Home Region:  Iran (Southwest Asia)

Sasanid Empire I

EQ 2020  ir_sassanid_emp_1 / IrSasn1

The Sassanids came from the Parthian province of Persis near the Zagros mountains of western Iran. Ardashir I defeated the last Parthian ruler Ardawan (Artabanus IV) in 224 CE and claimed the title "King of Kings" in imitation of the ancient Archaemenids. The early Sassanid rulers claimed a divine descent until powerful Zoroastrian priests ended this by the 4th century. The long reign of Shapur II (309-379 CE) saw the peak of peace and security within the empire [1] that had a total population of perhaps 5 million people.
In the early period royal cities were built and administered by shahrabs who ruled as petty kings. [2] Centralization occurred in the later Sassanid period when the empire was split into four parts each ruled by a spahbad who had civil and military powers. [2]
The size of Persian court and bureaucracy notability increases between Ardashir I and Shapur I (240-270 CE). [3] Institutions of administration continued to evolve from those present in the Parthian era [2] a grand vizier now present at the central government in the capital Ctesiphon whose remit encompassed control of the diwans, diplomatic affairs as well as occasional stints as commander of the army. [4] By the fifth century the centralized bureaucracy was sophisticated enough that "the death of a king would not bring the empire down." [5]
Rise of Zoroastrian Church under Kerdir 274 CE had monumental impact on Persia with the persecution of religious minorities (Christians, Manichaeans, Mandeans, Jews and Buddhists) [6] . The Zoroastrian priests had initially tolerated rival religious such as Manichaeism until Shapur I (240-270 CE) but Mani was eventually executed. [3] By the time of Bahram II (274-293 CE) the Sasanian kings themselves had lost their own religious freedom as caretakers of the Anahid fire temple to a priest called Kerdir "who became the judge of the whole empire. ... from this point on, the priests acted as judges throughout the empire, and court cases were probably based on Zoroastrian law except when members of other religious minorities had disputes with each other." [6]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20, 200) Touraj Daryaee. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[2]: (Chegini 1996, 45) N N Chegini. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[3]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Touraj Daryaee. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[4]: (Wilcox 1986, 24) P Wilcox. 1986. Rome’s Enemies (3): Parthians and Sassanid Persians. Osprey Publishing.

[5]: (Daryaee 2012, 196) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[6]: (Daryaee 2012, 191) Touraj Daryaee. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
38 S  
Original Name:
Sassanid Empire I  
Capital:
Ctesiphon  
Dastagird  
Ecbatana  
Alternative Name:
Sasanian Empire  
Sassanid Empire  
Sassanian Empire  
Sasanid Dynasty  
Sassanid Dynasty  
Iranshahr  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[309 CE ➜ 379 CE]  
Duration:
[205 CE ➜ 487 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Persian  
Succeeding Entity:
Sassanid Empire II  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[3,000,000 to 3,500,000] km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Parthian Empire II  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European  
Language:
Pahlavi  
Religion
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
100,000 people 220 CE 360 CE
250,000 people 361 CE 487 CE
Polity Territory:
[2,600,000 to 2,700,000] km2 220 CE 300 CE
[3,100,000 to 3,200,000] km2 301 CE 487 CE
Polity Population:
5,000,000 people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[5 to 6]  
Religious Level:
[4 to 5]  
Military Level:
[7 to 9]  
Administrative Level:
6  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Merit Promotion:
inferred absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
inferred absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
absent  
Court:
inferred present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
inferred present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
unknown  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
inferred present  
Script:
inferred present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
unknown  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
inferred present  
Sacred Text:
unknown  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
inferred present  
Philosophy:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
unknown  
History:
present  
Fiction:
inferred present  
Calendar:
unknown  
Information / Money
Token:
unknown  
Precious Metal:
unknown  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
inferred present  
Article:
unknown  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present  
General Postal Service:
unknown  
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
unknown  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
inferred present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
inferred present  
  Ditch:
inferred present  
  Complex Fortification:
present  
  Long Wall:
195 km  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
inferred present  
  Copper:
inferred present  
  Bronze:
inferred present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
present  
  Self Bow:
inferred absent  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
inferred present  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
unknown  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
present  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
present  
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
present  
  Plate Armor:
unknown  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
present  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
present  
  Breastplate:
present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
inferred present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Sasanid Empire I (ir_sassanid_emp_1) was in:
 (220 CE 231 CE)   Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana
 (231 CE 251 CE)   Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana     Sogdiana
 (251 CE 387 CE)   Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana     Sogdiana     Kachi Plain
 (387 CE 495 CE)   Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana     Kachi Plain
 (495 CE 498 CE)   Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana
Home NGA: Susiana

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
Ctesiphon

Ctesiphon: 270-499 CE First two rulers based in Persis homeland. [1] Ctesiphon was the administrative capital, seat of the king and the most important for economic and strategic reasons. [2] Ecbatana was a summer capital. [3] Istakhr in Fars was an administrative, religious and economic centre that also was "the ideological heart of the empire, since the temple of the dynasty’s fire - the coronation place of many Sasanian rulers - was situated there." [3] Dastagird was a capital during the reign of Khurau II. [4]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Chegini 1996, 46) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[3]: (Chegini 1996, 47) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[4]: (Chegini 1996, 46-47) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

Capital:
Dastagird

Ctesiphon: 270-499 CE First two rulers based in Persis homeland. [1] Ctesiphon was the administrative capital, seat of the king and the most important for economic and strategic reasons. [2] Ecbatana was a summer capital. [3] Istakhr in Fars was an administrative, religious and economic centre that also was "the ideological heart of the empire, since the temple of the dynasty’s fire - the coronation place of many Sasanian rulers - was situated there." [3] Dastagird was a capital during the reign of Khurau II. [4]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Chegini 1996, 46) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[3]: (Chegini 1996, 47) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[4]: (Chegini 1996, 46-47) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

Capital:
Ecbatana

Ctesiphon: 270-499 CE First two rulers based in Persis homeland. [1] Ctesiphon was the administrative capital, seat of the king and the most important for economic and strategic reasons. [2] Ecbatana was a summer capital. [3] Istakhr in Fars was an administrative, religious and economic centre that also was "the ideological heart of the empire, since the temple of the dynasty’s fire - the coronation place of many Sasanian rulers - was situated there." [3] Dastagird was a capital during the reign of Khurau II. [4]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Chegini 1996, 46) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[3]: (Chegini 1996, 47) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[4]: (Chegini 1996, 46-47) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


Alternative Name:
Sasanian Empire

Iranshahr. [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

Alternative Name:
Sassanid Empire

Iranshahr. [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

Alternative Name:
Sassanian Empire

Iranshahr. [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

Alternative Name:
Sasanid Dynasty

Iranshahr. [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

Alternative Name:
Sassanid Dynasty

Iranshahr. [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

Alternative Name:
Iranshahr

Iranshahr. [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[309 CE ➜ 379 CE]

