The Indo-Parthian Kingdom known as the Suren Kingdom, was a Parthian kingdom founded by the Gondopharid branch of the House of Suren, ruling from 19 to c. 240. At their zenith, they ruled an area covering parts of eastern Iran, various parts of Afghanistan and the northwest regions of the Indian subcontinent; the kingdom was founded in 19 when the Surenid governor of Drangiana Gondophares declared independence from the Parthian Empire. He would make expeditions into the west, conquering territory from the Indo-Scythians and Indo-Greeks, thus transforming his kingdom into an empire; the domains of the Indo-Parthians were reduced following the invasions of the Kushans in the second half of the 1st. Century, they managed to retain control of Sakastan, until its conquest by the Sasanian Empire in c. 240. The Indo-Parthians are noted for the construction of the Buddhist monastery Takht-i-Bahi. Gondophares I seems to have been a ruler of Seistan in what is today eastern Iran a vassal or relative of the Apracarajas.
Around 20–10 BC, he made conquests in the former Indo-Scythian kingdom after the death of the important ruler Azes. Gondophares became the ruler of areas comprising Arachosia, Sindh and the Kabul valley, but it does not seem as though he held territory beyond eastern Punjab. Gondophares called himself "King of Kings", a Parthian title that in his case reflects that the Indo-Parthian empire was only a loose framework: a number of smaller dynasts maintained their positions during the Indo-Parthian period in exchange for their recognition of Gondophares and his successors; these smaller dynasts included the Apracarajas themselves, Indo-Scythian satraps such as Zeionises and Rajuvula, as well as anonymous Scythians who struck imitations of Azes coins. The Ksaharatas held sway in Gujarat just outside Gondophares' dominions. After the death of Gondophares I, the empire started to fragment; the name or title Gondophares was adapted by Sarpedones, who become Gondophares II and was son of the first Gondophares.
Though he claimed to be the main ruler, Sarpedones’ rule was shaky and he issued a fragmented coinage in Sind, eastern Punjab and Arachosia in southern Afghanistan. The most important successor was Abdagases, Gondophares’ nephew, who ruled in Punjab and in the homeland of Seistan. After a short reign, Sarpedones seems to have been succeeded by Orthagnes, who became Gondophares III Gadana. Orthagnes ruled in Seistan and Arachosia, with Abdagases further east, during the first decades AD, was succeeded by his son Ubouzanes Coin. After 20 AD, a king named Sases, a nephew of the Apracaraja ruler Aspavarma, took over Abdagases’ territories and became Gondophares IV Sases. According to Senior, this is the Gondophares referred to in the Takht-i-Bahi inscription. There were other minor kings: Sanabares was an ephemeral usurper in Seistan, who called himself Great King of Kings, there was a second Abdagases Coin, a ruler named Agata in Sind, another ruler called Satavastres Coin, an anonymous prince who claimed to be brother of the king Arsaces, in that case an actual member of the ruling dynasty in Parthia.
But the Indo-Parthians never regained the position of Gondophares I, from the middle of the 1st century AD the Kushans under Kujula Kadphises began absorbing the northern Indian part of the kingdom. The Indo-Parthians managed to retain control of Sakastan, which they ruled until the fall of the Parthian Empire by Sasanian Empire; the city of Taxila is thought to have been a capital of the Indo-Parthians. Large strata were excavated by Sir John Marshall with a quantity of Parthian-style artifacts; the nearby temple of Jandial is interpreted as a Zoroastrian fire temple from the period of the Indo-Parthians. Some ancient writings describe the presence of the Indo-Parthians in the area, such as the story of Saint Thomas the Apostle, recruited as a carpenter to serve at the court of king "Gudnaphar" in India; the Acts of Thomas describes in chapter 17 Thomas' visit to king Gudnaphar in northern India. As Senior points out, this Gudnaphar has been identified with the first Gondophares, who has thus been dated after the advent of Christianity, but there is no evidence for this assumption, Senior's research shows that Gondophares I could be dated before 1 AD.
