|King of Kings of Iranians and non-Iranians|
Coin of Bahram IV, minted at Herat
|Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire|
|House||House of Sasan|
Bahram IV (also spelled Wahram IV or Warahran IV; Middle Persian: 𐭥𐭫𐭧𐭫𐭠𐭭, New Persian: بهرام دوم), was Sasanian King of Kings of Iran from 388 to 399. He was the son and successor of Shapur III (r. 383–388).
His theophoric name "Bahram" is the New Persian form of the Middle Persian Warahrān (also spelled Wahrām), which is derived from the Old Iranian Vṛθragna. The Avestan equivalent was Verethragna, the name of the old Iranian god of victory, whilst the Parthian version was *Warθagn. The name is transliterated in Greek as Baranes, whilst the Armenian transliteration is Vahagn/Vrām.
According to al-Tabari, Bahram IV was the son of Shapur II (r. 309–379), however, several other historians, such as Hamza al-Isfahani, states that he was the son of Shapur III (r. 383–388), which seems more likely. Bahram, during the reign of his father, was the governor of Kirman, where he built the town of Shiragan, which would serve as the capital of the province for the remainder of the Sasanian period. The town played an important economic role, as it served as a mint city and had a great agricultural importance to the province. As many other governors of Kirman, Bahram bore the title of Kirmanshah (meaning "king of Kirman"), which would serve as the name of the city he later founded in western Iran. In 388, his father was killed by a party of Iranian nobles. Bahram thus succeeded him as the ruler of the Sasanian Empire.
Armenia had been divided during the reign of Shapur III according to the terms of a peace treaty. But this arrangement barely survived the reign of Shapur III. In 389, Khosrov IV, the vassal king of Armenia under Sasanian suzerainty grew wary of his subordination to Iran and entered into a treaty with the Roman emperor Theodosius I, who made him the king of a united Armenia in return for his allegiance. This enraged Bahram and made him have Khosrov imprisoned in the Castle of Oblivion. Bahram shortly made the latter's brother Vramshapuh the new ruler of Armenia. In 395, the Huns invaded the Sasanian province of Asuristan, where they ravaged much of the countryside and took many captives. Bahram IV then had an army sent against them, which managed to kill a great deal of them and regain the riches they had taken including the captives.
Bahram IV has been reported to be a ineffective and unpopular monarch, which generally implies that the nobility and Zoroastrian clergy loathed him, and thus makes the statement dubious. He was ultimately killed in 399 by his own troops. He was succeeded by his brother Yazdegerd I.
- Al-Tabari, Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir (1985–2007). Ehsan Yar-Shater (ed.). The History of Al-Ṭabarī. 40 vols. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
- Multiple authors (1988). "Bahrām". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. III, Fasc. 5. pp. 514–522.
- Pourshariati, Parvaneh (2008). Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-645-3.
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- Greatrex, Geoffrey; Lieu, Samuel N. C. (2002). The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars (Part II, 363–630 AD). New York, New York and London, United Kingdom: Routledge (Taylor & Francis). ISBN 0-415-14687-9.
- Klíma, O. (1988). "Bahrām IV". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. III, Fasc. 5. pp. 514–522.
- Brunner, Christopher (1983). "Geographical and Administrative divisions: Settlements and Economy". The Cambridge History of Iran: The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian periods (2). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 747–778. ISBN 978-0-521-24693-4.
- Christensen, Peter (1993). The Decline of Iranshahr: Irrigation and Environments in the History of the Middle East, 500 B.C. to A.D. 1500. Museum Tusculanum Press. pp. 1–351. ISBN 9788772892597.
- Kia, Mehrdad (2016). The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1610693912.
- Wiesehöfer, Josef (2018). "Bahram I". In Nicholson, Oliver (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-866277-8.
| King of kings of Iran and Aniran