Azarethes (Greek: Ἀζαρέθης), also recorded as Exarath (Ἑξαράθ) and Zuraq, was a Sassanid Persian military commander during the Byzantine–Sassanid Wars. His name is the Greek corruption of a probably honorific title.
According to the account of Procopius (De bello Persico, I.18), Azarethes was placed in command of the Persian army in Mesopotamia after the Persian defeat in the Battle of Dara in 530. Procopius calls him an "exceptionally able warrior", and Zacharias of Mytilene records that he held the rank of astabadh (a senior minister roughly equivalent to the Byzantine magister officiorum). In 531, together with his Lakhmid allies, he led an invasion across the Euphrates into the Byzantine province of Commagene. When the Byzantine army under Belisarius approached, they withdrew east, halting at Callinicum. In the ensuing battle, the Byzantines suffered a heavy defeat, but Persian losses too were so high that the Persian king Kavadh I (r. 488–531) was displeased with him and relieved him of his command.
- Martindale, John Robert; Jones, Arnold Hugh Martin; Morris, J., eds. (1992). The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Volume III: A.D. 527–641. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-521-20160-5.
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