Nahāvand, Battle of

▪ Iranian history
Nahāvand also spelled  Nahāwand  or  Nehavend 

      (AD 642), military clash in Iran between Arab and Sāsānian (Sāsānian dynasty) forces that was a major turning point in Iranian history. The battle ended in disastrous defeat for the Sāsānian armies and paved the way for the Arab conquest, which resulted in the Islamization of Iran.

      At Nahāvand some 30,000 Arab troops, under the command of Nuʿmān, attacked a Sāsānian army alleged to number 150,000 men. The Sāsānian troops, commanded by Fīrūzan, were entrenched in a strong fortified position. After an indecisive skirmish, Nuʿmān pretended to be defeated and withdrew from the battlefield. Fīrūzan then abandoned his position and pursued his foe. The pursuit proved to be a major tactical error because the Sāsānians were forced to fight on unfavourable ground; the Sāsānian army, caught between two mountain defiles, was massacred by the Arabs. Both Nuʿmān and Fīrūzan died in the battle, and Iranian casualties were said to number 100,000.

      After the battle the Arabs consolidated their position, and by 651, with the death of Yazdegerd III, the last Sāsānian emperor, their conquest of Iran was completed.

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Universalium. 2010.

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