A proxy war is an armed conflict between two states or non-state actors which act on the instigation or on behalf of other parties that are not directly involved in the hostilities. In order for a conflict to be considered a proxy war, there must be a direct, long-term relationship between external actors and the belligerents involved; the aforementioned relationship takes the form of funding, military training, arms, or other forms of material assistance which assist a belligerent party in sustaining its war effort. During classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, many non-state proxies were external parties which were introduced to an internal conflict and aligned themselves with a belligerent in order to gain influence and further their own interests in the region. Proxies could be introduced by an external or local power and most took the form of irregular armies which were used to achieve their sponsor's goals in a contested region; some medieval states such as the Byzantine Empire used proxy warfare as a foreign policy tool by deliberately cultivating intrigue among hostile rivals and backing them when they went to war with each other.
Other states regarded proxy wars as a useful extension of a preexisting conflict, such as France and England during the Hundred Years' War, both of which initiated a longstanding practice of supporting piracy which targeted the other's merchant shipping. The Ottoman Empire used the Barbary pirates as proxies to harass Western European powers in the Mediterranean Sea. Since the early twentieth century, proxy wars have most taken the form of states assuming the role of sponsors to non-state proxies using them as fifth columns to undermine an adversarial power; this type of proxy warfare includes external support for a faction engaged in a civil war, national liberation movements, insurgent groups, or assistance to a national revolt against foreign occupation. For example, the British organized and instigated the Arab Revolt to undermine the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Many proxy wars began assuming a distinctive ideological dimension after the Spanish Civil War, which pitted the fascist political ideology of Italy and National Socialist ideology of Nazi Germany against the communist ideology of the Soviet Union without involving these states in open warfare with each other.
Sponsors of both sides used the Spanish conflict as a proving ground for their own weapons and battlefield tactics. During the Cold War, proxy warfare was motivated by fears that a conventional war between the United States and Soviet Union would result in nuclear holocaust, rendering the use of ideological proxies a safer way of exercising hostilities; the Soviet government found that supporting parties antagonistic to the US and Western nations was a cost-effective way to combat NATO influence in lieu of direct military engagement. In addition, the proliferation of televised media and its impact on public perception made the US public susceptible to war-weariness and skeptical of risking American life abroad; this encouraged the American practice of arming insurgent forces, such as the funneling of supplies to the mujahideen during the Soviet–Afghan War. A significant disparity in the belligerents' conventional military strength may motivate the weaker party to begin or continue a conflict through allied nations or non-state actors.
Such a situation arose during the Arab–Israeli conflict, which continued as a series of proxy wars following Israel's decisive defeat of the Arab coalitions in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War. The coalition members, upon failing to achieve military dominance via direct conventional warfare, have since resorted to funding armed insurgent and paramilitary organizations, such as Hezbollah, to engage in irregular combat against Israel. Additionally, the governments of some nations liberal democracies, may choose to engage in proxy warfare when a majority of their citizens oppose declaring or entering a conventional war; this featured prominently in US strategy following the Vietnam War, due to the so-called "Vietnam Syndrome" of extreme war weariness among the American population. This was a significant factor in motivating the US to enter conflicts such as the Syrian Civil War via proxy actors, after a series of costly, drawn-out direct engagements in the Middle East spurred a recurrence of war weariness, a so-called "War on Terror syndrome".
Nations may resort to proxy warfare to avoid potential negative international reactions from allied nations, profitable trading partners, or intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations. This is significant when standing peace treaties, acts of alliance, or other international agreements ostensibly forbid direct warfare: breaking such agreements could lead to a variety of negative consequences due to either negative international reaction, punitive provisions listed in the prior agreement, or retaliatory action by the other parties and their allies. In some cases, nations may be motivated to engage in proxy warfare due to financial concerns: supporting irregular troops, non-state actors, or less-advanced allied militaries can be cheaper than deploying national armed forces, the proxies bear the brunt of casualties and economic damage resulting from prolonged conflict. Another common motivating factor is the existence of a security dilemma. Leaders that feel threatened by a rival nation's military power may respond aggressively to perceived efforts by the rival to strengthen their position, such as military intervention to install a more favorable government in a third-party state.
