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Encyclopedia > Ardashir I of Persia
Silver coin of Ardashir I with a fire altar on its verso (British Museum London). The Sassanids replaced the Greek gods found on the verso of Parthian coins with Zoroastrian symbols, and replaced the Greek text with Middle Persian written in the Pahlavi script.
Silver coin of Ardashir I with a fire altar on its verso (British Museum London). The Sassanids replaced the Greek gods found on the verso of Parthian coins with Zoroastrian symbols, and replaced the Greek text with Middle Persian written in the Pahlavi script.

Ardashir I (early Middle Persian Arđaxšēr "Who has the Divine Order as his Kingdom"), also known as Ardashīr-i Pāpagān "Ardashir, son of Pāpağ" Ardeshiri Babakan, and as Artaxerxes, was ruler of Persia (226-241) and the founder of the Sassanid dynasty. Other variants of his name appear as Artaxares, Artashastra and Artakhshathra Image File history File links Coin01. ... Greek mythology consists of a large collection of narratives detailing the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines, which were first envisioned and disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition. ... Parthia, or known in their native Iranian language as Ashkâniân [2] (also called the Arsacid Empire) was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BCE and 224 CE. It was the second dynasty of... Faravahar (or Ferohar), the depiction of the human soul before birth and after death. ... Greek (Greek Ελληνικά, IPA — Hellenic) is an Indo-European language with a documented history of 3,500 years. ... Pahlavi is a term that refers: (1) to a script used in Iran derived from the Aramaic script, and (2) more broadly, to Middle Persian, the Middle Iranian language written in this script. ... The Pahlavi script was used broadly in the Sasanid Persian Empire to write down Middle Persian for secular, as well as religious purposes. ... The term Persian Empire refers to a series of historical empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau. ... Events: Accession of Wei Mingdi as emperor of the Kingdom of Wei of China. ... Events Shapur I of Persia succeeds Ardashir I Births Deaths Ardashir I, first ruler of the Sassanids Categories: 241 ... The Sassanid Empire in the time of Shapur I; the conquest of Cappadocia was temporary Official language Pahlavi (Middle Persian) Dominant Religion Zoroastrianism Capital Ctesiphon Sovereigns Shahanshah of the Iran (Eranshahr) First Ruler Ardashir I Last Ruler Yazdegerd III Establishment 224 AD Dissolution 651 AD Part of the History of...

Contents


Early years

Relief of Ardashir I, Naghsh-e-Rostam, near Persepolis, Iran
Relief of Ardashir I, Naghsh-e-Rostam, near Persepolis, Iran

Ardashir was born in the late 2nd century CE in Fars, a vassal kingdom of the Parthian Empire. His father Pāpağ (somtimes written as Pāpak or Babak) deposed the previous king, Gochihr, and taken his throne. His mother may have been named Rodhagh. During his father's reign, Ardashir ruled the town of Darabjird and received the title of "argobadh". Upon Pāpağ's death, Ardashir's elder brother Šāpūr ascended to the throne. However, Ardashir rebelled against his brother and took the kingship for himself in 208. Relief of Ardeshir I, Naghsh-e-Rostam, near Persepolis, Iran File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Relief of Ardeshir I, Naghsh-e-Rostam, near Persepolis, Iran File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... NæqÅ¡-e Rostæm, near Shiraz Tomb of Naksh-i Rustam (modern Persian NæqÅ¡-e Rostæm) is an archaeological site in Iran. ... Location of Persepolis Persepolis was an ancient capital of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, situated some 70 km northeast of Shiraz, not far from where the small river Pulwar flows into the Kur (Kyrus). ... // Events Roman Empire governed by the Five Good Emperors (96–180) – Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. ... // Introduction Fars is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. ... Parthia, or known in their native Iranian language as Ashkâniân [2] (also called the Arsacid Empire) was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BCE and 224 CE. It was the second dynasty of... hello my name is marco u ...


