Arsaces I of Parthia
Arsaces I was the founder of the Arsacid dynasty of Parthia, and after whom all 30+ monarchs of the Arsacid empire officially named themselves. A celebrated descent from antiquity begins with Arsaces, Arsaces or Ashk has given name to the city of Ashkabad. The dates of Arsaces birth and death are unknown, as is his real name, most scholars now believe that Arsaces was a chief of the Parni, a Dahae tribe who conquered Parthia shortly before Diodotus’ revolt. It should be noted, that there is no agreement among classical sources regarding his origins, in contrast, the circumstances of Arsaces ascent to power are relatively well known. Around 250 BC, the governor of the Seleucid province of Parthia, proclaimed his independence from the Seleucid monarchs, at about the same time, Arsaces was elected leader of the Parni, an eastern Iranian tribe. With the Parni, Arsaces seized Astauene, i. e. northern Parthia, Andragoras was killed during his attempts to recover it, which left the Parni in control over the rest of Parthia as well.
A recovery expedition by the Seleucids under Seleucus II did not succeed, and Arsaces, the line of succession is unclear, since his successors adopted the name Arsaces as well, making it difficult to distinguish them from the founder of the dynasty. From legend and secondary accounts, it seems that—at least from 246 BC onwards—Arsaces brother Tiridates I either ruled in Arsaces name or co-ruled with him. Then, after 211 BC, when another Arsaces is seen on coinage, either the brother ruled as Arsaces II, other combinations, e. g. that Tiridates killed his brother, have been suggested. Arsaces issued coins from silver drachmas to copper dikhakloi, all issues bear some similarity in style to the Seleucid pieces of the same time, although the headdress on the Parthian coinage is notably different. The commonest inscription is ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΟΡΟΣ, translating as Arsaces the Autocrat, however there are many variations on this
National Museum of Iran
The National Museum of Iran is located in Tehran, Iran. It is an institution formed of two complexes, including the Museum of Ancient Iran which was inaugurated in 1937, and the Museum of the Islamic Era which was inaugurated in 1972. It hosts historical monuments dating back through preserved ancient and medieval Iranian antiquities, including vessels, metal objects, textile remains. There are a number of departments in the museum, including Paleolithic and Osteological departments. The brick building of the Museum of Ancient Iran was designed by the French architect Andre Godard in the early 20th century and it was influenced by Sassanid vaults, particularly the Eyvān-e-Kasrā at Ctesiphon. With an area of approximately 11000 square meters, its construction began in 1935 and was completed two years by Abbas Ali Memar and Morad Tabrizi. The complex was inaugurated in 1937. The constructed Museum of the Islamic Era was built with white travertine on the grounds of the Museum of Ancient Iran. It has gone quite a few hasty interior changes, and was still being remodeled when the 1979 Revolution swept the country.
This was followed by modern arts, and the repeated gutting and remodeling of the interior. The older building consists of three halls, the Museum of the Islamic Era consists of three floors. It contains various pieces of pottery, texts, astrolabes, plans are underway for the construction of another building, as the current ones lack the capacity and standards for preserving all of the excavated treasures. The collection amounts to 300,000 artifacts, the oldest artifacts in the museum are from Kashafrud and Ganj Par, sites that date back to the Lower Paleolithic period. Mousterian stone tools made by Neanderthals are on display in the first hall of the Museum of Ancient Iran, the most important Upper Paleolithic tools are from the Yafteh Cave, dating back about 30, 000-35,000 years. There are 9,000 year-old human and animal figurines from Sarab Hill in Kermanshah Province, the temporary exhibition galleries are featured two or three times annually, and they are usually run for about one to two months.
One of the most successful exhibitions, titled Evidence for Two Hundred Thousand Years of Human-Animal Bonds in Iran, ran from August to October 2014. The exhibition was mainly about the relation and coexistence of past human societies and various species in Iran
Sanatruces of Parthia
King Sanatruces of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire from c. 93/2 BC to 88/87 BC during his first reign and c.77 to 70 BC during his second reign and he was a member of the Arsacid house, who proclaimed himself king in Susiana and attempted to usurp the throne of Mithridates II. Ultimately, Gotarzes I forced him to flee to the Central Asian steppe, king of Parthia, was restored to his country in his eightieth year by the Sacauracian Scyths, assumed the throne and held it seven years. He died c.70 BC and was succeeded by his son Phraates III, another Sanatruces, the son of Mithridates IV is mentioned as an ephemeral Parthian king in 115 AD by John Malalas, in his Chronographia. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Hugh. Lucian, Macrobii,15, Phlegon of Tralles, The Olympiads, preserved in Photius, Bibliotheca,97
Gotarzes II of Parthia
Gotarzes II of Parthia was a Prince of Iranian ancestry. He ruled the Parthian Empire as King intermittently between about 40 to 51 and he was one of the sons of Artabanus III. When his father died in 38 and his brother Vardanes I succeeded to the throne, little is known on the early life of Gotarzes II, prior to becoming King of Parthia. Although Gotarzes II was a son of Artabanus III, it is unknown if he was a biological or adoptive son of his. Josephus calls Gotarzes II as a brother of Vologases I, Tacitus does not explicitly describe Gotarzes II as a son of Artabanus III. However he considers him as a Parthian Usurper who was responsible for the murder of his brother, the Roman sources are obscure on his background however surviving evidence reveals a lot more about the origins of Gotarzes II. An inscription on a relief that was discovered by Rawlinson Sarpul-I-Zohab on a main road in Iranian Kurdistan, introduces him as Gotarzes. When Gotarzes II served as Parthian King, he called himself as a son of Artabanus III, as known from a surviving coin calling him, king of kings, called Gotarzes, son of Artabanos.
