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Internal Analysis Report

  “Shahpur I” and the challenges of Sasanid Dynasty

16 Aug 2011 17:22
"Shahpur I", one of the Sassanid kings, is the topic of the second volume of the book series entitled: "The History of the Great Sassanid Empire". This book is written in two formats: research form and narrative by Ali Smmak Mohammadi and is indeed a description of historical, political and social events of the Sassanid king’s time.
IBNA: The ruling of Shahpur I ( 244-273 AD) was as equally determining and fateful for the Sassanid young government as that of the king Ardeshir, the first (Artaxerxes I) was important.

“The Story of Shahpur Birth," is the opening section of the book. From the outset the reader is confronted with an issue not far away from the legendries of predecessors and historians. It has been said that Shahpur’s mother, was the daughter of Ardavan- the Fifth, the last Ashkanid king, and when Ardeshir became aware of the issue, ordered to murder the mother as well as the child, but the Minister survived Shahpur. 

Historical realities are not identical with the story; referring to the historical facts the author also does not accept such a narration and writes that true that Ardeshir married Ardavan’s daughter after the war of Hormozgan, the child born of the marriage could not be the same Sassanid Shahpur I; for Shahpur I, himself attended in the war as well.

“The Marriage of Shahpur and the Birth of Hormazd” take the reader further step by step along with the events of Shahpur’s life. Shahpur Coronation is also another part which has been narrated as the former parts in story format as well. Then "The Persian and Roman Wars during Shahpur time" has been brought forward. The two major political powers at that time resulted in consequences which can be followed in a report presented in the same section of the book. 

However, the author emphasizes that the historians’ story about the Persian and Roman Wars, are variable and contradictory. An example of this conflict is about the death of "Gordianus", the Roman Emperor which has been investigated in a separate part.

“Shahpur’s Rencounter with Valerianus” the emperor of Rome and also “Shahpur’s Campaign to the East", makes the reader aware of the military events of the reign of this Sassanid king, and how his government dealt and confronted with the powers of his time. Similarly, the relations between Iran and Armenia and also between Iran and the Arabs in the days of King Shahpur have been thoroughly investigated as well. 

These sections, perhaps, is to address the underlying pre-Mani period, the prophet appearance in the time of Shahpur and the Sassanid king’s special attention to his laws. The author initially investigates the social conditions of Mesopotamia in the time of Mani’s birth and then presents some things about Mani’s life events , focusing on his relationships with the Court of Shahpur and the king himself. There have been presented some illuminating information about Mani religion and his beliefs in these parts as well. Because of Mani’s importance and his role in the Sassanid court this section of the book is written in more details.

"Shahpur in the Books of Ancient Writers" is the title to see what historians like Tabari, Bal’ami, Abu Hanifa Dinvari, Hamza Isfahani and Soalbi have been told about the history of Shahpur rule and what is stated in Shahnameh about the Sassanid king.

“Shahpur Memorials in Naqsh-e Rostam" investigates the inscriptions of Shahpur as well as that of "Kertir", the Persian great priest in the Sassanid era. “Bishapur, the City of Shahpur in Fars province" is another topic which has been allocated to the geographical, historical and political situation of the city and its significance in archaeological studies. “The Ruins of the Old City, Darabgard “is also another issue conveyed in the rest of this book.

The author also didn’t forget about the coins remained from Shahpur I and the significance of studying and recognizing them. So from then 36 pages of the book entitled: ”Sarzamin-e Javid” i.e. the Eternal Land, written by Zabih-Allah Mansouri are completely pasted, a book which regardless of its reliability and validity; familiarizes the reader amusingly with Shahpur I rule through conveying an imaginative dreamful story .

The book “Ardeshir Papakan (Babakan) " the founder of Sassanid government is the first volume of the series entitled:' The History of the Great Sassanid Empire “in which Sammak Mohammadi, familiarizes the reader with the events of that period of Persian history. Studying and Understanding the events of Ardeshir I rule (226-241 AD), the founder of Sassanid government, is important since putting a lot of effort he could establish a centralized and politically integrated empire. The attention of other Sassanid kings to the founder of the dynasty was so much that the historical figure of Ardeshir was mixed with legend. That is why investigating the historical sources and references belonged to this period is so necessary and valuable. 

The First edition of the book, "Shahpur I", which is the second volume of the series entitled: "The History of the Great Sassanid Empire" by Ali Sammak Mohammadi is published by Khane-ye Tarikh &Tasvir-e Abrishami press, with a circulation of 2000 copies and the price of 38000 R. This book illustrated with the images of the remained buildings belonged to that era as well as historical plans is now available to those interested in the Sassanid era.

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“Shahpur I” and the challenges of Sasanid Dynasty
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