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The Battle of Nahāvand (also Nihāvand or Nahāwand) (Arabic: معركة نهاوند , Persian: نبرد نهاوند) was fought in 642 between Arab Muslims and Sassanid armies.  The battle is known to Muslims as the "Victory of Victories." The Sassanid King Yazdegerd III escaped to the Merv area, but was unable to raise another substantial army. It was a decisive victory for the Rashidun Caliphate and the Persians consequently lost the surrounding cities including Sephahan (renamed Isfahan).
The former Sassanid provinces, in alliance with Parthian and White Hun nobles, resisted for a few more years in the region south of the Caspian Sea, even as the Rashidun Caliphate was replaced by the Umayyads, thus perpetuating the Sassanid court styles, Zoroastrian religion, and Persian speech.
If there is one ancient urban settlement in Hamadan province equal to Ecbatana in age, it would be Nahavand (also Romanized as Nehavand and Nehavend). The name is well-remembered in the Iranian history because of a battle that put an end on the late Persian antiquity: the battle of Nahavand in which the last Sasanid Shah was defeated by Arab invaders.
Clasp with an eagle and its prey found in Nahavand, believed by Ernst Herzfeld to originally belong to the House of Karen (was one of the Seven Great Houses of Iran. The seat of the house lay at Nahavand, about 65 km south of Ecbatana)
Pre-historic and ancient castle’s ruins are matters of interest in the area and the town of Nahavand lies some 90 km south of Hamadan (Ecbatana), from which it is separated by the massif of the Alvand Mountain, which rises to 11,716 feet, and from which streams provide Nahavand and its agricultural hinterland with a plentiful water supply.
Central Zagros’ nature provides best of raw materials for rug weaving, including cotton and natural dyes and the weave of the area proved to be durable.
Technical aspects and the structure of Nahavand Rugs
Nahavand rugs are mostly woolen piled, single-wefted, and woven with the symmetrical/Turkish knot on cotton warps and wefts.
Silky wool used in Nahavand match lustrous yarn of the area which has world-reputation. Nahavand pieces are long-piled. Nahavand Knot count reaches to 160000 knots per square meter.
Area rugs and runners are woven in Nahavand mostly in large sizes.
Dyeing and painting of Nahavand rugs
Benefitted by the Zagros’ nature, the palette of the area is not corrupted by chemical dyes. Lustrous yarn and silky wool of the area give a shiny feature to colors.
Dark shades are more favored in Nahavand pieces. Dark blue and madder red are dominant tones which serve as ground and margin interchangeably.
Undyed camel hair of the region brings a golden camel on Nahavand palette.
Designs and patterns of the Nahavand rugs
Inspired by American Saruq style, Nahavand designs tend to rectilinear patterns. Central medallions constituted most of Nahavand designs. A triple-medallioned design is also attributed to Nahavand as well as an all-over design formed by Botthe (bush) repeats.
Nahavand medallions are usually shaped by geometric leafs. Medallions are surrounded by rather large floral patterns. Animal motifs, such as lions, are also used in Nahavand, rendered in a free nomadic style.
In some pieces margins make stylistic frames around the ground. One could recognize easily such frames in triple-medallioned ones.
Nahavand central-medallion designs are usually without specified corners. Some have very tiny corners and some in pieces corners merge into stylistic frames of margins.
Nahavand Castle - History
In the course of the subsequent centuries, only few events in Nahavand were recorded. The Persian vizier of the Seljuk Empire, Nizam al-Mulk, was assassinated in 1092 near Nahavand. According to Hamdallah Mustawfi, who flourished in the 13th and 14th centuries, Nahavand was a town of medium size surrounded by fertile fields where corn, cotton and fruits were grown. Mustawfi added that its inhabitants were mainly Twelver Shia Kurds.
Nahavand also gives its name to the musical mode (maqam) Nahawand in Arabic, Persian and Turkish music. This mode is known for its wide variety of Western sounding melodies.
