Saving the Sasanian Empire

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,491
Florania
#1
The Sasanian Empire was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, and it was multi-religious with a Zoroastrian majority.
Its collapse was quite abrupt; its decline and fall took less than thirty years.
What could be done to save the Sasanian Empire?
If the Sasanian Empire retained its border as modern Iran and had a successful successor state, how might Islam have
developed?
 
Nov 2010
7,648
Cornwall
#2
Sassanid isn't it? Not my field but I see now Sasanian is an alternative.

Only time I really come across them is their conquest of the Holy Land in the early 7th century. Their alliance with the jews seems to have led to great massacres of Christians - one possible reason (the only one which coincides in time) for the ramped up Visigothic persecution of the jews in Hispania from then for the next 100 years. Point is - they didn't do much to win friends and influence people

Obvious answer though is the rise of Mohammed and the arab empire isn't it?
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,843
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#4
Or alternatively prevent the 602-28 war with Byzantium or at least the political crisis that developed in Sassanid Persia after the defeat in that war.
Preventing the Roman-Persian War of 602-628:

One) Would have been much better for both the Roman and Persian Empires and their peoples than merely preventing the Sassanid post-war political crisis would have been.

and:

Two) Would have been the the best way to prevent the Sassanid post-war political crisis.

and:

Three) Would have left both empires far stronger and better able to repel Arab attacks than merely preventing the Sassanid post-war political crisis would have left them.

What about letting the Roman-Persian War of 602-628 and the the Sassanid post-war political crisis happen, but preventing the rise of Muhammed, the Islamic Caliphate, and the Arab conquests?

That would probably disturb some Muslim users of this forum, and would still leave both empires weak and ripe for foreign conquest, and remove merely one potential foreign conqueror of the Sasaanid Empire.

For example, that would leave most of the Balkan provinces of the Roman Empire conquered and settled by Slavs and the rest of the Empire in Asia and Africa weakened by the war, with a powerful threatening Avar state in modern Hungary. The Avars could have invaded and possibly conquered much of the Roman Empire, and possibly gone on to invade and conquered the Persian Empire.

The Khazars might have invaded south through the Caucasus, possibly conquering the Sassanid Empire.

And it is possible that the Sassanid Empire could have been invaded and possibly conquered by central Asian powers. The powerful "White Huns" or Hephthalites invaded the Sassanid empire as late as c. 600, and Khusraw Ii sent Simbat IV Bagratuni to defeat them. The Gokturk Khaganate was powerful in Central Asia but fell under the power of the Tang Dynasty of China by 657, making it possible that they might have invaded Persia under the orders of the Tang. The Gokturks revolted against the Tang in 657 and regained a lot of power. The Goktrurks fought in Central Asia against the Umayyad Caliphate and might have invaded and conquered the Sassanid Empire if it still existed.

And possibly there could have been simultaneous invasions by Avars, Khazars, and Turks.

So preventing the Roman-Persian War of 602-628 would be the only choice for a hypothetical time traveler seeking to preserve the Sassanid empire.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,491
Florania
#5
Preventing the Roman-Persian War of 602-628:

One) Would have been much better for both the Roman and Persian Empires and their peoples than merely preventing the Sassanid post-war political crisis would have been.

and:

Two) Would have been the the best way to prevent the Sassanid post-war political crisis.

and:

Three) Would have left both empires far stronger and better able to repel Arab attacks than merely preventing the Sassanid post-war political crisis would have left them.

What about letting the Roman-Persian War of 602-628 and the the Sassanid post-war political crisis happen, but preventing the rise of Muhammed, the Islamic Caliphate, and the Arab conquests?

That would probably disturb some Muslim users of this forum, and would still leave both empires weak and ripe for foreign conquest, and remove merely one potential foreign conqueror of the Sasaanid Empire.

For example, that would leave most of the Balkan provinces of the Roman Empire conquered and settled by Slavs and the rest of the Empire in Asia and Africa weakened by the war, with a powerful threatening Avar state in modern Hungary. The Avars could have invaded and possibly conquered much of the Roman Empire, and possibly gone on to invade and conquered the Persian Empire.