If the account is historical, Saint Thomas may have encountered one of the kings who bore the same title. The Greek philosopher Apollonius of Tyana is related by Philostratus in Life of Apollonius Tyana to have visited India, the city of Taxila around 46 AD, he describes constructions of the Greek type referring to Sirkap, explains that the Indo-Parthian king of Taxila, named Phraotes, received a Greek education at the court of his father and spoke Greek fluently: "Tell me, O King, how you acquired such a command of the Greek tongue, whence you derived all your philosophical attainments in this place?" -"My father, after a Greek education, brought me to the sages at an age somewhat too early for I was only twelve at the time, but they brought me up like their own son. It describes the presence of Parthian kings fighting with each other
Relations between the Rome and Iranian states were established c. 96 BC. It was in 69 AD. Commencing as rivalry between the Parthians and Rome, from the 3rd to mid-7th centuries, the Byzantine Empire and its rival Sassanid Persia were recognized as the leading powers in the world; the first direct contact between the Roman Republic and the Parthians was c. 96 BCE, when Lucius Cornelius Sulla, while proconsul in Cilicia, met the Parthian ambassador Orobazus. Plutarch reports that he managed to take the central seat between the Parthian Ambassador and an ambassador from Pontus, concluded a treaty that set the Euphrates as the boundary between the two powers. Orobazus was executed on his return to Parthia for allowing Sulla to outmaneuver him, Sulla himself came under criticism for being too high-handed in his treatment of such a powerful nation; the first time the Romans came into direct military contact with Parthia came when Lucullus invaded Armenia in 69 BCE, leading to diplomatic friction and clashes on the frontier between Armenia and Parthia.
Over the following decades both empires became entangled in each other's civil wars beginning with Crassus’s disastrous invasion of Parthia. Parthia was involved in the civil war after the assassination of Julius Caesar. In 42 BCE, when Antony placed a legion in Syria, Cassius’ envoy Labienus joined forces with king Orodes of Parthia and, led by the Roman general Pacorus, attacked the Levant and the Asia Minor. However, this was not to last as Antony sent his general Publius Ventidius Bassus to recover the lost territory. After some difficulty dealing with local Parthian appointee kings, the Romans subdued the regained province and installed Herod the Great as king. Antony’s forces attempted a crossing of the 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. Augustus was loath to seek further conflict with Parthia. 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 BCE, 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. 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 CE, indicating the extent to which Rome was attempting to influence Parthian politics for its own ends. However, during the reign of Nero, Vologases I invaded Armenia and installed his own brother on the throne, disrupting the balance of influence which had hitherto existed there; the ensuing war was ended by a compromise which allowed the Parthian prince Tiridates and his descendants to reign in Armenia on condition that he and his successors received their crown from the Roman emperor and ruled as his clients.
Strabo described the Parthian Empire as the only rival existing to Rome. 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. In the 2nd century CE, the balance of power shifted emphatically in favour of the Romans. A series of invasions overran Mesopotamia and sacked the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon, made substantial territorial gains in northern Mesopotamia and benefited from the manipulation of frequent Parthian dynastic civil wars, which undermined the Parthian state. Under Caracalla, an interesting twist in Parthian relations occurred. After submitting a request to marry the daughter of Persian king Artabanus V Caracalla massacred the diplomatic party sent to arrange the marriage and attempted an invasion of Persia in 216.
This was unsuccessful and the Persians soon retaliated, inflicting heavy losses upon the Romans. The replacement of the Parthian Empire by that of the Sassanids in 226 CE, more stable and organised, shifted the balance of power against the Romans; the neighboring rivaling Sasanian Empire and the Roman-Byzantine Empire were recognized as the two leading world powers, for a period of more than 400 years. Frequent Persian aggression during the 3rd century placed Roman defences under severe strain, but the Romans were successful in warding these off and avoiding any territorial losses. Indeed, they made significant gains towards the end of the century, although these were reversed in the mid-4th century. By that time conflicts attained an added religious dimension, it is in this context that the future of Roman–Persian relations would be played out over the remaining centuries, continuing into the Byzantine era. Neither side was able to inflict a decisive and convincing military victory against the other, the movement between hostilities and diplomacy would continue to play out between each power.
According to some sources, two years before his death, Shapur I married a daughter of Aurelian, attempted to further Romanize the city of Gundeshapur, populated by the R
Arsacid dynasty of Armenia
The Arsacid dynasty or Arshakuni, ruled the Kingdom of Armenia from 54 to 428. The dynasty was a branch of the Arsacid dynasty of Parthia. Arsacid Kings reigned intermittently throughout the chaotic years following the fall of the Artaxiad dynasty until 62 when Tiridates I secured Arsacid dynasty of Parthia rule in Armenia. An independent line of Kings was established by Vologases II in 180. Two of the most notable events under Arsacid rule in Armenian history were the conversion of Armenia to Christianity by Gregory the Illuminator in 301 and the creation of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots in c. 405. The reign of the Arsacids of Armenia marked the predominance of Iranianism in the country; the first appearance of an Arsacid on the Armenian throne came about in 12 when the Parthian King Vonones I was exiled from Parthia due to his pro-Roman policies and Occidental manners. Vonones I acquired the Armenian throne with Roman consent, but Artabanus III demanded his deposition, as Emperor Augustus did not wish to begin a war with the Parthians he deposed Vonones I and sent him to Syria.
