Sāsānian dynasty


Sāsānian dynasty
or Sāssānian dynasty

Persian dynasty (AD 224–651).

Founded by Ardashīr I (r. AD 224–241) and named for his ancestor Sāsān (с 1st century AD), it replaced the Parthian empire (see Parthia). Its capital was Ctesiphon. The dynasty battled the Roman Republic and Empire and its successor the Byzantine Empire in the west and the Kushāns and Hephthalites in the east throughout much of its existence. In the 3rd century its empire stretched from Sogdiana and Georgia to northern Arabia, and from the Indus River to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Traditions of the Achaemenian dynasty were revived, Zoroastrianism was reestablished as the state religion, and art and architecture experienced a renaissance. Its important rulers included Shāpūr I (d. 272), Shāpūr II (309–379), Khosrow I, and Khosrow II. The Sāsānids were the last native Persian dynasty before the Arab conquest of the region in the late 7th century.

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▪ Iranian dynasty
also spelled  Sāssānian , also called  Sāsānid 

      (AD 224–651), ancient Iranian dynasty evolved by Ardashīr I in years of conquest, AD 208–224, and destroyed by the Arabs during the years 637–651. The dynasty was named after Sāsān, an ancestor of Ardashīr I.

      Under the leadership of Ardashīr I (reigned 224–241), the Sāsānians overthrew the Parthians and created an empire that was constantly changing in size as it reacted to Rome and Byzantium to the west and to the Kushans and Hephthalites to the east. At the time of Shāpūr I (reigned AD 241–272), the empire stretched from Sogdiana and Iberia (Georgia) in the north to the Mazun region of Arabia in the south; in the east it extended to the Indus River and in the west to the upper Tigris and Euphrates river valleys.

      A revival of Iranian nationalism took place under Sāsānian rule. Zoroastrianism became the state religion, and at various times followers of other faiths suffered official persecution. The government was centralized, with provincial officials directly responsible to the throne, and roads, city building, and even agriculture were financed by the government.

      Under the Sāsānians Iranian art experienced a general renaissance. Architecture often took grandiose proportions, such as the palaces at Ctesiphon, Fīrūzābād, and Sarvestan. Perhaps the most characteristic and striking relics of Sāsānian art are rock sculptures carved on abrupt limestone cliffs, for example at Shāhpūr (Bishapur), Naqsh-e Rostam, and Naqsh-e Rajab. Metalwork and gem engraving became highly sophisticated. Scholarship was encouraged by the state, and works from both the East and West were translated into Pahlavi, the language of the Sāsānians.

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Universalium. 2010.

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