In the late sixth century, Sasanian Empire of Persia and the Ethiopia-based Aksumite Empire fought a series of wars over control of the Himyarite Kingdom in Yemen, Southern Arabia. After the Battle of Hadhramaut and the Siege of Sana'a in 570, the Aksumites were expelled from the Arabian peninsula, they had re-established their power there by 575 or 578, when another Persian army invaded Yemen and re-established the deposed king on his throne as their client. It marked the end of Ethiopian rule in Arabia. Around 520, Kaleb of Axum had sent an expedition to Yemen against the Jewish Himyarite king Dhu Nuwas, persecuting the Christian community there. Dhu Nuwas was deposed and killed and Kaleb appointed a Christian Himyarite, Esimiphaios, as his viceroy. However, around 525 this viceroy was deposed by the Aksumite general Abraha. After Abraha's death, his son Masruq ibn Abraha continued the Axumite vice-royalty in Yemen, resuming payment of tribute to Axum. However, his half-brother Ma'd-Karib revolted.
After being denied by Justinian, Ma'd-Karib sought help from Khosrow I, the Sasanian Persian Emperor. Khosrau sent his general Vahrez and his son Nawzadh to Yemen at the head of a small expeditionary force of eight hundred cavalrymen of Dailamite origin, in one version men of good birth, consigned to prison but were now given a chance to redeem themselves by achieving victory; the Persian army, onboard eight ships, sailed around the coasts of the Arabian peninsula. During the invasion, Nawzadh was killed, which made Vahriz furious at Masruq, the Ethiopian ruler of Yemen. Vahriz met Masruq in battle and killed the latter with an arrow at Battle of Hadhramaut, which made the Ethiopians flee, he approached Sana'a, where he is known to have said: "My banner shall never enter lowered! Break down the gateway!" After having captured Sana'a, Vahrez restored Sayf ibn Dhi-Yazan to his throne as a vassal of the Sasanian Empire. Al-Tabari reports that the main reason behind victory of Vahrez over the Axumites was the use of the panjigan, a piece of military technology with which the local peoples were utterly unfamiliar.
After having conquered Yemen, Vahrez returned to Persia with a great amount of booty. However, in 575 or 578, the vassal king was killed by the Ethiopians, which forced Vahrez to return to Yemen with a force of 4000 men, expel the Ethiopians once again, he made Maʿdī Karib, the son of Sayf, the new king of Yemen. Vahriz was appointed as governor of Yemen by Khosrau I, which would remain in Sasanian hands until the arrival of Islam. Vahriz was succeeded by his son Marzbān as governor of Yemen. Vahrez made the son of Sayf, the new king of Yemen. Vahrez was appointed as governor of Yemen by Khosrau I, which would remain in Sasanian hands until the arrival of Islam. Vahriz was succeeded by his son Marzbān as governor of Yemen. Abna' Iberian War Zakeri, Mohsen. Sasanid Soldiers in Early Muslim Society: The Origins of'Ayyārān and Futuwwa. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. Pp. 1–391. ISBN 3447036524. Bosworth, C. E.. "Abnāʾ". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. I, Fasc. 3. Pp. 226–228. Potts, Daniel T.. "ARABIA ii. The Sasanians and Arabia".
Women in the Sasanian Empire
In the Sassanid Empire, the state religion Zoroastrianism created the policy that dictated relationships between men and women. Zoroastrianism set what roles women would have, the marriage practices, women's privileges in Sasanian society and influenced Islam when it arose; the moral standards, the structure of life, the practices of the Sasanian society were found by looking at the religious writing and laws of the time. Women had legal rights, such as to real estate, but the privileges a woman had depended on what type of wife she was, as did the restriction that were placed on her. Preceding the collapse of the Great Kushans was the fall of the western part of their empire; this occurred in the mid-third century A. D; the Sassanians occupied the land in the succeeding stages, their vassal kings ruled the territory which soon became known as the North-Eastern province. During this period, the Eastern lands of the Great Kushans, which exist beyond the Indus River, was ruled by the Later Kushans.
