Yazdgerd III

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Yazdegerd III or Yazdgerd III (also spelled Yazdiger or Yazdigerd, Persian: یزدگرد, "made by God") was the twenty-ninth and last king of the Sassanid dynasty of Iran and a grandson of Khosrau II (590–628). His father was Shahryar, whose mother was Miriam, the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Maurice.[1] Yazdegerd III ascended the throne on 16 June 632 after a series of internal conflicts.

Contents

Life and reign

Yazdegerd was born in central Iran, reigned as a youth and had never truly exercised authority. The Muslim conquest of Persia began in his first year of reign, and ended with the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah. Yazdegerd sought an alliance with Emperor Heraclius, who was an old rival of the Persian Empire.

Following the battle of al-Qādisiyyah, the Arabs occupied Ctesiphon, and the young king fled eastward into Media going from one district to another, until at last he was killed by a local miller for his purse at Merv in 651.[2]

The legend is that he was killed by a miller who robbed him of his clothes and jewellery, but there is a strong suspicion that the governor of Merv, was the real culprit. [3]

Ferdowsi a contemporary of Mahmud of Ghazni recounts the killing of Yazdegerd by the miller at the behest of Mahuy Suri

The miller most unwillingly goes in and stabs him with a dagger in the middle. Mahui's horsmen all go and see him and take off his clothing and ornaments, leaving him on the ground . All the nobles curse Mahui and wish him the same fate.[4]

Zoroastrian calendar

The Zoroastrian religious calendar, which is still in use today, uses the regnal year of Yazdegerd III as its base year. Its calendar era (year numbering system), which is accompanied by a Y.Z. suffix, thus indicates the number of years since the emperor's coronation in 632 AD.

Family

Yazdegerd's son Peroz II fled to China. His daughter Shahrbanu is believed to be the wife of Husayn ibn Ali; his other daughter Izdundad was married to Bustanai ben Haninai, the Jewish exilarch. The Bahá'í religious leader Bahá'u'lláh's ancestry can be traced back to Yazdegerd III.[5][6]

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