Yazdegerd II

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Yazdegerd II ("made by God," in Greek accounts Ἰσδιγέρδης, Isdigerdēs), fifteenth Sassanid King of Persia, was the son of Bahram V (421–438) and reigned from 438 to 457.

In the beginning of his reign, Yazdegerd quickly attacked the Eastern Roman Empire with a mixed army of various nations, including his Indian allies, to eliminate the threat of a Roman build-up. The Romans had been constructing fortifications in the nearby Persian territory of Carrhae, in anticipation of subsequent expeditions. The Roman Emperor, Theodosius II (408–450), asked for peace and sent his commander, Anatolius, personally to Yazdegerd's camp. In the ensuing negotiations in 441, both empires promised not to build any new fortifications in their border territories. Yazdegerd, gathered his forces in Neishabur in 443 and launched a prolonged campaign against the Kidarites. After numerous battles, he crushed them and drove them out beyond the Oxus river in 450.

During his eastern campaign, Yazdegerd grew suspicious of Christians in the army and the nobility and expelled many of them. He then persecuted the Assyrians Christians and, to a much lesser extent, Jews (he pubished a decree abolishing the Sabbath, and ordered executions of Jewish leaders, including the Exilarch Mar Nuna). Advancing his pro-Zoroastrian policy, he battled an uprising of Armenian Christians in the Battle of Vartanantz in 451.

In his later years, Yazdegerd became engaged again with the Kidarites until his death in 457. He pursued strict religious policies and persecuted various minorities.

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References

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