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an autocrat, above them and above the law, realizing the theoretical doctrines of Plato and Aristotle, as the true king, who is aged among men, bound no more than Zeus by a law, because “ himself he is the law.” Thus the divine kingship of Alexander derives indirect line, not from the Oriental politics— which (Egypt apart) know nothing of royal apotheosis-—but from these Hellenic theories of the state. Henceforward it becomes the form of every absolute monarchy ina civilized land, being formally mitigated only in Christian states by the assumption that the king is not God, but king “ by the grace of God." The expedition of 332 8.0. to the shrine of Ammon was a preliminary to this procedure, which, in 324, was sealed by his official elevation to divine rank in all the republics of Greece. To this corresponds the fact that, instead of acting on the doctrines of Aristotle and Callisthenes, and treating the Macedonians and Greeks as masters, the Asiatics as servants, Alexander had impartial recourse to the powers of all his subjects and strove to amalgamate them. In the Persians particularly he sought a second pillar for his world-empire. Therefore, as early as 330 B.C., he drafted 30,000 young Persians, educated them in Greek customs, and trained them to war on the Mace— donian model. The Indian campaign showed that his Macedonian troops were in fact inadequate to the conquest of the world, and in the summer of 326 they compelled him to turn back from the banks of the Hyphasis. On his return to Persia, he consummated at Susa (Feb. 324 3.0.) the union of Persian and Macedonian by the great marriage-feast, at which all his superior officers, with some 10,000 more Macedonians, were wedded to Persian wives. The Macedonian veterans were then disbanded, and the Persians taken into his army. Simultaneously, at the Olympian festival of 324, the command was issued to all the cities of Greece to recognize him as god and to receive the exiles home.1 In 323 15.0. the preparations for the circumnavigation and subjection of Arabia were complete: the next enterprise being the conquest of the West, and the battle for Hellenic culture against Carthage and the Italian tribes. At that point Alexander died in Babylon on the 13th of June 32 3 B.C. ~ Alexander left no heir. Consequently, his death not only ended the scheme of universal conquest, but led to an immediate The Macedonian reaction. The army, which was conKingdoms sidered as the representative of the people, took ZZZ’ M over the government under the direction of its 0‘ ' generals. The Persian wives were practically all discarded and the Persian satraps removed—at least from all important provinces. But the attempt to maintain the empire in its unity proved impracticable; and almost immediately there began the embittered war, waged for several decades by the generals (diadochi), for the inheritance of the great king? It was soon obvious that the eastern rulers, at all events. could not dispense with the native element. Peucestas, the governor of Persis, there played the role of Alexander and won the Persians completely to his side; for which he was dismissedby Antigonus in 315 (Diod. xix. 48). A similar position was attained by Seleucus—the only one of the diadochi, who had not divorced his Persian wife, Apama—in Babylonia, which he governed from 319 to 316 and regained in the autumn of 312. While Antigonus, who, since 315, had striven to win the kingdom of Alexander for himself—was detained by the war with his rivals in the west, Seleucus, with Babylon as his headquarters, con~ quered the whole of Iran as far as the Indus. In northern Media alone, which lay outside the main scene of operations and had only been partially subject to the later Achaemenids, the Persian satrap Atropates, appointed by Alexander, maintained his independence and bequeathed his province to his successors. His name is borne by north Media to the present day—Atropatene, modern Azerbaijan or Adherbeijan (see MED“). So, too, in Armenia the Persian dynasty of the

‘The discussion of these events by Hogarth “The Deification of Alexander the Great," in the English Historical Review, ii. (1887), is quite unsatisfactory.

’ See Pronemas; Sam-zoom Dvuxsrv.


Hydarnids held its ground; and to theSe must be added, in the east of Asia Minor, the kingdoms of Pontus and Cappadocia, founded a. 301, by the Persians Mithradates I. and Ariarathes I. These states were fragments of the Achaemenid Empire, which had safely transferred themselves to the Hellenistic state-system.

The annexation of Iran by Seleucus Nicator. led to a War for the countries on the Indian frontier; his opponent being Sandracottus or 'Chandragupta Maurya (q.v.), the founder 50m, 1, of the great Indian Empire of Maurya (Palimbothra). Niall", lid The result was that Seleucus abandoned to the MM“ 'Indian king, not merely the Indian provinces, but even the frontier districts west of the Indus (Strabo xv. 689—724), receiving as compensation 500 elephants, with other presents (Appian, Syr. 55; Justin xv. 4; Plut. Alex. 62; Athen. i. 18 D.). His next expedition was to the west to assist Lysimachus, Ptolemy and Cassander in the overthrow of Antigonus.