Long reign of Shapur II (309-379 CE). Peace and security within empire. [1]
’Secular’ or king’s power was probably at its height in the early fifth century.
"first synod of the Nestorian Church was convened in 410" during reign of Yazdgerd I (399-420 CE). [2] "Persian Christianity became officially recognized and the Nestorian Patriach resided at the royal city of Ctesiphon; he and the Jewish exilarch became responsible for their coreligionists." [2]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[2]: (Daryaee 2012, 194) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Duration:
[205 CE ➜ 487 CE]

_Sasanid Period 1_ 205-487 CE
Conquest from 205 CE
"The Sasanian campaign to control the province of Persis/Fars had begun in 205-6, when the father of Ardashir I, Pabag, had dethroned the local ruler of the city of Istakhr, the capital of Fars, by the name of Gozihr." [1] Later sources claimed Pabag was a priest at a fire-temple in Istakhr. [1]
"King Papak, who usurped the crown of the Pars rulers, played a major role in unifying the land. He apparently had to wage a difficult struggle against the central Parthian government." [2]
Empire from 226 CE (with God-king and Achaemenid ideology)
King Papak’s adopted son Ardashir inherited the crown. He was from the family of Sasan. [2]
The first Sasanian ’King of Kings’ was Ardashir I who was crowned in 226 CE at Ctesiphon. [1]
Early Sasanids in their imperial ideology "considered themselves from the lineage of the gods" and used the Achaemenid title "King of Kings." [3]
Size of court and bureaucracy increases between Ardashir I and Shapur I (240-270 CE). Military success under Shapur I (240-270 CE) and Shapur II (309-379 CE). [4]
Rise of Zoroastrian Church under Kerdir 274 CE
Under Bahram II (274-293 CE) "the Sasanian kings lost much of their religious power as caretakers of the Anahid fire temple to Kerdir, who became the judge of the whole empire. ... from this point on, the priests acted as judges throughout the empire, and court cases were probably based on Zoroastrian law except when members of other religious minorities had disputes with each other." [5]
Zoroastrian priest Kerdir "began the persecution of the religious minorities in the empire, such as the Jews, Christians, Manichaeans, Mandeans, and Buddhists. ... Mani ... was imprisoned and put to death in 276 with the blessing (and to the relief) of Kerdir." [5]
Status quo from 294-325 CE (Zoroastrian control)
presumably the situation is the same under kings Narseh (293-303 CE) and Hormizd II (303-309 CE) and during the infancy of Shapur II when "the court and the Zoroastrian priests ran an empire that was secure and stable enough structurally and administratively to survive without a strong monarchy" [6]
Long reign of Shapur II and rise of court/bureaucracy
Under Shapur II, power of the nobility and priests increased substantially. [7] Does this imply at some point following the church of Kerdir and his persecutions the influence of priests diminished - perhaps due to the rise of the bureaucracy/court which may have accellerated during the infancy of Shapur II?
Time of Shapur II has been referred to as a golden age.
Violence begins from 379 CE
An inscription relates that Ardashar II (379-383 CE) purged "the great men and holders of authority to reduce their power." [7] The sophisticated, centralised bureaucracy was now "under the control of the priests" and its chief priest, with Kingship relegated to the status of a secular institution. [7] Ardashar may have purged a court/bureaucracy which had become over-mighty during the long (70-year) reign of Shapur II. This would have favoured the Zoroastrian priests.
The kings that followed Ardashar II (379-383 CE) "all met a violent end." [7] that appears to mean up to 420 CE: Shapur III, Wahram IV, Yazdgird I, Shapur IV, Khosrau the Usurper (?). this elite conflict reflects a power-struggle between the court/bureaucracy and the Zoroastrian church.
recognition of Nestorian Christianity 410 CE; ends with usurper 420 CE
Yazdgerd I (399-420 CE) called "the sinful one" [8] by Zoroastrian literature because he went against the wishes of the Zoroastrian priests.
the ’secular’ kings become powerful enough to challenge the priests. Under Yazdgerd I (399-420 CE) Christianity was officially recognized. [9]
"first synod of the Nestorian Church was convened in 410" during reign of Yazdgerd I (399-420 CE). [10] "Persian Christianity became officially recognized and the Nestorian Patriach resided at the royal city of Ctesiphon; he and the Jewish exilarch became responsible for their coreligionists." [10]
Persecution of Christians and Jews from c.420 CE
Bahram V (420-438 CE) and Yazdgird II (438-457 CE) persecuted Christians"Bahram V continued and intensified the persecution of Yazdagird’s last days." Forced conversions. Property confiscated. Churches destroyed. [11]
Yazdgird II (438-457 CE) is noted for his persecution of Christians and Jews.
Infighting from 457 CE, famine and Hephthalites
Hormizd III (457-459 CE) defeated in battle by Peroz (459-484 CE) who was aided by Hephthalites (?)
Seven-year famine (464-471)
War with Kidarites and Hephthalites
Peroz captured by Hephthalites
Balash (484-488 CE) was deposed by nobility and priests.
The first reign of Kavad I (488-496 CE) was ended by "dissatisfied nobility and priests" who had him imprisoned. [12]
_Sasanid Period 3_ 488-642 CE
Reforms during the long reigns of Kavad I and Khusrau I
Kavad I (499-531 CE) 21. Khusrau I (531-579 CE)
Khusrau I (531-579 CE) promoted minor nobility and reduced the power of aristocrats and their estates. Deghans became tax collectors. "For the first time, the power of the landed nobility was restricted and all the taxes were in the hands of the king." [13]
Khusrau I is credited with wise leadership and is known as "Plato’s philosopher king." [14] In 570s CE Sasanian Empire was "at the apex of its glory and power, headed by a philosopher king" (Khosrau I).
Instablity from 579 CE
Hamizid IV (579-590 CE), who followed Khosrau I, had many enemies at court, killed many of the nobility and was harsh to the priests.
Hormizd IV deposed 589-590 CE by general and nobility who put on the throne his son, Khusrau II. [15]
Khusrau II forced to flee to Byzantium for the years 590-591 CE by Bahram but recruited an Armenenian army to regain the throne. [15]
Kushrau II was deposed by nobility and priests in 628 CE. [3] Khosrau II (590-628 CE) was forced to seek shelter in Byzantine Hierapolis against a challenger king, Wahram Chubin, who minted coins 590-591 CE. Khosrau II regained the throne (purges?) and then the empire reached its greatest territorial extent. Khosrau II was deposed by priests and nobility in 628 CE.
Kavad II (628-630 CE) conducted a fratricide, killing all the male heirs in the Sasanid family, and was assassinated. [16]
By 630s CE the empire was in confusion, had disintegrated into regional power-bases and internal conflict when Khuzistan fell to Caliph Umar. Arabs conquered the Sasanid stronghold (Persis) in 650 CE.

