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lacking in energy. Whenever it made an effort to enforce its claims, it retreated so soon as it was confronted by a resolute foe. '

Thus the wars between Parthia and Rome proceeded, not from the Parthians—deeply injured though they were by the Wm Wm, encroachments of Pompey—but from Rome herself. (Jr-Inns and Rome had been obliged, reluctantly enough, to enter 4"'°”"‘" upon the inheritance of Alexander the Great; and, since the time of Pompey, had definitely subjected to her dominion the Hellenistic countries as far as the Euphrates. Thus theytask now faced them of annexing the remainder of the Macedonian Empire, the whole East from the Euphrates to the Indus, and of thereby saving Greek civilization (cf. Plut. Comp. Nic. e! Crass. 4). The aristocratic republic quailed before such an enterprise, though Lucullus, at the height of his successes, entertained the thought (Plut. Luc. 30). But the ambitious men, whose goal was to*ei'ect their own sovereignty on the ruins of the republic, took up the project. With this objective M. Licinius Crassus, the triumvir, in 54 B.C., took the aggressive against Parthia, the-occasion being favourable owing to the dynastic troubles between Orodes 1., the son of Phraates III., and his brother Mithradates III. Crassus fell on the field of Carrhae (June‘g, 53 3.0.). With this Mesopotamia was regained by the Parthians, and King Artavasdes of Armenia now entered their alliance. But, apart from the ravaging of Syria (51 B.C.) by Pacorus the son of Orodes, the threatened attack on the Roman Empire was carried into effect neither then nor during the civil wars of Caesar and Pompey. At the time of his assassination Caesar was intent on resuming the expedition of Crassus. The Parthians formed a league with Brutus and Cassius, as previously with Pompey, but gave them no support, until in 40 B.C. a Parthian army, led by Pacorus and the republican general Labienus, harried Syria and Asia_Minor. But it was easily repulsed by Ventidius Bassus, the lieutenant of Mark Antony. Pacorus himself fell on the 9th of June 38 B.C. at Gindarus in northern Syria. Antony then attacked the Parthians in 36 B.C., and penetrated through Armenia into Atropatene, but was defeated by Phraates IV.—who in 37 B.C. had murdered his father Orodes I.+and compelled to retreat with heavy losses. The continuation of the war was frustrated by the conflict with Octavian. Armenia alone was again subdued in 34 B.C. by Antony, who treacherously captured and executed King Artavasdes.

Roman opinion universally expected that Augustus would take up the work of his predecessors, annihilate the Parthian dominion, and subdue the East as far as the Indians, Scythians and Seres (cf. Horace and the other Augustan poets). {But Augustus disappointed these expectations. His whole policy and the needs of the newly 'organized Roman Empire demanded peace. His efforts were devoted to reaching a modus vivendi, by which the authority of Rome and her most vital claims might be peacefully vindicated. -This'the weakness of Parthia enabled him to efiect without much difficulty. His endeavours were seconded by the revolt of Tiridates 11., before whom Phraates IV. was compelled to flee (32 B.C.), till restored by the Scythians. Augustus lent no 'support to Tiridates in his second march on Ctesiphon (26 13.0.), but Phraates was all the more inclined on that account to stand on good terms with him. Consequently in 20 8.0., he restored the standards captured in the victories over Crassus and Antony, and recognized the Roman suzerainty over Osroene and Armenia. In return, the Parthian dominion in Babylonia and the other vassal states was left undisputed.

' 'Thus it was due not to the successes and strength of the Parthians but entirely to the principles of Roman policy as defined by Augustus that their empire appears as a second great independent power, side by side with Rome. The precedence of the Caesars, indeed, was always'admitted by the Arsacids; and Phraates IV. soon entered into a state of dependency on Rome by sending (q B.c.) four of his sons as hostages to Augustus—a convenient method of obviating the danger threatened in their person, without the necessity of killing them. In 4 13.0., however,

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Phraates was assassinated by his favourite wife Musa and her son Phraates V. In the subsequent broils a Parthian faction obtained the release of one of the princes interned in Rome as Vonones I.(A.D. 8). He failed, however, to maintain his position for long. He was a stranger to the Parthian customs, and the feeling of shame at dependency on the foreigner was too strong. So the rival faction brought out another Arsacid, resident among the Scythian nomads, Artabanus II., who easily expelled Vonones—only to create a host of enemies by his brutal cruelty, and to call forth fresh disorders.

Similar proceedings were frequently repeated in the period following. In the intervals the Parthians made several attempts to reassert their dominion over Armenia and there . . . . Rekn 0! install an Arsacid prince; but on each occasion Vanna" L they retreated without giving battle so soon as the Romans prepared for war. Only the dynasty of Atropatene was finally deposed and the country placed under an Arsacid ruler. Actual war with Rome broke out under Vologaeses I. (gr—77), who made his brother Tiridates king of Armenia. After protracted hostilities, in which the Roman army was commanded by Cn. Domitius Corbulo, a peace was concluded in AD. 63, confirming the Roman suzerainty over Armenia but recognizing Tiridates as king (see CORBULO). Tiridates himself visited Rome and was there invested with the diadem by Nero (A.D. 66). After that Armenia continued under the rule of an Arsacid dynasty.

