Bahram II

Bahram II (also spelled Wahram II or Warahran II; Middle Persian: 𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭) was the fifth Sasanian King of Kings (shahanshah) of Iran, from 274 to 293. He was the son and successor of Bahram I (r. 271–274). Bahram II, while still in his teens, ascended the throne with the aid of the powerful Zoroastrian priest Kartir, just like his father had done.

Bahram II
King of Kings of Iran and non-Iran[lower-alpha 1]
Drachma of Bahram II
Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire
ReignSeptember 274  293
PredecessorBahram I
SuccessorBahram III
IssueBahram III
HouseHouse of Sasan
FatherBahram I

He was met with considerable challenges during his reign, facing a rebellion in the east led by his brother, the Kushano-Sasanian dynast Hormizd I Kushanshah, who also assumed the title of King of Kings and possibly laid claims to the Sasanian throne. Another rebellion, led by Bahram II's cousin Hormizd of Sakastan in Sakastan, also occurred around this period. In Khuzestan, a Zoroastrian factional revolt led by a high-priest (mowbed) occurred. The Roman emperor Carus exploited the turbulent situation of Iran by launching a campaign into its holdings in Mesopotamia in 283. Bahram II, who was in the east, was unable to mount an effective coordinated defense at the time, possibly losing his capital of Ctesiphon to the Roman emperor. However, Carus died soon afterwards, reportedly being struck by lightning. As a result, the Roman army withdrew, and Mesopotamia was reclaimed by the Sasanians. By the end of his reign, Bahram II had made peace with the Roman emperor Diocletian and put an end to the disturbances in Khuzestan and the east.

In the Caucasus, Bahram II strengthened Sasanian authority by securing the Iberian throne for Mirian III, an Iranian nobleman from the House of Mihran. Bahram II has been suggested by scholars to be the first Sasanian ruler to have coins minted of his family. He also ordered the carving of several rock reliefs that unambiguously emphasize distinguished representations of his family and members of the high nobility. He was succeeded by his son Bahram III, who after only four months of reign, was overthrown by Narseh, a son of the second Sasanian ruler, Shapur I (r. 240–270).

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