During the Achaemenid period (550–330 BC), Nahavand was located in the southernmost part of Media, on the fertile Nisaean plain. Strabo wrote that it was "(re-)founded" by Achaemenid King Xerxes the Great ((r. undefined – undefined)486–465 BC). It lay c. 96 kilometers from Ecbatana (modern-day Hamadan), on the trunk road from Babylonia through Media to Bactria. In the Seleucid period, Nahavand was turned into a Greek polis with magistrates and a Seleucid governor. In the 20th century, a stone stele was found near Nahavand. The stele bore an inscription of Seleucid ruler Antiochus III the Great ((r. undefined – undefined)222–187 BC), introducing the cult he had created for his wife Queen Laodice III. The stele, dated to 193 BC, revealed the terminus ante quem of the foundation of the Greek polis. According to Abu Hanifa Dinawari, who flourished in the 9th century, in the Parthian period, Nahavand was the seat of the Parthian prince Artabanus, who later reigned as Artabanus I of Parthia ((r. undefined – undefined)127-124/3 BC). During the Sasanian period, the district of Nahavand was bestowed upon the House of Karen. There was also a fire temple.
Nahavand (, also Romanized as Nahāvand and Nehāvend) is a city and capital of Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 72,218, in 19,419 families. It is located south of Hamadan, east of Malayer and northwest of Borujerd. Occupied since prehistoric times, Nahavand was bestowed upon the House of Karen in the Sasanian period. During the Arab conquest of Iran, it was the site of the famous Battle of Nahavand.
In 1589, during the Ottoman-Safavid War of 1578-1590, Ottoman General Cığalazade Yusuf Sinan Pasha built a fortress at Nahavand for future campaigns against Safavid Iran. By the Treaty of Constantinople (1590), the Safavids were forced to cede the city to the Turks. In 1602/3, Nahavand's citizens revolted against the Ottoman occupiers. Coinciding with the Celali revolts in Anatolia, the Safavids recaptured Nahavand and expelled the Ottomans from the city, thus restoring Iranian control. The Safavid governor of Hamadan, Hasan Khan Ustajlu, subsequently destroyed the Ottoman fort. In the wake of the collapse of the Safavids in 1722, the Turks captured Nahavand once more. In 1730, they were ousted by Nader-Qoli Beg (later known as Nader Shah (r. undefined – undefined)1736–1747). Nader's death in 1747 led to instability. Over the next few years, Nahavand was exploited by local Bakhtiari chiefs. In c. 1752, Karim Khan Zand defeated the Bakhtiari chieftain Ali Mardan Khan Bakhtiari at Nahavand.
In 642, during the Arab conquest of Iran, a famous battle was fought at Nahavand. With heavy losses on both sides, it eventually resulted in a Sasanian defeat, and as such, opened up the doors of the Iranian plateau to the invaders. In the early Islamic period, Nahavand flourished as part of the province of Jibal. It first functioned as administrative center of the Mah al-Basra ("Media of the Basrans") district. Its revenues were reportedly used for the payment of the troops from Basra that were stationed in Nahavand. Medieval geographers mention Nahavand as an affluent commercial hub with two Friday mosques. When the 10th century Arab traveller Abu Dulaf travelled through Nahavand he noted "fine remains of the [ancient] Persians". Abu Dulaf also wrote that during the reign of Caliph al-Ma'mun (813–833), a treasure chamber had been found, containing two gold caskets.
Excavations conducted in 1931/2 at Tepe Giyan by Georges Contenau and Roman Ghirshman led to the conclusion that Nahavand and its environs have been inhabited since prehistoric times. It showed that the site of Tepe Giyan, which lies c. 10 kilometers southeast of Nahavand, was occupied since at least 5,000 BC to c. 1,000 BC.
Nahavand is located in western Iran, in the northern part of the Zagros region. It lies c. 90 kilometers south of Hamadan, from which it is separated by the massif of the Alvand subrange. This massif grants Nahavand and its hinterlands an abudant water supply. Historically, Nahavand was located on a route that led from central Iraq through Kermanshah to northern Iran, and was therefore often crossed by armies. Another historic road, coming from Kermanshah, leads towards Isfahan in central Iran and avoids the Alvand massif. Nahavand also lies on the branch of the Gamasab river which comes from the southeast from the vicinity of Borujerd from Nahavand the Gamasab river flows westwards to Mount Behistun. Given Nahavand's location, it was the site of several battles, and was considered important in Iranian history during Iran's wars with its western neighbors.