They may respond by attempting to u
The Lakhmids referred to in Arabic as Al-Manādhirah or Banu Lakhm were an Arab kingdom of southern Iraq with al-Hirah as their capital, from about 300 to 602 AD. They were but intermittently the allies and clients of the Sassanian Empire, participant in the Roman–Persian Wars; the Lakhmid Kingdom was founded by Banu Lakhm tribe that emigrated from Yemen in the second century and ruled by the Banu Lakhm, hence the name given it. The founder of the dynasty was'Amr, whose son Imru' al-Qais is claimed to have converted to Christianity according to Western authors. Imru' al-Qais dreamt of a unified and independent Arab kingdom and, following that dream, he seized many cities in the Arabian Peninsula, he formed a large army and developed the Kingdom as a naval power, which consisted of a fleet of ships operating along the Bahraini coast. From this position he attacked the coastal cities of Iran - which at that time was in civil war, due to a dispute as to the succession - raiding the birthplace of the Sasanian kings, Fars Province.
In 325, the Persians, led by Shapur II, began a campaign against the Arab kingdoms. When Imru' al-Qais realised that a mighty Persian army composed of 60,000 warriors was approaching his kingdom, he asked for the assistance of the Roman Empire. Constantius II was unable to provide that help when it was needed; the Persians advanced toward Hira and a series of vicious battles took place around and in Hira and the surrounding cities. Shapur II's army captured Hira. In this, the young Shapur acted much more violently and slaughtered all the Arab men of the city and took the Arab woman and children as slaves, he installed Aws ibn Qallam and retreated his army. Imru' al-Qais escaped to Bahrain, taking his dream of a unified Arab nation with him, to Syria seeking the promised assistance from Constantius II which never materialized, so he stayed there until he died; when he died he was entombed at al-Nimarah in the Syrian desert. Imru' al-Qais' funerary inscription is written in an difficult type of script.
There has been a revival of interest in the inscription, controversy has arisen over its precise implications. It is now certain that Imru' al-Qais claimed the title "King of all the Arabs" and claimed in the inscription to have campaigned over the entire north and centre of the peninsula, as far as the border of Najran. Two years after his death, in the year 330, a revolt took place where Aws ibn Qallam was killed and succeeded by the son of Imru' al-Qais,'Amr. Thereafter, the Lakhmids' main rivals were the Ghassanids, who were vassals of the Sassanians' arch-enemy, the Roman Empire; the Lakhmid kingdom could have been a major centre of the Church of the East, nurtured by the Sassanians, as it opposed the Chalcedonian Christianity of the Romans. The Lakhmids remained influential throughout the sixth century. In 602, the last Lakhmid king, al-Nu'man III ibn al-Mundhir, was put to death by the Sasanian emperor Khosrow II because of a false suspicion of treason, the Lakhmid kingdom was annexed.
It is now believed that the annexation of the Lakhmid kingdom was one of the main factors behind the fall of the Sasanian Empire and the Muslim conquest of Persia as the Sassanians were defeated in the Battle of Hira by Khalid ibn al-Walid. At that point, the city was abandoned and its materials were used to reconstruct Kufa, its exhausted twin city; the Battle of Dhi Qar pitted the Arabs of southern Iraq against the Sasanian army around 609. According to the Arab historian Abu ʿUbaidah, Khosrow II was angry with the king, al-Nu'man III ibn al-Mundhir, for refusing to give him his daughter in marriage, therefore imprisoned him. Subsequently, Khosrow sent troops to recover the Nu'man family armor, but Hani ibn Mas'ud refused, the Arab forces of the Sasanian Empire were annihilated at the battle of Dhi Qar, near Hira, the capital of the Lakhmids. Hira stood just south of. Al-Hirah became the cradle of the Arabic alphabet. Poets born in the Kingdom included: al-Nabigha, Laqete ibn Ya'amur al-Ayadi,'Alqama ibn'Abada and Adi ibn Zayd.
