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.

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Mani (in Middle Persian Māni and Syriac Mānī, Greek Μάνης, Latin Manes; also Μανιχαίος, Latin Manichaeus, from Syriac ܡܐܢܝ ܚܝܐ Mānī ḥayyā "Living Mani", c. 216–276 AD), of Iranian origin, was the prophet and the founder of Manichaeism, a gnostic religion of Late Antiquity which was once widespread but is now extinct. Mani was born in or near Seleucia-Ctesiphon in Parthian Babylonia (Iraq), at the time still part of the Parthian Empire. Six of his major works were written in Syriac Aramaic and the seventh, dedicated to the king of the empire, Shapur I, was written in Middle Persian. He died in Gundeshapur, under the Sassanid Empire.

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Picture of the Takht-e Soleymān, in Iran.

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