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    * Rahazad *

    Rhahzadh,Roch Vehan,Rhazates


    Rahazad is a male first name meaning born free in Persian.Rahazad was a Persian general of Armenian origin under Sassanid king Khosrau Parviz (r. 590–628).The war that had begun in 602 between Sassanid Empire and the Byzantine Empire came close to its 25th year. The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (r. 610–641) made a bold move. As the campaigning season of 627 ended, Heraclius gathered his heterogeneous army of Turks (Gokturks and Khazars ) and Romans and invaded the Persian heartland at the beginning of September. The news threw Khosrau into a panic. After 15 years of war his army was exhausted and his two foremost generals were not available. Shahin was dead and Shahrbaraz was away in Egypt, fearing that Khosrau wanted him dead. So Khosrau gathered an army and appointed as its commander Rahazad, a warlike and brave nobleman.Rahazad moved to cut off Heraclius and prevent him from reaching Ctesiphon, the Persian capital. Heraclius continued burning and pillaging as he went, Rahazad following Heraclius, bidding his time until he was ready to meet the Romans. Finally Heraclius crossed the Great Zaab River and set up camp preventing Rahazad from crossing by the same bridge without forcing battle. Instead he moved down and forded further downstream. When Heraclius heard of this he detached part of his army under Baanes to harass Rahazad. In the ensuing skirmish the Romans killed and captured many Persians, including Rahazad's personal aide. From him Heraclius learned that Rahazad was awaiting some 3000 reinforcements. Heraclius became concerned when he heard of this: his army was severely depleted by the desertion of the Turkic contingent and was concerned that Rahazad's reinforcements could tip the scale.So on 12 December 627, near Nineveh, Heraclius drew up his army on a plain and waited for Rahazad. Rahazad saw this and moved to meet the Romans. He drew up his army in 3 divisions similar to phalanxes and advanced towards Heraclius. At the height of the battle Rahazad suddenly challenged Heraclius to single combat with the hope of forcing the Romans to flee. Heraclius accepted the challenge and spurred his horse forward and with a single blow struck off Rahazad's head, taking from the dead Persian his shield of 120 gold plates and gold breastplate as trophies. With Rahazad's death perished the Persians' hopes of victory: seeing their brave commander and many other high-ranking officers being slain by Heraclius and his household troops, the Persian troops lost heart and were slaughtered suffering around 6000 casualties.

    Tags:Armenian, Byzantine, Ctesiphon, Egypt, Heraclius, Khosrau, Khosrau Parviz, Nineveh, Parviz, Persian, Rahazad, Sassanid, Shahrbaraz

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