Talk:Sasanian Empire

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Recommendations to Map workshop team[edit]

--Keeby101 (talk) 07:36, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Revised RfC proposal[edit]

Not too long ago. I put in a request to the Map Workshop Team to make a new and more accurate map of the Sasanian Empire! We need a much better map, preferably one that looks like this:

We need a map that shows the territorial evolution of the Empire! Take a look at the Khazar Empire map shown above. Honestly, I like how it is done. It shows the territorial evolution and the empire at it's greatest extent. Not only does it show the empire's territorial evolution, but it has a more physical background than the current map of the Sasanian Empire in the infobox.

On top of that, I had done some extensive research on the Sasanian Empire itself. The Persians did indeed lose nearly all of their Central Asian and Indian holdings to the Hepthalites. Transoxiana did come under control of the Gokturks after the Hepthalites were defeated, BUT, the peace between the Gokturks and the Sasanians did not last long at all nor did the borders as the Gokturks began to disrupt Sasanian income from the Silk Route and threatened the Sasanian Empire from the northeast. Thus sparking the First Perso-Turkic War in which the Sasanian army, led by Bahram Chobin defeated and conquered all of Transoxiana along with most of the territory the Gokturks held.

It wasn't until after the Byzantines and Gokturks both defeated the Sasanian Empire in the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 that the boundary of the Sasanian Empire in the Northeast officially became the Oxus river.

That being said, here is what the Sasanian Empire actually looked like at it's greatest extent:

And here are my sources to back it up:

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Map of the Sasanian Empire 600 A.D.[8]

Chosroes II continues his victorious career, conquering Egypt and Asia Minor and occupying both Alexandria and also Chaceldon across the Bosporus from Constinanople.[9]

[10]In this campaign the Persians broke through Byzantiums's eastern provinces; in 609, they reached Chaceldon, directly facing the capital, and their triumphal progress, far more serious than before, occupied the first part of the reign of Herakleios.

[11] [12]

[13] Chosroes II of Persia who owed his throne to Maurice, declared war on the muderer of his benefactor. Persian armies were victorious in Mesopotamia and Syria, capturing the fortress towns of Dara, Amida Haran, Edessa, Hierapolis and Aleppo, though they were repulsed from Antioch and Damascus. They then overran Byzantine Armenia and raided deep into Anatolia through the provinces of Cappadocia, Phrygia, Galatia, and Bithynia. Byzantine resistance collapsed. A Persian Army penetrated as far as the Bosporus. Antioch and most of the remaining Byzantine fortresses in Syria and Mesopotamia and Armenia were captured(611). After a long seiges, the invaders took Damascus (613) and Jerusalem (614). Chosroes then began a determined invasion of Anatolia (615). Persian forces under General Shahen captured Chaceldon on the Bosporus after a long siege (616). Here the Persians remained, within one of of Constintanople, for more than 10 years. Meanwhile, they captured Ancyra and Rhodes (620); remaining Byzantine fortresses in Armenia were captured; the Persian occupation cut off a principal Byzantine recruiting ground. After defeating Byzantine garrisons in the Nile Valley, Chosroes marched across the Lybian Desert as far as Cyrene. These victories cut off the usual grain supplies from Egypt to Constantinople. Under Chosroes II the Persians virtually eliminated the Byzantines from all their Asiatic and Egyptian provinces, expanding Sassanid dominions to the extent of the Empire of Darius.

[14]The able Persian generals Shahrvaraz and Shahin led the Sassanid armies through Mesopotamia, Armenia and Syria into Palestine and Asia Minor. They took Antioch in 611, Damascus in 613, and then Jurusalem, in 614 (sending a shock through the whole Christian world). At Jerusalem the Christian defenders refused to give up the city, and it was taken by assault after three weeks, and given over to the sack. The Persians carries off the True Cross to Ctesiphon. Within another four years they had conquered Egypt and were in control of Asia Minor, as far as Chaceldon, opposite of Constantinople on the shores of the Bosporus. No shah of Persia since Cyrus had achieved such military successes.

