House of Suren
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House of Suren

House of Suren or Surenas[1][2] (Parthian? Sur?n, Middle Persian?) is one of two[c] Parthian noble families explicitly mentioned by name in sources dateable to the Arsacid period.[3]

History

The head of Suren family had the privilege to crown the first Parthian king in the 3rd century BC, which founded a tradition that was continued by his descendants.[4][3][a] Following the 3rd century AD defeat of the Arsacids and the subsequent rise of the Sassanids, the Surenas then switched sides and began to serve the Persians,[5][6] at whose court they were identified as one of the so-called "Parthian clans." The last attested scion of the family was a military commander active in northern China during the 9th century.[7]

It is probable[5] that the Surenas were landowners in Sakastan, that is, in the region between Arachosia and Drangiana in present-day southeast Iran. The Surenas appear to have governed Sistan (which derives its name from 'Sakastan' and was once a much larger region than the present day province) as their personal fiefdom.[5]

"Ernst Herzfeld maintained that the dynasty of [the Indo-Parthian emperor] Gondophares represented the House of Suren."[8] Other notable members of the family include the 1st century BC cavalry commander Surena, Gregory the Illuminator,[9][10][11] and Chihor-Vishnasp, a 6th-century AD governor of Armenia who attempted to establish Zoroastrianism in that country.[12]

Mehr Narseh, the grand vizier of four Sasanian kings, was from the House of Suren.[13]

References

  1. ^ Bivar 1983, p. 41.
  2. ^ Herzfeld 1929, p. 70.
  3. ^ a b Lukonin 1983, p. 704.
  4. ^ Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, Sarah Stewart (2007). THE AGE OF THE PARTHIANS. I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-84511-406-0.
  5. ^ a b c Lendering 2006.
  6. ^ Frye 1983, p. 130.
  7. ^ Perikanian 1983, p. 683.
  8. ^ Bivar 2003 cf. Bivar 1983, p. 51.
  9. ^ Terian, Patriotism And Piety In Armenian Christianity: The Early Panegyrics On Saint Gregory, p. 106
  10. ^ Lang, David Marshall (1980). Armenia, cradle of civilization. Allen & Unwin. p. 155. ISBN 9780049560093.
  11. ^ Russell, James R. (2004). Armenian and Iranian Studies. Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University. p. 358. ISBN 9780935411195.
  12. ^ Frye 1983, p. 159.
  13. ^ Pourshariati 2008, p. 60

Bibliography

  • Bivar, A. D. H. (1983), "The Political History of Iran under the Arsacids", in Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.), Cambridge History of Iran, 3, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 21-100
  • Bivar, A. D. H. (2003), "Gondophares", Encyclopaedia Iranica, 11, Costa Mesa: Mazda
  • Frye, R. N. (1983), "The Political History of Iran under the Sassanians", in Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.), Cambridge History of Iran, 3, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 116-181
  • Herzfeld, Ernst Emil, ed. (1929), "Das Haus S?r?n von Sakastan-->", Archæologische Mitteilungen aus Iran, I, Berlin: Dietrich Reimer, pp. 70-80
  • Justi, Ferdinand (1895), "S?r?n", Iranisches Namenbuch, Leipzig/Marburg: Elwert, pp. 316-317.
  • Lang, David M. (1983), "Iran, Armenia and Georgia", in Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.), Cambridge History of Iran, 3, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 505-537
  • Lendering, Jona (2006), Surena, Amsterdam: livius.org
  • Lukonin, V. G. (1983), "Political, Social and Administrative Institutions", in Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.), Cambridge History of Iran, 3, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 681-747
  • Plutarch, "Marcus Crassus", in Langhorne, John; Langhorne, William, eds. (1934), Plutarch's Lives, London: J. Crissy
  • Pourshariati, Parvaneh (2008). Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-645-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Rawlinson, George (1901), The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, 6, London: Dodd, Mead & Company
  • Perikanian, A. (1983), "Iranian Society and Law", in Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.), Cambridge History of Iran, 3, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 627-681
  • Schippmann, K. (1987), "Arsacid ii: The Arsacid Dynasty", Encyclopaedia Iranica, 2, New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 525-536

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