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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

Western Asia.

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