Recorded: May 20, 2022
Event: The World of Ancient Iran and the West
Citation: Daryaee, Touraj. "Ardashir I, the Early Sasanians, and Reorienting the Near East and the Caucasus." Pourdavoud Center: The World of Ancient Iran and the West (May 20, 2022).
by Touraj Daryaee (University of California, Irvine)
Touraj Daryaee holds the Maseeh Chair in Persian Studies and is the Directory of the Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (IB Tauris, 2012), editor of the Oxford Handbook of Iranian History (Oxford UP, 2014), and Iran and its Histories (Otto Harrassowitz, 2021). He also serves as the editor of Sasanian Studies.
Ardashir I, the Early Sasanians, and Reorienting the Near East and the Caucasus
In the third century CE, King Ardashir I and his son Shapūr I attacked the Roman forces beyond the Euphrates, conquering and destroying cities in Mesopotamia, Syria, and the Persian Gulf in the process. Modern scholars, following Roman testimonies, have interpreted these acts of warfare as a sign of the neo-Persian empire’s belligerent disposition. The lecture seeks to contextualize early Sasanian offensives and identify the rationale behind the empire’s actions in the confrontations that took place. It is contended that Ardashir I and Shapūr I’s grand strategy aimed at reorganizing Ērānšahr (The Empire of Iranians), and bringing the Near East into the Sasanian sphere of influence.