These successes of Vologaeses were counterbalanced by serious losses in the East. He was hampered in an energetic campaign against Rome by attacks of the Dahae and Sacae. Hyrcania, also, revolted and asserted its independence under a separate line of kings. A little later, the Alans, a great Iranian tribe in the south of Russia—the ancestors of the present-day Ossets—broke for the first time through the Caucasian passes, and ravaged Media and Armenia—an incursion which they often repeated in the following centuries.

On the other side, the reign of Vologaeses I. is characterized by a great advance in the Oriental reaction against Hellenism. The line of Arsacids which came to the throne in the person of Artabanus II. (A.D. Io) stands in open opposition to the old kings with their leanings to Rome and, at least external, tinge of Hellenism. The new régime obviously laid much more stress on the Oriental character of their state, though Philostratus, in his life of Apollonius of Tyana(who visited the Parthian court), states that Vardanes I. (A.D. 40—45), the rival king‘to the brutal Gotarzes (A.D. 4o—5r), was a cultivated man (Vii. Ap. i. 22, 28, 31 sqq.); and Vologaeses I. is distinguished by the excellent relations which subsisted all his life between himself and his brothers Pacorus and Tirida tes, the kings of Media and Armenia. But the coins of Vologaeses I. are quite barbarous, and for the first time on some of them appear the initials of the name of the king in Aramaic letters by the side of the Greek legend. The Hellenism of Seleucia was now attacked with greater determination. For seven years (AD. 37—43) the city maintained itself in open rebellion (Tac. Ann. xi. 8 seq.), till at last it surrendered to Vardanes, who in consequence enlarged Ctesiphon, which was afterwards fortified by Pacorus (A.D. 78—105: v. Ammian. 23, 6, 23). In the neighbourhood of the same town Vologaeses I. founded a city Vologesocerta (Balashkert), to which he attempted to transplant the population to Seleucia (Plin. vi. 122: cf. Th. Noldekc in Zeilschr. d. deutsch. morgenl. Gesellschaft, xxviii., 100). Another of his foundations was Vologesias (the Arabian Ullaish), situated near Hira on the Euphrates, south of Babylon, which did appreciable damage to the commerce of Seleucia and is often mentioned in inscriptions as the destination of the Palmyrene caravans.

After Vologaeses I. follows a period of great disturbances. The literary tradition, indeed, deserts us almost entirely, but the coins and isolated literary references prove that during the years AD. 77 to 147, two kings, and sometimes three or more, were often reigning concurrently (Vologaeses II. 77—79, and 111—147; Pacorus 78—c.105; Osroes 106—129; Mithradates V. 129—147: also Artabanus III. 80—-8r; Mithradates IV. and his son Sanatruces II. n 5; and Parthamaspates rr6—rr7). Obviously the empire can never have been at peace during these years, a fact which materially assisted the aggressive campaigns w, Wm, of Trajan (113—117). Trajan resuscitated the Train and old project of Crassus and Caesar, by which the Mm" empire of Alexander as far as India was to be won “mm” for Western civilization. In pursuance of this plan he reduced Armenia, Mesopotamia and Babylonia to the position of imperial provinces. On his death, however, Hadrian immediately reverted to the Augustan policy and restored the conquests. Simultaneously there arose in the East the powerful Indo-Scythian empire of the Kushana, which doubtless limited still further the Parthian possessions in eastern Iran.

An era of quiet seems to have returned with Vologaeses III. (147-191), and we hear no more of rival kings. With the Roman Empire a profound peace had reigned since Hadrian (117), which was first disturbed by the attack of Marcus Aurelius and Aelius Verus in 162. This war, which broke out on the question of Armenia and Osroene, proved of decisive significance for the future development of the East, for, in its course, Seleucia was destroyed by the Romans under Avidius Cassius (164). The downfall of the great Greek city sealed the fate of Hellenism in the countries east of the Euphrates. Henceforward Greek culture practically vanishes and gives place to Aramaic; it is significant that in future the kings of Mesene stamped their coinage with Aramaic legends. This Aramaic victory was powerfully aided by the ever-increasing progress of Christianity, which soon created, as is well known, an Aramaic literature cam-MM of which the language was the dialect of Edessa, a city

in which the last king of Osroene, Abgar IX. (179214), had been converted to the faith. After that Greek culture and Greek literature were only accessible to the Orientals in an Aramaic dress. Vologaeses III. is probably also the king Valgash, who, according to a native tradition, preserved in the Dinkarl, began a collection of the sacred writings of Zoroaster—the origin of the Avesla which has come down to us. This would show how the national Iranian element in the Parthian Empire was continually gathering strength.

The Roman war was closed in 165 by a peace which ceded north-west Mesopotamia to Rome. Similar conflicts took place in rg5-202 between Vologaeses IV. (191—209) and Septimius Severus, and again in 216—217 between Artabanus IV. (209—226) and Caracalla. They failed, however, to affect materially the position of the two empires.