Ardashir rapidly extended his territory, demanding fealty from the local princes of Fars and gaining control over the neighboring provinces of Kerman, Isfahan, Susiana, and Mesene. This expansion brought the attention of the Arsacid Great King Artabanus IV, Ardashir's overlord and ruler of the Parthian Empire, who marched against him in 224. Their armies clashed at Hormizdeghan, and Artabanus was killed. Ardashir went on to invade the western provinces of the now-defunct Parthian Empire. This lead to a confrontation between Kurds and Aradshir which is recorded in a historical text named "Book of the Deeds of Ardashir son of Babak". It is written in Pahlavi script. In this book, the author explains the battle between King of the Kurds, "Madig" and Ardashir.[1] (Chapter 5) // Introduction Fars is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. ... Kerman is a province rich in historical sites and monuments. ... // Isfahan province has enjoyed the benefit of being capital of Persia for 200 years during the 17th and 18th centuries. ... The ancient Elamite Empire, تمدن عیلام in Farsi, lay to the east of Sumer and Akkad, in what is now southwestern Iran. ... Characene also known as Mesene, was a kingdom within the Parthian empire at the head of the Persian Gulf. ... The Arsacid Dynasty ruled Persia. ... Artabanus IV of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire (c. ... Events Shah Artashir I wins Persian independence from Parthia and establishes the Sassanid dynasty. ... Kurds are one of the Iranian peoples and speak Kurdish, a north-Western Iranian language related to Persian. ... The Pahlavi script was used broadly in the Sasanid Persian Empire to write down Middle Persian for secular, as well as religious purposes. ... Kurds are one of the Iranian peoples and speak Kurdish, a north-Western Iranian language related to Persian. ...


Crowned in 226 as the sole ruler of Persia, and taking the title Šāhānšāh "King of Kings" (his consort Adhur-Anahid took the title "Queen of Queens"), Ardashir finally brought the 400 year-old Parthian Empire to an end and began four centuries of Sassanid rule. Events: Accession of Wei Mingdi as emperor of the Kingdom of Wei of China. ... The term Persian Empire refers to a series of historical empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau. ...


Over the next few years, Ardashir further expanded his new empire to the east and northwest, conquering the provinces of Sistan, Gorgan, Khorasan, Margiana (in modern Turkmenistan), Balkh, and Chorasmia. Bahrain and Mosul were also added to Sassanid possessions. Furthermore, the kings of Kushan, Turan, and Mekran recognized Ardashir as their overlord. In the West, assaults against Hatra, Armenia and Adiabene met with less success. Sistān and BalÅ«chestān is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. ... Map of Iran and surrounding countries, showing location of Gorgan Gorgan (گرگان); Hyrcania ; Hyrcana (Old Persian Varkâna, land of wolves; modern Persian Gorgan, formerly called Astrabad or Asterabad): part of the ancient Persian empire, on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea (present day Golestan, Mazandaran, Gilan and parts of... Khorasan (also spelled Khurasan and Khorassan; Xorasan or Xurasan in Kurdish; خراسان in Persian) is an area, located in eastern and northeastern Iran. ... Merv (Persian name: مرو), in current-day Turkmenistan, was a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near todays Mary. ... Today Balkh is a small town in the Province of Balkh, Afghanistan, about 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some 74 km (46 miles) south of the Amu Darya, the Oxus River of antiquity, of which a tributary formerly flowed past Balkh. ... Mosul (36°22′N 43°07′E; Arabic: , Kurdish: Mûsil, Syriac: ܢܝܢܘܐ NînÄ›wâ) is a city in northern Iraq. ... The Sassanid Empire in the time of Shapur I; the conquest of Cappadocia was temporary Official language Pahlavi (Middle Persian) Dominant Religion Zoroastrianism Capital Ctesiphon Sovereigns Shahanshah of the Iran (Eranshahr) First Ruler Ardashir I Last Ruler Yazdegerd III Establishment 224 AD Dissolution 651 AD Part of the History of... Boundary of the Kushan empire, c. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... Makran is the southern region of Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. ... Hatra (al-aar الحضر) is an ancient ruined city in the former Iranian province of Khvarvaran, today part of Iraq, located at 35°34′ N 42°42′ E. It was an important fortified city of the Iranian Parthian Empire, and withstood repeated attacks by the Roman Empire. ... Adiabene (In Syriac: ܚܕܝܐܒ) was an ancient Assyrian kingdom in Mesopotamia with its capital at Arbela. ...


Religion and state

Enlarge
The first scene outside the arch, crowning ceremony of Ardashir I and his son Shapur I.

According to historian Arthur Christensen, the Sassanid state as established by Ardashir I was characterized by two general trends which differentiated it from its Parthian predecessor: a strong political centralization and organized state sponsorship of Zoroastrianism. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (378x642, 588 KB) Licensing This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (378x642, 588 KB) Licensing This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. ... Shapur I, son of Ardashir I, was king of Persia from 241 to 272. ... Faravahar (or Ferohar), the depiction of the human soul before birth and after death. ...


