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Hormizd-Ardashir, better known by his dynastic name of Hormizd I (Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭬𐭦𐭣‎; New Persian: هرمز دوم), was the third Sasanian king (shah) of Iran, ruling from May 270 to June 271. He was the youngest son of Shapur I (r. 240–270), under whom he was governor of Armenia, and also took part in his wars against the Roman Empire. Hormizd I's reign was largely uneventful; he built the city of Ōhrmazd-Ardašēr (present-day Ahvaz), which still remains a major city today in Iran.

Hormizd I
King of Kings of Iranians and non-Iranians
Coin of Hormizd I.
King of Armenia
Reignc. 252 – 270
PredecessorTiridates II (Arsacid dynasty)
Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire
ReignMay 270 – June 271
PredecessorShapur I
SuccessorBahram I
DiedJune 271
HouseHouse of Sasan
FatherShapur I
MotherXwarranzem or Kurdzad



The name of Hormizd (also spelled Ōhrmazd, Hormozd) is the Middle Persian version of the name of the supreme deity in Zoroastrianism, known in Avestan as Ahura Mazda.[1] The Old Persian equivalent is Auramazdā, whilst the Greek transliteration is Hormisdas.[1][2]


In the Persian tradition of the history of Ardashir I (226–240 [died 241/42]), preserved in a Pahlavi text (Nöldeke, Geschichte des Artachsir I. Papakan), Hormizd I is made the son of Gurdzad, a daughter of Mihrak, a Parthian dynast, whose family Ardashir had extirpated because the Magi had predicted that the restorer of the empire of Persia would come from his blood.

According to legend, Gurdzad alone was saved by a peasant; Shapur I saw her and made her his wife, and afterwards her son Hormizd I was recognized and acknowledged by Ardashir. Hormizd also had three brothers named Bahram I, Narseh, and Shapur Mishanshah. Although he was younger than some of his brothers, he was designated as Shapur's heir because of his prominent descent from his mother's side.


Hormizd is first mentioned during the wars of Shapur I against the Roman Empire. According to Cyrille Toumanoff, Hormizd was appointed as the ruler of Armenia, which he ruled from 251 until his accession in 270. Little is known of his reign. According to the Muslim chronicler Abu Mansur al-Tha'alibi, Hormizd, like his father and grandfather, ruled with justice. He founded the city of Ram-Hormizd, Hormizd-Ardashir, and Dastagird, which would later be used as a royal residence by the 7th-century Sasanian king Khosrau II. Hormizd also campaigned against the Sogdians, where he was victorious, managed to impose tribute, and erect at their border a stone column that they were not allowed to cross. Hormizd then returned to Estakhr where he died after a reign of only one year. Hormizd was not succeeded by his son Hormozdak, but by his brother Bahram I.


  1. ^ a b Shayegan 2004, pp. 462-464.
  2. ^ Vevaina & Canepa 2018, p. 1110.


  • Pourshariati, Parvaneh (2008). Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-645-3.
  • Daryaee, Touraj (2008). Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. I.B.Tauris. pp. 1–240. ISBN 0857716662.
  • Kia, Mehrdad (2016). The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1610693912.
  • Shayegan, M. Rahim (2004). "Hormozd I". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XII, Fasc. 5. pp. 462–464.
  • Shapur Shahbazi, A. (2005). "SASANIAN DYNASTY". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  • Vevaina, Yuhan; Canepa, Matthew (2018). "Ohrmazd". In Nicholson, Oliver (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-866277-8.
Hormizd I
Preceded by
Shapur I
King of kings of Iran and Aniran
Succeeded by
Bahram I