FACTOID # 14: North Carolina has a larger Native American population than North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana combined.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Roman relations with the Parthians and Sassanids
Parthia's greatest extent in 60 BCE

The Parthian Empire had risen to power after defeating the Seleucids. During the first century BC it came into contact with Rome when the general Crassus attempted to invade the kingdom. Since that time it and its successors, the Sassanids, suffered numerous invasions from the Roman empire and many conflicts over the buffer state of Armenia. In this article the history of these conflicts is explored as well as the reason the Romans were so obsessed with this region. Image File history File links The location of ancient Parthia, an Iranian kingdom, c. ... Image File history File links The location of ancient Parthia, an Iranian kingdom, c. ... Parthian Empire at its greatest extent, c60 BCE. The Parthian Empire was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BCE and 224 CE. Parthia was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the east and... Seleucus I Nicator (Nicator, the Victor) (around 358–281 BC) was one of Alexander the Greats generals who, after Alexanders death in 323 BC, founded the Seleucid Empire. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 1st century BC started on January 1, 100 BC and ended on December 31, 1 BC. An alternative name for this century is the last century BC. The AD/BC notation does not use a year zero. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives (c. ... Head of king Shapur II (Sasanian dynasty A.D. 4th century). ...

Contents

Relations during the Republic

The history of the international relations between the Romans and the Parthians and Sassanids is complex with conflict and diplomacy both taking part. For the Romans the kingdom of the East was seen as a civilised and stable power for which diplomatic relations could be fruitfully maintained while conquest would reward great riches and glory. Diplomat redirects here. ...


The first time the Romans came into direct military contact with Parthia came when Lucullus invaded Armenia in 92 BC, allowing Pompey to march through northern Mesopotamia unchallenged. This made many in Rome feel that the Parthians could be easily subdued and fitted well with their feeling that the Romans were the natural successors to the fallen Seleucid Empire. However, over the coming centuries the Parthians and Sassanids managed to thwart most Roman ambitions in the region. The first major indication of this occurred in 53 BC when Marcus Licinius Crassus invaded Mesopotamia. He suffered a massive defeat at Carrhae with himself and three quarters of his troops being killed – an event that dealt a blow to the army’s supposed invincibility. Lucius Licinius Lucullus (c. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 140s BC 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC 100s BC - 90s BC - 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC Years: 97 BC 96 BC 95 BC 94 BC 93 BC - 92 BC - 91 BC 90 BC 89... Pompey, Pompey the Great or Pompey the Triumvir [1] (Classical Latin abbreviation: CN·POMPEIVS·CN·F·SEX·N·MAGNVS[2], Gnaeus or Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus) (September 29, 106 BC–September 29, 48 BC), was a distinguished military and political leader of the late Roman republic. ... Mesopotamia refers to the region now occupied by modern Iraq, eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and Southwest Iran. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC - 50s BC - 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC 0s BC Years: 58 BC 57 BC 56 BC 55 BC 54 BC 53 BC 52 BC 51 BC 50... Marcus Licinius Crassus (Latin: M·LICINIVS·P·F·P·N·CRASSVS[1]) (c. ... Harran, also known as Carrhae, is an archeological site in present day southeastern Turkey, 24 miles (39 kilometers) southeast of Sanli Urfa. ...


Parthia was later involved in the civil war after the assassination of Julius Caesar. In 42 BC, when Antony placed a legion in Syria, Cassius’ envoy, Labienus, joined forces with king Orodes of Parthia and, lead by the Roman general Pacorus, attacked Antony’s republican forces. However, this was not to last as Antony successfully sent his general Publius Ventidius Bassus to recover the lost territory. After some difficulty dealing with local Parthian appointee kings, the Romans finally subdued the regained province and installed Herod the Great as an indigenous, yet senate appointed, king. Gaius Julius Caesar [1] (Latin pronunciation ; English pronunciation ; July 12 or July 13, 100 BC or 102 BC – March 15, 44 BC), was a Roman military and political leader and one of the most influential men in classical antiquity. ... Events October 3 - First Battle of Philippi: The Triumvirs Mark Antony and Octavian fight an indecisive battle with Caesars assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Cassius. ... Antony is an English language variant of Anthony. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Orodes was the name of three kings of Parthia: Orodes I c. ... Two kings of ancient Parthia were named Pacorus: Pacorus I of Parthia, possibly co-regent with his father Orodes II, c. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Hordes (Hebrew: הוֹרְדוֹס, ; Greek: , ; trad. ... The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire. ...


