House of Suren
Get House of Suren essential facts below. View Videos or join the House of Suren discussion. Add House of Suren to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
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]


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]


  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


  • 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:
  • 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

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes