He is first mentioned during the Iberian War, where he was sent by Kavadh I to Caucasian Iberia in order to subdue a revolt under Gurgen. During the reign of Kavadh's son, Khosrau I, the Yemenites had requested his assistance against the Ethiopians of Axum, who had occupied large parts of the country. Sayf ibn Dhi Yazan, the son of Dhu Yazan, went to Khosrau and offered him all of Yemen if his army would defeat the Ethiopians.
Khosrau then sent Vahriz and his son Nawzadh to Yemen at the head of a small expeditionary force of low-ranking Azatan (Azadan) nobility, numbering around 800. During the invasion, Nawzadh was killed, which made Vahriz furious at Masruq, the Ethiopian ruler of Yemen. Vahriz then met Masruq in battle and killed the latter with an arrow, which made the Ethiopians flee. He then approached Sana'a, where he is known to have said: "My banner shall never enter [a town] lowered! Break down the gateway!"
After having captured Sana'a, Vahriz restored Sayf ibn Dhi-Yazan to his throne as a vassal of the Sasanian Empire. Al-Tabari reports that the main reason behind victory of Vahriz over the Axumites was the use of the panjigan (probably a ballista equipped with heavy darts), a piece of military technology with which the local peoples were utterly unfamiliar. After having conquered Yemen, Vahriz then returned to Persia with a great amount of booty. However, in 575 or 578, the vassal king was killed by the Ethiopians, which forced Vahriz to return to Yemen with a force of 4000 men, and expel the Ethiopians once again. He then made Maʿdī Karib, the son of Sayf, the new king of Yemen. Vahriz was then appointed as governor of Yemen by Khosrau I, which would remain in Sasanian hands until the arrival of Islam. Vahriz was succeeded by his son Marzbān as governor of Yemen.
- The History of Al-Tabari: The Sasanids, the Lakhmids, and Yemen, p. 240, at Google Books
- A Guillaume. Summary of Life of Muhammad. pp. 30–34.
- Muhammad and the Origins of Islam, p. 100, at Google Books