Artabanus III did not waste time after the deposition of Vonones I. Emperor Tiberius had no intention of giving up the buffer states of the Eastern frontier and sent his nephew and heir Germanicus to the East. Germanicus concluded a treaty with Artabanus III, in which he was recognized as king and friend of the Romans. Armenia was given in 18 to Zeno the son of Polemon I of Pontus, who assumed the Armenian name Artaxias; the Parthians under Artabanus III were too distracted by internal strife to oppose the Roman-appointed King. Zeno's reign was remarkably peaceful in Armenian history. After Zeno's death in 36, Artabanus III decided to reinstate an Arsacid over the Armenian throne, choosing his eldest son Arsaces I as a suitable candidate, but his succession to the Armenian throne was disputed by his younger brother Orodes, overthrown by Zeno. Tiberius concentrated more forces on the Roman frontier and once again after a decade of peace, Armenia was to become the theater of bitter warfare between the two greatest powers of the known world for the next twenty-five years.
Tiberius, sent. Mithridates subjugated Armenia to the Roman rule and deposed Arsaces inflicting huge devastation to the country. Mithridates was summoned back to Rome where he was kept a prisoner, Armenia was given back to Artabanus III who gave the throne to his younger son Orodes. Another civil war erupted in Parthia upon Artabanus III's death. In the meantime Mithridates was put back on the Armenian throne, with the help of his brother, Pharasmanes I, Roman troops. Civil war continued in Parthia for several years with Gotarzes seizing the throne in 45. In 51 Mithridates' nephew Rhadamistus killed his uncle; the governor of Cappadocia, Julius Pailinus, decided to conquer Armenia but he settled with the crowning of Radamistus who generously rewarded him. The current Parthian King Vologases I, saw an opportunity, invaded Armenia and succeeded in forcing the Iberians to withdraw from Armenia; the harsh winter that followed proved too much for the Parthians who withdrew, thus leaving open doors for Radamistus to regain his throne.
After regaining power, according to Tacitus, the Iberian was so cruel that the Armenians stormed the palace and forced Radamistus out of the country and Vologases I got the opportunity to install his brother Tiridates on the throne. Unhappy with the growing Parthian influence at their doorstep, Roman Emperor Nero sent General Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo with a large army to the east in order to install Roman client kings. After Tiridates I escaped, Roman client king Tigranes VI was installed and in 61 he invaded the Kingdom of Adiabene, one of the Parthian vassal kingdoms. Vologases I considered this as an act of aggression from Rome and restarted a campaign to restore Tiridates I onto the Armenian throne. In the following battle of Rhandeia in 62, command of the Roman troops was again entrusted to Corbulo, who marched into Armenia and set a camp in Rhandeia, where he made a peace agreement with Tiridates upon which he was recognized as a king of Armenia but he agreed to become Roman client king in that he would go to Rome to be crowned by Emperor Nero.
Tiridates ruled Armenia until his death or deposition around 110 when Parthian king Osroes I invaded Armenia and throned his nephew Axidares, son of the previous Parthian king Pacorus II, as King of Armenia. This encroachment on the traditional sphere of influence of the Roman Empire ended the peace since Emperor Nero's times some half century earlier and started a new war with the new Roman Emperor Trajan. Trajan marched towards Armenia in October 113 to restore a Roman client king in Armenia. Envoys from Osroes I met Trajan at Athens, informing him that Axidares had been deposed and asking that Axidares' elder brother, Parthamasiris, be granted the throne. Trajan declined their proposal and in August 114 captured Arsamosata where Parthamasiris asked to be crowned, but instead of crowning him he annexed his kingdom as a new province to the Roman Empire. Parthamasiris was died mysteriously soon afterwards; as a Roman province Armenia was administered along with Cappadocia by Lucius Catilius Severus.
