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Lieutenant General Bahrām Chobin (Chubin, Chobina) (in Persian بهرام چوبین) was a famous Eran spahbod (military commander) during Khosrau II's rule in Sassanid Iran. Descended from the House of Mihran, one of the Seven Parthian clans, his first great victory came in Herat in 589, which is reported in a number of sources. He successfully defeated a large Göktürk army in great Turkish War. Reportedly, the Turkish forces outnumbered his troops five to one. Relying on the discipline and superior training of his Persian Cataphract cavalry, Bahram trapped and defeated the Turks, killing the Göktürk Bagha/Yabghu Qaghan. After suffering a minor defeat in battle against the Eastern Roman empire, Shah Hormizd IV humiliated him, sending him women's clothing to wear. Thus, he along with the main Persian army (spah), rebelled against the Shah and marched toward Ctesiphon. Hormizid was killed and his son, Khosrau II, unable to fight such an army, fled to Roman territory and Bahram sat on the throne as King Bahram VI for about a year (590 - 591). Bahrām ultimately setting up his own parallel monarchy.

Bindoy, the uncle of Khosrau, who had accompanied him into exile, was sent with a 70,000 man Byzantine army granted by the Byzantine Emperor Maurice. They went to Armenia to outflank Bahram, who was defeated in the lowlands and lost Ctesiphon. He retreated to Azerbaijan but was finally defeated and fled to the Turks in Central Asia where he received asylum, where he was assassinated a year later. Thus ended the reign of Bahram who, more than his sovereign, captured the emotions of Persian bards and story tellers.

There are many fables attributed to Bahram VI, as is the norm for many heroes in Persian literature. The chapters in Volume VIII of Ferdowsi's eleventh century (c.e.) Shah Nama [1] on the reigns of "Hurmuzd, Son of Nushirwan," and "Khusrau Parviz," both of which are almost as much about Bahram Chobina as about Hurmuzd or his son. The sections on Bahram Chobina's sister, Gordiyeh, are of special interest. According to traditions outside the Shāhnāmeh, she was also his wife.

After collapse of Sassanid empire and Islamic conquest of Persia, the Samanid dynasty, one of the first independent Persian dynasties, considered themselves from Bahram Chobin's lineage.


Preceded by
Khosrau II
Sassanid Rulers
Succeeded by
Khosrau II

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