Khosrau II (Khosrow II, Chosroes II, Khosroes II, or Xosrov II in classical sources, sometimes called Parviz, "The Ever Victorious" – (Persian: خسرو پرویز) (c. 570 - 28 February 628), was the 22nd Sassanid King of Persia, reigning from 590 to 628. He was the son of Hormizd IV (reigned 579–590) and the grandson of Khosrau I (reigned 531–579).
Khosrau II was the last king of Iran (or Persia) to have a lengthy reign before the Muslim conquest of Iran. He lost his throne, then recovered it with the help of the Byzantine emperor Maurice. After Phokas overthrew and killed Maurice, Khosrau II invaded Byzantine territory in 602. Khosrau II's forces captured much of the Byzantine Empire's territories, earning the king the epithet "the Victorious". A siege of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 626 was unsuccessful, and Herakleios, now allied with Turks, started a successful risky counterattack deep into Persia's heartland. Supported by the feudal families of the empire, Khosrau II's son Sheroe (Kavad II) imprisoned and killed Khosrau II. This led to a civil war and interregnum in the empire and the reversal of all Sasanian gains in the war against the Byzantines.
Khosrau II in "The Banner of Kaviyan"
With the help of the banner of Kaviyan, the army of the King of Kings Khusro, led by marshal Shahr Baraz succeeded in reconquering Palestine, Egypt, and Asia Minor, and dreamed of sacking Constantinople. With these victories, Khusro considered the Banner of Kaviyan to be a treasure too valuable to risk in battle. He therefore had it sent to Ctesiphon for safe-keeping. It was hidden away in the Imperial Palace with only a few trusted officials knowing where in the elaborate structure it was placed. This was to prevent rebellion as possession of the banner would leave the rebel army invincible.
But without the banner, the Persian victories were reversed and the Romans went on the offensive. Khusro feared to enter Ctesiphon since it was prophesized that he would be destroyed if he did and so fought on without the banner. However, he continued to lose ground and so eventually went to Ctesiphon to retrieve the banner. But none of the officials who knew where it was hidden remained and after desperate searching it was not found. Khusro was forced to flee but was eventually captured by his son and killed by slow torture.
Generations later, Shahin of Gomishan was able to find the banner itself. Under the banner's influence, Shahin dreamed of the second Khusro's initial successes, and then Khusro's fatal decision to hide the banner away.
Khosrau II in "Departures"
- Arabesques: More Tales of the Arabian Nights, Susan Shwartz, ed, pg. 217.
- Ibid., pg. 218.
- Ibid., pg. 227.
- See, e.g., Departures, pg 52, mmp.
|Great King (Shah) of Persia
|Great King (Shah) of Persia
(Agent of Byzantium)
Incumbent in 605,