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Coin showing Balash and a fire altar with two attendants.
Balash (in the Greek authors, Balas; the later form of the name Vologases), the eighteenth Sassanid King of Persia in 484488, was the brother and successor of Peroz I of Persia (457–484), who had died in a battle against the Hephthalites (White Huns) who invaded Persia from the east.

Reign of Balash

Balash was made King of Persia on the death of his brother Peroz fighting the Huns.

Immediately after ascending the throne, he resolved to drive the Hephthalites out of Persia. With this goal in mind, he dispatched an armed contingent under an officer named Sukra or Sufraii to destroy the Huns. He surprised the Huns and forced them to enter into negotiations.

Soon after the victory over the Huns, Balash concluded peace with the Armenians. The conditions of the peace were as follows:

(i) All existing fire-altars in Armeniamarker should be destroyed and no new ones should be constructed.

(ii) Christians in Armenia should have freedom of worship and conversions to Zoroastrianism should be stopped.

(iii) Land should not be allotted to people who convert to Zoroastrianism

(iv) The Persian King should, in person, administer Armenia and though the aid of Governors or deputies.

A few months later, Zareh, son of Peroz rose in rebellion. Balash put down the rebellion and slew him.

Soon after this, Kavadh, another son of Peroz revolted and being unsuccessful sought the assistance of Hephthalites and arrived in Ctesiphonmarker at the head of a large Hephthalite contingent. Balash did not survive for long after this invasion.

Balash is praised by Christian historians as a mild and generous monarch, who made concessions to the Christians.


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