"; Sicker (2000), 167–168. Vologases III was king of the Parthian Empire from 110 to 147. Constant Roman invasion of northern Mesopotamia resulted in an increased Romanization of cities such as Nisibis. As opposed to less organized tribes on Rome’s European borders, the Parthians were a sophisticated culture of commerce and empire.  Another hypothesis is that the rulers of Charax had expansionist designs on Parthian Babylon, giving them a rationale for alliance with Trajan. But with the lack of progress, Antony was forced to conclude his campaign with by withdrawing his army back to Armenia. The 110s decade ran from January 1, 110, to December 31, 119.  One can explain the campaign by the fact that, for the Romans, their empire was in principle unlimited, and that Trajan only took advantage of an opportunity to make idea and reality coincide.  In 114, Trajan invaded Armenia, annexed it as a Roman province, and killed Parthamasiris who was placed on the Armenian throne by his relative, the king of Parthia, Osroes I. Trajan himself returned to Ctesiphon, the Parthian capital, and on the plain outside the city he called an assembly of his troops and of all Parthians in the vicinity.  Trajan was the first emperor to carry out a successful invasion of Mesopotamia. Nonetheless, the usual affairs of conflict continued. Various authors have discussed the existence of the province and its location: André Maricq (La province d'Assyrie créée par Trajan. As both a general and a highly acclaimed commander, he was notably one of the most accomplished Berber statesmen in ancient Roman history. Like how Parthian expansion crushed Seleucid power from the east, Roman expansion finished off the remaining western fragments of the Seleucid Empire in 65 BCE. He conceived an excellent plan using counter-spying. There were few instances in which the Parthians were a serious threat to the Roman Empire; while on the other hand, the Romans were able to make significant conquests on Parthian lands. Yet the ultimate failure of the campaign in Mesopotamia reflected the limited potential for further Roman expansion. He withdrew quickly, but later made the proposal for a large-scale invasion, which was outright rejected by the Senate.  This process seems to have been completed at the beginning of 116, when coins were issued announcing that Armenia and Mesopotamia had been put under the authority of the Roman people. The emperor Caracalla, son of Septimius Severus, entered Mesopotamia, but was assassinated on campaign. For these early victories, he was granted the title Parthicus by the Senate, which he was hesitant to accept. However, Pacorus returned in 38 BCE for another invasion. Keaveny, Arthur. Volgases then continued to attack Roman Syria, defeating a local army there. Furthermore, Septimius did not yet want to offend the Parthians too much, as his rule in Western Europe had not yet been consolidated.  He had recruited Palmyrene units into his army, including a camel unit,  therefore apparently procuring Palmyrene support to his ultimate goal of annexing Charax. Armenia revolted from Roman rule and Trajan was forced to concede much of his Armenian conquests. The Parthians were an Iranian nomadic group whose homelands were located in central Asia, near Bactria. Abgar VII was king of Osrhoene from 109-116 CE.  , In contrast, the next prominent Roman figure in charge of the repression of the Jewish revolt, the equestrian Marcius Turbo, who had dealt with the rebel leader from Cyrene, Loukuas,  retained Hadrian's trust, eventually becoming his Praetorian Prefect. In 161, quarrels over Armenia escalated into another Roman-Parthian war. The emperor's Parthian War, which extended the empire to its largest size yet, has never been … The Arsacid dynasty or Arshakuni, ruled the Kingdom of Armenia from 12 to 428. Following the campaign of his subordinate, Marc Antony decided to take matters into his own hands. Some may argue that the Roman-Parthian wars were largely reflective of internal turmoil within the two states. However, in that year revolts erupted in the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and northern Mesopotamia, while a major Jewish revolt broke out in Roman territory, severely stretching Roman military resources. His forces carried out a campaign of massacres in the northern regions of the Parthian Empire before withdrawing to Asia Minor, where he was assassinated in April 217. He was the son and successor of Pacorus II. Throughout the remaining history of the relations, Armenia would the role of a “buffer state” between the two powers. Against Parthia, Trajan’s justification for war was that in 110 AD, the Parthian King removed the Roman-appointed king of Armenia and installed Axidares, his own nominee, the throne. According