VIII. The Sassanian Empire—That the Arsacid Empire should have endured some 350 years after its foundation by Mubb'. Mithradates I. and Phraates II., was a result, not

of internal strength, but of chance working in its external development. It might equally well have so existed for centuries more. But under Artabanus IV. the catastrophe came. In his days there arose in Persis—precisely as Cyrus had arisen under Astyages the Mede—a great personality. Ardashir (Artaxerxes) 1., son of Papak (Babek), the descendant of Sasan, was the sovereign of one of the small states into which Persis had gradually fallen. His father Papak had taken possession of the district of Istakhr, which had replaced the old Persepolis, long a mass of ruins. Thence Ardashir I., who reigned from about A.D. 212, subdued the neighbouring potentates—disposing of his own brothers among the rest. This proceeding quickly led to war with his suzerain Artabanus IV. The conflict was protracted through several years, and the Parthians were worsted in three battles. The last of these witnessed the fall of Artabanus (A.D. 226), though a Parthian king, Artavasdes—perhaps a son of Artabanus IV.——who is only known to us from his own coins, appears to have retained a portion of the empire for some time longer. The members of the Arsacid line who fell into the hands of the victor were put to death; a number of the princes found refuge in Armenia, where the Arsacid dynasty maintained itself till AD. 429. The remainder of the vassal states—Carmania, Susiana, Mesene —were ended by Ardashir; and the autonomous desert fortress of Hatra in MeSOpotamia was destroyed by his son Shapur

(Sapor) I., according to the Persian and Arabian traditions, which, in this point, are deserving of credence. The victorious Ardashir then took possession of the palace of Ctesiphon and assumed the title “ King of the kings of the Iranians” (Baaihl‘n Bainhéwv 'Aptavibv). v '

The new empire founded by Ardashir I.—the Sassanian, or Nee-Persian Empire—is essentially different from that of his Arsacid predecessors. It is, rather, a continua- Sum/u tion of the Achaemenid traditions which were still W“ with alive on their native soil. Consequently the national M" impetus—already clearly revealed in the title of the new sovereign—again becomes strikingly manifest. The Sassanian Empire, in fact, is once more a national Persian or Iranian Empire. The religious element is, of course, inseparable from the national, and Ardashir, like all the dynasts of Persis, was an ardent devotee- of the Zoroastrian doctrine, and closely connected with the priesthood. In his royal style he assumed the designation “ Mazdayasnian” (Mao'ééwas), and the fire— cult was everywhere vigorously disseminated. Simultaneously the old claims to world dominion made their reappearance. After the defeat of Artabanus, Ardashir, as heir of the Achaemenids, formulated his pretensions to the dominion of western Asia (Dio. Cass. 8o, 3; Herodian vi. 2, 4; Zonar‘fxii. 15; similarly under Shapur II.: Ammian. Marc. xvii. 5, 5). He attacked Armenia, though without permanent success (cf. von Gutschmid in Zeilschr. d. d. morgcnl. Ges. xxxi. 47, on the fabulous Armenian account of these wars), and despatched his armies against Roman Mesopotamia. They strayed as far as Syria and Cappadocia. The inner decay of the Roman Empire, and the widespread tendency of its troops to mutiny and usurpation, favoured his enterprise. Nevertheless, the armies of Alexander Severus, supported by the king of Armenia, succeeded in repelling the Persians, though the Romans sustained severe losses (23‘ r-f2 3 3). Towards the end of his reign Ardashir resumed the'at'tack'; while his son Shapur I. (241—272) reduced Nisibis and Carrhae and penetrated into Syria, but was defeated by sup” Gordian III. at Resaena (243). Soon afterwards, however, the Roman Empire seemed to collapse utterly. The Goths defeated Decius (251) and harried the Balkan Peninsula and Asia Minor, while insurrections broke out everywhere and the legions created one Caesar after the other. Then Shapur resumed the war, subdued Armenia and plundered Antioch. The emperor Valerian, who marched to encounter him,'was overthrown at Edessa and taken prisoner (260). The .Persian armies advanced into Cappadocia; but here Ballista or Balista (d. c. 264) beat them back, and Odenathus (Odainath), prince of Palmyra (q.v.), rose in their rear, defeated Shapur, captured his harem, and twice forced his way to Ctesiphon (263-265). Shapur was in no position to repair the defeat, or even to hold Armenia; so that the Sassanid power failed to pass the bounds of the Arsacid Empire. Nevertheless Shapur I., in contrast to his father, assumed the title “ King of the kings of the Iranians and non-Iranians" (fiaathei'ls 5110'va 'Apiaiulw Kai ’Avapiavé‘w; shah an shah Iran we Aniran), thus emphasizing his claim to world dominion. His successors retained the designation, little as it corresponded to the facts, for the single non-Iranian land governed by the Sassanids was, as under the Parthians, the district of the Tigris and Euphrates as far as the Mesopotamian desert; western and northern Mesopotamia remained Roman.

The Sassanid ruler is the representative of the “ Kingly Majesty," derived from Ormuzd, which appears in the Avcsta as the. angel Kavaem Hvareno, “ the royal glo ," and, according to le end, once beamed in the Iranian ings, unattainable to al but those of ro al blood. A picture, which frequently , recurs in the roc -reliefs of Ardashir l. and Shapur 1., represents the king and the god Ormuzd both on horseback, the latter in the act of handin to his companion the ring of soverei nty. Thus it is explicable t at all the Sassanids, as many of the Krsacids before them, include the designation of “ 0d" in their formal style. From this developed (as already un er the Arsacids) that strict principle of legitimacy which is still vigorous in Firdousi. It applies, however, to the whole royal house, reciscly as in the

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Ottoman Empire of to-day. The person of t e individual ruler is, on .the other hand, a matter of indifference. He can readily be removed and replaced by another; but no usur er who was not of the legitimate blood can hope to become t e genuine king. Therefore the native tradition carries the Sassanid line back to the Achaemenids and, still further, to the kings of the legendary period.

