During the latter Sassanids it is seldom mentioned, and when the Arabs came to Khorasan (641-642) it was of so little importance that, as Tabari relates, it did not even have a garrison.
His kingdom was honeycombed with Christianity, and he wished to draw closer to the West, where he foresaw the victory of the new faith, in order to fortify his realm against the Sassanids of Persia.
It was a great city under the Sassanids, of which some ruins are extant.
But it shared the fate of its predecessor; when the empire was founded the Sassanids could no longer remain in Persis but transferred their headquarters to Ctesiphon.
Under the Arsacids and Sassanids the office continued.
They succumbed to the Persian dynasty of the Sassanids, who ruled successfully for about four centuries, established the Zoroastrian faith as their state religion, and maintained a creditable conflict with the East Roman empire.
Therefore the Arabs designate the whole complex of towns which lay together around Seleucia and Ctesiphon and formed the residence of the Sassanids by the name Madain, "the cities," - their number is often given as seven.
The Moslems made themselves masters of Ctesiphon (Madain), the residence of the Sassanids on the Tigris, and conquered in the immediately following years the country of the two rivers.
Internal disturbances of a religious and political character and external disasters had long ago shattered the empire of the Sassanids indeed, but the Iranians had not yet lost their patriotism.
Under the Sassanids the old Persian worship, which had fallen with the Achaemenid dynasty in Alexander's time, and Muller, Epigraphische Denkmdler aus Arabien (Vienna, 1889).
140), a practice, as is well known, strictly enjoined in the Avesta, ruthlessly executed under the Sassanids, and followed to the present day by the Parsees.
So, with the collapse of the empire, the imperial art vanishes also: and when, some 500 years later, a new art arose under the Sassanids, whose achievements stand to those of Achaemenid art in much the same relation as the achievements of the two dynasties to each other, we discover only isolated reminiscences of its predecessor.
Although the Arsacids are strangers to any deep religious interest (in contrast to the Achaemenids and Sassanids), they acknowledge the Persian gods and the leading tenets of Zoroastrianism.
Further, the royal apotheosis, so common among them and recurring under the Sassanids, is probably not so much of Greek origin as a development of Iranian views.
Consequently, also, the language and writing of the Parthian period, which are retained under the Sassanids, received the name Pahksvi, i.e.
The Parthians proved incapable of creating a firm, united organization, such as the Achaemenids before them, and the Sassanids after them gave to their empire.
His successors retained the designation, little as it corresponded to the facts, for the single non-Iranian land governed by the Sassanids was, as under the Parthians, the district of the Tigris and Euphrates as far as the Mesopotamian desert; western and northern Mesopotamia remained Roman.
Thus it is explicable that all the Sassanids, as many of the Arsacids before them, include the designation of god in their formal style.
The successes of the Sassanids in the east were gained in the later period of their dominion; and the Roman armies, in spite of decay in discipline and military spirit, still remained their tactical and strategical superiors.
In the sculptures of the Sassanids, as also in Armenian traditions, he appears on horse.
Here, again, the theology was further developed, and an attempt made to annul the old dualism by envisaging both Ormuzd and Ahriman as emanations of an original principle of infinite time (Zervan), a doctrine which long enjoyed official validity under the Sassanids till, in the reign of Chosroes I., the sect of Zervanites was pronounced heretical.i But, above all, the ritual and the doctrine of purity were elaborated and expanded, and there was evolved a complete and detailed system of casuistry, dealing with all things allowed and forbidden, the forms of pollution and the expiation for each, &c., which, in its arid and spiritles1 monotony vividly recalls the similar prescriptions in the Pentateuch.
Armenia the Sassanids were all the more eager to regain, since there the Arsacid dynasty still survived and turned for protection to Rome, with whom, in consequence, new wars perpetually broke out.
This peace, ratified in 297 and completely expelling the Sassanids from the disputed districts, lasted for forty years.
On similar grounds Christianity, as opposed to the Mazdaism enforced officially by the Sassanids, became predominant in Armenia.
These Ephthalite attacks harassed and weakened the Sassanids, exactly as the Tocharians had harassed and weakened the Arsacids after Phraates II.
Thus ended the empire of the Sassanids, no less precipitately and ingloriously than that of the Achaernenids.
Ndldeke, Aufsatze zur persischen ceschichte (1887, Medes, Persians and Sassanids), and, i.
With the final defeat of the Sassanids under Yazdegerd III.