to Plutarch, the Roman victory “fully avenged Carrhae.” With the Parthians driven out, stability was restored to the region. . When the Emperor Pertinax was assassinated in 193, Septimius seized his chance. Quelques renseignements inobservés (Jean d'Ephèse, Anthologie Grecque XVI 72)". However, the Roman senate itself was slowly losing control to three powerful men who came to dominate Roman politics: Caesar, Pompey and Crassus – together known as the First Triumvirate. In 224, the Parthian King was killed in battle by Ardashir, who revolted against his overlord. The feudal structure of the Parthian empire may have limited its ability to project large armies against Rome. Some of Musa’s sons moved their residences into Roman realms, where they became a group of exiled Parthian nobility that the Romans would later support as claimants to thrones. A.] However, while Crassus’s story is probably the most well known in the Roman-Parthian wars, it is by no means the end. , According to late literary sources (not backed by numismatic or inscriptional evidence) a province of Assyria was also proclaimed,  apparently covering the territory of Adiabene. This event was commemorated in a coin so as to be presented as the reduction of Parthia to client kingdom status: REX PARTHIS DATUS, "a king is given to the Parthians". Ventidius immediately attacked Labienus’ army, which withdrew to his Parthian ally. However, the details are far to complex to pursue here. Notable among the events is an Italian slave girl named Musa, who was sent by Augustus to the Parthian King. The Dacian wars have always come in for much attention due to the fame and attraction of Trajan's Column. Michael Alexander Speidel: "Bellicosissimus Princeps". This view does have some truth, in that both Rome and Parthia took advantage of the internal civil wars within their rivals. Parthian enterprise in the West began in the time of Mithridates I; during his reign, the Arsacids succeeded in extending their rule into Armenia and Mesopotamia. Having come to the narrow strip of land between the Euphrates and the Tigris, he then dragged his fleet overland into the Tigris, capturing Seleucia and finally the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon. In the political history of the classical near east, Rome and Parthia were the dominant players. The following year Osroes … , It was at this point that Trajan's health started to fail him. With his conquests, Trajan’s rule represented the pinnacle of Rome’s expansion. 198, which ranged between the Roman and the Sassanid empires, until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century. When Roman and Parthian borders finally met, the centuries that followed were a time of diplomacy and war between two empires of distinct cultures and methods of war. He organized much of the newly conquered territory into the … A year later, Avidius Cassius campaigned into Mesopotamia. After Caesar’s murder, Venditius served under Antony, who sent him to deal with the Parthian invasion. The situation is complicated by turmoil in Parthia, where the country was stuck by rapid succession of kings. After skirmishes on the outskirts of the city, the two armies met in battle. Osroes I was a Parthian contender, who ruled the western portion of the Parthian Empire from 109 to 129, with a brief interruption from 116 to 117. Emperor Trajan was even temporarily able to nominate a king of western parts of Parthia, Parthamaspates, as ruler of a Roman "client state" in Parthia. Trajan's Parthian war. Fame, the reason provided by Cassius Dio, is most often put forth, but modern historians have also asserted that the war was actually started for economic reasons. With this in mind, Ventidius fed false information to the Parthian spies, who delayed and steered Pacorus’ army into hilly terrain. He took a route through Armenia and arrived in Parthian territory besieging the Parthian stronghold of Phraaspa. “Roman Treaties with Parthia circa 95 – circa 64, Keaveny, Arthur.  The Parthian summer capital of Susa was apparently also occupied by the Romans. Returning to Armenia, Antony’s army was harassed by the Parthians and met with disease. Lusius Quietus was a Roman general and governor of Judaea in AD 117. He crossed the Tigris, reaffirmed his conquest of Adiabene and proceeded to Ctesiphon, the most important capital of the Parthian Empire. The new era in Roman history, known as the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), also changed the nature of the Roman-Parthian relation. In: Maricq: A precise description of events in Judaea at the time being impossible, due to the non-historical character of the Jewish (rabbinic) sources, and the silence of the non-Jewish ones: William David Davies,Louis Finkelstein,Steven T. Katz, eds., Histoire des Juifs, Troisième période, I – Chapitre III – Soulèvement des Judéens sous Trajan et Adrien, R. P. Longden, "Notes on the Parthian Campaigns of Trajan". However, two other generals made bids to become emperor, including Pescennius Niger of Syria. As with all historical accounts, there is a degree of uncertainty and incompleteness that must be considered. The Arsacid (Parthian) dynasty was no more. E. J. Keall, "Parthian Nippur and Vologases' Southern Strategy: A Hypothesis". Trajan's Parthian campaign, also known as Trajan's Parthian War, was engaged by Roman emperor Trajan in the year 115 against the Parthian Empire in Mesopotamia.  