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.