The Later Kushans were the Sassanians successors and exclusive with the Kushano-Sassanian. Political upheavals characterized this period; the Kushano-Sassanians and Later Kushans, ruled Gandhara, which included Taxila at different intervals. Neither of the societies controlled the kingdom at a given time; the Sassaninans invaded from Persia and took over the Great Kushana Empire during the last few days of Vasudeva I’s reign. The empire of the Sassaninas of Persia was established in A. D. 225. Ardashir, the early ruler, expanded the empire in the Eastern territories beyond his borders. Province and territories were appointed rulers. Ardashir looked to the territory of Bactria, a threat to the budding empire of the Kushans, he expanded into this region as well. Preceding this conquest, was the rise of Ardashir’s son, Shapur I, he took over other important areas and established his own rule in the occupied territories. Shapur created a new province, known as Kushan Shahr. Deputies were appointed to the remote regions of this land.
The Kushano-Sasanian rulers continued with their political upheavals as they expanded further into the newly established kingdom. Zoroastrianism become the dominant religion in the Sassanid Empire in the upper classes of society; the Sasanian society included Christians and pagan Turks. However, Zoroastrianism gained so much power and influence that it became the state religion; because Zoroastrianism was a patriarchal religion, it restricted and limited the roles of women in the Sassaninan society. Women of the Sasanian society were viewed as role models displaying good behavior. Women were expected to accept domesticity as daughters and mothers, rather than to seek out public recognition. Although women had to be obedient to men, they were allowed certain legal rights and responsibilities; these included the right to enter into contractual agreements and commercial transactions, access to their inheritance, to meet all debts, they were held responsible for the violations of the law. The Persian conception of royalty was masculine.
The Zoroastrian church did not have any female clergy. Women were always under the authority of a guardian—whether father, son, or other male relative. However, when it came time to choose a new leader, the nobles and priests would not accept as king anyone, not a member of the royal family. Therefore, two sisters ended up ruling the Sassanid Empire for a short period of time when no other members of the royal bloodline were available. In 628 AD, Khusrau II and eighteen of his sons were assassinated by one of his own sons Kavadh II, who became the successor. After only a few months, he was killed and a period of civil war broke out. Kavad's son Ardashir took the throne at a young age. Ardashir was murdered by General Sarwaraz. Sarwaraz was the first king to take the throne, not from the royal family, he was murdered. This vacancy on the throne was filled by Husrav's first daughter, Boran. No other woman, in her own rights, had ascended the Sasanian throne before. Boran and her sister were considered to be the only two legitimate heirs left of the royal family.
When Boran came to power the power of the central authority was weak due to civil wars. It was Borans' goal to once again bring stability to the empire. To accomplish this, Boran offered a peace treaty with the Byzantine Empire; this would revitalize the empire through the implementation of justice, reconstruction of the infrastructure, lowering of taxes, the minting of coins. The amazing thing is. There is nothing negative about her, related to her sex. Boran's reign is said to have been marked by benevolence, she justly to all of her subjects. She was said to be creative and energetic. Boran ordered the rebuilding of bridges made of boats in order to improve the catastrophic economic situation in the empire. Just after a year of being queen, Boran died in 631 AD, it is not known how Boran died. Many sources say she passed from natural causes, Christian sources says that she was murdered by a general seeking to be king. After Boran's death, her sister Azarmedukht succeeded the throne for a short time.
The only reason that she was able to become King of the Sasanian society was because she was of royal bloodline. Thus, Azarmedukht "possessed the main prerequisite for the sacral kingship and xwarrah to be" hers. In the Sasanian society, young women were deemed ready for marriage when they reached the age of fifteen or sometimes younger, marriage was high
Timeline of the Sasanian Empire
The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Dynasty is the name mused for the Persian dynasty which lasted from 224 to 651 AD. 224 - Ardashir I introduces the name of Šāhanšāh. C. 224-240 – Zoroastrianism belief experiences an era of recovery under Ardashir I kingdom. 230 - Sassanian army assaults the Roman-controlled fraction of Upper Mesopotamia and lay hands on Nisibis, however is not capable to catch it. 237-238 - Ardashir I begins another rushes on the Eastern Roman Provinces and occupies Harran and Nisibis. 241 - Coronation of Shapur I. c. 242-273 - Mani makes a journey in Persia. 252-256 - Shapur I moves forward to the Eastern Roman Provinces. C. 259 - Failure and detention of Valerian by Shapur I. c. 260 - 2nd foray of the Eastern Roman Provinces by Shapur I. c. 261 - Odaenathus, the ruler of Palmyra, stops the triumphant Persian troops coming back home following the looting of Antioch, scores a notable conquest against Shapur I and drives the Persians back across the Euphrates. 271 - Coronation of Hormizd I. 273 - Coronation of Bahram I. 274 or 277 - The death penalty of Mani by influential Zoroastrian high priest Kartir.
