Khosrow I. He was the successor of his father Kavadh I. Khosrow I was the twenty-second Sasanian Emperor of Persia, one of its most celebrated emperors, he laid the foundations of many cities and opulent palaces, oversaw the repair of trade roads as well as the building of numerous bridges and dams. His reign is furthermore marked by the numerous wars fought against the Sassanid's neighboring archrivals, the Roman-Byzantine Empire, as part of the centuries-long lasting Roman–Persian Wars; the most important wars under his reign were the Lazic War, fought over Colchis and the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 572–591. During Khosrow's ambitious reign and science flourished in Persia and the Sasanian Empire reached its peak of glory and prosperity, his rule was preceded by his father's and succeeded by Hormizd IV. Khosrow Anushiruwan is one of the most popular emperors in Iranian culture and literature and, outside of Iran, his name became, like that of Caesar in the history of Rome, a designation of the Sasanian kings.
He introduced a rational system of taxation, based upon a survey of landed possessions, which his father had begun, tried in every way to increase the welfare and the revenues of his empire. His army was in discipline decidedly superior to the Byzantines, was well paid, he was interested in literature and philosophical discussions. Under his reign chess was introduced from India, the famous book of Kalilah and Dimnah was translated, he thus became renowned as a wise king. Khosrow I was born in Ardestan, an ancient town, built by the Achaemenids, close to the major city of Spahan, he was the third son of Kavadh I, had three brothers named Xerxes and Kawus. Khosrow's mother was the sister of Bawi, making Khosrow I related to the Parthian House of Ispahbudhan, his father was involved with a group of Zoroastrians called the Mazdakites. The Mazdakites believed in an egalitarian society and many lower class peasants supported the Mazdakite revolution. Kavadh, wanting to centralize power by taking power away from the great noble families, supported this movement.
In 531, while on his death-bed, appointed Khosrow as his successor. However, upon Kavadh's death, the Mazdakites gave their loyalty to Kavadh's eldest son, while the noble families and the Zoroastrian Magi gave their support to Khosrow I. Khosrow presented himself as an anti-Mazdakite supporter. He, much like his father, believed in a strong centralized government. Khosrow defeated him as well as his Mazdakite followers. Subsequently, Mazdak, as well as a majority of his followers, were executed for his heretical beliefs and Khosrow took the Sasanian throne. At Khosrow's succession and Sasanian Persia were in open conflict with each other. Neither empire was able to get an advantage of the other, causing Emperor Justinian and King Khosrow to agree on a peace treaty in 531. However, in 531, along with other members of the Persian aristocracy became involved in a conspiracy in which they tried to overthrow Khosrow I and make Kavadh, the son of Kavadh I's second eldest son Djamasp, the king of the Sasanian Empire.
Upon learning the plot, Khosrow I executed all his brothers, their offsprings, along with Bawi and the other "Persian notables" who were involved. Khosrow I ordered the execution of Kavadh, still a child, was away from the court, being raised by Adergoudounbades. Khosrow sent orders to kill Kavadh, but Adergoudounbades disobeyed and brought him up in secret, until he was betrayed to the shah in 541 by his own son, Bahram. Khosrow had him executed, but Kavadh, or someone claiming to be him, managed to flee to the Byzantine Empire. In 532, Khosrow and Justinian, emperor of the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire concluded Pax Perpetuum, or the Eternal Peace in hopes of settling all land disputes between the Romans and Sasanians. Khosrow I represents the epitome of the philosopher king in the Sasanian Empire. Upon his ascent to the throne, Khosrow did not restore power to the feudal nobility or the magi, but centralized his government. Khosrow's reign is considered to be one of the most successful within the Sasanian Empire.
The peace agreement between Rome and Persia in 531 gave Khosrow the chance to consolidate power and focus his attention on internal improvement. His reforms and military campaigns marked a renaissance of the Sasanian Empire, which spread philosophic beliefs as well as trade goods from the far east to the far west; the internal reforms under Khosrow were much more important than those on the exterior frontier. The subsequent reforms resulted in the rise of a bureaucratic state at the expense of the great noble families, strengthening the central government and the power of the Shahanshah; the army too was reorganized and tied to the central government rather than local nobility allowing greater organization, faster mobilization and a far greater cavalry corps. Reforms in taxation provided the empire with stability and a much stronger economy, allowing prolonged military campaigns as well as greater revenues for the bureaucracy. Khosrow's tax reforms have been praised by several scholars; the tax reforms, which were started under Kavadh I and implemented by Khosrow, strengthened the royal court by a great deal.
