|Shahanshah of Ērānshahr|
Coin of Yazdegerd III during his last year
|Reign||16 June 632 – 651|
|Died||651 (aged 27)|
|Place of death||Merv|
|Successor||Sasanian Empire abolished|
|Royal House||House of Sasan|
Yazdegerd III or Yazdgerd III (Middle Persian: 𐭩𐭦𐭣𐭪𐭥𐭲𐭩 Yazdākird, meaning "made by God"; New Persian: یزدگرد), was the thirty-eighth and last king of the Sasanian Empire of Iran. His father was Shahriyar and his grandfather was Khosrau II (590–628). Yazdegerd III ascended the throne on 16 June 632 when he was 8 years old after a series of internal conflicts.
Yazdegerd III was son of the Shahriyar and a unnamed woman from Baduraya. Shahriyar was the son of Khosrau II, and was killed in 628 by his brother Kavadh II who sought to secure the throne from any rebellion. After the death of Kavadh, a civil war began in Iran.
During the civil war, Yazdegerd III was hiding in Estakhr, and on 16 June 632 he was crowned as Shah in Estakhr when he was merely 8 years old. Yazdegerd III was almost the last living member of the House of Sasan. One year later after his ascension, the Muslim Arabs invaded Iran.
Yazdegerd later negotiated with fourteen Arab negotiators, and asked them about the reasons for their aggressive behavior towards his Empire. One of the fourteen Arabs shortly replied, "Allah commanded us, by the mouth of His Prophet, to extend the dominion of Islam over all nations." 
In 636, Yazdegerd III ordered Rostam Farrokhzad to subdue the Muslim Arabs invading Iran and then told him: "Today you are the [most prominent] man among the Iranians. You see that the people of Iran have not faced a situation like this since the family of Ardashir I assumed power." Envoys then came to Yazdegerd III asking him to consider the dismissal of Rostam in order to replace him with someone around whom the people would rally.
Yazdegerd III asked Rostam for an assessment of the Arab forces since they had camped at Qadisiyyah. Rostam Farrokhzad stated that the Arabs were "a pack of wolves, falling upon unsuspecting shepherds and annihilating them." Yazdegerd III responds to Rostam by saying,
|“||It is not like that. The Arabs and the Persians are comparable to an eagle who looked upon a mountain where birds take shelter at night and stay in their nests at the foot of it. When morning came, the birds looked around and saw that he was watching them. Whenever a bird became separated from the rest, the eagle snatched him. The worst thing that could happen to them would be that all would escape save one.||”|
However, Rostam was defeated and killed at the battle of al-Qādisiyyah and the Arabs later managed to occupy the Sasanid capitol Ctesiphon. After the Sasanian disaster at Qadisiyyah the young king fled eastward into Hulwan in Media where in he managed to raise a major army in the Jibal and sent it to Nahāvand to block any Muslim advance from that direction and possibly to retake Iraq. The army that Yazdegerd sent seemed a threat so big that it led Umar to combine the Arab forces of Kufa and Basra under Al-Nu'man ibn Muqrin and send them against the Sasanians with reinforcements from Syria and Oman. The battle is said to have lasted several days, it resulted in heavy casualties on both sides, including the death of Al-Nu'man ibn Muqrin and the Persian general Mardanshah and Piruz Khosrow. The battle of Nahāvand in 642 was the second military disaster for the Sasanians after the battle of al-Qādisiyyah.
After the Sasanian disaster, Yazdegerd fled to Isfahan and then Estakhr where he tried to organize a base for resistance in the province of Pars. However, in 650, Abdullah ibn Aamir, the governor of Basra, invaded Pars and put an end to the Persian resistance. Estakhr was made into ruins after the battle and a force of 40,000 defenders including many Persian nobles were killed. After the Arab conquest of Pars, Yazdegerd fled to Kerman while being pursued by an Arab force. Yazdegerd managed to flee from the Arab force in a snowstorm at Bimand.
After arriving at Kerman, Yazdegerd, with his arrogance became unfriendly with the Marzbān of Kerman, and then left Kerman for Sistan. Another Basran army later arrived which defeated and killed the Marzbān of Kerman in a bloody fight. When Yazdegerd arrived at Sistan he lost the support of the governor of Sistan by demanding tax from him. Yazdegerd then headed for Merv to join the leader of the Turks. However, when he arrived in Khorasan the people of Khorasan did not agree with Yazdegerd III's decicion and told him that it was better if he made peace with the Arabs, Yazdegerd, however, refused. Sistan was also later taken by the Arab forces after a bloody fight around 650-652.
When Yazdegerd arrived in Merv he demanded tax from the Marzbān of Merv, losing also his support and making him ally Nezak Tarkan, the Hephthalite ruler of Badghis, who helped him defeat Yazdegerd and his followers. After his defeat, Yazdegerd was killed by a local miller for his purse while he was trying flee from Merv in 651.
|“||Mahui sends the miller to cut off his head on pain of losing his own, and having none of his race left alive. His chiefs hear this and cry out against him, and a Mobed of the name of Radui tells him that to kill a king or prophet will bring evil upon him and his son, and is supported in what he says by a holy man of the name of Hormuzd Kharad Shehran, and Mehronush.
The miller most unwillingly goes in and stabs him with a dagger in the middle. Mahui's horsmen all go and see him and take off his clothing and ornaments, leaving him on the ground. All the nobles curse Mahui and wish him the same fate.
The Zoroastrian religious calendar, which is still in use today, uses the regnal year of Yazdegerd III as its base year. Its calendar era (year numbering system), which is accompanied by a Y.Z. suffix. Magians took Yazdegerd III's death as end of the millennium of Zoroaster and the beginning of the millennium of Oshedar.
Yazdegerd's son Peroz III and Bahram VII fled to China. According to a Shiite tradition, his daughter Shahrbanu married Hussein ibn Ali. Shahrbanu's son was Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin, the fourth Shi'ite imam. Some Bahá'í writers have claimed that Bahá'u'lláh's ancestry can be traced back to Yazdegerd III, which was promoted to encourage Zoroastrians to convert to the Bahá'í religion. The Muslim scholar Al-Masudi provides different information, claiming Yazdegerd III had two sons, Bahram and Peroz, and three daughters, Shahrbanu, Adrag and Mardawand.
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|Shahanshah of Ērānshahr
Sasanian Empire abolished