In the time of the Sassanian kings, however, as at the present time, the Tigris occupied a more easterly course.
The modern Persians call this place Nakshi Rustam (" the picture of Rustam ") from the Sassanian reliefs beneath the opening, which they take to be a representation of the mythical hero Rustam.
The Sassanian kings have covered the face of the rocks in this neighbourhood, and in part even the Achaemenian ruins, with their sculptures and inscriptions, and must themselves have built largely here, although never on the same scale of magnificence as their ancient predecessors.
This gigantic work, the line of which may still be traced throughout its course, was formerly called the Khandak Sabur or " Sapor's trench," being ascribed to the Sassanian king, Shapur I.
§ viii., " The Sassanian Empire."
BALASH (in the Greek authors, Balas; the later form of the name Vologaeses), Sassanian king in A.D.
Founded the Sassanian empire (226), and fixed his residence at Ctesiphon, he built up Seleucia again under the name of VehArdashir.
ZOROASTER, one of the great teachers of the East, the founder of what was the national religion of the Perso-Iranian people from the time of the Achaemenidae to the close of the Sassanian period.
About the 5th century, during the rule of the Persian Sassanian dynasty, Mery was the seat of a Christian archbishopric of the Nestorian Church.
The name is pronounced Boosheer, and not Bew-shire, or Bus-hire; modern Persians write it Bushehr and, yet more incorrectly, Abushehr, and translate it as "father of the city," but it is most probably a contraction of Bokht-ardashir, the name given to the place by the first Sassanian monarch in the 3rd century.
This Lakhmid kingdom was more or less dependent, during the four centuries of its existence, on the Sassanian empire, to which it formed a sort of buffer state towards Arabia.
The district, however, was reconquered by Persia under the Sassanian dynasty, and we hear of Nestorian Christians at Samarkand, at any rate in the 6th century.
He began successfully to decipher the Pahlavi inscriptions of the Sassanian kings (1787-1791).1 In 1792 he retired from the public service, and lived in close seclusion in a cottage near Paris till in 1795 he became professor of Arabic in the newly founded school of living Eastern languages.
AIWAN, the reception-hall or throne-room of a Parthian or Sassanian palace.
The power of Ardashir, the Sassanian, however, was already rising, and the Parthian Artabanus died in battle in 22 4 (or 227); and Ardashir proposed to prove himself the successor of the Achaemenidae.
One result of the connexion with Rome was, naturally, that Mesopotamia came within the range of the Decian, and later the Diocletian persecutions (see Edessa: § Sassanian Period).
The Great Mosque, Ulu Jami, formerly a Christian church, occupies the site of a Sassanian palace and was built with materials from an older palace, probably that of Tigranes II.
If any vestige of Hellenism still survived under the Sassanian kings, our records do not show it.
The spirit of the Sassanian monarchy was more jealously national than that of the Arsacid, and alienrafts could hardly have flourished g y under it.
As for the date of composition, it is evident, from the conflicting statements in the different MSS., that there must have been an earlier and a later recension, the former belonging to 587-589 A.H., and dedicated to the prince of Mosul, `Izz-uddin Mas`ud, the latter made for the atabeg Nusrat-uddin Abu Bakr of Azerbaijan after 593 A.H., since we find in it a mention of Nizaml's last romance Haft Paikar, or the "Seven Beauties," which comprises seven tales related by the seven favourite wives of the Sassanian king Bahramgur.
SASSANID, Or Sassanian Dynasty (Or Sasanian), the ruling dynasty of the neo-Persian empire founded by Ardashir I.
But when the Sassanian empire was overthrown by the Arabs, the conquerors immediately advanced eastwards, and in a few years Bactria and the whole Iran to the banks of the Jaxartes had submitted to the rule of the caliph and of Islam.
They do not differ on any point of faith; the dispute is confined to a quarrel as to the correct chronological date for the computation of the era of Yazdegerd, the last king of the Sassanian dynasty, who was dethroned by the caliph Omar about A.D.
AC °E aï¿½ most important of these documents is the liturgical inscription of Hadji-abad, where the Arsacid and Sassanian alphabets are found side by side.
