PARTHIAN EMPIRE (247 B.C.-224 A.D.)
129 BC : Phrates II finally defeats the Seleucids
92 BC : Mithradates II makes an alliance with Rome and invades Mesopotamia; Mithradates II concludes the first peace threaty in the history of Parthia and Rome
52 BC : The Roman legions under Crassus suffer a decisive defeat by the Parthian at Haran (ancient Carrhae); this vectory elevates the Parthians as a superpower of their era.
36 BC : The Parthians defeat Mark Anthony’s troops
1 AD : The celeberated birth of Jesus according to the established Christian calendars
193-211 AD : The rule of Septimius Severius, the Roman Emperor (Under his rule, the Roman Empire acheived its greatest extent, almost fifty provinces)
216-276 AD : The life of Mani, the founder of Manichaeism
224 AD : Successful revolt of Ardeshir against Artabanus V
Under the Achaemenians, a satrapy named Parthava was annexed to the empire during Cyrus the Great’s campaign south and east of the Caspian Sea. The Parthians were among the first to revolt against the Seleucids and were led by two brothers, Arsaces and Tiridates. Arsaces was proclaimed the first king, and his name became the honorific title used by all subsequent Parthian kings, who were generally known as the Arsacids. Mithradates I is considered the founder of the Parthian empire. He is believed to have established his capital in Nysa, near modern Ashkhabad, the present-day capital of Turkmenistan. The reign of Mithradates II was the most glorious chapter in the Parthian history. Under him, Parthian realm stretched from Armenia to India. Mithradates II moved his capital from Ashkhabad to Hecatompylos (modern Damghan in Iran), almost in the centre of Parthava. Trade between East and West thrived, and Iran provided the most convenient route that later came to be known as the Silk Road. The Parthians were great fighters and wonderful horse-men. Their famous maneuver that became legendary as the “Parthian shot” was to pretend to gallop away from an enemy as if in retreat, and then turn in the saddles and shoot arrows at their pursuers, often defeating them by this ruse. The Parthians had no strict hierarchy or strong centralized power. Although mainly h…,A2rvterclufmrcbrierthoef ya na npcie rigoi ais.sirwoasrteof followers of the Zoroastrian religion, they which exhibit the highest level of craftsmanship. contributed to the dissemination of Buddhism in China, where a Parthian prince spread the word of Buddha near the middle of the 2nd century A.D. The Parthians spoke a language similar to that of the Achaemenians, used the Pahlavi script, and established an administrative system based on Achaemenid precedents. Talented architects, they invented the elven, a feature later characteristic of Iranian Islamic architecture. Despite its long history of existence, following Mithradates’s death, the empire fell into a state of chaos, with a short interlude only during the reign of Orodes II Constantly menaced by the Roman Empire, the Parthians acted as a barrier to the eastern nomad hordes, and had it not been for the Parthians, these hordes would probably have overrun the Near East and even parts of Europe. Weakened by the internal dissension and exterior enemies, the Parthians were unable to resist a new power, the Sasanians. Still, they managed to rule for almost five centuries, and it was one of the most fascinating periods in Iranian history.