[15] The Persians advance continued, though, and before Heraclius could restore central authority, they had captured much of the empire outside the capital district, including Mesopotamia, Syria, and part of Anatolia; in 614 they took Jerusalem and carried off the True Cross to Ctesiphon. At the same time, the Avars and Slavs marched on the empire from the north and captured most of Thrace and much other imperial territory there. By 615 the Eaastern Roman Empire retained only the capital district, part of Anatolia, Egypt and Africa. In 617, the Avars, evidently in alliance with the Persians, attacked the city from the north and put it under siege. In 618 the Persians invaded Egypt, taking Alexandria in 619 and cutting off the main grain supply to Contantinople. The Roman Empire was at it's lowest point in history and seemed doomed to fall.

[16] Chosroes II (590-628), the grandson of Chosroes I, experienced extraordinary fluctuations of fortune. At the outset of his career he achieved astonishing successes against the empire of Constantinople. Three times (in 608, 615, and 627) his armies reached Chalcedon, which is over against Constintanople; he took Antioch, Damascus, and Jerusalem (614), and from Jerusalem he carried off a cross, said to be the true cross on which Jesus was crucified, to his capital Ctesiphon. In 619, Chosroes II conquered that facile country, Egypt.

[17]First Roman Amrmenia was captured by Khusro II, and in 604 CE with blazing speed, his two generals Shahin and Shahrwaraz conquered Syrai. Palestine and then Egypt were taken in 619 CE, and the Persians even went as far as Libya, while Anatolia was conquered in 619-622 CE. This shocked the eastern Roman Empire, which in 610 CE had made Heraclius its emperor.

[18]The Gok western Turkish kingdom was steadily rising in military power and political influence. The once-mighty Hepthalites now served as vassals in the armies of the Turks. By 588, a very large Turko-Hepthalite force invaded northeastern Persia, overrunning the Gorgan wall. An emergency was convened at Ctesiphon to asses the threat. The Military council agreed to post Bahram Chobin, a Savaran commander from the Mehran Clan of Rayy, to lead a small counterattacking force. As soon as he was elected as battle leader, Bahram and the high command "hand picked" a force of 12,00 men, all of whom were reputedly 40 years of age. Careful to avoid the rashness of King Peroz nearly a century before, Bahram made every effort to obtain detailed military intelligence before launching the counterattack. A spy posing as a peace missionary was sent to the west Turkish Khagan. After comiling detailed information on the military composition and equipment of the Turko-Hepthalite forces, the spy fled the Khagan's camp at night. Bahram Chobin's forces were now fully informed of the Khagan's military dispositions, deployment, and strengths. The small Sasanian force st out from Nev-Shapur to confront the Turko-Hepthalite armies in Korassan. As the Savaran struck into the Turko-Hepthalites, Bahram and the Pahlavan knights headed straight towards the Khagan. The Turks proved unable to stop them. Bahram and the Pahlavan knights soon reached the Khagan's position. They then engaged the Khagan's bodyguards and destroyed them. Meanwhile, the Dailamite heavy infantry would have followed behind the Savaran and "mopped up" the surviving (probably disorganized) Turko-Hepthalites. The immediate consequence of the defeat was the expulsion of the Turko-Hepthalites from Balkh. The city of Herat was also cleared of the Turko-Hepthalites by 589. Having completed the conquest of the western Turks, Bahram now crossed the Oxus River and defeated the eastern Turks. The eastern Turkish Khagan was also killed during these operations. The Sassanian Empire was now the master of Central Asia, with China gaining ascendancy to the east of the region.

