Borandukht

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Borandukht
Queen of Persia
BorandukhtCoinHistoryofIran.jpg
First reign
Reign 17 June 629 – 16 June 630 AD
Predecessor Shahrbaraz
Successor Shapur-i Shahrvaraz
Second reign
Reign 631–632 AD
Predecessor Azarmidokht
Successor Yazdegerd III
House House of Sasan
Father Khosrau II
Born 590 AD
Died 632 AD
Ctesiphon
Religion Zoroastrianism

Borandukht, (also spelled Boran, Poran, and Purandokht, Persian: بوراندخت‎), was the daughter of the Sasanian king Khosrau II (590–628). She was one of only two women on the throne of the Sasanian Empire (the other was her sister and successor Azarmidokht). She was the first Sasanian empress of Persia, reigning from 17 June 629 to 16 June 630, and later from 631 to 632 after a brief usurpation.

The Persian poet Ferdowsi refers to Burandokht in his epic poem, the Shahnameh. She was committed to revive the memory and prestige of her father, during whose reign the Sasanian Empire had grown to its largest territorial extent.

Family and early life[edit]

Borandukht was the daughter of Khosrau II. Since her father was said to have had a shabestan with over 3,000 concubines,[1] it is not known if one of these concubines was her mother or Khosrau's favorite wife Shirin was. Borandukht also had many other siblings and half-siblings named Mardanshah, Juvansher, Farrukhzad Khosrau V, Kavadh II, Shahriyar, and Azarmidokht. In 628, her father was deposed by the Sasanian nobles in favor of her brother Kavadh II, who executed all of their brothers except Juvansher and Farrukhzad Khosrau V who managed to hide. Some months later, Kavadh died of plague, and was succeeded by his 7 year old son Ardashir III, who himself one year later killed by the Sasanian general Shahrbaraz, who usurped the Sasanian throne.

First reign[edit]

Forty days later, Shahrbaraz was murdered by the faction of the Ispahbudhan nobleman Farrukh Hormizd,[2] which was known as the Pahlav (Parthian) faction. Borandukht was shortly proclaimed queen in Ctesiphon by Farrukh's faction. Borandukht was herself related to the Ispahbudhan family through her grandmother. She shortly appointed Farrukh Hormizd as the chief minister of the Empire. Borandukht then attempted to bring stability to the Sasanian Empire by the implementation of justice, reconstruction of the infrastructure, lowering of taxes, and minting coins. However, after some time she was deposed in 630, and Shapur-i Shahrvaraz, the son of Shahrbaraz and a sister of Khosrau II, was made king of Sasanian Empire. However, he was not recognized by the faction of the general Piruz Khosrow, which was known as the Parsig (Persian) faction. Shapur-i Shahrvaraz was thus deposed in favor of Azarmidokht,[3] the sister of Borandukht.

In order to make a union with the Parsig faction, and to seize power, Farrukh Hormizd asked Azarmidokht to marry him. Not daring to refuse, Azarmidokht had him killed with the aid of the Mihranid Siyavakhsh, who was the grandson of Bahram Chobin, the famous spahbed and briefly shahanshah. She was however, shortly killed by the latter's son Rostam Farrokhzad, who was now the new leader of the Pahlav faction.

Second reign[edit]

After the murder of Azarmidokht by Rostam Farrokhzad, the latter restored Borandukht to the throne. Borandukht shortly made a meeting with the Pahlav and Parsig faction, where both factions agreed to work together. However, after one year of reign, she was eventually strangled to death by Piruz Khosrow, thus ending the Parsig-Pahlav alliance and resuming hostiles between the two factions.[4] Rostam and Piruz, were, however, shortly threatened by their own men, and then agreed to work together once again, and crowned Yazdegerd III, the grandson of Khosrau II, as the new king of the empire.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, History of the Prophets and Kings, vol. 2
  2. ^ Pourshariati (2008), p. 175
  3. ^ Pourshariati (2008), p. 204
  4. ^ Pourshariati (2008), pp. 218

Sources[edit]

Borandukht
Preceded by
Shahrbaraz
Monarch of Persia
17 June 629 – 16 June 630
Succeeded by
Shapur-i Shahrvaraz
Preceded by
Azarmidokht
Monarch of Persia
631–632
Succeeded by
Yazdegerd III