The battle of Ipsus, in 301, gave him Syria and the 'east of Asia Minor; and from then he resided at the Syrian town of Antiochia on the Orontes. Shortly afterwards he handed over the provinces east of the Euphrates to his son Antiochus, who, in the following years, till 282, exercised in the East a very energetic and beneficial activity, which continued the work of his father and gave the new empire and the Oriental Hellenistic civilization their form. In order to protect his conquests Alexander had founded several cities in Bactria, Sogdiana and India, in which he settled his veterans. On his death, these revolted and endeavoured to return to Greece, but were attacked and cut to pieces by Pithon (Diod. xviii. 7). Of an“; the other Greek towns in Asia scarcely any were Town In founded by Alexander himself, though the plan "'"‘" adopted by his successors of securing their dominions by building Greek cities may perhaps be due to him (cf. Polyb. x. 27). Most of these new cities were based on older settlements; but the essential point is, that they were peopled by Greek and Macedonian colonists, and enjoyed civic independenCe with laws, officials, councils and assemblies of their own, in other words, an autonomous communal constitution, under the suzerainty of the empire. A portion, moreover, of the surrounding land was assigned to them. Thus a great number of the country districts—the @091) above mentioned—were transformed into municipal corporations, and thereby withdrawn from the immediate government of the king and his officials (satraps or strategi), though still subject to their control, except in the cases where they received unconditional freedom and so ranked as “ confederates." The native population of these villages and rural districts, at first, had no civic rights, but were governed by the foreign settlers. Soon, however, the two elements began to coalesce; in the Seleucid Empire, the process seems generally to have been both rapid and complete. Thus the cities became the main factors in the diffusion of Hellenism, the Greek language and the Greek civilization over all Asia as far as the Indus. At the same time they were the centres of, commerce and industrial life: and this, in conjunction with the royal favour, and the privileges accorded them, continually drew new settlers (especially Jews), and many of them developed into great and flourishing towns (see further under Hntuamsm). '

Shortly after his conquest of Babylonia, Seleucus had founded a new capital, Seleucia (q.v.), on the Tigris: his intention being at once to displace the ancient Babylon from its former central position, and to replace it by a Greek city. This was followed by a series of other foundations in Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Susiana (Elam). “ Media,” says Polybius (x. 27), “ was encircled by a sequence of Greek towns, designed as a barrier against the barbarians.” Among those mentioned are: Rhagae (Rai), which Seleucus metamorphosed into a Hellenic city, Europus, Laodicea, Apamea and Heraclea (Strabo xi. 525 Plin. vi. 43: cf. MEDIA). To these must be added Achaea Parthia, and. farther to the east, Alexandria Arion in Aria, the modern Herat: also Antiochia Margizma (Strabo xi. 514, 516;, Plin. 46, 03), now Merv, and many others. Further, Alexandria in Aradrosia, near Kandahar, and the towns founded by Alexander on the Hindu-Kush and in Sogdiana.

Thus an active Hellenic life soon arose in the East; and Greek settlers must have come in numbers and founded new cities, which afterwards formed the basis of the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom. Antiochus’s general Demodamas crossed the Jaxartes and set up an altar to the Didymaean Apollo (Plin. vi. 49). Another general, Patrocles, took up the investigation of the Caspian, already begun by Alexander. In contrast with the better knowledge of an older period, he came to the conclusion ‘that the Caspian was connected with the ocean, and that it was possible to reach India on ship-board by that route (Strabo ii. 74, xi. 518; Plin. vi. 38). A project of Seleucus to connect the Caspian with the Sea of Azov by means of a canal is mentioned by Pliny' (vi. 31). To Patrocles is due the information that an active commerce in Indian wares was carried on with the shores of the Black Sea, via the Caspian (Strabo xi. 509).

While Hellenism was-thus gaining a firm footing in all the East, lhe native population remained absolutely passive. Apart Hahn,“ from the rude mountain tribes, no national resis

Religion tance'was dreamed of for centuries. The Iranians Imdvr quietly accepted the foreign yoke, and the higher Greek Rule.

classes adopted the external forms of the alien civilization (cf. the dedication of a Bactrian, Hyspasines, son of- Mithroaxes, in‘ the inventory of the temple of Apollo in Delos, Dittenberger, Sylloge, 588, l. 109) even though they were unable to renounce their innate characteristics. Eratosthenes, for‘instance, speaks (ap. Strabo i. 66) in high terms of the Iranians (Ariani), ranking them (as well as the Indians, Romans and Carth‘aginians) on a level with the Greeks, as regards their capacity for adopting city civilization. The later Parsee tradition contends that \Alexander burned the sacred books of Zoroaster, the‘Avesta, and that only a few fragments were saved and afterwards reconstructed by the Arsacids and Sassanids. This is' absolutely unhistorical. The Persian religion was never attacked by the Macedonians and Greeks. Under their dominion, on the contrary, it expanded with great vigour, \not only in the west (Armenia, north Syria and Asia Minor, where‘it was the official religion of the kings of Pontus andCappadocia), but also in the east, in the countries of the Indian frontier. That the popular gods—Mithras, Anaitis, 81c.— had come to the forefront has already been mentioned. This propagandism, however, was void of all national character, and ran on precisely the same lines as the propagandism of the Syrian, Jewish and Egyptian cults. Only in Persia itself, so vfar as we can judge from a few scanty traces, the national character of the religion seems to have survived among the people side by side with the memory of their old imperial position. ' ‘ ‘

In 282 B.C. Seleucus took the field against Lysimachus, and annexed his dominions in Asia Minor and Thrace. In 281 he was assassinated in crossing to Europe, and his son Antiochus I. was left supreme over the whole empire. From"that time onward the Seleucid Empire was "4 never at rest. Its gigantic extent, from the Aegean M,“ 'to the Indus, everywhere offered points of attack to the enemy. The Lagidae, especially, with their much more compact and effective empire, employed every means to weaken their Asiatic rivals; and auxiliaries were found in the minor states on the frontier—Atropatene, Armenia, Cappadocia, Pontus ‘and Bithynia, the Galatians, Pergamum, Rhodes and other Greek states. Moreover, the promotion of Greek civilization and 'city life had created numerous local centres, with separate interests and centrifugal tendencies, struggling to attain complete independence, and perpetually forcing new concessions from the empire. Thus the Seleucid kings, courageous as many of them were, were always battling for existence (see SELEUQID DYNASTY).

