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Ruler: Sassanian Persia: Hormazd IV
Reigned: 579 AD - 590 AD
Denomination: AR Drachm
Obverse: Bust of the King, right. Tiara bears 2 layers of pearls, three turrets. High stiff crown cap. Crescent clip holds Orymbos. Star behind crown and star and crescent in front. Crescent is over both shoulders. Three Crescents with stars on outside of rim. Inscription in Pahlavi: “AHRMZ AFZUI” (Hormazd the bestower of prosperity).
Reverse: Zoroastrian fire altar with attendants, who are the King and Prince (wearing their high hat crown). Both are facing forwards with hands resting on sword halters. Fire Altar is narrow decorated with upturned ribbons. Star to the left and crescent to the right of the fire. Mint name (?). Regnal year (?).
Weight: 4.1 gms
Diameter: 30.4 mm

Hormazd IV

  • Hormazd IV was the son of Khushru I. Hormazd IV was nicknamed ‘Turkzadeh’ because he was born of a Turkmenian mother, Kayen, daughter of the Khakan, Mohad Khan.
  • After the death of Khusru I the Romans, once more, became troublesome. Hormazd, let his Commander, Behram Chobin (who was later to usurp the throne), take care of matters. In 579 A.D. the Romans regained the fortress of Dara.
  • In 582, Maurice Tiberius (582-602), on his way to Constantinople, gained a decisive victory over Behram Chobin at the Battle of Constantia.
  • In 588 the Khazars, instigated and aided by the Romans under Maurice Tiberius, entered through Syria with a large army of 80,000 men. They swept through Armenia and Adzerbaijan and threatened the heartland of the Sassanian Empire. Behram Chobin routed the invaders and captured their commander.
  • In 589, Maurice Tiberius discontinued paying the annual levy of 30,000 pieces of gold imposed by Khusru I (Treaty of Lazica).
  • Behram Chobin made a bid to conquer Lazica but was utterly defeated. Hormazd, unwisely, ridiculed him in the court and dismissed him in disgrace from the army.
  • Behram revolted, obtained the allegiance of the army and advanced towards Ctesiphon. Hormazd, fearing a plot, imprisoned many nobles, but there was a revolt in the palace. The nobles retaliated by deposing Hormazd and blinding him. Khusru, eldest son of Hormazd fled to Constantinople and remained under the protection of Maurice Tiberius.

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