PARTHIA , the mountainous
See also:country S.E. of the
See also:Sea, which extends from the Elburz chain eastwards towards
See also:Herat, and is bounded on the N. by the fertile plain of
See also:Hyrcania (about Astrabad) at the
See also:foot of the mountains in the corner of the Caspian and by the Turanian
See also:desert; on the S. by the
See also:salt desert of central
See also:Iran . It corresponds to the
See also:modern Khorasan . It was inhabited by an Iranian tribe, the Parthava of the inscriptions of Darius; the correct Greek
See also:form is Ilap8eaioc . Parthia became a province of the Achaemenian and then of the Macedonian
See also:Empire . Seleucus I. and
See also:Antiochus I. founded Greek towns: Soteira, Charis,
See also:Calliope (
See also:Appian, Syr . 57; Plin. vi . 15; cf .
See also:Strabo xi . 516); the capital of Parthia is known only by its Greek name Hecatompylos (" The
See also:Hundred-gated ") from the many roads which met there (Polyb. x . 28), and was, according to Appian, founded by Seleucus I . (cf . Curtius vii .
2)., In 208 many Greek inhabitants are found in the towns of Parthia and Hyrcania (Polyb. x . 31, 11) . When about 255 B.C .
See also:Diodotus had made himself
See also:king of
See also:Bactria (q.v.). and tried to expand his dominions, the chieftain of a tribe bf Iranian nomads (Dahan
See also:Scythe) east of the Caspian, the Parni or Aparni, who
See also:bore the Persian name
See also:Arsaces, fled before him into Parthia.l Here the
See also:satrap Andragoras appears to have shaken off the Seleucid supremacy, as he struck gold and
See also:silver coins in his own name, on which he wears the diadem, although not the royal title (Gardner, Numism .
See also:Chronicle, 1879-1881) . In
See also:Justin xii . 4, 12, Andragoras is wrongly made satrap of
See also:Alexander, of Persian origin, and ancestor of Arsaces . He was slain by Arsaces (Justin xli . 4), who occupied Parthia and became the founder of the
See also:kingdom . The date 248 B.C. given by the
See also:list of the Olympionicae in Euseb . Chron. i . 207, and in his
See also:Canon, ii .
120 (cf . Appian, Syr . 65; Justin, xli . 4, gives wrongly 256 B.C.), is confirmed by numerous Babylonian tablets dated simultaneously from the Seleucid and Arsacid eras (cf . Mahler, in Wiener Zeitschriftfur die Kunde
See also:des Morgenlands, 1901, xv . 57 sqq.; Lehmann
See also:Haupt in Beitrage zacr alten Geschichte, 1905, v . 128 sqq.) . The origin and early
See also:history of the Parthian kingdom, of which we possess only very scanty information, is surrounded by fabulous legends, narrated by
See also:Arrian in his Parthica (preserved in Photius,
See also:cod . 58, and
See also:Syncellus, p . 539 seq.) . Here, Arsaces and his
See also:Tiridates are derived from the royal
See also:house of the Achaemenids, probably from
See also:Artaxerxes II.; the
See also:young Tiridates is insulted by the
See also:Agathocles or Pherecles; in revenge the
See also:brothers with five companions (corresponding to the seven Persians of Darius) slay him, and Arsaces becomes king . He is killed after two years and succeeded by his brother Tiridates, who reigns 37 years .
There is scarcely anything
See also:historical in this account, perhaps not even the name Tiridates, for, according to the older tradition, Arsaces himself ruled for many years . The troubles of the Seleucid empire, and the war of Seleucus II. against
See also:Ptolemy III. and his own brother Antiochus
See also:Hierax, enabled him not only to maintain himself in Parthia, but also to conquer Hyrcania; but he was constantly threatened by Diodotus of Bactria (Justin xli . 4) . When, about 238 B.C., Seleucus II. was able to
See also:march into the east, Arsaces fled to the nomadic tribe of the Aspasiacae (Strabo xi . 513; cf . Polyb. x . 48) . But Seleucus was soon recalled by a
See also:rebellion in
See also:Syria, and Arsaces returned victorious to Parthia; " the
See also:day of this victory is celebrated by the Parthians as the beginning of their independence " (Justin xli . 4) . Arsaces was proclaimed king at Asaak in the
See also:district of Astauene, now
See also:Kuchan in the upper A trek (Attruck) valley (Isidor . Charac.), and built his residence Dara on a
See also:rock in a fertile valley in Apavarktikene (Justin xli . 5; Plin. vi .
46), now Kelat still farther eastward; the centre of hispower evidently
See also:lay on the
See also:borders of eastern Khorasan and the Turanian desert . The
See also:principal institutions of the Parthian kingdom 1 Strabo xi . 515; cf . Justin xli . 4; the Parni are said by Strabo [ibid.] to have immigrated from
See also:southern Russia, a tradition wrongly transferred to the Parthians themselves by Justin xli . 1, and Arrian ap . Phot. cod . 58 . were created by him (cf . Justin xli . 2) . The Scythian nomads became the ruling
See also:race; they were invested with large landed
See also:property, and formed the council of the king, who appointed the successor .