The Parthian Empire had consisted of a loose federation of vassal kingdoms under the suzerainty of the Great King. Ardashir, perhaps seeing from his own successes the weaknesses of such decentralized authority, established a strong central government by which to rule Persia. The empire was divided into cantons, the dimensions of which were based on military considerations. These cantons were designed to resist the influence of hereditary interests and feudal rivalries. Local governors who descended from the ruling family bore the title of shāh. In an attempt to protect royal authority from regional challenges, the personal domains of the Sassanids and branch families family were scattered across the empire. While the old feudal princes (vāspuhrs) remained, they were required to render military service with their local troops (for the most part peasant levies). The lesser nobility was cultivated as a source of military strength, forming the elite cavalry of the army, and the royal household found a useful (and presumably reliable) military force through the hiring of mercenaries. Parthian Empire at its greatest extent, c60 BCE. The Parthian Empire was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BCE and 224 CE. Parthia was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the east and... In a detail of Brueghels Land of Cockaigne (1567) a soft-boiled egg has little feet to rush to the luxuriating peasant who catches drops of honey on his tongue, while roast pigs roam wild: the 16th century was a good time for European peasants A peasant, from 15th...


Zoroastrianism had existed in the Parthian Empire, and its holy text, the Avesta, had likely been compiled during the years of the Arsacid dynasty. The Sassanids could trace their heritage to the Temple of Anahita at Staxr, where Ardashir's grandfather had been a dignitary. Under Ardashir, the Zoroastrian (sometimes called Mazdean) religion was promoted and regulated by the state. The Sassanids built fire temples and, under royal direction, a new and official version of the Avesta was compiled by a cleric named Tansār. The government officially backed the Zurvanist doctrine of the religion, which emphasized the concept of time as the "original principle", over the competing doctrine of Vayism, which stressed the importance of space over time. Despite this state backing of a particular sect, it appears that other religious practices were tolerated so long as they did not interfere with the political authority of the Sassanids. See Avesta Municipality for the Swedish town Yasna 28. ... Temple of Anahita: Goddess of ancient Persia, Iran. ... Istakhr(Ǐ-stáxÇœr), also known as Stakhr, is a city located in southern Iran close to Persepolis and Zohak. ...


In other domestic affairs, Ardashir maintained his familial base in Fārs, erecting such structures as the Ghal'eh Dokhtar and the Palace of Ardashir. Despite these impressive structures, he established his government at the old Parthian capital of Ctesiphon on the Tigris River. He also rebuilt the city of Seleucia, located just across the river, which had been destroyed by the Romans in 165, renaming it Veh-Ardashir. Trade was promoted and important ports at Mesene and Charax were repaired or constructed. // Introduction Fars is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. ... Ghaleh Dokhtar castle ruins, Iran, built by Ardashir I in 209AD, before he was finally able to defeat the Parthian empire. ... Aerial view of Ardeshirs castle ruins, built by Ardashir I of the Sassanian dynasty of Persia. ... Ctesiphon, 1932 Ctesiphon (Parthian: Tyspwn as well as Tisfun) is one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia and the capital of the Parthian Empire and its successor, the Sassanid Empire, for more than 800 years located in the ancient Iranian province of Khvarvaran. ... Tigris River in Mosul, Iraq The Tigris (Kurdish: Tîj / Tûj / Tîr , Old Persian: Tigrā-, Pahlavi: Tigr, Syriac: ܕܩܠܬ; Deqlath, Arabic: دجلة; Dijla, Turkish: Dicle, Hebrew: חדקל; ḥiddeqel) is the eastern member of the pair of great rivers that define Mesopotamia, along with the Euphrates, which flows from the mountains of... The name Seleucia may denote any one of several cities in the Seleucid Empire. ... Events A pandemic breaks out in Rome after the Roman army returns from Parthia. ... Charax is a Roman fortress close to the town of Gaspra, Ukraine. ...


War with Rome

In the latter years of his reign, Ardashir engaged in a series of armed conflicts with Persia's great rival to the west - the Roman Empire. For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ...


Ardashir's expansionist tendencies had been frustrated by his failed invasions of Armenia, where a relative of the former Arsacid rulers of Parthia sat on the throne. Given Armenia's traditional position as an ally of the Romans, Ardashir may have seen his primary opponent not in the Armenian and Caucasian troops he had faced, but in Rome and her legions. The Entholinguistic patchwork of the modern Caucasus - CIA map The Caucasus, a region bordering Asia Minor, is located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which includes the Caucasus Mountains and surrounding lowlands. ... The Roman legion (from Latin legio, from legere - to collect) was the basic military unit of ancient Rome. ...