Gotarzes II made himself detested by his cruelty, among other murders he even slew his brother Artabanus. When Vardanes I regained the throne, Gotarzes II fled to Hyrcania, the war between the two kings was at last ended by a treaty, as both were afraid of the conspiracies of their nobles. Gotarzes II returned to Hyrcania and when Vardanes I was killed in about 47, Gotarzes II added to his coins the usual Parthian titles, king of kings Arsaces the benefactor, the just, the illustrious, the friend of the Hellenes, without mentioning his proper name. The discontent excited by his cruelty and luxury induced the hostile party to apply to the Roman emperor Claudius to fetch from Rome an Arsacid prince Meherdates, Meherdates crossed the Euphrates in 49, but was beaten and taken prisoner by Gotarzes II, who cut off his ears. Soon afterwards Gotarzes II died, according to Tacitus of an illness and his last coin is dated from June 51. Gotarzes II was succeeded briefly by his uncle Vonones II and by his cousin Vologases I, Gortazes II is unfavorably portrayed in Robert Graves novel Claudius the God.
Gortazes is presented as a cruel tyrant, the gravest of insults lobbied by Claudius against Gortazes is that he was idolized by Caligula, and was a close advisor of the mad Roman Emperor. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, xx, 3-4 Tacitus, Annals, xi,8,9, xii,10 This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Hugh. A. Verstandig, History of the Parthian Empire, The Scream History Edition,2001 Ptolemaic Genealogy, Tryphaena
Mithridates II of Parthia
Mithridates II was king of Parthian Empire from 121 to 91 BC. He was already known as the Great in antiquity and he is the first Parthian ruler to call himself King of Kings on his coinage and thereby attach himself to the Achaemenids. He referred to himself on his coinage with the Greek titles Epiphanes, Mithridates II is counted as the greatest of the Parthian kings, under whom the empire reached its greatest extent. Traditionally, it is believed that Mithridates II was the son of his predecessor Artabanus II, new cuneiform and numismatic evidence suggests that Mithridates II was the youngest son of Phriapatius and succeeded Artabanus young son, Arsaces X. At the time of his succession, the Parthian Empire was reeling from military pressures in the West and East, several embarrassing defeats at the hands of eastern nomads had sapped the strength and prestige of the kingdom. However, Mithridates proved himself to be a king and was soon able to reincorporate Babylonia into the kingdom. As a sign of victory he had the coinage of Hyspaosines overstruck, the whole of Mesopotamia was taken in a rush and he reached Dura-Europus in 113 BC.
Mithridates II attacked Armenia, ruled by Artavasdes I and took hostage the Armenian kings son and this was the first time that the Parthians actively interfered in Armenian politics. In the east of the Empire, the situation seemed unsalvagable, invading nomads had destroyed the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and greatly threatened the eastern borders of the empire. However, Mithridates was able to fend off the attacking nomads and he was able to make Sistan, which had come under the direct control of the nomads, a vassal at the very least. In 121 BC the Chinese under Emperor Wu of Han had defeated the Xiongnu in the east and were expanding westwards in force, in Ferghana the Chinese sphere of influence encountered that of the Parthians. A Chinese delegation to the Parthian court is attested for the year 120 BC, in the following year the Silk Road was opened. The Armenian King Tigranes I died in 95 BC and Mithridates put the Armenian heir Tigranes II, soon after this Mithridates II attacked Adiabene and Osrhoene and conquered these city states, bringing the western border of the Parthian realm to the Euphrates.