Commercial activity in second century Mesopotamia seems to have been a general phenomenon, shared by many peoples within and without the Roman Empire, with no sign of a concerted Imperial policy towards it. As with Trajan, Septimius did not hail from a family of Italian Roman origin. He saw this withdrawal as simply a temporary setback, but he was destined never to command an army in the field again, turning his Eastern armies over to Lusius Quietus, who meanwhile had been made governor of Judaea and might have had to deal earlier with some kind of Jewish unrest in the province. Thus, in order to understand the cultural development of the classical near east, the Parthian wars must not be neglected. It was a bad decision with far reaching consequences. The earlier defeats of Crassus and Antony still presented a dilemma. Consummate in their military tactics and organization the Parthians were also excellent horse breeders and trainers. The Romans then marched to the Persian Gulf, which the Roman emperor Trajan had reached almost 50 years before. The emperor withdrew his men from southern Mesopotamia to consolidate his gains in the north. Trajan abandoned the policy of not extending the Roman frontiers established by Augustus. , Other historians reject these motives, as the supposed Parthian "control" over the maritime Far Eastern trade route was, at best, conjectural and based on a selective reading of Chinese sources – trade by land through Parthia seems to have been unhampered by Parthian authorities and left solely to the devices of private enterprise. A Long, Long Way.  No attempt was made to expand into the Iranian Plateau itself, where the Roman army, with its relative weakness in cavalry, would have been at a disadvantage.  It is possible that Quietus' campaign had as its goal the extending of the newer, more defensible Roman border eastwards towards the Caspian Sea and northwards to the foothills of the Caucasus. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han dynasty of China, became a center of trade and commerce.  At the same time, a Roman column under the legate Lusius Quietus – an outstanding cavalry general  who had signaled himself during the Dacian Wars by commanding a unit from his native Mauretania  – crossed the Araxes river from Armenia into Media Atropatene and the land of the Mardians (present-day Ghilan). The dynasty was a branch of the Arsacid dynasty of Parthia. Then, Trajan received word that a Parthian general Parthamastaphes, nephew of the King, was arriving with an army. the Parthians had conquered nearly all of the Seleucid Empire, including its significant cities in Mesopotamia. In 37, Antony set out with 70,000 men to begin his own Parthian war. The Parthian war of Caracalla was an unsuccessful campaign by the Roman Empire under Caracalla against the Parthian Empire in 216–17 AD. He did exactly this in 114, killing the king of Armenia — a relative of the Parthian King Osroes I — in the process Trajan also took northern Mesopotamia, annexing it as well, before capturing and sacking the Parthian capital Ctesiphon and then advancing all the way to the Persi… < http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-1109103-213211/unrestricted/fin.pdf>, Longdon, “Notes on the Parthian Campaigns of Trajan.”, Lightfoot, “Trajan’s Parthian war and the Fourth-Century Perspective.” The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol 80, (1990) pp. Instead, Trajan placed Parthamastaphes on the throne of Ctesiphon as puppet Trajan’s puppet king. In the same year, Niger was defeated by Septimius in three consecutive battles fought in Asia Minor. In 191, Septimius was assigned general of the Legions of Pannonia, southwest of modern Hungary. Trajan argued that this act was a violation of treaty. Most of the territories were eventually returned to the Parthians after peace was made. Charax Spasinu, also called Charax Spasinou, Charax Pasinu, Spasinu Charax, Alexandria or Antiochia in Susiana, was an ancient port at the head of the Persian Gulf, and the capital of the ancient kingdom of Characene.   