Jahanabad (, also Romanized as Jahānābād also known as Jānābād, Jonābād, and Jūnabād) is a village in Shaban Rural District, in the Central District of Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 2,022, in 532 families.
Nahāvand Castle was an ancient castle from Sasanian Persia that was located in what is now the city of Nahavand in Hamedan province, Iran. The fall of this castle in the Battle of Nahavand was a major turning point in the Islamic conquest of Persia. Nonetheless, the castle survived up until the time of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar. It was said that when digging a qanat, Naser al-Din Shah found a treasure. He then ordered the castle to be destroyed in order to find more treasures however, no more were found.
Mahmudabad (, also Romanized as Maḩmūdābād and Mahmood Abad also known as Sālārābād) is a village in Gamasiyab Rural District, in the Central District of Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 416, in 111 families.
Tayemeh (, also Romanized as Ţāyemeh, Ţā’emeh, and Ţāīmeh also known as Somāq and Thaimāq) is a village in Tariq ol Eslam Rural District, in the Central District of Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 673, in 162 families.
Hoseynabad (, also Romanized as Ḩoseynābād also known as Husainābād) is a village in Gamasiyab Rural District, in the Central District of Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 404, in 111 families.
Aliabad (, also Romanized as ‘Alīābād) is a village in Solgi Rural District, Khezel District, Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 75, in 17 families.
Asadabad (, also Romanized as Asadābād) is a village in Sarab Rural District, Giyan District, Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 389, in 80 families.
Abbasabad (, also Romanized as ‘Abbāsābād) is a village in Solgi Rural District, Khezel District, Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 368, in 100 families.
Nahavand County is a county in Hamadan Province in Iran. The capital of the county is Nahavand. At the 2006 census, the county's population was 178,683, in 46,283 families. The county is subdivided into four districts: the Central District, Giyan District, Zarrin Dasht District, and Khezel District. The county has four cities: Nahavand, Barzul, Giyan, and Firuzan.
Moradabad (, also Romanized as Morādābād) is a village in Shaban Rural District, in the Central District of Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 469, in 115 families.
Jafarabad (, also Romanized as Ja‘farābād also known as Ja‘farābād-e Bālā, Ja‘farābād-e ‘Olya, and Ja’far Abad Olya) is a village in Solgi Rural District, Khezel District, Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 159, in 37 families.
Musaabad (, also Romanized as Mūsáābād also known as Bālā Deh) is a village in Solgi Rural District, Khezel District, Nahavand County, Hamadan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 204, in 46 families.
I Achaemenid- perioden (550-330 f.Kr.) var Nahavand placeret i den sydligste del af Media på den frugtbare Nisaean-slette . Den gamle geograf og historiker Strabo skrev, at den blev "(gen-) grundlagt" af Achaemenid King Xerxes the Great ( r . 486-465 f.Kr.). Det lå c. 96 kilometer fra Ecbatana (nutidens Hamadan), på hovedvejen fra Babylonia gennem Media til Bactria . I seleukidperioden blev Nahavand forvandlet til en græsk polis med dommere og en seleukidisk guvernør. I det 20. århundrede blev der fundet en stenstele nær Nahavand. Stelen bar en kopi af den dynastiske kultindskrift af den seleukidiske hersker Antiochus III den Store ( r . 222–187 f.Kr.), som han havde oprettet til sin kone dronning Laodice III . Stelen, dateret til 193 f.Kr., afslørede terminalen ante quem for grundlæggelsen af den græske polis Laodiceia. Ifølge polymaten Abu Hanifa Dinawari , der blomstrede i det 9. århundrede, i den parthiske periode, var Nahavand sæde for den parthiske prins Artabanus, der senere regerede som Artabanus I i Parthia ( r . 127-124 / 3 f.Kr.). I den sasaniske periode blev distriktet Nahavand tildelt House of Karen . Der var også et ildtempel .
