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King of Kings
Bronze coin of Farn-Sasan.jpg
Bronze coin of Farn-Sasan. He is shown on the front side. The other side shows a picture of a fire altar
King of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom
SuccessorArdashir I (Sasanian Empire)
HouseHouse of Gondophares

Farn-Sasan was the last king in the Indo-Parthian Kingdom who ruled Sakastan from about 210 to 226. There are no books that talk about him. He is only known because of the coins he issued. He was killed in 226 by the ruler Ardashir I. Because of this, the Indo-Parthian rule ended.

Origin of name[change | change source]

Then name "Sasan" was popular with the Indo-Parthian people. The origin of the name is not entirely known. David Neil MacKenzie and V.A. Livshits says that the name comes from Old Iranian, translating to *Sāsāna ("defeating enemy"). It is also the name of a Zoroastrian deity.[1]

Biography[change | change source]

Farn-Sasan went into the Indo-Parthian throne sometime in 210. They don't know what king was before him. They think it may have been Pacores.[2] Farn-Sasan is not mentioned in any books. He is only known because of his coins. These coins all say "Farn-Sasan, son of Adur-Sasan, grandson of Tirdat, son of the grandson of Sanabares, the King of Kings."[2][a] Farn-Sasan tried to make himself notable by his rule by showing that he was related to his great-grandfather, Sanabares, a famous Indo-Parthian king.[4][5] He calls the King of Kings Sanabares the King of Kings. Farn-Sasan also called himself the King of Kings. This happened a lot in Achaemenid and Parthian rulers.[6][1]

Coin of the Sasanian monarch Ardashir I (r. 224–242), minted at Hamadan between 226–230

Adur-Sasan and Tirdat were never a ruler. This means that Farn-Sasan was probably from a cadet branch in the dynasty.[3]

On the front side of the coins, he is seen with a cap. On the other side, a fire altar is shown. The altar has writing around it.[7] Farn-Sasan is the only king that is known to have a fire altar on coins that is also from Sakastan. Around the same time, Ardashir I (r. 224–242) made coins with a fire-altar that looked like Farn-Sasan's coins.[8] Historians are not sure if Farn-Sasan copied the fire altar or if Ardashir I copied the fire altar off of Farn-Sasan.[6]

Farn-Sasan and Sasanian Ardashir I share a similar name. Because of this and the fact that both of their coin has a fire altar, historians think Sasanians and Indo-Parthians may have had common ancestry.[9][1] Historians say that Farn-Sasan and Sasanian Ardashir I were rivals. Both wanted to be the King of Kings.[10] The Iranologist Khodadad Rezakhani argues that Farn-Sasan was a superior of Ardashir I. He said that Ardashir I was only able to say that he was the King of Kings after he defeated Farn-Sasan in 226 and ended Indo-Parthian rule.[11][12]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Until recently, people thought that Farn-Sasan's name was "Ardamitra".[1][3]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Olbrycht 2016, p. 25.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rezakhani 2017, p. 40.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rezakhani 2017, p. 41.
  4. Rezakhani 2017, pp. 41, 43.
  5. Alram, Michael. "From the Indo-Parthians to the Sasanians. Coins as Witness to History" (PDF). Ancient Herat. Retrieved 2022-04-07.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rezakhani 2017, p. 43.
  7. Rezakhani 2017, pp. 41–42.
  8. Rezakhani 2017, p. 42.
  9. Rezakhani 2017, pp. 43–45.
  10. Rezakhani 2017, p. 39.
  11. Daryaee & Rezakhani 2016, pp. 24–25.
  12. Rezakhani 2017, pp. 39–41.

Sources[change | change source]