1 These disturbances severely affected the borders of Iran. While the Seleucid Empire, under Antiochus II. Theos (264—247), was being harried by Ptolemy II. Philadelphus, and the king’s attention was wholly engaged in the defence of the western ~provinces, the Greeks revolted in Bactria, under their governor Diodotus ((1.1).). 'Obviously, it was principally the need of

In Bactria


protection against the nomadic tribes which led to the foundation of an independent kingdom; and Diodotus soon attained considerable power over the provinces north of the Hindu-Kush. In other provinces, too, insurrection broke out (Strabo xi. 575, Justin xli. 4); and Arsaces, a chief of the Parni or Aparni—an Iranian nomad tribe (therefore often called Dahan Scythians), inhabiting the steppe east of the Caspian—~made himself master of the district of Parthia (q.v.) in 248 B.C. He and his brother Tiridates (q.v.) were the founders of the Parthian kingdom, which, however, was confined within very modest limits during the following decades. Seleucus II. Callinicus (247—2 26) successfully encountered Arsaces (or Tiridates), and even expelled him (c. 238); but new risings recalled Seleucus to Syria, and Arsaces was enabled to return to Parthia.

Greater success attended Antiochus III., the Great (222—187). At the beginning of his reign (220) he subdued, with the help of his minister Hermias, an insurrection of the mummy. satrap Molon of Media, who had assumed the royal "L. the title and was supported by his brother Alexander, 0Msatrap of Persis (Polyb. v. 40 sqq.). He further seized the opportunity of extorting an advantageous peace from King Artabazanes of Atropatene, who had considerably extended his power (Polyb. v. 5 5). After waging an unsuccessful war with Ptolemy IV. for the conquest of Coele-Syria, but suppressing the revolt of Achaeus in Asia Minor, and recovering the former provinces of the empire in that quarter, Antiochus led a great expedition into the East, designing to restore the imperial authority in its full extent. He first removed (2n) the Armenian king Xerxes by treachery (Polyb. viii. 25; John of Antioch, fr. 53), and appointed two governors, Artaxias and Zariadris, in his place (Strabo xi. 531). During the next year he reduced the affairs of Media to order (Polyb. x. 27); he then conducted a successful campaign against Arsaces of Parthia (209), and against Euthydemus (11.11.) of Bactria (208—206), who had overthrown the dynasty of Diodotus (Polyb. x. 28 sqq., 48 sqq., xi. 34; Justin xli. 5). In spite of his successes he concluded peace with both kingdoms, rightly considering that it would be impossible to retain these remote frontier provinces permanently. He next renewed his old friendship with the Indian king Sophagasenus (Subhagasena), and received from him 150 elephants (206 B.c.). Through Arachosia and Drangiane, in the valley of the Etymander (Helmand), he marched to Carmania and Persis (Polyb. xi. 34). Both here and in Babylonia he re-established the imperial authority, and in 205 undertook a voyage from the mouth of the Tigris, through the Arabian gulf to the flourishing mercantile town of Gerrha in Arabia (now Bahrein) (Polyb. xiii. 9).

Shortly afterwards, however, his successful campaign against Ptolemy V. Epiphanes led to a war with Rome in which the power of the Seleucid Empire was shattered (190 B.C.), Dmy 011b, Asia Minor lost, and the king compelled to pay aSeleucM heavy contribution to Rome for a long term of years. mm In order to raise money he plundered a wealthy temple of Bel in Elam, but was killed by the inhabitants, 187 ac. (Diod. xxviii. 3,

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mus) on Dan. xi. 19; Euseb. Chron. i. 253). The consequence of this enfecblement of the empire was that the governors of Armenia asserted their independence. Artaxias founded the kingdom of Great Armenia; Zariadris, that of Sophene on the Euphrates and the sources of the Tigris (Strabo xi. 53!). In other districts, also, rebellions occurred; and in the east, Euthydemus and his successors (Demetrius, Eucratidas, &c.) began the conquest of the Indus region and the Iranian borderland (Arachosia, Aria). (See Bxcrrua; Eurnvvamvs; EUCRATIDAS; Deuararns; MENANDER.)

But the energetic Seleucids fought desperately against their fate. Antiochus IV. Epiphanes (176—163) resto ed once more the Eastern dominion, defeated Artaxias of Armeiiia (Appian, Syr. 45; Diod. xxxi. 17a; 5. Jerome on Dan. xi. 4o), restored several towns in Babylonia and subdued the Elymaeans. His attempt, however, to plunder the sanctuary of Anaitis failed (Polyb. xxxi. 11; cf. Maccab. i. 6, r, :3; App. Syr. 66). Persis, also, and

Media were still subject to him. But after his death at Tabae
in Persis (163 B.c.; cf. Polyb. xxxi. 11; Maccab. i. 6, ii. 9; Jos.
Ant. Jud. xii. 9, 1), the Romans took advantage of the dynastic
broils to destroy the Seleucid Empire. They reduced its army
and fleet, and favoured every rebellion: among others, that of
the Jews. Inspite of all, Demetrius I. Soter (161—150) succeeded
in suppressing (159) a revolt of Timarchus of Miletus, governor
of Babylon, who had occupied Media, assumed the title of
“ great king,” and had been recognized by the Romans (Appian,
Syr. 45—47; Trogus, Prol. 34; Diod. xxxi. 27 A: cf. the coins of
Timarchus).l ‘ .

