Last Coin-------------------Next Coin

Ruler: Sassanian Persia: Khushru I
Reigned: 531-579 AD
Denomination: AR Drachm
Obverse: Tiara bearing 2 layers of pearls, three turrets (one on each side and one at the back) and a crescent in front. Jewel clip holds tiara. Very high stiff crown cap. Star in front of and behind crown. Crescent clip holds Orymbos. Crescent over both shoulders. 3 crescents without stars outside the rim. ‘KHUSRUI AFZUI’ (Khusru, the bestower of prosperity).
Reverse: Fire Altar with narrow shaft and upturned ribbons. Crescent to left and star to right of fire. Attendants are King and Prince facing forwards, both their hands resting on sword halter in front. Mint ? Regnal Year ?
Weight: 4.1 gms
Diameter: 28.4 mm
Comment: In 461 AD, the close conjunction of Venus and the Moon was seen. From this date, the star and the crescent was accepted as a sign of good fortune and glory and appear on the reverse of Sassanian coins.


  • Khushru I was the 3rd son of Qobad I and took the title, Anoushiravan e Adil - The immortal and the just.
  • In 533 AD he refused to prevent the incursion of the Huns via the Black Sea port of Darband, through the mountain passes of the Caucasus, obliging the Romans (Byzantines) to contribute 11,000 pounds of gold to the defence of the port and the passes against them.
  • In 540 AD he captured Antioch obliging the Romans to pay 5000 pounds of gold as indemnity against further war. While returning from Antioch, he laid siege to the Roman cities of Apamiea, Carrhea, Edessa and Jiara in Mesopotamia forcing the Romans to sign the Treaty of Edessa, which levied an annual tribute upon the 4 cities.
  • In 550 AD he laid siege to and conquered the major City of Lazica (Colchis, East of the Black Sea), leaving a standing army to control and rule Lazica.
  • In 551 AD he besieged the second largest City of Petra on the Black Sea and demanded 2000 pounds of gold to withdraw the siege.
  • In 562 AD the Romans negotiated a second Treaty so that they could regain control of Lazica. The terms were 30,000 pieces of gold.
  • In December 569/Jan 570 Justin II (567-578 AD) tried to enter Airan (Iran) through the back door via Abyssihia (along the Straits of the present Eritrea). Khusru allowed the Byzantine army to struggle through the desert sands to reach northern Arabiya, where his army was ready and waiting. He decimated the fatigued army. He then entered Abyssinia to capture the Roman legions and left a border patrol to guard both sides of the Straits. At about this time the Prophet Muhammad was born in the Arabian Desert.
  • When Justin II tried to fomented trouble in Armenia by inciting the Khazars to invade it, Khusru dealt with the invasion firmly and retaliated by re-conquering Antioch. Justin II was so exasperated by the disastrous fall of the capital that he abdicated in favour of Tiberius II (578-582 AD).
  • In the East, Khushru totally eliminated the Hephthalites by cunning diplomacy. First, he entered into a treaty of mutual co-operation with the 3rd Khakan, Mokan Khan of Turkernenia (lying north of the Oxus). Khusru married his daughter, Kayen, who was the mother of his successor, Hormazd IV. The combined armies defeated the Hephthalites, slew their chief and eradicated their roots totally. Remnants of the Hephthalites escaped to Sindh and spread all over the Subcontinent, where they took over as the Koknashta Brahmins.

Back to main page