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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,