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Was Shapur I overrated?

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Imperatore Dario I View Drop Down
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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Was Shapur I overrated?
    Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 08:16

Do you guys believe that King Shapur I of the Sassanian Empire was overrated? I do, anyway. Don't get me wrong, he was good in his successes against the Romans, but he was defeated by the armies of Emperor Gordian III, the only thing that spared Shapur was the assassination of Gordian at the hands of Phillip the Arab. Also, after he again invaded the Roman Empire, he very shamefully captured Valerain (not by military defeat, he claimed he wanted to "negotiate" but instead took him captive that way), and was defeated completely by Septimius Odenathus, who launched a counteroffensive into Persia and siezed Ctesiphon TWICE. So, what do you guys think?



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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 10:28

About the capturing Emperor Valerian, I should say that according to Roman sources, Valerian was just one of 70,000 Roman solders and generals who were captured by Shapur at the battle of Edessa, and about other Roman Emperors and Generals, lets see what Shapur himself says:

The emperor Gordian levied in all of the Roman empire an army of Goths and Germans and marched against Asuristan [Iraq], the empire of Iran and us. On the border of Asuristan, at Massice [Misikhe on the Euphrates], a great battle took place. The emperor Gordian was killed and we destroyed the Roman army. The Romans proclaimed Philip [the Arab; 244-249] emperor. The emperor Philip came to terms, and as ransom for their lives he gave us 500,000 dinars and became our tributary. For that reason, we renamed Massice Firuz-Shapur ["victorious (is) Shapur"].

Several years later, in AD 256 (or AD 252), another confrontation between the Persians and Romans occurred:

We attacked the Roman empire and we destroyed an army of 60,000 men at Barbalissus [in Syria]. Syria and its surrounding areas we burned, devastated and plundered. In this one campaign we captured of the Roman empire 37 cities. (The large inscription of Shapur on the walls of Ka'ba of Zarathushtra in three languages: Sasanian Pahlavi (Middle Persian), Parthian, and Greek)

Other than his victories on the west, he had many achievements on the East too, for example Shapur overthrew Kushan Empire forever and conquered India.

Meanwhile there are many other things that make a king great, Shapur built hundreds cities that most of them such as Neishapur, Bishapur, Shapurkhast, Shapurkhorra, ... are still great cities, did you know that one of the Greatest universities in the world was built by Shapur?

Encyclopedia Britannica: The Academy of Gondeshapur
The greatest achievement of Sasanian education was in higher education, particularly as it developed in the Academy of Gondeshapur. Here, Zoroastrian culture, Indian and Greek sciences, Alexandrian-Syrian thought, medical training, theology, philosophy, and other disciplines developed to a high degree, making Gondeshapur the most advanced academic centre of learning in the later period of Sasanian civilization. The academy, to which came students from various parts of the world, advanced, among other subjects, Zoroastrian, Greek, and Indian philosophies; Persian, Hellenic, and Indian astronomy; Zoroastrian ethics, theology, and religion; law, government, and finance; and various branches of medicine.
It was partly through the Academy of Gondeshapur that important elements of classical Greek and Roman learning reached the Muslims during the 8th and 9th centuries AD and through them, in Latin translations of Arabic works, the Schoolmen of western Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v24/n03/ali_01_.html:
The development of medicine, a discipline in which Muslims later excelled, provides an interesting example of the way knowledge travelled, was adapted and matured in the course of the first millennium. Two centuries before Islam, the city of Gondeshapur in south-western Persia became a refuge for dissident intellectuals and freethinkers facing repression in their own cities. The Nestorians of Edessa fled here in 489 after their school was closed. When, forty years later, the Emperor Justinian decreed that the school of Neoplatonic philosophers in Athens be closed, its students and teachers, too, made the long trek to Gondeshapur. News of this city of learning spread to neighbouring civilisations. Scholars from India and, according to some, even China arrived to take part in discussions with Greeks, Jews, Arabs, Christians and Syrians. The discussions ranged over a wide variety of subjects, but it was the philosophy of medicine that attracted the largest numbers.
Theoretical instruction in medicine was supplemented by practice in a bimaristan (hospital), making the citizens of Gondeshapur the most cared for in the world. The first Arab who earned the title of physician, Harith bin Kalada, was later admitted to the Court of the Persian ruler Chosroes Anushirwan and a conversation between the two men was recorded by scribes. According to this the physician advised the ruler to avoid over-eating and undiluted wine, to drink plenty of water every day, to avoid sex while drunk and to have baths after meals. He is reputed to have pioneered enemas to deal with constipation.
Medical dynasties were well established in the city by the time of the Muslim conquest in 638. Arabs began to train in Gondeshapur's medical schools and the knowledge they acquired began to spread throughout the Muslim Empire. Treatises and documents began to flow. Ibn Sina and al-Razi, the two great Muslim philosopher-physicians of Islam, were well aware that the basis of their medical knowledge derived from a small town in Persia.


8 m high statue of Shapur I at the entrance to a cave near to Bishapur



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Imperatore Dario I View Drop Down
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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 10:36

Cyrus, I am not talking about Shapur I in political respects, I mean militarily. Near Eastern sources have actually been proven untrustworthy, especially with the rumor of the Persian capture of the Roman fortress of Hastra. So I don't really feel fond of believe Shapur I himself. And, IIRC, Gordian III sent an army of Romans into the fight against him, but after he returned, an outbreak of plague in Italy forced the new emperor (Philip, who took power after assassinating Gordian)  to use Gothic and Germanic troops against the Persians.

Indeed, it's been proven that Gordian did NOT fall in battle, but was assassinated after destroyed a Persian attack force. Shapur I is known to exaggerate his victories to the people back home would praise him, but against the Romans, he was not really as successful as he claims at all.


Let there be a race of Romans with the strength of Italian courage.- Virgil's Aeneid
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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 10:59

Romans sources aren't that reliable either

(and I find it extremely funny when an Italian tries to fiercely defend an un-related empire that disappeared centuries ago...)

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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 11:07
Originally posted by ihsan

Romans sources aren't that reliable either

(and I find it extremely funny when an Italian tries to fiercely defend an un-related empire that disappeared centuries ago...)

Wait a minute, you tell me  that Rome and Italy aren't related, when it's the exact same thing for the Ottoman Empire? BELIEVE IT OR NOT BUT OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND TURKEY ARE NOT THE SAME. Let's see, the Turks are mixed with 12 millions Kurds, and still have mixtures from Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians, Russians, Arabs, Armenians, and you talk about us? But hey, Roman sources are deemed more trustworthy than Persian ones.


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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 03:26
Let me tell you something, the roman army was beated by Persia and the Persian King . It is obvious in Nagshe Rustam. If romans ever invaded Ctesiphon they did not kast for two days and were kicked out. Romans always had their own problems and Persia dominated them. Even in poor economic circumstances Persians defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus badly. This marcus guy claimed that no army could beat rome. Now are their(Roman) sources reliable while they were beaten so badly by Persians?
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  Quote Dari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 04:18

Originally posted by jamshidi_f

Let me tell you something, the roman army was beated by Persia and the Persian King . It is obvious in Nagshe Rustam. If romans ever invaded Ctesiphon they did not kast for two days and were kicked out. Romans always had their own problems and Persia dominated them. Even in poor economic circumstances Persians defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus badly. This marcus guy claimed that no army could beat rome. Now are their(Roman) sources reliable while they were beaten so badly by Persians?

For one thing, it's evident you don't know the difference in Iranian and Iranic tribes. The Parnis and Persians aren't the same thing, although exteremly related and close to each other.

Surenas lead an army comprised of Persians, Scythians, Medes, Kurds, Lors, Parthians and various other Iranian soldiers at Carrhae.



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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 04:25
I do know it sir. First it is not Parnis and it is Parthians, secondly Arashk the first claimed that he was from Achaemenian blood and as a result half parthian and half Persian. Secondly some popular historians call them parthians but they were Ashkanians a group that were Iranian and had all persians parthians and medians in their government or the MOGHESTAN MAJLES. Now they were not only Parthians but Ashkanians. I guess you should not forget this.
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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 09:45

Originally posted by jamshidi_f

Let me tell you something, the roman army was beated by Persia and the Persian King . It is obvious in Nagshe Rustam. If romans ever invaded Ctesiphon they did not kast for two days and were kicked out. Romans always had their own problems and Persia dominated them. Even in poor economic circumstances Persians defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus badly. This marcus guy claimed that no army could beat rome. Now are their(Roman) sources reliable while they were beaten so badly by Persians?

Sassanian king Shapur I temporarily put Rome in peril, but he was driven out by the Romans twice, with Ctesiphon captured. As for that, why couldn't it be possible that the Romans abandoned the city, like we did with the Parthians? The Roman army took so much gold from Ctesiphon when they withdrew that caused the collapse of the Parthian Empire, who grew bankrupt and vulnerable to rebellion by the Sassanians.

As for Crassus, you forget that Rome was in deep internal trouble herself. Crassus decided to attack Parthia in a campaign he had never experienced as a general. Sure, he crushed Spartacus' slave revolt, but that was among his own people, in his own land, what the heck did he know about invading a foreign country? Parthia won the battle as much by unfortunate circumstances with the Romans as their own abilities to fight. Yes, Rome had a much larger force of 30,000 against Parthia's 12,000 troops, but we must remember something here.  The Romans had only about 1,000 cavalry. Most of Parthia's force was calvary archers, which no doubt is more of a useful tool against an infantry force. 