The Roman Senate issued coins which had celebrated this occasion and had borne the following inscription: ARMENIA ET MESOPOTAMIA IN POTESTATEM P. R. REDACTÆ. After a rebellion led by a pretender to the Parthian throne (Sanatruces II, son of Mithri
The Armenian–Parthian War refers to when the armies of Tigranes the Great victoriously entered Northern Mesopotamia and the kingdoms of Osroene and Atropatene pledged their loyalty and support to Tigranes the Great. Many rulers and kings labeled the great "Kings of Kings" because of his wealth and power; the kingdoms of Osroyene and Atropatene pledged their support to Tigranes the Great. In 85, the Parthians recognized him as the supreme ruler of the East. Tigranes took the hailed title of King of Kings, from the Parthian monarch, honorably held it to the end of his life
The Roman–Parthian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. It was the first series of conflicts in -- Persian Wars. Early incursions by the Roman Republic against Parthia were repulsed, notably at the Battle of Carrhae. During the Roman Liberators' civil war of the 1st Century BC, the Parthians supported Brutus and Cassius, invading Syria, gaining territories in the Levant. However, the conclusion of the second Roman civil war brought a revival of Roman strength in Western Asia. In 113 AD, the Roman Emperor Trajan made eastern conquests and the defeat of Parthia a strategic priority, overran the Parthian capital, installing Parthamaspates of Parthia as a client ruler. Hadrian, Trajan's successor, reversed his predecessor's policy, intending to re-establish the Euphrates as the limit of Roman control. However, in the 2nd century, war over Armenia broke out again in 161, when Vologases IV defeated the Romans there. A Roman counter-attack under Statius Priscus defeated the Parthians in Armenia and installed a favored candidate on the Armenian throne, an invasion of Mesopotamia culminated in the sack of Ctesiphon in 165.
In 195, another Roman invasion of Mesopotamia began under the Emperor Septimius Severus, who occupied Seleucia and Babylon, sacked Ctesiphon yet again in 197. Parthia fell not to the Romans, but to the Sassanids under Ardashir I, who entered Ctesiphon in 226. Under Ardashir and his successors, Persian-Roman conflict continued between the Sassanid Empire and Rome. After triumphing in the Seleucid–Parthian wars and annexing large amounts of the Seleucid Empire the Parthians began to look west for more territory to expand into. Parthian enterprise in the West began in the time of Mithridates I; this was the beginning of an "international role" for the Parthian empire, a phase that entailed contacts with Rome. Mithridates II conducted unsuccessful negotiations with Sulla for a Roman–Parthian alliance. By the same time the Parthians started their rise, they established eponymous branches in the Caucasus, namely the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia, the Arsacid dynasty of Iberia, the Arsacid Dynasty of Caucasian Albania.
After 90 BC, the Parthian power was diminished by dynastic feuds, while at the same time, Roman power in Anatolia collapsed. Roman–Parthian contact was restored when Lucullus invaded Southern Armenia and defeated Tigranes in 69 BC, again no definite agreement was made; when Pompey took charge of the war in the East, he re-opened negotiations with Phraates III. Pompey refused to recognize the title of "King of Kings" for Phraates, offered arbritation between Tigranes and the Parthian king over Corduene. Phraates asserted his control over Mesopotamia, except for the western district of Osroene, which became a Roman dependency. In 53 BC, Crassus led an invasion of Mesopotamia, with catastrophic results; the bulk of his force was either captured. Rome was humiliated by this defeat, this was made worse by the fact that the Parthians had captured several Legionary Eagles, it is mentioned by Plutarch that the Parthians found the Roman prisoner of war that resembled Crassus the most, dressed him as a woman and paraded him through Parthia for all to see.
This, could be Roman propaganda. Orodes II, with the rest of the Parthian Army, captured their country. However, Surena's victory invoked the jealousy of the Parthian king, he ordered Surena's execution. Following Surena's death, Orodes II himself took command of the Parthian army and led an unsuccessful military campaign into Syria; the Battle of Carrhae was one of the first major battles between the Parthians. The following year, the Parthians launched raids into Syria, in 51 BC mounted a major invasion led by the crown prince Pacorus and the general Osaces. Cicero, chosen governor of adjacent Cilicia for that year, marched with two legions to lift the siege. Pacorus fell back, but was ambushed in his retreat by Cassius near Antigonea and Osaces was killed. During Caesar's civil war the Parthians maintained relations with Pompey. After his defeat and death, a force under Pacorus came to the aid of the Pompeian general Caecilius Bassus, besieged at Apamea Valley by the Caesarian forces. With the civil war over, Julius Caesar elaborated plans for a campaign against Parthia, but his assassination averted the war.
