Let's discuss this great empire.
It was overshadowed by Roman state, but it was pretty interesting.
Who was the best Emperor? Ardashir? Shapur I? Shapur II? Yazdegerd? Khosrau I? Khosrau II? Kadevh? Explain who you think was the best or at least is your favorite.
Sadly most people aren't aware of the Neo-Persian Empire/Sassanid Empire in the West because no one likes talking about how both Rome and Byzantine's greatest rival before Islam and the Arab and later Turks were Persians who outlasted the Greeks and Macedonians.
Khosrau I was probably best, reformed the empire, bullied Justinian, ruled it at it's peak, secured it's borders.
Worst, well, Khosrau II. Though I'd say he's victim of history. If Muslims didn't appear, his failings wouldn't be so catastrophic.
>Neither persians nor romans/greeks could defeat each other.
If they didn't have such a hardon for chopping each other's heads off, the Muslims would've been contained in Arabia
Still, it's surprising how little known is this period of Iranian history.
Sassanid Empire wasn't some temporary thing or a state of primitive barbarians, it was a superpower almost rivaling later Roman state.
Their culture was pretty sophisticated for that time.
>There was a major school, called the Grand School, in the capital. In the beginning, only 50 students were allowed to study at the Grand School. In less than 100 years, enrollment at the Grand School was over 30,000 students.
The problem is Iranian history in general is a black hole even for the Iranians during the Sassanid period, so all we have is archaeology and the compilations of later 10th and 11th century Persian writers besides the Roman and Jewish sources that dominates our own understanding of Persian history even now.
That's because the Arabs wiped out all written records in Persia for over 3 centuries.
Khosrau II nearly achieved remaking the Sassanid state back to the pinnacle in its breadth under the Acahemenids. He was far from the worst and is literally romanticized in Iranian folklore and history even for his failings. Ferdowsi made Khosrau Parviz's name the Persian equivalent to what Caesar's became for Romans.
>That's because the Arabs wiped out all written records in Persia for over 3 centuries.
And before them the Byzantines, then the Turks, then the Greeks.
More likely there just wasn't much to begin with compared to the Hellenic world.
Byzantines never did that nor did the Turks. All the Greeks and Macedonians did during the Achaemenid period was burn Persepolis to the ground with Alexander's drunken mistake of listening to some bombastic sluts drunken suggestions.
Arabs literally destroyed so many books the rivers ran black with ink for weeks as Cestiphon was razed and plundered.
>Arabs literally destroyed so many books the rivers ran black with ink for weeks as Cestiphon was razed and plundered.
As recorded by literally nobody until as moralizing fables three hundred years later.
I don't know how much is credited to Turks and Mongols about "cultural" attacks on Iranians but the centuries of silence are specifically targeted at Arabs while the Turks/Mongols are blamed with largely depopulating Iranian populations in Central Asia.
Which is part of the reason why that area outside of Afghanistan and Tajikistan are largely Turkic now.
Sassanid Persia had one of the original communist revolutions. And just like in the modern world, it was unleashed because someone (in the case, the Shah himself) thought they could just use these revolutionaries to wreck havoc and destroy their political enemies, not counting it would turn against him.
The ink thing is a literary device that turns up in the 11th century concerning some Persian scholars showing their disapproval of some local rulers and their attitude towards libraries.
The Mongol one is probably true since the sources on it are far closer to the actual event than the ones about the Arab conquest - decades versus centuries, and without any corroboration.
He's probably referring to Zarrinkoub whose literally the most well known, famed, and esteemed historian and Iranologist who has evidence pointing to Arab destruction of records in Iran with evidence from third person sources, some taking decades after the Sassanid states fall, others a century later.
The man is also considered the father of modern Persian literature and a world famous historian. So that's the main source in today's times.
>who has evidence pointing to Arab destruction of records in Iran with evidence from third person sources
So he can name and quote these supposed sources, but doesn't? So what are they? Because Zarrinkoub doesn't source anyone for the ink rivers line born within even the same century as the event.
Hell if I know, all I told you is the guy is considered the most reliable source on Sassanid Persia and especially the cultural impact on Iranians with the Arab conquest of Persia in the world.
He's known for pushing those claims. I haven't read the book so I can't say.
The current problem with Iranian (and Indian) history today is that it enjoyed a brief flash of interest from the West during a less empirical and archaeology-based period of history writing that got taken up by a generation of nationalists as their new gospel, but when current scholarship challenges many of the more unsubstantiated assertions made then in the 70's and before, the more nationalist groups are resistant to any change in their current mythos.