The Khazars might have invaded south through the Caucasus, possibly conquering the Sassanid Empire.

And it is possible that the Sassanid Empire could have been invaded and possibly conquered by central Asian powers. The powerful "White Huns" or Hephthalites invaded the Sassanid empire as late as c. 600, and Khusraw Ii sent Simbat IV Bagratuni to defeat them. The Gokturk Khaganate was powerful in Central Asia but fell under the power of the Tang Dynasty of China by 657, making it possible that they might have invaded Persia under the orders of the Tang. The Gokturks revolted against the Tang in 657 and regained a lot of power. The Goktrurks fought in Central Asia against the Umayyad Caliphate and might have invaded and conquered the Sassanid Empire if it still existed.

And possibly there could have been simultaneous invasions by Avars, Khazars, and Turks.

So preventing the Roman-Persian War of 602-628 would be the only choice for a hypothetical time traveler seeking to preserve the Sassanid empire.
Is it interesting that wars and military expenditure have caused decline of empires and dynasties more often than not?
Why did the Byzantines and the Sassanians fight such a long war with mutual weakening?
 
Feb 2011
6,453
#7
I doubt the Tang could have saved the Sassanid empire, but it's interesting that they accepted Persian refugees and even the Persian court-in-exile including its king Peroz, and eventually attempted to lead an army into Persia to help restore the Sassanid dynasty.

Both Peroz (king-in-exile) and his son Narsieh served in the Tang military, and when Peroz died the Tang sent general Pei Xingjian to escort Narsieh back into Sassanid Persia and help him retake his throne.
However, while on his way Pei Xingjian noticed that the defenses of Tibetan and Turkic lands were lacking and hence redirected his army to attack them, abandoning Narsieh.
Pei's initiative paid off, scoring victories and forcing the surrender of Turkic Kaghan Ashina Funian. However, the court executed Ashina despite being a prisoner. Pei felt ashamed of his government's actions, causing him to retire.
As for Narsieh, he used his own coffers to hire mercenaries to fight against the Umayyid Caliphate, yet these skirmishes had negligible impact. He eventually gave up and returned to the Tang court, and his descendants mixed into the Chinese aristocracy.
 
Mar 2012
4,404
#9
I doubt the Tang could have saved the Sassanid empire, but it's interesting that they accepted Persian refugees and even the Persian court-in-exile including its king Peroz, and eventually attempted to lead an army into Persia to help restore the Sassanid dynasty.

Both Peroz (king-in-exile) and his son Narsieh served in the Tang military, and when Peroz died the Tang sent general Pei Xingjian to escort Narsieh back into Sassanid Persia and help him retake his throne.
However, while on his way Pei Xingjian noticed that the defenses of Tibetan and Turkic lands were lacking and hence redirected his army to attack them, abandoning Narsieh.
Pei's initiative paid off, scoring victories and forcing the surrender of Turkic Kaghan Ashina Funian. However, the court executed Ashina despite being a prisoner. Pei felt ashamed of his government's actions, causing him to retire.
As for Narsieh, he used his own coffers to hire mercenaries to fight against the Umayyid Caliphate, yet these skirmishes had negligible impact. He eventually gave up and returned to the Tang court, and his descendants mixed into the Chinese aristocracy.
I like to add that in regard to the escort mission of 679, we now have archaeological evidence from Astana tomb number 191 in regard to a brigade staff of 12 who escorted the Persian king back in the year 680. The document was titled "Order in the First Year of the Yonglong Reign Period (680) from the Army Office for Recording the Yangren of Guardsmen on March and in Garrison, as well as Meritorious Service Conferees, Augerers, and Others". Within the document mentioned soldiers whose specific task was to escort the Persian king.
This mean that even after Pei Xingjian turned back, a small Tang force did escort Narsieh back en route to Tukhara (not Persia) in 680.
 

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