Adergoudounbadēs (Ancient Greek: Ἀδεργουδουνβάδης, before 488 – 541), was a prominent Sasanian nobleman, general, and kanarang during the reigns of Kavadh I (r. 488–531) and Khosrow I (r. 531–579). His life is known only through the work of the Byzantine historian Procopius. His native name was probably Adurgundbad (in New Persian: آذرگندبد‎), an abbreviation of Adurgushnaspbad.[1] Pourshariati records the native name as Ādhargulbād (آذرگلباد).[2]

BornSasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
AllegianceDerafsh Kaviani flag of the late Sassanid Empire.svg Sasanian Empire
Service/branchMilitary of the Sasanian Empire
Battles/warsAnastasian War
Iberian War


Adhurgunbadh first appears in 488. A young man at the time, according to Procopius, he already had a reputation as a soldier. In that year, he helped Kavadh I rise to the throne against his uncle Balash. As a reward, Kavadh raised Adergoudounbades to the important post of kanarang, governor of the northeastern province of Abarshahr which adjoined Hephthalite territory, replacing his relative, Gushnaspdad (Gousanastades), who was executed.[3][4]

Little is known of Adergoudounbades during the subsequent decades, save that he had considerable success as a general: Procopius reports that he subdued twelve barbarian tribes to Persian rule.[5] He participated in the Anastasian War, being involved in the Siege of Amida (502–503).[6]

When Khosrow I ascended the throne in 531, a conspiracy was formed by Bawi and other nobles who wanted to overthrow him and elevate his nephew Kavadh, the son of Kavadh I’s second eldest son Jamasp (Greek Zames)[1]—who could not himself claim the throne as he was blind in one eye—to the throne. The conspiracy was discovered and suppressed, but Kavadh, who was still a child, was away from the court, being raised by Adergoudounbades. Khosrau sent orders to kill Kavadh, but Adergoudounbades disobeyed and brought him up in secret, until he was betrayed to the shah in 541 by his own son, Bahram (Varrames). Khosrow had him executed, but Kavadh, or someone claiming to be him, managed to flee to the Byzantine Empire.[7][8][9]



  1. ^ a b Frye 1983, p. 456
  2. ^ Pourshariati 2008, p. 111.
  3. ^ Martindale, Jones & Morris 1992, pp. 15–16.
  4. ^ Pourshariati 2008, pp. 267–268.
  5. ^ Martindale, Jones & Morris 1992, p. 16.
  6. ^ Pourshariati 2008, pp. 111, 268.
  7. ^ Martindale, Jones & Morris 1992, pp. 16, 276.
  8. ^ Pourshariati 2008, pp. 268–269.
  9. ^ Greatrex & Lieu 2002, p. 112.

Works citedEdit

  • Frye, Richard N. (1983). "ADERGOUDOUNBADES". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. I, Fasc. 5. p. 456. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  • Greatrex, Geoffrey; Lieu, Samuel N. C. (2002). The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars (Part II, 363–630 AD). New York, New York and London, United Kingdom: Routledge (Taylor & Francis). ISBN 0-415-14687-9.
  • 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. ISBN 978-0-521-20160-5.
  • Pourshariati, Parvaneh (2008). Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran. London, United Kingdom: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-645-3.