Officially the king is all- werful, and his will, which is guided by God and bound u in is law, unfettered. Thus, externally, he is surrounded b al the splendour of sovereignty; on his head he wears a great an resplendent crown, with a high circular centrepiece; he is clothed in gold and jewels; round him is a brilliant Court, composed of his submissive servants. He sits in dazzling state on his throne in Ctesiphon. All who approach fling themselves to the ground, life and death depend on his nod. Among his ople he is accounted the fairest, strongest and wisest man of tg: empire; and from him is required the practice of all piety and virtue, as well as skill in the chase and in arms—especially the bow. Ardashir I., moreover, and his successors endeavoured to establish the validity of the royal will by absorbing the vassal states and instituting a firmer organization. Nevertheless they failed to attain the complete independence 'and power of the Achaemenids. Not strong enough to break up the nobility, with its great estates, they were forced to utilize its services and still further to romote its interests; while their dependence on its good-will and3 assistance led inevitably to incessant gifts of money, lands and men. This state of affairs had also prevailed under the later Achaemenids, and had materially contributed to the disintegration of the empire and the numerous insurrections of the satraps. But the older Achaemenids held an entirely different position; and hardly a single Sassanid enjoyed even that degree of power which was still retained b the later Achaemenids. It was of fundamental importance that the Sassanian Empire could not make 00d its claim to world dominion; and, in spite of the title of its ings, it always remained essentiall the kingdom of .Iran—tor rather west lran, together with the istricts on the Tigris and Euphrates. This fact, again, is most closel connected With its military and administrative organization. '1‘ e external and internal conditions of the empire are in mutual reaction upon one another. The empire, which in extent did not exceed that of the Arsacids with its vassal states, was protected on the east and west by the great deserts of central Iran and Mesopotamia. For the

:"hulma defence of these provinces the mounted archers, who Juan- formed the basis of the arm , possessed adequate

strength; and though the Scyt ian nomads from the east, or the Romans from the west, mi ht occasionally penetrate deep into the country, the never succeeded in maintaining their position. But the power of t e nee-Persian Empire was not great enough for further conquests, though its army was ca able and animated by a far stron er national eeling than that o the Parthians. It still consistedfi'iowever, of levies from the retinue of the magnates led by their territorial lords; and, although these troops would stream in at the beginning of a war, they could not be kept permanently together. For, on the one hand, they were actuated by the most varied rsonal interests and antipathies, not all of which the king coulde satisfy; on the other hand he could not, owing to the natural character and organization of his dominions, maintain and pay a large army for any length of time. Thus the great hosts soon melted away, and a war, be un successfully, ended ingloriously, and often disastrously. Un er such circumstances an elaborate tactical or anization employing different species of arms, or the execution o a comprehensive plan of campaign, was out of the question. The successes of the Sassanids in the east were gained in the later period of their dominion; and the Roman armies, in spite of decay in discipline and military spirit, still remained their tactical and strategical superiors. A great victory might be won—even an emperor might be captured, like Valerian—but immediately afterwards successes, such as those ained against Shapur I. (who was certainly an able general) by allista and Odenathus of Palmyra, or the later victories of Carus, {Lilian and others, demonstrated how far the Persians were from

in on an equality with the Romans. That Babylonia permanenty remained a Sassanian province was due merely to the eographical conditions and to t e political situation of the Roman Empire, not to the strength of the Persians. _

Among the magnates six great houses—seven, if we include the royal house—were still regarded as the foremost, precisely as under the Achaemenids, and from these were drawn

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the generals, crown officials and governors (cf. Procop. Nouw‘ P673. i. 6, i3 sqq.). In the last of these positions we frequentl find rinces of the blood, who then bear the royal title shah). gome 0 these houses—whose origin the legends derive from

King Gushtasp (Le. Vishtaspa), the protector of Zoroaster (Marquart, Zeitschr. d. d. mor enl. Gas. xlix. 6359:1321), already existed under the Arsacids, e.g. the Suren (Surenas, ' sulmz, p. 798) and Karen (Carenes, Tac. Ann. xii. 12 sqq.), who had obviously embraced the cause of the victorious dynasty at the correct moment and so retained their position. The name Pahlavan, moreover, which denoted the Parthian magnates, passed over into the new em ire. Below these there was an inferior nobility, the dikhans (“ vi lage-lords ") and the “knights " (aswar); who, as among the Parthians, took the field in heavy scale-armour. To an even greater extent than


under the Arsacids the empire was subdivided into a host of small provinces, at the head of each being a Marzban (“ boundary-lord," "lord of the marches "). These were again comprised in four great districts. With each of these local potentates the king could deal with as scant consideration as he pleased, always provided that he had the power or understood the art of making himself feared. But to break through the system or replace it by another was impossible. in fact he was compelled to proceed with great caution whenever he wished to elevate a favourite of humbler origin to an office which custom reserved for the nobility. Thus it is all the more worthy of recognition that the Sassanian Empire was a fairly orderly empire, with an excellent legal administration, and that the later sovereigns did their utmost to re ress the encroachments of the nobility, to protect the commona ty, and, above all, to carry out a just system of taxation.

Side by side with the nobles ranked the spiritual chiefs, now a far more werful body than under the Arsacids. Every larger district ha its upper Magian (Llagupat, mobed, Le.

