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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.[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, 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.
It is probable 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.