I 642, under den arabiske erobring af Iran , blev der udkæmpet en berømt kamp ved Nahavand. Med store tab på begge sider resulterede det til sidst i et sasanisk nederlag og åbnede som sådan dørene til det iranske plateau for angriberne. I den tidlige islamiske periode blomstrede Nahavand som en del af provinsen Jibal . Det fungerede først som administrativt centrum for Mah al-Basra ("Media of the Basrans") distriktet. Dens indtægter blev angiveligt brugt til betaling af tropperne fra Basra, der var stationeret i Nahavand. Middelalderlige geografer nævner Nahavand som et velhavende kommercielt knudepunkt med to fredagsmoskeer . Da den arabiske rejsende Abu Dulaf fra det 10. århundrede rejste gennem Nahavand, bemærkede han "fine rester af de [gamle] persere". Abu Dulaf skrev også, at der under kalif al- Ma'muns regering (813–833) var fundet et skattekammer med to guldkasser.
I løbet af de efterfølgende århundreder blev der kun registreret få begivenheder i Nahavand. Den persiske vizier fra Seljuk Empire , Nizam al-Mulk , blev myrdet i 1092 nær Nahavand. Ifølge historikeren og geografen Hamdallah Mustawfi , der blomstrede i det 13. og 14. århundrede, var Nahavand en by af mellemstor størrelse omgivet af frugtbare marker, hvor majs, bomuld og frugt blev dyrket. Mustawfi tilføjede, at dens indbyggere var hovedsageligt Twelver shia kurdere .
I 1589, under den osmanniske-safavidiske krig i 1578-1590 , byggede den osmanniske general Cığalazade Yusuf Sinan Pasha en fæstning ved Nahavand til fremtidige kampagner mod Safavid Iran . Ved Konstantinopel-traktaten (1590) blev safaviderne tvunget til at afstå byen til tyrkerne. I 1602/3 gjorde Nahavands borgere oprør mod de osmanniske besættere. Sammenfaldende med Celali-oprørene i Anatolien genvandt Safaviderne Nahavand og udviste osmannerne fra byen og gendannede dermed iransk kontrol. Den safavidiske guvernør for Hamadan , Hasan Khan Ustajlu, ødelagde efterfølgende det osmanniske fort. I kølvandet på safavidernes sammenbrud i 1722 erobrede tyrkerne Nahavand igen. I 1730 blev de udvist af Nader-Qoli Beg (senere kendt som Nader Shah r . 1736–1747). Naders død i 1747 førte til ustabilitet. I løbet af de næste par år blev Nahavand udnyttet af lokale høvdinge i Bakhtiari . I c. 1752 , Karim Khan Zand besejrede Bakhtiari høvdingen Ali Mardan Khan Bakhtiari ved Nahavand.
Specification [ ]
It was presumably roofed by an arched vault. Beyond this there are steps to a third level and a large rectangular room with ¼ circle squinches at each corner supporting a domed roof. This was buttressed by very thick walls on all sides, presumably to ensure its stability, and the cupola could be reached by a spiral staircase on the south side. Α]
The fortified palace contains many of the recurring features of Sasanian palace and civic architecture: long halls, arches, domes, recessed windows, and stairways. The construction is uniform of roughly shaped stone and mortar, but the surfaces were obviously all finished with a thick coating of plaster or stucco, giving a smooth and elegant appearance, which could have been decorated with ornamentation or painting.