" Lord of the Magians "). At their head was the Realm“ supreme Mobed, resident in Rhagae (Rai), who was re- Deni“,garded as the successor of Zoroaster. In the new empire, mm of which the king and peoplewere alike zealous professors of the true faith, their influence was extraordinarily strong (cf. Agathias ii. 26)—comparable to the influence of the priesthood in later Egypt, and especially in Byzantium and medieval Christendom. As has alread been indicated, it was in their religious attitudes that the essential difference lay between the Sassanid Empire and the older Iranian states. But, in details, the fluctuations were so manifold that it is necessary at this point to enter more full into the histo of Persian religion (cf. especially H. Gelzer, “ Ezni u. d. Entwicke'i: des pers. )Religions-systems," in the Zeitschr. f. armen. Philol. i. 149 sqq. .

The Persian religion, as we have seen, s read more and more widely after the Achaemenian period. n the Indo-Scythian Empire the Persian gods were zealously worshipped; in Armenia the old national religion was almost entirely banished by the Persian cults (Gelzer, “ Zur armcn. Gotterlehre," in Bar. 11. sdchs. Gcsch. d. Wissensch., 189 ); in Cappadocia, North Syria and the west of Asia Minor, the ersian gods were everywhere adored side by side with the native deities. It was in the third century that the cult of Mithras, with its mysteries and a theolo evolved from Zoroastrianism, attained the widest diffusion in al Latin-speaking provinces of the Roman dominion; and it even seemed for a while as though the 501 invictus illithras, highly favoured by the Caesars, would become the official dcity-in-chief of the empire. But in all these cults the Persian gods are perfectly tolerant of other native or foreign divinities; vigorous as was their propagandism, it was yet equally far removed from an attack on other creeds. Thus this Parseeism always bears a. syncretic character; and the supreme god of Zoroastrian theory, Ahuramazda (11c. Zeus or Jupiter), in practice yields place to his attendant deities, who work in the world and are able to lead the believer, who has been initiated and keeps the commandments of purity, to salvation.

But, meanwhile, in its Iranian home and especially in Persis, the religion of Zoroaster lived a quiet life, undisturbed by the proceedings of the outside world. Here the poems of the prophet and fragments of ancient religious literature survived, understood by the Magians and rendered accessible to the faithful laity by versions in the modern dialect (Pahlavi). Here the opposition between the good spirit of light and the demons of evil—between Ormuzd and Ahriman—still remained the principal dogma of the creed; while all other gods and angels, however estimable their aid, were but subordinate servants of Ormuzd, whose highest manifestation on earth was not the sun-god Mithras, but the holy fire guarded by his priests. Here all the prescriptions of purity—partly connected with national customs, and impossible of execution abroad— were diligently observed; and even the injunction not to pollute earth with car ses, but to cast out the dead to vulture and dog, was obcyc in its full force. At the same time Ahurarnazda preserved his character as a national god, who bestowed on his worshippers vieto Y and world dominion. In the sculptures of the Sassanids, as a so in Armenian traditions, he appears on horseback as awar-god. Here, again, the theology was further developed. and an attempt made to annul the old dualism by envisaging both Ormuzd and Ahriman as emanations of an original principle of infinite time (Zervan), a doctrine which long enjoyed official validity under the Sassanids till, in the reign of Chosroes I., “ the sect of Zervanites" was pronounced heretical.1 But, above all, the ritual and the doctrine of purity were elaborated and expanded. and there was evolved a complete and detailed system of casuistry, dealin with all things allowed and forbidden, the forms of pollution and t e expiation for each, &c., which, in its arid and spiritlcss monotony vividly recalls the similar prescriptions in the Pentateuch. The consequences of this development were that orthodoxy and literal obedience to all priestly injunctions now assumed an importance far reater than previously; henceforward, the great commandment of éoroastrianism, as of Judaism, is to combat the heresies

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of the heathen. a movement which had already had an energetic representative in the prophet himself. Heathenish cults and forbidden manners and customs are a pollution to the land and a deep insult to the true God. Therefore the duty of the believer is to combat and destroy the unbeliever and the heretic. In short, the tolerance of the Achaernenids and the indifi'ererice of the Arsacids are now replaced by intolerance and religious persecution.

Such were the views in which Ardashir I. grew u , and in their energetic prosecution he found a potent instrument or the building up of his empire. It has previously been mentioned that Vol0gaeses III. had already be un a co lection of the holy Writings; and the task was resume under Ardashir. At his order the orthodox doctrines and texts were compiled by the high priest Jansar; all divergent theories were prohibited and their adherents proscribed. Thus arose the Avesta, the sacred book of the Parsees. Above all, the sacred book of bars, the deidad, breathes throughout the spirit of the Sassanian period, in its intolerance, its casuistry degenerating into absurdity, and its soulless monotony. Subscription to the restored orthodox doctrine was to the Iranian a matter of course. The schismatics Ardashir imprisoned for a year; if, at its expiration, they still refused to listen to reason, and remained stiff-necked, they were executed. It is even related that, in his zeal for uniformity of creed, Ardashir wished to extinguish the holy fires in the great cities of the empire and the Parthian vassal states, with the exception of that which burned in the residence of the dynasty. This plan he was unable to execute. In Armenia, also, Ardashir and Shapur, during the period of their occupation, sought to introduce the orthodox religion, destroyed the heathen images—even those of the Iranian gods which were here considered heathen,—and turned the shrines into fire-altars (Geller, Ber. sacks. Gas. p. 135, 1895). Shapur 1., who appears to have had a broader outlook, added to the religious writings a collection of scientific treatises on medicine, astronomy, mathematics, philoso by, zoology, &c., partly from Indian and Greek sources.