[1]: (Daryaee 2012, 187) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Litvinsky, Shah and Samghabadi 1994, 466-467) Litvinsky, B. A. Shah, Hussain, M. Samghabadi, R. Shabani. The Rise of Sasanian Iran. in Harmatta, Janos. Puri, B. N. Etemadi, G. F. eds. 1994. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume II. The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizatins 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. UNESCO Publishing.

[3]: (Daryaee 2012, 200) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[4]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[5]: (Daryaee 2012, 191) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[6]: (Daryaee 2012, 193) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[7]: (Daryaee 2009, 20-37) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[8]: (Daryaee and Rezakhani 2016, 35) Daryaee, Touraj. Rezakhani, Khodadad. 2016. From Oxus to Euphrates: The World of Late Antique Iran. H&M Media.

[9]: Daryaee 2012, 194) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[10]: (Daryaee 2012, 194) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[11]: (Neusner 1970, 43) A History of the Jews in Babylonia V. Later Sasanian times. Brill Archive.

[12]: (Daryaee 2012, 197) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[13]: (Chegini 1996, 47) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[14]: (Daryaee 2009, 27-37) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[15]: (Daryaee 2012, 199) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[16]: (Daryaee 2009, 31) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]

Alliance with Hephthalites to defeat Kidarites. [1]
Marriage alliance between Hormizd II (303-309 CE) and the king of Kabul. [2]

[1]: (Grenet 2005) Grenet, Frantz. 2005. KIDARITES. Iranicaonline. www.iranicaonline.org/articles/kidarites

[2]: (Dani and Litvinsky 1996, 108) Dani, A. H. The Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.107-122. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf




Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[3,000,000 to 3,500,000] km2

km squared.



Preceding Entity:
Parthian Empire II

Persis homeland [1] which is Fars Province, Iran, which makes Parthian Empire the preceding polity. Sasanids originate from Parthian province of Persis.

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.


Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

[1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.


Language

Language:
Pahlavi

"The most widespread languages during the Sasanian era were Middle Persian (or Pahlavi), Parthian, Sogdian, Khwarizmian, Khotanese Saka and Bactrian; various texts in these languages are extant." [1] In Iraq: "Parsi-speaking Zoroastrians ruled Iraq, but the local populations were Aramaic-speaking Nestorians and Jews" [2] "Although we know little of Parthian administrative practice we may assume it provided the basis for the Sasanian administration that followed it in a closely related form of Middle Persian, and in a related script, in the 3rd century AD." [3]

[1]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 91) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 16) Lapidus, I M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: (Spooner and Hanaway 2012, 12) Spooner, Brian. Hanaway, William L. in Spooner, Brian. Hanaway, William L eds. 2012. Literacy in the Persianate World: Writing and the Social Order. University of Pennsylvania Press.


Religion


Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
100,000 people
220 CE 360 CE

People. Ctesiphon 250,000: 361-400 CE. [1] Ctesiphon 100,000: 300 CE. [2]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

[2]: (Modelski 2003, 55)

Population of the Largest Settlement:
250,000 people
361 CE 487 CE

People. Ctesiphon 250,000: 361-400 CE. [1] Ctesiphon 100,000: 300 CE. [2]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

[2]: (Modelski 2003, 55)


Polity Territory:
[2,600,000 to 2,700,000] km2
220 CE 300 CE

KM2 [1] 2,300,000: 230 CE; 2,400,000: 250 CE; 2,500,000: 270 CE; 2,600,000: 290 CE; 2,700,000: 310 CE; 2,800,000: 330 CE; 2,900,000: 350 CE; 3,000,000: 370 CE; 3,100,000: 390 CE; 3,200,000: 410 CE; 3,300,000: 430 CE; 3,400,000: 450 CE; 3,420,000: 470 CE; 3,440,000: 490 CE

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
[3,100,000 to 3,200,000] km2
301 CE 487 CE

KM2 [1] 2,300,000: 230 CE; 2,400,000: 250 CE; 2,500,000: 270 CE; 2,600,000: 290 CE; 2,700,000: 310 CE; 2,800,000: 330 CE; 2,900,000: 350 CE; 3,000,000: 370 CE; 3,100,000: 390 CE; 3,200,000: 410 CE; 3,300,000: 430 CE; 3,400,000: 450 CE; 3,420,000: 470 CE; 3,440,000: 490 CE

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)


Polity Population:
5,000,000 people

People.
McEvedy and Jones (1978) Iran: 4 million; Iraq: 1 million. [1]
300 CE Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Transoxania, Pakistan
400 CE Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Transoxania, Pakistan

[1]: (McEverdy and Jones 1978)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[5 to 6]

[1]
1. Capital
2. Provincial capitals
3. District capitals (shahrestan)
4. Large towns
5. Villages
(6. Hamlets)

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 124-135) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.


Religious Level:
[4 to 5]