Other great poets visited, like Amr ibn Kulthum. The military of the Sasanian Empire, along with al-Mundhir III ibn al-Nu'man himself and his army, defeated the famed Roman general Belisarius at the Battle of Callinicum. After the death of al-Nu'man III, the Arabs defeated the Persians in the Battle of Dhi Qar. Bahram V lived in Hira and was educated at the court of al-Mundhir I, whose support helped him gain the throne after the assassination of his father; the founder and most of the rulers of the kingdom were from the Banu Lakhm dynasty. Many modern "Qahtanite" dynasties claim descent from the Lakhmids such as the Mandharis of Oman and the United Arab Emirates, the Na'amanis of Oman, the powerful Druze Arslan royal family; the "Mandhari and Na'amani tribes" are the main descendants of the Lakhmids in the Persian Gulf. They are, for the most part, the same family with simple differences; the main difference is that the Na'amani family traces its lineage back to al-Nu'man III ibn al-Mundhir while the Mandhari family traces it back to his grandfather: king al-Mundhir ibn Imr'u al-Qais, but a significant number of members of the Al Mandhari tribe are descendants of king al-Nu'man III ibn al-Mundhir.
Both families are situated in the Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman. Both families are well known for their members engaging in judicial responsibilities. T
Shapur II known as Shapur II the Great, was the tenth Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire. The longest-reigning monarch in Iranian history, he reigned for his entire 70-year life from 309 to 379, he was the son of Hormizd II. His reign saw the military resurgence of the country, the expansion of its territory, which marked the start of the first Sasanian golden era, he is thus along with Shapur I, Kavadh I and Khosrow I, regarded as one of the most illustrious Sasanian kings. His three direct successors, on the other hand, were less successful. Shapur II pursued a harsh religious policy. Under his reign, the collection of the Avesta, the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, was completed and apostasy were punished, Christians were persecuted; the latter was a reaction against the Christianization of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great. Shapur II, like Shapur I, was amicable towards Jews, who lived in relative freedom and gained many advantages in his period. At the time of Shapur's death, the Sasanian Empire was stronger than with its enemies to the east pacified and Armenia under Sasanian control.
When Hormizd II died in 309, he was succeeded by his son Adur Narseh, after a brief reign which lasted few months, was killed by some of the nobles of the empire. They blinded the second, imprisoned the third; the throne was reserved for the unborn child of Hormizd II's Jewish wife Ifra Hormizd, Shapur II. It is said that Shapur II may have been the only king in history to be crowned in utero, as the legend claims that the crown was placed upon his mother's womb while she was pregnant. However, according to Alireza Shapour Shahbazi, it is unlikely that Shapur was crowned as king while still in his mother's womb, since the nobles could not have known of his sex at that time, he further states that Shapur was born forty days after his father's death, that the nobles killed Adur Narseh and crowned Shapur II in order to gain greater control of the empire, which they were able to do until Shapur II reached his majority at the age of 16. During the childhood of Shapur II, Arab nomads made several incursions into the Sasanian homeland of Pars, where they raided Gor and its surroundings.
Furthermore, they made incursions into Meshan and Mazun. At the age of 16, Shapur II led an expedition against the Arabs, he attacked the Banu Tamim in the Al Hajar Mountains. Shapur II killed a large number of the Arab population and destroyed their water supplies by stopping their wells with sand. After having dealt with the Arabs of eastern Arabia, he continued his expedition into western Arabia and Syria, where he attacked several cities—he went as far as Medina; because of his cruel way of dealing with the Arabs, he was called Dhū l-Aktāf "he who pierces shoulders" by them. Not only did Shapur II pacify the Arabs of the Persian Gulf, but he pushed many Arab tribes further deep into the Arabian Peninsula. Furthermore, he deported some Arab tribes by force. Shapur II, in order to prevent the Arabs from making more raids into his country, ordered the construction of a wall near al-Hirah, which became known as war-i tāzigān; the Zoroastrian scripture Bundahishn mentions the Arabian campaign of Shapur II: During the rulership of Shapur, the son of Hormizd, the Arabs came.