The 1,800-year-old castle has lost some four meters of its original height over the last century and experts warn if urgent measures are not taken to enforce it, the castle may soon collapse. Β]
Geography [ edit ]
Nahavand is situated in the west of Iran, in the northern part of the Zagros region. Δ] It lies c. kilometers south of Hamadan, from which it is separated by the massif of the Alvand subrange. Δ] This massif grants Nahavand and its hinterlands an abundant water supply. Δ] Historically, Nahavand was located on a route that led from central Iraq through Kermanshah to northern Iran, and was therefore often crossed by armies. Δ] Another historic road, coming from Kermanshah, leads towards Isfahan in central Iran and avoids the Alvand massif. Ε] Nahavand also lies on the branch of the Gamasab river which comes from the southeast from the vicinity of Borujerd from Nahavand the Gamasab river flows westwards to Mount Behistun. Ε] Given Nahavand's location, it was the site of several battles, and was considered important in Iranian history during Iran's wars with its western neighbors. Δ] Ε]
The Darling of the World - A Persian TL
Kavad, first King of Kings to bear that name, knew before taking office that the task ahead of him was likely an impossible one. Huge amounts of money and tens of thousands of soldiers had been lost in the last couple of years thanks to the brief civil war, Ardashir III's attempt to subdue the Huns, which ended catastrophically, and finally Khushnavaz's invasion of the east, which led to the defeat of Shapur II and the utter destruction of his mighty army. His enthronement ceremony was, perhaps unsurprisingly now but not to his contemporaries, nowhere near as dazzling and bombastic as it was supposed to be. Not that the man himself cared: he had mingled with commoners anonymously since his childhood, after all, and had grown to privately despise the excessive pomp and snobbery of the inner court, which reminded him of his more indolent, wasteful days.
Nevertheless, it was still a reminder of just how little gold there was left in the treasury. Were he to even have a slim chance of winning the war, Kavad needed more money fast, and there was no easy way of getting that, so tough, controversial measures were required. The first such move was to promove Farrukhan to the extremely prestigious and important position of wuzurg framadar ("grand lord", practically a prime minister) soon after being enthroned, a decision that caused an uproar inside the court thanks to the suspicions that the Surenid noble, the last of whom still loyal to Ctesiphon, was a traitor.
Though we'll likely never truly know what was in the Shah's mind (and the sources, from Pabag of Ahvaz (1) to Honorius of Olissipo, all contradict each other) we can always speculate why he acted the way he did:
But while the short term effects of the decree were horrendous, in the end it had its intended results as the treasury suddenly received a massive influx of cash in the following months, cash that was duly invested in the military immediately after. No expense was spared, and soldiers were raised from every possible source: common citizens were conscripted (and sometimes straight up abducted) to serve as paighan infantrymen (a light levy armed with spears and wicker shields), while Hunnic horse archers, renowned for their proven skill, as well as hardy Arab tribesmen were hired as mercenaries. Even a few ambitious Romans, looking for a way to get rich, answered the call, the most famous of them by far being Honorius of Olissipo, due to his long life and many travels as a mercenary and later a civilian (2).
But while this force began to steadily grow to a formidable size, it was desperately lacking in both heavy infantry and cavalry, since the former's primary recruting grounds were in Daylam, outside of the Sasanians' reach, and the latter's numbers were slaughtered. And unless this new army was given some time to be trained properly, it would be annihilated in a pitched battle. The sudden influx of internal troubles and misfortunes that befell Khushnavaz's enourmous empire gave them exactly that, but would that be enough? No one wanted to answer.
All they could to do now was gather their strength until the invader inevitably crossed the Zagros, and Kavad had already done multiple preparations for that. Wanting for the Hephthalites to come from through the northern passes, the longest route to Ctesiphon, the Shahanshah ordered for their defenses to be deliberately undermanned. Canals and ditches were dug along the Tigris, so they could be deliberately flooded and slow down the enemy's advance, so that by the time they finally reach the capital and attempt to besiege it, they would be exhausted, trapped between the city walls and the field army, and finally starved until they had no choice but to surrender.
But these preparations would take a long time to be completed, and the siege of Nahavand suddenly put the whole strategy at risk, since there would be nothing stopping Khushnavaz from taking the shortest rout and invading Asoristan from Media if the fortress was taken. Thankfully, the garrison, composed of around 10.000 men, was more than able to defend itself, at least for the moment, repelling multiple enemy frontal assaults and even torching much of their siege equipment in a daring night sortie. But as time went on and the Hephthalites settled in for a long siege instead of fruitlessly trying to scale or breach the walls, supplies began to dwindle for the defenders.
By the fourth month of the siege (so around February 389) the situation was getting desperate, and the commander of the garrison, a noble of the House of Karen named Vistahm (or Bistam) managed to slip through the besiegers to Ctesiphon a message that said that unless something was done quickly, he would have no choice but to surrender.
