NameShahpur I King of Sasanian Empire
Birthabt 200
Misc. Notes
Shapur I (Sapor) had been co-ruler with his father, Ardashir, since 240. After conquering the peoples along the coast of the Caspian Sea, he had to defend his kingdom against Rome.

SHAPUR I'S FIRST WAR WITH ROME . The Roman emperor Gordian recaptured Carrhae and Nisibis and then defeated the Persians near Resaina. But Gordian was murdered, and his successor, Philip, losing a battle near Ctesiphon, was forced to sue for peace and pay a ransom. Having deprived Armenia of Roman support, Shapur engineered the assassination of its Arsacid king, Chosroes (c. 252). When the Armenian prince Tiridates was received by the Romans, Shapur attacked and began the second Roman war.

SECOND ROMAN WAR . A Roman army was defeated at Barbalissa, Syria was invaded, and Antioch was taken (256). When the Romans counterattacked, Shapur defeated and captured the emperor Valerian near Edessa (258, 259?); Valerian remained a captive until his death (265–66). Syria and Asia Minor were invaded by Persian forces, but no attempt was made to retain the conquered territories.

Palmyra . Roman territory was defended by Odenathus, the ruler of Palmyra, who chased the Persians back across the Euphrates and defeated Shapur (260). Soon after (262–267), he reconquered Mesopotamia, failed to take Ctesiphon, and was given the title of imperator by Gallienus. In 267 he was murdered and was succeeded by his widow, Zenobia.

Shapur devoted his remaining years to consolidating his power. He installed his sons as kings in Armenia, Mesene (southern Mesopotamia), Gilan (on the Caspian coast), and Sakas (in eastern Iran). In the north his kingdom extended to Iberia (Georgia); in the east to the borders of Sogdiana and central Asia. He built dams and a new city, Bishapur, in Persis. He also took an interest in the teachings of Mani, the founder of Manichaeism. Shapur was succeeded by his son, Hormizd I.

Hormizd I (Hormisdas, 270–271), son of Shapur, was killed in battle against the Sogdians and was followed by his brother, Bahram I (Varahan, 271–274). During his reign Aurelian defeated Zenobia of Palmyra and reestablished Roman rule in the east. Conservative Zoroastrian priests brought about the execution of Mani. Bahram was succeeded by his son, Bahram II (274–293). An eastern campaign against the Sakae was brought to an end by the Roman invasion of Persia under the emperor Carus, who conquered Mesopotamia and took Ctesiphon. The mysterious death of Carus ended the war (283). The new Roman emperor Diocletian installed Tiridates III in Armenia (c. 288). Bahram III , son of Bahram II, reigned for a few months and was deposed by his uncle, Narseh.
ChildrenNerseh (-302)
Last Modified 23 Jul 2003Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh