House of Kayus

Persian emperor Ardashir I is believed to be standing here in this relief at Taq-e Bostan. On the left is the deity, Ahura Mazda, on the right is the sun-god Mithras, and with the vanquished last Kayusid monarch, being trampled underfoot.

The Kayusid or House of Kayus (also Kâvos) or Kâvusakân was a semi-independent Iranian kingdom centered in present-day northern Iraq, ruling as Sasanian vassals from 226 to 380.


The House of Kayus was established after an agreement between Iranian principalities and kingdoms and the Sasanian Empire, following a two-year war between the Empire and the local kingdoms. A local Iranian prince, Kayus, was reinstated tributary king to rule in northern Iraq.

Prior to the establishment of the House of Kayus, a number of unified Iranian principalities and kingdoms from Barzan and Hakkari to Mukriyan and Shahrazur ruled under the leadership of the Kingdom of Kerm (serpent) centered at Kermanshah. In AD 224, Ardashir I, founder of the Persian Sassanian Empire, challenged the kingdom of Kermanshah in a two-year war before finally receiving suzerainty from a number of kingdoms across the region. The House of Kayus was established in AD 226 and remained a semi-independent kingdom until AD 380 before Ardashir II removed the dynasty's last ruling member.



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