Khosrow I

Khosrow I
King of Kings of Iranians and non-Iranians
Plate of the Sasanian king Khosrow I Anushirvan.jpg
Plate depicting Khosrow I.
Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire
ReignSeptember 13, 531 – February 579
PredecessorKavad I
SuccessorHormizd IV
Ardestan, Spahan, Iran
DiedFebruary 579 (aged 82-83)
Ctesiphon, Asoristan, Iran
IssueHormizd IV
HouseHouse of Sasan
FatherKavad I
MotherBawi's sister

Khosrow I (also spelled Khosrau, Khusro or Chosroes; Middle Persian: 𐭧𐭥𐭮𐭫𐭥𐭣𐭩‎‎; New Persian: خسرو), traditionally known by his epithet of Anushirvan ("the Immortal Soul"), was Sasanian king of kings of Iran from 531 to 579. He was the son and successor of Kavad I (r. 488–496, 498–531).

Khosrow I was known for his character, virtues and knowledge. During his ambitious reign, he continued his father's project of making major reforms in the social, military, and economic aspects of the empire, increasing the welfare and the revenues, establishing a professional army, and founding or rebuilding many cities, palaces, and infrastructures. He was interested in literature and philosophy, and under his reign, art and science flourished in Iran.

Khosrow I's reign is furthermore marked by initial internal conflicts and campaigns against the Sasanians' neighboring archrivals, the Hephthalites in the east, the Aksumites in the south, and the Byzantine Empire in the west—in particular the Lazic War and the war of 572–591. He was generally successful in his wars, being admired for defeating the Byzantine Empire and restoring Sasanian dominance in the western part of South Asia. Khosrow was the most distinguished of the Sasanian kings, and his name became, like that of Caesar in the history of Rome, a designation of the Sasanian kings. Due to his accomplishments, he has been hailed as the new Cyrus.

At the time of his death, the Sasanian Empire had reached its greatest extent since Shapur II, stretching from Yemen in the west to Gandhara in the east. He was succeeded by his son Hormizd IV.

Name and titles

"Khosrow" is the New Persian variant of his name used by scholars; his original name was Middle Persian, Husraw, itself derived from Avestan Haosrauuah ("he who has good fame").[1] The name is transliterated in Greek as Chosroes and in Arabic as Kisra.[2] Besides his personal name, he is widely known in sources by his epithet of Anushirvan ("the Immortal Soul"), a New Persian rendering of Middle Persian anūšag-ruwān.[3] Other variants of the name are Anoshirvan,[2] Anushiravan[4] and Nowshīrvān.[5] Another epithet Khosrow was known by was Dadgar ("Dispenser of Justice").[6]