The Sassanids were Kurds, not Persians (1-2)

Monday, 01.13.2020, 0:52

13519 بینراوە

Written by: Dr Mahdi Kakei

Translated from Arabic by: Shwan Koshnaw

The vast majority of eastern and western historians, regard the Sassanids as Persians, while reliable historical sources unequivocally confirm that the Sassanids belong to the Kurdish people. The ancient Kurdish people must be brought to justice and the historical facts must be presented objectively and professionally, away from personal desires and racist tendencies.

The following evidences prove that the Sassanid dynasty was a Kurdish family:

1. Kurdistan is the home of (Sasan), who was the great-grandfather of the Sassanid kings, and moved to Persia to escape after a prophecy that his descendants would rule Ariana[1][2]. Thus we see that (Sasan) was Kurdish, was not a Persian and was not from the province of Persia, but he has attributed himself to (Bahman) who is the son of (Esfandyar) and grandson of
Kiani king (Goshtasp) questionable proportions. Sasan was a herder of camel cattle of one of the feudal lords[1]. As (Dehkhoda) says in his encyclopedia that the father of the Sassanid king (Ardashir) is the Kurdish shepherd, Papak[3].

Dr. Rashid Yasemi, a professor at the University of Tehran, states that (Sasan), who is the grandfather of (Ardashir), is from the Kurdish clan of (Shwankara) and that the mother of (Papak) is the daughter of one of the heads of the Kurdish (Bazrangi) clans. The home of this clan is the Kurdish region of Fars Province. Yasemi adds that we can say that (Ardashir) is Kurdish[4].

Papak, the son of Sasan, belonged to one of the houses of fire for Anahita. Papak had a son called Ardashir who founded the Sassanid state. Ardashir was born in the city of Percy Polis, Persia, where his grandfather Sasan had already moved. Ardashir loved military life and became a top military commander. Ardashir’s brother was a state governor, but Ardashir revolted against his brother and forced him to relinquish his rule. After taking power, Ardashir expanded his kingdom, annexing the coasts of the Gulf of Hormuz, Ilam, Isfahan and Media.

2. Ardashir’s expanding of his kingdom worried the last king of the
Parthia, the king (Ardavan IV), why he sent a messenger carrying a letter from him to (Ardashir), in which he was insulting him for his family’s background. This insulting letter was read by the Sassanid king (Ardashir) at the royal court in the presence of the Sasanian citizens. The letter included the following: (You have been your enemy and brought your death, you, Kurdish man who has brought up in the tents of the Kurds. Who authorized you to wear a crown?). Al-Tabari[5] and Ibn al-Atheer[6] refer to this letter. The letter of the Parthian king clearly states that the Sassanid dynasty was a Kurdish family.

The infidelity of the Sassanid kings because of their Kurdish origin and their affiliation with the Kurdish nation, was not limited to the Kiani king (Ardavan IV), but that the ruler of Armenia and Azerbaijan at the time of the Sassanid state, (Bahram Chopin) who was the son of (Bahram Goshtasp), also insulted the Sassanid king (Khosrau II “Parvez") because he was a Kurd when (Bahram) tried to usurp the ruling from the king (Khosrau II), so he said to him (O son of the adulteress, who is raised in the tents of the Kurds...,) [7].

3. Sasan belonged to the Kurdish clan (Shwankara), whose members were engaged in grazing and agriculture. In the late era of the Buyid dynasty, the clan established a Kurdish dynasty in the name of (The Emirate of the Kurdish Shwankarah’s kings in Persia[8]. Eduard Karl Max von Zambauer mentions in his book that the members of (Shwankara) tribe descended from (Ardashir Papak), the founder of the Sassanid state
and that Sasan's wife is the daughter of a sheikh of the Bazarangi clan, who also belongs to the Shwankara tribe [9]. This family grew up in the Kurdish region, which was located in the province of Fars.

4. Yaqut al-Hamawi also states in his book (The Dictionary of Countries, written from 1224 to 1228[10], that when the Sassanid sultans, built the city of Mada'in, they built a district within Mada'in, named “Kurdabad”, as pride of their belonging to the Kurdish people. “Kurdabad” means "A district built by the Kurds. Yaqut al-Hamawi also mentions the names of six other districts in the city of Mada'in, in addition to (Kurdabad).

It is worth mentioning that the real name of (Mada'in) is (Madyan), which means in Kurdish (Medes), who are the ancestors of the Kurds. The Kurdish name of this city was altered by the Arabs from (Madyan) to (Mada'in) and the Persians called it (Tesfoun). The Sasanian king, Ardashir, also built a special city for the Kurds near the present-day city of Mosul, which he called "Buth Ardashir"[11].