During this time Caesar had been planning an invasion in retribution for Carrhae, but his plans were transferred to Antony after his assassination. Antony’s forces attempted a crossing of Euphrates at the city of Zeugma but were held back by Parthian defences and had to settle for annexing the Armenian kingdom after deposing its king. Surfer Rosa The Euphrates (IPA: /juːˈfreɪtiːz/; Greek: EuphrátÄ“s; Akkadian: Pu-rat-tu; Hebrew: פְּרָת PÄ•rāth; Syriac: Prâth; Arabic: الفرات Al-Furāt; Turkish: Fırat; Kurdish: فرهات, Firhat, Ferhat, Azeri: FÉ™rat) is the western of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia (the other... Zeugma (from the Greek word ζεύγμα, meaning yoke) is a figure of speech describing the joining of two or more parts of a sentence with a common verb or noun. ...


Relations during the Julio-Claudian dynasty

A parthian warrior as depicted on Trajan's column

The previous defeats were a lesson to the emerging Augustus as he was loathe to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors despite a wane in Parthian influence. However, the coveted standards were still held by the Parthians and this was of great concern to Augustus, forcing him to regain them through a less conventional method. In 30 BC, Phraates IV usurped the throne of Tiridates who fled to Syria under the protection of the Romans, whence he launched an attack on his native land. Although this failed, an agreement was made whereby he could live under the Romans as a king in exile if he brokered the return of the Roman standards. The standards were returned to the future emperor Tiberius, who received them on an island in the Euphrates. This event is important because it demonstrated that Rome accepted the influence of Parthia and that its boundary lay at the Euphrates, allowing some form of diplomatic understanding to follow. From the 1900 Encyclopedie Larousse Illustree. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... From the 1900 Encyclopedie Larousse Illustree. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... For other uses, see Augustus (disambiguation). ... Octavian becomes Roman Consul for the fourth time. ... Coin of Phraates IV from the mint at Seleucia on the Tigris. ... Tiridates, or Teridates is a Persian name, given by Arrian in his Parthica (preserved by Photius, cod. ... Tiberius Caesar Augustus, born Tiberius Claudius Nero (November 16, 42 BC – March 16 AD 37), was the second Roman Emperor, from the death of Augustus in AD 14 until his own death in 37. ...


The next half century saw relations between the two nations antagonistic but not overtly hostile, with the Romans unsuccessfully supporting a series of pretender kings, including Claudius in 49 AD, indicating the extent to which Rome was attempting to influence Parthian politics for its own ends. However, this was all to change under Nero as Vologases I invaded Armenia. Retaliatory strikes needed to be organised by the emperor and the general Corbulo was employed to execute the retaking of the annexed province in 58 AD. After initial Roman success, the Parthians redoubled their efforts, defeating a legion and forcing the Romans to crown an Arsacid Parthian as vassal and accepting Parthian dominance over the province in order for diplomacy to again reign. It is possible that this move averted a major war between the two powers, evidence of Rome’s ability to handle some international relations with delicacy. For other persons named Claudius, see Claudius (disambiguation). ... Events Rome Emperor Claudius marries his niece Agrippina the younger (approximate date). ... For other uses, see Nero (disambiguation). ... Vologases I of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire (a forerunner of todays Iran) from about 51 to 78. ... Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo (around AD 7 - AD 67) was a Roman general. ... Events The Ficus Ruminales begins to die (see Rumina) Start of Yongping era of the Chinese Han Dynasty. ... The Arsacid Dynasty ruled Persia. ... Look up war in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... International relations (IR), a branch of political science, is the study of foreign affairs of and relations among states within the international system, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs). ...


