Page 0435

435 PARTHIA.-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.

The latter came into Syria, and joined his forces with those of Corbulo.

Both generals soon entered the Parthian country, Paetus making the invasion of Armenia.

Winter came on, and the Roman Commander established himself in a poorly fortified camp.

Volagases hurried forward with a . large army, and the position of Paetus became perilous.

He was surrounded by the Parthians, and obliged to capitulate on condition of retiring

from the country. The wrecks of his forces were, joined with those of the prudent Corbulo,

to whom the maintenance of Roman interests in the country was now intrusted. It was in

vain that, the Parthian king sought to induce Corbulo; to come to an accommodation. The

Roman, with the opening of spring, advanced into Armenia, and reoccupied the territory

held in the previous year by Paetus.

Volagases was now thoroughly alarmed, and reopened negotiations. Tiridates was obliged, on

the site of the old camp-of Paetus, to pull off his royal garments and lay them down

before a statue of Nero. It was agreed, however, that the deposed prince should go to Rome

and receive again his crown at the hands of the Roman Emperor. This was accordingly done."

While Tiridates was peitnitted to reign in Armenia, it was with the consent and virtually

under the authority of Rome.

The reign of Volagases was now long and peaceful. It is believed that he held the throne

from A. D. 51 to about A.D.78, a period of twenty-seven years. He reached a good old age,

and died, bequeathing the crown to his son Pacorus.

During the remainder of the first century of our era, but few important events occurred in

the history of the Parthian Empire. After the troubles of Volagases with the Romans, no

further complications with that people arose for a considerable length of time. It seems,

however, that the Parthians, like other barbarian nations, were not more prosperous in

peace than in war. It may be conceded that war is the natural condition of a nomadic

state, just

as peace is the normal condition of an industrial state. So long as the soil is not

extensively cultivated, so long as commerce does not spring and flourish, so long as

manufacturing industries are not created, a people must procure for themselves the objects

of desire by the spoliation of their neighbors.

Of all the ancient, peoples none fulfilled this condition more perfectly than did the

Parthians. As a result, the coming of peace was the coming of inaction, sluggishness, and

decay. There were, moreover, during the reign of Pacorus, which extended to about A. D.

108, many internal disturbances which tended to the disintegration of the Empire. It

appears that the old feudal principle not only held its own against the consolidating

forces, but gradually prevailed over them. In times of peace feudalism, as illustrated in

the local governments of the provinces, as rampant to the extent of making the feudatories

virtually independent. Rawlinson has pointed out the fact that the history of this

period is confused by the presence of coins bearing the images and superscriptions of

sovereigns unknown to the Grecian and Roman authors. Thus we find a Vardanes II, and

afterwards, between the years 62 and 78 A. D. an Artabanus IV and a Volagases II, as

though such sovereigns had reigned between Volagases I and his son Pacorus. Further on

there is a coin of Mithridates IV, for whom there is no place in the line of the

Arsacidae. Doubtless the explanation is to be found in the fact that many of the local

governors carried their independence to the pitch of coining money and putting their own

effigies and inscriptions on the coins. It might thus happen that three or four provincial

mints were at work in different parts of the Empire at the same time.

On the death of Pacorus, which is assigned to the year 108 A. D., the Megistanes again

asserted their authority by putting aside the two sons of the late king and choosing his

brother CHOSROES instead. A reason