BAHRAM V (
The son of
Yazdegerd I , Bahram was exiled at an early age to the
Lahkmid court in al-Hira , where he was raised under the tutolage of
the Lakhmid kings. After the assassination of Yazdegerd I, Bahram
hurried to the Sasanian capital of
Bahram V's reign was generally peaceful, with two briefs wars—first against his western neighbours, the Eastern Roman Empire , and then against his eastern neighbours, the Hephthalites , who were disturbing the Sasanian eastern provinces. It was also during his reign that the Arsacid line of Armenia was replaced by a marzban (governor of a frontier province, "margrave "), which was the start of a new era in Armenia, known in Armenian historiography as the "Marzpanate period".
Since the death of the powerful Sasanian shah
Shapur II (r.
309–379), the aristocrats and priests had expanded their influence
and authority at the cost of the Sasanian government, nominating,
dethroning, and murdering shahs, which included Yazdegerd I, who was
murdered in 21 January 420. They now sought to stop the sons of
Yazdegerd I from the ascending the throne—
Shapur IV , who was the
eldest son of
Yazdegerd I and governor of Armenia , quickly rushed to
the Sasanian capital of
Bahram was informed about the news of Yazdegerd I's death when he was
Khosrow chose to pull out, whilst Bahram withstood the trial and won
the throne. Bahram distrusted the nobles, who had been unreliable to
the earlier Sasanian shahs, and thus chose instead to seek support
WAR WITH ROME
The Roman-Sasanian frontier.
At the urging of the
The persecuted Christians fled to Roman territory, and were welcomed
by the bishop of Constantinople, Atticus , who informed the Emperor of
the persecution. The Eastern Roman Emperor
In the year 421, the Romans sent their general
Ardaburius with an
extensive contingent into Armenia.
Ardaburius defeated the Sasanian
Narseh and proceeded to plunder the province of
lay siege to
Ardaburius abandoned the siege in the face of
an advancing army under Bahram, who in turn besieged Theodosiopolis
(probably Theodosiopolis in
The peace treaty that ended the war (422) was negotiated by the magister officiorum Helio. It returned everything to the situation before the war (status quo ante bellum ). Both parts agreed to reject Arab defectors of the other part, as well as to guarantee liberty of religion in their territories.
WAR WITH THE HEPHTHALITES
Map of the
While Bahram was occupied with the war with the Romans, the rich city
of Marv was captured by the
Hephthalites . Bahram was thus forced to
pay tribute to the Hephthalites, in order to stop their incursions
into his empire. When Bahram had made peace with the Romans, he
started preparing to deal with the Hephthalites. Not only was Marv a
rich city, but also an important trading spot in the
Bahram shortly invaded the domains of the Hephthalites, and
recaptured Marv, killing the Hephthalite ruler, and seizing many
riches. He then erected a pillar at the
To further strengthen Sasanian supremacy in Central Asia, Bahram
appointed his brother, Narseh, as the governor of the eastern
provinces, with his capital at
RELATIONS WITH ARMENIA
The situation in Armenia occupied Bahram immediately after the conclusion of peace with Rome. Armenia had been without a king since Bahram's brother Shapur IV had vacated the country in 418. Bahram now desired that a descendant of the royal line of kings, a scion of the Arsacids , should be on the throne of Armenia. With this intention in mind, he selected an Arsacid named Artaxias IV (Artashir IV), a son of Vramshapuh , and made him king of Armenia.
But the newly appointed king did not have a good character. The
frustrated nobles petitioned Bahram to remove
Artaxias IV and admit
Armenia into the
DEATH AND LEGACY
20th-century illustration of
According to a popular legend, Bahram died in 438 while hunting in
Media . He was succeeded by his son
His legacy even survives outside Iran. He is the king who receives the Three Princes of Serendip in the tale that gave rise to the word Serendipity . He is believed to be the inspiration for the legend of Bahramgur prevalent in the Punjab.
He is a great favourite in Persian tradition, which relates many
stories of his valour and beauty; of his victories over the Romans ,
Hephthalites , Indians , and
For example, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, by Edward Fitzgerald, quatrain 17:
"They say the Lion and the Lizard keep The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep: And Bahram, that great Hunter - the Wild Ass Stamps o'er his Head, and he lies fast asleep."
To which Fitzgerald adds the following footnote (1st edition, 1859): "Bahram Gur - Bahram of the Wild Ass from his fame in hunting it - a Sasanian sovereign, had also his seven palaces, each of a different colour; each with a Royal mistress within; each of whom recounts to Bahram a romance. The ruins of three of these towers are yet shown by the peasantry; as also the swamp in which Bahram sunk while pursuing his Gur.
