The Persian, Parthian and Sassanid Empires
List of Emperors and Usurpers

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All names are spelt many different ways in English.

(central and west Iran)

Kings of the Medes

     DEIOCES, the first king was mythical

     PHRAORTES c.675 - c. 653 BC.

    c. 653 - c. 625 BC Ruled by Scythians.

     UVAKHSHATRA (or CYAXARES) c. 625 - c. 585 BC. Ally of Babylon in the destruction of Assyria.

     ASTYAGES c. 585 - c. 550 BC.

    c. 550 BC Media merged with Persia.

(southern Iran)

Kings of the Persians

     HAXAMANISH or ACHAEMENES, first King of Persia, was mythical.

     TEISPES c. 7th century BC.

     KURASH I (or CYRUS I) c. late 7th Century BC, son of Teispes.

     ARIARAMNES c. late 7th century BC, son of Teispes.

     KAMBUJIA I (or CAMBYSES I) ? - 559 BC, son of Kurash I.

     KURASH II (or CYRUS II) 559 - c. 550 BC when he became King of Kings, son of Kambuyia I.

Kings of Kings (Shahanshah)

     KURASH II (or CYRUS II) "the Great", Shahanshah 559 - 529 BC. Cyrus united Iranian territory and took Babylonia
    and much of Asia Minor into a Persian Empire.

     KAMBUJIA II (or CAMBYSES II) 529 - 522 BC, added Egypt to the Empire.

     BARIYA Mar. - Autumn 522 BC, brother of Kambujia II.


DARAYAVAUSH I (or DARIUS I) autumn 522 - Nov. 486 BC, great-grandson of Ariaramnes,
    extended the empire east to the Indus and tried to take Greece where he was defeated at Marathon in August 490 BC.

XERXES I Nov 486 - 465 BC, son of Darayavaush I. He tried again to take Greece but after the victory at Thermopylae
    was defeated at Salamis in 480 BC.

     ARTAKHSHATHRA I (or ARTAXERXES I) 465-late 425 BC, son of Xerxes I.

     XERXES II 425 - 424 BC - reigned 45 days, son of Artakhshahthra I.

     DARAYAVAUSH II (or DARIUS II) early 424 - 404 BC, son of Artakhshathra I.

     ARTAKHSHATHRA II (or ARTAXERXES II) 404 - 359 or 358 BC, son of Darayavaush II.

     ARTAKHSHATHRA III (or ARTAXERXES III) 359 or 358 - Nov 338 BC, son of Artakhshathra II.

     ARSES Nov 338-Jun 336 BC, son of Artakhshathra III.

     DARAYAVAUSH III (or DARIUS III) Jun 336 - Apr. 330 BC when Persepolis fell to Alexander the Great; great-nephew of Artakhshathra II.

330-323 BC Iran was part of Alexander the Great's empire and the Seleucid Empire that followed.


Arsacid Dynasty of Kings

     ARSACES I c.250 - 248 BC. Arsaces gained independence from the Seleucids.

     TIRIDATES I (or TRDAT I) Ruler from c.248 BC; King c.230 - c.211 BC, brother of Arsaces I.

     ARTABANUS I (or ARSACES II) c.211 - c. 191 BC, son of Tiridates I.

     PRIAPATIUS c.191 - c.176 BC, kinsman of Artabanus I.

     PHRAATES I (or FARHAD I) c.176 - c. 171 BC, son of Priapatius.

     MITHRADATES I c.171 - c.138 BC, son of Priapatius. Mithradates re-took Media and Babylonia
    from the Seleucids.

     PHRAATES II (or FARHAD II) c.138 - c.128 BC assassinated, son of Mithradates I.

     ARTABANUS II c.128 - c.123 BC murdered, uncle of Phraates II.

MITHRADATES II , son of Artabanus II. c.123 - c.90 BC when he became King of Kings.

Arsacid King of Kings Shahanshah

MITHRADATES II King from c.123 BC; Shahanshah (King of Kings) c.90 - 88 BC.
    His reign was the high point of the Parthian Empire.

     GOTARZES I (or GODARZ I) 91 - 87 or 80 BC deposed. Rival to Mithradates II.

     ORODES I (or WYRWY I) 87 or 80 - 76? BC, son of Gotarzes I.

      SANATRUCES (or ARSHAKAN)76 - 70 BC, descendant of Mithradates I. He was murdered by Phraates III;

     PHRAATES III (or FARHAD III) 70 - 58 or 57 BC, son of Sanatruces. He was murdered by his sons;

     MITHRADATES III 58 or 57 - 55 BC, son of Phraates III.He was murdered by Orodes II:

ORODES II (or WYRWY II) c57 - 37 BC, son of Phraates III.He was murdered by Phraates IV;

PHRAATES IV (or FARHAD IV) 37 - 2 BC, son of Orodes II.He was murdered by PhraatesV;

     TIRIDATES II (or TRDAT II) c.32 BC - briefly usurped the throne with Roman help.

     PHRAATES V (or FARHAD V) 2 BC - 4 AD assassinated, son of Phraates IV. A pro-Roman who married his own mother.

