Sassanians Under Ardeshir Conquer Nisibis

Sassanians Under Ardeshir Conquer Nisibis ...
parseed.ir 15/12/237 History

Keywords:#Achaemenid, #Akkadian, #Alexander_the_Great, #Amida, #Arabic, #Ardeshir, #Armenian, #Assyrian, #Baghdad, #Christianity, #Christians, #Classical, #Ctesiphon, #Cyrus, #Edessa, #Greek, #Isfahan, #Jesus, #Kurdish, #Kurdistan, #Lucullus, #Mesopotamia, #Narseh, #Nestorian, #Nisibis, #Parseed, #Parseed.ir, #Parthia, #Parthian, #Persian, #Roman, #Rome, #Sasanian, #Sassanid, #Seleucia, #Severus, #Syria, #Syrian, #Tabari, #Theodore, #Tigranes, #Trajan, #Turkey, #Turkish

In 224 AD, Ardashir defeated the Parthian empire and replaced it with the Sasanian Empire. He began to raid Roman territory almost immediately after he had taken power at Ctesiphon. When Severus Alexander launched a massive invasion of Persian empire in the early 230s, the Persian forces drove it back inflicting heavy casualties on the Roman army. The Sasanians then besieged the Roman city of Nisibis in 235 or 237 and eventually conquered it at the Battle of Nisibis.
Nusaybin (pronounced ; Akkadian: Naṣibina; Classical Greek: Νίσιβις, Nisibis; Arabic: نصيبين‎, Kurdish: Nisêbîn; Syriac: ܢܨܝܒܝܢ‎, Nṣībīn; Armenian: Մծբին, Mtsbin) is a city in Mardin Province, Turkey. The population of the city is 83,832 as of 2009 and is predominantly Kurdish. In Turkish Kurdistan, Nusaybin is separated from the larger Kurdish-majority city of Qamishlo by the Turkey-Syria border.
Ancient period
First mentioned in 901 BCE, Naşibīna was an Aramean kingdom captured by the Assyrian king Adad-Nirari II in 896. By 852 BCE, Naṣibina had been fully annexed to the Neo-Assyrian Empire and appeared in the Assyrian Eponym List as the seat of an Assyrian provincial governor named Shamash-Abua. It remained part of the Assyrian Empire until its collapse in 608 BCE.
It was under Babylonian control until 536 BCE, when it fell to the Achaemenid Persians, and remained so until taken by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE. The Seleucids refounded the city as Antiochia Mygdonia (Greek: Ἀντιόχεια τῆς Μυγδονίας), mentioned for the first time in Polybius' description of the march of Antiochus III the Great against Molon (Polybius, V, 51). The Greek historian Plutarch suggested that the city was populated by descendants of Spartans. Around the 1st century CE, Nisibis (נציבין, Netzivin) was the home of Judah ben Bethera, who founded a famous yeshiva there.
Classical period
Like many other cities in the marches where Roman and Parthian powers confronted one another, Nisibis was often taken and retaken: it was captured by Lucullus after a long siege from the brother of Tigranes; and captured again by Trajan in 115 CE, for which he gained the name of Parthicus, then lost and regained against the Jews during the Kitos War. Lost in 194, it was again conquered by Septimius Severus, who made it his headquarters and re-established a colony there. The last battle between Rome and Parthia was fought in the vicinity of the city in 217. With the fresh energy of the new Sassanid dynasty, Shapur I conquered Nisibis, was driven out, and returned in the 260s. In 298, by a treaty with Narseh, the province of Nisibis was acquired by the Roman Empire.
The Roman historian of the 4th century, Ammianus Marcellinus, gained his first practical experience of warfare as a young man at Nisibis under the master of the cavalry, Ursicinus. From 360 to 363, Nisibis was the camp of Legio I Parthica. Because of its strategic importance on the Persian border Nisibis was heavily fortified. Ammianus lovingly calls Nisibis the "impregnable city" (urbs inexpugnabilis) and "bulwark of the provinces" (murus provinciarum).
Sozomen writes that when the inhabitants of Nisibis asked for help because the Persians were about to invade the Roman territories and attack them, Julian refused to assist them because they were Christianized and he told them that he would not help them if they did not return to paganism.
In 363 Nisibis was ceded back to the Persians after the defeat of Emperor Julian. Before that time the population of the town was forced by the Roman authorities to leave Nisibis and move to Amida. Emperor Jovian allowed them only three days for the evacuation. Historian Ammianus Marcellinus was again an eyewitness and condemns Emperor Jovian for giving up the fortified town without a fight. Marcellinus' point-of-view is certainly in line with contemporary Roman public opinion.
According to Al-Tabari some 12,000 Persians of good lineage from Istakhr, Isfahan, and other regions settled at Nisibis in the 4th century, and their descendants were still there at the beginning of the 7th century.
The first theological, philosophical and medical School of Nisibis, founded at the introduction of Christianity into the city by ethnic Assyrians of the Assyrian Church of the East, was closed when the province was ceded to the Persians. Ephrem the Syrian, an Assyrian poet, commentator, preacher and defender of orthodoxy, joined the general exodus of Christians and reestablished the school on more securely Roman soil at Edessa. In the 5th century the school became a center of Nestorian Christianity, and was closed down by Archbishop Cyrus in 489; the expelled masters and pupils withdrew once more, back to Nisibis, under the care of Barsauma, who had been trained at Edessa, under the patronage of Narses, who established the statutes of the new school. Those that have been discovered and published belong to Osee, the successor of Barsauma in the See of Nisibis, and bear the date 496; they must be substantially the same as those of 489. In 590 they were again modified. The monastery school was under a superior called Rabban ("master"), a title also given to the instructors. The administration was confided to a majordomo, who was steward, prefect of discipline and librarian, but under the supervision of a council. Unlike the Jacobite schools, devoted chiefly to profane studies, the school of Nisibis was above all a school of theology. The two chief masters were the instructors in reading and in the interpretation of Holy Scripture, explained chiefly with the aid of Theodore of Mopsuestia. The free course of studies lasted three years, the students providing for their own support. During their sojourn at the university, masters and students led a monastic life under somewhat special conditions. The school had a tribunal and enjoyed the right of acquiring all sorts of property. Its rich library possessed a most beautiful collection of Nestorian works; from its remains Ebed-Jesus, Bishop of Nisibis in the 14th century, composed his celebrated catalogue of ecclesiastical writers. The disorders and dissensions, which arose in the sixth century in the school of Nisibis, favoured the development of its rivals, especially that of Seleucia; however, it did not really begin to decline until after the foundation of the School of Baghdad (832). Among its literary celebrities mention should be made of its founder Narses; Abraham, his nephew and successor; Abraham of Kashgar, the restorer of monastic life; and Archbishop Elijah of Nisibis.
As a fortified frontier city, Nisibis played a major role in the Roman-Persian Wars. It became the capital of the newly created province of Mesopotamia after Diocletian's organization of the eastern Roman frontier. It became known as the "Shield of the Empire" after a successful resistance in 337-350. The city changed hands several times, and once in Sasanian hands, Nisibis was the base of the operations against the Romans. The city was also one of the main crossing points for merchants; but elaborate counter-espionage safeguards were put in place.
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