Battle of Ecbatana

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Battle of Ecbatana
Part of Seleucid–Parthian wars
Date129 BC
Result Decisive Parthian victory[1][2]
End of Hellenistic rule in Iran
The Parthians annex Media from the Seleucids
Parthians Seleucid Empire and allies
Commanders and leaders
Phraates II Antiochus VII Sidetes 
Unknown 80,000 or 100,000 combatants
200,000 or 300,000 camp-followers (primary sources; likely exaggerated)[3][4]
Casualties and losses
Unknown Mostly killed or captured; 300,000[3][4]

The Battle of Ecbatana was fought in 129 BC between the Seleucids led by Antiochus VII Sidetes and the Parthians led by Phraates II. Phraates II (ca. 139/138 BC – ca. 128 BC) faced the final attempt on the part of the Seleucids to regain their power in the east. The Seleucids amassed a large force of Greek mercenaries and led the army, totaling 80,000 soldiers, to confront the Parthians. After initial success, defeating the Parthians in three battles, Phraates sent a delegation to negotiate a peace agreement. However, the Parthians rejected the terms proposed by Antiochus. Antiochus then dispersed his army into their winter quarters. However, the cities soon revolted against their presence. Phraates exploited the situation and attacked him as he marched to reinforce a garrison, inflicting a crushing defeat upon him at the Battle of Ecbatana. During the battle, Antiochus VII was killed and his royal guard was annihilated.[5][6] After this, the rest of his army was largely destroyed, and the remainder was captured and folded into Parthian ranks; this battle marked the decisive and final defeat for the Seleucid Empire by the Parthians and ended the Hellenistic period in Iran.[7]


  1. ^ Frye, Richard Nelson (1984). The History of Ancient Iran. C.H.Beck. p. 212. ISBN 9783406093975.
  2. ^ Jaques, Tony (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: P-Z. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1127. ISBN 9780313335396.
  3. ^ a b Downey, Glanville (2015). History of Antioch. Princeton University Press. pp. 125–126. ISBN 9781400877737.
  4. ^ a b "Antiochus VII", in Encyclopaedia Iranica
  5. ^ McLaughlin, Raoul (2016). The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes: The Ancient World Economy and the Empires of Parthia, Central Asia and Han China. West Yorkshire, England: Pen & Sword. ISBN 978-1-47383-374-6.
  6. ^ Kia, Mehrdad (2016). The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Historical Encyclopedia (Empires of the World). ABC-CLIO. p. 305. ISBN 978-1-4408-4568-0.
  7. ^ Jakobsson, Jens (2004). "Seleucid Empire (306 - c.150 BCE)". Iran Chamber Society. Retrieved February 2, 2018.

Coordinates: 4°47′46″N 48°30′57″E / 4.7961°N 48.5158°E / 4.7961; 48.5158