Long Live the Shah
The Court of Shahanshah Khosrow II, 602
Aptly called the final Golden Age of the Sasanian Empire, the beginning of Khosrow II’s reign saw a flourishing of Persian music and art, the expansion of the empire to its height, and a prosperous civil society grounded in multiculturalism.
Yet as his reign progressed, the Sasanians faced stark sectarian divisions, economic downturn, and invasion from the West and South. This empire—formerly the most powerful of its time—would eventually fell to a group with an inferior military, less organized bureaucracy, and smaller economy.
The collapse of the Sasanians—the final non-Islamic empire to rule over Persia and the surrounding area—completely and eternally altered Middle Eastern politics, culture, and history. It is the most consequential event in Persian history since the reign of Cyrus the Great and would remain so until the Islamic Revolution of 1979. This committee will explore the years precipitating this imperial collapse.
As delegates, you will have to deal with the internal struggles of the empire—religious fighting, the collapse of infrastructure, and economic recession—along with external threats—the Roman thirst for expansion, conflicting alliances in the Balkans, and the Arab conquerors of the Southwest.
These issues, coupled with traditional palace intrigue and internal power struggles, will give you infinite possibilities. By Saturday night, the Sasanian Empire could enter into a period of unmatched prosperity, a force admired by external actors and loved by its subjects. Or, it could fall victim to myriad possibilities of collapse, with Khosrow’s Golden Age coming to a screeching halt.