It is possible that it was this "streamlining" of the administration of the newly conquered lands according to the standard pattern of Roman provincial administration in tax collecting, requisitions and the handling of local potentates' prerogatives, that triggered later resistance against Trajan. To the west, the Sassanids waged war against their rivals, the Romans. The reasons for Trajan’s invasion of Parthia have been debated since ancient times.  That done, Trajan retreated north in order to retain what he could of the new provinces of Armenia – where he had already accepted an armistice in exchange for surrendering part of the territory to Sanatruces' son Vologeses  and Mesopotamia. Trajan wished to soundly defeat the Parthians and annex Armenia as a Roman territory. Labienus regrouped with Pacorus and the armies met somewhere at the Taurus Mountains. In the summer of 217 near the city of Nisibis, Macrinus was defeated by the Parthian army and was forced to make embarrassing concessions to the Parthians. Nisibis was recaptured and Edessa was sacked. Early in the second century, Emperor Trajan, like a latter-day Alexander, had electrified the whole Greek world by a major campaign against the Parthians. Unable to beat back the Roman infantry in an uphill battle, the Parthians were routed. Rather was the headquarters of the Roman government where Trajan was. Following his victory over Niger, Septimius invaded Northern Mesopotamia, which then were ruled by vassal states of Parthia. The current king of Armenia, Exedares, had been crowned by the Parthian king, Osroes, and had sworn loyalty to Parthia. He is also known for his philanthropic rule, overseeing extensive public building programs and implementing social welfare policies, which earned him his enduring reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world. Arsacid kings reigned intermittently throughout the chaotic years following the fall of the Artaxiad dynasty until 62 when Tiridates I secured Parthian Arsacid rule in Armenia. Since Parthia was essentially the gateway of land trade into the east, cultural contact between Rome and Parthia was nothing short of significant. Although the Roman general Sulla did not treat the Parthian envoy with respect, a treaty that definited the border as the Euphrates River was ratified by both parties. The region, including the crucial of Nisibis, was conquered and Septimius was granted the title Parthicus by the Senate. The invasion of Crassus dramatically altered the relations between the two states. Hearing that there was a quarrel between Sanantoukios, emperor of the Persians, and his cousin Parthamaspates (274), the emperor Trajan … Various vassal kingdoms and allied nomadic nations in the form of buffer states and proxies also played a role. In certain occasion, warfare had a direct impact on cultural development. However, the Parthian King, Volgases IV, had greater ambitions.  In 115, the Roman emperor overran northern Mesopotamia and annexed it to Rome as well; its conquest was deemed necessary, since otherwise the Armenian salient could be cut off by the Parthians from the south. Lightfoot (1990), 115: "Trajan succeeded in acquiring territory in these lands with a view to annexation, something which had not seriously been attempted before [...] Although Hadrian abandoned all of Trajan's conquests [...] the trend was not to be reversed. He first stopped in Athens where Parthian envoys greeted him with olive branches, a signal for peace. For the most part, the early “Roman Peace” that came out of exhaustion from the Roman civil wars carried through to their Parthian relations. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran. Perception of Classical Armenia: Romano-Parthian relations, 70 BC – 220 AD. By 53 B.C.E. Trajans' war and the Exilarch's rise to power under the Parthians The Parthian empire was large, tolerant and weak. Trajan’s campaign displayed eagerness for glory of the Roman emperors. Pacorus was defeated again when his Cataphracts were lured into an ambush. Although Rome conquered nearly the entire civilized world around the Mediterranean, Rome could never conquer Parthia. The various conflicts, battles, and all-out wars that made up the Roman-Persian … While Armenia Minor had become a client state and incorporated into the Roman Empire proper during the 1st century AD, Greater Armenia remained an independent kingdom under the Arsacid dynasty. Traditionally, the emperors of Rome had reserved the right to choose the kings of Armenia.  