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401 PARTHIA-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.

pean rather than Asiatic support. It may be doubted whether his governors themselves,

chosen henceforth from the small European contingent, were more loyal, more devoted to the

king than would have been the native noblemen of Asia; and as for the subject peoples, all

sympathy between themselves and their rulers must at once have been destroyed.

We thus see the head of the Syrian kingdom of the Greeks establishing himself in leisure

and pleasure at Antioch, little regarding the concerns of the East. The Mesopotamian

countries and all beyond were left in charge of their European governors. Seleucus himself

gave his attention to Western affairs, interfering in Egypt and Asia Minor, according to

the caprice of the day. Seleucus reigned until the year B.-C. 280, when he was

assassinated at Lysimachia. He left his crown to his son Antiochus I, called Soter, second

of the. Seleucid princes. The latter pursued the same policy with his father, and became

involved in the same troubles. The administration of the East was continued in the same

manner, was attended with the same dangers, and that of the West was distracted with like

quarrels and battles, until, after the space of nineteen years, Antiochus Soter was slain

by a Gaul, in a conflict near Ephesus.

The crown next descended to Antiochus II, surnamed Theos, who, during the ten years of

his reign, was engaged in almost constant warfare with Asia Minor and Egypt. The history

of all three reigns, covering the period from the accession of Seleucus, in B. C. 301, to

the death of Antiochus Theos, in B. C. 250, has a common feature-that of neglect of the

East and needless complication with the affairs of the West.

During this period, the old kingdom of Parthia, reduced for centuries to subordination,

first to Persia, afterwards to the successors of Alexander, lay in comparative obscurity.

But the time had now arrived for an emergence by rebellion into light and life and action.

At this epoch the actual history of Parthia as an independent power begins. All the rest

is, as it were, the setting of the picture. From this time forth the movement, first

toward freedom, and then to greatness, is rapid and direct.

The administration of Antiochus the Divine was of precisely the kind to furnish the

opportunity and the suggestion of a revolt. About-six years before the conclusion of his

reign, Theodotus, or Diodotos, the Greek satrap of Bactria, perceived in the distance

between himself and Antioch and in the effeminate administration of the king the hint of

successful rebellion. He accordingly at once threw off the yoke, gave himself the title of

Basileus and entered upon an independent administration. Thus did Bactria lead the way in

renouncing the sovereignty which had been accepted since the Alexandrian conquest. It

appears that Antiochus had neither the ambition nor the courage to chastise his rebellious

governor, and Theodotus was accordingly permitted to take his undisturbed course to

independence. The example was contagious. The

neighboring satrapies felt the shock of the Bactrian revolution, and soon adopted a

similar method. Parthia was the first to follow in the wake of the neighboring revolt. In

this country, however, the movement took on a wholly different character. In Bactria the

revolution could hardly be said to be national. The Greek governor was simply permitted to

raise himself to the rank and title of king; but in Parthia the revolt had a different

source. Here the spring of action was a national sentiment against the rule of the

Europeans in any form. The feeling was against the Greek Dynasty in toto, so that instead

of following the lead of the governor in making himself independent of Antiochus, the

Parthians rose against the governor himself, and the whole system of foreign domination

which he represented.

The circumstances and details of the revolt have been differently told by different

authors. It has been narrated that a