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416 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

hoping that as soon as Demetrius was free he would reclaim the Syrian throne. The captive

was himself not innocent of such a dream, but he sought to consummate his hopes without

the connivance of his brother- in-law. He accordingly made one or two unsuccessful efforts

to escape, but was in each instance pursued, retaken, and brought back to captivity.

Meanwhile feelings of correlative antagonism were cherished by the Syrian king against the

Parthians. He too bided his time. For the present Antiochus Sidetes was engaged in a war

with the Jews. That rebellious people, under the leadership of the High Priest Simon,

attempted to maintain the independence which had been conceded by Demetrius before his

overthrow and captivity. In course of time the Jews, under the command of John Hyrcanus,

who had succeeded his father Simon, were reduced to submission, and Antiochus found

himself free to make war on the Parthians. He organized a powerful army, and set out in

the direction of Babylonia. The king of Syria was still able, notwithstanding the losses

of territory which his predecessors had met, to bring into the field a force greatly

superior to that with which Phraates was able to confront him. The latter, however, came

forth as far as Mesopotamia, and time and again joined battle with his antagonist. But in

each engagement the victory remained with the Syrians, and the Parthian king was obliged

to recede toward the central parts of his Empire.

The successes of the Syrians in the field were, in the next place, increased by the

chronic disaffection of the Greek cities. The latter, together with many of the provinces

on the side of Babylonia, rose and went over to Antiochus. It was the same old story of

exchanging masters under the expediency of the hour. For the time, the western horizon

seemed to bear nothing but thunder-clouds and tempest for Phraates; but he was undaunted,

and set himself against further disaster. The time had now come for making the most of the

captive Demetrius. The Parthian king set him at liberty, and he sped away like an arrow in

the direction of Syria. It seems, however, that Antiochus did not learn of the flight of

the dangerous bird, and so he pressed on, gaining additional advantages until winter set

in, and the Syrian army was distributed into the cities for quarters.

The forces of the invasion were thus scattered over a wide extent of country; but the

situation seemed one of security, and no uneasiness was felt by the king. On the side of

Parthia, however, the case was viewed with a keener eye. The Parthian soldiers were able

for winter service, being inured to the climate. The case, moreover, was well-nigh

desperate and Phraates determined to make the most of the opportunity. At first the

different detachments of the Syrian army were well received in the cities to which they

were sent; but military occupation is always a weariness of the flesh. The soldiers ate

and drank and caroused, after the manner of their kind, until the citizens became heartily

sick of having gone over to Antiochus.

As the winter wore on Phraates, learning of the universal discontent, sent trusted agents

into all the cities where the Syrians were quartered, and contrived a great conspiracy. It

was arranged that on a given day each city should rise against the soldiers and destroy

them, while at the same time Phraates himself should make a rush for the headquarters of

the Syrian army and overwhelm his enemy in battle. The plot was carried into execution. At

the given time the citizens sprang to arms, surrounded the quarters of the soldiers, and

slew and massacred until scarcely a Syrian was left to tell the story. The rumor of the

insurrection flew to Antiochus, and he led forth his central division to the rescue, only

to be met by Phraates in the field. In this struggle also the issue was against the

Syrians. The Parthian cavalry swept everything before it, and Antiochus himself was slain.

Almost the entire force, enormous as it was, was- destroyed. According to Diodorus

Siculus, three hundred thousand, of the Syrians perished.

At all events the expedition was brought to utter ruin. Not a vestige of the invading

force was left in the field. The triumph of Phraates was complete in every particular. He

succeeded in capturing the son