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Traces of Bahrām Čubin in Greek, Armenian, Arabic and Persian historiographical sources

26 Apr 2016-Vol. 4, pp 13-23
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examined four historical sources originally written in Greek, Armenian, Arabic and Persian regarding Bahrām Cubin and gave light on their respective styles, tendencies and religious and historical affiliations.
Abstract: In this article I will examine four historiographical sources originally written in Greek, Armenian, Arabic and Persian regarding Bahrām Cubin. Given that the sources represent four distinct historiographical traditions they will give light on their respective styles, tendencies and religious and historical affiliations.
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TL;DR: The correspondence of March 590, from the Iranian shah Khosrow II Parviz (r. 591-628) and addressed to the Byzantine emperor Maurice as discussed by the authors , exhibits a particular style, focused on the ideological oppositions of order and disorder and legitimacy and usurpation.
Abstract: The Byzantine historian Theophylact Simocatta (fl. 620s) records an exchange of letters with the Sasanian Empire. The correspondence of March 590, from the Iranian shah Khosrow II Parviz (r. 591–628) and addressed to the Byzantine emperor Maurice (r. 582–602), exhibits a particular style, focused on the ideological oppositions of order and disorder and legitimacy and usurpation. This paper suggests that Khosrow’s claims to his kingdom made use of a discourse of catastrophic motifs that reflected common Sasanian apocalyptic beliefs. Thus, the chaotic situation provoked by the inversion of the rightful order elicited, from a Zoroastrian perspective, a response that stressed the dualistic nuance of demonic anarchy in order to stigmatize the risk of deposition. For these reasons, apocalyptic doctrines and royal propaganda share a common language: a political discourse based on the justification of kingship and the demonization of the enemy.