new victory on the plains of Tabriz . Murad fled with a small remnant of his soldiers to Diarbekr, the rallying-point of the White Sheep Turkomans . Zeno states that in the following year Isma'il entered upon a new campaign in Kurdistan and Asia Minor, but that he returned to Tabriz without accomplishing his object, having been harassed by the tactics of Ala ud-Daula, a beylerbey, or governor in Armenia and parts of Syria . Another writer says that he marched against Murad Khan in Irak-i-Ajami and Shiraz .
This last account is extremely probable, and would show that the young Turkoman had wished to make one grand effort to save Isfahan and Shiraz (with
See also:Kazvin and the neighbouring country), these being, after the capital Tabriz, the most important cities of Uzun nasan's Persia . His men, however, apparently dismayed at the growing
See also:prestige of the enemy, did not support him, and he was defeated and probably slain . There is similar evidence of the death of Alamut, who, it is alleged, was treacherously handed over to be killed by the. shah's own hands . Isma'il returned again to Tabriz (1501) " and caused great rejoicings to be made on account of his victory." In 1503 he had added to his conquests Bagdad, Mosul and Jezira on the Tigris . The next year he was called to the province of 2 So thinks the editor and annotator of the Italian Travels in Persia,
See also:Grey . a Possibly Kara-dagh, as being the more direct road . end, he came back to his capital and remained there in contest with comparative quiet till 1507.1 Malcolm's dates are Sha/banb somewhat at variance with the above, for he infers that Bagdad was subdued in that particular year; but the facts remain . All writers seem to agree that in 1508 the king's attention was drawn to an invasion of Khorasan by Shaibani, or Shahi Beg, the Uzbeg, a descendant of Jenghiz and the most formidable opponent of Babar, from whom he had, seven years before, wrested the city of Samarkand, and whom he had driven from Turkestan to Kabul . Since these exploits he had obtained great successes in
See also:Tashkent, Ferghana,
See also:Kunduz, and Khwarizm (Kharezm), and, at the time referred to, had left Samarkand intent upon
See also:mischief south and west of the Oxus, had passed the
See also:Murghab, and had reached Sarakhs (Serrakhs) . Ismail encamped on this occasion at Isfahan, and there concentrated the bulk of his army—strengthening his northern (and probably north-eastern) frontier with large bodies of
See also:cavalry, but maintaining an attitude of
See also:simple watchfulness . In 1510, when Shaibani had invaded Khorasan the second time, and had ravaged the Persian province of Kerman, Shah Isma'il asked for redress, referring to the land encroached on as " hereditary "; and Shaibani replied that he did not understand on what was founded the claim " to inherit." Eventually the Persian troops were put in movement, and the Uzbegs, having been divided into small detachments scattered over the country, fell back and retreated to Herat . Their leader repaired to Merv, but Ismail quickly followed him and enticed him out to battle by taunt and reproach .
Shaibani was defeated and fled, but was overtaken in his flight, and put to thesword, together with numerous relatives and companions . The next remarkable event in . Isma'il's reign is his war with Sultan
See also:Selim I . Its origin may be traced to the Ottoman emperor's hatred and persecution of all heretical S allmwlth Moslems in his dominions, and the shah's anger at the fanaticism which had urged him to the slaughter of 40,000 Turks suspected to have thrown off the orthodox Sunnite doctrines . The sultan's army advanced into Azerbaijan and western Persia through Tokat and Erzingan . Isma'il had at this time the greater number of his soldiers employed in his newly-conquered province of Khorasan and was driven to raise new levies in Kurdistan to obtain a sufficient force to resist the invasion . It is asserted by some that his frontier then extended westward to Sivas, a city situated in a large high plain watered by the Kizil Irmak, and that hence to
See also:Khoi, 90 m. west of Tabriz, he followed the approved and often successful tactics of ravaging and retreating, so as to deprive his advancing enemy of supplies . There is good evidence to show that the Turkish janissaries were within an ace of open revolt, and that but for extraordinary firmness in dealing with them they would have abandoned their leader in his intended march upon Tabriz . In
See also:fine, at or near Khoi, the frontier-town of Azerbaijan, the battle (1514) was fought between the two rival monarchs, ending in the defeat of the Persians and the triumphant entry of Selim into their capital . There are stirring accounts of that
See also:action and of the gallant deeds performed by Selim and Isma'il, both personally engaged in it, as well as by their generals.2 Others maintain that Isma'il was not present at all.3 It is tolerably certain that the Turks won the day by better organization, superiority of numbers, and more especially the use of
See also:artillery . On the side of the Persians the force consisted of little more than cavalry . 1 Angiolello .