 Crassus believed that he had the assurance of an Arab leader to distract the Parthians while he launched the main attack, but he simply fled the field. A small part of the Roman force drove out some of the Parthians, but were cut off from the main Roman force and destroyed. As the Parthians continued the attack, Crassus repelled them, but was forced to retreat to Carrhae itself because he was wounded. That morning he sent his soldiers to the mountains, and were offered peace by the Parthian general. As Crassus and his soldiers trudged toward the general, the Parthians whipped around the Romans and slaughtered them, killing 20,000, and enlisting the aid of Chinese troops to capture Sogdia.

Persian sources are not reliable not to the fact that they win, becasue Roman records also write in losses to the Persians. However, Persian sources have been grossly exaggerated, especially during Shapur I, who made up the lie about occupying the Roman fort of Hatra while in fact he didn't. 


Let there be a race of Romans with the strength of Italian courage.- Virgil's Aeneid
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 14:42
First where have you read anything about what Shapur has ever indicated?
Secondly after the defeat of rome by Sassanians Armenia became part of Persia and Romans paid money to the Sassanians(Although for very few years) so that they would not continiue. Secondly, noone took anything from Ctesiphon. If Ashkanians(Parthians) were defeated by Sassanians the reason is that Ardeshir(first sassanian) indicated that he is from royal race of Achaemenians and people liked them more than the parthioans. Moreover they made myths about Ardeshir and people believed them. Why do you think the sassanians were reach from the time of invading Ctesiphon??????????
Then again, none of the sassanian kings has ever indicated anything about battles or victories. The only thing is NAGHSH-E-RUSTAM where the emperor of Rome is shown kneeling in front of Shapur's horse(while he is on the back of it). This seen was probably true.
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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 16:36

Originally posted by jamshidi_f

First where have you read anything about what Shapur has ever indicated?
Secondly after the defeat of rome by Sassanians Armenia became part of Persia and Romans paid money to the Sassanians(Although for very few years) so that they would not continiue. Secondly, noone took anything from Ctesiphon. If Ashkanians(Parthians) were defeated by Sassanians the reason is that Ardeshir(first sassanian) indicated that he is from royal race of Achaemenians and people liked them more than the parthioans. Moreover they made myths about Ardeshir and people believed them. Why do you think the sassanians were reach from the time of invading Ctesiphon??????????
Then again, none of the sassanian kings has ever indicated anything about battles or victories. The only thing is NAGHSH-E-RUSTAM where the emperor of Rome is shown kneeling in front of Shapur's horse(while he is on the back of it). This seen was probably true.

You're showing ignorance of both facts and history! I've read about Shapur I not only in an article called Rome's Persian Mirage, but also on books of the Roman Empire. Shapur said it, it was to glorify himself to the Persian population. And what are you talking about? Rome clinged on to Armenia. Shapur was first defeated by Emperor Gordian III, who was later assassinated by Phillip the Arab (however, Shapur himself tells that Gordian fell in battle). Phillip, since he just siezed the throne, asked Shapur for peace, and all his territories were restored (I think). However, Shapur attacked again, under Emperor Valerain, who was captured while having successes against Shapur. But in the end, Shapur was crushed by the Roman army and Rome's Eastern frontier was safe.

Noone took anything from Ctesiphon? I've already mentioned that during wars with Parthia, Ctesiphon was conquered, which financially bankrupted the Parthian economy, leaving it vulnerable from Sassanian revolt. And yes, Roman troops have conquered Ctesiphon from the Sassanian Empire as well. And once again, Shapur I has said that his forces captured Hastra, which has been determined to be false.  Sorry, but what I'm saying is true.


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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 17:04
Do you have any sources of what Shapur said in PAHLAVI. What you have read is the saying of historians who by just looking at Naghsh-e-rustam indicate that Shapur has declared to have beaten the entire roman army. But this is not true. I have told you what Birouni says in AlMAFATIHEL KETABAT which was written about 1000 ago and is probably more true than what you have read(cause it was closer in time to the events) In addition many writers take the side of the romans and make them errorless while we must not forget they liked spilling blood and making slaves and did not do anything about human rights. In history Persians and Greeks have a higher position from my point of view because they helped the race of human being in standing against slavery.(what romans enjoyed, they liked Blood)
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 17:12
I did not want to disrespect you and the Romans until you made me to. We are giving our Ideas. Any of us could be wrong. I do respect everyone and their thoughts and we are here to discuss things not to stand against each other.We could both be wrong but I disagree with disrespecting. I do not say you are wrong about Romans but this could be wrong and what I say could be right. After all History can not be trusted cause Historians opinion could affect it.
WE SHOULD NOT BE SO DOGMATIC imperatoredarioI.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 17:20
This dario guy is so disrespectful jamshidi_f, I do not understand why does he love the romans so much??????????
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 17:30
Who is this idiot Imperator Dario?????????????
What is he saying. We invaded rome like easy. Romans were nothing but americans and british make them gigantic to ignore the german race
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2004 at 04:43
Jamshidi_f, please say to your Armenian and German friends in North Vancouver that don't insult our members!
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  Quote Rebelsoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2004 at 05:02

Cyrus, I love your sense of irony

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  Quote Dari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2004 at 11:04
I think Jam has some personality disorders...


