Known as "the Wild Ass"
also called "Bahram Gur", son of Yazdegerd I of Persia (399421), after whose sudden death (or assassination) he gained the crown against the opposition of the grandees by the help of Mundhir, the Arabic dynast of al-Hirah. Bahram V's mother was Soshandukht, the daughter of the Jewish Exilarch.
He promised to rule otherwise than his father, who had been very energetic and at the same time tolerant in religion. So Bahram V began a systematic persecution of the Christians (one such persecuted figure was traditionally James Intercisus), which led to a war with the Roman Empire. But he had little success, and soon concluded a treaty by which both empires promised toleration to the worshippers of the two rival religions, Christianity and Zoroastrianism.
In 427 Bahram V crushed an invasion in the east by the nomadic Hephthalites, extending his influence into Central Asia, where his portrait survived for centuries on the coinage of Bukhara (in modern Uzbekistan).
Bahram V deposed the last vassal Arsacid King of the Persian part of Armenia and made it a province. He is a great favourite in Persian tradition, which relates many stories of his valour and beauty, of his victories over the Romans, Turks, Indians and Africans, and of his adventures in hunting and in love; he is called Bahram Gur, "Onager," on account of his love for hunting, and in particular, hunting onagers.
Some have judged Bahram V to have been rather a weak monarch, after the heart of the grandees and the priests. He is said to have built many great fire temples, with large gardens and villages (Tabari).