Khosrau II

Khosrau II

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Khosrau II was an ancient maritime town of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, almost directly opposite Byzantium, south of Scutari . It is now a district of the city of Istanbul named Kadıköy...

.

In 613
613
Year 613 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 613 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* Clotaire II reunites the Frankish kingdoms...

 and 614
614
Year 614 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 614 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* The Palace of Diocletian is damaged by the...

, Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 and Jerusalem were besieged and captured by General Shahrbaraz
Shahrbaraz
Shahrbaraz or Shahrwaraz was a general, with the rank of Eran Spahbod under Khosrau II . His name was Farrokhan, and Shahrbaraz was his title...

, and the True Cross
True Cross
The True Cross is the name for physical remnants which, by a Christian tradition, are believed to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.According to post-Nicene historians, Socrates Scholasticus and others, the Empress Helena The True Cross is the name for physical remnants which, by a...

 was carried away in triumph. Soon afterwards, General Shahin marched through Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, defeating the Byzantines numerous times, and then conquered Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in 618
618
Year 618 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 618 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Asia :* The Sui Dynasty ends and the Tang Dynasty...

. The Byzantines could offer but little resistance, as they were torn apart by internal dissensions, and pressed by the Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

 and Slavs, who were invading the Empire from across the Danube River.

Khosrau's forces also invaded Taron
Taron (historic Armenia)
Taron was a canton of the Turuberan province of Greater Armenia, now in the Muş Province, Turkey. It was divided into four districts: Mamikonian, Palauni, , Artokh Taron was a canton of the Turuberan province of Greater Armenia, now in the Muş Province, Turkey. It was divided into four districts:...

 at times during his reign.

Richard Nelson Frye
Richard Nelson Frye
Richard Nelson Frye is an American scholar of Iranic and Central Asian Studies, and Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Harvard University...

 speculates that one major mistake of Khosrau II, which was to have severe consequences in the future, was the capture, imprisonment, and execution of Nu'aman III, King of the Lakhmids of Al-Hira, in approximately 600
600
Year 600 was a leap year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 600 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* Smallpox arrives in Europe for the first...

, presumably because of the failure of the Arab king to support Khosrau during his war against the Byzantines. (Nu'aman was crushed by elephants
Crushing by elephant
Execution by elephant was a common method of capital punishment in South and Southeast Asia, and particularly in India. Asian Elephants were used to crush, dismember, or torture captives in public executions. The animals were trained and versatile, both able to kill victims immediately or to...

 according to some accounts.) Afterwards the central government took over the defense of the western frontiers to the desert and the buffer state of the Lakhmids vanished. This ultimately facilitated the invasion and loss of Lower Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 less than a decade after Khosrau's death by the forces of the Islamic Caliphs.

Turn of tides


Ultimately, in 622
622
Year 622 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 622 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Religion :* July 16 – Year one of the Islamic...

, the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius
Heraclius
Heraclius was Byzantine Emperor from 610 to 641.He was responsible for introducing Greek as the empire's official language. His rise to power began in 608, when he and his father, Heraclius the Elder, the exarch of Africa, successfully led a revolt against the unpopular usurper Phocas.Heraclius'...

 (who had succeeded Phocas
Phocas
Phocas was Byzantine Emperor from 602 to 610. He usurped the throne from the Emperor Maurice, and was himself overthrown by Heraclius after losing a civil war.-Origins:...

 in 610
610
Year 610 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 610 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years...

 and ruled until 641
641
Year 641 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 641 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* February 11 – Byzantine...

) was able to take the field with a powerful force. In 624
624
Year 624 was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 624 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* After 70 years of Byzantine rule,...

, he advanced into northern Media
Medes
The MedesThe Medes...

, where he destroyed the great fire-temple of Ganzhak
Takht-i-Suleiman
For the similarly named locations see Takht-e Suleyman Massif in Iran, Taxte Soleymān in Pakistan, and Sulayman Mountain near Osh, Kyrgyzstan.Taxte Soleymān, is an archaeological site in West Azarbaijan, Iran...

 (Gazaca
Ganzak
Ganzak , is an ancient Achaemenid town founded in northwestern Iran. Its name is originally Median but later adopted into Persian...

). Several years later, in 626
626
Year 626 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 626 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* August 7 – The Byzantines...

, he captured Lazistan (Colchis
Colchis
In ancient geography, Colchis or Kolkhis was an ancient Georgian state kingdom and region in Western Georgia, which played an important role in the ethnic and cultural formation of the Georgian nation.The Kingdom of Colchis contributed significantly to the development of medieval Georgian...

