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The legend conveyed “year X of the sacred fire of King Y” (Henning, 1957, p. 2); “years of the sacred fire” meant “regnal years.” empire” which was recognized for over four centuries as one of the two great powers in Western Asia and Europe (see BYZANTINE-IRANIAN RELATIONS; see further Widengren, 1976; Howard-Johnston, 1991).

It also “stood as a great shield in defense of the culture of Western Asia” against the constant onrush of Central Asian nomads (Ghirshman, 1954, p. He left a lasting memory as a model king (see ARDAŠIR I), a city-builder (no fewer than eight were said to have been founded by him [Ṭabari, I, p. 19-20]), an administrative reformer, and a consolidator of the Zoroastrian religion.

Gignoux, 1971; Chaumont, 1975) by naming its provinces, describing religious foundations, and mentioning relatives and senior officials who lived at the court of Pāpak, Ardašir, and Šāpur.

He tells us that upon his accession, the emperor Gordianus (III) “marched on Assyria, against Ērānšahr and against us” but perished in battle, and his successor Philip “came to us for terms, and he became our tributary.” Afterwards Šāpur annexed most of Roman Armenia, appointed his own son, Hormozd-Ardašir “Great King of Armenia” (see Chaumont, 1968), and took and plundered many cities of Syria, Cilicia, and Cappadocia.

The warrior class, usually called the aristocracy or nobility, had five ranks (Nöldeke, ) or great noble houses.

Most important of these were “the Seven” Magnates—the Varāz, Kāren, Surēn, Mehrān, Spandiāδ, Žik, and Nehābed.

23-24; for the empire and its provinces see Marquart, Šāpur I was known as a builder and a patron of knowledge.

He constructed dams and bridges, forts and towns, and developed industries and trade.

Historically it is the most important inscriptional record next to that of Darius I at Bisotun; it records his Roman wars (Honnigmann and Maricq, 1953; Maricq, 1958; Kettenhoffen, 1982; Felix, 1985, pp. 80-123); and it provides a clear picture of the extent of his empire (cf.

The Arsacid empire was divided between two rival brothers: Vologeses VI (207-27), who ruled from Ctesiphon, and Ardavān (212-24), who held Media and Khuzistan (see ARTABANUS IV). With the death of Pāpak Šāpur succeeded him in Eṣṭaḵr but was accidentally killed at Persepolis. Well acquainted with historical reality, he adopted the newer, more flexible chain armor of the Roman type, while the Parthians still used the older lamellar and scale armor (Bivar, 1972, pp. On 30 Mehr (= 28 May) 224 Ardašir vanquished Ardavān at the battle of Hormzdagān (q.v.) and assumed the title “King of Kings of Iran.” He commemorated the event in his victory relief carved at the approach to his early capital, Ardašir Ḵorra (see FIRUZĀBĀÚD), as well as in three investiture reliefs showing him receiving the symbol of sovereignty from Ohrmazd (see ARDAŠIR I ii.).

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