Bahram V (Persian: بهرام) was the fourteenth Sassanid King of Persia (421–438). Also called Bahram Gur or Bahramgur (Persian: بهرام گور), he was a son of Yazdegerd I (399–421), after whose sudden death (or assassination) he gained the crown against the opposition of the grandees by the help of Mundhir, the Arabic dynast of al-Hirah.
Bahram V began his reign with a systematic persecution of the Christians, among whom was James Intercisus.
War with Rome
The persecution of James Intercisus led to a war with the Eastern Romans.
In the year 421, the Romans sent their general Ardaburius with an extensive contingent into Armenia. Ardaburius defeated the Persian commander Narseh and proceeded to plunder the province of Arzanene and lay siege to Nisibis. Ardaburius abandoned the siege in the face of an advancing army under Bahram, who in turn besieged Theodosiopolis (probably Theodosiopolis in Osroene).
Peace was then concluded between the Persians and Romans (422) with a return to status quo ante bellum.
Relations with Armenia
The situation in Armenia occupied Bahram immediately after the conclusion of peace with Rome. Armenia had been without a king since Bahram's brother Shapur had vacated the country in 418. Bahram now desired that a descendant of the royal line of kings, a scion of the Arshakunis, should be on the throne of Armenia. With this intention in mind, he selected an Arshakuni named Artaxias IV (Artashes), a son of Vramshapuh, and made him King of Armenia.
But the newly appointed king did not have a good character. The frustrated nobles petitioned Bahramgur to remove Artaxias and admit Armenia into the Persian Empire so that the province would be under the direct control of the Sassanian Emperor. However, the annexation of Armenia by Persia was strongly opposed by the Armenian patriarch Isaac of Armenia, who felt the rule of a Christian better than that of a non-Christian regardless of his character or ability. Despite his strong protests, however, Armenia was annexed by Bahram, who placed it under the charge of a Persian governor in 428.
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