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Document Details :
Title: Hormezd I., König der Könige von Ērān und Anērān
Author(s): WEBER, U.
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 42 Date: 2007
In 270/2-73 A.D., after the death of Šābuhr I, Ohrmezd-Ardašīr ascended the Sasanian throne as Ohrmezd I. Šābuhr’s res gestae mention his position as crown-prince; however, in the inscriptions of Kerdīr and in the coin legends he bears, as Great King of the Sasanian Empire, the throne-name Ohrmezd, which points to the most prominent god of Zoroastrianism.
Ohrmezd-Ardašīr’s outstanding position within the royal family can clearly be seen from two passages of Šābuhr’s inscription: He not only has the leading position among the four known sons of Šābuhr I in the latter’s order of precedence from the point of view of protocol, but he also bears the title of ‘Great King of the Armenians’ and is honoured by a fire endowment like his sister Ādur-Anāhīd and his two brothers Šābuhr of Mēšān and Narseh of Sagestān. Excluded from this endowment is only Ohrmezd-Ardašīr’s brother Wahrām, the king of Gēlān. Surprisingly, however, Wahrām heads the ranks of brothers in the second list of descendants of Šābuhr’s res gestae. Here, Šābuhr’s sons appear not according to their position of protocol, but to their age: Wahrām, Šābuhr, Ohrmezd-Ardašīr and Narseh. In other words, Ohrmezd-Ardašīr was not made heir to the throne as Šābuhr’s eldest, but as his third eldest son.
After the conquest of Armenia, in which Ohrmezd-Ardašīr took place, Šābuhr I appointed his son Great King of Armenia in about 252/253 A.D. Apart from that, it can be assumed that Ohrmezd-Ardašīr led his own military unit during his father’s second ἀγωγη against Syria and in the course of the first conquest of Antiochia in 253 A.D. Between 253 and 255 A.D. Ohrmezd-Ardašīr invaded Cappadocia from Armenia.
We do not know much about Ohrmezd’s reign of a good one year. On the other hand, his attitude towards Zoroastrianism and Manicheism can clearly be recognized. His coin legends definitely show that Ohrmezd I was a convinced adherent of the Zoroastrian faith. Apart from that, he consolidated the rank of the ehrbed Kerdīr and presented him with higher honours. Ohrmezd’s attitude towards Manicheism can be described as tolerant, even favourable. This is proven by the king’s issuing of letters of protection for Mānī and by his toleration of Manichean missionary practice.