Prior to Khosrow and Kavadh's reigns, a majority of the land was owned by seven Parthian families: Suren, Karen, Spandiy
The Sarmatians were a large Iranian confederation that existed in classical antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD. Originating in the central parts of the Eurasian Steppe, the Sarmatians started migrating westward around the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, coming to dominate the related Scythians by 200 BC. At their greatest reported extent, around 1st century AD, these tribes ranged from the Vistula River to the mouth of the Danube and eastward to the Volga, bordering the shores of the Black and Caspian seas as well as the Caucasus to the south, their territory, known as Sarmatia to Greco-Roman ethnographers, corresponded to the western part of greater Scythia. In the 1st century AD, the Sarmatians began encroaching upon the Roman Empire in alliance with Germanic tribes. In the 3rd century AD, their dominance of the Pontic Steppe was broken by the Germanic Goths. With the Hunnic invasions of the 4th century, many Sarmatians joined the Goths and other Germanic tribes in the settlement of the Western Roman Empire.
Since large parts of today's Russia the land between the Ural Mountains and the Don River, were controlled in the 5th century BC by the Sarmatians, the Volga–Don and Ural steppes sometimes are called "Sarmatian Motherland". The Sarmatians were decisively assimilated and absorbed by the Proto-Slavic population of Eastern Europe. Sarmatae originated as just one of several tribal names of the Sarmatians, but one that Greco-Roman ethnography came to apply as an exonym to the entire group. Strabo in the 1st century names as the main tribes of the Sarmatians the Iazyges, the Roxolani, the Aorsi and the Siraces; the Greek name Sarmatai sometimes appears as "Sauromatai", certainly no more than a variant of the same name. Historians regarded these as two separate peoples, while archaeologists habitually use the term'Sauromatian' to identify the earliest phase of Sarmatian culture. Any idea that the name derives from the word lizard, linking to the Sarmatians' use of reptile-like scale armour and dragon standards, is certainly unfounded.
Both Pliny the Elder and Jordanes recognised the Sar- and Sauro- elements as interchangeable variants, referring to the same people. Greek authors of the 4th century mention Syrmatae as the name of a people living at the Don reflecting the ethnonym as it was pronounced in the final phase of Sarmatian culture. English scholar Harold Walter Bailey derived the base word from Avestan sar- from tsar- in Old Iranian, which gave its name to the western Avestan region of Sairima, connected it to the 10–11th century AD Persian epic Shahnameh's character "Salm". Oleg Trubachyov derived the name from the Indo-Aryan *sar-mat, the Indo-Aryan and Indo-Iranian word *sar- and the Indo-Iranian adjective suffix -mat/wat. By this derivation was noted the unusual high status of women from the Greek point of view and went to the invention of Amazons; the Sarmatians were part of the Indo-Iranian steppe peoples, among whom were Scythians and Saka. These are grouped together as "East Iranians". Archaeology has established the connection'between the Iranian-speaking Scythians and Saka and the earlier Timber-grave and Andronovo cultures'.
Based on building construction, these three peoples were the descendants of those earlier archaeological cultures. The Sarmatians and Saka used the same stone construction methods as the earlier Andronovo culture; the Timber-grave and Andronovo house building traditions were further developed by these three peoples. Andronovo pottery was continued by the Sarmatians. Archaeologists describe the Andronovo culture people as exhibiting pronounced Caucasoid features; the first Sarmatians are identified with the Prokhorovka culture, which moved from the southern Urals to the Lower Volga and northern Pontic steppe, in the 4th–3rd centuries BC. During the migration, the Sarmatians seem to have grown and divided themselves into several groups, such as the Alans, Aorsi and Iazyges. By 200 BC, the Sarmatians replaced the Scythians as the dominant people of the steppes; the Sarmatians and Scythians had fought on the Pontic steppe to the north of the Black Sea. The Sarmatians, described as a large confederation, were to dominate these territories over the next five centuries.
