Page 0406

406 UNIVERSAL HISTORY- THE ANCIENT WORLD.

the Upper Indus in subjection, but not so the will of his successors.

The native Indian princes, like those of the Great Plateau, soon revolted, and regained

their independence. Among these a king called Chandragupta arose and established a

dominion in the Punjaub fit to be called a kingdom. Already at the close of the fourth

century B. C., when Seleucus Nicator made his great expedition into the East, he found

Chandragupta reigning over the countries between the two great rivers of India. Nor was it

deemed advisable by the Macedonians to enter into a war with him for the recovery of the

country. The Indian prince was left in authority under treaty stipulations defining the

extent of the Indian Kingdom. Nearly a century went by, and Antiochua III crossed Asia on

his expedition to the East. But on approaching India he also made a pause, and renewed

with the successors of Chandragupta the treaty of Seleucus. Amicable relations were

established between the Syrian Kingdom and the far East, and gifts were interchanged

between the monarchs in the manner of ancient royalty.

But these things were displeasing to the king of Bactria. It was little agreeable to his

feelings to be overspanned by so wide an arch as that between Antioch and the Punjaub.

Euthydemus determined to break this far-reaching connection between the East and the West,

and himself made war on India. After him Demetrius, the succeeding Bactrian king, took up

the cause. He carried a victorious army into Afghanistan, and afterwards into India. On

the River Hydaspes he built the city Euthymedeia, long known in ancient geography. He

established his supremacy in the countries dominated by his arms; and the historian of the

day might well have been on tiptoe to witness the further expansion of the Bactrian power

into a universal Asiatic Empire.

This period, however, covered the climax. The Bactrian ascendancy could reach no higher.

It is believed that the success of the kingdom in the times of Euthydemus and Demetrius

was correlated with the unsuccess of Parthia at the same epoch. It may have been that the

Parthian kings

If the period were unable to do more than to maintain the status in quo until what time

the nation might revive from the effects of the Syrian war, and until Bactrian ambition

should run its course.

We may pass at once from the unknown reign of Arsaces IV to that of his son and successor

PHRAATES I, otherwise Arsaces V. The latter acceded to power in the year B. C. 181, and

his coming marked an epoch of revival in the fortunes of the kingdom. It is difficult to

say how much under such circumstances is due, on the one hand, to the renewal of spirit

among the people, and how much on the other should be attributed to the ambition of the

monarch. Neither is available to any great extent without the ?id of the other. Of a

certainty an ancient king could not of himself make a successful war. Equally certain it

is that an ancient people, accustomed to the forms of monarchy, to receive mandates, and

to look for orders and inspiration, could not make successful war without the leadership

of a competent king.

In this case we may assume that the people of Parthia had recovered from their period of

depression, and that Phraates was ambitious of conquest. At all events he began his reign

by making war on the Mardi. These were a mountain people living in the fastnesses of the

Elburz range -a kind of Swiss of the sub-Caspian hills. Their position was almost

inaccessible, and their spirit the spirit of mountaineers. We may perceive, moreover, that

Phraates was much at fault in making his first war from his inability to use the Parthian

cavalry in the country which he must penetrate. Nevertheless, the invasion of Mardia was

successful. The tribe was conquered and combined with the Parthians.

The reader must bear in mind that the authority of the kings of Antioch still nominally

extended to the borders of Parthia and Bactria. Any movement of the Parthian king,

therefore, beyond the limits of his own territory, was aggressive, and might well provoke

the hostility of the Seleucid monarch. The latter at this time was Seleucus IV, surnamed

Philopator. At the time of the conquest of the Mardiaris by Phraates, the Syrian monarch