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431 PARTHIAN-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.

prisoners. This demand had now become habitual with the Romans in all their dealings with

Parthia. In the present case Phraates received his son with gladness, but refused to give

up the standards or to set the Roman prisoners at liberty.

The reader of history knows full well the story of the final conflict between Octavianus

and Antonius. Hereafter, in the history of Rome, we shall record at length the

vicissitudes of the long struggle which culminated at Actium. Hereby the peaceable

accession of Octavianus to the Imperial throne was made easy and inevitable. Antonius,

following the seductions of Cleopatra, fled once more to Egypt, and there, after

additional defeat and humiliation, stabbed himself and died in the presence of the woman

for whom he had lost the world.

By these events Parthia was again liberated for a season from the fear of. Roman invasion.

But Augustus--for by this title Octavianus is henceforth known-was little disposed,

peaceable as were his general intentions, to permit the affairs of the East to remain in

their present indeterminate state. After spending the first ten years of his reign in

regulating and establishing the Imperial Government, after the pattern given by Julius,

the Emperor found himself ready to settle finally the issue between himself and the

Parthian king. Accordingly, in. B. C. 20, he went in person into Asia, and, partly by

menace and partly by diplomacy, induced Phraates to surrender the Crassian standards.

However humiliating the act may have been to the King of Kings, he nevertheless yielded to

the inevitable and gave up the trophies which signified so much to the half-barbaric pride

of himself and his subjects. The Roman prisoners who still survived were permitted to

return to Europe and an amicable relation was established between the emperors of the East

and the West.

It can not be doubted that at this time it was definitely agreed that henceforth the river

Euphrates should be observed by both Powers as the true inter-imperial boundary. Such

agreement was in harmony with the well-known theory of Augustus that the Roman Empire had

now expanded to its natural limit, beyond which neither sound policy nor military ambition

could safely carry it. To this the Parthian king, troubled with dissensions in his own

dominion, was glad to assent, and thus a condition of stability and peace was reached in

the closing years of the Ancient Era.

Henceforth for a long time amity existed between Ctesiphon and Rome. Phraates selected the

City of the Tiber as a place for the residence and education of his four sons. These were

Vonones, Seraspadanes, Rhodaspes, and Phraates.

Once and again, however-and that with respect to the troublesome kingdom of Armenia-did

hostilities break out between the two Empires. The question at issue was the old one as to

the relative and preponderating influence of Rome or Parthia with the Armenian king.

Augustus found it necessary to send his son Caius Caesar to the East with an army. The

Roman prince came to the Euphrates and was about to begin an invasion, when the, Parthian

monarch, taking counsel of his fears, yielded to the inevitable, and a new treaty was made

by himself and the young Caesar on an island in the Euphrates. The settlement was

definitive. The supremacy of Rome in Armenian affairs Was acknowledged, and henceforth

Parthia abstained from aggression in this direction. Soon after the treaty was concluded,

Caius Caesar, going into Armenia, and being obliged to besiege a town, was slain by a

missile from the walls. But events went forward to their logical conclusion. Armenia

passed under the protectorate of Rome, and all beyond was left to the undisputed sway of

the Parthian kings.

Meanwhile the reign of Phraates IV, fifteenth of the Arsacidae, had ended with his life,

in the year B. C. 2. The crown descended to his son PHRAATACES, offspring of an Italian

slave-girl, whom Augustus had sent as a present to his friend, the late king of Parthia.

To him rather than to any of the elder sons long resident in Rome, the throne passed

without dispute. But it was not long until the Parthian nobles, hating the mother of their

new sovereign and despising the race to which she belonged, rose against Phraataces drove

him from power, and took his life.