     ORODONES III 4 - 6 or 7 AD.

     VONONES I 7 - 11 AD deposed, son of Phraates V; killed c. 16 AD.

     ARTABANUS III 11 or 12 - 38 AD, an Arsacid on his mother's side.

     TIRIDATES III (or TRDAT III) c.35 - 36 AD deposed, grandson of Phraates IV. Briefly usurped the throne.

     CINNAMUS 37 AD. A short-lived usurper of unknown ancestry.

     VARDANES 38 - 47 AD assassinated.

     GOTARZES II (or GODARZ II) 38 - 51 AD murdered?, brother of Artabanus III.

VONONES II 51 AD murdered?

     VOLOGASES I (or WLGS I) 51 - 77 or 78 AD.

     PACORUS 78 AD deposed.

     ARTABANUS IV 79 - 80 or 81 AD.

     PACORUS 80 or 81-109 or 110 AD

     OSROES 109 or 110-128 or 129 AD, brother-in-law of Pacorus.

PARTHAMASPATES 116 AD, son of Osroes.

     VOLOGASES II (or WLGS II) 105 or 106 - c.147 AD. A rival to Pacorus and Osroes, resulting in civil war.

VOLOGASES III (or WLGS III) 148 - 192 AD, son of Vologases II. The Romans who destroyed the Parthian capital, Ctesiphon.

     VOLOGASES IV (or WLGS IV) 192-208 AD, son of Vologases III.

     VOLOGASES V (or WLGS V) 208 - 222 AD. King in Babylonia, son of Vologases IV.

     ARTABANUS V 213 - 224 AD deposed, brother of Vologases V; he died 226 killed in battle by Ardashir I,
    thus ending the Parthian empire.

    (ARTAVASDES, son of Artabanus V, attempted resistance to Ardashir between 224 and c.228 AD.)


All dates AD

     ARDASHIR I (or ARTAKHSHATHRA V) 226 - 241 abdicated. He was originally
     "King" of "Fars" but overthrew the Parthian dynasty to create the Sassanid Empire with Zoroastrianism as it's religion.

SHAPUR I 241 - Sep 272, son of Ardashir I. Shapur inflicted defeats Rome and build an Iranian empire stretching
    from the Indus to the Euphrates.

     HORMIZD I c. Sep 272 - Sep 273, son of Shapur I. VAHARAN I (or BAHRAM I) Sept 273 - Sep 276, son of Shapur I.

     VAHARAN II (or BAHRAM II) Sep 276-293, son of Vaharan I.

     VAHARAN III (or BAHRAM III) late 293 deposed, son of Vaharan II.

     NARSEH late 293-302, youngest son of Shapur I. ,HORMIZD II 302-309, son of Narseh.

     ADHUR-NARSEH 309 - reigned about a week when he was assassinated, son of Hormizd II.

     SHAPUR II 309-379, posthumous son of Hormizd II (succeeded at birth). He conquered Armenia and five Roman provinces.

     ARDASHIR II 379-383 deposed, brother of Shapur II.

     SHAPUR III 383, son of Shapur II.

     VAHARAN IV (or BAHRAM IV CHUBIN) 383-399, probably son of Shapur II.

     YAZDEGERD I (or YZDKRT I) 399-420 assassinated, grandson of Shapur II.

     VAHARAN V (or BAHRAM V) 420-438, son of Yazdegerd I: known as "The Wild Ass".

YAZDEGERD II (or YZDKRT II) 438-457, son of Vaharan V.

     HORMIZD III 457-459, son of Yazdegerd II.

FIRUZ I (or Peroz I) 459-484 died in battle, son of Yazdegerd II.

     VALAKHSH 484-488 deposed and blinded, son of Yazdegerd II.

     KAVADH I (or QOBAD 1) 488-496 deposed, son of Firuz I.

     JAMASP 496-499, brother of Kavadh I.

     KAVADH I (or QOBAD I) 499-531.

KHOSROW I (also Khushru I, Khosrau I, or Chosroes I) 531-579, son of Kavadh I.

HORMIZD IV 579-590 deposed and executed, son of Khosrow I.

     VAHARAN VI (or BAHRAM VI CHUBIN) 590-591; when he fled; killed by Turks c.592. A general who usurped the throne.

KHOSROW II (also Khushru II, Khosrau II, or Chosroes II) PARVIZ ("The Victorious") 590-628. Son of Hormizd IV:
    deposed and murdered by his son Kavadh II in 628.

     KAVADH II SHIRUVE 628, son of Khosrow II.

     ARDASHIR III 628-630 assassinated, grandson of Khosrow II.

     SHAHRBARAZ 630.

     PURANDOKHT 629-631. Rival to Shahrbaraz.

     HORMIZD V 631-632.

     KHOSROW III 632.

     YAZDEGERD III (or YZDKRT III) 632-642 when most of Iran was lost to the Arabs or 651 when he was assassinated:
    grandson of Khosrow II.

    (FIRUZ II, son of Yazdegerd III, briefly attempted resistance against the invading Arabs: he fled to China.)