_Zoroastrianism_ "or more exactly Mazdaism" [1]
Third-century CE Zoroastrian two priests were highly influential in the development of Zoroastrianism as the Sasanid state religion (three if we include Pabag, the founder of the Sasanian dynasty, who was a priest).
Kerdir "may be considered the father of the Zoroastrian church in this period, as he was the one who attempted to make Zoroastrianism into a uniform body, with a unified doctrine, attached to the state." [2]
"The Sasanian sources state that Tosar was responsible for the codification of the Avesta ... Kerdir brought about the organization of the church and a religious hierarchy." [2]
1. King of Kings (until Shapur II)
2. Ohrmaz mowbed (chief priest) [3] mowbedan mowbed [4] mowbedan mowbed was the "head of the religious order" [4]
Kerdir was one powerful Zoroastrian priest, caretaker of the Anahid fire temple at time of Wahram II (274-293 CE). [5]
"When Sassanid kings were raised to the throne they received the insignia of royal authority from the chief Mobedh who held the highest religious office." [6]
3. mowbed (district level) (head priest) [4] "important functions and carried out legal as well as religious and administrative duties. [4]
4. mow/mogThe magus (mow/mog) had a higher status and later was also involved in economic and legal matters. Above him was the chief magus (mowbed), who held an important position and was probably the main religious authority throughout the empire." [7]
4-5. herbeds (teacher priests) [4] "instructed the people in daily ritual, prayer, and tradition and tended the fire."
"Three major fire-temples were established for the three classes ... Smaller fire-temples existed in the villages and towns, attended by a teacher-priest (herbed)." [7]
"Magians had a hierarchy parallel to that of the state, a hierarchical judicial administration specifically for Zoroastrians, a cult, scriptures, religious laws, and distinctive customs. It was the religion of the elite and rulers." [8]
Eight different priests required for some Zoroastrian rituals e.g. vispered ritual and the videvad sade purification ritual "who took up specific positions in the ritual area, also described in the Nirangestan." [9]
haoma-pressing priest (hawanan)
fire-lighting priest (atr-wakhsh)
presenting priest (frabertar)
tending priest, who brings water (abert or danu-uzwaza, which refers to the river Danu)
washing priest (asnatar)
mingling priest (raethwish-kar)
auditing priest (sraoshawarz)
one who brings sacrificial animal (pasu-wazah)
Comprehensive source on Zoroastrian religion: Moazami (2016) "Zoroastrianism: Religious texts, theology, history and culture." [10]
_Nestorian Christianity_
"first synod of the Nestorian Church was convened in 410" during reign of Yazdgerd I (399-420 CE). [11] "Persian Christianity became officially recognized and the Nestorian Patriach resided at the royal city of Ctesiphon; he and the Jewish exilarch became responsible for their coreligionists." [11] "The Sasanian state used the churches as intermediaries to regulate and tax the population." [12]
1. Patriach
"Persian Christianity became officially recognized and the Nestorian Patriach resided at the royal city of Ctesiphon". [11]
the Sasanid king "organized a Christian Persian church that grew in number, and many in the royal family and the nobility, especially the women, gravitated toward this religion." [13]
2. Catholicos in province"The Christian community was headed by the Catholicos" [4]
"The Catholicos in each province oversaw the Christian congregation and provided money and guidance for the community." [13]
3. Metropolitan"The Sasanians appointed a catholicos or patriarch and a metropolitan to preside over the bishops in parallel with the Sasanian administrative hierarchy." [8]
4. Bishops of Bishoprics"According to al-Biruni, Christianity had reached Merv within 200 years of the birth of Christ and the first reference to a Merv bishopric dates to the year 334." [14]
5. Heads of Churches"by the end of the Sasanian period there were churches and bishoprics established throughout the empire, and many from the royal family also converted to Christianity." [4]
"Royal permission was required for the election of the heads of churches, for construction of buildings, for burials, and even for the issue of monastic rules." [12]
6.
_Judaism_
1. Exilarch (Resh Galut) [11]
2. Rabbis [11] 3.
_Buddhism_
"The Buddhas of Bamiyan and a number of Iranian texts in the Sogdian and Khotanese languages are testaments to the importance of Buddhism in eastern Iran." [13]
_Manicheanism_
"Manicheans moved east and westward, through some still remained in Iran, to write down their tradition and spread it among all people." [13]
Manichaean community in Merv mid-3rd CE. [14]

[1]: (Daryaee 2012, 204) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Daryaee 2012, 188-189) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[3]: (Daryaee 2009) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[4]: (Daryaee 2012, 198) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[5]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[6]: (Haussig 1971, 186) Haussig, H W.trans Hussey, J M. 1971. History of Byzantine Civilization. Thames and Hudson.

[7]: (Daryaee 2012, 189) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[8]: (Lapidus 2012, 16) Lapidus, I M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[9]: (Skjaervo 2012, 89) Skjaervo, Prods Oktor. Avestan Society. in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[10]: Moazami, Mahnaz. 2016. Zoroastrianism: Religious texts, theology, history and culture. Encylopaedia Iranica. http://www.biblioiranica.info/zoroastrianism-religious-texts-theology-history-and-culture/

[11]: (Daryaee 2012, 194) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[12]: (Lapidus 2012, 18) Lapidus, I M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[13]: (Daryaee 2012, 205) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[14]: (Litvinsky, Shah and Samghabadi 1994, 474) Litvinsky, B. A. Shah, Hussain, M. Samghabadi, R. Shabani. The Rise of Sasanian Iran. in Harmatta, Janos. Puri, B. N. Etemadi, G. F. eds. 1994. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume II. The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizatins 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. UNESCO Publishing.


Military Level:
[7 to 9]

Like the Achaemenids, the Sasanids likely used the decimal system to organize the Spah (army). The title Hazarmard/Hazarbad means "chief of a thousand." [1]
Khusrau I (later Sassanid period) changed the command structure. "Previously the entire army had been under the command of an officer known as the spahbad. Now, four commanders were appointed, each in charge of the troops of one-quarter of the country. Each of these newly created commanders had a deputy called a marzban." [2]
1. King
2. Great commander (Vuzurg-Framander. Managed state affairs whilst monarch on military expedition).3. Commander-in-Chief (Eran-Spahbad, also an Andarzbad, Counsel to King).4. Spah (lead by a Spahbad, army general)Padgospan (his assistant)
Padan (his officers)
5. Gund (large regular division, lead by Gund-Salar)
5 or 6?. Immortals (10,000, commanded by a Varthragh-Nighan Khuadhay)6. Drafsh (known to be a unit of 1,000 soldiers) - Is this the level of the Framandar, battlefield commander?
6. Royal Guard (1,000, commanded by a Pushtighban-Salar)7. Vasht (small company)(8. Unit of 10 soldiers?)9. Individual soldier
Other units: [1]
Saravan (Commanded by an Aspbad and a Sadar)

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Chegini 1996, 57) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


Administrative Level:
6

Early Sassanid period
administration in provinces and districts "did not differ greatly from that under the Parthians." [1]
In the early period "royal cities, almost equivalent to semi-independent kingdoms, were built" administered by a shahrab. [1]
Centralization occurred in the later Sassanid period when the empire was split into four parts each ruled by a spahbad who had civil and military powers. [1]
1. King of Kings [2]
_Central government_
2. Grand VizierAdministration based in Ctesiphon
"Sassanid administration was headed by a Grand Vizier, who was in charge of political and diplomatic affairs. On occasion he commanded the army in the field. He also headed the divans (ministries), which were directed by secretaries expert in their various fields." [3]
3. Secretaries of a divan (ministry) [3]
4. Scribe in central administration inferred
5. Manager of state-run granary inferred, silk workshops"As with the Parthians, the economy was based on agriculture." [3]
"State monopolies rivalled private concerns; in particular, raw silk from China was woven at workshops in Susa, Gundeshapur and Shustar." [3]
6. Worker in state-run granary inferred or silk workshop
_Provincial government_
2. Shahrabs [2]
Semi-independent vassal kingdoms (Merv, Kerman, Sakastan, Adiabene, Iberia, Makran, Mesene, Kushanshahr and Armenia). They had:rulers called shahrabs, appointed by King of Kings [2]
"royal" capital cities [2]
military garrison [2]
The ruler of Armenia had a special title: "Great King of Armenia." It was the base for many new regents. [2]
3. Head of district level government [2]

4. Official of a division called rustag (number of villages) [2]
This administrator reported to a local government official?
5. Deghan of a division called deh (village) [2]
An exilarch was the civic cheiftain officer for the Jewish community. He collected taxes and represented the Jews at the imperial court. [4]

[1]: (Chegini 1996, 45) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Daryaee 2009, 124-135) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[3]: (Wilcox 1986, 24) Wilcox, P. 1986. Rome’s Enemies (3): Parthians and Sassanid Persians. Osprey Publishing.