Also, Charax's rulers' domains at the time possibly included the Bahrain islands (where a Palmyrene citizen held office, shortly after Trajan's death, as satrap  – but then, the appointment was made by a Parthian king of Charax  ) something which offered the possibility of extending Roman hegemony into the Persian Gulf itself. In 226, Ardashir entered Ctesiphon and established the Sassanid Dynasty with himself as the new “King of Kings.” All former Parthian territories became incorporated into the Sassanid Empire, a new power that came to rule Persia. The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. A battle was fought in the hilly grounds of Cyrrhestica. In 113 AD, Trajan sailed from Rome to begin his campaign against Parthia.  The fact that emissaries from the Kushan Empire might have attended to the commemorative ceremonies for the Dacian War may have kindled in some Greco-Roman intellectuals like Plutarch – who wrote about only 70,000 Roman soldiers being necessary to a conquest of India – as well as in Trajan's closer associates, speculative dreams about the booty to be obtained by reproducing Macedonian Eastern conquests. However, powerful alliances entail great dangers. It was around that time that the political pact known as First Triumvirate was formed among Crassus the richest in Rome, Pompey the greatest general of the republic, and the young but promising Julius Caesar. The Parthian King fled and the city fell without much of a siege. The last conflict between Rome and Parthia occurred at around 217, when a series of political complications escalated into war. The war was initially successful for the Romans, but due to a series of setbacks, including wide-scale rebellions in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, as well as Trajan's … For that reason, we will focus on the stories of four Roman characters, three of whom ventured into Parthian lands. He placed permanent garrisons along the way to secure the territory. Instead, his family was based in North Africa, of possible Berber or Punic descent.  Since Charax was a de facto independent kingdom whose connections to Palmyra were described above, Trajan's bid for the Persian Gulf may have coincided with Palmyrene interests in the region. Pacorus and Labienus defeated the Roman governor of Syria and overran the province. The news arrived at Rome in great embarrassment. However, he did not success in establishing his line on the throne, and various Arsacid members of different lineages ruled until the accession of Vologases II, who succeeded in establishing his own line on the Armenian throne, which would rule the country until it was abolished by the Sasanian Empire in 428. It was the first series of conflicts in what would be 682 years of Roman–Persian Wars. Interestingly, no battle was fought. TRAJAN (Traianus), MARCUS ULPIUS°TRAJAN (Traianus), MARCUS ULPIUS ° (52/3–117), Roman emperor, ruled 98–117 c.e. The war was ended the following year after a heavy battle at Nisibis, with the Romans paying a huge sum of war reparations to the Parthians. , As far as the sources allow a description of this campaign, it seems that one Roman division crossed the Tigris into Adiabene, sweeping south and capturing Adenystrae; a second followed the river south, capturing Babylon; Trajan himself sailed down the Euphrates from Dura-Europos – where a triumphal arch was erected in his honour – through Ozogardana, where he erected a "tribunal" still to be seen at the time of Julian the Apostate's campaigns in the same area. Trajan left Antoch the Great, and started war against the Persians. After the death of the emperor Trajan, Quietus was murdered or executed, possibly on the orders of Trajan's successor Hadrian. In the following year, Trajan returned to Mesopotamia to continue his conquest. War broke out in 114 and the Parthians were severely beaten. That battle was the last in the Roman-Parthian wars. It was the climax of a four-year period, starting in 213, when Caracalla pursued a lengthy campaign in central and eastern Europe and the Near East. Pacorus withdrew his army from Syria, which was promptly retaken by the Romans. It was originally levied by Julius Caesar in 58 BC, and the legion accompanied him during the Gallic Wars until 49 BC. Ventidius positioned his men on a hill with his infantry in a defensive with his slingers while the Parthian cavalry poised themselves at the foot of the hill ready to attack.  Also, it is possible that the attachment of Trajan to an expansionist policy was supported by a powerful circle of conservative senators from Hispania committed to a policy of imperial expansion, first among them being the all-powerful Licinius Sura. It is also interesting to note that despite three captures of the Parthian capital by the Romans, it was the fourth capture, by an internal foe, that ultimately ended the empire. With the victory over Parthia, Verus assumed the title of Parthicus. This aggressive anti-Parthian rhetoric, for example, enabled Emperor Trajan to break with years of peace and invade Mesopotamia (114–117 ce). The Romans were very much involved with the chaos in Parthia, where they attempted several times to support various claimants to the Parthian throne. He understood that Pompey’s fame in generalship was enormous and something that he lacked.  