Foundation of Sasanian Empire
Conflicting accounts shroud the details of the fall of the Parthian Empire and subsequent rise of the Sassanian Empire in mystery. The Sassanian Empire was established in Estakhr by Ardashir I.
Ardashir's father, Papak, was originally the ruler of a region called Khir. However, by 200, Papak had managed to overthrow Gochihr and appoint himself the new ruler of the Bazrangids. Papak's mother, Rodhagh, was the daughter of the provincial governor of Pars. Papak and his eldest son Shapur managed to expand their power over all of Pars. Subsequent events are unclear due to the elusive nature of the sources. It is certain, however, that following the death of Papak, Ardashir, the governor of Darabgerd, became involved in a power struggle with his elder brother Shapur. Sources reveal that Shapur, leaving for a meeting with his brother, was killed when the roof of a building collapsed on him. By 208, over the protests of his other brothers, who were put to death, Ardashir declared himself ruler of Pars.
Once Ardashir was appointed shah (King), he moved his capital further to the south of Pars and founded Ardashir-Khwarrah. The city, well protected by high mountains and easily defensible due to the narrow passes that approached it, became the center of Ardashir's efforts to gain more power. After establishing his rule over Pars, Ardashir rapidly extended his territory, demanding fealty from the local princes of Fars, and gaining control over the neighbouring provinces of Kerman, Isfahan, Susiana and Mesene. This expansion quickly came to the attention of Artabanus V, the Parthian king, who initially ordered the governor of Khuzestan to wage war against Ardashir in 224, but Ardashir was victorious in the ensuing battles.