The Lakhmids By Charles River Editors

  • Narrated by: Colin Fluxman
  • Length: 1 hr and 41 mins
  • Release date: 01-10-22

The Lakhmids AudioBook Summary

During the first half of the first millennium CE, an empire arose in Persia that extended its power and influence to Mesopotamia in the east, Arabia in the south, the Caucasus Mountains in the north, and as far east as India. This empire, known alternatively as the Sasanian Empire or Sassanid Empire, was the last of three great dynasties in Persia – the Achaemenid and the Parthian being the first two dynasties – before the rise of Islam. In fact, many scholars consider the Sasanian Empire to be the last great empire of the ancient Near East because once it had been obliterated, Islam became the standard religion of the region, ushering in the Middle Ages. 

The Sasanian Empire was important for a number of reasons. Besides being the last of three great Persian dynasties, they carried on many Persian cultural traditions relating to religion and kingship. The Sasanians fostered and promoted the native religion of Zoroastrianism to the point of persecuting other religions from time to time. It was during the Sasanian period that the numerous Zoroastrian hymns, prayers, and rituals were collected under one book, known as the Avesta

However, as the Eastern Roman Empire and Sasanian Empire began to expand in the region through a combination of warfare, trade, and diplomacy, a number of Arab tribes caught in the middle coalesced to form their own powerful dynasties and states, one of which was the Lakhmid Dynasty. The Lakhmid Dynasty formed in the Mesopotamian city of al-Hira in the late third century or fourth century from an Arab tribe that was searching for a home, yet within 100 years, the Lakhmids had carved out a sizable state in southern Arabia that included parts of the modern nation-states of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman. The Lakhmids were able to build this dynasty through a combination of brute force and skillful diplomacy, walking a political tightrope between the Eastern Roman Empire to their west and the Sasanian Empire in the east. Eventually, the Lakhmids threw their lot in with the Sasanians, and the fate of the two became intrinsically intertwined, so much so that when one was strong, so too was the other, and vice versa. The Lakhmid Dynasty lasted for more than 300 years, which is an incredible span of time, considering how few states at the time came close to that.

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