A general officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations air forces or marines. The term general is used in two ways, as the title for all grades of general officer and as a specific rank. It originates in the 16th century, as a shortening of captain general, the adjective general had been affixed to officer designations since the late medieval period to indicate relative superiority or an extended jurisdiction. Today, the title of General is known in countries as a four-star rank. However different countries use different systems of stars for senior ranks and it has a NATO code of OF-9 and is the highest rank currently in use in a number of armies. The various grades of general officer are at the top of the rank structure. Lower-ranking officers in military forces are typically known as field officers or field-grade officers. There are two systems of general ranks used worldwide. In addition there is a system, the Arab system of ranks. Variations of one form, the old European system, were used throughout Europe.
It is used in the United Kingdom, from which it spread to the Commonwealth. The other is derived from the French Revolution, where ranks are named according to the unit they command. The system used either a general or a colonel general rank. The rank of marshal was used by some countries as the highest rank. Many countries actually used two brigade command ranks, which is why some countries now use two stars as their brigade general insignia and Argentina still use two brigade command ranks. As a lieutenant outranks a sergeant major, confusion arises because a lieutenant is outranked by a major. Originally the serjeant major was, the commander of the infantry, junior only to the captain general, the distinction of serjeant major general only applied after serjeant majors were introduced as a rank of field officer. Serjeant was eventually dropped from both titles, creating the modern rank titles
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. The wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the ruler of the Roman Republic. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine. The Gallic Wars are described by Julius Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, as a result of the financial burdens of his consulship in 59 BC, Caesar incurred significant debt. When the Governor of Transalpine Gaul, Metellus Celer, died unexpectedly, Caesars governorships were extended to a five-year period, a new idea at the time. Caesar had initially four veteran legions under his command, Legio VII, Legio VIII, Legio IX Hispana. As he had been Governor of Hispania Ulterior in 61 BC and had campaigned successfully with them against the Lusitanians, Caesar had the legal authority to levy additional legions and auxiliary units as he saw fit.
His ambition was to conquer and plunder some territories to get out of debt. It is more likely that he was planning a campaign against the Kingdom of Dacia, the countries of Gaul were civilized and wealthy. Most had contact with Roman merchants and some, particularly those that were governed by such as the Aedui. The Romans respected and feared the Gallic tribes, only fifty years before, in 109 BC, Italy had been invaded from the north and saved only after several bloody and costly battles by Gaius Marius. Around 62 BC, when a Roman client state, the Arverni, conspired with the Sequani and the Suebi nations east of the Rhine, to attack the Aedui, the Sequani and Arverni sought Ariovistus’ aid and defeated the Aedui in 63 BC at the Battle of Magetobriga. The Sequani rewarded Ariovistus with land following his victory, Ariovistus settled the land with 120,000 of his people. When 24,000 Harudes joined his cause, Ariovistus demanded that the Sequani give him land to accommodate the Harudes people.
This demand concerned Rome because if the Sequani conceded, Ariovistus would be in a position to all of the Sequani land. They did not appear to be concerned about a conflict between non-client and allied states, by the end of the campaign, the non-client Suebi under the leadership of the belligerent Ariovistus, stood triumphant over both the Aedui and their coconspirators. Fearing another mass migration akin to the devastating Cimbrian War, the Helvetii was a confederation of about five related Gallic tribes that lived on the Swiss plateau, hemmed in by the mountains, and the Rhine and Rhone rivers. They began to come under increased pressure from German tribes to the north, by 58 BC, the Helvetii were well on their way in the planning and provisioning for a mass migration under the leadership of Orgetorix
The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term Levant entered English in the late 15th century from French and it derives from the Italian Levante, meaning rising, implying the rising of the sun in the east. As such, it is equivalent to the Arabic term Mashriq. Eventually the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine, in 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire. The name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and this is probably the reason why the term Levant has come to be used synonymously with Syria-Palestine. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking that it derives from the name of Lebanon, today the term is typically used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper, the Sinai Peninsula is sometimes included.
The Levant has been described as the crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa, the populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, and a very long history. They are often referred to as Levantines, the term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497, originally meant the East in general or Mediterranean lands east of Italy. It is borrowed from the French levant rising, referring to the rising of the sun in the east, the phrase is ultimately from the Latin word levare, meaning lift, raise. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή, in Germanic Morgenland, in Italian, in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, most notably and its Latin source oriens meaning east, is literally rising, deriving from Latin orior rise. The notion of the Levant has undergone a process of historical evolution in usage, meaning. While the term Levantine originally referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional native.