With Eastern Arabia more under Sasanian control, with the establishment of Sasanian garrison troops, the way for Zoroastrianism was opened. Pre-Islamic Arabian poets makes mention of Zoroastrianism practices, which they must have either made contact with in Asoristan or Eastern Arabia. In 337, just before the death of Constantine the Great, Shapur II, provoked by the Roman rulers' backing of Roman Armenia, broke the peace concluded in 297 between emperors Narseh and Diocletian, observed for forty years; this was the beginning of two long drawn-out wars. After crushing a rebellion in the south, Shapur II invaded captured Armenia. Nine major battles were fought; the most renowned was the inconclusive Battle of Singara in which Constantius II was at first successful, capturing the Persian camp, only to be driven out by a surprise night attack after Shapur had rallied his troops. The most notable feature of this war was the successful defence of the Roman fortress of Nisibis in Mesopotamia. Shapur besieged the fortress three times, was repulsed each time.
Although victorious in battle, Shapur II could make no further progress with Nisibis un-taken. At the same time he was attacked in the east by other Central Asia, he had to break off the war with the Romans and arrange a hasty truce in order to pay attention to the east. Around this time the Hunnic tribes, most the Kidarites, whose king was Grumbates, make an appearance as an encroaching threat upon Sasanian territory as well as a menace to the Gupta Empire. After a prolonged struggle they were forced to conclude a peace, Grumbates agreed to e
Kufa is a city in Iraq, about 170 kilometres south of Baghdad, 10 kilometres northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River; the estimated population in 2003 was 110,000. Kufa and Najaf are joined into a single urban area, commonly known to the outside world as'Najaf'. Along with Samarra, Karbala and Najaf, Kufa is one of five Iraqi cities that are of great importance to Shi'ite Muslims; the city was the final capital of the fourth Rashidun Caliph, Ali ibn Abu Talib, was founded during 639 CE by the second Rashidun Caliph, Umar ibn Al-Khattab. It is related that Muslims after conquest of Al-Madain were searching for a suitable place for habitation. Others and Hudhayfa bin al-Yamman were looking for. After choosing the land, they offered prayers there. In the days of the Rashidun Caliphate, Kufa was prominent in literacy and politics, being founded before Uthman. From the perspective of 8th-century CE Medina and Damascus, Kufa was associated with "variant" readings and interpretations of the Qur'an in the name of Ibn Mas'ud and read from the pulpit as if they were part of the Qur'an itself.
It became said that Uthman had sent an exemplar of the text to Kufa, but that it was burnt during the wars of Mukhtar and Ibn Zubayr. Al-Hajjaj restored or at any rate promulgated the standard text under Abd al-Malik, castigating the memory of Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud as "Ibn Umm Abd", but a faction in Kufa preserved the readings "of ‘Abd Allah/Ibn Mas‘ud", whence Mujahid and his fellow mujtahids compiled them along with other readings and interpretations. From there these readings entered the vast repository of Near Eastern hadith to be written down into collections of hadith and tafsir; the Arabs, led by Caliph Umar, conquered Iraq and began ruling Suristan around 637. Umar, who assigned the land of the Jews in Arabia to his warriors, ordered the relocation of the Jews of Khaybar to a strip of land in Kufa, in 640. After the Arab victory against the East Roman Empire at Battle of Yarmouk in 636, Kufa was founded and given its name in 637–638 CE, about the same time as Basrah; the Companion of the Prophet Saʻd ibn Abī Waqqas founded it as an encampment adjacent to the Lakhmid Arab city of Al-Hīrah, incorporated it as a city of seven divisions.
