Portal:Sasanian Empire

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The Sasanian Empire (/səˈsɑːnɪən/ or /səˈsnɪən/; also known as Sassanian, Sasanid, or Sassanid) or Neo-Persian Empire, known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran, was the last Iranian empire before the rise of Islam, ruled by the Sasanian dynasty from 224 CE to 651 CE. The Sassanid Empire, which succeeded the Parthian Empire, was recognized as one of the main powers in the world, alongside the neighboring Roman–Byzantine Empire, for a period of more than 400 years.

The Sasanian Empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Arsacid Empire and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus V. At its greatest extent, the Sassanid Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Iraq, the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Israel), the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan), Egypt, parts of Turkey, much of Central Asia (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan), the Persian Gulf countries, Yemen, Oman and Pakistan. According to a legend, the vexilloid of the Sassanid Empire was the Derafsh Kaviani. It was also hypothesized that the transition toward the Sassanid Empire represents the end of struggle of ethnic proto-Persians with their close migrant ethnic relatives, the Parthians, whose original homeland was in modern-day Central Asia.

The Sasanian empire, during Late Antiquity, is considered to have been one of Iran's most important and influential historical periods, and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam. In many ways, the Sassanid period witnessed the peak of ancient Iranian civilisation. Persia influenced Roman civilisation considerably during the Sassanid period. The Sassanids' cultural influence extended far beyond the empire's territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa, China and India. It played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asian medieval art. Much of what later became known as Islamic culture in architecture, poetry and other subject matter was transferred from the Sassanids throughout the Muslim world. Even after the fall of the Sasanian empire it remained the ideal model of organization, splendor, and justice in Perso-Arab tradition; and its bureaucracy and royal ideology were imitated by successor states, especially the Abbasid, Ottoman, and Safavid empires.

Selected biography

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Ardashir I or Ardeshir I (Persian: اردشير یکم‎‎) (died 242 AD) is credited as the founder of the Sassanid Empire together with his real father Sasan. Ardashir was the ruler of Istakhr (since 206?), subsequently Fars Province (since 208?), and finally "King of Kings of Sassanid Empire" (after 224) with the overthrow of the Parthian Empire. The dynasty ruled for four centuries, until it was overthrown by the Rashidun Caliphate in 651.

Ardashir (Arđaxšēr from Middle Persian and Parthian Artaxšaθra, Pahlavi ʼrthštr, "Who has the Divine Order as his Kingdom") is also known as Ardeshīr-i Pāpagān "Ardashir, son of Pāpağ", and other variants of his name include Latinized Artaxares and Artaxerxes.

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Karte Seleucia Ktesiphon.png

Image credit: Lencer

Map of Ctesiphon during the Sassanid period.

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