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Coin of Yazdgerd III, Sakastan mint, Dated RY 11.

Yazdgerd III (also spelled Yazdegerd or Yazdiger, Persian: یزدگرد سوم, "made by God") was the twenty-ninth and last king of the Sassanid dynasty of Iran and a grandson of Khosrau II (590–628). His father was Shahryar whose mother was Miriam, the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Maurice.[1] Yazdgerd III ascended the throne on 16 June 632 after a series of internal conflicts.


Life and Reign

Yazdgerd III reigned as a youth and had never truly exercised authority. The Islamic Conquest of Persia began in his first year of reign, and ended with the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah. Yazdegerd sought an alliance with Emperor Heraclius, who was an old rival of the Persian Empire.

Following the battle of al-Qādisiyyah, the Arabs occupied Ctesiphon, and the young King fled eastward into Media going from one district to another, until at last he was killed by a local miller for his purse at Merv in 651.[1]

The rest of the nobles who fled settled in central Asia where they contributed greatly in spreading Persian culture and language in those regions. They also contributed to the establishment of the first native Iranian dynasty, the Samanid dynasty, which sought to retain some Sassanid traditions while still promoting Islam.

Zoroastrian Calendar

The Zoroastrian religious calendar, which is still in use today, uses the regnal year of Yazdgerd III as its base year. Its calendar era (year numbering system), which is accompanied by a Y.Z. suffix, thus indicates the number of years since the emperor's coronation in 632 AD.


Yazdgerd's son Pirooz II fled to China. Yazdgerd's daughter Shahrbanu is believed to be the wife of Husayn ibn Ali. Yazdgerd's other daughter Izdundad was married to Bustanai ben Haninai, the Jewish exilarch. Persian religious leader Bahaullah's ancestry can be traced back to Yazdgerd III.[2][3]

See also


  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Fifteeth Edition
  2. ^ Balyuzi 2000, pp. 9-12
  3. ^ Effendi 1944, p. 94
Preceded by
Hormizd VI
Sassanid Ruler
632 – 651
Last Sassanid ruler
Ruler of Persia
632 – 651
Succeeded by
Caliph Uthman


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