276 - Coronation of Bahram II. 276 - The Kartir is chosen as extreme power of the Zoroastrian place of worship and victimizes the supporters of other believes. 283 - Roman Emperor Carus seizes Mesopotamia and catches Ctesiphon, but his troops comes back his unexpected passing. 286 - Tiridates takes the Armenian throne and the Persians are discharged from there. 293 - Narseh overwhelms his competitors and triumphs to the Persian throne. C. 294 - Narseh’s Paikuli inscription in Iraq next to the Persian frontier. 296 - Narseh raids Armenia, expels Tiridates, quells the Romans. 297- Roman Emperor Galerius undoes Narseh. The Treaty of Nisibis compels Narseh to abandon Mesopotamia. C. 301 - Realm of Armenia is the primitive power to accept Christianity as the kingdom creed. 302 - Resignation of Narseh. 309 - Coronation of Shapur II. 325 - Shapur II falls upon Arab people and makes impregnable the empire’s frontiers. 338 - Shapur II retrieves the five regions gave in by Narseh to Rome. 348 - Shapur II seizes Mesopotamia.
C. 360 - Fondation of the Kidarite kingdom. 363 - War between Julian and Persian troops follows his back off and demise. 376 - The armistice signed by Rome and Persia. 379 - Death of Shapur II and the accession of Ardashir II. 383 - Coronation of Shapur III. 399 - Coronation of Yazdegerd I, titled “the Sinner” owing to his efforts to control the influence of Zoroastrian clergy and his leniency towards other believes. 409 - Christian are allowed to publicly worship and to construct churches. 420 - Coronation of Bahram V. 421 - Peace between Persia and Rome comes to an end. 422 - Bahram V triumphs in driving off an assault by the Hephtalites. C. 425 - Bahram V brings in gypsies from India to amuse people according to the Shahnameh. 428 - Dissolution of Arsacid dynasty of Armenia. Establishment of Persian Armenia. 438 - Coronation of Yazdegerd II. 451 - Battle of Avarayr fought against the Christian Armenian rebels led by Vardan Mamikonian. 457 - Coronation of Hormizd III. 459 - Coronation of Peroz I. 484 - Hephthalite Empire conquer Peroz I. 484 - Coronation of Balash.
The Nvarsak Treaty grants the Armenians the right to profess Christianity freely. 488 - Coronation of Kavadh I. C. 490 - Mazdak teaches his ideology, egalitarian idea. C. 490 - Initiation of agrarian and tax reforms. 496 - Kavadh I is dethroned by his brother Djamasp. 499 - Return of Kavadh I with support of Hephtalites. 524 - War between Byzantine Empire and Sassanid Empire. 526 - Romans assault Persia and Mesopotamia, however they are beaten. Start of the Iberian War. 531 - Coronation of Khosrow I. c. 531 - Slaughter and crackdown of the Mazdak's followers. C. 531 - Farming, military, communal reforms. C. 531 - Conversion of Panchatantra, a Sanskrit-written book-story to Middle Persian. 533 - End of conflict between Persia and Byzantine Empire. 541 - Lazic War commences between the Byzantines and the Sassanids for control over Lazica. C. 554 - Procopius, Byzantine expert and observer to the battles between Khosrow I and Justinian I, which he writes in his De bello Persico, dies. C. 570 - Conquest of Yemen.
C. 570 - Birth of the Muḥammad. 579 - Death of Khosrow I and the Coronation of Hormizd IV. 580 - Sassanids abolish the monarchy of the Kingdom of Iberia. Direct control through self-appointed governors commences. 588 - First Perso-Turkic War and their defeat at the hands of the Persian General Bahrām Chobin. 590 - Hormizd IV is assassinated. 590 - Uprising of Bahrām Chobin and his seizure of the Persian throne. 591 - Overwhelming of Bahrām Chobin. Khosrow II regains the throne. 596 - Muḥammad gets marry Khadija bint Khuwaylid. 602 - Climactic Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 commences. 603 - Khosrow II’s invasion of Byzantium in revenge for the murder of Emperor Maurice and his relatives by the tyrant Phocas. 611-616 - Khosrow II’s conquest of Syria and Egypt. 622 - Muḥammad moves in secrecy from Mecca to Medina, accompanied by Abu Bakr. 626 - The Sassanids alongside the allied Avars and Slavs besiege the Byzantine capital, Constantinople 627 - Heraclius defeats the troops of the Sasanian Empire near Nineveh.