The English Levant Company was founded in 1581 to trade with the Ottoman Empire, at this time, the Far East was known as the Upper Levant. In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, in 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture. The French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states, Levant is the term typically used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a wider, yet relevant, archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation that is neither biblical nor national have used terms such as Levantine archaeology and archaeology of the Southern Levant. Two academic journals were launched, Journal of Levantine Studies, published by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and The Levantine Review
Augustus was the founder of the Roman Principate and considered the first Roman emperor, controlling the Roman Empire from 27 BC until his death in AD14. He was born Gaius Octavius into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia and his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesars will as his adopted son and heir, known as Octavianus. He, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar, following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvate was eventually torn apart by the ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, in reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule.
He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis, the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of peace known as the Pax Romana. Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, expanding into Germania, beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. Augustus died in AD14 at the age of 75 and he probably died from natural causes, although there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son Tiberius, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life, At birth, he was named Gaius Octavius after his biological father. Historians typically refer to him simply as Octavius between his birth in 63 until his adoption by Julius Caesar in 44 BC, upon his adoption, he took Caesars name and became Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus in accordance with Roman adoption naming standards.
He quickly dropped Octavianus from his name, and his contemporaries referred to him as Caesar during this period, historians. In 27 BC, following his defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra and it is the events of 27 BC from which he obtained his traditional name of Augustus, which historians use in reference to him from 27 BC until his death in AD14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri, approximately 40 kilometres from Rome and he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill, very close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen possibly commemorating his fathers victory at Thurii over a band of slaves. Due to the nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his fathers home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius only mentions his fathers equestrian family briefly in his memoirs and his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War
Gaius Julius Caesar, known as Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and notable author of Latin prose. He played a role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed an alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate. Caesars victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Romes territory to the English Channel, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the Channel and the Rhine, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, with the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province, Civil war resulted, and Caesars victory in the war put him in an unrivalled position of power and influence.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a programme of social and governmental reforms and he centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed dictator in perpetuity, giving him additional authority. But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March 44 BC, a new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesars adopted heir Octavian, known as Augustus, rose to power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began, much of Caesars life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources, Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history. Caesar was born into a family, the gens Julia.
The cognomen Caesar originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by Caesarean section. The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations, that the first Caesar had a head of hair, that he had bright grey eyes. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name, despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesars father, called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesars childhood, in 85 BC, Caesars father died suddenly, so Caesar was the head of the family at 16
Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, the Triumvirs defeated Caesars murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, and divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Antony was assigned Romes eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, relations among the Triumvirs were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavians sister, despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antonys relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, and in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs.
Their ongoing hostility erupted into war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavians direction, declared war on Cleopatra. Later that year, Antony was defeated by Octavians forces at the Battle of Actium and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide. With Antony dead, Octavian was the master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire. A member of the plebeian Antonia gens, Antony was born in Rome on January 14,83 BC. His father and namesake was Marcus Antonius Creticus, son of the noted orator by the name who had been murdered during the Marian Terror of the winter of 87–86 BC. His mother was Julia Antonia, a distant cousin of Julius Caesar, Antony was an infant at the time of Lucius Cornelius Sullas march on Rome in 82 BC. According to the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero, Antonys father was incompetent and corrupt, in 74 BC he was given military command to defeat the pirates of the Mediterranean, but he died in Crete in 71 BC without making any significant progress.
Lentulus, despite exploiting his political success for financial gain, was constantly in debt due to the extravagance of his lifestyle and he was a major figure in the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy and was summarily executed on the orders of the Consul Cicero in 63 BC for his involvement. His death resulted in a feud between the Antonia and the famous orator, Antonys early life was characterized by a lack of proper parental guidance. According to the historian Plutarch, he spent his teenage years wandering through Rome with his brothers and friends gambling, Antonys contemporary and enemy, claimed he had a homosexual relationship with Gaius Scribonius Curio. There is little information on his political activity as a young man, although it is known that he was an associate of Publius Clodius Pulcher. He may have involved in the Lupercal cult as he was referred to as a priest of this order in life
He rode in a four-horse chariot through the streets of Rome in unarmed procession with his army and the spoils of his war. At Jupiters temple on the Capitoline Hill, he offered sacrifice, the triumph offered extraordinary opportunities for self-publicity, besides its religious and military dimensions. From the Principate onwards, the reflected the Imperial order. The triumph was consciously imitated by medieval and states in the royal entry, in Republican Rome, truly exceptional military achievement merited the highest possible honours, which connected the vir triumphalis to Romes mythical and semi-mythical past. In effect, the general was close to being king for a day and he was drawn in procession through the city in a four-horse chariot, under the gaze of his peers and an applauding crowd, to the temple of Capitoline Jupiter. The spoils and captives of his victory led the way, his armies followed behind, once at the Capitoline temple, he sacrificed two white oxen to Jupiter and laid tokens of his victory at Jupiters feet, dedicating his victory to the Roman Senate and gods.
