The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars (AD 226-363): A Documentary History

By Michael H. Dodgeon; Samuel N. C. Lieu | Go to book overview
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Notes

1 THE RISE OF THE SASSANIANS
1
The Cadusaei were originally a proto-Median tribe who dwelt on the south-west coast of the Caspian Sea. See also pp. 368, n. 54.
2
The genealogy of Ardashir presented by Agathias is different from that given by Shapur I for his father on his Great Inscription. According to the latter, Ardashir was the son of King Papak (KZ, Gk line 1, see p. 35), a certain Denak was mother of King Papak and a Radak was mother of Ardashir, King of Kings (line 55). Sasan was simply honoured as a lord, his name coming before that of Papak (line 46) but specifying no relation. Frye (1983:116-17) suggests that Sasan might have been the natural father of Ardashir, but the latter was adopted by Papak either after the death of Sasan or that of his own son Shapur. The version of Agathias appears to have been derived from a tradition which is also found in the Kārnāmak i Artaxšr i Papakan (Book of Deeds of Ardashir, son of Papak) and is transmitted to later writers like Tabari and Firdawsi through the Khwaday-namagh (Book of Lords)—a fairly official historical work (now lost) which covered Persian history from its beginnings to the end of Khusrau II’s reign (AD 628) and compiled under Yazdgird III (631-57). Cf. Cameron, 1969-70:112-17 and 136-7; Widengren, 1971:714-25; Frye, 1984a: 266-7; and Felix, 1985:25.
3
The most decisive of the engagements was fought at Hormizdagān (near mod. Gulgayagan, between Isfahan and Nihawand, cf. Widengren 1971:743) where Artabanus was killed. According to the chronology established by Nöldeke, the battle took place some time in September, AD 224. A more precise date, and one which is often encountered, is given by the so-called Chronicle of Arbela (Chronicon Ecclesiae Arbelae) attributed to Msiha-Zkha. First published by Mingana in 1907, the relevant part of this Syriac work says (ed. Kawerau, CSCO 467, pp. 29−30=Mingana, pp. 28-9):

The Parthians showed themselves to be strong and powerful and proud that they sought only murder, but God who has said through his prophet: Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, thence I will bring you down…’ (Obadiah

-349-

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