433 PARTHIA-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.
been reared in Rome. They accordingly went into Hyrcania, found old Artabanus with his bow
and hunting shirt, and induced him to head the counter-revolution against Tiridates. The
latter was obliged to fly. His following melted away, and he was glad to find himself once
more in safety beyond the Euphrates among the Romans.
In the fourth decade of the first century the condition of affairs above described
continued to prevail. Petty hostilities on the side of Armenia recurred constantly, but no
general war. The empire became involved in hostilities with the Jews of Babylon--one of
the many complications in which that people, now dragging on to the close of their
national existence, were involved. But the details, though sufficiently bloody and
disgraceful, are of little interest to the reader of general history. Events passed in the
usual order until the year A. D. 40, when Artabanus was a second time expelled from the
throne, and died after a two years' banishment and a reign of twenty-six years' duration.
The reader will have noted the utter absence among the Parthians of royal rank of those
family ties and affections whereby in modern times the kindred of one blood are held in
unity and trust. 0n the contrary, the court of this ancient people was constantly stained
with blood poured forth by parricidal or fratricidal violence. On the death of Artabanus
III his sons contended for the throne. At first the eldest, GOTARZES, was given the crown.
But it would seem that his hereditary right was soon forgotten on account of his atrocious
conduct. Scarcely had he risen to power until he seized and put to death his brother,
Artabanus, together with his wife and son. It was evident that, after the Oriental manner,
he purposed, according to his passion and jealousy, to destroy all his kindred. It can not
have passed attention that for the last half century the Megistanes had increased their
power and exercised their rights more freely than at a remoter age. In the present
instance they accepted the challenge and drove the king from the throne. His brother
VARDANES was called home from a distant province
and given the diadem. Gotarzes was abandoned, and obliged to fly to the country of the
Dahae, where, according to the precedent in such cases, he put himself under the
protection of the Scyths.
Vardanes came to power without battle so far as his brother was concerned, but was obliged
to take arms against the city of Seleucia. That important metropolis had never lost its
Grecian character-had never been in political or social sympathy with the Parthian nation.
We have heretofore remarked upon the quasi independence of the city and its government by
a local Senate of three hundred. Just about the time of the accession of Vardanes there
was a municipal revolt, and the authority of the king was wholly discarded. In the year A.
D. 42 he brought an army against Seleucia and laid siege to the place, but it was nearly
seven years after the revolt before he succeeded in its suppression.
In the meantime Gotarzes, fretting in exile, induced the Scyths to support him in making
war on the king. He accordingly organized an army, advanced into Hyrcania, and was joined
by malcontents until the movement became formidable. The two brothers approached each
other for battle; but Gotarzes, learning that the National Council was about to depose
both of them, sent word to Vardanes, and the two were reconciled. The king remained in
authority, and Gotarzes was made governor of Hyrcania.
It appears that the Parthians were forgetful of the danger with which they were ever
menaced from the side of Rome. Not- withstanding his treaty stipulation, the king now
attempted to reassert his power in Armenia. That country had accepted its place as a
vassal of the Roman Empire. Vardanes, believing himself able to revolutionize the Armenian
government, sought the alliance of the governor of Adiabene, but that personage opposed
his projects) and remained loyal to Rome. Hereupon the Parthian monarch went to war with
him, but before a result was reached,