(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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