Peroz III

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Peroz III
Prince of the Sasanian Empire
Born 636
Died ?
Tang China
Issue Narsieh
House House of Sasan
Father Yazdegerd III
Religion Zoroastrianism

Peroz III (Middle Persian: 𐭯𐭩𐭫𐭥𐭰‎, Persian: پیروز "the Victor"; Chinese: 卑路斯; pinyin: Pílùsī) was son of Yazdegerd III, the last Sasanian king of Persia. After the death of his father, who legend says was killed by a miller for his clothes and jewelry (when the governor of Merv might have been the real culprit),[1] he retreated to territory under the control of Tang Dynasty China. He served as a Tang general and the head of the Governorate of Iran, an exiled extension of the Sassanid court. Most of what is known of Peroz is written in the Old Book of Tang and the New Book of Tang.


Prince Peroz was born in 636,[2] and was very young at the time of the reign of his father Emperor Yazdegerd III and never exercised the imperial power of the Sassanids. After the Islamic conquest of Iran, Peroz and much of the imperial family escaped through the Pamir Mountains in what is now Tajikistan and arrived at Tang China, which was more supportive of the Sassanids.

According to the Old Book of Tang, Peroz asked for military help from Tang China against the Arabs in 661. The Tang court created the Area Command of Persia (波斯都督府) at what is now Zaranj, Afghanistan, with Peroz as commander-in-chief. Between 670 and 674, Peroz arrived personally at the Tang court and was given the title of Yòuwǔwèi Jīangjūn (右武衛將軍, "Martial General of the Right [Flank] Guards"). The imperial court allowed Sassanian refugees fleeing from the Arab conquest to settle in China. The Emperor of China at this time was Emperor Gaozong of Tang.

In 678, the deputy state secretary for personnel (吏部侍郎) of the Tang court, Pei Xingjian (裴行儉), a noble from Hedong Commandery, was ordered to escort Peroz back to Persia. Pei Xingjian got as far as Suiye (near modern Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan) before returning, while Peroz was forced to spend over 20 years in Tuhuoluo (吐火羅; likely Bactra or Tokharistan) with several thousand followers. In 708 Peroz arrived at the Tang court again and was given the title of Zuoweiwei Jiangjun (左威衛將軍 Awe-inspiring General of the Left [Flank] Guards).[3]

However, according to the biography of Pei Xingjian, Pei, when briefing the political situation of Persia to Emperor Gaozong, stated that Peroz died before the year of 678.[4] The Persian prince who was escorted was Narsieh, according to Pei Xingjian.


According to the New Book of Tang, Peroz died after receiving the title Youwuwei Jiangjun. It was then that Peroz's son, Narsieh, a hostage at the Tang court, was escorted by Pei Xingjian westwards to Persia in 679 (not 678). As with the Old Book of Tang, Pei got as far as Suiye, and Narsieh (not Peroz) then spent 20 years in Tuhuoluo. Finally, it was again Narsieh and not Peroz who received the title of Zuoweiwei Jiangjun.


Narsieh's descendants adopted the Tang imperial family name Li.

Peroz's son, Khosrau, is mentioned by the Arab historians as accompanying the Turgesh in their wars against the Arabs in Transoxiana. During the Siege of Kamarja in 729, he tried to achieve the surrender of the Arab garrison, but his offer was rejected with scorn.[5]


  1. ^ Katouzian, Homa, Iranian history and politics: The dialectic of state and society, p. 33.
  2. ^ CHINESE-IRANIAN RELATIONS xv. THE LAST SASANIANS IN CHINA, Matteo Compareti, Encyclopaedia Iranica
  3. ^ A History of chinese civilization, Jacques Gernet.
  4. ^ "Old Book of Tang. Vol.84". Wikisource. 
  5. ^ Gibb, H. A. R. (1923). The Arab Conquests in Central Asia. London: The Royal Asiatic Society. p. 71. OCLC 499987512. 
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Yazdegerd III
Sasanian king
Reason for succession failure:
Islamic conquest of Persia
Succeeded by