Zarmihr Karen

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Zarmihr Karen
Marzban of Persian Armenia
In office
Monarch Peroz I
Preceded by Vahan I Mamikonian
Succeeded by Shapur of Ray
Satrap of Zabulistan
In office
Unknown – Unknown
Monarch Khosrau I
Preceded by Unknown
Succeeded by Unknown
Personal details
Born 5th century
Died 558
Religion Zoroastrianism

Zarmihr Karen was an Sasanian commander from the House of Karen. He was also the Marzban of Persian Armenia during a short period in 483.


In 458,[1] a Mamikonian princess, Sushanik, was murdered by her husband the Mihranid prince Varsken, who was a convert to Zoroastrianism. The reason for her murder was because she refused to convert and wanted to stay Christian. Varsken was then executed by Vakhtang I, king of Iberia. After hearing about the execution, Peroz I sent an army under commander Shapur Mihran to punish Vakhtang for intervening. However, Vakhtang was joined by the Armenians, and a revolt broke out in Persian Armenia, led by Vahan I Mamikonian.[2]

Peroz I then sent another commander named Zarmihr Karen, who laid siege to Dvin. Zarmihr, was however, defeated and only stayed in Persian Armenia during a short time until he set out to defeat the forces of Vakhtang I.

After hearing about the death of Peroz I during his war against the Hephthalites, Zarmihr left Iberia and returned to his father Sukhra in Ctesiphon, to protect the Sasanian Empire from the Hephthalites and to elect a new king. Balash, the brother of Peroz I, was crowned as the new king of the Sasanian Empire. However, it was in reality the father of Zarmihr, Sukhra who exercised real power over the Sasanian Empire.[3] In 493, Sukhra was killed by Kavadh I, who was later overthrown in 496 by the Sasanian nobles because of his support to the Mazdakites. Kavadh, however, with the aid of Zarmihr, reclaimed his throne. Zarmihr, along with brother Karin later aided Kavadh's son Khosrau I in his war against the Turks. As a reward for their aid, Zarmihr was rewarded with land in Zabulistan, while Karin was rewarded with land in Tabaristan,[4] Zarmihr later died in 558.[5]


  1. ^ Selon Marie-Félicité Brosset, d'autres historiens reportent l'année du meurtre de la princesse à 475.
  2. ^ (Grousset 1947, pp. 216–223).
  3. ^ KAWĀD I i. Reign, Nikolaus Schindel, Encyclopaedia Iranica
  4. ^ Pourshariati (2008), p. 113
  5. ^ Pourshariati (2008), p. 114


  • Schindel, Nikolaus (2013). "KAWĀD I i. Reign". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XVI, Fasc. 2. pp. 136–141. 
  • Pourshariati, Parvaneh (2008). Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-645-3. 
  • Basmadjian, Krikor Jacob (1914). "Chronologie de l’histoire d’Arménie". Revue de l’Orient chrétien (in French) IX (XIX): 293–294. 
  • Grousset, René (1947). Histoire de l’Arménie des origines à 1071 (in French). Paris: Payot. 
  • Toumanoff, Cyrille (1990). "Vice-rois iraniens (Marzpans) d'Arménie". Les dynasties de la Caucasie chrétienne de l'Antiquité jusqu'au xixe siècle : Tables généalogiques et chronologiques (in French). Rome. pp. 506–507. 
  • Settipani, Christian (2006). Continuité des élites à Byzance durant les siècles obscurs. Les princes caucasiens et l'Empire du vie au ixe siècle (in French). Paris: de Boccard. ISBN 978-2-7018-0226-8. 
  • Dédéyan, Gérard (2007). Histoire du peuple arménien (in French). Toulouse: Éd. Privat. ISBN 978-2-7089-6874-5. 
Preceded by
Vahan I Mamikonian
Marzban of Persian Armenia
Succeeded by
Shapur of Ray
Preceded by
Satrap of Zabulistan
Succeeded by