Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
The Sasanian Empire was a pre-Islamic Persian empire that was the dominant geo-political and military power of the region from the 3rd to the 7th century AD. Spanning a huge geographical scope - the empire included all of modern day Iran, Syria, Iraq, Armenia, and Afghanistan - the Sasanian empire was a major rival to late Roman and Byzantine rule in the Eastern mediterranean. Seeing themselves as the direct successors to both the Parthian and Achaemenid empires, the Sasanians had an enormous cultural, artistic, and religious impact on parts of the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Asia before its violent dissolution at the hands of the Islamic invaders in 651. However, later Arab rulers often tapped into the collective memory of the Sasanian empire - referencing and re appropriating art, architecture, and religious iconography. In particular, the Abbasids used the cultivation of Sasanian astrology and Zoroastrianism - the official religion of the Sasanian empire - in order to legitimate their rule.
Posted at Dec 06/2010 08:42PM:
ian: Don't forget that the Sasanians had a very short lived time in control of Egypt just before the reign of Byzantine emperor Heraclius was to loose Egypt to the Arabs. What influence this may have had on the country is uncertain but it was part of conditioning the populace to changing imperial hands.