According to Brzezinski and Mielczarek, the Sarmatians were formed between the Don River and the Ural Mountains. Pliny the Elder wrote; the Sarmatians differed from the Scythians in their veneration of the god of fire rather than god of nature, women's prominent role in warfare, which served as the inspiration for the Amazons. The two theories about the origin of the Sarmatian culture are: The Sarmatian culture was formed by the end of the fourth century BCE, based on the combination of local Sauromatian culture of Southern Ural and foreign elements brought by tribes advancing from the forest-steppe Zauralye, from Kazakhstan and from the Aral Sea region. Sometime between the fourth and third century BC, a mass migration carried nomads of the Southern Ural to t
The Roman–Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between states of the Greco-Roman world and two successive Iranian empires: the Parthian and the Sasanian. Battles between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic began in 66 BC. Various vassal kingdoms and allied nomadic nations in the form of buffer states and proxies played a role; the wars were ended by the Arab Muslim Conquests, which led to the fall of the Sasanian Empire and huge territorial losses for the Byzantine Empire, shortly after the end of the last war between them. Although warfare between the Romans and Persians continued over seven centuries, the frontier, aside from shifts in the north, remained stable. A game of tug of war ensued: towns and provinces were continually sacked, captured and traded. Neither side had the logistical strength or manpower to maintain such lengthy campaigns far from their borders, thus neither could advance too far without risking stretching its frontiers too thin. Both sides did make conquests beyond the border, but in time the balance was always restored.
Although different in military tactics, the armies of both sides adopted from each other and by the second half of the 6th century they were similar and evenly matched. The expense of resources during the Roman–Persian Wars proved catastrophic for both empires; the prolonged and escalating warfare of the 6th and 7th centuries left them exhausted and vulnerable in the face of the sudden emergence and expansion of the Caliphate, whose forces invaded both empires only a few years after the end of the last Roman–Persian war. Benefiting from their weakened condition, the Arab Muslim armies swiftly conquered the entire Sasanian Empire, deprived the Eastern Roman Empire of its territories in the Levant, the Caucasus and the rest of North Africa. Over the following centuries, more of the Eastern Roman Empire came under Muslim rule. According to James Howard-Johnston, "from the third century BC to the early seventh century AD, the rival players were grand polities with imperial pretensions, able to establish and secure stable territories transcending regional divides".
The Romans and Parthians came into contact through their respective conquests of parts of the Seleucid Empire. During the 3rd century BC, the Parthians migrated from the Central Asian steppe into northern Iran. Although subdued for a time by the Seleucids, in the 2nd century BC they broke away, established an independent state that expanded at the expense of their former rulers, through the course of the 3rd and early 1st century BC, they had conquered Persia and Armenia. Ruled by the Arsacid dynasty, the Parthians fended off several Seleucid attempts to regain their lost territories, established several eponymous branches in the Caucasus, namely the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia, the Arsacid dynasty of Iberia, the Arsacid dynasty of Caucasian Albania. Meanwhile, the Romans expelled the Seleucids from their territories in Anatolia in the early 2nd century BC, after defeating Antiochus III the Great at Thermopylae and Magnesia. In 64 BC Pompey conquered the remaining Seleucid territories in Syria, extinguishing their state and advancing the Roman eastern frontier to the Euphrates, where it met the territory of the Parthians.
Parthian enterprise in the West began in the time of Mithridates I and was revived by Mithridates II, who negotiated unsuccessfully with Lucius Cornelius Sulla for a Roman–Parthian alliance. When Lucullus invaded Southern Armenia and led an attack against Tigranes in 69 BC, he corresponded with Phraates III to dissuade him from intervening. Although the Parthians remained neutral, Lucullus considered attacking them. In 66–65 BC, Pompey reached agreement with Phraates, Roman–Parthian troops invaded Armenia, but a dispute soon arose over the Euphrates boundary. Phraates asserted his control over Mesopotamia, except for the western district of Osroene, which became a Roman dependency; the Roman general Marcus Licinius Crassus led an invasion of Mesopotamia in 53 BC with catastrophic results. The Parthians raided Syria the following year, mounted a major invasion in 51 BC, but their army was caught in an ambush near Antigonea by the Romans, they were driven back; the Parthians remained neutral during Caesar's Civil War, fought between forces supporting Julius Caesar and forces supporting Pompey and the traditional faction of the Roman Senate.