During the ensuing Liberators' civil war, the Parthians supported Brutus and Cassius, sending a contingent which fought with them at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC. After that defeat, the Parthians under Pacorus invaded Roman territory in 40 BC in conjunction with Quintus Labienus, a Roman erstwhile supporter of Brutus and Cassius, they swiftly overran Syria, defeated Roman forces in the province. Pacorus advanced into Hasmonean Judea, overthrowing the Roman client Hyrcanus II and installing his nephew Antigonus in his place. For a moment, the whole of the Roman East was captured to Parthians; the conc
Parthian art was Iranian art made during the Parthian Empire from 247 BC to 224 AD, based in the Near East. It has a mixture of Hellenistic influences. For some time after the period of the Parthian Empire, art in its styles continued for some time. A typical feature of Parthian art is the frontality of the people shown. In narrative representations, the actors do not look at the object of their action, but at the viewer; these are features that anticipate the art of medieval Byzantium. Parthian sites are overlooked in excavations, thus the state of research knowledge in Parthian art is not complete; the excavations at Dura-Europos in the 20th century provided many new discoveries. The classical archaeologist and director of the excavations, Michael Rostovtzeff, realized that the art of the first centuries AD from Palmyra, Dura Europos, in Iran as far as the Greco-Buddhist art of north India followed the same principles, he called this art style Parthian art. It is doubtful. There are doubts whether this art can be called a "Parthian" art or that it should be associated with any particular regional area.
This art is better thought of as a local development common to the middle Euphrates region. What is now described as Parthian art since the end of the 19th century, was not known as such a century ago. Palmyra since that time has had numerous sculptures sent to Europe, they depict men and women in robes, richly decorated with numerous jewels, represent the ruins of a city associated with romantic literary sources in conjunction with Queen Zenobia. However, no separate term was found here for the art created, but they were considered a local variant of Roman art; the excavations at Dura Europos since inception and since the early decades of the 20th century have provided many new discoveries. The classical archaeologist and director of the excavations, Michael Rostovtzeff, realized that the art of the first centuries AD in Palmyra, Dura Europos, in Iran and its other territories followed the same principles, he labeled this art work as Parthian art. The widespread use of this art beyond the limits of Parthian empire, raised the question of whether this art was suitable to label Parthian, according to Schlumberger affirmed in research, as it was influenced by the art of the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon.
The designation of artistic creation of the Parthian Empire and the affected areas in which the research is inconsistent and scrutinized. Authors avoid the term Parthian art, preferring instead to name the art work on the cultural and political space. Daniel Schlumberger affirmed the notion of Parthian art in one of his most important works about the Hellenized Orient. However, the book covers not only Parthian art, but Greek art in the Orient in general. Hans Erik Mathiesen titled his work the Parthian sculpture: Sculpture in the Parthian Empire in which he studies art from cities such as Palmyra. Trudy S. Kawami called her work to Statues in Iran: Monumental Art of the Parthian period of Iran, while Malcolm Colledge wrote his book Parthian art as Parthian art to define a designation of Parthian art; the Parthian empire stretched over a vast area, congruent with the territory of present-day Iran and Iraq, many different tribes. It lasted for over 400 years. From these conditions, it is clear that strong regional differences in the art are expected and that there was a significant development over the centuries.
Although there are numerous examples of Parthian art, including those of the royal court, that are well-preserved, there are holes in the examples through the centuries. Much of the evidence comes from outside of Parthia, such as coins of Gondophares, from about 50 AD found in India in Parthian style. Parthian art is present in Syria, in many cities such as Palmyra and Dura Europos. Not all of the specimens belonged to the Parthians. In the north, this art seems to have flourished in Armenia. In the south, Bahrain followed the Parthian art form, while in the east the transition to Gandhara art is gradual and therefore difficult to draw a clear line. In earlier research, which looked at the Greek art of Classical Greece as an ideal, Parthian art was dismissed as decadent and barbaric art. Recent research, sees this differentiated. Parthian art had many creative and original methods and works, was an influential form for Byzantine Art and Medieval art; the strong frontal orientation of Parthian art is unusual for the Middle East and new seems to be influenced by the presence of Greek art, which passed through the Orient since the 3rd century BC.
