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certain ARSACES-which name the leader of the revolution certainly bore-appeared out of

Bactria, from which country he had fled from the jealousy of Theodotus. Coming into

Parthia, he induced the people to accept him for their leader in a rebellion against their

own Greek governor. Successful in this, he was made king of Parthia and founder of the

dynasty. Another account says that Pherecles, satrap of Parthia under Antiochus the

Divine, offered an insult to Arsaces, who, according to this tradition, was a native

Parthian, son of Phriapites, and that he-Arsaces-and his brother Tiridates drew five of

their fellow-noblemen into a conspiracy and slew the satrap. This done, the people were

easily induced to rise and throw off the foreign domination altogether. They then chose

Arsaces for their king. Still another account makes Arsaces to have been a Scythian of the

notion called the Dahae, who came by hostile invasion into Parthia, overthrew the Greek

government, and made their leader king. It is sufficient for historical purposes to say

that the rebellion against the Greeks was led by a patriot named Arsaces, who was perhaps

of Scythian extraction; that the foreign officers were expelled; that the pride of the

nation was gratified by the success of the insurrection; and that its leader was made king

of Parthia, with the title of ARSACES 1. These events are assigned to the year B. C. 256,

but some have moved the event forward to 250, being the year of the death of Antiochus


The accession of Arsaces and the founding of the Parthian monarchy were not wholly

peaceful. The expulsion of the Greeks from the country-the suppression of their influence-

was not of easy accomplishment. The Greek capital, Hecatompylos, built by Alexander, had

been peopled in the first place by Macedonians and other men out of the West. These and

their descendants would, out of the nature of things, resist the revolution and strive to

regain their ascendancy. The party of the late government, great or small, would follow

the counter-revolution. Arsaces, therefore, had to make battle with, the malcontents, and

to put them down by force of arms. Nor was he able to give perfect quiet to the kingdom

before his death, which came by a spear-thrust in the side, in the year B. C. 247.

The crown descended to TIRIDATES, brother of the late king. But he took for his title

Arsaces II, and is generally referred to by that name. It appears that the name Arsaces

was at once adopted as the designative title of the Dynasty, which is thus known m history

as the ARSACIDAE. It remained for the second king of this great house to promote,

establish, and defend the kingdom planted in weakness and uncertainty by his brother. His

reign lasted for over thirty years, during which time Arsaces II fully, justified the

expectations of his country. The boundaries of Parthia were enlarged. It was fortunate for

the monarchy that so strong a character was at its head, for scarcely was the king

established in power until all of his energies and resources were needed to protect the

nation from conquest. It was at this juncture, namely, in B. C. 245, that Ptolemy

Euergetes, of Egypt, warlike and ambitious, led an army into Asia, entered the kingdom of

Syria, overthrew Seleucus Callinicusin battle, captured Antioch, and then made an

expedition into Mesopotamia -as though he would recover the whole Empire of Alexander. The

major countries in his path yielded with little resistance. Babylonia, Susiana, Assyria,

Persia, and Media went down successively before the invader. Indeed, the restoration of

the Asiatic dominion of the Empire was complete, with the exception of Bactria and


Tiridates thus found his kingdom threatened by anew conqueror, between whom and himself an

unequal contest must be waged-on his own side for existence, and on the side of Ptolemy

for Empire. But destiny had prepared a different event. While Ptolemy was engaged in

rapidly reconstructing the power which Seleucus had permitted to go to wreck, his

attention was suddenly recalled to Egypt. In that country a rebellion had broken out, and

the king was obliged to hurry back to Africa, lest his losses at home might be greater

than his gains in Asia. The great