Also, the Sassanid king (Qubad) and (Anushirwan) built more than thirty cities in the plain (Aran), and one of these cities bore the name (Malazkurd)[12][13]. The Kurdish designation of a district in the Sasanian capital and the construction of Kurdish cities by the Sassanids, are further evidence of that the Sassanids were Kurds.

5. The Sasanian kings were nicknamed " Khasrau ". The word consists of two Kurdish words; "khas" which means "good" in Kurdish[14] and the word "rau" which means "conduct or behavior" in Kurdish, thus the word " Khasrau" means "well-behaved" i.e. “A respectable person, with a high status”. "The Persians took this title from Kurdish and transformed it into "Khosrau". The words "Khas" and "Rau" do not exist in Persian. The Arabs, in turn, transformed this word into “Kisra” or “Kasra”. Thus, the Kurdish title of the Sassanid kings confirms their belonging to the Kurdish people.

It is noteworthy that many people mistakenly think that the name of the Sassanid king was "Kisra", during which the battle of Qadisiyah took place, while "Kisra" is the title of all the Sassanid kings, not the name of one of them, which is correspond to the word "majesty", "
Excellency" and “Highness” that are now used to address kings, presidents and princes, respectively. Many kings of other peoples had their own titles as the Sassanids, for example the Roman kings were called “Caesar”, the Copt kings of “Pharaoh”, the kings of the Turks were called “Khagan”, the kings of Yemen were called “Taba”, the title of the kings of Abyssinia was “Najashi” and the title of the kings of Egypt was "Aziz" and so on.

6. The names of the Sasanian kings were Kurdish, which indicate that they were Kurds.

a. The name of three Sasanian kings was (Yazdkurd), which is composed of two words; (Yazd), which indicates that the Yazdanism was the religion of Sassanid dynasty; the word (Kurd) which refers to the Kurdish origin of the Sassanids.

b. The name of two Sasanian kings was (Khsrau) As it is mentioned above, the word consists of two Kurdish words; "khas" which means "good" in Kurdish[9] and the word "rau" which means "conduct or behavior" in Kurdish, thus the word " Khasrau" means "well-behaved" i.e. “A respectable person, with a high status”.

c. The name of two Sassanid kings was (Ardashir), which is consisted of the Median word (Arda), which means (good) and the Kurdish word (Sher) which means (Lion), so their name means (The good lion). It is worth to mention that the Medes are the ancestors of the Kurdish people.

d. The name of one of the Sassanian king was (Fairooz) or (Peeroz), which is a Kurdish word and means (blessed) or (hallowing).

e. The name of four Sassanian kings was (Hormizd), which is an Arian name, borrowed from the name of (Hormes), which is a deity of the ancestors of the Kurds, Sumerians. With the passage of time, this name has been changed to (Ahura Mazda) or (Mazda) among the Arian peoples. Although, this name retained its original meaning after this change, meaning that it remained meaning a (deity).

f. The name of four sassanian kings was (Bahram) or (Baram), and the name of two other kings was (Qobad). These two names are Kurdish names; the first name means (clever) and the second one means (king).  

7. There are some Sassanid names that are still prevalent among the Kurds, for example but not limited to, the name of the mother of the Sassanid king (Dara), is (Khamani)[14]. The name (Khamani) does not exist in Persian. Until now there are Kurdish, female and male people, bearing this name.

8. (Hassan Per Nya) states that the Sassanids used to call (May) to the Medes[15]. This name is included in the names of the male Kurds to the present time despite the passage of more than 2500 years since the disappearance of the Median Empire, for example, the name (Maykhan). The word “Khan” accompanies the name “May”, where a person is not named by the name “May” alone, but the adjective “Khan” is added to it, which corresponds to the word “Majesty” and “His Excellency” used to address kings and heads of state, respectively, at the present time, because the Medes were noble Kurds. It is worth noting that the Median name (Mada) means in the Median language (great) or (large)[16].

It should be noted that when the Arabs occupied Kurdistan, the name (Mahat) was given to the centre of the Median authority by the Arabs, as (Mah) is the name of the Medes[16] and the suffix (at) is used for the plural in the Arabic language. (Al-Baladhari) states that after the occupation of Kurdistan by the Arabs in the Islamic era, some of the occupied regions of Kurdistan were divided into several regions, where the taxes (tribute) taken from each region were sent to Muslims living in a specific region[17]. Therefore, the Arabs used to call the name "Mah Kofa" on the city of "Dinawar" and its outskirts, because the tribute taken from the residents of the city of "Dinawar" and its dependencies were distributed to the new Muslim population living in the city of Kofa. Likewise, for the same reason, the name (Mah Basra) was given to the city of Nahavand, where the tribute obtained from the residents of Nahavand was given to the residents of the city of Basra who became Muslim after the Arab-Islamic occupation. Thus, the center of Media Empire was divided by the Arab occupiers into (Mah Kofa) and (Mah Basra).

