|"King of kings of Iran and Aniran"|
Coin showing Balash and a fire altar with two attendants.
Balash (Persian: بلاش یکم), (in the Greek authors, Balas; the later form of the name Vologases), the eighteenth Sassanid King of Persia in 484–488, was the brother and successor of Peroz I of Persia (457–484), who had died in a battle against the Hephthalites (White Huns) who invaded Persia from the east.
Reign of Balash
Balash was made King of Persia following the death of his brother Peroz fighting the Hephthalite Huns at the Battle of Herat. Immediately after ascending the throne, he sought peace with the Hephthalites which cost the Persians a heavy tribute.
Balash also concluded peace with the Armenians. The conditions of the peace were as follows:
(i) All existing fire-altars in Armenia should be destroyed and no new ones should be constructed.
(ii) Christians in Armenia should have freedom of worship and conversions to Zoroastrianism should be stopped.
(iii) Land should not be allotted to people who convert to Zoroastrianism
(iv) The Persian King should, in person, administer Armenia and though the aid of Governors or deputies.
Soon after this, Kavadh, another son of Peroz revolted and being unsuccessful sought the assistance of Hephthalites and arrived in Ctesiphon at the head of a large Hephthalite contingent. As a result, Balash was removed by a group of nobles and priests and Kavadh was installed as emperor.
Balash is praised by Christian historians as a mild and generous monarch, who made concessions to the Christians. During Balash's reign Nestorian Christianity was established as the sole form of Christianity allowed in the Sassanid Empire.
- The Political History of Iran under the Sasanians, R. N. Frye, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol.3, Ed. Yarshater, 149.
- The Political History of Iran under the Sasanians, R. N. Frye, 149.
- Touraj Daryaee, Sansanian Persia:The Rise and Fall of an Empire, (I.B.Tauris, 2010), 25.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Balash". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
|Great King (Shah) of Persia