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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,