Bahram II is said to have ruled at first tyrannically, and to have greatly disgusted all his principal nobles, who went so far as to form a conspiracy against him, and intended to put him to death. The chief of the Magi, however, interposed, and, having effectually alarmed the king, brought him to acknowledge his wrong and to promise an entire change of conduct. The nobles upon this returned to their allegiance; and Bahram, during the remainder of his reign, is said to have been distinguished for wisdom and moderation, and to have rendered himself popular with every class of his subjects.
Bahram is believed to have been involved in a campaign in Sakasthan (the modern-day Sistan) and Afghanistan against his brother Hormizd. The hostilities ended in 283 with his victory in Sakasthan. He later had rock reliefs cut at Bishapur and Naqsh-e Rustam to commemorate his victory.
Hostilities with Rome 
In 282, Roman Emperor Carus crossed the Euphrates along with his troops and invaded Mesopotamia wreaking havoc. Bahram II was not able to offer any resistance as his troops were occupied with the campaign in Afghanistan. Mesopotamia was ravaged and the cities of Selucia and Ctesiphon were occupied by the Roman troops. However, as an oracle had predicted earlier, the death of Carus cut short his career as well as the Roman advance.
Following Carus's death, the Romans retreated and Carus's son, Numerian, concluded peace with the Persians.
In AD 286, however, Diocletian resumed hostilities with Persia, and marched into Persian territory in aid of the Armenian prince Tiridates who was in rebellion against Persia. Armenia was separated after a couple of battles and Tiridates declared himself independent.
Tiridates achieved extraordinary success during this period. He defeated two Persian armies in the open field, drove out the garrisons which held the more important of the fortified towns, and became undisputed master of Armenia. He even crossed the border which separated Armenia from Persia, and gained signal victories on admitted Persian ground.
Bahram II died soon afterwards in an extremely dejected state.
Of Bahram II's reign some theological inscriptions exist (F. Stolze and J. C. Andreas, Persepolis (1882), and E. W. West, "Pahlavi Literature" in Grundriss d. iranischen Philologie, ii. pp. 75–129). In November of 2011, according to a video by the Iranian state news service, several reliefs near the city of Kerman dating back to the period of Bahram II were destroyed with hammers by unknown vandals.
- Gene Ralph Garthwaite, The Persians, (Blackwell Publishing, 2005), 97.
- Willem Vogelsang, The Afghans, (Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2002), 162.
- The Political History of Iran under the Sasanians, R.N. Frye, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 3, Ed. Ehsan Yarshater, (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 129.
- Jacob Neusner, A history of the Jews in Babylonia, Vol.2, (Brill, 1968), 3.
- 'The Civilizations of the Ancient Near East Volume 7' by George Rawlinson
- William Leadbetter, "Carus (282-283 A.D.)", "DIR"
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