The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Arsaces – Arsacidae

360

ARSACES.

before him. Thereupon the emperor Verus pro­ceeded to Syria, but when he reached Antioch, he remained in that city and gave the command of the army to Cassius, who soon drove Vologeses out of Syria, and followed up his success by in­vading Mesopotamia and Assyria. He took Se-leuceia and Ctesiphon, both of which he sacked and set on fire, but on his march homewards lost a great number of his troops by diseases and famine. Meantime Statius Priscus, who had been sent into Armenia, was equally successful. He entirely subdued the country, and took Artaxata, the capitol. (Dion Cass. Ixx. 2, Ixxi. 2 ; Lucian, Atex. Pseudom. c. 27 ; Capitol. M. Ant. Phil. cc. 8, 9, Verus, cc. 6, 7 ; Eutrop. viii. 10.) This war seems to have been followed by the cession of Mesopotamia to the Romans.

From this time to the downfall of the Parthian empire, there is great confusion in the list of kings. Several modern writers indeed suppose, that the events related above under Vologeses III., hap­pened in the reign of Vologeses II., and that the latter continued to reign till shortly before the death of Commodus (a. d. 192) ; but this is highly improbable, as Vologeses II. ascended the throne about a. d. 122, and must on this supposition have reigned nearly seventy years. If Vologeses III. began to reign in a. d. 149, as we have sup­posed from Eckhel, it is also improbable that he should have been the Vologeses spoken of in the reign of Caracalla, about a. d. 212. We are therefore inclined to believe that there was one Vologeses more than has been mentioned by modern writers, and have accordingly inserted an ad­ditional one in the list we have given.

arsaces XXIX., vologeses IV., proba­bly ascended the throne in the reign of Commo­dus. In the contest between Pescennius Niger and Severus for the empire, a. d. 193, the Par-thians sent troops to the assistance of the former; and accordingly when Niger was conquered, Severus marched against the Parthians. He was accompanied by a brother of Vologeses. His in­vasion was quite unexpected and completely suc­cessful. He took Ctesiphon after an obstinate re­sistance in a. d. 199, and gave it to his soldiers to plunder, but did not permanently occupy it. Herodian appears to be mistaken in saying that this happened in the reign of Artabanus. (Hero­dian. iii. 1, 9, 10 ; Dion Cass. Ixxv. 9 ; Spartian. Sever, cc. 15, 16.) Reimar (ad Dion Cass. I. c.) supposes that this Vologeses is the same Vologeses, son of Sanatruces, king of Armenia, to whom, Dion Cassius tells us, that Severus granted part of Armenia; but the account of Dion Cassius is very confused. On the death of Vologeses IV., at the beginning of the reign of Caracalla, Parthia was torn asunder by contests for the crown between the sons of Vologeses. (Dion Cass. Ixxvii. 12.) arsaces XXX., vologeses V., a son of

ARSACIDAE.

Vologeses IV., was engaged, as already remarked; in civil wars with his brothers. It was against him that Caracalla made war in a. d. 215, be­cause he refused to surrender Tiridates and An-tiochus, who had fled to Parthia from the Romans, but did not prosecute it, since the Parthians through fear delivered up the persons he had de­manded. (Dion Cass. Ixxvii. 19.) He appears to have been dethroned about this time by his brother Artabanus.

arsaces XXXI., artaba;nus IV., the last king of Parthia, was a brother of the preceding, and a son of Vologeses IV. According to He­rodian, Caracalla entered Parthia in a. d. 216S under pretence of seeking the daughter of Artaba­nus in marriage; and when Artabanus went to meet him unarmed with a great number of his no­bility, Caracalla treacherously fell upon them and put the greater number to the sword ; Artabanus himself escaped with difficulty. Dion Cassius merely relates that Artabanus refused to give his daughter in marriage to Caracalla, and that the latter laid waste in consequence the countries bor­dering upon Media. During the winter Artaba­nus raised a very large army, and in the following year, A. d. 217, marched against the Romans. Macrinus, who had meantime succeeded Caracalla, advanced to meet him ; and a desperate battle was fought near Nisibis, which continued for two days, but without victory to either side. At the com­mencement of the third day, Macrinus sent an embassy to Artabanus, informing him of the death of Caracalla, with whom the Parthian king was chiefly enraged, and offering to restore the prison­ers and treasures taken by Caracalla, and to pay a large sum of money besides. On these conditions a peace was concluded, and Artabanus withdrew his forces.

In this war, however, Artabanus had lost the best of his troops, and the Persians seized the op­portunity of recovering their long-lost independ­ence. They were led by Artaxerxes (Ardshir), the son of Sassan, and defeated the Parthians in three great battles, in the last of which Artabanus was taken prisoner and killed, A. d. 226. Thus ended the Parthian empire of the Arsacidae, after it had existed 476 years, (Dion Cass. Ixxviii. 1, 3, 26, 27, Ixxx. 3; Herodian, iv. 9, 11, 14, 15, vi. 2 ; Capitolin. Macrin. cc. 8, 12; Agathias, Hist. iv. 24; Syncellus, vol. i. p. 677, ed Dmdorf.) The Parthians were now obliged to submit to Artax­erxes, the founder of the dynasty of the Sassani-dae, which continued to reign till a. d. 651. [sassanidae.] The family of the Arsacidae, however, still continued to exist in Armenia as an independent dynasty. [arsacidae.]

The best modern works on the history of the Parthian kings are: Vaillant, Arsacidarum impe-rium sive regum Parthorum Itistoria ad fidem numis-matmn accomodata., Par. -1725 ; Eckhel, Doctr, Num. Veter. vol. iii. pp. 523—550 ; C. F. Richter, Histor. Krit. Versuch liber die Arsaciden mid Sas-saniden-Dynaslie, Gottingen, 1804; Krause in Ersch und Gruber's Encyclop'ddie,, Art. Parther.

ARSACES, the name of four Armenian kings. [arsacidae, pp. 362, b.? 363, b., 364, a.]

ARSACIDAE. 1. The name of a dynasty of Parthian kings. [arsaces.]

2. The name of a dynasty of Armenian kings, who reigned over Armenia during the wars of the Romans with Mithridates the Great, king of Pon-

Pages
About | First

359

360

361
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.