Circa 200 AD, Babak (ruler of Kheir) overthrew Gocihr and ruled the Bazrangids of modern
In 208 AD, Ardashir seized power and founded
Ardashir-Khwarrah (modern Fars). King Artabanus V of Parthia
led an army to suppress Ardashir's rebellion in 224 AD. Artabanus died in the battle of Hormozgan.
Ardashir ended the Parthian Empire in the same year and his Sassanid Empire continued to use
Ctesiphon as its capital. Kings continued
to rule from the Ctesiphon Palace.
Many in the empire also embraced Manichaeism.
Ardashir conquered extensively during his reign, including such places as
Sistan. His son, Shapur I
(240-270 AD), subdued the kings of Bactria,
and Turan. In 243 AD, a Roman army defeated Ardashir in the
Battle of Rhesaina. However, he later triumphed over Rome at Barbalissos
in 253 AD. Although he seized Antioch and attacked
Anatolia, a joint
Roman-Palmyrene army crushed Shapur's force in 260 AD
and retook all lost Roman territory.
Roman troops under Emperor Carus and general Galerius sacked Ctesiphon
in 298 AD and seized much of Armenia. Emperor Narseh
ceded five western provinces to Rome and promised not to interfere with Roman interests in Armenia and
GOLDEN ERA: Shapur II (309-379 AD) stabilized the empire and ushered in a
golden era. Using Cataphract heavy cavalry,
he led successful campaigns to seize Arab lands and Transoxiana.
Byzantine legions under Emperor Julian
unsuccessfully attacked Ctesiphon in 363 AD, during which Julian died in battle. In 451 AD, Armenian Christians lost the Battle of
Vartanantz but won the right to worship
A second Golden Era occurred between 498 and 622 AD during the reign of Kavadh I. His forces briefly
retook Armenian territory from Rome in 502 AD. Sassanid troops repulsed a Byzantine attack on
Nisibis in 527 AD. Byzantines won several battles such as at
Dara and Satala. Both sides signed a peace treaty after Byzantium lost the
Battle of Callinicum in 531 AD. Emperor Khosrau I
broke the treaty in 540 AD, sacking Antioch and seizing Lazica.
During the late 5th century AD, Hephthalite (White Hun)
forces invaded the empire and extracted tribute for many years. In 484 AD, Huns annihilated Emperor
Peroz I (459-484 AD) and his army as they marched towards
Herat. Sassanid and Byzantine emperors allied against the rebel
Sassanid general, Bahram Chobin. Chobin lost the
Battle of Blarathon in 591 AD. Sassanid forces
under Khosrau II resumed expansion against Byzantine territory
in 602 AD.
Khosrau's military campaigns exhausted the Sassanid treasury. He allied with
Avar in 626 AD unsuccessfully to besiege
Emperor Heraclius retaliated by invading
Sassanid territory, defeating their army in the Battle of Nineveh
and sacking the royal palace at Dastagerd. As a result of his failed defense, the Sassanid aristocracy
murdered Khosrau in 628 AD. Heavy taxes and internal strife further weakened the empire.
Islamic forces began attacking the Sassanid Empire
in 633 and completed the conquest in 654 AD.