Relations during the Flavian dynasty

During Vespasian’s rule Parthia seemed to make some attempts to strengthening the ties between the two powers, such as asking to form an alliance at the Caucasus against belligerent Sarmatian tribes and offering assistance to Vespasian against the short lived emperor Vitellius once it became clear that Vespasian would rule. However, both of these Vespasian refused, possibly due to the propaganda value of hostility. Parthia is also guilty of the same meddling in foreign affairs, perhaps out of retaliation, with their support of Nero impostors during the reigns of Titus and Domitian. Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus (November 17, 9–June 23, 79), known originally as Titus Flavius Vespasianus and usually referred to in English as Vespasian, was emperor of Rome from 69 to 79. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... Sarmatian Cataphract Sarmatians, Sarmatae or Sauromatae (the second form is mostly used by the earlier Greek writers, the other by the later Greeks and the Romans) were a people whom Herodotus (4. ... Vitellius, Museo Nazionale della Civiltà Romana, Rome Aulus Vitellius Germanicus (September 24, 15–December 22, 69) was Roman Emperor from April 17 69 to December 22 of the same year, one of the emperors in the Year of the four emperors. He was the son of Lucius Vitellius, who had... An Australian anti-conscription propaganda poster from World War One U.S. propaganda poster, which warns against civilians sharing information on troop movements (National Archives) The much-imitated 1914 Lord Kitchener Wants You! poster Swedish Anti-Euro propaganda for the referendum of 2003. ... For other uses, see Titus (disambiguation). ... Titus Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 – 18 September 96), commonly known as Domitian, was a Roman Emperor of the gens Flavia. ...


During the rule of the Flavians, the province of Syria was consolidated to prevent future invasions by the Parthians and the possibility of further advance by the Romans. The Flavian dynasty was a series of three Roman Emperors who ruled from 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, to 96, when the last member was assassinated, starting the Nervan-Antonian dynasty. ...


Relations during the remainder of the Western Empire

The Flavian consolidation was the forerunner to Trajan’s march down the Euphrates, taking advantage of the instability of Parthia and Armenia, creating the province of Mesopotamia in his wake. However, this conquest was unstable and after Trajan’s retreat and death the Parthian states rebelled. His successor, Hadrian, decided to abandon Trajan’s conquests. Template:Infobox boobies the Roman emperor This article is about the Roman Emperor. ... Mesopotamia refers to the region now occupied by modern Iraq, eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and Southwest Iran. ... Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus (January 24, 76 – July 10, 138), known as Hadrian in English, apart of Stoic and Epicurean philosopher, he was a Roman emperor from 117 – 138, and a member of the gens Aelia. ...


For this, the Parthians threatened Roman interests in the near east, but Antoninus Pius procrastinated in open conflict, leaving the job to his successors Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius in 162. The Romans under these emperors successfully waged war on Parthia, burning the cities of Ctesiphon and Seleucia on the Tigris and pushing the frontier to the river Khabur. This tactic was followed by Septimius Severus who formed three new legions against Parthia and taking them down the Euphrates in 197-8, recreating the province of Mesopotamia. Cassius Dio claims that the expedition was expensive and did little for Rome. However, it did shift the military focus of the Parthians further from real Roman interests. For the Parthians it fuelled their demise, allowing the Sassanid dynasty to assume control. Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus Pius (September 19, 86–March 7, 161) was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. ... Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus Armeniacus (December 15, 130 – 168), known simply as Lucius Verus, was Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius (161–180), from 161 until his death. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (April 26, 121[1] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death. ... Events Lucius Verus begins a war with the Parthians, due to the invasion of Syria and Armenia by Vologases III of Parthia. ... Ctesiphon, 1932 Ctesiphon (Parthian and Pahlavi: Tyspwn as well as Tisfun, Persian: ‎, also known as in Arabic Madain, Maden or Al-Madain: المدائن) is one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia and the capital of the Parthian Empire and its successor, the Sassanid Empire, for more than 800 years... The name Seleucia may denote any one of several cities in the Seleucid Empire. ... The Khabur river (also Habor, Habur) is 200 miles (320 km) long, beginning in southeastern Turkey, and flowing generally south to Syria where it is joined by the Jaghjagh River and eventually empties into Euphrates River. ... Lucius Septimius Severus (b. ... Events Roman Emperor Septimius Severus sacks Ctesiphon and captures an enormous number of its inhabitants as slaves. ... Cassius Dio Cocceianus (ca. ... The Sassanid Empire in the time of Shapur I; the conquest of Cappadocia was temporary Official language Pahlavi (Middle Persian) Dominant Religion Zoroastrianism Capital Ctesiphon Sovereigns Shahanshah of the Iran (Eranshahr) First Ruler Ardashir I Last Ruler Yazdegerd III Establishment 224 AD Dissolution 651 AD Part of the History of...