628 - Deposition and execution of Khosrow II by his son and successor Kavadh
Yazdegerd III, was the last king of the Sasanian Empire from 632 to 651. His father was Shahriyar and his grandfather was Khosrow II. Ascending the throne at the age of eight, the young shah lacked authority and reigned as figurehead, whilst real power was in the hands of the army commanders and powerful members of the aristocracy, who were fighting amongst themselves and wiping out each other; the Sasanian Empire was falling apart swiftly due to internal conflicts, was at the same time invaded on all fronts−by the Turks in the east, Khazars in the west. It was, the Arabs, united under the banner of Islam, who dealt the deadly blow to the empire. Yazdegerd was unable to contain the Arab invasion of Iran, spent most of reign fleeing from one province to another, in hopes of raising an army to repel the Arabs, which proved unsuccessful, with Yazdegerd meeting his end at hands of a miller near Marw in 651, thus marking an end to the last pre-Islamic Iranian empire after more than 400 years of rule.
The name of Yazdegerd is a combination of the Old Iranian yazad yazata- "divine being" and -karta "made", thus stands for "God-made", comparable to Iranian Bagkart and Greek Theoktistos. The name of Yazdegerd is known in other languages as. Yazdegerd was the son of prince Shahriyar and the grandson of the last prominent shah of Iran, Khosrow II, in 628 overthrown and executed by his own son Kavadh II, who proceeded to have all his brothers and half-brothers executed, including Shahriyar; this dealt a heavy blow to the empire. Furthermore, the fall of Khosrow II culminated in a civil war lasting four years, with the most powerful members of the nobility gaining full autonomy and starting to create their own government; the hostilities between the Persian and Parthian noble-families were resumed, which split up the wealth of the nation. A few months a devastating plague swept through the western Sasanian provinces, killing half of its population including Kavadh II, he was succeeded by his eight year old son Ardashir III, killed two years by the distinguished Sasanian general Shahrbaraz, in turn murdered forty days in a coup by the Pahlav leader Farrukh Hormizd, who installed the daughter of Khosrow II, Boran, on the throne.
She was deposed a year and a succession of rulers followed one another, until Boran was sovereign once more in 631, only to be killed the following year by the Parsig leader Piruz Khosrow. The most powerful magnates in the empire, Rostam Farrokhzad and Piruz Khosrow, now threatened by their own men agreed to work together, installed Yazdegerd III on the throne, thus putting an end to the civil war, he was crowned in the Anahid fire-temple in Istakhr. He was the last living member of the House of Sasan. Most scholars agree. Yazdegerd, did not have the authority required to bring stability to his extensive empire, swiftly falling apart due to ceaseless internal conflicts between the army commanders and powerful members of the aristocracy, who were fighting amongst themselves and wiping out each other. Many of the governors of the empire carved out their own kingdom; the governors of the provinces of Mazun and Yemen had asserted their independence during the civil war of 628–632, thus resulting in the disintregation of Sasanian rule in the Arabian peninsula, uniting under the banner of Islam.
The empire was starting to look more like the Parthian feudal system before the fall of the Arsacid Empire. Yazdegerd, although being acknowledged as the rightful monarch by both the Parsig and Pahlav factions, does not seem to have held sway over all of his empire. Indeed, during the first years of his rule coins were only minted in Pars and Khuzestan corresponding to the regions of the southwest and southeast, where the Parsig was based; the Pahlav, who were based in the northern portion of the empire, refused to mint coins of him. The empire was at the same time invaded on all fronts; the Sasanian army had been weakened due to the war with the Byzantines and internal conflict. The circumstances were so chaotic, the condition of the nation so alarming, that "the Persians spoke of the immanent downfall of their empire, saw its portents in natural calamities." Yazdegerd negotiated with fourteen Arab negotiators, asked them about the reasons for their aggressive behavior towards his Empire. One of the fourteen Arabs shortly replied, "Allah commanded us, by the mouth of His Prophet, to extend the dominion of Islam over all nations."
