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The Sasanian Empire or Sassanid Empire, also known as the Second Persian Empire or Neo-Persian Empire, was the last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th to 8th centuries. Named after the House of Sasan, it endured for over four centuries, from 224 to 651, making it the second longest-lived Persian imperial dynasty after the Arsacids of the Parthian Empire.
Empire of Iranians
|Middle Persian (official)
|Ardashir I (first)
|Yazdegerd III (last)
|28 April 224
• The Iberian War
|3,500,000 km2 (1,400,000 sq mi)
The Sasanian Empire succeeded the Parthian Empire and re-established the Persians as a major power in late antiquity alongside its arch-rival, the Roman Empire (after 395 the Byzantine Empire). The empire ended with the Muslim conquest of Persia. It was founded by Ardashir I, a ruler who rose to power as Parthia weakened as a result of internal strife and wars with the Romans. After defeating the last Parthian King of Kings, Artabanus IV, at the Battle of Hormozdgan in 224, he established the Sasanian Empire and set out to restore the legacy of the Achaemenid Empire by expanding Persia's dominions.
At its greatest territorial extent, the Sasanian Empire encompassed all of present-day Iran and Iraq, and stretched from the Levant to the Indian subcontinent and from South Arabia to the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The period of Sasanian rule was a high point in Iranian civilization, characterized by a complex and centralized government bureaucracy, and revitalized Zoroastrianism as a legitimizing and unifying force of their rule. They also built grand monuments, public works, and patronized cultural and educational institutions. The empire's cultural influence extended far beyond its territorial borders, including Western Europe, Africa, China, and India—and helped shape European and Asian medieval art.
Following the early Muslim conquests, the influence of Sasanian art, architecture, music, literature and philosophy on Islamic culture ensured the spread of Iranian culture, knowledge and ideas throughout the Muslim world.
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