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Allegiance Derafsh Kaviani.png Sasanian Empire
Service/branch Sasanian army
Rank Astabadh

Iberian War

Azarethes (Greek: Ἀζαρέθης), also recorded as Exarath (Ἑξαράθ) and Zuraq, was a Sassanid Persian military commander during the Byzantine–Sassanid Wars. His Greek name is possibly a misunderstanding of the honorific title hazaraft.[1]


According to the account of Procopius (De bello Persico, I.18), Azarethes was placed in command of the Persian army in Mesopotamia after the Persian defeat in the Battle of Dara in 530. Procopius calls him an "exceptionally able warrior", and Zacharias of Mytilene records that he held the rank of astabadh. In 531, together with his Lakhmid allies, he led an invasion across the Euphrates into the Byzantine province of Commagene. When the Byzantine army under Belisarius approached, they withdrew east, halting at Callinicum. In the ensuing battle, the Byzantines suffered a heavy defeat, but Persian losses too were so high that the Persian king Kavadh I (r. 488–531) was displeased with him and relieved him of his command.

He only reappears in the sources once, in 544, when he accompanied Kavadh's successor, Khosrau I (r. 531–579), at the siege of Edessa.


  1. ^ Greatrex, Geoffrey (1 January 1998). "Rome and Persia at War, 502-532". Francis Cairns – via Google Books.