They were archers fighting on horseback, and in their
See also:cavalry consisted the strength of the Parthian army; the
See also:infantry were mostly slaves, bought and trained for military service, like the janissaries and mamelukes . But these Scythians soon amalgamated with the Parthian peasants . They adopted the Iranian religion of Zoroaster (in the royal
See also:town Asaak an eternal
See also:fire was maintained), and " their language was a mixture of Scythian and Median " (i.e., Iranian) . Therefore their language and writing are called by the later Persians " Pehlevi," i.e . Parthian (Pehlevi is the modern form of Parthawa) and the magnates themselves Pehlevans, i.e . " Parthians," a
See also:term transferred by Firdousi to the heroes of the old Iranian
See also:legend . But the Arsacid kingdom never was a truly
See also:national state; with the Scythian and Parthian elements were
See also:united some elements of Greek
See also:civilization . The successors of Arsaces I. even founded some Greek towns, and when they had conquered Babylonia and
See also:Mesopotamia they all adopted the epithet " Philhellen." To Arsaces I. probably belong the earliest Parthian coins; the
See also:oldest simply bear the name Arsaces; others, evidently struck after the
See also:coronation in Asaak, have the royal title ((3aanXfws 'Ap thIcev) . The
See also:reverse shows the seated
See also:archer, or occasionally an
See also:elephant; the
See also:head of the king is beardless and wears a
See also:helmet and a diadem; only from the third or
See also:fourth king they begin to
See also:wear a
See also:beard after the Iranian fashion . In
See also:honour of the founder of the
See also:dynasty all his successors, when they came to the
See also:throne, adopted his name and officially (e.g. on the coins) are almost always called Arsaces, whereas the historians generally use their individual names . Of the successors of Arsaces I. we know very little . His son, Arsaces II., was attacked by Antiochus III., the Great, in 209, who conquered the Parthian and Hyrcanian towns but at last granted a peace .
The next king, whom Justin calls Priapatius, ruled 15 years (about 190-175); his successor, Phraates I., subjected the mountainous tribe of the Mardi (in the Elburz) . He died early, and was succeeded not by one of his sons but by his brother,
See also:Mithradates I., who became the founder of the Parthian empire . Mithradates I . (c . 170-138) had to fight hard with the Greeks of Bactria, especially with
See also:Eucratides (q.v.); at last he was able to conquer a great
See also:part of eastern Iran . Soon after the
See also:death of Antiochus IV . Epiphanes (163) he conquered
See also:Media, where he refounded the town of Rhagae (Rai near Teheran) under the name of Arsacia; and about 141 he invaded Babylonia . He and his son Phraates II. defeated the attempts of
See also:Demetrius II . (139) and Antiochus VII . (129) to regain the eastern provinces, and extended the Arsacid dominion to the
See also:Euphrates . For the later history of the Parthian empire reference should be made to
See also:Ancient History, and
See also:biographical articles on the
See also:kings . The following is a list of the kings, as far as it is possible to establish their succession .
The names of pretenders not generally acknowledged are put in brackets . Arsaces I . . 248-c . 21I
See also:Vonones I . . . . 8-11 (perhaps Tiridates I.)
See also:Artabanus II . C . Io-4o Arsaces II . .c . 211-190 (Tiridates III . . 36) Priapatius . . .
.c . 190–175 (
See also:Cinnamus . . . 38) Phraates I . .c . 175-170 (
See also:Vardanes I .. • 40-45) Mithradates I . . .c . 170–138
See also:Gotarzes . . . . 40–51 Phraates II . . .
. c . 138-127 Vonones II 51 Artabanus I . .c . 127–124
See also:Vologaeses I . . 51–77 Mithradates II. the (Vardanes II . . . . • . 55) Great . . co . 124–881 Vologaeses II . 77–79 ; I11–147 Sanatruces I . . 76–70
See also:Pacorus .
. 78–c . 105 Phraates III . . . 70-57 (Artabanus III . . . 8o-81)Orodes I 57–37 Orrdes Io6–129 (Mithradates III .. . 57–54) (Mithradates IV. and his son Phraates IV 37–2 Sanatruces II., 115; Partha- (Tiridates I I . 32–31 and 26) maspates, 116–117; and other Phraates V . (Phraa- pretenders.) i The names of the following kings are not known; that one of them was called Artabanus II. is quite conjectural . Vologaeses IV . 191-209 Artabanus IV . . .
209-229 (Vologaeses V . . 209–C . 222) The principal
See also:works on the Arsacid coinage are (after the earlier publications of Longperier, Prokesch-Ostan, &c.) : Percy Gardner, The Parthian Coinage (
See also:London, 1877), and especially W . Wroth,
See also:Catalogue of the Coins of Parthia in the
See also:British Museum (London, 1903), who carefully revised the statements of his predecessors . Cf. also Petrowicz, Arsacidenmiinzen (Vienna, 1904), and Allotte de la Fuye, " Classement des monnaies arsacides," in Revue numismatique, 4 seiie, vol. viii., 1904 . (ED .
There are no comments yet for this article.
Do not copy, download, transfer, or otherwise replicate the site content in whole or in part.
Links to articles and home page are encouraged.