The Šāpur (ŠKZ) and the Narseh inscription (NPi) give Narseh’s name as follows: MPers. In addition, the Romans waived claims of “an influencing control in Armenia governed at that time by the Arsacids” (Zonaras, XII 19, p. Furthermore, it led to the latter’s division and threatened to escalate into civil war. Ammianus Marcellinus is the only author who transfers the first acts of war to Armenia: in his opinion, Narseh was the first to attack, in the area of Armenia that was subject to Roman law (XXIII 5.11; for Narseh’s itinerary, see Mosig-Walburg, 2009, pp. The tradition of Ammianus is not compatible with the other sources; according to his version, Narseh would have attacked an area that had already been part of the Sasanian Empire from 252 onwards (see above). 244-49) committed himself to pay large war reparations to the Sasanians. Presumably, the point criticized by Šāpur was connected with Rome’s repeated breach of the non-intervention clause of the treaty () of 244. 4-5), had been carried out by Wahnām, the son of Tatrus, was strongly opposed by the aristocracy. However, Narseh is not the only one to be held responsible.
The Greek version of the Šāpur inscription has Narsaiēs or Narsaios. Šāpur’s inscription tells us that the conflict with Rome intensified shortly after Šāpur I’s accession to the throne (r. Also not clear are the circumstances of the coronation of Bahrām I, whom his father had not had in mind for succession (Huyse, 1999, I, secs. It may be assumed that only Bahrām I, after Hormozd’s early death (273), made Narseh king of Armenia in return for the latter’s giving up of his right to the throne. Approximately only twenty years after his start as viceroy of Armenia, Narseh entered history again when Bahrām II died (293) and the coronation of his son as Bahrām III led to a serious crisis of the empire. 164-66) does not correspond with the statement of the Paikuli inscription: “And Caesar and the Romans were in gratitude (? However, the decisive factors for the Roman attack may have been the former territorial losses and the unfavorable shift in the power relation in the Mesopotamian-Armenian areas in the 240s and 250s. It might be assumed that, in the late summer of 296, Narseh stationed his troops in the northeast of Mesopotamia on Persian terrain in anticipation of a Roman attack. Nevertheless, the reports that we have do not give us the authentic contract (Kettenhofen, 1995, p. 435), but only the five important clauses in condensed form (Petros Patrikios, Frag.
Then there is the list that depends on the age of these enumerated persons (ranks 10-15; Huyse, 1999, I, secs. 572.18-19) was based on his claim to overcome the last branch of the Arsacid royal house and to become its successor. There is no detailed information on Narseh’s appointment as Hormozd-Ardašir’s successor in Armenia. From a Roman perspective, the aggressive policy of the first two Sasanian kings had been a heavy burden on the bilateral relations. Additionally, Galerius’s presence in his headquarters at Nicomedia must have been a menacing danger for the security of the Persian possessions in Mesopotamia and Armenia. His convincing victory might have kept him from continuing the fighting, from planning new campaigns and occupying Roman territories (Wiesehöfer, 1993, p. In a surprise attack, Galerius came upon Narseh’s camp, inflicted a major defeat on him, led Narseh’s harem and many nobles into captivity, and carried off large parts of the Persian imperial treasury. Narseh sent Affarbān, whom he trusted, to Galerius to convey to him his desire for peace and submission, and solely asked that his children and wives be returned to him (Petros Patrikios, Frags. Petros Patrikios is the only preserved author who tells us about the negotiations and the final peace treaty. IMAGES There are five busts of Narseh on the monument of Paikuli (Herzfeld, 1938, p.
These four are privileged descendants honored by the endowment of a fire. His fruitless attack on Armenia (227 or 228; Cassius Dio, LXXX 3.3-4; Zonaras, XII 15 = p. 18), only the crown prince was entitled to bear the title “king of the Armenians.” When Šāpur I passed away (270/72), Hormozd-Ardašir ascended the Sasanian throne as Hormozd I. In contrast to this statement, a war broke out with the Roman Empire three years later. Conversely, Narseh withdrew to Sasanian territory on the southwest border of Armenia. At the end of 297 or 298, Galerius, with his newly recruited army, moved from Syria to the Roman province of Cappadocia, to the garrison town of Satala (Pʽawstos Buzand, III 21 [text], pp. 22, 155) not far from Narseh’s camp at Osḫa in the Basean canton, a district east of Erzerum in Armenia Major (Aurelius Victor, 39.34; Eutropius, IX 25; Lactantius, 9.6). In their view, the gods had honored the family of Sāsān in a special way by bestowing on them the divine royal glory, (GDE), and the rule over Ērānšahr (NPi 3.1, secs. This is why the Paikuli inscription glorifies Narseh’s grandfather Ardašir and holds the latter’s son Šāpur in high esteem (NPi 3.1, secs. His possession of the reassured Narseh that he had been chosen king by the gods and would be protected by them.
197-99), but also Narseos (2Ke 445, 2-7/309 (G); s. The secondary and tertiary sources lack hints of his genealogy or present grossly flawed information on his degree of kinship (Weber, 2012, p. It is notable that Šāpur I’s descendants are presented twice, first, with regard to protocol (ranks 1-4): Ādur-Anāhid, queen of queens; Hormozd-Ardašīr, great king of the Armenians; King Šāpur of Mēšān; and King Narseh of Sakastān. He is not listed in the group of Šāpur I’s privileged descendants; furthermore, he had to content himself with a low, eleventh protocol rank and to renounce the address “Our Son.” Apart from that, he had to do without the privilege of a personal fire (endowment of a fire temple) benefitting his sister and brothers. ), Narseh governed two viceroyalties: in the beginning, he was viceroy of Hind(estān), Sakastān, and Turān to the Edge of the Sea (Kettenhofen, 1995, pp. Armenia was ruled by a pro-Roman branch of the Arsacid dynasty, whose existence might have been a threat to Ardašir I’s further plans. Furthermore, the Paikuli inscription introduces Narseh as king of Armenia, which means that he still bore this title in 293 (NPi 3.1, sec. In the spring of 297, there was a first military clash in an area between Callinicum and Carrhae (Kettenhofen, 1984, map), which resulted in a heavy defeat of Galerius (Eutropius, IX 24; Orosius, VII 25.9; Theophanes, 9.4). Marc., XIV 11.10; Eutropius, IX 24; Festus, XXV 1; Jordanes, 38.301; Orosius, VII 25.9; Theophanes, 9.5-7), but allowed Galerius to levy new troops. However, Narseh’s wrong assessment of the Roman war strategy would have disastrous consequences. 490-91); and Narseh’s daughter, Hormozd(d)oḵtag (ŠKZ genealogy: rank 29; Weber, 2012, pp. 291/92; Qandidā [Qandirā, in Taqizāda], wife of Bahrām II; see , in Taqizāda, pp. For Narseh’s followers, two determining criteria justified the legality of his claim to power.
HISTORY Narseh (نرسی) ruled the Sasanian Empire as its seventh king from 293 to 302 CE. As a result, Bahrām III submitted to his great-uncle Narseh and renounced the throne (NPi 3.1, sec. However, it remains unknown whether Bahrām III died a violent death or not. The view that the Armenian king Trdat/Tiridates had been restored in the western areas of Armenia and that the province had been divided has to be dismissed.