VII. The Parthian Empire of lhe Arsacids.—Meanwhile, in
the east, the Arsacids had begun their expansion. Phraates I.
(c. 17 5—170) subdued the Mardians in Elburz. His brother
Mithradates I. (c. v170—138) had to sustain a difficult war with
Eucratides of Bactria, but eventually succeeded in wresting
nub". from him a few districts on the Turanian frontier.
dates I- Ind Indeed, he penetrated as far as, and farther than, the
M" '" Indus (Diod. xxxiii. 18; Oros. v. 4, 16). In the west
he conquered Media, and thence subdued Babylonia. He further
reduced the Elymaeans, sacked their temple in the mountains,
and captured the Greek city of Seleucia on the Hedyphon (Strabo
xvi. 744; Justin xli. 6). The Seleucids, meanwhile, were harassed
by aggravated disorders and insurrections. Nevertheless, in
140, Demetrius II. Nicator took_the field in order to save the
east, but was defeated and captured. Shortly afterwards
Mithradates I. died. His son Phraates II. (0. 138—127) was
attacked in 130 by Antiochus VII. Sidetes, the brother of
Demetrius IL, on which the Parthian king released the latter.
Antiochus pressed successfully on, and once more recovered
Babylonia, but in 129 was defeated in Media and fell in a
desperate struggle. With this battle the Seleucid dominion over
the countries east of the Euphrates was definitely lost. The
Babylonian towns, especially Seleucia ((1.1).), were handed over
by Phraates to his favourite, the Hyrcanian Himerus, who
punished them severely for their resistance.

During these wars great changes had taken place in eastern
Iran. In 159 Mongolian tribes, whom the Chinese call Yue-chi
1mm,” and the Greeks Scythians, forced their way into
data; "Jud Sogdiana, and, in 139, conquered Bactria (Strabo
Ill-1 SW- xi. 571; Justin xlii. 1; Trog. Prol. 41; see BACTRIA).
“"‘m' From Bactria they tried to advance farther into
Iran and India. Entering into an alliance with Antiochus
VII., they assailed the Parthian Empire. Phraates II.
marched to encounter him, but was himself defeated and
slain, and his country ravaged far and wide. His successor
Artabanus I. (0. 127—124), the uncle of Phraates, also fell
in battle against the Tocharians, the principal Scythian
tribe (Justin xlii. 1, 2; 105. Ant. fr. 66); but his son Mith-
radates II., surnamed “ The Great” (0. 124—88), defeated the
Scythians and restored for a while the power of the Arsacids.
He also defeated Artavasdes, the king of Great Armenia; his
son Tigranes, a hostage in the hands of the Parthians, was only
redeemed by the cession of 70 valleys (Strabo xi. 532). When
Tigranes attempted to seize Cappadocia, and the Roman praetor
P. Cornelius Sulla advanced against him, Mithradates in 92 B.C.
concluded the first treaty between Parthia and Rome (Plut.
Sulla, v.; Liv. epil. 70). The dynastic troubles of the Seleucids
in Syria gave him an opportunity for successful intervention
(Jos. Ant. Jud. xiii. 13, 4; I4, 3). Shortly afterwards he died;
and, with his death, the Arsacid power collapsed for the second
time. The possession of the western provinces and the dominant
position in western Asia passed to the Armenian Tigranes (q.v.),
who wrested from the Parthians Mesopotamia and the suzerainty
of Atropatene, Gordyene, Adiabene, Osroene. Simultaneously
began a new and severe conflict with the Scythians. Parthian
coins, probably dating from this period (Wroth, Calal. of the
Coins of Parlhia, 1903, p. xxx. and p. 40), mention victorious
campaigns of Parthian kings and a conquest of the provinces of
Aria, Margiane and (?) Traxiane (cf. Strabo xi. 505). But how

1 For the whole of this period see further Aurroonus; Annocaus


confused the situation was is shown by the fact that in 76 ac.
the octogenarian king Sanatruces was seated on the Parthian
throne by the Scythian tribe of the Sacaraucians (cf. Strabo 511; Trog. Prol. 42). The names of his predecessors are not
known to us. Obviously this period was marked by continual
dynastic feuds (cf. Trog. Prol. 42: “ ut varia complurium regum
in Parthia successione imperium accepit Orodes qui Crassum
delevit” ). Not till Sanatruces’ successor Phraates III. (70—57)
do we find the kingdom again in a settled state. '

A fact of decisive significance was that the Romans now began
to advance against Tigranes. In vain Mithradates of Pontus

and Tigranes turned to the Parthian king, the latter ' my,
even proffering restitution of the conquered frontier :1"! the
1 , omllll.

provinces. Phraates, though rightly distrusting
Rome, nevertheless concluded a treaty with Lucullus (69 B.C.)
and with Pompey, and even supported the latter in his campaign
against Tigranes in 66. But after the victory it was manifeSt
that the Roman general did not consider himself bound by
the Parthian treaty. When Tigranes had submitted, Pompey
received him into favour and extended the Roman supremacy
over the vassal' states of Gordyene and Osroene; though he had
allured the Parthian king with the prospect of the recovery of his
old possessions as far as the Euphrates. Phraates complained,
and simultaneously attacked Tigranes, now a Roman vassal
(64 B.C.). But when Pompey refused reparation Phraates recog-
nized that he was too weak to begin the struggle with Rome,
and contented himself with forming an alliance with Tigranes,
in hopes that the future would bring an opportunity for his
revenge (Dio Cass. xxxvi. 3, 5; xxxvii. 5 sqq.; Plut. Luc. 3o;
Pomp. 33, 38; cf. Sallust’s letter of Mithradates to Arsaces). "'-

