397 PARTHIA-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.
CHAPTER XXXV-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.
AS we have said in the preceding chapter, the tribal history of the Parthians is lost in
the mist and distance. Nor need the reader of the present age cultivate the anxious spirit
relative to the origin of the migrations and the wild nomadic life of a primitive people
so far removed in time and place from all the interests of the world that now is. Certain
it is that the Parthians were little known to the Semitic peoples, as is evidenced by the
fact that the name is not found in the Hebrew Scriptures.
We have already spoken of the Aryan origin of the Parthian people and the probable
intermixture with them of the Scyths.
Their first emergence into historical view is in connection with the story of the Persian
Empire at that juncture when the Pseudo-Smerdis attempted by false pretensions to gain
possession of the throne. The narrative of that interesting episode in Persian history has
already been presented. At the time of the conspiracy the Parthians revolted and upheld
the cause of Smerdis against Darius Hystaspes until the time that both they and the
Pretender were put down.
From this circumstance we learn that at this time-namely, in 521 B. C.-Parthia was a
province, or satrapy, of the Persian Empire. It appears, indeed, that Hystaspes, father of
Darius the Great, held. the office of satrap of Parthia at the time of the Smerdian
revolt. He, of course,