436 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
for this action may be found in the youth of the princes and in the military experience of
the king-elect. It might be supposed that by this time the Parthians had learned by
experience the unwisdom of intermeddling with the affairs of Armenia. It may be confessed,
however, that the last compact with the Romans was of a kind to encourage the belief that
Arsacid princes should henceforth wear the Armenian crown. Tiridates had been accepted in
that relation, and reigned to the end of his life, at the close of the first century.
Pacorus, at that time king of Parthia, had raised his son Exedares to the vacancy,
assuming either that Rome would offer no objection, or else that he should be able by arms
to enforce his will and authority.
For the time it appeared that the former supposition was realized, and that Exedares would
be permitted to reign in peace. The Roman Emperor Trajan was at this time hotly engaged in
his war with the Dacians on the Danube. This work occupied his attention until the year
114 A. D., when Dacia was subdued. Trajan now found time to turn his attention to the
affairs of the East. A great expedition was accordingly organized and sent into Asia, to
impress upon the Parthians the truth of their forgotten lesson. As the army advanced,
Chosroes sought to stay the coming storm by sending out an embassy, which met the Romans
at Athens. The Parthian proposed that Exedares should abdicate the Armenian throne, and
that his brother, Parthamasiris, should be chosen for the place under the auspices and
with the consent of Rome. The proposition might well have satisfied the Roman Emperor, but
the latter had determined to reestablish his authority in the East on a new basis,
disregarding all antecedents, and aiming only at a permanent and undisturbed supremacy.
The Parthian ambassadors were accordingly sent back to their master, and the expedition
was carried into Asia.
Nevertheless Parthamasiris went to the Roman camp, presented himself to the Emperor, and
laid down his crown before him. Trajan, however, instead of replacing it on his head,
retained the prince, and presently informed him that Armenia was destined henceforth to be
a Roman province. As for Parthamasiris, he was permitted to leave the camp, but was
pursued by a band of Roman horsemen, who, doubtless with the privity and instigation of
the Emperor himself, recaptured him and put him to death. Chosroes was either unable or
unwilling to hazard interference with the purposes of the murderer of his nephew. Armenia
was yielded up, and a Roman governor was appointed to exercise authority over the country
in place of the Arsacid prince.
With a high hand and outstretched arm Trajan proceeded to overawe all the neighboring
nations and to instill the fear of his name. At least two of the Western provinces of
Parthia were torn away and added to the Roman dominion. Everything was settled according
to the Emperor's will, and he then repaired to Antioch, where he established his head-
quarters for the winter. Scarcely, however, had he planted himself in the city when it was
shaken into ruins by one of the most disastrous earthquakes recorded in ancient history.
The Emperor himself barely escaped from the falling building in which he had taken his
residence. All the Syrian cities suffered injury, greater or less, from the disturbance.
The Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean sea were tossed and heaved by the shock, and some
of the Greek towns were thrown down.
It appears that Trajan, while in the East, in the preceding year, namely, in A. D. 115,
had made up his mind to attack Parthia itself. His plans in this particular were matured
in the following spring. A Roman fleet was sent on wagons across the desert to the Tigris,
where the vessels were reconstructed and launched. It was determined to make Media
Adiabene the point of attack. Against this country the expedition was now directed, and
Chosroes found himself unable to defend his province. He was obliged, by the internal
condition of the Empire, to hold aloof from the contest and see one of the most important
countries under his authority overrun by the Romans.
The passion of Trajan was now thoroughly aroused. From his conquest of