). Later that same year, Persian general Shahrbaraz
Shahrbaraz
Shahrbaraz or Shahrwaraz was a general, with the rank of Eran Spahbod under Khosrau II . His name was Farrokhan, and Shahrbaraz was his title...

 advanced to Chalcedon
Chalcedon
Chalcedon , sometimes transliterated as Chalkedon) was an ancient maritime town of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, almost directly opposite Byzantium, south of Scutari . It is now a district of the city of Istanbul named Kadıköy...

 and attempted to capture Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 with the help of Persia's Avar
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

 allies. His maneuver failed as his forces were defeated, and he withdrew his army from Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 later in 628
628
Year 628 was a leap year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 628 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Asia :* January – Third Perso-Turkic War: Emperor...

.

Following the Khazar invasion of Transcaucasia in 627
627
Year 627 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 627 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* December 12 – Battle of...

, Heraclius defeated the Persian army at the Battle of Nineveh
Battle of Nineveh (627)
The Battle of Nineveh was the climactic battle of the Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602–628. The Byzantine victory broke the power of the Sassanid dynasty and for a period of time restored the empire to its ancient boundaries in the Middle East...

 and advanced towards Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon, the imperial capital of the Parthian Arsacids and of the Persian Sassanids, was one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia.The ruins of the city are located on the east bank of the Tigris, across the river from the Hellenistic city of Seleucia...

. Khosrau II fled from his favourite residence, Dastgerd (near Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

), without offering resistance. Meanwhile, some of the Persian grandees freed his eldest son Kavadh II
Kavadh II
Kavadh II , twenty-third Sassanid King of Persia, son of Khosrau II , was raised to the throne in opposition to his father in February 628, after the great victories of the Emperor Heraclius...

 (he ruled briefly in 628), whom Khosrau II had imprisoned, and proclaimed him King on the night of 23–4 February, 628. Four days afterwards, Khosrau II was murdered in his palace. Meanwhile, Heraclius returned in triumph to Constantinople and in 629 the True Cross was returned to him and Egypt evacuated, while the Sassanid Empire, from the apparent greatness which it had reached ten years ago, sank into hopeless anarchy. It was overtaken by the armies of the first Islamic Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

s beginning in 634
634
Year 634 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 634 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- British Isles :* Oswald of Northumbria defeats...

.


In art


The battles between Heraclius and Khosrau are depicted in a famous early Renaissance fresco by Piero della Francesca
Piero della Francesca
Piero della Francesca was a painter of the Early Renaissance. As testified by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Artists, to contemporaries he was also known as a mathematician and geometer. Nowadays Piero della Francesca is chiefly appreciated for his art. His painting was characterized by its...

, part of the History of the True Cross cycle in the church of San Francesco, Arezzo. Khosrau has been painted in the Ajanta Frescoes.

See also

  • Shirin
    Shirin
    Shirin was a wife of the Sassanid Persian Shahanshah , Khosrau II. In the revolution after the death of Khosrau's father Hormizd IV, the General Bahram Chobin took power over the Persian empire. Shirin fled with Khosrau to Syria where they lived under the protection of Byzantine emperor Maurice...

     Beloved wife of Khosrau
  • Khosrow and Shirin A Persian love story depicting a ménage à trois between Khosrau and Shirin as king and queen, and Farhad as Shirin's lover
  • Barbad
    Barbad
    Barbad or Barbad the Jahromi was a Persian musician of the Sassanid era, who lived during the rule of Khosrau II, 590 to 628..- Etymology :...

     Khosrau's favorite court musician
  • Shabdiz
    Shabdiz
    Shabdiz was the legendary black stallion of Khosrau Parvez, one of the most famed Sassanid Persian kings . Shabdiz, meaning "midnight", was reputedly the "world's fastest horse" according to ancient Persian literature...

     Khosrau's highly admired horse
  • Non-Muslim interactants with Muslims during Muhammad's era
    Non-Muslim interactants with Muslims during Muhammad's era
    This is a list of the non-Muslim interactants with Muslims during Muhammad's era. In Islam, the Ṣaḥābah were the companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This form is plural; the singular is Ṣaḥābi...

  • Muqawqis, Ruler of Alexandria
    Muqawqis
    Al-Muqawqis is mentioned in Islamic history as a ruler of Egypt, who corresponded with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He is often identified with Cyrus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who administered Egypt on behalf of the Byzantine Empire. However, this identification is challenged as being based on...

  • Behistun inscription
    Behistun Inscription
    The Behistun Inscription The Behistun Inscription The Behistun Inscription (also Bistun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون The Behistun Inscription (also Bistun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون...

  • Behistun palace
    Behistun Palace
    Behistun palace - mentioned as Khosrau IIs palace by Kermanshah's people - is located in Bisotun City, from Kermanshah, Iran. It rests in front of Behistun inscription, between Behistun mountain and Behistun lake....

  • Babai the Great
    Babai the Great
    Babai the Great was an early church father of the Church of the East. He set several of the foundational pillars of the Church, revived the monastic movement, and formulated its Christology in a systematic way. He served as an unofficial head of the Nestorian Church from 611 to 628 AD, leaving a...