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  Quote Sabzevarian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2004 at 11:47

Wait a minute, you tell me  that Rome and Italy aren't related, when it's the exact same thing for the Ottoman Empire? BELIEVE IT OR NOT BUT OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND TURKEY ARE NOT THE SAME. Let's see, the Turks are mixed with 12 millions Kurds, and still have mixtures from Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians, Russians, Arabs, Armenians, and you talk about us?

The Ottoman Empire survived into the early 20th century. There are people still alive from when it was still around. Now I don't know if you want to call Turkey "the same thing" when it's a secular, somewhat democratic successor state, but they have much closer chronological links than Italians and the Roman Empire. And putting aside that all those people's were part of the Ottoman Empire anyway, I would think you mgiht lose a genetic comparison as well (though granted I'm too lazy to look up information on that area today).

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  Quote Imperatore Dario I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2004 at 12:14

I did not want to disrespect you and the Romans until you made me to. We are giving our Ideas. Any of us could be wrong. I do respect everyone and their thoughts and we are here to discuss things not to stand against each other.We could both be wrong but I disagree with disrespecting. I do not say you are wrong about Romans but this could be wrong and what I say could be right. After all History can not be trusted cause Historians opinion could affect it.
WE SHOULD NOT BE SO DOGMATIC imperatoredarioI.

 

I MADE you to  "disrespect" the Romans and I? I haven't disrespected you at all, nor anyone else on this thread or on this forum. Me saying that you were ignorant on some historical facts is not a slander, or an act of disrespect. Being "ignorant" simply means that you are unaware, unimformed, or uneducated on something, in this case, on the fact about the Roman-Persian conflicts. Also, how am I dogmatic? Do you have any idea what the word even means? It's an arrogant assertion of unproved or unprovable principles, and I have showed no dogma. Don't say that I've "made" you disrespect me because I do not force anyone to do anything, and that includes you as well.

This dario guy is so disrespectful jamshidi_f, I do not understand why does he love the romans so much??????????

I have not been disrespectful at all, and I am challenging you to prove where I have been disrespectful. And why shouldn't I love the Romans? Tell me, why do you love the Persians so much?

 

Who is this idiot Imperator Dario?????????????
What is he saying. We invaded rome like easy. Romans were nothing but americans and british make them gigantic to ignore the german race

Boy, isn't it fun to see the pot calling the kettle black? You invaded Rome "like easy"? Invading any country is EASY, the hard part comes when you intend on controlling the territory you have captured from your opponent, which was most certainly NOT easy for the Sassanians or Parthians to do at all. And stop attacking the Romans, I've just been trying to make one point, that militarily, Shapur I is overrated. Maybe if you've read the original message you wouldn't have put yourself into a trap? Rome has launched offensives into Persia aswell, so maybe you shouldn't trick yourself into thinking that it was "easy" to attack the Romans, because, in the end, the wars with Rome caused the collapse of both the Parthian dynasty and the Sassanian dynasty of the Persian Empire (as in, the financial cost left them vulnverable to foreign invasion).

@Sab

The Ottoman Empire survived into the early 20th century. There are people still alive from when it was still around. Now I don't know if you want to call Turkey "the same thing" when it's a secular, somewhat democratic successor state, but they have much closer chronological links than Italians and the Roman Empire. And putting aside that all those people's were part of the Ottoman Empire anyway, I would think you mgiht lose a genetic comparison as well (though granted I'm too lazy to look up information on that area today).

Are the Turks closer than the Italians? I'm not saying that genetically Italy is pure and from the Romans but you've gotta understand that the original Ottomans are not the Turks of today. The ones that destroyed the Roman Empire by capturing Constantinople in 1453. They were a nomadic, Asiatic Mongoloid (not in the offensive term) race. But during the centuries of the Ottoman Empire, Greeks, Armenians, Kurds, Italians (left over from the Venetian commercial influence), and Persians all mixed in to the original Turkic blood. I've even read an article on a Turkish man himself telling on how mixed in the Ottoman Empire actually was. It was mostly the assimilation and interbreeding that kept it Turkish looking.


Let there be a race of Romans with the strength of Italian courage.- Virgil's Aeneid
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