[4]: (Lapidus 2012, 13) Lapidus, I M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

"Payment for service might have arisen because of the vast income from silver mines, among other sources." [1]
Before the reforms of Khusrau I (later Sassanid period) "all nobles, great and small, had been obliged to equip themselves and their followers and serve in the army without pay, but Khusrau issued equipment to the poorer nobles and paid a salary for their services. Consequently, the power of the great nobles - who frequently had their own private armies - was reduced." [2]

[1]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.

[2]: (Chegini 1996, 57) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


Professional Priesthood:
present

Under Shapur I Zoroastrian hierarchy becomes tied to state. (240-270 CE) [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.


Professional Military Officer:
absent

Sasanid society had four classes: warriors, scribes, priests, and commoners. The warriors (Arteshtaran) were an hereditary elite. [1]
Seven aristocratic families dominated the military and government leadership positions. All except the Sassans were Parthian in origin. [1]
House of Sassan, Aspahbad-Pahlav (Gurgan), Karin-Pahlav (Shiraz), Suren-Pahlav (Seistan), Spandiyadh (Nihavand), Mihram (Rayy), Guiw
Before the reforms of Khusrau I (later Sassanid period) "all nobles, great and small, had been obliged to equip themselves and their followers and serve in the army without pay, but Khusrau issued equipment to the poorer nobles and paid a salary for their services. Consequently, the power of the great nobles - who frequently had their own private armies - was reduced." [2]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Chegini 1996, 57) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Mints.



Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

Bureaucracy had scribes (dibirs), treasurers (ganzwars) and market inspectors (wazarbed). [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.


Examination System:
absent

Achaemenids had an examination system within their Persian bureaucracy - presumably long lost by this period?


Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent

The law was based on religion, specifically "the Holy Scripture of the Avesta and its translation and commentaries in Pahlavi". [1]
The highest legal official was the mowbedan mowbed, the top religious leader within the Zoroastrian church [2] , whose precise relationship with the sahr dadwaran dadwar (the judge of the judges of the State, the head of the state judges) [2] is unknown. The mowbed were priest judges. [1] Judges known as rads were among other city officials including tax officials who "represented the central government and were responsible to provincial administrators". [3] The king could "pass judgement in criminal cases, as we may conclude from the Acts of the Christian Martyrs (see Wiessner 1967)." [1]

[1]: (Macuch 2012) Macuch, Maria. 2016. Judicial and Legal Systems iii. Sasanian Legal System. Vol. XV. Fasc. 2. pp. 181-196. Site accessed: 21 September 2016: www.iranicaonline.org/articles/judicial-and-legal-systems-iii-sasanian-legal-system

[2]: (Shaki 2011) Shaki, Mansour. 2011. CLASS SYSTEM iii. Encylopaedia Iranica. Vol. V. Fasc. 6. pp. 652-658. Site accessed 21 September 2016: www.iranicaonline.org/articles/class-system-iii

[3]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii


The highest legal official was the mowbedan mowbed, the top religious leader within the Zoroastrian church [1] , whose precise relationship with the sahr dadwaran dadwar (the judge of the judges of the State, the head of the state judges) [1] is unknown. The mowbed were priest judges. [2] Judges known as rads were among other city officials including tax officials who "represented the central government and were responsible to provincial administrators". [3] The king could "pass judgement in criminal cases, as we may conclude from the Acts of the Christian Martyrs (see Wiessner 1967)." [2]

[1]: (Shaki 2011) Shaki, Mansour. 2011. CLASS SYSTEM iii. Encylopaedia Iranica. Vol. V. Fasc. 6. pp. 652-658. Site accessed 21 September 2016: www.iranicaonline.org/articles/class-system-iii

[2]: (Macuch 2012) Macuch, Maria. 2016. Judicial and Legal Systems iii. Sasanian Legal System. Vol. XV. Fasc. 2. pp. 181-196. Site accessed: 21 September 2016: www.iranicaonline.org/articles/judicial-and-legal-systems-iii-sasanian-legal-system

[3]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii


Formal Legal Code:
present

absent
"codified law did not exist in Sasanian Iran" the Book of a Thousand Judicial Decisions "cannot be considered a legal code. It is one of the collections that were compiled as manuals for the administration of justice." [1]
Codification of Sasanian law occurred Khusrau I - Khusrau II. [2] later Sasanid period
present
"In the specialist literature, the Madigan has become known as the ’Sasanian Legal Code’. ... It is possible to reconstitute practically the entire system of Iranian law on the basis of the mass of information contained in the Code." [1]
According to the Dankard, a judge had to consider the Avesta, its Pahlavi translation and commentaries, and "the consesus of the Righteous (ham-dadestanith i wehan)". [3]
The law was based on religion, specifically "the Holy Scripture of the Avesta and its translation and commentaries in Pahlavi". [3]
Court cases judged on Zoroastrian law, unless both parties from another religion. [4] Codification of Sasanian law occurred Khusrau I - Khusrau II c.531 CE. [2]
Link between Iranian law and Zoroastrian religion shown in Madigan-i hazar dadestan [Book of a Thousand Judicial Decisions] c620 CE, author "was a contemporary of Khusrau II." [1]

[1]: (Khromov 1996, 105) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Daryaee 2009, 27-37) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[3]: (Macuch 2012) Macuch, Maria. 2016. Judicial and Legal Systems iii. Sasanian Legal System. Vol. XV. Fasc. 2. pp. 181-196. Site accessed: 21 September 2016: www.iranicaonline.org/articles/judicial-and-legal-systems-iii-sasanian-legal-system

[4]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

Formal Legal Code:
absent

absent
"codified law did not exist in Sasanian Iran" the Book of a Thousand Judicial Decisions "cannot be considered a legal code. It is one of the collections that were compiled as manuals for the administration of justice." [1]
Codification of Sasanian law occurred Khusrau I - Khusrau II. [2] later Sasanid period
present
"In the specialist literature, the Madigan has become known as the ’Sasanian Legal Code’. ... It is possible to reconstitute practically the entire system of Iranian law on the basis of the mass of information contained in the Code." [1]
According to the Dankard, a judge had to consider the Avesta, its Pahlavi translation and commentaries, and "the consesus of the Righteous (ham-dadestanith i wehan)". [3]
The law was based on religion, specifically "the Holy Scripture of the Avesta and its translation and commentaries in Pahlavi". [3]
Court cases judged on Zoroastrian law, unless both parties from another religion. [4] Codification of Sasanian law occurred Khusrau I - Khusrau II c.531 CE. [2]
Link between Iranian law and Zoroastrian religion shown in Madigan-i hazar dadestan [Book of a Thousand Judicial Decisions] c620 CE, author "was a contemporary of Khusrau II." [1]

[1]: (Khromov 1996, 105) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Daryaee 2009, 27-37) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[3]: (Macuch 2012) Macuch, Maria. 2016. Judicial and Legal Systems iii. Sasanian Legal System. Vol. XV. Fasc. 2. pp. 181-196. Site accessed: 21 September 2016: www.iranicaonline.org/articles/judicial-and-legal-systems-iii-sasanian-legal-system

[4]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.