Under Caracalla an interesting twist in Parthian relations occurred. After submitting a request to marry the daughter of Persian king Artabanus (potentially allowing an heir to assume control of both empires) Caracalla massacred the diplomatic party sent to arrange the marriage and attempted a Persian invasion in 216. This was eventually unsuccessful and the Persians soon retaliated, inflicting heavy losses on the Romans. A further campaign by the Romans was begun in 231 as a three-pronged attack by Severus Alexander, bringing the Roman East to its greatest extent. Caracalla (April 4, 186 – April 8, 217) was Roman Emperor from 211 – 217. ... Artabanus the Hyrcanian is an obscure historical figure who was reportedly Regent of Persia for a few months (465 BC - 464 BC). ... For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... Events The Baths of Caracalla in Britain is divided into Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior. ... Events Births Cao Fang, emperor of the Kingdom of Wei (approximate date) Deaths Zhang He, general of the Wei Kingdom Categories: 231 ... Alexander Severus Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander (October 1, 208- March 18?, 235), commonly called Alexander Severus, Roman emperor from AD 222 to 235, was born at Arca Caesarea in Palestine. ...


During an era of increased hostilities between the two nations, the Persians launched an attack on Roman interests in Syria, sacking cities including Zeugma, Dura and Antioch in the early 250s, marking the decline of Roman territory there. This was confounded by the emperor Valerian being taken prisoner in 260, never to be returned – a huge blow to Roman pride. Zeugma (from the Greek word ζεύγμα, meaning yoke) is a figure of speech describing the joining of two or more parts of a sentence with a common verb or noun. ... Dura may refer to: Dura (linguistics), a critically endangered language of Nepal Dura mater, the outer membrane of the meninges which envelop the brain and spinal cord This is a disambiguation page, a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ... Antioch on the Orontes (Greek: Αντιόχεια η επί Δάφνη, Αντιόχεια η επί Ορόντου or Αντιόχεια η Μεγάλη; Latin: Antiochia ad Orontem, also Antiochia dei Siri), the Great Antioch or Syrian Antioch was an ancient city located on the eastern side (left bank) of the Orontes River about 30 km from the sea and its port, Seleucia Pieria. ... Centuries: 2nd century - 3rd century - 4th century Decades: 200s - 210s - 220s - 230s - 240s - 250s - 260s - 270s - 280s - 290s - 300s Years: 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 Events Crisis of the Third Century End of Yayoi era and beginning of Kofun period, the first part of the... Valerian may mean: Valerian, two genera of garden plants Emperor Valerian I, Roman emperor 253-260 Valerian II, son of Gallienus (d. ... Events Valerian I captured by the Persian king Shapur I; Gallienus becomes sole Roman emperor. ...


A decade later, a major assault was achieved on the Sassanid Empire by Carus, who managed to advance beyond the Tigris in 283 but soon died. This was continued under Diocletian who regained the province of Armenia as well as the northern part of Mesopotamia, which had to be repeated by Galerius after a counter-attack, managing to obtain a truce lasting 40 years. Carus on a posthumous coin. ... The Tigris is the eastern member of the pair of great rivers that define Mesopotamia, along with the Euphrates, which flows from the mountains of Anatolia through Iraq. ... Events December 17 - Pope Gaius succeeds Pope Eutychian December - Numerian was proclaimed Roman emperor by his soldiers. ... Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (c. ... Galerius Maximianus ( 250–5 May 311), formally Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus was Roman Emperor from 305 to 311. ...


After this period, the Persians, under Shapur II, made frequent unsuccessful attempts against Armenia, preceding aborted plans by Constantine for a major invasion, based on the pretext of Christian harassment. As Rome had become monotheistic like the Persians with their Zoroastrianism, conflicts attained the added religious dimension. It is in this format that the future of Roman-Persian relations would be played out over the remaining centuries, continuing into the Byzantine era. Neither side would wage an entirely victorious war against the other, and the alternation between hostilities and diplomacy would continue. Shapur II was king of Persia (310 - 379). ... Head of Constantines colossal statue at Musei Capitolini Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[1] (February 27, 272–May 22, 337), commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic[2] Christians) Saint Constantine, was a Roman Emperor, proclaimed Augustus by his troops on... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... In theology, monotheism (Greek μόνος(monos) = single and θεός(theos) = God) is the belief in the existence of one deity or God, or in the oneness of God. ... Zoroastrianism (Avestan Daēnā Vañuhi the good religion)[1][2] is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). ... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ...


