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