Kavad, not willing to risk his entire army to relieve the fotress, contemplated abandoning it to its fate, but then decided to send a small raiding party in a diversionary attack directed to Adurbadagan, hoping that it could be enough to distract the besiegers. This force, composed of lightly armored and fast Arab and Hunnic mercenaries, was strictly ordered to wreak as much havoc as possible until Khushnavaz either gave up or loosened the siege to stop them. 10.000 men, led by a certain Shahin, crossed the northern passes of the Zagros and, as instructed, burned and looted everything on their way, not stopping to attack any important settlements but devastating the landscape around them.
Pabag of Ahvaz, the most important historian of the war and someone who usually described the many atrocities of the war in great detail, was, perhaps unsurprisingly considering his main sponsor was the Shah himself, rather vague when describing what happened in Adurbadagan, but, considering other, scarcer sources, it is safe to say that many civilians were killed in this campaign. The only place worthy of note to not suffer any damage was the great fire temple of Adur Gushnasp, since pillaging what is to this day one of the most important places in the Zoroastrian religion would surely whip the Magi into a burning rage to the point where they would deliver Kavad's head to Khushnavaz on a silver platter. The Samarra Decree was bad enough.
Although the invader wanted to press on the siege with his entire army, fully aware that victory was now within his sight and that the raid was made out of desperation, in the end he was trapped between a rock and a hard place: if he simply let the raiders have their way in Adurbadagan, they would eventually move into other provinces and devastate them as well, and besides, the Iranian nobles loyal to him would return to the Sasanian fold if he didn't try to defend their estates. With a heavy heart, the king split his army in half, leaving one to press on against Nahavand's defenders while the other one, under his personal command, scattered the Huns and Arabs before they could return to Mesopotamia.
Neither of these aims were achieved: the raiders quickly retreated back to friendly territory with all their booty as soon as the army meant to crush them got close, while the besiegers were unable to prevent a convoy full of supplies and reinforcements from reaching Nahavand. But even though Khushnavaz was infuriated, he had no intention to withdraw now. The success of that convoy was only a matter of luck, all that had to be done was make sure none of those slipped through again, with hunger and disease doing the rest of the work for him.
But things could always get worse. Much, much worse.
Everything began when several diplomats arrived in the port of Meshan and made their way to Ctesiphon as fast as they could, where they duly informed the Shahanshah that help was in the way. Kavad was perplexed at who this new ally could be, but he needed any assistance he could get.
That ally just so happened to be the mighty emperor of Magadha, Chandragupta II.
Now you may ask, why would Chandragupta send so many people and valuables on a long journey where several things could go horribly wrong? Other than the reason said above (preventing the Hephthalites from conquering Iran while also winning over a new ally) there was also the simple reality that, at this point, such an amount of money and soldiers was nothing to him. As the undisputed ruler of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, one of the richest regions on the planet, he could easily replace any losses in case this particular enterprise went south thanks to, say, a storm.
Kavad was overjoyed when he received the news, and Narseh reputedly refused to believe at first that the fine, hardworking man who stood in front of him was, in fact, his embarrassing younger brother. After the initial shock from this dramatic reunion was overcome, the Shahanshah eagerly signed a treaty of alliance and already intended to cement it by marrying one of Chandragupta's daughters once everything was over.
Predictably, word about the new alliance and the magnificent ceremonies involved spread like wildfire and soon reached the ears of the Hephthalite king, who was thrown into a panic over the possibility of fighting a war on two fronts. He could hold his own against the Guptas and definitely could defeat the Sasanians, as his previous successes showed, but fighting both of them at the same time was suicide. Knowing that he couldn't keep wasting time anymore, but go straight for the heart, Khushnavaz lifted the siege of Nahavand (whose garrison successfully resisted him for seven months) and set about assembling one of the largest armies ever organized by what was still primarily a nomadic empire. Alongside its elite, veteran core, Iranian nobles and even the king of Albania were pressed and bribed into giving troops to him, swelling Khushnavaz's army to a whooping 100.000 men.