However, they maintained relations with Pompey, after his defeat and death, a force under Pacorus I assisted the Pompeian general Q. Caecilius Bassus, besieged at Apamea Valley by Caesarian forces. With the civil war over, Julius Caesar prepared a campaign against Parthia, but his assassination averted the war; the Parthians supported Brutus and Cassius during the ensuing Liberators' civil war and sent a contingent to fight on their side at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC. After the Liberators' defeat, the Parthians invaded Roman territory in 40 BC in conjunction with the Roman Quintus Labienus, a former supporter of Brutus and Cassius, they swiftly overran the Roman province of Syria and advanced into Judea, overthrowing the Roman client Hyrcanus II and installing his nephew Antigonus. For a moment, the whole of the Roman East seemed lost to the Parthians or about to fall into their hands. However, the conclusion of the second Roman civil war soon revived Roman strength in Asia. Mark Antony had sent Ventidius to oppose Labienus, who had invaded
The Hephthalite–Persian Wars, refers to a series of conflicts between the Hephthalites and the Sasanian Empire. Great Wall of Gorgan, a defense system created to prevent further Hephthalite incursions Bandian Fire Temple Vogelsang, W. J.. "HERAT ii. HISTORY, PRE-ISLAMIC PERIOD". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XII, Fasc. 2. Pp. 205–206. Schindel, Nikolaus. "KAWĀD I i. Reign". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XVI, Fasc. 2. Pp. 136–141. Fisher, William Bayne; the Cambridge History of Iran: The Seleucid and Sasanian periods. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-24693-4. Potts, Daniel T.. Nomadism in Iran: From Antiquity to the Modern Era. London and New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 1–558. ISBN 9780199330799. Greatrex, Geoffrey. C.. The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars. New York, New York and London, United Kingdom: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-14687-9. 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. Morony, M.. "ʿARAB ii. Arab conquest of Iran". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. II, Fasc. 2. Pp. 203–210
The Darial Gorge is a river gorge on the border between Russia and Georgia. It is at the east base of Mount Kazbek, south of present-day Vladikavkaz; the gorge was carved by the river Terek, is 13 kilometres long. The steep granite walls of the gorge can be as much as 1,800 metres tall in some places; the Darial originates from Dar-i Alān meaning "Gate of the Alans" in Persian. The Alans held the lands north of the pass in the first centuries AD, it has been fortified in ancient times by the Persians. The pass is mentioned in the Georgian annals under the names of Darialani. Josephus wrote that Alexander the Great built iron gates at an unspecified pass which some Latin and Greek authors identified with Darial. Darial Pass fell into Sassanid hands in 252-253, when the Sassanid Empire conquered and annexed Iberia; the control of the Darial Pass switched to the Western Turkic Kaganate in 628, when Tong Yabgu Kagan signed a treaty with Iberia, transferring over to the Kaganate the control of all its cities and fortresses, establishing free trade.
Control of Darial Pass switched to the Arab Rashidun Caliphate in 644. Afterwards, it was controlled by the Kingdom of Georgia. There was a battle point between the Ilkhanate and the Golden Horde indirectly controlled by Safavids and Qajar state, until it was captured by Russian Empire after annexation of Kingdom of Georgia in 1801-1830, it remained a strategic Russian forepost under Russian control until the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. The Darial Pass was important as one of only two crossings of the Caucasus mountain range, the other being the Derbent Pass; as a result, Darial Gorge has been fortified since at least 150 BC. Ruins of an ancient fortress are still visible; the pass served as a hub point for many roads connecting North and South Caucasus and remained open for traffic for most of its existence. The Russian fort, which guarded this section of the Georgian Military Road, was built at the northern end of the gorge, at an altitude of 1447 m; the gorge has been immortalized in Russian poetry, notably by Lermontov in The Demon.
Gates of Alexander Iberian Gates Bibliography
Kingdom of Khotan
The Kingdom of Khotan was an ancient Iranian Saka Buddhist kingdom located on the branch of the Silk Road that ran along the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin. The ancient capital was sited to the west of modern-day Hotan at Yotkan. From the Han dynasty until at least the Tang dynasty it was known in Chinese as Yutian; this Buddhist kingdom existed for over a thousand years until it was conquered by the Muslim Kara-Khanid Khanate in 1006, during the Islamicisation and Turkicisation of Xinjiang. Built on an oasis, Khotan's mulberry groves allowed the production and export of silk and carpets, in addition to the city's other major products such as its famous nephrite jade and pottery. Despite being a significant city on the silk road as well as a notable source of jade for ancient China, Khotan itself is small – the circumference of the ancient city of Khotan at Yōtkan was about 2.5 to 3.2 km. Much of the archaeological evidence of the ancient city of Khotan however had been obliterated due to centuries of treasure hunting by local people.