P. 248 f.) regards the former as probably derived from the " ancient alphabet of Eastern Iran, a sister alphabet of the Aramaean of the satrapies," while the Sassanian belongs to a later stage of Aramaic.
It was taken by Sapor (Shapur) II., and became the capital of an autonomous province of the Sassanian Empire, until it fell into the hands of the Arabs (c. 640), under whom it regained its autonomy.
In the south of Babylonia, in the district of Mesene (the modern Maisan), after the fall of Antiochus Sidetes (129 s.c.), an Arabian prince, Hyspaosines or Spasines (in a cuneiform inscription of 127, on a clay tablet dated after this year, he is called Aspasine) founded a kingdom which existed till the rise of the Sassanian Empire.
The Sassanian Empire.T hat the Arsacid Empire should have endured some 350 years after its foundation by, 4rdashirl.
The new empire founded by Ardashir 1.the Sassanian, or Neo-Persian Empireis essentially different from that of his Arsacid predecessors.
It is, rather, a continua- Sassanian tion of the Achaemenid traditions which were still Wars with alive on their native soil.
The Sassanian Empire, in fact, is once more a national Persian or Iranian Empire.
It was of fundamental importance that the Sassanian Empire could not make good its claim to world dominion; and, in spite of the title of its kings, it always remained essentially the kingdom of Iranor rather west Iran, together with the districts on the Tigris and Euphrates.
That Babylonia permanently remained a Sassanian province was due merely to the geographical conditions and to the political situation of the Roman Empire, not to the strength of the Persians.
Thus it is all the more worthy of recognition that the Sassanian Empire was a fairly orderly empire, with an excellent legal administration, and that the later sovereigns did their utmost to repress the encroachments of the nobility, to protect the commonalty, and, above all, to carry out a just system of taxation.
Yet it maintained itself not merely in the west, where its head resided at Babylonpropagating thence far into the Roman Empirebut also in the east, in Khorasan and beyond the bounds of the Sassanian dominion.
Of the Sassanian rock-sculptures some have already been mentioned; besides these, numerous engraved signet-stones have been preserved.
The fundamental work on Sassanian history is Theodor Nldekes Gesch.
(1887; containing a history of the Sassanian Empire, pp. 86 sqq).
De Bartholomaei, Collectio,i de monna-ies sassanides (2nd ed., St Petersburg, I875)~ For the inscriptions: Edward Thomas, Earl1 Sassanian Inscriptions, Journ.
In the interior of the Sassanian Empire the old troubles broke out anew on the death of Shapur II.
Was one of the most illustrious sovereigns of the Sassanian Empire.
After several encounters there ensued (637) the battle of Kadisiya (Qadisiya, Cadesia), fought on one of the Euphrates canals, where the fate of the Sassanian Empire was decided.
This family was descended from one Abu Shaja Buya, who claimed to be of the old Sassanian house and had become a chieftain in Dailam.
Thus for the first time since the Arab conquest of the Sassanian realm Persia was ruled by a single authority, which extended its conquests westward into Asia Minor, where it checked the rulers of Byzantium, and eastward to India and Central Asia.
,Most 01 them go back to the 5th Christian century and ascribe to onc of the Sassanian kings, BahrSm V.
In point of fact, there is no doubt that the later Sassanian rulers fostered the literary spirit of their nation (see PATILAVI).
The truth is that we possess but a trifling portion of a very much larger Avesta, if we are to believe native tradition, carrying us back to the Sassanian period, which tells of a larger Avesta in twenty-one books called nasks or nosks, as to the names of which we have several more or less detailed accounts, particularly in the Pahlavi Dinkard (9th century A.D.) and in the Rivayats.
Lastly, the numerous other fragments, the quotations in the Pahlavi translation, the many references in the Bundahish to passages of this Avesta not now known to us, all presuppose the existence in the Sassanian period of a much more extensive Avesta literature than the mere prayer-book now in our hands.
The first of the Sassanian kings, Ardashir Babagan (226-240), caused his high-priest, Tanvasar, to bring together the dispersed portions of the holy book, and to compile from these a new Avesta, which, as far as possible, should be a faithful reproduction of the original.
In its outward form the Avesta, as we now have it, belongs to the Sassanian period - the last survival of the compilers' work already alluded to.