Triumphs were tied to no particular day, season, or religious festival of the Roman calendar, most seem to have been celebrated at the earliest practicable opportunity, probably on days that were deemed auspicious for the occasion. Tradition required that, for the duration of a triumph, every temple was open, the ceremony was thus, in some sense, shared by the whole community of Roman gods, but overlaps were inevitable with specific festivals and anniversaries. Some may have been coincidental, others were designed, Pompey postponed his third and most magnificent triumph for several months to make it coincide with his own dies natalis. Religious dimensions aside, the focus of the triumph was the general himself, the ceremony promoted him – however temporarily – above every mortal Roman. This was an opportunity granted to very few, from the time of Scipio Africanus, the triumphal general was linked to Alexander and the demi-god Hercules, who had laboured selflessly for the benefit of all mankind.
His sumptuous triumphal chariot was bedecked with charms against the possible envy, in some accounts, a companion or public slave would remind him from time to time of his own mortality. This is probably so for the earliest legendary and semi-legendary triumphs of Romes regal era, as Romes population, power and territory increased, so did the scale, length and extravagance of its triumphal processions. The procession mustered in the space of the Campus Martius probably well before first light. Triumphal processions were notoriously long and slow, the longest could last for two or three days, and possibly more, and some may have been of greater length than the route itself, some ancient and modern sources suggest a fairly standard processional order. First came the captive leaders and soldiers walking in chains. Next in line, all on foot, came Romes senators and magistrates, followed by the generals lictors in their red war-robes, their fasces wreathed in laurel, the general in his four-horse chariot. A companion, or a slave, might share the chariot with him or, in some cases
The Parthian Empire, known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran and Iraq. Mithridates I of Parthia greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids, at its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han Empire of China, became a center of trade and commerce. The Parthians largely adopted the art, religious beliefs, and royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture, the court did appoint a small number of satraps, largely outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of Arsacid power, the seat of government shifted from Nisa to Ctesiphon along the Tigris.
The earliest enemies of the Parthians were the Seleucids in the west, however, as Parthia expanded westward, they came into conflict with the Kingdom of Armenia, and eventually the late Roman Republic. Rome and Parthia competed with other to establish the kings of Armenia as their subordinate clients. The Parthians soundly defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, Mark Antony led a counterattack against Parthia, although his successes were generally achieved in his absence, under the leadership of his lieutenant Ventidius. Also, various Roman emperors or their appointed generals invaded Mesopotamia in the course of the several Roman-Parthian Wars which ensued during the few centuries. The Romans captured the cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon on multiple occasions during these conflicts, native Parthian sources, written in Parthian and other languages, are scarce when compared to Sassanid and even earlier Achaemenid sources. These include mainly Greek and Roman histories, but Chinese histories, Parthian artwork is viewed by historians as a valid source for understanding aspects of society and culture that are otherwise absent in textual sources.
The Parni most likely spoke an eastern Iranian language, in contrast to the northwestern Iranian language spoken at the time in Parthia, the latter was a northeastern province, first under the Achaemenid, and the Seleucid empires. Why the Arsacid court retroactively chose 247 BC as the first year of the Arsacid era is uncertain, Bivar concludes that this was the year the Seleucids lost control of Parthia to Andragoras, the appointed satrap who rebelled against them. Hence, Arsaces I backdated his regnal years to the moment when Seleucid control over Parthia ceased, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis asserts that this was simply the year Arsaces was made chief of the Parni tribe. It is unclear who immediately succeeded Arsaces I, Bivar and Katouzian affirm that it was his brother Tiridates I of Parthia, who in turn was succeeded by his son Arsaces II of Parthia in 211 BC. Yet Curtis and Brosius state that Arsaces II was the successor of Arsaces I, with Curtis claiming the succession took place in 211 BC.
