KHOSRU I, or Khusrau, known as Anu shirvan (ahe of the noble sou?), the Sassanian king of Persia, who reigned from 531 to 579. In Byzantine history he was known as Chosroes I. His reign was the most eventful one in the line of his dynasty. Though a younger son he succeeded to the throne by the conditions of the will of his father, Kobad, king of Persia. He was forced to face a rebellion on the part of his elder brother whom he defeated and put to death. In the ninth year of his reign he began war upon the Byzantines, between whom and the Persians there had long been a standing enmity, and a bloody contest opened which was destined to continue for 20 years, to see numer ous battles, some of them gigantic for their age and the conditions under which they were fought and of varying fortunes. In the be ginning of the campaign the Persians were the victors, but Khosru gained very little but glory out of the campaign, which finally ended in a patched-up treaty in which neither side could claim a real victory. Peace lasted 10 years with out the Persians feeling that they were able to renew hostilities, when they were stirred to action by the young Emperor Justin II, who treated the Persian representatives at his court with notable disrespect and added to this in dignity by the seizure of Armenia (570). Khosru retaliated by seizing Dara, which formed the advance garrison of Grecian terri tory to the east. After over seven years of war and varying fortunes Khosru was very badly defeated at Melitine (577) by Justinian, who was himself routed in Armenia two years later, shortly after the death of Khosru, who died in the midst of the fiercest part of the struggle. He was long remembered as one of
the greatest of Persian sovereigns. He divided the country into the four provinces subsequently very noted in history, and he gave to each a governor or viceroy responsible directly to the Crown. In this way he very greatly improved the government of the whole country and pro tected the people from the exactions and mis rule of the governors. He encouraged trade and commerce, promoted native industries, colonized unpopulated parts of the country, re built cities and restored to normal conditions the parts of the land which had been ravaged by war. He also extended the boundaries of Persia so that it stretched from the Arabian Sea to far into central Asia and from the Indus to the Red Sea. So notably did Khosru impress his personality upon his country that his name passed down into history with a cloud of striking legends and folk-tales attached to it; so that he became, to the masses of the people, more a legendary than a real historical character. In many of these folk tales he figured as a native Haroon al Raschid, a sort of Aaron the Just, dispensing the strictest if the sternest justice to rich and poor, to noble and peasant alike. Consult any good history of Persia or of Greece or of the Byzantine Empire.