The reasons for Rome's obsession with Parthia and the Sassanids

The frequent wars between the two powers were immensely draining for both sides, requiring military resources that neither could easily spare. Many of the hostilities were initiated by the Roman side – why were they so obsessed with conquering the Parthians and Sassanids?


Firstly, the Romans saw themselves as the rightful heirs of the collapsing Seleucid Empire due to its Hellenistic tradition, and saw the Parthians as obstructions. However, as the Romans learnt more about the Parthians they recognised that their advanced society was on a different level to the barbarians of the west. Rome had not encountered a major contending power since the Punic wars when it made contact with Parthia. Here they discovered an old culture with a strong military tradition and organised state. This the Romans could understand and deal with. This would also increase the glory of conquest, as sacking cities, carrying home great treasures and subjugating a civilised society to Roman rule is more impressive than occupying a few mud huts. For any Roman leader to prove himself, great conquest was essential. The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic successor state of Alexander the Greats dominion. ... The term Hellenistic (derived from Héllēn, the Greeks traditional self-described ethnic name) was established by the German historian Johann Gustav Droysen to refer to the spreading of Greek culture over the non-Greek people that were conquered by Alexander the Great. ... Look up Barbarian in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and the city-state of Carthage. ... The right of conquest is the purported right of a conqueror to territory taken by force of arms. ...


More important was the threat that Parthia and Persia presented to the Roman Empire. In order to keep the militarily competent state at bay, Rome needed to separate it using buffer states such as Armenia and Syria. The securitas reipublicae needed to be preserved from its only unified threat. A buffer state is a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile greater Powers that by its sheer existence is thought to prevent conflict between them. ...


Another matter the Romans were aware of was the riches available in Persia. For instance, the loot brought to Rome after Septimius Severus’ campaign was enough to prevent an economic crisis in Rome, contributing greatly to the collapse of the Arsacid dynasty. Lucius Septimius Severus (b. ... Iran Under the Arsacid Dynasty. ...


Finally, towards the waning years of the Western Roman Empire, Christianity played a part in the relations with the Persians, with the need to make conversions outside Rome. This put Rome in direct conflict with the Zoroastrian East. The Western Roman Empire is the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 286. ...


For these reasons, Rome was obsessed with the Parthians and Persians. However, it must be remembered that Rome was able to be diplomatic with its eastern neighbours, seeing them at times as a civilising force against the barbarian outside. Despite their conflicts some form of mutual respect reigned.


See also

Parthia[1] (Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was a civilization situated in the northeast of modern Iran, but at its height covering all of Iran proper, as well as regions of the modern countries of Armenia, Iraq, Georgia, eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, the Persian Gulf... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, c. ... The Sassanid Empire in the time of Shapur I; the conquest of Cappadocia was temporary Official language Pahlavi (Middle Persian) Dominant Religion Zoroastrianism Capital Ctesiphon Sovereigns Shahanshah of the Iran (Eranshahr) First Ruler Ardashir I Last Ruler Yazdegerd III Establishment 224 AD Dissolution 651 AD Part of the History of... Combatants Roman Republic Roman Empire Eastern Roman Empire Persian Empire projected through Parthian and Sassanid dynasties Commanders Lucullus, Pompey, Crassus, Mark Antony, Trajan, Valerian I, Julian, Justinian I, Belisarius, Heraclius Surena, Shapur I, Shapur II, Kavadh I, Khosrau I, Khosrau II, Shahrbaraz, Rhahzadh The Roman-Persian Wars were a series...

References

  • K. Butcher, Roman Syria and the Near East, Getty Publications, Los Angeles, 2003 ISBN 0-89236-715-6
  • R. C. Brockley, East Roman Foreign Policy, Francis Cairns Publications, Leeds, 1992 ISBN 0-905205-83-9

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m