5. BAHRAM or VARANES II., who reigned A. D. 277-294. Bahram was engaged in a war with his turbulent neighbours in the north-east, towards the sources of the Indus, when he was called to the west by a formidable invasion of the emperor Carus.
It was near the river Euphrates that the old hero received a Persian embassy, to whom he gave audience whilst sitting on the turf and dressed in the garb of a common soldier. His language, however, soon convinced the luxurious Orientals that this mean-looking person, who was making his dinner upon some pease and a piece of bacon, was a monarch of no less power than their own Shahinshah.
He told them that if the king did not recognise the superiority of the Roman empire, he would make Persia as naked of trees as his own head was destitute of hair; and the Persians being little inclined to make peace on such conditions, he began in earnest to show the goodness of his word. Seleucia and Ctesiphon both yielded to him, and Bahram being compelled to keep most of his troops on the Indian frontier was only saved by the sudden death of Carus (283).
The sons and successors of Carus, Carinus and Numerianus, retreated in consternation, and Diocletian, who soon wrested the power from them, was too busily engaged in the north to follow up the success of Carus. Bahram II. died in 294.