Non-Arabs knew the city under alternate names: Hīrah and Aqulah, before the consolidations of ʻAbdu l-Mālik in 691. However, in the 640s, the Kufan commons were agitated that Umar's governor was distributing the spoils of war unfairly. In 642 ʻUmar summoned Saʻd to Medina with his accusers. Despite finding Sa'd to be innocent, Umar deposed him to avert ill feelings. At first, Umar appointed Ammar ibn Yasir and secondly Basra's first Governor Abū Mūsā al-Ashʻarī. ʻUmar and the Kufans agreed on Al-Mughīrah ibn Shuʻbah. The city was built in a circular plan according to the Partho-Sasanian architecture. Following Umar's death, his successor Uthman replaced Mughirah with Al-Walid ibn Uqba in 645; this happened while the Arabs were continuing their conquest of western Persia under Uthman ibn Hakam from Tawwaj, but late in the 640s, these forces suffered setbacks. Uthman in 650 reorganised the Iranian frontier; the few but noticeable trouble makers in Kufa sought in 654 and had Sa'id deposed and instead showed satisfaction with the return of Abu Musa, which Uthman approved seeking to please all.
Kufa remained a source of instigations albeit from a minority. In 656 when the Egyptian instigators, in co-operation with those in Kufa, marched onto the Caliph Uthman in Medina, Abu Musa counselled the instigators to no avail. Upon Uthman's assassination by rebels, governor Abu Musa attempted to restore a non-violent atmosphere in Kufa; the Muslims in Medina and elsewhere supported the right of Ali ibn Abu Talib to the caliphate. In order to manage the Military frontiers more efficiently, Ali shifted the capital from Medina to Kufa; the people of Syria and their governor, who seized the Caliphate for himself and his family by using the confusion caused by the assassination of Caliph Uthman and being disturbed by the brutal assassination of the Caliph Uthman, demanded retribution. As Muawiyah mounted his campaign to hold Ali responsible for the murder of Uthman, factions developed. In an emotionally charged atmosphere, Muawiyah's refusal to give allegiance to Ali as the Caliph without Ali avenging Uthman first led to war.
While praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, Ali was attacked by the Khawarij Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam. He was wounded by ibn Muljam's poison-coated sword while prostrating in the Fajr prayer. Muawiyah I appointed Ziyad ibn Abihi as the Governor of Kufa, after Hasan's migration to Medina, a peace treaty which dictated he abdicate his right to caliphate to avoid an open war among Muslims; some of Hasan's followers, like Hujr ibn Adi, were unhappy with the peace treaty, did not change their ways according to the edicts of the new Governor. This became noticeable, since it created a rebellion against the ruler. However, Ziyad ibn Abihi was an keen strategist and politician, was able to put down all challenges posed by the rebels against his rule. Throughout the Umayyad era, as was the case since the inception of the city by Umar ibn Khattab, there were those among Kufa's inhabitants who were re
Flavius Belisarius was a general of the Byzantine Empire. He was instrumental to Emperor Justinian I's ambitious project of reconquering much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire, lost less than a century before. One of the defining features of Belisarius's career was his success despite varying levels of support from Justinian, his name is given as one of the so-called "Last of the Romans". Belisarius is considered a military genius who conquered the Vandal Kingdom of North Africa in the Vandalic War in nine months from July 533 to March 534, he defeated the Vandal armies at the battles of Ad Decimum and Tricamarum and compelled the Vandal king Gelimer to surrender. After the conquest of North Africa, Belisarius took over most of Italy from the Ostrogothic Kingdom in a series of sieges between 535 and 540 during the Gothic War. Belisarius was born in Germane or Germania, a fortified town of which some archaeological remains still exist, on the site of present-day Sapareva Banya in south-west Bulgaria, within the borders of Thrace and Paeonia, or in Germen, a town in Thrace near Adrianople, in present-day Turkey.
Born into an Illyrian or Thracian family that spoke Latin as a mother tongue, he became a Roman soldier as a young man, serving in the bodyguard of Emperor Justin I. He came to his nephew, Justinian, as a promising and innovative officer, he was given permission by the emperor to form a bodyguard regiment, of heavy cavalry, which he expanded into a personal household regiment, 1,500 strong. Belisarius's bucellarii were the nucleus around which all the armies he would command were organized. Armed with a lance, composite bow, spatha, they were armoured to the standard of heavy cavalry of the day. A multi-purpose unit, the bucellarii were capable of shooting at a distance with bow, like the Huns, or could act as heavy shock cavalry, charging an enemy with lance and sword. In essence, they combined the best and most dangerous aspects of both of Rome's greatest enemies, the Huns and the Goths. Following Justin's death in 527, the new emperor, Justinian I, appointed Belisarius to command the Roman army in the east to deal with incursions from the Sassanid Empire.