[19]The Turks in Central Asia decided to exploit the Sasanian Empire's military preoccupation to the west. Just as Sassanian cavalry were entering Egypt in 619, the Turks and their Hepthalite subjects struck into Korassan in northeast Iran and into Afghanistan. The empire reacted swiftly by dispatching a Sasanian army led by Armenian general Smbat Bagratuni and his contingent of 2,000 Armenian Savaran. The Turks were defeated in Tus, Khorassan, obliging them to withdraw into Central Asia. Bagratuni left a very small contigent of 300 men under Datoyan, a Sassanian prince. Bagratuni's army then moved west. Nevertheless, the Turks and Hepthalites were still intact as a fighting force and took advantage of Bagratuni's departure. A full-scale invasion tore again into Khorassan, wiping out Datoyan's tiny garrison. The Turks and Hepthalites penetrated deep into the Iranian plateau, as far as Isfahan and Rayy. The Turks soon withdrew after collecting their plunder. Bagratuni returned, but this time decided to repeat the campaigns of Bahram Chobin conducted 30 years earlier. The Sassano-Armnian Savaran cavalry struck into Central Asia. The Turko-Hepthalite army was defeated and the Turkish Khagan was killed. The many of the fleeing contigents were slain by the Savaran. Armenian sources report Turko-Hepthalite forces at around 300,000 troops or higher, although such high numbers are unlikely. What is certain is that Baratuni's victory secured the Empire's Central Asian frontier until the Arabian conquests.


- (fixed - use {{Reflist-talk}} (with |close=1) on talkpages instead... Begoontalk 02:37, 4 November 2013 (UTC))

  1. ^ [4]
  2. ^ [5]
  3. ^ [6]
  4. ^ [7]
  5. ^ [8]
  6. ^ [9]
  7. ^ [10]
  8. ^ Touraj Daryaee Sasanian Iran (224-651 CE) Portrait of a Late Antique Empire (2008) pg. 108
  9. ^ H.E.L. Mellerish (1994) pg. 428
  10. ^ Robert Fossier The Cambridge History of The Middle Ages 350-950 (1990) pg.175
  11. ^ >
  12. ^
  13. ^ R. Ernest Dupuy and Trevor N. Dupuy (1970) pg.193, 210, 211, 214
  14. ^ Michael Axworthy A History of Iran (2008) pg.64-65
  15. ^ Christopher I. Beckwith Empires of the Silk Road A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present (2009) pg.114
  16. ^ H.G. Wells The Outline of History: Volume 2 The Roman Empire to The Great War pg.44-45
  17. ^ Touraj Daryaee Sasanian Persia The Rise and Fall of an Empire (2009) pg.33
  18. ^ Dr. Kaveh Farrokh Shadows in the Desert Ancient Persia at War pg.244-247
  19. ^ Dr. Kaveh Farrokh Shadows in the Desert Ancient Persia at War pg.255-256
  20. ^

Bottom line. I would like to reach a consensus on a new map of the Sasanian Empire being made by the Cartographers from the Map Workshop of Wikipedia being made in this format that the Kievan Rus and Khazar Empire maps are formatted in using the basemap that depicted the Sasanian Empire's acutal borders shown above. Regards! Keeby101 (talk) 10:02, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Keeby, nice job reformatting and clarifying your RfC. Its confusing to have the same RfC listed twice at the RfC history page so I've removed the template you posted today. I think the legebot will update the RfC page later to remove the duplicate. I've also combined the talk page threads as having two threads is also confusing to potential participants and we want to make it easy and simple so that the maximum number of editors will give their input. If you are unhappy with what I've done, let me know and we'll work it out together.
Now...... just to be clear on what you are asking of us participants. You are looking for a consensus regarding the perceived need for a new, more accurate map to be used in the infobox of this article so that you can inform the WP Map makers that the community wants a new map so they don't waste their time making a map that the community doesn't want. Is that correct?-- KeithbobTalk 23:28, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes! That's it exactly! You are correct! :D Keeby101 (talk) 01:36, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes - I agree that there is a need for an improved version of the map in the infobox and encourage the WP map team to create one. I also note that per my reading of the prior versin of this RfC (see green collapsed section above) that User:Kathovo also indicated he/she saw a need for a better map.-- KeithbobTalk 14:40, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Perfect! Does anyone else agree with the proposal that I have given? If so, please comment! :D Keeby101 (talk) 01:42, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

RfC reply[edit]

