404 UNIVERSAL HISTORY.- THE ANCIENT WORLD.
in the national evolution, from the ancient barbaric type, and had learned to avail
themselves of approved methods of defense. Instead of trusting henceforth to the wild and
audacious charges of their cavalry, they began to fortify the country against the possible
recurrence of such invasions as that of Callinicus. Several positions of importance were
converted into fortifications and intrusted to regular garrisons for defense. The king is
himself represented by Justin and other authors as active in these enterprises. Among
other works which he promoted was the building of a new capital. We may well believe that
Hecatompylos was not wholly a pleasant seat of government for the first of the Arsacid
princes. The place had been built, as we have said, by Alexander. It was a Greek city. It
represented the European domination-a thing which had now become hateful to the nation.
The tradition of such a city was in the way of a peaceful native administration. The
suggestions of the place were against the existing order, and the king sought to escape
from these surroundings and to transfer his government to the new city of Dara, which he
founded and promoted as the Parthian capital.
For some reason, however, the enterprise was not wholly successful. It is not certain that
Tiridates ever succeeded in removing the government to his new city. If so, the transfer
was of brief duration. We may conjecture that the Hecatompylonians, seeing the government
about to slip away from them, found it to their interest to become more loyal to the
existing order -less Greek and more Parthian in their sympathies. It is possible moreover,
that there was an equalization of forces. Even the Saxons of England were not wholly proof
against the refinement, the culture, the graceful speech and manners of the Normans.
Though they succeeded in absorbing their conquerors, they were themselves, in a measure,
absorbed in turn. The Greeks were the Normans of Parthia. With them were culture, artistic
taste, elegant speech, fancy and wit. These things are lovable, even in our enemies.
Our hatred of the foreigner yields some- what to our liking for his ways. Women more than
men are subject to this infection. Probably the Parthian princesses and ladies of high
rank had found in the Greek residents of Hecatompylos a more graceful and charming folk
than their own brothers and lovers. At any rate the Greek attraction finally prevailed
over the repelling forces, and Hecatompylos was retained as the future capital of Parthia.
It was about the year 214 B. C. that Tiridates, second of the Arsacidae, died, leaving the
crown to his son ARTABANUS 1. He also was Anarsaces, being the third of that title. By
this time Seleucus Callinicus had also rendered his account, transmitting his throne to
Antiochus III, his second son. The latter inherited the local troubles with which the
reign of his father bad been distracted. Scarcely had he taken the crown when Achaeus, one
of his governors, rose in rebellion, and civil war again ensued in Syria.
By this time the Parthian kings had learned to be observant of the course of affairs in
the West and the South-west, and to take advantage of any circumstance which might favor
the development of their own kingdom. Artabanus I was of this mood. Perceiving that the
king of Syria had as much as he could attend to in his home dominions, the Parthian
planned the conquest of Media. This ancient State, now fallen into decay, lay open to
invasion, and Artabanus undertook its conquest. He carried a vigorous campaign into the
country, where he seems to have been received with little hostility. He made his way to
Ecbatana, took the city, completed the conquest, and added Media to his dominion. For the
moment it appeared that a great kingdom or empire was about to be projected, under the
auspices of the Arsacidae.
But Antiochus III could not well permit his great dependencies in the East to be torn away
without an effort for their recovery. As soon as he could bring affairs to quiet in Upper
Syria, he gathered a large army and set out for Mesopotamia. The event showed that the
king was not incapable of great ambition. Passing rapidly beyond the Tigris and the Zagros