In May, the Muslims defeated a Sasanian force under the Azadbeh near the important strategic Sasanian city of Hira, shortly afterwards occupied. After the fall of Hira, Yazdegerd began to pay greater attention to the Muslims. Rostam is known to have told Bahman secretly that: "if Jalinus returns to the like of his defeat cut off his head." The Sasanian army managed to defeat the Muslims at the Battle of the Bridge. In 636, Yazdegerd III ordered Rostam Farrokhzad to subdue the invading Arabs and told him
Sasanian architecture refers to the Persian architectural style that reached a peak in its development during the Sasanian era. In many ways the Sasanian Empire period witnessed the highest achievement of Persian civilization, constituted the last great pre-Islamic Persian Empire before the Muslim conquest. In fact part of Sasanian architecture was adopted by Muslims and became part of Islamic architecture; the Sasanian dynasty, like the Achaemenid Empire, originated in the province of Persis. They saw themselves as successors to the Achaemenians, after the Hellenistic and Parthian dynasty interlude, perceived it as their role to restore the greatness of Persia. In reviving the glories of the Achaemenian past, the Sasanians were no mere imitators; the art of this period reveals an astonishing virility. In certain respects it anticipates features developed during the Islamic period; the conquest of Persia by Alexander II had inaugurated the spread of Hellenistic art into Western Asia. In the Parthian period Hellenistic art was being interpreted by the peoples of the Near East and throughout the Sasanian period there was a continuing process of reaction against it.
Sasanian art revived traditions native to Persia. The splendour in which the Sasanian monarchs lived is well illustrated by their surviving palaces, such as those at Firouzabad and Bishapur in Fars, the capital city of Ctesiphon in modern Iraq. In addition to local traditions, Parthian dynastic architecture must have been responsible for a great many of the Sasanian architectural characteristics. All are characterised by the barrel-vaulted iwans introduced in the Parthian period, but now they reached massive proportions at Ctesiphon; the arch of the great vaulted hall at Ctesiphon attributed to the reign of Shapur I has a span of more than 80 ft, reaches a height of 118 ft. from the ground. This magnificent structure fascinated architects in the centuries that followed and has always been considered as one of the most important pieces of Persian architecture. Many of the palaces contain an inner audience hall which consists, as at Firuzabad, of a chamber surmounted by a dome; the Persians solved the problem of constructing a circular dome on a square building by the squinch.
This is an arch built across each corner of the square, thereby converting it into an octagon on which it is simple to place the dome. The dome chamber in the palace of Firouzabad is the earliest surviving example of the use of the squinch and so there is good reason for regarding Persia as its place of invention; the early palaces of the Sassanid have ceased to exist. Ardashir I and Shapur I, their immediate successors, undoubtedly erected residences for themselves exceeding in size and richness the buildings which had contented the Parthians, as well as those in which their own ancestors, the tributary kings of Persia under Parthia, had passed their lives, but these residences have wholly disappeared. The most ancient of the Sassanid buildings which admit of being measured and described are assigned to the century between 350 and 450 CE. We come upon it when it is beyond the stage of infancy, when it has acquired a marked and decided character, when it no longer hesitates or falters, but knows what it wants, goes straight to its ends.
Its main features are simple, are uniform from first to last, the buildings being enlargements of the earlier, by an addition to the number or to the size of the apartments. The principal peculiarities of the style are, that the plan of the entire buildding is an oblong square, without adjuncts or projections; the oblong square is variously proportioned. The depth may be a little more than the breadth. In either case, the front occupies ends of the edifice; the outer wall is sometimes pierced by one entrance only. The great entrance is in the exact centre of the front; this entrance, as noticed, is by a lofty arch, of the full height of the building, constitutes one of its most striking, to Europeans most extraordinary, features. From the outer air, we look; the effect is strange when first seen by the inexperienced traveller. In the mosques "lofty and deeply−recessed portals," "unrivalled for grandeur and appropriateness," are rather the rule than the exception.
Shapur II's Arab campaign
The Shapur II's Arab campaign took place in 325, against numerous Arab tribes, due to the Arab incursions into the Sasanian Empire. Shapur II decisively defeated all the Arab tribes during his campaign, became known as Dhū al-Aktāf to the Arabs, meaning “he who pierces shoulders”. 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 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 Syrian Desert, 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 al-aktāf 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 to make more raids into his country, ordered the construction of a defensive line near al-Hira, which became known as Wall of the Arabs; the Zoroastrian scripture Bundahishn mentions the Arabian campaign of Shapur II, where it says the following: "During the rulership of Shapur, the son of Hormizd, the Arabs came. Colonies of Persian officials and soldiers were settled along the Arabian coastlands of the Persian Gulf. Pourshariati, Parvaneh. Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran. London and New York: I. B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-645-3. Shapur Shahbazi, A.. "SASANIAN DYNASTY". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition. Retrieved 30 March 2014
Military of the Sasanian Empire
The Sasanian army was the primary military body of the Sasanian armed forces, serving alongside the Sasanian navy. The birth of the army dates back to the rise of Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasanian Empire, to the throne. Ardashir aimed at the revival of the Persian Empire, to further this aim, he reformed the military by forming a standing army, under his personal command and whose officers were separate from satraps, local princes and nobility, he restored the Achaemenid military organizations, retained the Parthian cavalry model, employed new types of armour and siege warfare techniques. This was the beginning for a military system which served him and his successors for over 400 years, during which the Sasanian Empire was, along with the Roman Empire and the East Roman Empire, one of the two superpowers of Late Antiquity in Western Eurasia; the Sasanian army protected Eranshahr from the East against the incursions of central Asiatic nomads like the Hephthalites and Turks, while in the west it was engaged in a recurrent struggle against the Roman Empire.
