Shirin

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Shirin (? – 628 a.d.) () was a wife of the Sassanid Persian Shahanshah (king of kings), Khosrau II. In the revolution after the death of Khosrau's father Hormizd IV, the General Bahram Chobin took power over the Persian empire. Shirin fled with Khosrau to Syria where they lived under the protection of Byzantine emperor Maurice. In 591, Khosrau returned to Persia to take control of the empire and Shirin was made queen. She used her new influence to support the Christian minority in Iran, but the political situation demanded that she do so discreetly. Initially she belonged to the Church of the East, the so-called Nestorians, but later she joined the monophysitic church of Antioch, now known as the Syriac Orthodox Church. After conquering Jerusalem in 614, the Persians supposedly captured the cross of Jesus and brought it to their capital Ctesiphon, where Shirin took the cross in her palace.

Marriage

The earliest source mentioning Shirin is the Ecclesiastical history of Evagrius Scholasticus, where she is mentioned as "Sira". It preserves letter sent by Khosrau II to the shrine of Saint Sergius in Resafa. One dated to 592/593 includes the following passage: "At the time when I was at Beramais, I begged of thee, O holy one, that thou wouldest come to my aid, and that Sira might conceive: and inasmuch as Sira was a Christian and I a heathen, and our law forbids us to have a Christian wife,...
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