Bivar insists that 138 BC, the last regnal year of Mithridates I, is the first precisely established regnal date of Parthian history, due to these and other discrepancies, Bivar outlines two distinct royal chronologies accepted by historians
Quintus Labienus Parthicus, the son of Titus Labienus, was a Roman republican general, in the service of Parthia. After Brutus and Cassius fled east to Macedonia and were defeated there in the Battle of Philippi by Caesars imperialist successors, the Parthians invaded the Roman territories in 40 BC, led by Pacorus and Labienus. The Parthian army crossed the Euphrates and attacked Apamea, the attack on Apamea failed but Labienus was able to entice the Roman garrisons around Syria to rally to his cause. The combined Romano-Parthian army proceeded to defeat Mark Antonys governor L. Decidius Saxa in a pitched battle, after the Roman defeat at Apamea, the Parthians split their army. Pacorus turned south and conquered the Levant from the Phoenician coast through Palestine, Labienus turned north to follow Saxa, whom he defeated and killed in Cilicia. In 39 BC, a Roman counterattack under Publius Ventidius in Asia Minor defeated Labienus, one year Pacorus too was killed in Syria
The Early Roman army of the Roman Kingdom and of the early Republic. During this period, when warfare chiefly consisted of small-scale plundering raids, it has suggested that the Roman Army followed Etruscan or Greek models of organisation. The early Roman army was based on an annual levy, the infantry ranks were filled with the lower classes while the cavalry were left to the patricians, because the wealthier could afford horses. Moreover, the authority during the regal period was the high king. Until the establishment of the Republic and the office of consul, from about 508 BC Rome no longer had a king. The commanding position of the army was given to the consuls, the term legion is derived from the Latin word legio, which ultimately means draft or levy. At first there were only four legions and these legions were numbered I to IIII, with the fourth being written as such and not IV. The first legion was seen as the most prestigious, the latter being a recurring theme in many elements of the Roman army.
The bulk of the army was made up of citizens and these citizens could not choose the legion to which they were allocated. Any man from ages 16-46 were selected by ballot and assigned to a legion, until the Roman military disaster of 390 BC at the Battle of the Allia, Romes army was organised similarly to the Greek Phalanx. This was due to Greek influence in Italy by way of their colonies, patricia Southern quotes ancient historians Livy and Dionysius in saying that the phalanx consisted of 3,000 infantry and 300 cavalry. Each man had to provide his equipment in battle, the equipment which he could afford determined which position he took in the battle. Politically they shared the ranking system in the Comitia Centuriata. The Roman army of the mid-Republic was known as the army or the Polybian army after the Greek historian Polybius. The latter were required to roughly the same number of troops to joint forces as the Romans to serve under Roman command. Legions in this phase were always accompanied on campaign by the number of allied alae.
After the 2nd Punic War, the Romans acquired an overseas empire and these volunteers were mainly from the poorest social class, who did not have plots to tend at home and were attracted by the modest military pay and the prospect of a share of war booty. The minimum property requirement for service in the legions, which had been suspended during the 2nd Punic War, was effectively ignored from 201 BC onward in order to recruit sufficient volunteers
Caesar's Civil War
The Great Roman Civil War, known as Caesars Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire. The changes to Roman government concomitant to the war eliminated the political traditions of the Roman Republic. The First Triumvirate, comprising Julius Caesar and Pompey, ascended to power with Caesars election as consul, the First Triumvirate was unofficial, a political alliance the substance of which was Pompeys military might, Caesars political influence, and Crassus money. The alliance was further consolidated by Pompeys marriage to Julia, daughter of Caesar, at the conclusion of Caesars first consulship, the Senate tasked him with watching over the Roman forests. This job, specially created by his Senate enemies, was meant to him without giving him command of armies, or garnering him wealth. Caesar, with the help of Pompey and Crassus, evaded the Senates decrees by legislation passed through the popular assemblies, by these acts, Caesar was promoted to Roman Governor of Illyricum and Cisalpine Gaul.
