BAHRAM TSHUBIN ("The Wooden"):

Persian general; king of Persia from June 27, 590, to June 26, 591. Hormiz IV. (578-590), through his cruelty, brought the empire to the brink of destruction. His subjects were dissatisfied; and the political enemies of Persia entered its territory and possessed themselves of the country. The Jews were barbarously persecuted at the instigation of the Magi, and the academies of Sura and Pumbedita were closed. Bahram, after having delivered his country from the enemies, rose against the unworthy king, dethroned him, and threw him into prison, in which he was murdered in 590.

At first, Bahram governed in the name of Prince Chosroes II.; but soon ascended the throne in his own name. The Jews of Persia and Babylonia seem to have hailed him as their deliverer, for the Byzantine historian Theophylactus Simocatta tells us that they supported him with troops and money against the Persian nation, which turned toward Chosroes II. (Parviz), the heir of Hormiz, though the Persian and Arabic sources know nothing of this. Bahram showed himself grateful to the Jews, and the reopening of the academy at Pumbedita under Mar bar Rab Ḥanan, of which Sherira speaks, may be due to the benevolence which Bahram showed those who had aided him.

Unfortunately Bahram's rule did not last. Maurice, the Byzantine emperor, to whom Prince Chosroes had fled, sent an army with which the Persians united to make war upon Bahram, and the Jews paid dearly for their attachment to the usurper. At the capture of Maḥuza, a town containing a large Jewish population, the Persian general Mebodes put the greater part of the Jews to death. Bahram's army was vanquished, and he himself compelled to take refuge with the Huns.

  • Sherira's letter in Neubauer, Medieval Jew. Chronicles, i. 35, line 4;
  • De Sacy, Mémoire sur Diverses Antiquités de la Perse, pp. 395 et seq.;
  • Nöldeke, Gesch. der Pèrser und Araber, pp. 270 et seq., pp. 474 et seq.;
  • Justi, Gesch. des Alten Persiens, pp. 235 et seq.;
  • Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, v., note 3, pp. 428 et seq.
G. I. Br.
Images of pages