House of Mihran

The House of Mihrān or House of Mehrān (Middle Persian: 𐭬𐭨𐭥𐭠𐭭)(new Persian: مهران), was a leading Iranian noble family (šahrdārān), one of the Seven Great Houses of the Sassanid Persian Empire which claimed descent from the earlier Arsacid dynasty.[1] A branch of the family formed the Mihranid line of the kings of Caucasian Albania and the Chosroid Dynasty of Kartli.[2]

House of Mihran
Parent houseArsacids (claim)
CountryParthian Empire, Sasanian Empire
Current headNone, extinct
MembersPerozes, Golon Mihran, Bahram Chobin, Shapur Mihran, Mihransitad, Shahrwaraz, Izadgushasp
Cadet branches


First mentioned in a mid-3rd-century CE trilingual inscription at the Ka'ba-i Zartosht, concerning the political, military, and religious activities of Shapur I, the second Sassanid king of Iran, the family remained the hereditary "margraves" of Ray throughout the Sassanid period. Several members of the family served as generals in the Roman–Persian Wars, where they are mentioned simply as Mihran or Μιρράνης, mirranēs, in Greek sources. Indeed, Procopius, in his History of the Wars, holds that the family name Mihran is a title equivalent to General.[3][4]

Notable generals from the Mihran clan included: Shapur Mihran, who served as the marzban of Persian Armenia briefly in 482, Perozes, the Persian commander-in-chief during the Anastasian War[5] and the Battle of Dara,[6]Mihransitad, a diplomat of Khosrow I, Golon Mihran, who fought against the Byzantines in Armenia in 572–573,[7] and Bahram Chobin,[8] who led a coup against Khosrau II and briefly usurped the crown from 590 to 591,[9] and Shahrwaraz, a commander of the last Roman-Persian war and a usurper.

In the course of the 4th century, the purported branches of this family acquired the crowns of three Caucasian polities: Iberia (Chosroids), Gogarene and Caucasian Albania/Gardman (Mihranids).[10]

The much later Samanid dynasty that ruled most of Iran in the 9th and 10th centuries claimed descent from Bahrām Chōbin[11][12][13][14] and thus the House of Mihran, though the veracity of this claim is unclear.


  1. ^ Yarshater (1968), p. xlii
  2. ^ Yarshater (1968), p. lviii
  3. ^ Procopius, History of the Wars: The Persian War, I.13.16
  4. ^ Dodgeon, Greatrex, Lieu (1991), p. xx
  5. ^ Procopius, The Buildings, II.2.19
  6. ^ Procopius, History of the Wars: The Persian War, I.1314
  7. ^ Dodgeon, Greatrex, Lieu (1991), pp. 149–150
  8. ^ Yarshater (1968), p. 163
  9. ^ A. Sh. Shahbazi. Bahrām Archived 2007-12-15 at the Wayback Machine. Encyclopædia Iranica Online Edition. Accessed October 15, 2007.
  10. ^ Toumanoff, Cyril. Introduction to Christian Caucasian History, II: States and Dynasties of the Formative Period. Traditio 17 (1961), p. 38.
  11. ^ Britannica, "The Samanids", Their eponym was Sāmān-Khodā, a landlord in the district of Balkh and, according to the dynasty’s claims, a descendant of Bahrām Chūbīn, the Sāsānian general.[1] or [2]
  12. ^ Kamoliddin, Shamsiddin S. "To the Question of the Origin of the Samanids", Transoxiana: Journal Libre de Estudios Orientales, ]
  13. ^ Iran and America: Re-Kind[l]ing a Love Lost By Badi Badiozamani, Ghazal Badiozamani, pg. 123
  14. ^ History of Bukhara by Narshakhi, Chapter XXIV, Pg 79


  • Dodgeon, Michael H.; Greatrex, Geoffrey; Lieu, Samuel N. C. (2002). The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars (Part I, 226–363 AD). Routledge. ISBN 0-415-00342-3.
  • Yarshater, Ehsan (1968). The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 3 : The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian periods. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-20092-9.