The various governorships gave Caesar command of an army of four legions, the term of his proconsulship, and thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the customary one year. His term was extended by another five years. During this ten-year period, Caesar used his forces to conquer Gaul and invade Britain. In 52 BC, at the First Triumvirates end, the Roman Senate supported Pompey as sole consul, Caesar had become a military hero and champion of the people. Knowing he hoped to become consul when his governorship expired, the Senate, politically fearful of him, in December of 50 BC, Caesar wrote to the Senate agreeing to resign his military command if Pompey followed suit. Offended, the Senate demanded he immediately disband his army, or be declared an enemy of the people, a secondary reason for Caesars immediate want for another consulship was delaying the inevitable senatorial prosecutions awaiting him upon retirement as governor of Illyricum and Gaul. These potential prosecutions were based upon alleged irregularities that occurred in his consulship, Caesar loyalists, the tribunes Mark Antony and Quintus Cassius Longinus, vetoed the bill, and were quickly expelled from the Senate.
They joined Caesar, who had assembled his army, whom he asked for support against the Senate, agreeing. The proscription protected the Roman Republic from a coup détat and this act of war on the Roman Republic by Caesar led to widespread approval amongst the Roman civilians, who regarded him as a hero. The historical records differ about which decisive comment Caesar made on crossing the Rubicon, Caesars march on Rome was a triumphal progress. The Senate, not knowing that Caesar possessed only a single legion, feared the worst, Pompey declared that Rome could not be defended, he escaped to Capua with those politicians who supported him, the aristocratic Optimates and the regnant consuls. Cicero characterised Pompeys outward sign of weakness as allowing Caesars consolidation of power, as Caesar progressed southwards, Pompey retreated towards Brundisium, initially ordering Domitius to stop Caesars movement on Rome from the direction of the Adriatic seaboard
Pacorus I was a Parthian prince, who was the son of king Orodes II and queen Laodice. It is possible that Pacorus was co-ruler with his father for at least part of his fathers reign and his wife was an unnamed Armenian princess, who was one of the daughters of King Tigranes the Great of Armenia and his wife, Queen Cleopatra of Pontus. Pacorus is first mentioned in 51 BC, probably about 12 years old, because of the young age of Pacorus, the Parthian operations were probably led by the Parthian commander Osakes. According to the Roman historian Cassius Dio, the Parthian army besieged Antioch, during this event, Osakes was killed during a Roman counter-attack under the Roman general Gaius Cassius Longinus, which made the Parthian troops under Pacorus retreat back to their homeland. Even coins with the portrait of Pacorus were briefly minted, however and his father reconciled to each other and coins with the portrait of Pacorus were stopped minting. The Parthian satrap who was behind the plot was probably shortly executed, in 42 BC, Quintus Labienus, a Roman rebel, began serving the Parthians.
Later in 40 BC, the Parthians under Pacorus and Labienus invaded the Roman territories, the Parthian army crossed the Euphrates and attacked Apamea. The attack on Apamea failed but Labienus was able to entice the Roman garrisons around Syria to rally to his cause, the combined Romano-Parthian army proceeded to defeat Mark Antonys governor L. Decidius Saxa in a pitched battle and took Apamea. After the Roman defeat at Apamea, the Parthians split their army, Pacorus turned south and conquered the Levant from the Phoenician coast through Palestine. Labienus turned north to follow Saxa, whom he defeated and killed in Cilicia, in Judea, Pacorus deputy Barzapharnes deposed king Hyrcanus II and appointed the latters nephew Antigonus as king in his place. In 39 BC, a Roman counterattack under Publius Ventidius Bassus in Asia Minor defeated Labienus, after the disastrous campaign in Asia minor, the Parthians launched another invasion into Syria in 38 BC, led by Pacorus. Ventidius, in order to time, leaked disinformation to Pacorus implying that he should cross the Euphrates River at their usual ford.
Pacorus did not trust this information and decided to cross the river much farther downstream, when the Parthians got to the town, which sat on a small hill, they encountered Roman legions confidently formed in battle order on the slopes. The Parthians rushed to attack - whether this order came from Pacorus or was a charge is unknown. In any case, Ventidius ordered his troops, who had the advantage of high ground, the horse-archers were forced into close-quartered combat against the legionaries and suffered heavily for it, for they were unsuited for such combat. The Parthian cavalrys will eventually broke and panic spread, many of the horse archers being driven down the slope where they crashed into their fellows in their desperation to escape, the horse-archers eventually fled or fell. Parthian heavy cavalry, which was stationed at the bottom of the hill, was enveloped and surrounded by the legionaries, instead of immediately attacking with the legionaries, Ventidius made use of his slingers to rain down projectiles on the Parthian heavy cavalry, which included Pacorus himself.
After the barrage was lifted the legionaries moved in and were able to identify Pacorus because of his standard