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Pirooz in China: Defeated Persian army takes refuge

 

 


By Frank Wong

In 651 A.D., the Persian king Yazdgerd III was captured and beheaded by Arab invaders in what is today's Turkmenistan. His son, Pirooz survived and fled east to China. Here's an account from Chinese historians.

 

I read the story of Pirooz written in a formal and ancient aristocratic Chinese language. It was quite tough, but with the help of my Chinese friends and associates I got through it. It was written by Prince Nah-shieh (Narseh), who was the son of Prince Pirooz, who was the son of King Yazdgerd III-- the last Sasanid king of Persia. Narseh was a Chinese general stationed in the Tang Chinese military garrisons in what are today's Afghanistan, Tajikistan and parts of Uzbekistan.

 

In 751 A.D., the Chinese lost a decisive battle to the Arabs at Talas (now in Uzbekistan), and they retreated from their colonies in Central Asia. All the garrisons shut down, and the armies fled back into China. Many Persians and Sogdians followed the Chinese back into China and abandoned their homes in Central Asia in wake of the Muslim Arabic invasions. Some Sogdians came as widows who then married Chinese soldiers along with their orphaned children.

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A New Translation of the Cyrus Cylinder by the British Museum

With Special thanks to the tireless efforts of Ms. A J Cave there is now a copy of the latest translation of Cyrus Cylinder by Dr. Finkel of the British Museum available for consultaiton (please see below). 

The Cyrus Cylinder housed in the British Museum

Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye has noted of Cyrus the Great (575-530 BC) that: 

Surely the concept of one world, the fusion of peoples and cultures into oneness was one of his important legacies.

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