his religious development was most stron ly influenced by the fact that, meanwhile, a powerful opponent o Zoroastrianism had arisen with an equally zealous propagandism and an

RGIIUOI - - , equal exclusiveness and intolerance. More espemally Zfigrhu' in the countries of the Tigris and Euphrates, now alto

gether Aramaic, Christianity had everywhere ined 'a firm footing.I But its missionary enterprise stretched overt ewhole of Iran, and even farther. The time was come when, in the western and eastern worlds alike, the religious question was for large masses of people the most im ortant question in life, and the diffusion of their own creed and3 the suppression of all others the highest and holiest of tasks. The man who thinks thus knows no compromise, and so Zoroastrianism and Christianit confronted each other as mortal enemies. Still the old idea that every religion contained a portion of the truth, and that it was possible to borrow something from one and amalgamate it with another, had not yet lost all its power. From such a conception arose the teaching of Mani or Manes. For Manichaeism (q.v.) is an attempt to weld the

dontrine of theGospel and the doctrine of Zoroaster “nu.” into a uniform system, though naturall not without I'm' an admixture of other elements, principally Babylonian and Gnostic. Mani, perhaps a Persian from Babylonia, is said to have made his first appearance as a teacher on the coronation day of Shapur I. At all events he found numerous adherents, both at court and among the magnates of the empire. The king even inclined to him, till in a great disputation the Magians gained the predominance. None the less Mani found means to diffuse his creed far and wide over the whole empire. Even the heir to the throne, Hormizd I. (reigned 272- 71), was favourably dis osed to him; but Shapur’s younger son, Ba ram I. (273—276), yieided to sacerdotal pressure, and Mani was executed. After that Manichaeism was persecuted and extirpated in Iran. Yet it maintained itself not merely in the west, where its head resided at Babylon—propagating thence far into the Roman Empire—but also in the east, in Khorasan and be end the bounds of the Sassanian dominion. There the seat 0 its ontifi was at Samarkand; thence it penetrated into Central sia, where, buried in the desert sands which entomb the cities of eastern Turkcstan, numerous fragments of the works of Mani and his disciples, in the Persian language (Pahlavi) and Syrian script, and in an East Iranian dialect, called Sogdian, which was used by the Manichaeans of Central Asia, have been discovered (K. Mi'iller, “ Handschriftenreste in Estrangelo-schrift aus Turfan, in Chinesisch-Turkestan," in Abh. d. berl. Akad., 1904) ; amon them translations of texts of thev New Testament (K. Miiller, erichle der 801., 1907, p. 260 seq.). In these texts God the Father is identified with the Zervan of Zarathiistrism, the devil with, Ahriman. The forther religious development of the Sassanid Empire will be touched upon later.


‘ For the pro agation and history of the Christians in the Sassanid Empire, cf. La urt, Le Christianisme dans l'empir'eldperu sous la gynale sassanide (1904); Harnack, Die Mission 14 Ausbredung

es Christmlhums in den erslen drei' Jahrhunderlen, 2. Aufl. (1906),v Bd. II. p. 121 seq.; Chabot. Synodicon oriental: (1902) (a collection of the acts of the Nestorian synods held under the rule of the Sassanids).


Like the Arsacids the kings resided in Ctetiphon, where, out of the vast palace built by Chosroes 1., a gortion at least of the great hall is still erect. On the ruins of *leucia, on the Am“

0 posite bank of the Tigris, Ardashir I. built the city 4 31‘2"" 0F Veh-Ardashir (“good is Ardashir"), to which the later “ ‘ kings added new towns, or rather new quarters. In Susiana

‘ Shapur I. built the great city of Gondev-Shapur, which succeeded

the ancient capital of the Persian Empire. At the same time the mother-count again ained im rtance; especially the ca ital of Persis, Ista hr, whic had rep aced the former Persepolis (how the ruins of Hajiabad). Farther in the south-east, Ardashir I. built Gur (now JFiruzabadg, under the name of Ardashir-khurre (“the glory of Ardashir". At these places and in Sarwistan, near Shiraz and elsewhere, lie ruins of the Sassanid palaces, which in their design go back to the Achaemenid architecture, blending with it, however, Graeco-Syrian elements and serving in theif turn as' models for the structures of the Caliphs (see ARCHITECTURE: §Sassanian). After its long quiescence under the Arsacids native art underwent a general renaissance, which, though not aspiring to the Achaemenian creations, was still of no small importance. Of the Sassanian rock—sculptures some have already been mentioned; besides these, numerous engraved signet-stones have been preserved. The metal-work, carpets and fabrics of this period enjoyed a high reputation; they were widely distributed and even influenced western art.» - In :the. intellectual life and literature of the Sassanid era the main characteristic is] the complete disa pearance of Hellenism and the Greek language. Ardashir I. an Shapur I. still ~ appended Greek translations to some of their inscrip- meu' tions; but 'all of later date are drawn up in Pahlavi alonesI The ooins'inv'ariably bear a Pahlavi Ie end—on the obverse the king's head with his name and title; on t e reverse, a fire-altar (gengm a re

