ĀDURFRĀZGIRD, a brother of the Sasanian king Šāpūr II (A.D. 309-79) who is mentioned in the Syriac Acts of the Persian Martyrs (q.v.; G. Hoffmann, Auszüge aus syrischen Akten persischer Märtyrer, Leipzig, 1880, p. 24). The name is spelled ʾdrprzgrd; Hoffmann vocalized it, with emendation, as “Āḏurafrōzgerd.” The above reading, however, is more direct and produces a grammatically correct compound, “Having the furtherance (cf. Avestan frašō.kərəti-) of Fire.” Given the role of dynastic fire foundations in the state cult, and the honor thus given to the god Fire, the name is appropriate for a Sasanian prince.
The Acts state that, in the 360s, Šāpūr divided the governorship of the strategic frontier province of Arbāyistān between two of his brothers. Ādurfrāzgird governed the southern part from Nisibis, while Zāmāsp administered the region along the Tigris; these princes would have kept watch on Roman activities and on each other. It was Zāmāsp who was particularly involved with the persecution of Christians. (The name of his son, who became a Christian, is spelled pyrgwšnsp, which should probably be corrected to “Pērōz Gušnasp.”) There is no indication as to whether these two brothers were older or younger than Šāpūr. They are not likely to be offspring of Hormizd II’s first wife nor, perhaps, uterine brothers of the king. They may have been borne by yet another wife or by concubine(s) and so never have figured in the succession dispute which followed Hormizd’s death.
Namenbuch, p. 3.
Christensen, Iran Sass., pp. 233-34, 313, n.
Nöldeke, Geschichte der Perser, pp. 51-52.
(C. J. Brunner)
Originally Published: December 15, 1983
Last Updated: July 22, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 5, p. 478