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Parthia. ARTHIA, a celebrated empire of antiquity, Arsaces; but was still more unfortunate than he bad Parthia.

Hyrcania, on the east by Aria, on the south by Car- battle, but taken prisoner, and died in captivity. The
mania the desert; surrounded on every side by moun- day on which Arsaces gained this victory was ever after
tains, which still serve as a boundary, though its name observed among the Parthians as an extraordinary fes-
is now changed, having obtained that of Eyrac or Arac; tival.

tival. Arsaces being thus fully established in his new and, to distinguish it from Chaldæa, that of Eyrac Aga- kingdom, reduced Hyrcania and some other provinces Ancient mi. By Ptolemy it is divided into five districts, viz. under his power; and was at last killed in a battle divisions. Caminsine or Gamisene, Partheyne, Choroane, Atticene, against Ariarthes IV. king of Cappadocia. From this

and Tabiene. The ancient geographers enumerate a prince all the other kings of Parthia took the surname
great many cities in this country. Ptolemy in parti- of Arsaces, as those of Egypt did that of Ptolemy, from
cular reckons 25 large cities; and it certainly must Ptolemy Soter.
have been very populous, since we have accounts of Arsaces I. was succeeded by his son Arsaces II. who,
2000 villages, besides a number of cities, which were entering Media, made himself master of that country,
destroyed by earthquakes. Its capital was named He- while Antiochus the Great was engaged in war with
catompolis, from the circumstance of its having 100 Ptolemy Euergetes king of Egypt. Antiochus, how-
gates. It was a noble and magnificent place; and, ever, was no sooner disengaged from that war, than he
according to some, it still remains under the name of marched with all his forces against Arsaces, and at first

Ispahan, the capital of the present Persian empire. drove him quite out of Media. But he 'soon returned

Parthia is by some supposed to have been first peopled with an army of 100,000 foot and 20,000 horse, with peopled.

by the Phetri or Pathri, often mentioned in Scripture, which he put a stop to the further progress of Antio-
and that the Parthians are descended from Pathrusim chus; and a treaty was soon after concluded, in which
the son of Misraim. But however true this may be it was agreed, that Arsaces should remain master of
with regard to the ancient inhabitants, yet is is cer- Parthia and Hyrcania, upon condition of his assisting
tain, that those Parthians who were so famous in bi. him in his wars with other nations.
story, descended from the Scythians, though from what Arsaces II. was succeeded by his son Priapatius, who Conquests
tribe we are not certainly informed.

reigned 15 years, and left three sons, Phrahates, Mithri- of the ParThe history of the ancient Parthians is totally lost. dates, and Ártabanus. Pbrahates, the elder, succeeded tbian mo

narchs All that we know about them is, that they were first to the throne, and reduced under his subjection the subject to the Medez, afterwards to the Persians, and Mardi, who had never been conquered by any but A. lastly to Alexander the Great. After his death the pro- lexander the Great. After him, his brother Mithridavince fell to Seleucus Nicator, and was held by him tes was invested with the regal dignity. He reduced and his successors till the reign of Antiochus 'l'heus, the Bactrians, Medes, Persians, Elymeans, and overran about the year 250 before Christ. At this time the in a manner all the east, penetrating beyond the bound

Parthians revolted, and chose one Arsaces for their aries of Alexander's conquests. Demetrius Nicator, Cause of

king. The immediate cause of this revolt was the who then reigned in Syria, endeavoured to recover those thians re

lewdness of Agathocles, to whom Antiochus had com- provinces ; but his army was entirely destroyed, and

mitted the care of all the provinces beyond the Eu- himself taken prisoner, in which state be remained till Anticchus phrates. This man made an infamous attempt on Ti- his death ; after which victory Mithridates made himTheus.

ridates, a yonth of great beanty; which so enraged his self master of Babylonia and Mesopotamia, so that all
brother Arsaces, that he excited his countrymen to the provinces between the Euphrates and the Ganges
revolt ; and before Antiochus had leisure to attend to were now subject to his power.
the rebellion, it became too powerful to be crushed. Mithridates died in the 37th year of his reign, and Antiochus
Seleucus Callinicus, the successor of Antiochus Theus, left the throne to his son Phrahates II. who was scarce Sidetes de-
attempted to reduce Arsaces ; but the latter having had settled in his kingdom when Antiochus Sidetes march-stroyed
so much time to strengthen himself, defeated and drove ed against him at the head of a numerous army, under

with his

whole arhis antagonist out of the country. Seleucus, however, presence of delivering bis brother Demetrius, who was

my. in a short time, undertook another expedition against still in captivity. Phrahates was defeated in three Vol. XVI. Part I.







the Par

volt from


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