Court:
present

"Not obeying an order to appear in court was regarded as an obstruction of justice (azismand)". [1]
The highest legal official was the mowbedan mowbed, the top religious leader within the Zoroastrian church [1] , whose precise relationship with the sahr dadwaran dadwar (the judge of the judges of the State, the head of the state judges) [1] is unknown. The mowbed were priest judges. [2] Judges known as rads were among other city officials including tax officials who "represented the central government and were responsible to provincial administrators". [3] The king could "pass judgement in criminal cases, as we may conclude from the Acts of the Christian Martyrs (see Wiessner 1967)." [2]

[1]: (Shaki 2011) Shaki, Mansour. 2011. CLASS SYSTEM iii. Encylopaedia Iranica. Vol. V. Fasc. 6. pp. 652-658. Site accessed 21 September 2016: www.iranicaonline.org/articles/class-system-iii

[2]: (Macuch 2012) Macuch, Maria. 2016. Judicial and Legal Systems iii. Sasanian Legal System. Vol. XV. Fasc. 2. pp. 181-196. Site accessed: 21 September 2016: www.iranicaonline.org/articles/judicial-and-legal-systems-iii-sasanian-legal-system

[3]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

State had market inspectors (wazarbed). [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.


Irrigation System:
present

e.g. Nahravan canal. In later Sassanid period extensive areas brought into cultivation by Khusrau I. [1] "From the earliest times [in Babylonia], the flow of water was controlled for agricultural purposes by an elaborate system of canals, sluices, dams, embankments, and dikes." [2] Irrigation canals. [3] "Dam construction and qanat or tunnel excavation are among the inventions of Iranians. It is written of Shapur I in the necropolis tabloid that Shapur constructed dams over rivers using funds from his treasury to save farmers from drought. Shapur has said, ’In Susa (modern day Khuzestan) I built so many dams to relieve farmers of a need for water." [4]

[1]: (Chegini 1996, 48) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Neusner 2008, 1-2) Neusner, Jacob. 2008. A History of the Jews in Babylonia. 1. The Parthian Period. Wipf & Stock. Eugene.

[3]: (Nikitin 1996, 65) Nikitin, A. V. Customs, Arts and Crafts. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.59-80. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[4]: (Mahmoudian and Mahmoudian 2012, 95) Angelakis A N, Mays L W, Koutsoyiannis, D. 2012.Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia. IWA Publishing.


Food Storage Site:
present

Imperial granaries. [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 20-37) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

"In the year 326 AD when the city of Susa was destroyed during an earthquake, Shapur ordered it to be rebuilt with all the urban facilities, including water flowing in every house, a sewer system and a laundry in each neighbourhood (Hashami, 2010)." [1]

[1]: (Mahmoudian and Mahmoudian 2012, 95) Angelakis A N, Mays L W, Koutsoyiannis, D. 2012. Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia. IWA Publishing.


Transport Infrastructure

[1]

[1]: (Nikitin 1996, 65) Nikitin, A. V. Customs, Arts and Crafts. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.59-80. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


"China and glass, textiles, garments, amber, papyrus and spices were imported; pepper and nard from Media, corn, cattle and manufactured goods were exported." [1]

[1]: (Wilcox 1986, 24) Wilcox, P. 1986. Rome’s Enemies (3): Parthians and Sassanid Persians. Osprey Publishing.


in Mesopotamia? probably first under Khosrau I (531-579 CE).


Bridge:
present

Stone bridge 500 meters in extent. [1] "A number of bridges built during Shapur I’s reign had dual utility, meaning that the bridges foundations were constructed in such a manner as to enable collection of water, while the main structure joined the two banks of the river." [2]

[1]: (Nikitin 1996, 65) Nikitin, A. V. Customs, Arts and Crafts. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.59-80. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Mahmoudian and Mahmoudian 2012, 95) Angelakis A N, Mays L W, Koutsoyiannis, D. 2012. Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia. IWA Publishing.


Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

"The most widespread languages during the Sasanian era were Middle Persian (or Pahlavi), Parthian, Sogdian, Khwarizmian, Khotanese Saka and Bactrian; various texts in these languages are extant." [1]

[1]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 91) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


Script:
present

Pahlavi script, Manichaean script ("variant of the Syriac script"), Parthian script. [1] "The most widespread languages during the Sasanian era were Middle Persian (or Pahlavi), Parthian, Sogdian, Khwarizmian, Khotanese Saka and Bactrian; various texts in these languages are extant." [2]

[1]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 91-93) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 91) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf



Nonwritten Record:
unknown

"The most widespread languages during the Sasanian era were Middle Persian (or Pahlavi), Parthian, Sogdian, Khwarizmian, Khotanese Saka and Bactrian; various texts in these languages are extant." [1]

[1]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 91) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf




Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

"Iranian interest in Indian philosophy and science during the Sasanian period is demonstrated by translations into Middle Persian of Indian works on mathematics, astronomy and medicine, and of belles-lettres and didactic texts". [1] in volume more in later Sassanid period than the first Court doctors, including Indian doctors, suggest Indian medical works likely translated. [2] However, most scientific literature translated was from Syriac and Greek. [2] "astrologers and the various kinds of medical specialists". [3]

[1]: (Khromov 1996, 94-95) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Khromov 1996, 95) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[3]: (Eisenstadt 1969, 71) Eisenstadt, Shmuel Noah. 1969. The Political Systems of Empires. Transaction Publishers.