He proved himself an able and effective commander, defeating the larger Sassanid army through superior generalship. In June/July 530, during the Iberian War, he led the Romans to a stunning victory over the Sassanids in the Battle of Dara, followed by a tactical defeat at the Battle of Callinicum on the Euphrates in 531—this was a strategic victory in that the Persians retreated to their own borders; this led to the negotiation of an "Eternal Peace" with the Persians, Roman payment of heavy tributes for years in exchange for peace with Persia, freeing resources for redeployment elsewhere. In 532, he was the highest-ranking military officer in the Imperial capital of Constantinople when the Nika riots broke out in the city and nearly resulted in the overthrow of Justinian. Belisarius sought the help of Mundus, the magister militum of Illyricum, Narses, a eunuch and general, his friend John the Armenian. Together, they suppressed the rebellion, turning the rebels who had gathered in the Hippodrome against each other, by bribing one group to depart in peace and massacring the remainder, by some accounts as many as 30,000 people.
For his efforts, Belisarius was rewarded by Justinian with the command of a land and sea expedition against the Vandal Kingdom, mounted in 533–534. The Romans had political and strategic reasons for such a campaign; the pro-Roman Vandal king Hilderic had been deposed and murdered by the usurper Gelimer, giving Justinian a legal pretext. The Arian Vandals had periodically persecuted the Nicene Christians within their kingdom, many of whom made their way to Constantinople seeking redress; the Vandals had launched many pirate raids on Roman trade interests, hurting commerce in the western areas of the Empire. Justinian wanted control of the Vandal territory in north Africa, one of the wealthiest provinces and the breadbasket of the Western Roman Empire and was now vital for guaranteeing Roman access to the western Mediterranean. In the late summer of 533, Belisarius landed near Caput Vada, he ordered his fleet not to lose sight of the army marched along the coastal highway toward the Vandal capital of Carthage.
He did this to prevent supplies from being cut off and to avoid a great defeat such as occurred during the attempt by Basiliscus to retake northern Africa 65 years before, which had ended in the Roman disaster at the Battle of Cap Bon in 468. Gelimer had planned to ambush and encircle the Romans along with a force under his brother Ammatas and 2,000 men under his nephew Gibamund; the three attacks were not properly synchronized, however, so that Ammatas and Gibamund's forces were defeated before the forces of Gelimer met Belisarius ten miles from Carthage at the Battle of Ad Decimum on September 13, 533. Despite his bold plan, Gelimer's forces were outnumbered and surprised and disorganised for the positioning of Belisarius' main force, leading to Belisarius routing Gelimer and the remains of his army off the field. With this victory, Belisarius soon took Carthage. A second victory at the Battle of Tricamarum on December 15 resulted in Gelimer's surrender early in 534 at Mount Papua, restoring the lost Roman provinces of north Africa to the empire.
For this achievement, Belisarius was granted a triumph. According to Procopius, the spoils of the Temple of Jerusalem, including many obj
Edessa was a city in Upper Mesopotamia, founded on an earlier site by Seleucus I Nicator ca. 302 BC. It was known as Antiochia on the Callirhoe from the 2nd century BC, it was the capital of the semi-independent kingdom of Osroene from c. 132 BC and fell under direct Roman rule in ca. 242. It became an important early centre of Syriac Christianity, it fell to the Muslim conquest in 638, was retaken by Byzantium in 1031 and became the center of the Crusader state of the County of Edessa from 1098–1144. It fell to the Turkic Zengid dynasty in 1144 and was absorbed by the Ottoman Empire in 1517; the modern name of the city is Urfa and it is located in Şanlıurfa Province in the Southeast Anatolia Region of Turkey. The earliest name of the city was Admaʾ recorded in Assyrian cuneiform in the seventh century BC. A Hellenistic settlement was founded on the location of the Syrian town by Seleucus I Nicator in 304 BC, named Edessa after the ancient capital of Macedonia due to its abundant water, just like its Macedonian eponym.
