Arsaces II of Parthia

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Arsaces II of Parthia
"King of Parthia"
Pdc 24587.jpg
Coin of Arsaces II.
Reign217–185 BC
PredecessorArsaces I of Parthia
SuccessorPhriapatius of Parthia
Died185 BC
DynastyArsacid dynasty
FatherArsaces I

Arsaces II, also Artabanus I (Persian: ارشک يکم‎), was the Arsacid king of Parthia from 217 BC to 185 BC. Greek 'Arsaces' appears as 'Artabanus' in Latin sources, and both forms appear in history books.


Arsaces I was succeeded by his father Arsaces I in 217 BC. In 209 BC, the Seleucid King Antiochus III recaptured Parthia, which had been previously seized from the Seleucids by Arsaces I and the Parni around 247 BC. Arsaces II sued for peace following his defeat on the battlefield at Mount Labus. Prior to this, Antiochus had already occupied the Parthian capital at Hecatompylos, pushing forward to Tagae near Damghan. Following the defeat of Arsaces II at Mount Labus, Antiochus turned westwards into Hyrcania where he occupied Tambrax. Syrinx was then taken by siege.

In the terms of the peace, Arsaces accepted feudatory status[1] and from then onwards ruled Parthia and Hyrcani as a vassal state of the Seleucids. Antiochus in turn withdrew his troops westwards, where he would subsequently be embroiled in wars with Rome and so would leave the fledgling Parthian kingdom to its own devices.

Arsaces II was succeeded by his son (or cousin) Phriapatius in 185 BC.


  1. ^ Bivar:29


  • Shahbazi, A. Sh. (1986). "Arsacids i. Origins". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. II, Fasc. 5. Cyril Toumanoff. p. 525.
  • Schippmann, K. (1986). "Arsacids ii. The Arsacid dynasty". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. II, Fasc. 5. Cyril Toumanoff. pp. 525–536.
  • Kia, Mehrdad (2016). The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1610693912.
  • Bickerman, Elias J. (1983), "The Seleucid Period", in Yarshater, Ehsan, Cambridge History of Iran, 3.1, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 3–20
  • Bivar, A.D.H. (1983), "The Political History of Iran under the Arsacids", in Yarshater, Ehsan, Cambridge History of Iran, 3.1, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 21–99
  • Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh; Stewart, Sarah, eds. (2007), The Age of the Parthians, Ideas of Iran, vol. 2, London: I. B. Tauris
  • Daryaee, Touraj (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. pp. 1–432. ISBN 0-19-987575-8.
Arsaces II of Parthia
Born: Unknown Died: 185 BC
Preceded by
Arsaces I
King of Parthia
217–185 BC
(Seleucid vassal 209–185 BC)
Succeeded by