Religious Literature:
present

"Iranians were familiar with Greek philosophy from the Achaemenid period. This acquaintance was deepened in Sasanian times, leading to the influence of Greek philosophy on Zoroastrian religious works." [1] "Translations of, and commentaries upon, the Avesta ... in Middle Persia (also known as Pahlavi), as well as books written on the basis of oral traditions of Avestan material". [2] Zoroastrian priestly writing: "Middle Persian texts." Commentaries on Avesta. Philosophy and debate. Apocalyptic. Didactic. Geographical and epic. Legal. Cultural. Dictionaries. [3] Zoroastrian scriptures kept in the Avestra. [4]

[1]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 90) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 82) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[3]: (Daryaee 2009, 108) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[4]: (Lapidus 2012, 16) Lapidus, I M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Practical Literature:
present

"There were several handbooks in Pahlavi dealing with institutions, court manners and ceremonies, the duties of the various social classes, the rules of battle, the arts of warfare (horsemanship and shooting), and games and entertainments (such as polo, chess and backgammon." [1]

[1]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 85-86) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


Philosophy:
present

"Iranians were familiar with Greek philosophy from the Achaemenid period. This acquaintance was deepened in Sasanian times, leading to the influence of Greek philosophy on Zoroastrian religious works." [1] Advice to kings genre: "Several works discussed government policies and ways and means of governing the kingdom. Among them is the Name-i Tansar [Letter of Tansar], written by Tansar (or, in the correct form, Tosar), the Zoroastrian mobad (high priest) at the time of Ardashir I, in response to Gushnasp, king of Tabaristan. ... changes were made to it in later periods, particularly during the reign of Khusrau I. [2]

[1]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 90) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 88) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf



History:
present

"Important events of the reign of each of the Sasanian kings were written down and preserved in the imperial archives, a practice that probably dates from the very beginning of Sasanian rule." [1] "in about the 5th century, priests attached to the Sassanid court began to compile an immense chronicle, the Khwaday Namag" [2] - however the "Book of Kings" might also be considered fiction, but to the extent it is a pretense at a history it is historical writing. "The idea of compiling a written national history for the Iranians appeared toward the end of the Sasanian period, especially at the time of Khusrau I, during whose reign books were either written in Pahlavi or translated from other languages, such as Syriac, the Indian languages and Greek." [3]

[1]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 86) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Eastburn ????, 201) Eastburn, Gerardo. ????. The Esoteric Codex: Zoroastrianism. Second Edition. Lulu.com.

[3]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 87) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


Fiction:
present

"The interest in oral literature in pre-Islamic Iran meant that, apart from state or commerical records and documents and, on rare occasions, religious works, nothing was written down until the Sasanian period. Secular oral literature was preserved orally by gosan (poet-ministrels) or khunyagar (story-tellers)." [1] Religious and secular writings but secular writings "written within the framework of Zoroastrian religious beliefs". [1] "Epic stories, frequently in verse, remained an oral form until the Sasanian period and some were used in the compilation of the Khwaday-namag [Book of Lords] ... in Pahlavi." [2] must have been written fiction of Greek works or derived from Greek works, even if only read by Greeks themselves, in the cities, which may still have had Greek communities. on the basis of Persian tradition only though the code would appear to be inferred absent at this time.

[1]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 82) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Tafazzoli 1996, 83) Tafazzoli, A. and Khromov, A. L. Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.82-105. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf



Information / Money



Indigenous Coin:
present

Coinage from Ardashir I. [1] "Striking coins was always a royal prerogative, and during the entire Sasanian history the typology employed is the same over the entire empire, proving that the mints always were under control of the royal central authorities." [2] "Sasanan coinage of silver and copper, more rarely of gold, circulated over a wide area". [3] Drachms (fine silver), half-drachms, obols, half-obols, tetradrachms ("poor silver alloy") [4] Khusrau II, later Sassanid period, was the last ruler to issue gold coins. [4]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 2-20) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.

[2]: (iranicaonline.org [1])

[3]: (Chegini 1996, 48) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[4]: (Chegini 1996, 49) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


Foreign Coin:
present

"Banking was well advanced." [1]

[1]: (Wilcox 1986, 24) Wilcox, P. 1986. Rome’s Enemies (3): Parthians and Sassanid Persians. Osprey Publishing.



Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present

"In Persia the postal service appears to have originated in the Achaemenid period. ... There were way stations where the couriers could rest and where fresh horses could be obtained. ... Under the Sasanians a similar postal system appears to have been in operation; in a peace treaty concluded with Byzantium in a.d. 561 one clause stipulated that envoys should be supplied with mounts at the postal stations maintained by both empires." [1] The barid of the Islamic era thought to have been based on earlier system of postal stations.

[1]: (Floor 1990) Floor, Willem. 1990. ČĀPĀR. www.iranicaonline.org/articles/capar-or-capar-turk



Courier:
present

There was a postal system under the Sassanids. [1]

[1]: (Floor 1990) Floor, Willem. 1990. ČĀPĀR. www.iranicaonline.org/articles/capar-or-capar-turk


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown

unknown whether walls were mortared


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

[1] Sassanid city planning incorporated walls. [2] unknown whether walls were mortared

[1]: (Nikitin 1996, 63) Nikitin, A. V. Customs, Arts and Crafts. in Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.59-80. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Chegini 1996, 46) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf




moat at Hatra in this period?



Earth Rampart:
present

basic defensive technology


Ditch:
present

basic defensive technology


Complex Fortification:
present

[1] Most Sasanian cities were fortified. [1] "The acme of Sasanian military construction is represented by the fortifications of Darband, which stood across the road along the west coast of the Caspian; their construction began under Yazdgird II (438-457). The defences include the city’s northern and southern walls, the citadel and a wall strengthened by stone forts that stretched 40 km to the Caucasus mountains." [2]

[1]: (Nikitin 1996, 61) Nikitin, A. V. Customs, Arts and Crafts. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.59-80. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[2]: (Nikitin 1996, 63) Nikitin, A. V. Customs, Arts and Crafts. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.59-80. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf



Military use of Metals

"It is believed that Indian steel was exported in the early centuries A.D. and was known even in the time of Alexander. By the sixth century there is more definite evidence of the manufacture of Damascene swords and the steel used for this purpose came from India." [1] Artaxerxes II of Persia (Achaemenids, ruled around 400 BCE) had a Greek physician called Ctesias of Cnidus who was impressed by his sword of Indian steel. [2] [3] Use of Damascene steel certainly by 540 CE: "This unique type of steel was a major technological innovation and Iran played an important role in its production over the centuries. Circumstantial evidence suggests that a trade in a special steel, conceivably the ingots from which damascene steel was made, was underway in the Parthian and Sasanian period. Sometime after 115 A.D. the Parthians were importing iron (steel) from some point to the east" [4] "High-carbon steel was being produced in the eastern Iranian region from the tenth century CE." [5]

[1]: (Abraham 1988, 171) Meera Abraham. 1988. Two medieval merchant guilds of south India. Manohar Publications.

[2]: (Singh 1997) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.

[3]: (Ramsey 2016) Ramsey, Syed. 2016. Tools of War: History of Weapons in Ancient Times. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd.

[4]: (Piggott 2011) Pigott, V C. 1984 (2011). “Ahan.” Encyclopedia iranica. I/6. pp. 624-633. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ahan-iron Site accessed: 25 September 2017.

[5]: (Goody 2012, 171) Goody, Jack. 2012. Metals, Culture and Capitalism: An Essay on the Origins of the Modern World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


present in preceding Parthian polity [1]

[1]: (Penrose 2008, 223) Penrose, Jane. 2008. Rome and Her Enemies: An Empire Created and Destroyed by War. Osprey Publishing.