Agreed as long as you can pin-point reliable boundaries, go ahead and have it made. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 07:42, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Additional needed comments: to User:Keeby101. I came to this as a neutral editor as a result of a request for comment, I hope you can receive my opinion in the spirit of constructive criticism in which I offer it.
Referring to the above debates, you seem to have crossed the line from reporting sources, into OR with both your maps and misunderstanding of history. Military campaigns, even successful ones, often simply resulted in the "conquered" lands paying tithes, tributes, or ransoms, with the result of the victor withdrawing their forces and never exercising any real control over an area thereafter. To try to say otherwise is Wikipedia:Synthesis; to then try to add such areas into a map is OR and just plain wrong.
You have additional problems with your use of unreliable forum sites as "sources". This will not advance your cause either. These sites have no editorial control, no reliable sourcing of their own, and anyone can post anything there. You need to step back, and do some reading of history texts, focusing on the extent of the empire and NOT military campaigns. Skip the web-sites.
You may find in your research that much of what you are saying is, in fact, correct. However, Wikipedia, being a tertiary source, reports what is verifiably reported elsewhere, not necessarily what you or I may know to be true. For instance, if Wikipedia existed back in 1490, it would rightly report the earth is flat, even though many scholars at the time, and at least one sea captain, new differently. The available sources at the time, however, would have mostly stated: "the earth is flat." That, my friend, is the reality of Wikipedia: we can only report what our sources tell us.
I do hope this helps clear up some of your confusion in understanding the above editors resistance to your new map(s). GenQuest "Talk to Me" 19:03, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Just be careful not to make the map too confusing. If you're modelling it on the Khazar map, showing territorial changes, the it would mean showing a lot of territorial changes, since the borders of the Sasanian Empire changed a lot more often than the borders of Khazaria. Otherwise it sounds fine to me. Rwenonah (talk) 00:19, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

I fully agree that a map is necessary, but I strongly oppose anything related to Keeby's proposals due to lack of serious research. We have been through this time and time again, and I see no improvement. There are, at least as far as the western borders with the Romans are concerned, which is my area of interest, far far more serious and dedicated studies, which are listed and used in our article on the 602-628 Roman-Persian War. I have urged anyone who wishes to get involved with this to study them, but Keeby in particular continues to ignore that. For instance, where, in the sources cited, does it say anything about Persian control deep into Transoxiana and Khwarezm? "Crossing the Oxus" and defeating the Turks there is a whole other animal than extending Persian control over same territory, again an issue that has been pointed out before. Where is there any evidence that Cyrene was occupied? Which primary source or archaeological fact backs this up? Where are the sources for the borders in the Hindukush? Why is the Indus shown as the eastern border? I could go on and on...
For a subject that has seen such controversy in this talk page, relying on sweeping over-generalisations cherrypicked from a handful of sources (and not terribly great ones at that, Dupuy's "The encyclopedia of military history : from 3500 B.C. to the present" can hardly be called an expert work on this field, and Farrokh's work has taken a lot of deserved flak for its inaccuracies) is decidedly not the way to go. Keeby (or anyone who has time and is interested in doing this) should collect information from a) contemporary primary sources and b) studies relate to the period at hand, not overview histories, which would tell us what city or province was occupied when, and whether that occupation was provisional (lasting for a campaigning season, as in Anatolia) or (intended to be) permanent, as in Egypt or Syria. It would be hard and painstacking work, but the only way to have an accurate "maximum extent" map. Otherwise, there are perfectly fine generic maps from atlases linked in discussions above, which can be used. Constantine 21:20, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment (from Map Workshop) Keeby has posted to the Map workshop to the effect that he has consensus here. Coming here, I don't see that. I see agreement that it would be nice to have a map, but no consensus on the borders we would need to show.
Most of the work is done, so if you guys do reach agreement on some borders (and associated time periods, if you want that), then please let us know there: Wikipedia:Graphics_Lab/Map_workshop#Arbitrary_section_break_3. We'd be happy to finish the graphics to an agreed specification, but it's no good without editor consensus here. If one of the atlas maps you reference above would be suitable, that should be enough for our use - other than that, whatever agreed full spec you can come up with. Thanks. Begoontalk 11:27, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
To make a long story short, I had made in the past a request for a map like this, with some instructions and pointers to some maps created by actual academics. The third map in particular is very good since it includes mention of the time periods where specific areas in the East (Khwaresm, Transoxiana) were under Persian control. Constantine 12:49, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Hello everyone, I'm back! Just as Begoon said, we all agree that a new map should be made, but we have not reached a consensus on the borders.