Although Phraates III. had not succeeded in regaining the full
power of his predecessors, he felt justified in again assuming the
title “ king of kings” —which Pompey declined to acknowledge——
and even in proclaiming himself as “god” (Phlegon, fr.'12 up.
Phot. cod. 97; and on part of his coins), but in 57 13.0. the “ god ”
was assassinated by his sons Orodes and Mithradates. ‘ f-

The Parthian Empire, as founded by the conquests of Mithra-
dates I. and restored, once by Mithradates II.‘ and again by
Phraates III., was, to all exterior appearance, a con- ~ '
tinuation of the Achacmenid dominion. ' Thus the guru'"
Arsacids now began to assume the old title “ king of I
kings ” (the shahanslzah of modern Persia), though previously their
coins, as a rule, had home only the legend “ great king." The
official version, preserved by Arrian in his Parthica'(ap. Phot.
cad. 58: see PARTHIA), derives the line of these chieftains of the
Parnian nomads from Artaxerxes II. In reality, hoWever,.the
Parthian Empire was totally different from its predecessor, both
externally and internally. It was anything rather than a world-
empire. The countries west of the Euphrates never owned its
dominion, and even of Iran itself not one half was subject to the
Arsacids. There were indeed vassal states on every hand,"but
the actual possessions of the kings—the provinces governed by
their satraps—consisted of a rather narrow strip of land, stretch-
ing from the Euphrates and north Babylonia through southern
Media and Parthia as far as Arachosia (north-west Afghanistan),
and following the course of the great trade-route which from time
immemorial had carried the trafiic between the west of Asia. and
India. We still possess a description of this route by Isidore
of Charax, probably dating from' the Augustan period (in C.
Muller, Geographi gracci minores, vol. i.), in which is contained
a list of the 18 imperial provinces, known also to Pliny (vi. “112';
cf. 41). Isidore, indeed, enumerates nineteen; but, of these,
Sacastene formed no part of the Parthian Empire, as has been

shown by von Gutschmid. -

The lower provinces (Le. the districts west of Parthia) are:
(I) Mesopotamia, with northern Babylonia. from the Euphrates bridge
at Zeugma to Seleucia on the Ti ris; (2) Apolloniatis, the mylnul
plain east of the Tigris, with rtemita; (5) Chalonitis, > '
the hill-country of Zagros; (4) Western Media; (5) Cambadene, with
Bagistana (Behistun)--the mountainous portions of Media; (6)
U per Media, with Ecbatana; (7) Rhagiane or Eastern Media.
T en with the Caspian Gates—the pass between Elbur; and the
Central desert, through which lay the route from west Iran to
east Iran—the upper provinces begin; (8) Choarene Hand (9)

Comisene, the districts on the verge of the desert; (10) Hyrcania; (i 1) Astabene, with the royal town Asaac on the Attruck (see PARTuiA); (l2) Parthyene with Parthaunisa, where the sepulchres of the kings Were laid; (i3) Apavarcticene (now Abiward, with the capital Kelat); (14) Margiane (Merv); (15) Aria (Herat); (16) Anauon, the southern portion of Aria; (17) Zarangiane, the country of the Drangians, on the lake of Hamun; (18) Arachosia, on the Etymander (Helmand), called by the Parthians “ White India," extending as far as Alexandropolis (Kandahar), the frontier city of the Parthian Empire.

On the lower Etymander, the Sacae had established themselves —-obviously on the inroad of the Scythian tribes—and after them the country was named Sacastene (now Sejistan, Seistan). Through it lay the route to Kandahar; and for this reason the district is gescribed by Isidore, though it formed no part of the Parthian


Round these provinces lay .a ring of numerous minor states, which as a rule were dependent on the Arsacids. They might, v however, partiall transfer their allegiance on the rise 5;“! pf a new power (Lg. Tigranes in Armenia) or a Roman

“' invasion. Thus it is not without. justice that the Arsacid period is described, in the later Persian and Arabian tradition, as the period of “the kings of the part-kingdoms "-— among which the Ashkanians (Le. the Arsacids, from Ashak, the later ronunciation of the name Arshak=Arsaces) had won the first pace. This tradition, however, is nebulous' in the extreme; the whole list of kings, which it gives, is totally unhistorical; only the names of one Balash (=Vologaeses) and of the last Ardewan (=Artabanus) having been preserved. The period, from the death of Alexander to the Sassanid Ardashir I., is put by the Persian tradition at 266 years; which was afterwards corrected, after Syro-Grecian evidence, to 523 years. The actual number is 548 Kearsfie. 323 B.C. to A.D. 226). The statements of the Armenian

istorians as to this period are also absolutely worthless.

The ten most important of the vassal states were :—

1. The kingdom of Osroene (q.v.) in the north-east of Mesopotamia, with Edessa as capital, founded about 130 B.C. by the chieftain of an Arabian tribe, the Orrhoei, which established itself there.

2. To this must be added the numerous Arabian tribes of the Mesopotamian desert, under their chiefs, among whom one Alchaudonius comes into prominence in the period of Tigranes and,Crassus. Their settlement in Mesopotamia was encouraged by

Tigranes, according to Plutarch (Luc. 21) and Pliny (vi. I42). In.

later times the Arabic town Atra in an oasis on the west of the Tigris, governed by its own kin s, gained special im ortance.

3 an 4. To the east of the i ris lay two king oms: Gordyene (or Cordyene), the country of the éarduchians (now Bohtan), a wild, mountainous district south of Armenia; and Adiabene (Hadyab), the ancient Assyria, on either side of the Zab (Lycus).

