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Yazdegerd II
Yazdegerd II
(Middle Persian: 𐭩𐭦𐭣𐭪𐭥𐭲𐭩‎ Yazdākird, meaning "made by God"; Persian: یزدگرد‎), was the sixteenth Sasanian emperor of Iran. He was the successor and son of Bahram V
Bahram V
(420–438) and reigned from 438 to 457.[1] His name may also be spelled Yazdgard II.[2] His reign was marked by wars against the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
in the west and the Hephthalite Empire
Hephthalite Empire
in the east, as well as by his efforts and attempts to impose Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
on the largest religious minority within the empire, namely the Christians.

Contents

1 Reign

1.1 Wars

2 See also 3 References 4 Sources

Reign[edit] At the start of his reign, he continued his father’s policies. However, after some time, he turned away from these and started a policy of his own. When the Sasanian nobles told him that his new policies had offended the civilians, he said the following thing: "It is not correct for you to presume that the ways in which my father behaved towards you, maintaining you close to him, and bestowing upon you all that bounty, are incumbent upon all the kings that come after him ... each age has its own customs."[3] Wars[edit] In 440, Yazdegerd II
Yazdegerd II
waged a war against the Roman Empire, with little success for either side. The Romans, however, were invaded in their southern provinces by the Vandals, Making the Roman Emperor, Theodosius II
Theodosius II
(408–450), ask for peace and send his commander, Anatolius, personally to Yazdegerd's camp. In the ensuing negotiations in 440, both empires promised not to build any new fortifications in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and that the Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
would get some payment.[4] Shortly after his peace treaty with Romans, he, along with Izad Gushnasp, Ashtat, and his vizier Mihr Narseh, moved towards Sasanian Armenia, and defeated the Armenians
Armenians
and captured many Armenian nobles, priests, and troops, sending them to the eastern Sasanian provinces to protect the borders from Hunnic invasions. In 453, Yazdegerd II
Yazdegerd II
moved his court to Nishapur
Nishapur
in Khorasan to face the threat from the "Huns" and left Mihr Narseh in charge of the Sasanian Empire. He spent many years at war against the Huns.[5] According to the Šahrestānīhā ī Ērānšahr, Yazdegerd fortified the city of Damghan
Damghan
and turned it into a strong border post against the Huns.[6] After his wars against the Huns, Yazdegerd's shifted his focus on Armenia, Caucasian Albania and the Roman Empire.[7] Yazdegerd was known for his religious zeal in promoting Zoroastrianism, leading to persecutions of Christians, mostly Assyrians, and, to a lesser extent, Jews. Under his reign, 153,000 Assyrians were massacred solely in one city, Kirkuk.[8] According to Jewish chronicles, persecution against the Jews
Jews
of Persia began in earnest in 456, reaching a degree of severity that they "prayed for mercy."[9] He issued decrees prohibiting Jews
Jews
from observing the Sabbath openly and publicly, and ordered executions of a few Jewish leaders, which resulted in the Jewish community of Isfahan
Isfahan
publicly retaliating by flaying two Zoroastrian priests while they were alive, leading to more persecutions against the Jews. Advancing his pro-Zoroastrian policy, he battled an uprising of Armenian Christians in the Battle of Avarayr
Battle of Avarayr
in 451 and attempted to impose Zoroastrianism in Armenia.[10] In his later years, Yazdegerd became engaged again with the Kidarites until his death in 457. According to a geonic source, Yazdegerd II
Yazdegerd II
was "swallowed by a serpent in his bedroom, and the persecution was annulled," said to be a veiled allusion to a successful conspiracy that resulted in the king's assassination.[11] The fight over the succession resulted in the annulment of the king's harsh decrees. According to Priscus, the Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
was forced to pay tribute to the Kidarites, until the rule of Yazdgird II, who refused payment.[12] He pursued strict religious policies and persecuted various minorities. See also[edit]

Syunik Province Mamikonian

References[edit]

^ S. Wise Bauer, The History of the Medieval World, (W.W.Norton Company Inc., 2010), 122. ^ H.A. Drake (5 December 2016). Violence in Late Antiquity: Perceptions and Practices. Taylor & Francis. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-351-87574-5.  ^ Pourshariati (2008), pp. 70 ^ Yazdegerd II
Yazdegerd II
at Encyclopædia Iranica ^ Yazdegerd II
Yazdegerd II
at Encyclopædia Iranica ^ Yazdegerd II
Yazdegerd II
at Encyclopædia Iranica ^ Touraj Daryaee, 23. ^ Certrez, Donabed, and Makko (2012). The Assyrian Heritage: Threads of Continuity and Influence. Uppsala University. pp. 258–259. ISBN 978-91-554-8303-6. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ The Iggeres of Rav Sherira Gaon (ed. Nosson Dovid Rabinowich), Jerusalem 1988, p. 117 ^ Yazdegerd II
Yazdegerd II
at Encyclopædia Iranica ^ The Iggeres of Rav Sherira Gaon (ed. Nosson Dovid Rabinowich), Jerusalem 1988, p. 117; Zev Yavetz, Toldot Israel (History of Israel), vol. 8, Berlin 1912, p. 144. ^ The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Attila, Michael Maas p.287

Sources[edit]

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.  Shapur Shahbazi, A. (2005). "SASANIAN DYNASTY". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 

Yazdegerd II Sasanian Empire

Preceded by Bahram V Sasanian emperor 438–457 Succeeded by Hormizd III

v t e

Rulers of the Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
(224–651)

Ardashir I
Ardashir I
(224–242) Shapur I
Shapur I
(240–270) Hormizd I
Hormizd I
(270–271) Bahram I
Bahram I
(271–274) Bahram II
Bahram II
(274–293) Bahram III
Bahram III
(293) Narseh
Narseh
(293–302) Hormizd II (302–309) Adur Narseh
Narseh
(309) Shapur II
Shapur II
(309–379) Ardashir II
Ardashir II
(379–383) Shapur III
Shapur III
(383–388) Bahram IV
Bahram IV
(388–399) Yazdegerd I
Yazdegerd I
(399–420) Shapur IV (420) Khosrow the Usurper§ (420) Bahram V
Bahram V
(420–438) Yazdegerd II
Yazdegerd II
(438–457) Hormizd III (457–459) Peroz I
Peroz I
(459–484) Balash
Balash
(484–488) Kavadh I
Kavadh I
(488–496) Jamasp
Jamasp
(496–498) Kavadh I
Kavadh I
(498–531) Khosrow I
Khosrow I
(531–579) Hormizd IV
Hormizd IV
(579–590) Khosrow II
Khosrow II
(590) Bahram VI Chobin§ (590–591) Khosrow II
Khosrow II
(591–628) Vistahm§ (591–596) Kavadh II
Kavadh II
(628) Ardashir III
Ardashir III
(628–629) Shahrbaraz§ (629) Khosrow III§ (629) Boran
Boran
(629–630) Shapur-i Shahrvaraz§ (630) Peroz II§ (630) Azarmidokht
Azarmidokht
(630–631) Farrukh Hormizd§ (630–631) Hormizd VI§ (630–631) Khosrow IV§ (631) Farrukhzad Khosrow V§ (631) Boran
Boran
(631–632) Yazdegerd III
Yazdegerd III
(632–651) Peroz III (pretender) Narsieh (pretender)

§ usurpers or riv

.