House of Suren

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House of Suren or Surenas[1][2] are one of two[c] Parthian noble families explicitly mentioned by name in sources dateable to the Arsacid period.[3]

The head of Surena family had the privilege to crown the first Parthian king in the 3rd century BC, which founded a tradition that was continued by his descendants.[4][3][a] Following the 3rd century AD defeat of the Arsacids and the subsequent rise of the Sassanids, the Surenas then switched sides and began to serve the Persians,[5][6] at whose court they were identified as one of the so-called "Parthian clans." The last attested scion of the family was a military commander active in northern China during the 9th century.[7]

It is "probable"[5] that the Surenas were landowners in Sakastan, that is, in the region between Arachosia and Drangiana in present-day southeast Iran. The Surenas appear to have governed Sistan (which derives its name from 'Sakastan' and was once a much larger region than the present day province) as their personal fiefdom.[5]

"Ernst Herzfeld maintained that the dynasty of [the Indo-Parthian emperor] Gondophares represented the House of Suren."[8] Other notable members of the family include the 1st century BC cavalry commander Surena and a 6th-century AD governor (satrap) of Armenia who attempted to establish Zoroastrianism in that country.[9]

Mehr Narseh, the grand vizier of four Sasanian kings, was from the House of Suren.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bivar 1983, p. 41.
  2. ^ Herzfeld 1929, p. 70.
  3. ^ a b Lukonin 1983, p. 704.
  4. ^ Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, Sarah Stewart (2007). THE AGE OF THE PARTHIANS. I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-84511-406-0. 
  5. ^ a b c Lendering 2006.
  6. ^ Frye 1983, p. 130.
  7. ^ Perikanian 1983, p. 683.
  8. ^ Bivar 2003 cf. Bivar 1983, p. 51.
  9. ^ Frye 1983, p. 159.
  10. ^ Pourshariati (2008), pp. 60

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bivar, A. D. H. (1983), "The Political History of Iran under the Arsacids", in Yarshater, Ehsan, Cambridge History of Iran 3.1, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 21–100 
  • Bivar, A. D. H. (2003), "Gondophares", Encyclopaedia Iranica 11.2, Costa Mesa: Mazda 
  • Frye, R. N. (1983), "The Political History of Iran under the Sassanians", in Yarshater, Ehsan, Cambridge History of Iran 3.1, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 116–181 
  • Herzfeld, Ernst Emil, ed. (1929), "Das Haus Sūrēn von Sakastan-->", Archæologische Mitteilungen aus Iran I, Berlin: Dietrich Reimer, pp. 70–80 
  • Justi, Ferdinand (1895), "Sūrēn", Iranisches Namenbuch, Leipzig/Marburg: Elwert, pp. 316–317 .
  • Lang, David M. (1983), "Iran, Armenia and Georgia", in Yarshater, Ehsan, Cambridge History of Iran 3.1, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 505–537 
  • Lendering, Jona (2006), Surena, Amsterdam: livius.org 
  • Lukonin, V. G. (1983), "Political, Social and Administrative Institutions", in Yarshater, Ehsan, Cambridge History of Iran 3.2, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 681–747 
  • Plutarch, "Marcus Crassus", in Langhorne, John; Langhorne, William, eds. (1934), Plutarch's Lives, London: J. Crissy 
  • Rawlinson, George (1901), The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World 6, London: Dodd, Mead & Company 
  • Perikanian, A. (1983), "Iranian Society and Law", in Yarshater, Ehsan, Cambridge History of Iran 3.2, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 627–681 
  • Schippmann, K. (1987), "Arsacid ii: The Arsacid Dynasty", Encyclopaedia Iranica 2, New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 525–536