It was renamed Callirrhoe or Antiochia on the Callirhoe in the 2nd century BC. This same name appears as Armenian: Ուռհա, transliterated Urha or Ourha, in Syriac as Orhay, in Arabic as الرُّهَا ar-Ruha, Riha the Kurdish languages, Latinized as Rohais, adopted in Turkish as Urfa or Şanlıurfa, its present name, it was named Justinopolis in the early 6th century. According to Jewish and Muslim traditions, it is Ur of the birthplace of Abraham. In the second half of the second century BC, as the Seleucid Empire disintegrated durings wars with Parthia, Edessa became the capital of the Abgar dynasty, who founded the kingdom of Osroene; this kingdom was established by Arabs from the northern Arabian Peninsula and lasted nearly four centuries, under twenty-eight rulers, who sometimes called themselves "king" on their coinage. Edessa was at first more or less under the protectorate of the Parthians of Tigranes of Armenia, Edessa was Armenian Mesopotamia's capital city from the time of Pompey under the Roman Empire.
Following its capture and sack by Trajan, the Romans occupied Edessa from 116 to 118, although its sympathies towards the Parthians led to Lucius Verus pillaging the city in the 2nd century. From 212 to 214 the kingdom was a Roman province; the Roman emperor Caracalla was assassinated on the road from Edessa to Carrhae by one of his guards in 217. Edessa became one of the frontier cities of the province of Osroene and lay close to the border of the Sasanian Empire; the Battle of Edessa took place between the Roman armies under the command of Emperor Valerianus and the Sasanian forces under Emperor Shapur I in 260. The Roman army was defeated and captured in its entirety by the Persian forces, including Valerian himself, an event which had never happened; the literary language of the tribes that had founded this kingdom was Aramaic, from which Syriac developed. Traces of Hellenistic culture were soon overwhelmed in Edessa, which employed Syriac legends on coinage, with the exception of the client king Abgar IX, there is a corresponding lack of Greek public inscriptions.
The precise date of the introduction of Christianity into Edessa is not known. However, there is no doubt that before AD 190 Christianity had spread vigorously within Edessa and its surroundings and that shortly after the royal house joined the church. According to a legend first reported by Eusebius in the fourth century, King Abgar V was converted by Thaddeus of Edessa, one of the seventy-two disciples, sent to him by "Judas, called Thomas". However, various sources confirm that the Abgar who embraced the Christian faith was Abgar IX. Under him Christianity became the official religion of the kingdom, he was succeeded by Aggai by Saint Mari, ordained about 200 by Serapion of Antioch. Thence came to us in the second century the famous Peshitta, or Syriac translation of the Old Testament. Among the illustrious disciples of the School of Edessa, Bardaisan, a schoolfellow of Abgar IX, deserves special mention for his role in creating Christian religious poetry, whose teaching was continued by his son Harmonius and his disciples.
