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410 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

dominion of the country was asserted. Even before the beginning of the invasion the Median

tribes had become virtually independent. Indeed, the spirit of the people was a more

serious obstacle to the ambitions of Mithridates than was the Syrian army. The details of

the war with Media have not been preserved, but the general result was manifested in the

transfer of Media Magna to the Parthian king. Perhaps the condition of the country thus

subjugated was not greatly changed. It is believed that the same prince who had ruled

under the king of Syria was retained in office by Mithridates as his representative among

the subject people.

It was now evident that the king of Parthia was about to begin his career as Imperial

conqueror. Such premonitions are always alarming to the surrounding peoples. Whoever plays

the part of Alexander or Caesar has a hard struggle at the outset. It is only after a

period of victory, when the volume of conquest begins to roll on by its own momentum that

the conqueror rides majestically on the rising wave. In the present instance the

Hyrcanians took the alarm and set themselves against the Parthian king. The latter was now

ready for any emergency, and made haste to advance against the hostile nation. The

Hyrcanians sought to induce the Medes and the Mardian mountaineers to join them in the

war, but their efforts were unavailing. Hyrcania was thus exposed without support to the

wrath of Mithridates, who succeeded in reducing the province to submission. Thus in three

directions the Parthian monarch stretched his cords and strengthened his stakes.

Scarcely had these movements been accomplished when a revolt broke out in Elymai's. It is

believed that the prince or king of this country had already made him- self independent of

the Syrian monarchy before his war with Mithridates. The latter now, for the first time,

had opportunity to test his abilities as leader of an army in a truly foreign war. Thus

far he had contended with nations whose dominions bordered on Parthia. Now he was obliged

to lead his forces to a distance through a desert country, and meet the Elymaeans in

battle. But the event was auspicious to the Parthian, who overran Elymai's and added it to

his dominions. This successful campaign had thrown him between Persia and Babylonia. It

was not likely that a victorious monarch would fail to make the most of his advantageous

position. It appears that both the Persians and the Babylonians recognized the peril of

their situation, and, perceiving the weakness of the ties by which they were bound to

Antioch, deemed it prudent to cast in their lot with the conqueror. It thus happened that

an extensive region in the South- west, including the Babylonian plain and the whole

country eastward to the Carmanian desert, was added by a single campaign to what may now

be called the Parthian Empire.

A period of more than twenty years was occupied by Mithridates in these wars. During the

whole of this time the Syrian kings had been unable to disentangle them- selves from their

troubles in the West and give attention to the Eastern revolution. Nor had the king of

Bactria found opportunity or disposition to attempt the recovery of what had been lost by

conquest. The attention of Eucratidas had been constantly occupied with troubles and

revolts on the side of India. He was thus obliged to assent to the loss of his western

provinces to his rival. It would seem that the two kings, one pressing his way towards the

Indus and the other towards the Babylonian plain, had come to amity and common purposes.

But to a part of the Bactrian nation this concord with Parthia was distasteful. Prince

Heliocles, son of the Bactrian monarch, represented the discontent, and sought to recover

from Parthia the lost provinces. Believing that his father, the king, was in the way of

his ambitions, he secured his taking off by violence, and seized the crown for himself.

This he did with the evident purpose of going to war with Mithridates.

But the latter was on the alert. Perceiving the designs of his antagonist, the Parthian

king turned into Bactria, quickly overthrew Heliocles, subverted the kingdom as to all its

western provinces, and added them to his Empire. He then carried his victorious arms to

the east, forcing the Bactrian monarch to the mountains,