Spahbod or Spahbed is derived from the words Spah (سپه army) and bod (بد master); or "Aspah'Paeity" (in new Persian "Asb" and "Payeh"), and means commander of cavaliers/ knights; alternatively Spah Salar (سپهسالار) was a rank used in the Parthian empire
Parthian Empire
The Parthian Empire , also known as the Arsacid Empire , was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Persia...

 and more widely in the Sassanid Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

 of Persia (Iran)
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. The title continued in usage after the Islamic conquest of Persia
Islamic conquest of Persia
The Muslim conquest of Persia led to the end of the Sassanid Empire in 644, the fall of Sassanid dynasty in 651 and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia...

, among both native Iranian dynasties and also those who were under Persian influence, such as the Armenian
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 (see Sparapet
Sparapet was a hereditary military rank that originated in the 2nd century BC, under the reign of King Artashes I, and was used in the Kingdom of Armenia and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia , was supreme commander of the armed forces. It was the equivalent of the Parthian Spahbod Sparapet was a...

) and Georgian
Georgian people
The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

 (see Spaspet
Spaspet was a feudal office in Georgia that originated in ancient Iberia. It is usually translated in English as High Constable.The institution of spaspet, like its rough equivalent sparapet in neighboring Armenia, was designed under the influence of the Sassanian Persian Eran Spahbod, but...

) kingdoms.

Used alone, it refers to the senior military officer, but when it is used with Eran (Iran) -- Eran Spahbod ايران سپهبد or Iran Spahbod -- it is equivalent to field marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

 or generalissimo
Generalissimo and Generalissimus are military ranks of the highest degree, superior to Field Marshal and other five-star ranks.-Usage:...

 of the Empire, and was the highest military rank after the emperor Shahanshah (King of Kings) himself. The Iran Spahbod acted as Commander-in Chief, Minister of War, and chief peace negotiator. Lesser spahbods could command a field army, while the regional Marzban
Marzban were a class of margraves or military commanders in charge of border provinces of the Sassanid Empire of Persia between the 3rd and 7th centuries CE....

s could be regarded as field marshals.

During the Pahlavi dynasty
Pahlavi dynasty
The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi (reg. 1925–1941) and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty ...

 in the 20th century, the Pahlavi army reinforced the usage of many ancient Sassanid military ranks, including Spahbod. The rank Spahbod in the Pahlavi army was equivalent to the modern 3 stars Lieutenant general
Lieutenant General (United States)
In the United States Army, the United States Air Force and the United States Marine Corps, lieutenant general is a three-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-9. Lieutenant general ranks above major general and below general...

 in United States Army, ranking below Arteshbod (full General).

Sassanid dynasty 

  • Azarethes
    Azarethes , also recorded as Exarath and Zuraq, was a Sassanid Persian military commander during the Byzantine–Sassanid Wars. His name is the Greek corruption of a probably honorific title....

  • Bahram Chobin
    Bahram Chobin
    General Bahrām Chobin was a famous Eran spahbod during the late 6th century in Persia, usurping the Sassanid throne for a year as Bahram VI .- Life :...

  • Rhahzadh
    Razadh, originally Roch Vehan, known in Byzantine sources as Rhazates was a Persian general of Armenian origin under Sassanid king Khosrau II ....

  • Rostam Farrokhzād
    Rostam Farrokhzad
    Rostam Farrokhzād was the Ērān Spāhbod of the Sāsānian Empire under the reign of Yazdgird, r. 632 - 651...

  • Shahin
  • Shahrbaraz
    Shahrbaraz or Shahrwaraz was a general, with the rank of Eran Spahbod under Khosrau II . His name was Farrokhan, and Shahrbaraz was his title...

  • Vahriz
    Vahriz was a Deylamite spahbod in the service of the Sassanid Empire. He was the head of a small expeditionary force of low ranking Azatan nobility, numbering around 700, sent by Khosrau I to Yemen....

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