That being said, I propose we have a new map being made by the Wikipedia Map Workshop Cartographers in the format that the Khazar Empire map is formatted in using the basemap shown above that depicted the Sasanian Empire's actual borders as I said before.

However! I believe that the map should depict not only the territorial evolution of the empire, but the associated time periods of the territories the empire held.

Like these maps for example: Tang China 600s-700s A.D., Frankish Empire 740-814 A.D., Han China, Tang Empire 800 A.D. Bulgarian Empire 893-927 A.D.

Notice that these maps depict the territorial evolution of the empires and the associated time periods of the territories the empires held.

My personal favorites are the Frankish, Tang Chinese and Bulgarian Empire Maps. The Tang Chinese map shows the territories that the empire had direct/permanent control over and the territories that it had temporary control over, with the map showing the specific dates of when they had control over those territories. The Frankish Empire map is even more detailed than the Tang Empire map. The Frankish Empire map has a legend that tells you the territories it had direct control over and territories that were under temporary control or raided by the Franks. Same goes with the Bulgarian Empire map only the difference is that unlike the Tang Chinese and Frankish Empire maps, it doesn’t show the specific dates the empire had control over the territories it held. Instead, the Bulgarian Empire map has a legend that simply tells you the war time extent borders of the empire and territory that was under inconsistent control, much like how the Frankish Empire does, but not nearly as detailed.

With that said, the new Sasanian Empire map should depict similar to what the Tang and Bulgarian Empire’s depict. Just as the Tang Empire map depicted the Western Turks being under control of Chinese from 640-670 A.D. and then again from 692-791 A.D, the Eastern borders the new Sasanian Empire map should depict Transoxiana, Khwarezm, Hindu Kush and Balochistan being shown under control of the Persians from 225-484 A.D. and then again from 589-628 A.D. On the western borders, the map should depict all of Mesopotamia and the Caucasus as heavily disputed/contested (afterall, most of the wars between the Roman/Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire occurred there). Just as the Frankish Empire depicted lands that were under temporary control or raided by them, Egypt should be depicted shown under inconsistent Persian control from 618-628 A.D. and much of Anatolia (as the basemap depicts) as being either heavily raided by and/or under inconsistent control of the Persians from 613-623 A.D.

Does anyone agree or disagree with my proposal? Keeby101 (talk) 01:00, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

There is one major problem: most of these maps you mention concern the history of a polity over a century or so, usually around its peak. You propose a single map covering the entire period from the early 3rd to the mid-7th century, when both the Sasanian state itself and the wider political environment had changed considerably. I would certainly prefer two maps, one for the early period (3rd-5th centuries) and one for the later (6th-7th cent.). As for the exact borders and territories under Persian control, there still remains the main problem, the matter of sources. If you can find sources that testify to Persian control in Transoxiana, Khwarezm, Hindu Kush and Balochistan for the period after 589, sure. As for Anatolia, I have answered this ad nauseam and I won't repeat it again. Constantine 09:18, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Constantine! I am not going to debate with you. I gave you the sources and you blatantly dismissed them. I made a distinct proposal just now and you again oppose it. Keep in mind that a new map being made along with the borders is not just for you alone to decide! On top of that, I showed you a few maps which covered long periods of time with the empires and the political environment undergoing just as much or even more dramatic changes than the Sasanian Empire did. One of which was a map of the Han Empire which covered the entire time period from the early 3rd century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D. The other was the Tang Empire, if you clicked both the links, then you would see that the Tang Empire underwent similar as well.

