According to Armenian historian Ghazar Parpetsi, who is the only source about the life of Zarir, the latter was a son of the Sasanian shah Yazdegerd II. He had several brothers named Balash, Hormizd III, and Peroz I. After the death of Peroz I (who had succeeded his father as king), Balash was elected as king by the nobility and clergy. Zarir, dissatisfied with the election, rebelled. Balash was thus forced to make peace with his enemy Vahan Mamikonian and sent him at the head of an army to suppress the rebellion of Zarir. Zarir was shortly defeated, and fled to the mountains, but was quickly captured and "shot down like an animal".
- Chaumont, M. L. (1988). "BALĀŠ". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. III, Fasc. 6. pp. 574–580.
- Dédéyan, Gérard (2007). Histoire du peuple arménien (in French). Toulouse: Éd. Privat. ISBN 978-2-7089-6874-5.
- Grousset, René (1947). Histoire de l’Arménie des origines à 1071 (in French). Paris: Payot.
- Pourshariati, Parvaneh (2008). Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-645-3.