Upon receiving the news that the castle had been saved, Kavad also ramped up his own preparations, knowing that a Hephthalite crossing of the Zagros was now imminent. Ctesiphon's civilian population was slowly evacuated, a task that was more easily said than done considering that the Iranian capital, though not exactly deserving of the title of "Darling of the World" just yet, still had at least 500.000 people living within its walls. If these people, who began to march along the Royal Road to Syria and Palestine, stayed, it would be impossible to supply the local garrison in case of a siege.
Starting in August, reports came in from the northern passes that the Hepthalites were sending probing attacks that were only barely repulsed by the soldiers stationed there. Soon enough, the main army would barge in.
All the court had to do was wait while their city slowly became less and less busy as its people were sent away.
Any moment now, a message would come in, and the ditches and canals that were built on the backs of thousands of hardworking laborers would prove their worth.
Finally, the invaders had come!
Wait, what do you mean they're coming from the south?
Rather than take the bait and sweep from the north, Khushnavaz led his soldiers into crossing the Persian Gates, which were unguarded since they were deep within Sasanian territory, and blitzed into Khuzestan with lightning speed. By the time Kavad and the rest of the court got word of what was happening, the invaders were already on the gates of Ahvaz, capital of the province, and brushed the defenders aside effortlessly.
Since Pabag's words about what happened to the city and its surroundings are very. charged, for obvious and very understandable reasons (Ahvaz was his birthplace, after all) we'll use Honorius' version of the aftermath of what happened to the provincial capital and its surroundings:
"The people hid in any place they could find - forests, wells, graves, pits, no place was too foul - and a great many of them, all ill-dressed, starving and afraid, lacked noses, ears and hands. Even those whose bodies were otherwise unharmed clearly carried horrible scars on their souls. The city (Ahvaz), not comparable to the shining metropolis on the Tigris (Ctesiphon) but still a respectable place, had been reduced to ashes, a fate shared by the surrounding villages and fields. Any items, be they food, water or gold, were taken away by the invaders." (3)
Although some details should be taken with a grain of salt, considering Khushnavaz's concern with showing himself to the Seven Great Houses as a reasonable, just ruler rather than a barbaric conqueror, an army as large as the one he commanded at that time was surely not only very difficult to control, but also consumed extremely high quantities of supplies. Combining these factors with the fact that Khuzestan, along with its neighboring province of Meshan, were very loyal to the Sasanians, their loyalty second or third only to Pars and Asoristan, it is possible that the Hephthalite king turned a blind eye to these atrocities not only out of necessity but also because he knew he just wasn't going to win any local inhabitants or notables over.
Now it was Kavad's turn to panic. He had placed most of the defenses on the north, and only a few in the south, and these were only put due to Farrukhan's constant nagging about how it was always prudent to be prepared for the worst, as if their position wasn't already really bad (4). Ctesiphon was flooded by thousands of terrified refugees, ruining the Shah's steady, slow evacuation of the place. It was now impossible for the shining jewel of the Tigris to withstand a prolonged siege.
After they were done pillaging Khuzestan, the Hephthalites moved into Meshan and, using the Royal Road that had been built by Yazdegerd I more than a decade ago, advanced to the Iranian capital at lightning speed, reaching the outskirts of the city on September 8.
With no choice but to throw his carefully elaborated plan out of the window or witness the destruction of his dynasty, Kavad sallied forth with his own army (which, numbering 120.000 men, was slightly larger than the enemy force but also a mishmash of mercenaries and levies) to meet them in a pitched battle, the exact scenario he so desperately hoped to avoid.
One of the bloodiest battles in the history of the Middle East was about to begin.
(1) The same Pabag from the previous update.
(2) A soldier-historian not too different from someone like, say, Ammianus Marcellinus.
(3) What did you think of that? If you guys like it, I might put similar citations in future updates.
(4) So, was Farrukhan a spy or not? We'll likely never know. It is safe to guess that his biggest concerns, as with any good prominent noble, were his own safety and status.
Hamedan province is one of the most ancient parts of Iran and its civilization. Relics of this area confirm this fact. Today's Hamedan is what is left of Ecbatana, The Medes' capital before they formed a union with the Persians. The poet Ferdowsi says that Ecbatana was built by King Jamshid.
