Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran

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Bloomsbury Academic, Mar 30, 2008 - Religion - 552 pages
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"Decline and Fall of the Sasanians" has already been praised as one of the most intellectually exciting books about ancient Persia to have been published for years. It proposes a convincing contemporary answer to an ages-old mystery and conundrum: why, in the seventh century CE, did the seemingly powerful and secure Sasanian empire of Persia succumb so quickly and disastrously to the all-conquering Arab armies of Islam? Offering an impressive appraisal of the Sasanians' nemesis at the hands of the Arab forces which scythed all before them, the author suggests a bold solution to the enigma. On the face of it, the collapse of the Sasanians - given their strength and imperial power in the earlier part of the century - looks startling and inexplicable. But Professor Pourshariati explains their fall in terms of an earlier corrosion and decline, and as a result of their own internal weaknesses. The decentralised dynastic system of the Sasanian empire, whose backbone was a Sasanian-Parthian alliance, contained the seeds of its own destruction. This confederacy soon became unstable, and its degeneration sealed the fate of a doomed dynasty.

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those who claim that it was because of the divine that Arabs won against the mighty Persian empire that had defeated the Romans for years, are delusional.
I am sure that everyone agrees that Iran
and Rome exhausted each other for 20 years of war
prior to the invasion of Arabs.
Its important to note that the nation of Iran was bankrupt financially.
and the soldiers were not paid properly and there was an even more intense division between
the upper and lower classes of the society due to economic weakness as a result of war.
some of the under paid and impoverished Iranian soldiers did convert to Islam and
joined forces against the Iranian monarchy as well.
but another very important reason was the plague that had crippled Iran for years as well.
But the ultimate reason was because for the first time, warfare was not just against an army but against the entire population of Kafirs (non believers) not just for the purpose of military conquest but to take whatever property there
was, rape, and take slaves. (the real reasons for Islamic conquests as Arabs have always been the biggest contributor to the slave trade in the history of man kind. Slave trade blossomed even
more with the expansion of Islam)
So, Instead of using the word Divine, I would use the word EVIL and crime. as that is exactly how Islam has expanded throughout the years and what Islam is all about.

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Parvaneh Pourshariati's meticulously researched work, Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire, is impeccably reasoned and written. It adds to the growing body of historical research into the rise of Islam. In contrasting the traditional narrative that the Muslim conquest of mighty Persia was only possible through the intervention of a supernatural force, Parvaneh joins the ranks of emerging Muslim scholars in deconstructing the historical evidence that Persia was a loose confederacy of 7 warring feudal families who were ripe for the plucking by any outside force that was willing to work as a unit. Pourshariati lays out the Sasanian state's exhaustion and poverty at the end of the 27 year Byzantine War in exacting detail, all the while deconstructing the murderous power struggle that was going on within once great Persia. A must-read for anyone interested in understanding how Islam came to be something more than yet another desert cult of the Middle East. 


the SasanianParthian confederacy
Yazdgird I

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About the author (2008)

Parvaneh Pourshariati is Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Ohio State University. She is the author of many scholarly articles on ancient Iran, and this is her first book.

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