Europe 224: Battle of Hormozdgan
Elagabalus reigned for just under 4 years, until 222, when the Praetorian Guard deposed him in favor of his 14-year-old cousin Severus Alexander. The accession of Alexander, with his mother Julia Mamaea as regent, ushered in a period of peace in the Roman Empire, but in neighboring Parthia trouble was brewing, as Ardashir I and his rebel Sasanians exploited the civil war between Artabanus IV and Vologases VI to annex Elymais and Characene. Determined to crush Ardashir, Artabanus marched south in 224, only to be defeated and killed at the Battle of Hormozdgan.
? Jun 218–11 Mar 222 Principate of Elagabalus▲
Elagabalus was recognized as Emperor in June 218, but soon came to be seen as problematic by the Senate, the army, and the common Romans due to his Emesene religious beliefs and his disregard for Roman traditions and sexual taboos. In 221, concerned by Elagabalus’ growing unpopularity, his powerful grandmother Julia Maesa persuaded him to adopt his 12- or 13-year-old cousin Severus Alexander as his heir, but Elagabalus quickly grew jealous of the boy and hid him away by March 222. This enraged the Praetorian Guards, who demanded to see Alexander—and broke into cheers when the emperor reluctantly released him. Agitated, Elagabalus tried to have the more enthusiastic guards arrested, but was quickly killed when they all turned on him.
221 Sasanian Khuzestan▲
Concerned by Ardashir I’s Sasanid revolt in Persia, but still apparently focused on defeating his imperial rival Vologases VI, Shah Artabanus IV of the Parthian Empire asked his vassal Orodes VI of Elymais to crush the rebels. Ardashir instead defeated Orodes in 221, capturing the major city of Sorraq and annexing Elymais to the Sasanian realm as the satrapy of Khuzestan.
11 Mar 222–19 Mar 235 Principate of Severus Alexander▲
At just 13, Severus Alexander succeeded his cousin Elagabalus in 222, spending his reign under the regency and influence of (until 223) his grandmother Julia Maesa and his mother Julia Mamaea. The first nine years of Alexander’s reign were peaceful and stabilizing, as he rolled back the religious reforms of Elagabalus, but later on wars with both Sasanian Persia (231–3) and (234–5) the Germans proved him a weak commander. In 235 the Rhine legions mutinied, assassinating Alexander and his mother and proclaiming the general Maximinus Thrax as Emperor.
222? Sasanian Meshan▲
In around 222, in his next campaign after defeating Elymais, the Sasanid king Ardashir I of Persia marched against the Parthian client kingdom of Characene, defeating and killing the last Characenian king—Bandū or Abinergaios III according to later Arabic sources; the last king documented by contemporaries is his possible father Maga (c.195–c.210). Ardashir then annexed the kingdom to his empire as the satrapy of Meshan, rebuilding the capital Charax Spasinu as Astarābād-Ardašīr (or Kark Maysān).
28 Apr 224 Battle of Hormozdgan▲
In 224 Shah Artabanus IV of Parthia marched south to suppress the Sasanian revolt under Ardashir I, agreeing to meet Ardashir on the plain of Hormozdgan (believed to be Ram-Hormoz). The night before the battle, Ardashir made up for his smaller number of forces by occupying an advantageous position on the plain and digging a defensive ditch. Thus outmaneuvered, Artabanus was defeated and killed the following day, prompting the victorious Ardashir to assume the title of shahanshah (“King of Kings”).