al-Nu'man III ibn al-Mundhir

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This article is about the medieval ruler. For the Biblical character, see Naaman.

Al-Nu'man III ibn al-Mundhir (Arabic: النعمان بن المنذر‎), also transcribed Na'aman, Nu'aman and Noman and often known by the name Abu Qabus (أبو قابوس), was the last Lakhmid king of Al-Hirah (582 – ca. 602 AD) and a Nestorian Christian Arab.

He was the son of al-Mundhir IV ibn al-Mundhir and the slave-girl Salma or Sulma. He succeeded his father in 580. In later histories, he is celebrated for his patronage of numerous poets. He was also the only Lakhmid ruler to convert to Nestorian Christianity.[1]

According to Arab accounts, he assisted Khosrau II during his flight from the usurper Bahram Chobin in 590.[2] Nevertheless, according to creditable historical accounts, when Khosrau II demanded Nu'man's Christian daughter as part of his extensive harem, he refused the Shah's demand. In response, Khosrau II had him crushed by elephants; however, according to a Syriac chronicle, Khosrau invited Nu'man to a feast where he was dishonored and trapped;[3] another Syriac chronicle states that Khosrow captured Nu'man along with his sons, who then were poisoned. This was the spark that lead to the Battle of Dhi Qar.[4] His destiny after his arrival at Ctesiphon is largely disputed, even in near-contemporary sources; he was either immediately executed or imprisoned for a period of time and then executed, but in 609 he was certainly dead and Iyas his ex-friend was installed, marking the end of the dynasty, although Nu'man's son al-Mundhir tried reviving the kingdom during the Ridda wars and ruled the Bahrain region for a short period of eight months until he was captured.


  1. ^ Bosworth, C. E., ed. (1999). The History of al-Ṭabarī, Volume V: The Sāsānids, the Byzantines, the Lakhmids, and Yemen. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. p. 371. ISBN 978-0-7914-4355-2. 
  2. ^ Bahram Chobin
  3. ^ Philip De Souza and John France, War and peace in ancient and medieval history, p. 139; Khuzistan Chronicle 9
  4. ^ Histoire nestorienne, IIme Partie, p. 536, 546