9. The Fathlawi family, which founded the Fathlawi emirate (1155 - 1432 AD), belonged to the Kurdish tribe Shwankara. Members of this family were descendants of the kings of Sassan[18]. Members of the ruling family of this emirate were Kurds, so their Sassanid ancestors must have been Kurds as well. It is worth mentioning that this emirate was established in southeastern Lorestan and ruled for two hundred and seventy-seven years. The kingdom included Lorestan and extended to the outskirts of the city of Isfahan, and in some periods also included the province of Khuzestan and the city of Basra.

10. At the end of the era of the
Buyids, the clan (Shwankara) established a Kurdish Emirate in the name of (Atabak of Kings of Shwankara Kurds in Persia[8]. The founder of the Sassanid state (Ardashir Papak) is descended from the clan of (Shwankara)[9]. Establishing of a Kurdish emirate by this clan, which belongs to the Sassanids, is a clear indication that the Sassanids are Kurds.

In order to avoid prolongation, we end this article, which includes ten evidences, which confirms that the Sassanids were Kurds. We will continue to provide more evidences in the next article.


1. Abu al-Qasim al-Firdousi. Shahnameh, the Great Epic of the Persians. Translation of Samir al-Malty, p. 133, 134.

2. Ibn al-Balkhi. Farisnamah, part: The conditions of Shabankara, Kurds and Persia. Europe’s printing, p. 146.

3. Ali Akbar Dahkhoda. A language letter. Volume III, Teheran University Press, year 1345 AH, page 3843.

4. Ghulam Reza Rashid Yasmi. The Kurds and Their Ethnic and Historical Connection. Year 1369 AH, page 171. (In Persian).

5. Mohammed bin Jarir Al-Tabari. History of Tabari. Volume II, Husseini Press, Egypt, 1336 AH, p. 57. (In Arabic).

6. Ibn Ather. The Complete History, Volume I, p. 133. (In Arabic).

7. Mohammed bin Jarir Al-Tabari. History of Tabari. Volume II, Husseini Press, Egypt, 1336 AH, p. 138. (In Arabic).

8. Ibn al-Balkhi. Farisnamah, part: The conditions of Shabankara, Kurds and Persia. Europe’s printing, 150-153. (In Arabic).

9. Zambauer. Dictionary of Genealogy and ruling families in the Islamic history. Directed by: Dr. Zaki Mohamed Hassan Beg and Hassan Ahmed Mahmoud. Translation of a part of the book chapters: Dr. Sayeda Ismail Kashef, Hafiz Ahmed Hamdi and Ahmed Mahmoud Hamdi, Printing House of al-Raed al-Arabi, Beirut, 1980, pages 351-352. (In Arabic).

10. Yaqoot al-Hamawi. The Dictionary of Countries. Volume VII, p. 413. (In Arabic).

11. Guy Le Strange. Countries of the Eastern Caliphate. Translation: Bashir Frances and Korkis Awwad. Publication of the Iraqi Scientific Society, Al-Rabta Press, Baghdad, 1954. (In Arabic).

12. Sheikh Shams Al-Din Abi Abdullah Muhammad Abi Talib Al-Ansari Al-Sufi Al-Dimashqi. Elite of the Era in the wonders of land and sea. Reprinted in the city of Petersburg, in 1865, page 190. (In Arabic).

13. Ali Akbar Dahkhoda. A language letter. Volume II, Teheran University Press, year 1345 AH, page 1631. (In Persian).

14. Ali Akbar Dahkhoda. A language letter. Volume VII, Teheran University Press, year 1345 AH, page 9953. (In Persian).

15. Hasan Pernia. History of ancient Iran or detailed history of ancient Iran. Volume I, with Introduction and Description: Mohammad Ibrahim Bastani Parizi, Tehran, Book World, 1362 AH, page 48. (In Persian).

16. Tavernier, Jan. Iranica in the Achaimenid period (ca. 550 – 330 B.C.): Lexicon of Old Iranian. Peeters Pblishers, Louvian, Belgium, 2007, p. 558.

17. Browne, Edward G. (1919). A literary history of Persia: A literary history of Persia from the earliest times until Firdawsi. T. Fisher Unwin Ltd, London, page 19.

18. Al-Baladhari. The Conquest of Countries, 2010, p. 375. (In Arabic).


20. Ali Akbar Dahkhoda. A language letter. Volume VI, Teheran University Press, year 1345 AH, page 9307. (In Persian).