422 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
It is said that Lucullus, the Roman Consul, now engaged in war with Tigranes, was so much
offended at the uncertain course taken by the Parthian king, that he contemplated the
abandonment of the Armenian war until he should make an expedition beyond the Tigris and
teach Sanatroeces the folly of temporizing with Rome. This, however, was not done.
Tigranes at length fell back before the Roman legions, and Parthia was delivered from her
peril. The reign of Sanatroeces ended with his life, about the year 67 B. C., when he was
succeeded by his son, PHRAATES III.
Pompey the Great had now come into Asia, and with him the new king was obliged to deal.
The Roman was engaged in a war with Pontus, but he solicited and gained the friendship of
Phraates, to whom in return he pledged the restoration of the provinces which had been
conquered by the Armenians. By this means the Parthian king was induced to make an
alliance with Rome. At the same time he became deeply involved with Armenia. In that
country civil dissention had come as a paralysis to Tigranes. His son, bearing his own
name, had entered into a conspiracy and become leader of a rebellion against the throne.
The insurrection soon came to naught, and the young Tigranes fled to the court of Parthia
for refuge and protection. Phraates espoused his cause, and being under promise to Pompey
to prevent Armenia from joining Pontus in the field, the Parthian king now fulfilled his
promise by taking up the quarrel of the refugee prince and marching into Armenia to
support him against, his father.
For the time this movement was successful. The elder Tigranes having, fled to the
mountains for safety, the younger was proclaimed king. But on the withdrawal of Phraates
into his own dominions, the tide turned, and the rebellious prince was defeated in battle
and obliged to save himself by flight. By this time, however, the Romans had ended the war
with Pontus, and turned with crushing force against Armenia. Tigranes was obliged to yield
to the Proconsul and to accept his arbitration in the affairs of the East. It thus
happened that by battle and diplomacy Pompey managed with Roman energy and skill to gain a
place from which he was able to balance up Armenia and Parthia, the one against the other
in such a manner as to make the hostility of either of little account as it respected his
own purposes in the country. It has been conjectured that the Roman contemplated an
immediate war on Parthia as the stronger and more dangerous of the two Powers with which.
he must ultimately contend. But he was deterred from such an undertaking, and chose to
employ craft and talent rather than the sword in holding his position as arbiter of
Meanwhile in Parthia a deplorable civil condition followed in the wake of Imperial
greatness. The time had arrived when the system of polygamy and the personal passions of
the royal princes brought in the age of conspiracy and murder in the king's house. A
condition supervened not unlike that which has disgraced the history of modern times in
the courts of Persia and Turkey. Phraates III was not permitted to end his reign in the
order of nature. His two sons, Mithridates and Orodes, formed a plot which reached as high
as their father's life. He was assassinated by them. The elder of the two took the throne
in B. C. 60, and, like other murderers, found it desirable to obliterate the memory of his
crime with the glory of foreign war.
The complaint which he, had made against his father was the alliance of the latter with
the Romans, and the tameness with which the late king had permitted himself to be robbed
by the Armenians under the arbitration of the Roman Proconsul. MITHRIDATES III therefore
proceeded to make war on the Armenians for