with the ascription “ fire of Ardashir, Shapur,v&c.," 11¢. the the royal palace), and the name of the lace of coinage, usually abbreviated. The real missionaries of Cu ture in the empire were thetAramaeans (Syrians), who were connected with the West by their Christianity, and in theirntranslations diffused Greek literature through the Orient. But there also developed a rather extensive Pahlavi literature, not limited to religious sub'ects, but containin works in belle: letlres, modernizations of the o d Iranian sagas and native traditions, e.g. the surviving fabulous history of Ardashir 1., ethical tales, &c., With translations of foreign literature, principall Indian,——one instance being the celebrated book of tales Kalila and Dimnah (see Syniac LITERATURE), dating from Chosroes 1., in whose reign chessalso was introduced from India. AUTHORITIES.‘—Side‘.by side with the accounts of Roman and Greek authors stands the indigenous tradition which, es iall for the later years .of the empire, is general] trustworthe; I’t, goes back to a native work, the Khuda'z nama “ book of lords "), compiled under Chosroes I. and continued to Yazdegerd III. Its narmtions are principally preserved in Tabari, though there combined with numerousv Ambian traditions; also in‘ the ‘ poetical adaptation of Firdousi. To these may be added Syrian accounts, particularly in the martyrologies, which have been excellently treated by G. Hofi'mann, Aurzfige au: syrischen Aklen persischer Mdrtyrcr (1880); also the statements of the Armenian historians. The fundamental work on Sassanian history is Theodor Noldeke's Gesch. der Parser u. A mber 2147 201'! der Sassaniden, nu: d" arabi'schen Chronik des Tabari (18 9, trans. with notes and excursuses chiefl on the chronology an organization of the empire). On this is based NOIdeke's Aufsdlze zur pars. Gesch. (1887; containing a history of the Sassanian Empire, pip. 86 sqq.). The only other works reiiliiring mention are: C. awlinson, The Seventh Great Oriental anarchy (1876), and E. Justi's sketch in the Grundn'ss der iranisclmi Philologie, vol. ii. (1904). For the geogra hy and numerous details of administration: ]. Marquart, “ Eransha r " (Abb. 4!. gelling. Goad. Wissensch., 1901). For the numisrnatology the works of A. D. Mordtmann are of prime importance, especially his articles in the Zeitschr. d. d. morgenl. 62:. (1879), xxxiii. 113 sqq. and xxxiv. 1 sqq. (1880), where the inscriptions of the individual kings are also enumerated. Also Noldeke, ibid. xxxi. 147 sqq. (1872). For facsimiles of coins the principal work is . de Bartholomaei, olledion d2 mommies :assanides (2nd ed., St etersburg, 1875). For the inscriptions: Edward Thomas, “ Earl Sassanian Inscriptions," Journ. R. A. Soc. vol. ii. (1868) ; West, ' Pahlavi Literature " in the Grundn'ss 11. iron. Philol. vol. ii. For the monuments: Flandin and Coste, Voyage m Parse (1851); Stolze, Persepolis (1882); Fr.‘ Sarre, Iran. Fdsrelwfs a. d. Z. der Achaemeniden and Sui-maiden (1908). \

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remained as of old, the defence and, when possible, the expansion of the eastern and western frontiers. In the first two centuries Mm), of the Sassanid Empire we hear practically nothing of rm --of its relations with the East. Only occasional 5'11"!" notices show that the inroads of the Oriental nomads Bu'm' had not ceased, and that the extent of the empire had by no means exceeded the bounds of the Parthian dominion -.—Sacastene (Seistan) and western Afghanistan. Far to the east, on both sides of the Indus, the Kushana Empire was still in existence, though it was already hastening to decay, and about .41). 320 was displaced from its position in India by the Gupta dynasty. In the west the old conflict for Osroene and northern Mesopotamia (now Roman provinces), with the fortresses of Edessa, Carrhae and Nisibis, still smouldered. Armenia the Sassanids were all the more eager to regain, since there the Arsacid dynasty still survived and turned for protection to Rome, with whom, in consequence, new wars perpetually broke out. In the reign of Bahram II. (276—293), the emperor Carus, burning to avenge the disaster of Valerian, penetrated into Mesopotamia without meeting opposition, and reduced Coche (near -S'eleucia) and Ctesiphon; but his sudden death, in December of 283, precluded further success, and the Roman army returned home. Bahram, however, was unable to eflect anything, as his brother Hormizd was in arms, supported by the Sacae and other tribes. (Mamertin, Panegyr. Maximin. 7. 10; Candid. Maximin. 5, 17.) He chose, consequently, to buy peace with Diocletian by means of presents. Some years later his uncle and successor, Narses, after subduing his rival Bahram III., occupied Armenia and defeated the emperor Galerius at Callinicum (296). But in the' following year he sustained a Severe reverse in Armenia, in which he lost his war-chest and harem. He then concluded a peace, by the terms of which Armenia remained under Roman suzerainty, and the steppes of northern Mesopotamia, with Singara and the hill-country on the left bank of .the Tigris as far as Gordyene, were ceded to the victor (Ammian. Marc. xxv. 7, 9; Petr. Patr. fr. :3, r4; Rufus brev. 25). In return Narses regained his household. This peace, ratified in 297 and completely expelling the Sassanids from the disputed districts, lasted for forty years.

