Amazasp III of Iberia

Aamazasp III or Hamazasp (Georgian: ამაზასპ III, Latinized as Amazaspus) was a king of Iberia (natively known as Kartli; ancient Georgia) from 260 to 265 AD. He probably belonged to the Arsacid dynasty.

Amazasp is unknown to the medieval Georgian literary tradition, although the Georgian chronicles do record two earlier kings named Amazasp (Georgian form of the Persian Hamazasp). However, Amazasp is attested in the contemporaneous Sassanid epigraphic sources. The trilingual inscription from Ka'ba-ye Zartosht lists Iberia (Virčān) among Iran's dependencies and testifies to a privileged position of its king, Hamazasp, in the hierarchy of the Sassanid court in which he follows King Ardashir of Adiabene, King Ardashir of Carmania, and Queen Denag of Mesene, and precedes a long list of princes, ministers, and satraps of the royal cities. Professor Cyril Toumanoff of Georgetown University suggested that Amazasp was installed by the energetic Sassanid shah Shapur I as an anti-king to the Romanophile king Mihrdat II of Iberia, who is known exclusively from the Georgian chronicles. Another Sassanid inscription, that of the high priest Kartir indeed alludes to an Iranian invasion of Iberia (and of Albania) some time after 260. Amazasp seems to have been dispossessed of the throne in 265, the moment, precisely, when Shapur’s imperial activity was definitely coming to an end.[1][2][3][4]

Modern historians such as Giorgi Tsereteli, Tamila Mgaloblishvili, and Stephen H. Rapp identify Hamazasp with Habzā, the king of Waručān mentioned in some of the early Manichaean texts discovered by German expeditions in western China's Xinjiang and the Turpan oasis between 1902 and 1914. Another document from this collection refers to an unnamed king of Waruzān, which appears to have been impressed by the Manichaean teachings.[5]


  1. W.B. Fischer, Ilya Gershevitch, Ehsan Yarshster (ed., 1993), The Cambridge History of Iran, p. 708. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-24693-8.
  2. Toumanoff, Cyril. Chronology of the Early Kings of Iberia. Traditio 25 (1969), pp. 13, 18-19.
  3. I E S Edwards (2005), The Cambridge Ancient History, p. 489. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-26430-8.
  4. Rapp, Stephen H. (2003), Studies In Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts And Eurasian Contexts, p. 293. Peeters Bvba ISBN 90-429-1318-5.
  5. T‘amila Mgaloblishvili and Stephen H. Rapp Jr. (2011), "Manichaeism in Late Antique Georgia?," pp. 269–274, in In Search of Truth: Manichaica, Augustiniana & Varia Gnostica, Jacob Albert van den Berg ed. Leiden—Boston: Brill, ISBN 9004189971.
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