According to historical records, there was once a castle in this city by the name of Haft Hessar (Seven Walls) which had a thousand rooms and its grandeur equalled that of the Babylon Tower.
The structures of city are related to Diya Aku, a King of the Medes from 700 BC. According to Greek records, this territory was called 'Ekbatan' and 'Hegmataneh' by this King, thus transformed into a huge capital.
During the Parthian era, Ctesiphon became capital of Persia, and Hamedan became the summer capital and residence of the Parthian rulers. After the Parthians, the Sassanids constructed their summer palaces in Hamedan as well.
In the year 633 when the war of Nahavand took place and Hamedan came into the hands of the invading Arabs, at times it thrived and at times it declined and witnessed hardships. During the Buwayhids, it suffered plenty of damages. In the 11th century, the Seljuks shifted their capital from Baghdad to Hamedan once again.
The city of Hamaden was always at risk during the rise and fall of powers. It was completely destroyed during the Timurid invasion. But during the Safavid era the city thrived once more. In the 18th century, Hamedan surrendered to the Ottomans, but Hamedan was retaken by Nader Shah Afshari, and under the peace treaty between Iran and the Ottomans it was returned to Iran.
The city of Hamedan lay on the Silk Road and even in recent centuries enjoyed good prospects in commerce and trade being on the main road network in the western region of Iran.
According to local Jewish traditions, the City of Hamedan is mentioned in the Bible, as the capital of Ancient Persia in the days of King Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther. It was then known as Shushan. The Tombs of Mordecai and Esther are located in modern-day Hamedan.
The area around Borudscherd became at least the 3rd century BC. Inhabited. Medes used the pastureland for horse breeding and horse training . The Seleucids established a strategic military garrison in Rumian Castle . Under the Sassanids , Borudscherd developed into a city in which they built a fire temple .
In the fight against the Arab conquerors (637–651), the Iranians used the Borudscherd castle to support the troops. The last battle took place at Nahavand , 55 km northwest of Borudscherd. After the defeat, Yazdgerd III sought . took refuge in Borudscherd Castle, where his army followed him. The Islamic governor of the Arabs Abudol ibn Hamulah had the city rebuilt and put the Jame 'Mosque on top of the Zoroastrian fire temple.
Seljuk rulers often traveled to Borujerd and many of their battles took place here. Berk-Yaruq , Sultan of the Great Seljuks (1094–1105), died in Borudscherd. According to some sources, Zavvarian, 5 km north of the city, is his tomb, but most historians agree that his body was brought to Isfahan .
From around 1000 to 1500 Borudscherd was ruled by the Atabegs of Kleinluristan ( Lur-i kutschik ). Genghis Khan and the Mongols attacked their principality and destroyed both Borudscherd and Khorramabad . Also Timur attacked the city and destroyed it twice, but took advantage of Timurid the Borudscherd- and Rumian lock for their military purposes.
During the Safavid rule (1500–1700) Borudscherd was ruled as an independent area that included Japlaq or Gapleh and was adjacent to Golpayegan.
The Zand Kings (1750–1794) came from Loristan and came from the area around Borudscherd and Malayer .
During the Qajar period (1779-1925) the city grew rapidly and developed into the center of several administrative areas (Borudscherd, Lorestan and Khuzestan). Many buildings, including the Soltani Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, several schools and gardens were built and the city palace was rebuilt.
After Reza Shah Pahlavi (1925–1944) came to power, he had some uprisings put down in Lorestan. He rebuilt the army and had railways, roads, hospitals and modern schools built in Borudscherd. During this time the former Borudscherd region was dissolved and the city was assigned to the Lorestan province.
After the revolution of 1979 and during the Iran-Iraq war , Borudscherd took in many injured and refugees from the province of Khuzestan , although it was itself attacked several times. In one attack alone, 65 children died in a primary school. In recent years the population has increased again, but the city has suffered from social problems such as unemployment and drug abuse .
In March 2006, 66 people died and 1,400 were injured in the Borudscherdi earthquake .
Many of the archaeological sites have not yet been explored.