5. On the farther side of Zagros, adjoining Adiabene on the east, was the kingdom of Atropatene in north Media, now often simply called Media (q.v.).

While the power of Armenia was at its height under Tigranes (86-69 8.1:.) all these states owned his rule. After the victories of Pompey, however, the Romans claimed the suzerainty, so that,

during the next decades and the expeditions of Crassus and Antony, ,

they oscillated between Rome and Parthia, though their inclination was generally to the latter. For they were all Orientals and, consciously or unconsciousl , representatives of a reaction against that Hellenism which had come the heritage of Rome. At the same time the loose organization of the Parthian Empire, afforded them a greater measure of independence than they could hope to enjoy. under Roman suzerainty.

6. In the south of Babylonia, in the district of Mesene (the modern Maison), after the fall of Antiochus Sidetes (129 B.C.), an Arabian prince, Hyspaosines or S asines (in a cuneiform inscription of 127, on a clay tablet date after this year, he is called Aspasine) founded a kingdom which existed till the rise of the Sassanian Empire. Its capital was a cit (mod. Mohammerah), first founded b Alexander on an artificia hill b the junction of the Eulaeus (Kirun) with the Tigris, and people by his veterans. The town, which was originally named Alexandria and then rebuilt by Antiochus l. as Antiochia, was now refortified with dikes by Spasines, and christened Spasinu Charax (“ the wall of Spasines ”), or simply Charax (Plin. vi. 138 seq.). In the following centuries it was the main mercantile centre on the Tigris estuary.

The kingdom of Mesene, also called Characene, is known to us from occasional references in various authors, especially Lucian (Macrobii, 16), as well as from numerous coins, dated by the Seleucian era, which allow us to frame a fairly complete list of the kings.1 The Arabian dynasty s edily assimilated itself to the native population; and most oi)6 the kings bear Babylonian—in a ew cases, Parthian—names. The official language was Greek, till, on the destruction of Seleucia (A.D- 164), it was replaced on the coinage by Aramaic. Another Babylonian dynast must havu

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been Hadadnadinaches (c. 100 B.C.), who built in Tello the fortified palace which has been excavated by de Sarzec.

7. East of the Tigris lay the kingdom of Elymais (Elam), to which belonged Susa and its modern representative Ahwaz, farther down on the Eulaeus. The Elyniaeans, who had already offered a repeated resistance to the Seleucids, were subdued by Mithradates l., as we have mentioned above; but they remained a separate state, which often rebelled against the Arsacids (Strabo xvi. 744; cf. Plut. Pomp. 36; Tac. Ann. vi. 50). Of the kings who apparently belonged to a Parthian dynasty, several bearing the name Cammascires are known to us from coins dated 81 and 71 B.C. One of these is designated by Lucian (Mocrobii, l6) “ king of the Parthians "; while the coinage of another, Orodes, displays Aramaic script (Allotte de la Fuye, Rev. num., 4me série, t. vi. p. 92 sqq., 1902). The kingdom, which is seldom mentioned, survived till Ardashir I. In its neighbourhood Strabo mentions “the minor dynasties of the Sagapenians and Silacenians” (xvi. 745). The Uxians, moreover, with the Cossaeans and other mountain tribes, maintained their independence exactly as under the later Achaemenids (Strabo xvi. 744; Plin. vi. 1 3).

8. The district of Persis, also, ecame independent soon after the time of Antiochus IV., and was ruled by its own kings, who

erpetuated the Achaemenian traditions, and on their coins—which gear the Persian langua e in Aramaic characters, Le. the so—called Pahlavi—appear as zea ous adherents of Zoroastrianism and the Fire-cult (see PERSIS). They were forced, however, to acknowledge the suzerainty of Parthia, to which they stood in the same position as the Persians of Cyrus and his forefathers to the Median Empire (cf. Strabo xv. 728, 733, t73,6; Lucian, lilacrob. 15). In later times, before the foundation 0 the Sassanid dominion, Persis was disinte rated into numerous small local states. Even in Carmania we nd independent kings, one of whom gave his name to a town Vologesocerta (Balashkert).

9. The cast of Iran—Bactria with Sogdiana, Eastern Arachosia and Gedrosia—was never subject to the Arsacids. Here the Graeco-Bactrian and Graeco-Indian kingdoms held their own, till, in 139 B.C., they succumbed before the invading Mongolian and Scythian tribes (see BACTRIA and works quoted there). But in the Indus district the Greek kings held their ground for an appreciabl longer period and, for a while, widely extended their power (see ’IENANDER OF INDIA). Among the kings then following, only known to us from their coins, there appears a dynasty with Iranian and sometimes peculiarly Parthian names which seems to have reigned in the Punjab and Arachosia. Its best-known representative, Gondopharcs or l-Iyndopherres, to whom 10 end makes the apostle Thomas write, reigned over Arachosia an the Indus district about A.D. 20. Further, about A.D. 70, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentions that the great commercial town of Minnagar in the Indus Delta was under Parthian kings, “who spent their time in expelling one another." Here, then, it would seem there existed a Parthian dynast , which probably went back to the conquests of Mithradates I. cf. Vincent A. Smith, “ The Indo-Parthian Dynasties from about 120 B.C. to A.D. too," in the Zeitschr. der deulschen morgenl. Gesellsch. 60, 1906). Naturally, such a dynasty would not long have few nized the suzerainty of the Arsacids. It succumbed to the Indo- ythian Empire of the Kushana, who had obtained the sovereignty of Bactria as early as about AJ). 50, and thence pressed onward into India. In the period of the Periplus (c. A.D. 70) the Scythians were already settled in the Indus valley (pp. 38, 41, 48), their dominion reaching its zenith under Kanishka (c. A.D. 123—153).