Parthian art can therefore be described as an oriental creation of the experience of Hellenistic art. The art of Parthia can be divided into two style epochs: A Greek-style phase and a Parthian phase; these styles are not chronological phases following each other, but it can be viewed with strong chronological overlap. A Greek influenced city Seleucia on the Tigris was creating art in the Greek style much longer than the Eastern cities, such as Ecbatana. An example are the coins of Vonones I, the specimens that were minted in Seleucia show a purely Greek style; the coins of the
The Dahae known as the Daae, Dahas or Dahaeans were a Scythian people of ancient Central Asia. A confederation of three tribes – the Parni and Pissuri – the Dahae lived in an area now comprising much of modern Turkmenistan; the area has been known as Dahestan and Dihistan. Little is known about their way of life. For example, according to the Iranologist A. D. H. Bivar, the capital of "the ancient Dahae is quite unknown."The Dahae dissolved some time before the beginning of the 1st millennium. One of the three tribes of the Dahae confederation, the Parni, emigrated to Parthia, where they founded the Arsacid dynasty; the Dahae may be connected to the Dasas, mentioned in ancient Hindu texts such as the Rigveda as enemies of the Ārya. The proper noun Dasa appears to share the same root as the Sanskrit dasyu, meaning "hostile people" or "demons"; because of these pejorative implications, a tribe called the Dāhī – mentioned in Avestan sources as adhering to Zoroastrianism – is not identified with the Dahae.
Conversely the Khotanese word daha- meaning "man" or "male" was linked to the Dahae by the Indologist Sten Konow. This appears to be cognate with nouns in other Eastern Iranian languages, such as a Persian word for "servant", dāh and the Sogdian dʾyh or dʾy, meaning "slave woman"; some scholars maintain that there were etymological links between the Dahae and Dacians, a people of ancient Eastern Europe. Both were nomadic Indo-European peoples. David Gordon White, an Indologist and historian of religion, has reiterated a point made by previous scholars – that the names of both peoples resemble the Proto-Indo-European root: *dhau meaning "strangle" and/or a euphemism for "wolf"; the country neighbouring the Dahae to the south, Verkāna – known by its Greek name, Hyrcania – has sometimes been conflated with Dahistan. Like Dahae and Dacia, Verkâna appears to have a root in an Indo-European word for "wolf", the Proto-Iranian: *vrka; the name of Sadrakarta, the capital of Verkâna has the same etymological roots, may be synonymous with one of two modern cities in Iran: Sari or Gorgan.
(The modern name Gorgan is derived from the Proto-Iranian *vrka for "wolf" and is cognate with the New Persian gorgān. Berossus's biography of Cyrus the Great claims that he was killed by the Dahae near the Syr Darya river. Sources, such as Alexander the Great and Strabo claimed that some of the Dahae were located near the Jaxartes; the Encyclopedia Iranica considers that the Dahae "were said to have lived in... wastes northeast of Bactria and east of Sogdiana. At least some of the Dahae must thus be placed along the eastern fringes of the Karakum desert, near ancient Margiana..." This suggests that elements of the Dahae were near neighbours of a now-obscure Bronze Age civilisation known to archaeologists as the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex. It is possible that the Dahae were confused in secondary accounts with a contemporaneous related people from Balkh, who were known in ancient China as Daxia 大夏. Whereas the Dahae were known in Chinese sources as Dayi 大益. Historical accounts place the Dahae on the south-eastern shores of the Caspian Sea.
The first reliable mention of the Dahae is considered to be the Daeva inscription by Xerxes the Great of Persia. In a list in Old Persian of the peoples and provinces of the Achaemenid Empire, the Daeva identifies the Dāha as neighboring the Saka, it is unclear whether the Dahae are the *Dāha or *Dåŋha mentioned by the Avestani Yasht, which may date from the 5th century BCE. Moreover, any etymological relationship would not be proof that both names refer to the same people. Dahae and Saka tribes are known to have fought at the Battle of Gaugamela, in which the armies of the Achaemenid Empire were defeated by Alexander the Great. After the Achaemenid dynasty collapsed the following year, Alexander recruited Dahae – famed as mounted archers – for the Greek invasion of India; some "Saka" coins from the Seleucid era are sometimes attributed to the Dahae. By the 3rd century BCE, the Parni Dahae had risen to prominence under a chief named Ashk; the Parni invaded Parthia, which had just declared independence from the Seleucids, deposed the reigning monarch, Ashk crowned himself king.
His successors are referred to as the Arsacids. By the Parni would be indistinguishable from the Parthians, would be called by that name. During the 1st Century BCE, the Dahae were reported to have sent envoys to China. According to the Chinese historian Yu Taishan, a contemporary Chinese account mentions separate envoys from Huanqian 驩潛, Dayi 大益 and Suxie 蘇薤, among others. In the 1st century BCE, Strabo refers to the Dahae as a "Scythian" people, who were located in the vicinity of present-day Turkmen