2 Knolles, Malcolm,Creasy, Markham, &c . 3 Zeno . Angiolello says that " the Sophi monarch had left for Tauris [Tabriz] in order to assemble more troops." Krusinski infers much to the same effect, for he notes that " Selim came in person and took Tauris from Ismail, but at the
See also:noise of his approach was obliged to retreat with precipitation." The battle must thus have been fought and the victory gained when the shah was himself absent . Yet Markham quotes a journal which thus records his feats of prowess: " It was in vain that the brave Shah, with a blow of his sabre, severed a chain with which the Turkish guns were fastened together to resist the
See also:shock of the Persian cavalry . (1405-1736 Gilan to chastise a refractory ruler . Having accomplished his Selim remained at Tabriz no more than eight days . Levying a contribution at that city of a large number of its skilled artisans whom he sent off to Constantinople, he marched thence towards Karabagh with intent to
See also:fix his winter quarters in those parts and newly invade Persia in the
See also:spring, but the insubordination of his troops rendered necessary his speedy return to Turkey . His expedition, if not very glorious, had not been unproductive of visible fruits . Besides humbling the power of an arrogant enemy, he had conquered and annexed to his dominions the provinces of Diarbekr and Kurdistan.' From 1514 to 1524, although the hostile feeling between the two countries was very strong, there was no serious nor open warfare . Selim's attention was diverted from Persia to Egypt; Ismail took advantage of the sultan's death in 1519 to overrun and subdue unfortunate
See also:Georgia, as Jahan Shah of the " Black Sheep " had done before him; but Suleiman, who succeeded Selim, was too strong to admit of retaliatory invasion being carried out with impunity at the cost of Turkey . In 1524 Isma'il died 5 at Ardebil when on a pilgrimage to the
See also:tomb of his father . " The Persians dwell with rapture on his character," writes Sir John Malcolm, for they deem him " not only the founder of a great dynasty, but GharscLer. the person to whom that faith in which they glory owes its
See also:establishment as a national religion." And he quotes a note handed down by Purchas from a contemporary European traveller which reports of him thus: " His subjects deemed him a saint, and made use of his name in their prayers .
Many disdained to wear armour when they fought under Ismail; and so enthusiastic were his soldiers in their new faith that they used to bare their breasts to their enemies and court death, exclaiming ` Shiah ! Shiah ! ' to mark the holy cause for which they fought." Shah Tahniasp,6 the eldest of the four sons of Ismail, succeeded to the throne on the death of his father: ? The principal occurrences in his reign, placed as nearly as possible in shah
See also:chronological order, were a renewal of war with Tahmasp. the Uzbegs, who had again invaded Khorasan, and the overthrow of their army (1527); the recovery of Bagdad from a Kurdish usurper (1528); the settlement of an internal feud between Kizil-bash tribes (Shamlu and Tukulu), contending for the custody of the royal person, by the slaughter of the more unruly of the disputants (1529); the
See also:rescue of Khorasan from a fresh irruption, and of Herat from a besieging army of Uzbegs (1530); a new invasion of the Ottomans, from which Persia was saved rather by the severity of her
See also:climate than by the prowess of her warriors (1533); the wresting of Bagdad from Persia by the sultan Suleiman (1534) ; the king's youngest brother's rebellion 4 It was about this time that Persia again entered into direct relations with one of the states of western Europe . In 1570 and 1514
See also:Alphonso d'Albuquerque, the governor of Portuguese India, sent envoys to Isma'il, seeking an alliance . In 1515, after occupying Hormuz, he despatched a third embassy under Ferias) Gomes de Lemos . His object was to utilize the Shi'ite armies in conjunction with the Portuguese fleet for an attack upon the Sunnite powers—Egypt and Turkey—which were then at war with
See also:Portugal in the East . See, for further details and authorities, K . G . Jayne, Vasco da Gama and his Successors, pp . 1o8-110 and App . A .
(London, 191o).—ED . 6 Malcolm says 1523, Krusinski 1525; Angiolello heard of his death at Cairo in August 1524 . Krusinski adds that he was forty-five years of age . Angiolello calls him " Shiacthemes." As an instance of the absurd transliterating current inFrance as in England the word " Ach-tacon " may be mentioned . It is explained in Chardin's text to mean "
See also:les hSpitaux a Tauris: c'est-a-dire lieux o22 l'on fait profusion de vivres." Chardin's editor remarks, " La derniere pantie de ce mot est meconna.issable, et je ne puis deviner quel mot retie signifiant profusion a pu donner naissance a. la corruption qu'on voit id." In other words, the first syllable " ach " (Anglice ash) was understood in its common acceptance for "
See also:food ' or " victuals "; but " tacon was naturally a puzzler .
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