This empire of the Kushana merits special mention here, on account of its peculiar religious attitude, which we may gather from the coins of its kings, articularly those of Kanishka and his successor Huvishka, on whic an alphabet adapted from the Creek is employed (cf. Aurel Stein, “ Zoroastrian Deities on Indo-Scythian Coins," in The Babylonian and Oriental Record, vol. i., 1887). Kanishka, as is well known, had embraced Buddhism, and many of his coins bear the image and name of Buddha. Iranian divinities, however, predominate on his currency: Mithras (Mihm or Helios); the Moon blah (also Selene); Alhm, the Fire; Orthragno (Verethragna); Pharro=Farna (hvarena), “the majesty of kingship "; Teiro=Tir (Tistrya “the archer "); Nana (Nanaia); and others. Here, then, we have a erfect example of syncretism; as in the Mithras cult in Armenia, sia Minor, and still further in the Roman Empire. Buddhism and Zoroastrianism have been wedded in the state religion, and, in characteristic Indian fashion, are on the best of terms with one another, precisely as, in the Chinese Empire at the present gay, we find the most varied religions, side by side, and on an equal ootiiig.

10. Originally a part of the Turanian steppe belonged to the Arsacids; it was the startin -point of their power. Soon, however, the nomads (Dahae) aine their independence, and, as we have seen, repeatedly attac ed and devastated the Parthian Empire in conjunction with the Tocharians and other tribes of Sacae and Scythians. In the subsequent period, again, we shall frequently meet them. '

It may appear surprising that the Arsacids made no attempt to incorporate the minor states in the empire and create a great and united dominion, such as existed under the Achaemenids and was afterwards restored by the Sassanids. This fact is the clearest symptom of the inner 'weakness of Charlciero! their empire and of the small power wielded by the the PM!!!" " king of kings.” In contrast alike with its predeEmP'"' cessors and its successors, the Arsacid dominion was peculiarly a chance formation—a state which had come into existence through fortuitous external circumstances, and had no firm foundation within itself, or any intrinsic raison d’étre.

Three elements, of widely different kinds, contributed to its origin and defined its character. It was sprung from a predatory nomad tribe (the Parnian Dahae, Scythians) which had established itself in Khorasan (Parthia), on the borders of civilization, and thence gradually annexed further districts as the political situation or the weakness of its neighbours allowed. Consequently, these nomads were the main pillar of the empire, and from them were obviously derived the great magnates, With their huge estates and hosts of serfs, who composed the imperial council, led the armies, governed the rovinces and made and unmade the kings (Strabo xi. 515; Justin xli. 2; the former terming them auy-yzveis, “kinsmen” of the kin , the latter, probuli). Of these great families that of Surenas he d the rivilege of setting the diadem on the head of the new king (Plut. rass. 2i; Tac. Ann. vi. 42).

The military organization, moreover, was wholly nomadic in character. The nucleus of the army was formed of armoured horsemen, excellently ractised for long-distance fighting with bow and javelin, but total y unable to venture on a hand-to-hand conflict, their tactics bein rather to swarm round the enemy's squadrons and overwhelm t em under a hail of missiles. W on attacked they broke up, as it seemed, in hasty and complete flight, and having thus led the hostile army to break its formation, they themselves rapidly reformed and renewed the assault. How difficult it was for infantry to hold their own against these mounted squadrons was demonstrated by the Roman campaigns, especially in broad plains like those of Mesopotamia. In winter, however, the Parthians were powerless to wage war, as the moisture of the atmosphere relaxed their bows. The infantrv, in contrast with its earlier status under the Persians, was wholl neglected. On the other hand, every ma nate put into the field, as many mounted warriors as possible, chieay servants and bought slaves, who, like the Janissaries and Mamelukes, were trained exclusively for war. Thus Surenas, in 53 B.C., is said to have put at the king's disposal I000 mailed horsemen and, in all, 10,000 men, including the train, which also com rised his attendants and harem (Plut. Crass. 21; description of t e military organization; Dio Cass: 40, 15; Justin xli. 2). In the army of 50,000 mounted men which took the field against Mark Antony there were, says Justin, only 400 freemen.

How vital was the nomadic element in the Parthian Empire is obvious from the fact that, in civil wars, the deposed kings consistently took refuge among the Dahae or Scythians and were restored by them. But, in Parthia, these nomads were amalgamated with the native peasantry, and, with their religion, had adopted their dress and manners. Even the kings, after the first two or three, wear their hair and beard long, in the Iranian fashion, whereas their predecessors are beardless. Although the Arsacids are strangers to any deep religious interest (in contrast to the Achaemenids and Sassanids), they acknowledge the Persian ods and the leading tenets of Zoroastrianism. They erect fire-a tars, and even obey the command to abandon all corpses to the dogs and fowls (Justin xli. 3). The union. moreover, recommended by that creed, between brother and sister—and even son and mother—occurs among them. ConsequenltJy beside the council of the nobility, there is a second council of " agians and wise men " (Strabo xi. ‘51 ).

Again, they perpetuate the traditions o t e Achaemenid Empire. The Arsacids assume the title “ king of kings " and derive their line from Artaxerxes II. Further, the royal apotheosis, so common among them and recurring under the Sassanids, is probably not so much of Greek origin as a development of Iranian views. For at the side of the great god Ahuramazda there stands a host of subordinate divine beings who execute his will—among these the deified heroes of legend, to whose circle the king is now admitted, since on him Ahuramazda has bestowed victory and might.

