SASSANIAN DYNASTY
(A.D. 224–651)
   A Persian dynasty named after an ancestral figure called Sasan. King Ardashir I (reigned A.D. 224–241) founded a new, sometimes called Neo-Persian, empire, after he had defeated Artabanus V, the Parthian king of the Arsacid Dynasty in 224. His territory stretched from the Euphratesto the Indus River. The Sassanians revitalized what they considered to have been the cultural traditions of the Achaemenid Dynastyto formulate a truly Persian national identity.
   Zoroastrianism was the official religion, and the fire cult was vigorously promoted. Ardashir and later his son, Shapur I (reigned A.D. 241–272), also attacked Roman possessions in Armenia, Anatolia, and Syria, but following the counterattacks, they had to be content with the same western frontier as that of the Arsacid empire, and their only nonIranian province remained the district of the Tigris and Euphrates as far as the Mesopotamian desert, while the west and the north remained under Roman control. Under their rule, southern Mesopotamia became a peripheral outpost with a dwindling population, marginalized because of border conflicts with Rome and later Byzantium. The Sassanian royal house was beset by internal rivalries resulting in intrigues and assassinations. The long struggle against Rome had exhausted the treasury and the vitality of the dynasty. The final blow came from the Arabs. The battle of Kadisiya in A.D. 637 brought victory to the Islamic Arabs and marked the end of the last Zoroastrian dynasty in Iran.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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  • Sassanian — [sa seɪnɪən] (also Sasanian or Sassanid sasənɪd) adjective relating to a dynasty that ruled Persia from the early 3rd century AD until 651. noun a member of this dynasty. Origin from Sasan (the name of the grandfather or father of Ardashir, the… …   English new terms dictionary

  • sassanian — n. & adj. (also Sassanid) n. a member of a Persian dynasty ruling 211 651. adj. of or relating to this dynasty. Etymology: Sasan, founder of the dynasty …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sassanian — I. adjective or Sasanian Date: 1788 of, relating to, or having the characteristics of the Sassanid dynasty of ancient Persia or its art or architecture II. noun or Sasanian Date: 1855 Sassanid …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sassanian — 1. adjective a) of or pertaining to the who ruled Persia during 224 651 . b) of or pertaining to the empire ruled by that dynasty 2. noun member of the …   Wiktionary

  • 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… …   Universalium

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