Yazdgerd 2nd was the fifteenth (or 16th)
Sassanid King of
Persia. He was the son of Bahram 4th (421–438) and reigned from 438 to 457.
In the beginning of his reign, Yazdgerd moved his headquarters to
Khorasan to face the threat from the
Huns. This resulted in Yazdgerd gaining control of
Bactria which secured the eastern flank of the Sassanid Empire. After his offensive against the Huns, Yazdgerd' focus shifted to disputed territories with the
Romans had been constructing fortifications in the nearby
Persian territory of
Carrhae, in anticipation of subsequent expeditions. The Roman Emperor,
Theodosius II (408–450), asked for peace and sent his commander, Anatolius, personally to Yazdgerd' camp. In the ensuing negotiations in 441, both empires promised not to build any new fortifications in their border territories. Yazdgerd gathered his forces in
Neishapour in 443 and launched a prolonged campaign against the Kidarites, the Hun leader. After numerous battles, he crushed them and drove them out beyond the
Oxus River in 450.
During his eastern campaign, Yazdgerd grew suspicious of
Christians in the army and the nobility and expelled many of them. He showed intolerance towards religious minorities and in a public declaration he wanted them to convert to Zoroastrianism. This despised previously tolerated Christian (
Jewish people by abolishing their ceremonies and prosecution of their clerics.
He suppressed an uprising of Armenian Christians in the Battle of Vartanantz in 451.
In his later years, Yazdgerd became engaged again with the Kidarites until his death in 457. He pursued strict religious policies and persecuted various minorities.