Copper:
present

bronze is made with copper. Copper weapons present in preceding Parthian polity [1]

[1]: (Penrose 2008, 223) Penrose, Jane. 2008. Rome and Her Enemies: An Empire Created and Destroyed by War. Osprey Publishing.


Bronze:
present

present in preceding Parthian polity [1]

[1]: (Penrose 2008, 223) Penrose, Jane. 2008. Rome and Her Enemies: An Empire Created and Destroyed by War. Osprey Publishing.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

"Adapting Roman methods, Sassanid siege technology advanced greatly between the first and sixth centuries. The Sassanians employed offensive siege weapons such as scorpions, ballistae, battering rams, and moving towers." [1]

[1]: (Ward 2014, 31) Ward, S R. 2014. Immortal, Updated Edition: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces. Georgetown University Press.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

First known use during Byzantine Empire.


[1]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.


Self Bow:
absent

inferred absent from presence of more powerful composite bow.


Javelin:
present

[1]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.



Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Inferred as came later. [1]

[1]: DeVries, Kelly. "cannon" In The Oxford Companion to Military History. : Oxford University Press, 2001.


Crossbow:
present

"the Persian nawak, also known by its Arabic name of majra or mijrat. An early reference is the use of it by the Sassanid Persians against the Arabs in +637 when it was termed qaus al-nawakiyah (the tube bow). In the Islamic world extraordinary distances were shot with this device." [1] Present in preceding and succeeding polities.

[1]: (Needham and Wang 1954, 166) Needham J and Wang L. 1954. Science and Civilization in China. Cambridge University Press.


Composite Bow:
present

Composite bow of Central Asian design, made out of horn, wood and sinew. Had a range of 175 meters, accurate within 50-60 meters. [1] at the muster parades of Khusrau I (second Sassanid period) cavalry units required to have "mail, breastplate, helmet, leg guards, arm guards, horse armour, lance, buckler, sword, mace, battle axe, quiver of thirty arrows, bow case with two bows, and two spare bow strings." [2]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Chegini 1996, 58) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


new world weapon


Handheld weapons
War Club:
present

"During the reign of the first King Khosrow, or Chosroes (531-79), a cavalryman’s equipment consisted of body armor, breastplate, helmet, greaves and arm shields, horse armor, lance, sword, club, battleaxe, a quiver with thirty arrows, two reflex bows, and two replacement strings." [1]

[1]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Sword. [1] [2]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


"The main weapon of the "cataphracts," as the cavalrymen were called, was the bow, which eventually gave way to the lance." [1] Heavy lances. [2] Lance. [1]

[1]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.

[2]: (Ward 2014, 32) Ward, S R. 2014. Immortal, Updated Edition: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces. Georgetown University Press.




Battle Axe:
present

Battleaxe. [1]

[1]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Animals used in warfare

As with the Parthians that preceded them, the bulk of the Sasanian military was made up of cavalry. This enabled rapid response to multiple borders. The heavy armoured knight, the Savaran Knights, made up the Sasanian elite cavalry. [1]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.


Elephant:
present

"The Christians of the Sasanian Empire were also persecuted when the city of Susa, which was the hotbed of Christian activity, was razed by the elephants of The Sasanian army. [1] According to Ammianus Marcellinus (XXIII, 6.75-80) "All of them without exception, even at banquets and on festal days, appear girt with swords; an old Greek custom". [2] Present "despite the enormous logistic requirements." [3]

[1]: (Daryaee 2012, 193) Daryaee, Touraj. The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE). in Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Nikitin 1996, 59) Nikitin, A. V. Customs, Arts and Crafts. in Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.59-80. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf

[3]: (Ward 2014, 31) Ward, S R. 2014. Immortal, Updated Edition: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces. Georgetown University Press.




[1]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[1]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.


Armor

Shield:
present

Mostly used by heavy infantry and foot archers. One-piece leather hide, later wicker-work and rawhide. Paighan siege workers used large shields made of goat wool. Sasanian cavalry did not use large shields. In the later Sasanian Empire a small buckler shield was sometimes worn on the left forearm. [1] "The cavalry do not appear to have used shields in the Early Sasanian period." [2]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Chegini 1996, 59) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


Scaled Armor:
present

Scale armour. [1] Mail and lamellar armour. [2]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 16) Farrokh, Kaveh. 2012. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.



Limb Protection:
present

[1] Illustration of Shapur I shows "laminated thighguards which terminate above the knee". [2] "During the reign of the first King Khosrow, or Chosroes (531-79), a cavalryman’s equipment consisted of body armor, breastplate, helmet, greaves and arm shields". [3]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[3]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Leather Cloth:
present

"The Persian royal horses are caparisoned, each one bearing rows of badges or symbols. Such trappers could have been of leather or quilted fabric with the de- vices applied in precious metals." [1]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Laminar Armor:
present

Laminated armour. [1] Mail and lamellar armour. [2]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 16) Farrokh, Kaveh. 2012. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Helmet:
present

Two-piece, ridge helmet and the four-part Spangenhelm. Later designs incorporated mail to protect the face. [1] Conical helmets. [2]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Chainmail:
present

Mail armour. [1] Chainmail: "by the time of the Muslim conquestions it was probably the main form of body armour for both Byzantine and Sassanian soldiers." [2] Mail and lamellar armour. [3] Chainmail: "by the time of the Muslim conquestions it was probably the main form of body armour for both Byzantine and Sassanian soldiers." [2] Mail and lamellar armour. [3] at the muster parades of Khusrau I (second Sassanid period) cavalry units required to have "mail, breastplate, helmet, leg guards, arm guards, horse armour, lance, buckler, sword, mace, battle axe, quiver of thirty arrows, bow case with two bows, and two spare bow strings." [4]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 16) Farrokh, Kaveh. 2012. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Kennedy 2001, 168) Kennedy, H. 2001. The Armies of the Caliphs. Routledge. London.

[3]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[4]: (Chegini 1996, 58) Chegini, N. N. Political History, Economy and Society. in Litvinsky, B. A. ed. and Iskender-Mochiri, I. ed. 1996. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. pp.40-58. unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0010/001046/104612e.pdf


Breastplate:
present

Armoured knight had protection for the torso, arms and legs. [1] "During the reign of the first King Khosrow, or Chosroes (531-79), a cavalryman’s equipment consisted of body armor, breastplate, helmet, greaves and arm shields". [2]

[1]: (Farrokh 2005, 3-27) Farrokh, Kevah. 2005. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

Lacking early on, some ships later in period? Certainly in second Sassanid period they controlled Persian Gulf with Navy. [1]

[1]: (Daryaee 2009, 136) Daryaee, Touraj. 2009. Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B. Tauris. London.





Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.