The inhabitants of Khotan used Khotanese, an Eastern Iranian language, Gandhari Prakrit, an Indo-Aryan language related to Sanskrit. There is debate as to how much Khotan's original inhabitants were ethnically and anthropologically South Asian and speakers of the Gāndhārī language versus the Saka, an Indo-European people of Iranian branch from the Eurasian Steppe. From the 3rd century onwards they had a visible linguistic influence on the Gāndhārī language spoken at the royal court of Khotan; the Khotanese Saka language was recognized as an official court language by the 10th century and used by the Khotanese rulers for administrative documentation. The kingdom of Khotan was given various transcriptions; the ancient Chinese called Khotan Yutian written as 于窴 and other similar-sounding names such as Yudun and Qudan. Sometimes they used Jusadanna, derived from Indo-Iranian Gostan and Gostana, the names of the town and region around it respectively. Others include Huanna. To the Tibetans in the seventh and eight centuries, the kingdom was called Li and the capital city Hu-ten, Hu-den, Hu-then and Yvu-then.
The name as written by the locals changed over time. From this came Hvamna and Hvam in their latest texts, where Hvam kṣīra or'the land of Khotan' was the name given. Khotan became known to the west while the –t- was still unchanged, as is frequent in early New Persian; the local people used Gaustana under the influence of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, Yūttina in the ninth century, when it was allied with the Sinicised kingdom of Șacū. The geographical position of the oasis was the main factor in its wealth. To its north is one of the most arid and desolate desert climates on the earth, the Taklamakan Desert, to its south the uninhabited Kunlun Mountains. To the east there were few oasis beyond Niya making travel difficult, access is only easy from the west. Khotan was irrigated from the Kara-kàsh rivers, which water the Tarim Basin; these two rivers produce vast quantities of water which made habitation possible in an otherwise arid climate. The position next to the mountain not only provided irrigation for crops but it increased the fertility of the land as the rivers reduce the gradient and deposited their sediment, creating a more fertile soil.
This therefore increased the productivity of the agricultural industry which has made Khotan famous for its cereal crops and fruits. Therefore, Khotan's lifeline was its vicinity to the Kunlun mountain range and without this Khotan would not have become one of the largest and most successful oasis cities along the Silk Roads; the kingdom of Khotan was one of the many small states found in the Tarim Basin that included Yarkand, Turfan, Kashgar and Kucha. To the west were Central Asian kingdoms of Sogdiana and Bactria, it was surrounded by powerful neighbours, such as the Kushan Empire, China and for a time the Xiongnu, all of which had exerted or tried to exert their influence over Khotan at various times. From an early period, the Tarim Basin had been inhabited by different groups of Indo-European speakers such as the Tocharians and Saka people. Jade from Khotan had been traded into China for a long time before the founding of the city, as indicated by items made of jade from Khotan found in tombs from the Shang and Zhou dynasties.
The jade trade is thought to have been facilitated by the Yuezhi. There are four versions of the legend of the founding of Khotan, these may be found in accounts given by the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang and in Tibetan translations of Khotanese documents. All four versions suggest that the city was founded around the third century BC by a group of Indians during the reign of Ashoka. According to one version, the nobles of a tribe in ancient Taxila, who traced their ancestry to the deity Vaiśravaṇa, were said to have blinded Kunãla, a son of Ashoka. In punishment they were banished by the Mauryan emperor to the north of the Himalayas, where they settled in Khotan and elected one of their members as king; however war ensued with another group from China whose leader took over as king, the two colonies merged. In a different version, it was Kunãla himself, exiled and founded Khotan; the legend suggests that Khotan was
The Clibanarii or Klibanophoroi were a Sassanid Persian, late Roman and Byzantine military unit of armored heavy cavalry. Similar to the cataphracti, the horsemen themselves and their horses were armoured. There are several theories to the origins of this name, one being that the men were nicknamed "camp oven bearers" or that the name is derived from Persian word griwbanwar or griva-pana-bara meaning "neck-guard wearer"; the Clibanarii cavalry of Shapur II is described by Greek historian Ammianus Marcellinus, a Roman staff officer who served in the army of Constantius II in Gaul and Persia, fought against the Persians under Julian the Apostate, took part in the retreat of his successor Jovian, as: "All the companies were clad in iron, all parts of their bodies were covered with thick plates, so fitted that the stiff-joints conformed with those of their limbs. Of these some who were armed with pikes, stood so motionless that you would have thought them held fast by clamps of bronze. "The Persians opposed us serried bands of mail-clad horsemen in such close order that the gleam of moving bodies covered with fitting plates of iron dazzled the eyes of those who looked upon them, while the whole throng of horses was protected by coverings of leather."
Cataphract Heavy cavalry Notitia Dignitatum Hugh Elton, Warfare in Roman Europe Cataphracts and Siegecraft - Roman and Sasanid military organisation