In 230 CE, Ardashir led his army into the Roman province of Mesopotamia, unsuccessfully besieging the fortress town of Nisibis. At the same time, his cavalry ranged far enough past the Roman border to threaten Syria and Cappadocia. It seems that the Romans saw fit to attempt a diplomatic solution to the crisis, reminding the Persians of the superiority of Roman arms, but to no avail. Ardashir campaigned unsuccessfully against Roman border outposts again the following year. As a result, the Roman emperor Severus Alexander moved to the east, establishing his headquarters at Antioch, but experienced difficulties in bringing his troops together and thus made another attempt at diplomacy, which Ardashir rebuffed. Events Pope Pontian succeeds Pope Urban I Patriarch Castinus succeeds Patriarch Ciriacus I as Patriarch of Constantinople Births Deaths Categories: 230 ... The newly excavated Church of Saint Jacob in Nisibis. ... Cappadocia in 188 BC In ancient geography, Cappadocia (spelled Kapadokya in Turkish) (Greek: Καππαδοκία; see also List of traditional Greek place names) was an extensive inland district of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). ... Alexander Severus Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander (October 1, 208- March 18?, 235), commonly called Alexander Severus, Roman emperor from AD 222 to 235, was born at Arca Caesarea in Palestine. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Finally, in 232 CE, Severus Alexander led his legions in a three-pronged assault on the Persians. However, the separate army groups did not advance in a coordinated fashion, and Ardashir was able to take advantage of the disorder and concentrate his forces against the enemy advancing through Armenia, where he was able to halt the Roman advance. However, hearing of the Roman plans to march on his capital at Ctesiphon, Ardashir left only a token screening force in the north and met the enemy force that was advancing to the south, apparently defeating it in a decisive manner. However, one can discern that the Persians must have suffered considerable losses as well, as no attempt was made to pursue the fleeing Romans. Both leaders must have had reason to avoid further campaigning, as Severus Alexander returned to Europe in the following year and Ardashir did not renew his attacks for several years, probably focusing his energies in the east. Events Relics of St. ... Ctesiphon, 1932 Ctesiphon (Parthian: Tyspwn as well as Tisfun) is one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia and the capital of the Parthian Empire and its successor, the Sassanid Empire, for more than 800 years located in the ancient Iranian province of Khvarvaran. ...


On 237 Ardashir, along with his son and successor Šāpūr, again invaded Mesopotamia. This effort resulted in successful assaults on Nisibis and Carrhae and the shock this caused in Rome led the emperor to revive the Roman client-state of Osrhoëne. In 241, Ardashir and Šāpūr finally overcame the stubborn fortress of Hatra. Ardashir died later in the year. Events Patriarch Eugenius I succeeds Patriarch Castinus as Patriarch of Constantinople Saint Babylas becomes Patriarch of Antioch Ardashir I of Persia renews his attacks on the Roman province of Mesopotamia. ... A coin of Shapur I Shapur I, son of Ardashir I, was king of Persia from 241 to 272. ... The newly excavated Church of Saint Jacob in Nisibis. ... Ruins of the Ulu Cami (Great Mosque) at Harran Harran, also known as Carrhae, is an archeological site in present day southeastern Turkey, 24 miles (39 kilometers) southeast of Sanli Urfa. ... Osroene (also: Osrohene, Osrhoene; Syriac: ܡܠܟܘܬܐ Ü•Ü’ܝܬ Ü¥Ü£ÜªÜ Ü¥ÜÜ¢Ü¶Ü), also known by the name of its capital city, Edessa (modern Sanli Urfa, in Syriac: ܐܘܪܗܝ), was one of several kingdoms arising from the dissolution of the Seleucid Empire. ... Events Shapur I of Persia succeeds Ardashir I Births Deaths Ardashir I, first ruler of the Sassanids Categories: 241 ...


Ardashir was an energetic king, responsible for the resurgence of Persia, the strengthening of Zoroastrianism, and the establishment of a dynasty that would endure for four centuries. While his campaigns against Rome met with only limited success, he was able to do what no Persian had been able to do for a long while – force a serious response from the Roman government and military, and in doing so prepared the way for the substantial successes his son and successor would enjoy against the same enemy. Faravahar (or Ferohar), the depiction of the human soul before birth and after death. ...


Sources

  • Christensen, A. 1965: "Sassanid Persia". The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume XII: The Imperial Crisis and Recovery (A.D. 193-324). Cook, S.A. et al, eds. Cambridge: University Press, pp 109-111, 118, 120, 126-130.
  • Oranskij, I. M. 1977: Les Langues Iraniennes. Paris: Librairie C. Klincksieck, pp 71-76. ISBN 2-252-01991-3.
  • Book of the Deeds of Ardashir son of Babak
Preceded by:
Artabanus IV
King of Persia
226241
Succeeded by:
Shapur I
Preceded by:
-
Sassanid dynasty
226241

 
 

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