Here the Parthians encountered the Romans for the first time, in 96 BC Mithridates sent a certain Orobazos as an envoy to Sulla. Negotiation followed in which Sulla apparently gained the hand and Orobazos made himself. The actual result of the negotiations is not known, but it can be assumed that the border was set at the Euphrates, by the late 90s BC, Mithridates seems to have faced internal political issues. In 93/2 BC Mithridates nephew, rebelled in Susiana and he proclaimed himself king and held the region until 88/87 BC, at which point Mithridates son, Gotarzes I, forced him to flee to the Central Asian steppe. Sinatruces returned to the Parthian throne in 77/76 BC with the aid of Sakae mercenaries, Mithridates did not outlive the usurper and died in 91 BC
Arsaces II of Parthia
Arsaces II, Artabanus I, of the Arsacid dynasty was King of Parthia between 211 BC and 185 BC. Greek Arsaces appears as Artabanus in Latin sources, and both appear in history books. Due to a confusion of names, the line of succession is equally unclear, artabanuss uncle, Arsaces I, had founded the dynasty around 247 BC. Arsaces I may have been succeeded by his brother Tiridates I. Subject to which genealogy is followed, Artabanus succeeded either his uncle Arsaces I or his father Tiridates I, in 209 BC, the Seleucid King Antiochus III recaptured Parthia, which had been previously seized from the Seleucids by the 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 taken by siege.
In the terms of peace, Arsaces accepted feudatory status and from onwards ruled Parthia, 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 Phriapatius in 185 BC, richard Nelson Frye, The History of Ancient Iran,1984
Vardanes I of Parthia was a Prince of Iranian and Greek ancestry. He ruled the Parthian Empire as King from about 40 until 45 CE and he succeeded his father Artabanus III, but had to continually fight against his brother Gotarzes II, a rival claimant to the throne. His coins show that he was in possession of the throne from about 40 to 45. In 43, he forced the city of Seleucia to submit to the Parthians again after a rebellion of seven years. Ctesiphon, the residence of the kings on the bank of the Tigris, opposite to Seleucia, naturally profited by this war and he prepared for a war against the Roman Empire, with the aim of reconquering Armenia, but ultimately decided against facing the Roman legions. In a new war with Gotarzes II, he gained a success against the eastern nomads. According to Tacitus, Vardanes I was expelled temporarily from the throne by Gotarzes II, once he resumed power, he led a victorious campaign against the Dahae army of Gotarzes II, as far as the Sindes River. Vardanes I is praised by Tacitus as a young and highly gifted ruler of great energy, in about 47 he was assassinated while hunting and Gotarzes II became King again.
Vardanes I is mentioned in Life of Apollonius of Tyana as a benefactor to Apollonius of Tyana, but he said he would be very grateful, if he could give a welcome to Apollonius and send him on wherever he wished to go. And he had gold to the guide, so that in case he found Apollonius in want thereof, he might give it him. – Book II,17 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, xx,3,4 Tacitus, Annals, xi,9,10 Life of Apollonius Tyana, II,17 Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae, xxiii,6,23 J. Vardanes
Phraates V, known by the diminutive Phraataces, ruled the Parthian Empire from 2 BC to AD4. He was the son of Phraates IV of Parthia and Musa of Parthia. Under Phraates V a war threatened to break out with Rome about the supremacy in Armenia and Media, soon afterwards Phraates V and his mother were slain by the Parthians, sometime around AD4. Josephus alleges that Phraates V married his mother Musa, josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, xviii,2. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Hugh
Vonones II of Parthia was a Parthian prince who served as a King of Media Atropatene and briefly as King of the Parthian Empire. Vonones II was the second son of an unnamed Arsacid Parthian Princess who was a relation to the King Vonones I of Parthia and her husband. His known grandparents which were his paternal ones were the Monarchs Artavasdes I of Media Atropatene and his wife, Vonones II had an elder brother the Parthian King Artabanus III. Vonones II was the namesake of his maternal relative Vonones I, as he was born, prior to his Parthian Kingship from about 11 until 51, Vonones II served as a King of Media Atropatene. Little is known on his reign as King of Media Atropatene, after the death of his nephew Gotarzes II, Vonones II was raised to the Parthian Kingship in 51. The Kingship of Vonones II was brief, after a few months of him being appointed as King of Parthia, Vonones II died and was succeeded by his son, Vologases I. Tacitus described Vonones II as “he knew neither success nor failure which have deserved to be remembered to him and it was a short and inglorious reign”.
