Bahram II (Middle Persian: 𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭, Wahrām,
Persian: بهرام دوم, Bahrām) was the fifth Sasanian King of
Persia in 274–293. He was the son of
Bahram I (271–274).
Bahram II is said to have ruled at first tyrannically, and to have
greatly disgusted all his principal nobles, who went so far as to form
a conspiracy against him, and intended to put him to death. The chief
of the Magi, however, interposed, and, having effectually alarmed the
king, brought him to acknowledge his wrong and to promise an entire
change of conduct. The nobles upon this returned to their allegiance;
and Bahram, during the remainder of his reign, is said to have been
distinguished for wisdom and moderation, and to have rendered himself
popular with every class of his subjects.
1 Early life
3 Relations with Kartir
6 External links
Bahram II was the oldest son of Bahram I. During his youth, he grew up
in Khuzistan, a province inhabited by many Assyrian Christians. He
seems to have learned the doctrine of Christianity and some of the
Syriac language of Mesopotamia. During the late reign of his father,
Bahram had not reached adulthood yet, and was appointed as the
governor of Sistan. When his father died in 276, he succeeded the
latter, being aided in the affairs of his empire by his mentor Kartir.
Bahram II was shortly married to Shapurdukhtak, the daughter of Shapur
Mishanshah, who was the son of Shapur I, meaning that Bahram II
married his own cousin.
The victory of
Bahram II over
Carus is depicted in the
top panel, and the victory over
Hormizd I Kushanshah
Hormizd I Kushanshah is depicted in
the bottom panel at Naqsh-e Rustam.
In 282, while Persia was in civil war, the
the Euphrates along with his troops and invaded
Bahram II was not able to offer any resistance as his troops
were occupied fighting against his cousin Hormizd in Sakastan.
Mesopotamia was ravaged and the city of
Ctesiphon was occupied by the
Roman troops. However, as an oracle had predicted earlier, the death
Carus cut short his career as well as the Roman advance.
Following Carus's death, the Romans retreated, Bahram retook
Mesopotamia. In 283
Bahram II defeated his cousin in Sakastan, and
had the latter executed and replaced with his own son
Bahram III as
the governor of Sakastan. He later had rock reliefs cut at Bishapur
Naqsh-e Rustam to commemorate his victory. In 286, however,
Diocletian resumed hostilities with Persia, and marched into Persian
territory in aid of the Armenian prince Tiridates who was in rebellion
against Persia. Armenia was separated after a couple of battles and
Tiridates declared himself independent.
Tiridates achieved extraordinary success during this period. He
defeated two Persian armies in the open field, drove out the garrisons
which held the more important of the fortified towns, and became
undisputed master of Armenia. He even crossed the border which
separated Armenia from Persia, and gained signal victories on admitted
Bahram II died soon afterwards in an extremely
dejected state. He was succeeded by his son Bahram III.
Of Bahram II's reign some theological inscriptions exist (F. Stolze
and J. C. Andreas, Persepolis (1882), and E. W. West, "Pahlavi
Literature" in Grundriss d. iranischen Philologie, ii.
pp. 75–129). In November 2011, according to a video by the
Iranian state news service, several reliefs near the city of Kerman
dating back to the period of
Bahram II were destroyed with hammers by
Relations with Kartir
Bahram II, like his father, treated
Kartir with much respect, saw him
as a mentor and elevated him to the
Wuzurgan rank. 
^ Bahrām II, A. Sh. Shahbazi, Encyclopaedia Iranica, (August 24,
^ Gene Ralph Garthwaite, The Persians, (Blackwell Publishing, 2005),
^ a b Bahrām II, A. Sh. Shahbazi, Encyclopaedia Iranica
^ Encyclopedia Iranica 
^ Jacob Neusner, A History of the Jews in Babylonia, Vol.2, (Brill,
^ The Political History of Iran under the Sasanians, R.N. Frye, The
Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 3, Ed. Ehsan Yarshater, (Cambridge
University Press, 2003), 129.
^ One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.
(1911). "Bahrām". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge
University Press. p. 211.
^ Bahrām II, A. Sh. Shahbazi, Encyclopaedia Iranica
Pourshariati, Parvaneh (2008). Decline and Fall of the Sasanian
Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of
Iran. London and New York: I.B. Tauris.
Shapur Shahbazi, A. (2005). "SASANIAN DYNASTY". Encyclopaedia Iranica,
Online Edition. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
Frye, Richard Nelson (1984). The History of Ancient Iran. C.H.Beck.
pp. 1–411. ISBN 9783406093975.
Shahbazi, A. Sh. (1988). "BAHRĀM (2)". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol.
III, Fasc. 5. pp. 514–522.
'The Civilizations of the Ancient Near East Volume 7' by George
William Leadbetter, "
Carus (282-283 A.D.)", "DIR"
Great King (Shah) of Persia
Rulers of the
Sasanian Empire (224–651)
Ardashir I (224–242)
Shapur I (240–270)
Hormizd I (270–271)
Bahram I (271–274)
Bahram II (274–293)
Bahram III (293)
Hormizd II (302–309)
Shapur II (309–379)
Ardashir II (379–383)
Shapur III (383–388)
Bahram IV (388–399)
Yazdegerd I (399–420)
Shapur IV (420)
Khosrow the Usurper§ (420)
Bahram V (420–438)
Yazdegerd II (438–457)
Hormizd III (457–459)
Peroz I (459–484)
Kavadh I (488–496)
Kavadh I (498–531)
Khosrow I (531–579)
Hormizd IV (579–590)
Khosrow II (590)
Bahram VI Chobin§ (590–591)
Khosrow II (591–628)
Kavadh II (628)
Ardashir III (628–629)
Khosrow III§ (629)
Shapur-i Shahrvaraz§ (630)
Peroz II§ (630)
Farrukh Hormizd§ (630–631)
Hormizd VI§ (630–631)
Khosrow IV§ (631)
Farrukhzad Khosrow V§ (631)
Yazdegerd III (632–651)
Peroz III (pretender)
§ usurpers or rival claimants