This gradual lranianization of the Parthian Empire is shown by the act that the subsequent Iranian traditions, and Firdousi in rticular, apply the name of the “ Parthian " magnates (Pa awn) to the glorious heroes of the le enda epoch. Consequently, also, the language and writing 0 the lIzlarthian period, which are retained under the Sassanids, received the name Pahla'ui, Le. “ Parthian." The script was derived from the Aramaic.

But to these Oriental elements must be added that of Hellenism, the dominant world-culture which had enetrated into Parthia Reba" and Media. It was indispensable to every state which tow-M. hoped to play some part .in the world and was not so "cuenmm utterl secluded. as Persis and Atropatene; and the Arsacids entertained the less thought of opposition as they were destitute of an independent national basis. All their

The Iranian Population.


external institutions were borrowed from the Seleucid Empire: their coinage with its Greek inscri tions and nomenclature; their Attic standard of currency; and, oubtless, a great part of their administration also. In the towns Greek merchants were eve where settled. Mithradates I. even followed the recedent of t e Seleucids in building a new city, Arsacia, which rep aced the ancient Rha ae (Rai, Europusl in Media. The further the Arsacids expaii ed the deeper the penetrated into the province of Hellenism; the first Mithradates imself assumed, after his great con uests, the title of Philhellen, “the protector of Hellenism," whic was retained by almost all his sticcessors. Then follow the surnames Ep-iphanes “ the revealed god," Dicaeus “ the just," Eucrgele: “ the benefactor," all of them essentially Greek in their reference, and also regularly borne by all the kings. After the con uest of the Euphrates and Tigris provinces it was imperative t at the royal residence should be fixed there. But as no one Ventured to transfer the re 'al household and the army, with its hordes of wild horsemen, to t e Greek town of Seleucia, and thus disorganize its commerce, the Arsacids set up their abode in the great village of Ctesiphon, on the left bank of the Tigris, opposite to Seleucia which accordingly retained its free Hellenic constitution (see CTESIPHON and Seusucm). So, also, Orodes I. spoke good Greek, and Greek tragedies were staged at his court (Plut. Crass. 33).

In spite of this, however, the rise of the Arsacid Empire marks the beginning of a reaction against Hellenism—not, indeed, a conscious or official reaction, but a reaction which was Rum.all the more effective because it depended on the impetus a. of circumstances working with all the wer of a natural "MIMI," force. The essential int is that the st is completely ' divorced from the higiterranean and the Hellenic World, that it can derive no fresh powers from that quarter, and that.consequently, the influence of the Oriental elements must steadily increase. This process can be most clearly traced on the coins—almost the sole memorials that the Parthian Empire has left. From reign to reign the portraits grow rer and more stereotyped, and the inscriptions more neglected, til it becomes obvious that the engraver himself no longer understood Greek but copied mechanically the signs before is eyes, as is the case with the contem orary Indo-Scythian coinage, and also in Mescne. Indeed, after ologaeses I. (51—77), the Aramaic script is occasionally employed. The political opposition to the western empires, the Seleucids first, then the Romans, precipitated this development. Naturally enough the Greek cities

ehcld a liberath in every army that marched from the West, and were ever ready to cast in their lot with such—adis sition for which the subsequent penalty was not lacking. The Igorthian ma nates, on the other hand, with the army, would have little to o with Greek culture and Greek modes of life, which they cpn~ temptuously regarded as effeminate and unmanly. Moreover they required of their rulers that they should live in the fashion of their country, practise arms and the chase, and appear as Oriental sultans, net as Grecian kings.

These tendencies taken together explain the radical weakness of the Parthian Empire. It was easy enough to collect a reat army and achieve a great victory; it was absolutely impossib e to hold the arm together for any longer period, or to conduct a regular campaign. he Parthians proved incapable of creating a firm, united organization, such as the Achaemenids before them, and the Sassanids after them gave to their empire. The kings themselves were toys in the hands of the magnates and the army who, tenacioust as the clung to the anointed dynasty of the Arsacids, were utterly indi erent to the person of the individual Arsacid. Every moment they were ready to overthrow the reigning monarch and to seat another on his throne. The kings, for their part, sought protection in craft, treachery and cruelt , and only succeeded in aggravating the situation. More es ' ly they saw an enemy in every prince, and the worst of enemies in their own sons. Sanguinary crimes were thus of everyday occurrence in the royal household; and frequently it was merely a matter of chance whether the father anticipated the son, or the son the father. The conditions were the same as obtained subsequently under the Mahommedan Caliphate ( .v.) and the empire of the Ottomans. The internal history of t e Parthian dominion is an unbroken sequence of civil war and dynastic strife. ,

For the literature dealing with the Parthian Em ire and numismatics, see PARTHIA, under which heading will found ahcomplete list of the kings, so far as we are able to reconstitute t em.

These conditions elucidate the fact that the Parthian Empire, though founded on annexation and perpetually menaced by hostile arms in both the East and the West, yet “term” never took a strong offensive after the days of loryoltne Mithradates II. It was bound to protect itself 4"“14 against Scythian aggression in the East and Emph' Roman aggression in the West. To maintain, or regain, the suzerainty over Mesopotamia and the vassal states of that region, as also over Atropatene and Armenia, was its most imperative task. Yet it always remained on the defensive and even so was

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