From a Greek concubine, Vonones II had 5 sons who held the thrones of Parthia and Armenia who were Pacorus II, Vologases I, Osroes I, Tiridates I and his sons were born and raised during his Kingship of Media Atropatene. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, xx,3,4, Annals This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. article name needed
Vologases I of Parthia
Vologases I of Parthia sometimes called Vologaeses or Vologeses or following Parthian usage, Walagash was king of the Parthian Empire from about 51 until his death in 78. Vologases I was a Prince of Iranian and Greek ancestry and he was one of the sons born to Vonones II from a Greek concubine, he succeeded his father in 51. When he ascended the Parthian throne, he appointed his brother Pacorus II as king of Atropatene, in 52, Vologases I invaded Armenia, conquering Artaxata and proclaiming his younger brother Tiridates I as king. This action violated the treaty that had signed by the Roman emperor Augustus and Parthian king Phraates IV which gave the Romans the explicit right to appoint. Vologases I considered the throne of Armenia to have once the property of his ancestors. Rhadamistus escaped along with his wife Zenobia who was pregnant, unable to continue fleeing, she asked her husband to end her life rather than be captured. Rhadamistus stabbed her with a Median dagger and flung her body into the river Araxes, Zenobia was not fatally injured and was recovered by shepherds who sent her to Tiridates.
Tiridates I received her kindly and treated her as a member of the monarchy, rhadamistus himself returned to Iberia and was soon put to death by his father Parasmanes I of Iberia for having plotted against the royal power. Unhappy with the growing Parthian influence at their doorstep, Roman Emperor Nero sent General Corbulo with an army to the east in order to restore Roman client kings. A Hasmonean named Aristobulus was given Lesser Armenia and Sohaemus of Emesa received Armenia Sophene, supported by his brother, Tiridates I sent flying columns to raid the Romans far and wide. Corbulo retaliated using the tactics and the use of the Moschoi tribes who raided outlying regions of Armenia. Tiridates I fled from the capital, and Corbulo burned Artaxata to the ground, by this time the majority of Armenians had abandoned resistance and accepted the prince favored by Rome. Nero gave the crown to the last royal descendant of the Kings of Cappadocia, the grandson of Glaphyra and Alexander of Judea and his son, named Gaius Julius Alexander, married Iotapa, the daughter of Antiochus IV of Commagene and was made King of Cilicia.
Nero was hailed vigorously in public for this victory and Corbulo was appointed governor of Syria as a reward. A guard of 1000 legionary soldiers, three auxiliary cohorts and two wings of horses were allotted to Tigranes in order to defend the country, border districts were bestowed to Roman allies that assisted Corbulo including Polemon, Parasmanes and Antiochus. Vologases I was infuriated by the fact that an alien now sat on the Armenian throne, Tigranes invaded the Kingdom of Adiabene and deposed its King Monobazes in 61, who was a vassal of Parthians. Vologases I considered this an act of aggression from Rome and started a campaign to restore Tiridates I to the Armenian throne and he placed under the command of spahbed Moneses a well-disciplined force of cataphracts along with Adiabenian auxiliaries and ordered him to expel Tigranes from Armenia. Having quelled the Hyrcanian revolt, Vologases I gathered the strength of his dominions and he dispatched a message to Nero, urging him to send a second commander with the explicit purpose of defending Armenia as Syria was now in peril
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history, often when a given Roman is described as becoming emperor in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific, early Emperors used the title princeps. Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably Princeps Senatus, the first emperors reigned alone, emperors would sometimes rule with co-Emperors and divide administration of the Empire between them. The Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king, the first emperor, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman Emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, a great effort was made to emphasize that the Emperors were the leaders of a Republic.
Elements of the Republican institutional framework were preserved until the end of the Western Empire. The Eastern emperors ultimately adopted the title of Basileus, which had meant king in Greek, but became a title reserved solely for the Roman emperor, other kings were referred to as rēgas. In addition to their office, some emperors were given divine status after death. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century, Romulus Augustulus is often considered to be the last emperor of the west after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim to the title until his death in 480. Constantine XI was the last Byzantine Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, a Byzantine group of claimant Roman Emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461. In western Europe the title of Roman Emperor was revived by Germanic rulers, the Holy Roman Emperors, in 800, at the end of the Roman Republic no new, and certainly no single, title indicated the individual who held supreme power.
Insofar as emperor could be seen as the English translation of imperator, Julius Caesar had been an emperor, Julius Caesar, unlike those after him, did so without the Senates vote and approval. Julius Caesar held the Republican offices of four times and dictator five times, was appointed dictator in perpetuity in 45 BC and had been pontifex maximus for a long period. He gained these positions by senatorial consent, by the time of his assassination, he was the most powerful man in the Roman world. In his will, Caesar appointed his adopted son Octavian as his heir, a decade after Caesars death, Octavians victory over his erstwhile ally Mark Antony at Actium put an end to any effective opposition and confirmed Octavians supremacy. His restoration of powers to the Senate and the people of Rome was a demonstration of his auctoritas, some historians such as Tacitus would say that even at Augustus death, the true restoration of the Republic might have been possible. Instead, Augustus actively prepared his adopted son Tiberius to be his successor, the Senate disputed the issue but eventually confirmed Tiberius as princeps