Some have judged
The coins of
THE SEVEN BEAUTIES
The Seven Beauties (Persian : هفت پیکر) also known as
Bahramnameh (بهرامنامه, The
While wandering through the fabled palace, he discovers a locked room
which contains a depiction of seven princesses; hence the name Haft
Paykar (seven beauties). Each of these princesses is from the seven
different climes (traditional
The architect tells him that each of the seven climes is ruled by one
of the seven planets (classical planetary system of
Each princess relates to the shah a story matching the mood of her respective color. These seven beautifully constructed, highly sensuous stories occupy about half of the whole poem. While the shah is busy with the seven brides, his evil minister seizes power in the realm. Bahram discovers that the affairs of Iran are in disarray, the treasury is empty and the neighboring rulers are posed to invade. He clears his mind first by going hunting. After returning from hunt, he sees a suspended dog from a tree. The owner of the dog, who was shepherd, tells the story of how his faithful watchdog had betrayed his flock to a she-wolf in return for sexual favors. He starts investigating the corrupt minister and from the multitude of complaints, he selects seven who tell him the injustice they have suffered. The minister is subsequently put to death and Bahram restores justice and orders the seven pleasure-domes to be converted to fire temples for the pleasure of God. Bahram then goes hunting for the last time but mysteriously disappears. As a pun on words, while trying to hunt the wild ass (gūr) he instead finds his tomb (gūr).
* ^ Bosworth 1999 , p. 93. * ^ A B C Klíma 1999 , pp. 514-522. * ^ Bosworth 1999 , p. 84. * ^ Bosworth 1999 , p. 87. * ^ Traina 2009 , p. 121. * ^ A B C D Dodgeon, Greatrex & Lieu 2002b , pp. 36-43. * ^ Malchus , fragment 1.4-7. * ^ Chr. Arb., 16. * ^ Frye 1984 , p. 352. * ^ A B Kia 2016 , p. 238. * ^ A Fifth Century Hoard of Sasanian Drachms (A.D. 399-460), Hodge Mehdi Malek, IRAN, Vol. 33, (1995), British Institute of Persian Studies, 68. * ^ Introduction to Christian Caucasian History:II: States and Dynasties of the Formative Period, Cyril Toumanoff, TRADITIO, Vol. 17, 1961, Fordham University, 6. * ^ Simon Payaslian, The History of Armenia:From the Origins to the Present, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 40. * ^ Daryaee 2009 , p. 23. * ^ A B 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. * ^ A B C D E F G "HAFT PEYKAR – Encyclopaedia Iranica". Iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2014-03-23. * ^ Meisami, Julie Scott (1995). The Haft Paykar: A Medieval Persian Romance. Oxford University Press. Abû Muhammad Ilyas ibn Yusuf ibn Zaki Mu'ayyad, known by his pen-name of Nizami, was born around 1141 in Ganja, the capital of Arran in Transcaucasian Azerbaijan, where he remained until his death in about 1209. His father, who had migrated to Ganja from Qom in north central Iran, may have been a civil servant; his mother was a daughter of a Kurdish chieftain; having lost both parents early in his life, Nizami was brought up by an uncle. He was married three times, and in his poems laments the death of each of his wives, as well as proferring advice to his son Muhammad. He lived in an age of both political instability and intense intellectual activity, which his poems reflect; but little is known about his life, his relations with his patrons, or the precise dates of his works, as the accounts of later biographers are colored by the many legends built up around the poet
* Bosworth, C. E. , ed. (1999). The History of al-Ṭabarī, Volume V: The Sāsānids, the Byzantines, the Lakhmids, and Yemen. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-4355-2 .
* Shahîd, Irfan (1986). "Lakhmids". The Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume V: Khe–Mahi. Leiden and New York: BRILL. pp. 632–634. ISBN 90-04-07819-3 . * Traina, Giusto, 428 AD, An Ordinary Year at the End of the Roman Empire, Princeton University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-691-15025-3 * 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, ISBN 978-1-84511-645-3 * Daryaee, Touraj (2009). Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B.Tauris. pp. 1–240. ISBN 0857716662 . * Frye, Richard Nelson (1984). The History of Ancient Iran. C.H.Beck. pp. 1–411. ISBN 9783406093975 . * Kia, Mehrdad (2016). The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia : A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1610693912 .
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