I For the rest, practically nothing is known of the history of the first six successors of Shapur 1. After the death of Hormizd II. (302—310), the son of Narses, the magnates imprisoned or put to death his adult sons, one of whom, Ho'rmisdas, later escaped to the Romans, who used him as a pretender in their wars. Shapur IL, a posthumous child of the late. king, Was then raised to the throne, a proof that the great magnates held the sovereignty in their own hands and attempted to order matters at their own pleasure. Shapur, however, when he came to manhood proved himself an independent and energetic ruler.

Meanwhile the Roman Empire had become Christian, the sequel of which was that the Syro-Christian population of SMPHHL Mesopotamia and Babylonia—even more than the Persecution Hellenic cities in former times—gravitated to the on!” west and looked to Rome for deliverance from the “My” infidel yoke. On similar grounds Christianity, as opposed to the Mazdaism enforced ofiicially by the Sassanids, became predominant in Armenia. Between these two great creeds the old Armenian religion was unable to hold its own; as early as AD. 294 King Tiridates was converted by Gregory the Illuminath and adopted the Christian faith. For this very reason the Sassanid Empire was the more constrained to champion Zoroastrianism. It was under Shapur II. that the compilation of the' Avesta was completed and the state orthodoxy perfected by the chief mobed, Aturpad. All heresy was proscribed by the

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state, defection from the true faith pronounced a capital crime, and the persecution of the heterodox—particularly the Christians—began (cf. Sachall, “Die rechtlichen Verbaltnisse der Christen in Sassanidenreich,” in M ittcilungen des Seminars fit! orientalische Sprachen jar Berlin, Bd. X., Abt. 2, 1907). Thus the duel between the two great empires now becomes simultaneously a duel between the two religions.

In such a position of affairs a fresh war with Rome was inevitable.l It was begun by Shapur in A.D. 337, the year that saw the death of Constantine the Great. The conflict centred round the Mesopotamian fortresses; Shapur thrice besieged Nisibis without success, but reduced several others, as Amida (359) and Singara (360), and transplanted great masses of inhabitants into Susiana. The emperor Constantius conducted the war feebly and was consistently beaten in the field. But, in spite of all, Shapur found it impossible to penetrate deeper into the Roman territory. He was hampered by the attack of nomadic tribes in the east, among whom the Chionites now begin to be mentioned. Year after year he took the field against them (353—3 58), till finally be compelled them to support him with auxiliaries (Ammian. Marc. I4, 3; 16, 9; 17, 5; 18, 4, 6). With this war is evidently connected the foundation of the great town New-Shapur (Nishapur) in Khorasan.

By the resolution of Julian (363) to begin an energetic attack on the Persian Empire, the conflict, after the lapse of a quarter of a century, assumed a new phase. Julian pressed forward to Ctesiphon but succumbed to a wound;and his successor Jovian soon found himself in such straits, that he could only extricate himself and his army by a disgraceful peace at the close of 363, which ceded the possessions on the Tigris and the great fortress of Nisibis, and pledged Rome to abandon Armenia and he! Arsacid protégé, Arsaces III., to the Persian.

Shapur endeavoured to occupy Armenia and introduce the Zoroastrian orthodoxy. He captured Arsaces III. by treachery and compelled him to commit suicide; but the Armenian magnates proved refractory, placed ArsaCes’ son Pap on the throne, and found secret support among the Romans. This all but led to a new war; but in 374 Valens sacrificed Pap and had him killed in Tarsus. The subsequent invasions of the Goths, in battle with whom Valens fell at Adrianople (375), definitely precluded Roman intervention; and the end of the Armenian troubles was that (c. 390) Bahram IV. and Theodosius the Great concluded a treaty which abandoned the extreme west of Armenia to the Romans and confirmed the remainder in the Persian pOssession. Thus peace and friendship could at last exist with Rome; and in 408 Yazdegerd I. contracted an alliance with Theodosius II. In Armenia the Persians immediately removed the last kings of the house of me: 0' Arsaces (430), and thenceforward the main portion of the country remained a Persian province under the control of a marzban, though the Armenian nobles still made repeated attempts at insurrection. The introduction of Zoroastrianism was abandoned; Christianity was already far too deeply rooted. But the sequel to the Roman sacrifice of Armenian interests was that the Armenian Christians now seceded from the orthodoxy of Rome and Constantinople, and organized themselves into an independent national church. This church was due, before all, to the eflorts of the Catholicos Sahak (390—439), whose colleague Mesrob, by his translation of the Bible, laid the foundations of an Armenian literature (see ARMENIAN CHURCH).

In the interior of the Sassanian Empire the old troubles broke out anew on the death of Shapur II. (379). At first the magnates raised his aged brother Ardashir II. to the throne, then in 383 deposed him and enthroned Shapur’s son as Shapur III._ In 388, however, he was assassinated, Yudogendl. as was also his brother, Bahram IV., in 399. But the son of the latter, Yazdegerd I. (399—420), was an energetic and intelligent sovereign, who held the magnates within bounds and severely chastised their attempts at encroachment. He even sought to emancipate himself from the Magian Church,

1 For_the succeeding events see also under ROME: Ancient History; and articles on, the Roman emperors and Persian kings.

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