Home Forums Ancients The Roman – Sassanid war of 421-422

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    malc johnston
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    The Roman – Sassanid war of 421-422

    The Roman–Sassanid war of 421–422 was a conflict between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanids. The casus belli was the persecution of Christians by the Sassanid king Bahram V, which had come as a response to attacks by Christians against Zoroastrian temples; the Christian Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II declared war and obtained some victories, but in the end the two powers agreed to sign a peace on the status quo ante.

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    The commander-in-chief of the Roman army was Ardaburius, who, incidentally, came from the Iranian tribe of the Alans. Ardaburius needed to collect many troops for his campaign. Theodosius, therefore, allowed some Pannonian Ostrogoths to settle in Thracia, to defend the province from the Huns while the Thracian Roman troops were sent to the East.

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    Ardaburius sent Anatolius to Persarmenia, where he joined the rebels, while Ardaburius entered in Persian territory and devastated Arzanene. The general of the Sassanid army, Narses, moved with his troops against Ardaburius, and engaged the Romans in battle, but was defeated and forced to retreat. Narses planned to attack Mesopotamia, a Roman province that had been left unguarded, and moved there, but Ardaburius foresaw his enemy’s plan and reached Mesopotamia.

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    Ardaburius received reinforcements and put the fortress of Nisibis under siege. Bahram allied with the Lakhmid Arabs of Alamundarus (Al-Mundhir I of Hirah), who, however, were dispersed by the Romans. In the meantime, the King of the Huns, Rua, had attacked the dioceses of Dacia and Thracia and had even menaced Constantinople; at the same time, a large Persian army moved towards Nisibis. To avoid a war on two fronts, Theodosius then recalled Ardaburius back.

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    Victorian Steel website http://www.victorian-steel.com Lots more photos in the gallery of this battle

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