In the character of their warfare, the Persians of the Sasanian period differed from their forebears under the Achaemenid kings. The principal changes which time had brought about were an entire disuse of the war chariot, the advance of the elephant corps into a prominent and important position, the increased use and pre-eminence of cavalry on the Parthian model, including both heavy cataphracts and horse-archers. Four main arms of the service were recognized, each standing on a different level: the elephants, the horse, the archers, the ordinary footmen; the number of the field armies could reach 45,000-50,000 up to 100,000-130,000, according to recent archaeological evidence on campaign bases near the Great Wall of Gorgan. In Pahlavi language, smaller divisions of the spāh were referred to as vasht and larger divisions were designated as gond; the Arabic word jund, meaning "army", is derived from the latter. Ērān Spahbed: Commander-in chief. Spāhbed: Field general. Pāygōsbān or Padhuspan: Commander of each of the four provincial divisions devised during the reign of Khosrau I.
Marzbān or Kanārang: Equivalent to margrave or commander of the border guards. Pushtigbān-sālār: Head of the royal guard. Erān anbāraghbad: Senior rank responsible for army supplies. Stor Bezashk: Senior vet who looked after the cavalry elite's mounts. Argbed: Castellan, commander of a castle or fort. Pāygān Sālār: Chief of an infantry division. Savārān Sardār: Head of a cavalry division. Gond Sālār: Commander of a gond division; the backbone of the Spâh in the Sasanian era was its heavy armoured cavalry, known since Classical antiquity in the west as Cataphracts. This was made up of noblemen who underwent extensive exercises in warfare and military manoeuvres through military training, gaining discipline and becoming true soldiers. Within the Sasanian military, the cavalry was the most influential element, Sasanian cavalry tactics were adopted by the Romans and Turks, their weaponry, battle tactics, medallions, court customs, costumes influenced their Romano-Byzantine neighbours. The Romans had long contended against opponents who fielded heavy cavalry, notably the Sarmatians and the Parthians, the recurrent wars with the Sasanian were an important factor in the Roman turn to new military organizations and battlefield tactics that centered around the use of heavy cavalry in the 3rd and 4th centuries.
The Romans called these newly formed units clibanarii. Another, more direct and quoted, etymology is the Greek word ho klibanos, which refers to a covered pot in which bread was baked or a small oven; the Roman term appears for the first time in the vita Alexandri Severi in the Historia Augusta, a work from the end of the 4th century AD. Shapur II further reformed the army by adopting more effective cavalry; these mounted. This made them look much like moving iron statues; some mace. Depictions of aforementioned cavalry still survive, with one of the best preserved ones being a rock relief at Taq-e Bostan where Khosrau II is seen riding his favourite horse, Shabdiz; the fighting equipment of the armed Sasanian horsemen were: Clibanarii/Cataphract cavalry: helmet, breastplate, gauntlet, thigh-guards sword, bowcase with two bows and two bowstrings, quiver with 30 arrows, two extra bowstrings, horse armour. The heavy cavalry was complemented by lighter cavalry, which were not made up of Sasanian, but were recruited from among their allies and supplemented by mercenary troops.
Gelani, Hephthalites and the Khazars were the main suppliers of this light- to medium-armoured cavalry. They were an essential part of the Spâh because of their speed on the battlefield, it is possible that the light cavalry were intended for the battles with the central Asiatic tribes, while the more heavy cavalry were used in encounters with Rome. In short, there were the following classes of mobile cavalry troops: Persian immortal guard Azadan nobility Aswaran: elite cavalry described as the Persian knightly caste War elephants Light cavalry: horse-archers Dehqan cavalry: Medi