A Christian council was held at Edessa as early as 197. In 201 the city was devastated by a great flood, the Christian church was destroyed. In 232 the relics of the apostle Thomas were brought from Mylapore, India, on which occasion his Syriac Acts were written. Under Roman domination many martyrs suffered at Edessa: Sharbel and Barsamya, under Decius. Gûrja, Shâmôna, others under Diocletian. In the meanwhile Christian priests from Edessa had evangelized Eastern Mesopotamia and Persia, established the first Churches in the Sasanian Empire. Atillâtiâ, Bishop of Edessa, assisted at the First Council of Nicaea; the Peregrinatio Silviae gives an account of the many sanctuaries at Edessa about 388. Under Byzantine rule, as metropolis of Osroene, Edessa had eleven. Michel Le Quien mentions thirty-five bishops of Edessa; the Eastern Orthodox episcopate seems to have disappeared after the 11th century. Of its Jacobite bishops, twenty-nine are mentioned by Le Quien, many others in the Revue de l'Orient chrétien, some in Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländ
A Persian miniature is a small painting on paper, whether a book illustration or a separate work of art intended to be kept in an album of such works called a muraqqa. The techniques are broadly comparable to the Western and Byzantine traditions of miniatures in illuminated manuscripts. Although there is an well-established Persian tradition of wall-painting, the survival rate and state of preservation of miniatures is better, miniatures are much the best-known form of Persian painting in the West, many of the most important examples are in Western, or Turkish, museums. Miniature painting became a significant genre in Persian art in the 13th century, receiving Chinese influence after the Mongol conquests, the highest point in the tradition was reached in the 15th and 16th centuries; the tradition continued, under some Western influence, after this, has many modern exponents. The Persian miniature was the dominant influence on other Islamic miniature traditions, principally the Ottoman miniature in Turkey, the Mughal miniature in the Indian sub-continent.
Persian art under Islam had never forbidden the human figure, in the miniature tradition the depiction of figures in large numbers, is central. This was because the miniature is a private form, kept in a book or album and only shown to those the owner chooses, it was therefore possible to be more free than in wall paintings or other works seen by a wider audience. The Qur'an and other purely religious works are not known to have been illustrated in this way, though histories and other works of literature may include religiously related scenes, including those depicting the Prophet Muhammed, after 1500 without showing his face; as well as the figurative scenes in miniatures, which this article concentrates on, there was a parallel style of non-figurative ornamental decoration, found in borders and panels in miniature pages, spaces at the start or end of a work or section, in whole pages acting as frontispieces. In Islamic art this is referred to as "illumination", manuscripts of the Qur'an and other religious books included considerable number of illuminated pages.
The designs reflected contemporary work in other media, in periods being close to book-covers and Persian carpets, it is thought that many carpet designs were created by court artists and sent to the workshops in the provinces. In periods miniatures were created as single works to be included in albums called muraqqa, rather than illustrated books; this allowed non-royal collectors to afford a representative sample of works from different styles and periods. The bright and pure colouring of the Persian miniature is one of its most striking features. All the pigments used are mineral-based ones which keep their bright colours well if kept in proper conditions, the main exception being silver used to depict water, which will oxidize to a rough-edged black over time; the conventions of Persian miniatures changed slowly. Lighting is without shadows or chiaroscuro. Walls and other surfaces are shown either frontally, or as at an angle of about 45 degrees giving the modern viewer the unintended impression that a building is hexagonal in plan.
Buildings are shown in complex views, mixing interior views through windows or "cutaways" with exterior views of other parts of a facade. Costumes and architecture are always those of the time. Many figures are depicted, with those in the main scene rendered at the same size, recession indicated by placing more distant figures higher up in the space. More important figures may be somewhat larger than those around them, battle scenes can be crowded indeed. Great attention is paid to the background, whether of a landscape or buildings, the detail and freshness with which plants and animals, the fabrics of tents, hangings or carpets, or tile patterns are shown is one of the great attractions of the form; the dress of figures is shown with great care, although artists understandably avoid depicting the patterned cloth that many would have worn. Animals the horses that often appear, are shown sideways on. Landscapes are often mountainous, this being indicated by a high undulating horizon, outcrops of bare rock which, like the clouds in the small area of sky left above the landscape, are depicted in conventions derived from Chinese art.
When a scene in a palace is shown, the viewpoint appears to be from a point some metres in the air. The earliest miniatures appeared unframed horizontally across the page in the middle of text, following Byzantine and Arabic precedents, but in the 14th century the vertical format was introduced influenced by Chinese scroll-paintings; this is used in all the luxury manuscripts for the court that constitute the most famous Persian manuscripts, the vertical format dictates many characteristics of the style. The miniatures occupy a full page sometimes spreading across two pages to regain a square or horizontal "landscape" format. There are panels of text or captions inside the picture area, enclosed in a frame of several ruled lines with a broader band of gold or colour; the re