Btw, even the maps of the Sasanian Empire that you linked especially this one 620 depicts exactly what my current map (the basemap) depicts on regards to the eastern borders. That’s all that I have to say about that. Nothing more, nothing less!

Regardless, let us hear from other editors and see if they agree with my proposal or not. Keeby101 (talk) 12:50, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment I'll take the liberty of butting in again, if I may. Seems to me the problem may be that somewhere along the line someone is trying to do too much with this map. We're a tertiary source, and we rely on secondary sources, so I'd tend to favour something along the lines of what Constantine suggested, with a source from a reliable atlas. It's all well and lovely to try to provide some sort of timeline map, but if the sources don't exist to support that, it's not our business to manufacture it. Obviously, I'll be guided by consensus here, but it seems to me that simple and agreed is the preferred alternative, and I don't like the Original Research I sniff here in some of the discussion. Let us know when you all come to an agreement, and we'll finish the graphic. Oh, and Keeby, try to remember that "not personalising the discussion" thing I mentioned at the Workshop page. I think that was good advice - but then, I would, wouldn't I? - it being my advice... :) Begoontalk 14:45, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Hello again everyone! It's been awhile, I just wanted everyone to know that I am still here. Sorry for personalizing the discussion btw.

Anyway, I have been busy gathering more sources for the boundaries of my map. Also, I agree that Anatolia should not be within the borders of the map with the exception of Eastern Anatolia of course. Cheers! Kirby (talk) 11:40, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

I'm fairly certain Balochistan was never under direct Persian control. Control in Transoxiana was very restricted too, and subject to periodic raiding from the Scythians. If you provide sources showing that these regions were under direct control, I'll be willing to believe it, but it seems an exaggeration of Sassanid power. Rwenonah (talk) 12:20, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Well, as I said before I am still gathering sources. On top of that, I did provide sources showing that these regions were under direct control of the Sasanian Empire. Even this map depicts it: 620. The only difference is that Anatolia is not shown under Persian control. Contrary to what my map depicts. :) Kirby (talk) 21:14, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

The above "basemap" shows Sasanian control extending to the Caspian Sea and Aral Sea, contrary to the map just shown. Which is true? Rwenonah (talk) 23:18, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Ok, I re-adjusted the borders of the basemap to where it depicts exactly what the map that was linked depicts. Cheers! :D Kirby (talk) 04:15, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

There's an outstanding requests for closure for this discussion, but it seems like you all are working toward a consensus. I'm not sure you need a discussion closure so much as to keep working toward a consensus. Gigs (talk) 18:49, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Please do not close the discussion! I'm still here, I've just busy gathering more sources for the borders of the basemap that's all! Cheers! :D Kirby (talk) 23:20, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Proposed new Map comparison[edit]

Alright everyone! This Rfc is over. On top of that I did create a map of my own via photoshop that I recently added into the infobox of the article:

It's not the best map, but you have got to admit it is by far better for than the old map or any map of the Sasanian Empire that has been added into the infobox of the article! Cheers!

P.S. my latest map is heavily based of this source:

Disagree. Some aspects of this new map need to be discussed and fixed. For starters, the whole terrain thing is kind of distracting. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 20:48, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Oh c'mon! I put a lot of effort into this map! It literally took me 3 months to create it!
I'll try to water down the terrain a little if that helps. Cheers! Kirby (talk) 21:14, 19 March 2014 (UTC)


Somebody added a small sub-section under the title "Hinduism" which contains dubious information, such as "Zoroastrianism descended from the Hinduism's Vedic elements" which is unsubstantiated and simply, false. It goes on further to claim that "The population of the empire also followed Hinduism." which is again unsubstantiated and is referened to a dubious source (Bamiyan: Challenge to World Heritage", by K. Warikoo, p 20–24)

I suggest that this section and the claims made within it be properly referenced. Failing this, the section (5.2 as of writing this) should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 13 April 2014 (UTC)