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The East Roman–Sassanid War of 440 was a short conflict between the East Roman Empire and the Sassanian Empire. The reason for its short ending was that the southern Roman provinces were being invaded by the Vandals, which forced the East Romans to sue for a quick end to the war to focus on the Vandal invasion. The Sassanians were also paid some money in return for peace.[2][3]

East Roman–Sasanian War of 440
Part of the Roman-Persian Wars
East Roman - Sasanian frontier
East Roman - Sasanian frontier
Result Peace treaty: The Romans gives some payments to the Sasanians[1]
East Roman Empire Sasanian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Theodosius II Yazdegerd II


The East Roman and Sassanid empires were frequently at war and this was largely rooted on religion as Persia - where Zoroastrianism prevailed - had been troubled by Christian proselytism.[4][5] This period of conflict emerged after the reign of Yazdgerd I who was known for his peaceful policy towards Byzantium and was even appointed guardian of the infant Theodosius II, one of the belligerents of the war.[6][7] This changed during the regimes of Shapur II and Yazdgerd II, who violently persecuted Jews, Christians, and Christian converts.[4] It provoked a response from the East Roman empire, which sent troops against Persian forces after it failed to reverse Yazdgerd's policy peacefully.[8] The short-lived conflict, which some sources described as a stalemate,[9] was reignited later in a series of hostilities (e.g. Justinian's war with the Sassanids).[8] These culminated in the Roman-Persian war during the time of Emperor Heraclius who defeated the Sassanid empire at the Battle of Nineveh in 627 CE.[10]


  1. ^ Encyclopaedia Iranica "Upon ascending the throne, Yazdgerd II waged a war with the Roman empire, starting in 440 CE and with little success for either side (Greatrex, p. 2). The Romans, hard pressed on their southern front by the Vandal invasion and conquest of Carthage, sued for a quick end to war in return for payments to the Sasanians in order to defend the Caucusus."
  2. ^
  3. ^ Kia, Mehrdad (2016). The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 282. ISBN 9781610693905.
  4. ^ a b Efthymiadis, Stephanos (2014). The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography: Volume II: Genres and Contexts. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 73. ISBN 9781409409519.
  5. ^ Bardakjian, Kevork; La Porta, Sergio (2014). The Armenian Apocalyptic Tradition: A Comparative Perspective. Leiden: BRILL. p. 387. ISBN 9789004270244.
  6. ^ Nicholson, Oliver (2018). The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 1601. ISBN 9780198662778.
  7. ^ Greatrex, Geoffrey; Lieu, Samuel (2002). The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars Ad 363-628, Part 2. London: Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 0415146879.
  8. ^ a b Kohn, George (2007). Dictionary of Wars, 3rd edition. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 453. ISBN 0816065772.
  9. ^ Kelly, Christopher (2013). Theodosius II: Rethinking the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 11. ISBN 9781107038585.
  10. ^ McNabb, James Brian (2017). A Military History of the Modern Middle East. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. p. 10. ISBN 9781440829635.