Page 0434

434 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

Gotarzes arose again in rebellion, and with a Hyrcanian army, attempted to gain the

throne. The king marched against him and. defeated him in several battles. But the nobles

presently afterwards enticed Vardanes into the chase, and put him to death.

This murder opened the way for GOTARZES, who, in A. D. 46, was recognized as king. The

character of that prince, how- ever, soon revealed itself, and the nobles sent an embassy

to Rome, requesting that the prince Meherdates, son of Vonones, be sent to them for the

royal honor. The Emperor Claudius, who now occupied the throne, yielded to the request,

and Meherdates was sent to Mesopotamia. He soon found himself at the head of a rebellious

army, and advanced as far as Media Adiabene. At this point, however, his forces began to

desert him, and he was obliged to recede before the king. Before escaping from the

complication into which he had rushed, he was betrayed into the hands of Gotarzes, who

treated him with contempt rather than cruelty.

The king, however, did not long survive his triumph. In A. D. 51 he died. The crown was

transferred to an Arsacid prince named VONONES, who is believed to have been a half

brother of Artabanus III. No events of any importance occurred during his reign, or at

least the record of none such has reached posterity. It is believed that his occupancy of

the throne did not exceed a year in duration. Nor is the manner of his death referred to

by the ancient historians. All that is known is that about A. D. 51 or 52 the crown was

transferred to the king's son VOLAGASES 1. In entering on 'his reign, the latter appointed

his brother Pacorus to a provincial governorship, and then undertook the conquest of

Armenia, in order to procure a province for his other brother named Tiridates.

It appears that at this juncture the Romans were4ess jealous than. usual concerning

Parthian intervention in Armenian affairs. At any rate, Volagases was permitted to

organize an expedition, and to advance into the coveted territory. He gained therein a

footing, and raised Tiridates to the governorship. Having done so much, the king sent an

embassy to Nero to acquaint him with his motives and purposes. The Roman Emperor was

angered at the thing done, and Corbulo, a noted general, and Urnmidius, at that time

Proconsul of. Syria, were directed to recover the lost possessions of the Empire. The

commanders gathered an army on the Armenian frontier, but presently opened negotiations

with Volagases, and the difficulty was adjusted without battle. Strangely enough, the

Romans conceded the Armenian kingdom to Tiridates; and the Parthian monarch was permitted

to retire from the country. without-punishment.

These events occurred in the year A. D. 55. It was fortunate for Volagases that he was

able so easily to extricate himself from the difficulty on his western border. All of his

energies and resources were now demanded in an effort to suppress a rebellion which in his

absence had been fomented by his son Vardanea. Civil war now ensued for the space of three

years, and the insurrection was suppressed. Finding himself no longer opposed, the king

turned again to Armenia, and demanded that the Romans should make still further

concessions in regard to the government of that country. But the latter seized the

opportunity to recover the ground already lost. Corbulo occupied the years A. D. 58-60

with a war against the Armenians, or rather against the Parthian party, headed by

Tiridates, and expelled that prince finally from the country. The Roman rule was restored

in full, and Volagases was obliged to content himself with an Armenian administration

established by Ins rival.

By this time the Parthian nobles had come to doubt the infallibility of their monarch.

They charged him with inefficiency in permitting Armenia to slip from his grasp. The king,

resolving to regain public confidence, sought to do so by organizing a third expedition

for the purpose of restoring Tiridates to the Armenian throne. But the expedition was

unsuccessful, and an armistice was declared until the Parthian embassy dispatched to Rome

might return with the decision of Nero. The latter sent out as his representative and

general in the East, Lucius Paetus.