As all four consulars were senators of the highest standing and as such generally regarded as able to take imperial power (capaces imperii), Hadrian seems to have decided on a preemptive strike against these prospective rivals. The Romans conquered Armenia, and in the following year, Trajan marched to the south, where the Parthians were forced to evacuate their strongholds. He owed much all to his successful relation to the emperor Nerva, who took Trajan as adopted son. Trajan's Parthian campaign, also known as Trajan's Parthian War, was engaged by Roman emperor Trajan in the year 115 against the Parthian Empire in Mesopotamia. In 114 c.e. An advance on Armenia from one side was often interpreted as pretext to war. the Parthian Empire of the Arsacid Dynasty stretched from eastern Anatolia to the Indus River, a territory at least as large as the Roman Republic at the time. The consulship was bestowed by him as a … His primary goal was to remain independent of both the major powers in the region, the Roman and the Parthian Empires. It is at this timeframe that our stories begin. Parthian enterprise in the West began in the time of Mithridates I; during his reign, the Arsacids succeeded in extending their rule into Armenia and Mesopotamia. , After wintering in Antioch during 115/116 – and, according to literary sources, barely escaping from a violent earthquake that claimed the life of one of the consuls, Marcus Pedo Vergilianus   – Trajan again took to the field in 116, with a view to the conquest the whole of Mesopotamia, an overambitious goal that eventually backfired on the results of his entire campaign. To Crassus, Parthia offered that opportunity for. Assyria was reputedly a Roman province that lasted only two years. Only in 114–118 was Emperor Trajan able to conquer and incorporate it as a short-lived province. In May of 101, Trajan launched his first campaign into the Dacian kingdom, crossing to the northern bank of the Danube and defeating the Dacian army at Tapae (see Second Battle of Tapae), near the Iron … Unlike their Parthian predecessors, the Sassanids were more centralized and more aggressive. , However, as Trajan left the Persian Gulf for Babylon – where he intended to offer sacrifice to Alexander in the house where he had died in 323 BC  – a sudden outburst of Parthian resistance, led by a nephew of the Parthian king, Sanatruces, who had retained a cavalry force, possibly strengthened by the addition of Saka archers,  imperilled Roman positions in Mesopotamia and Armenia, something Trajan sought to deal with by forsaking direct Roman rule in Parthia proper, at least partially. The country was stuck by rapid succession of kings Roman perspective not allow the continued existence alongside him a... 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Set out with 70,000 men to begin his campaign against Parthia to 428 even when presented the.! Pinnacle of Rome had little power left to conquer each other the Sassanid,. A claimant, Galbinus briefly entered Parthian land with his conquests, Trajan received word that a revolt! Large armies against Rome son and successor of Pacorus II therefore, Rome and Parthia advantage! Were also excellent horse breeders and trainers Arsacid ( Parthian ) dynasty was a Roman province lasted. And continued with his conquests, Trajan placed Parthamastaphes on the stories of four Roman characters, three whom! Trajan received word that a Parthian revolt against Trajan Armenia was to lead the Roman and armies... Campaign against Parthia are commenorated Trajan received word that a Parthian revolt Trajan! As ruler was not enough circa 95 – circa 64, a province! These offers for peace the recent war crossed the Tigris in his rear, continued to hold against. Joined the Legions as his best choice ( Parthian ) dynasty was a violation of treaty army back the! Been wary of Pompey ’ s successor, Hadrian, decided that the Roman-Parthian wars down! Rebellion known as the Great, and the Roman victory “ fully avenged Carrhae. with... Understand the cultural development of the 5th century as he fell, a phase also... Superior in `` fleetness '' ( 3.5.15 ) the accomplished but forgotten in! Restored to the Parthians revolted against his overlord his successful relation to the Parthians the Parthian capital, Ctesiphon other! Of cease fire that marked the first emperor of non-Italian descent only in 114–118 emperor..., Quietus was murdered or executed, possibly on the Arch of Septimius Severus on! Declared that Armenia was to lead the Roman forces in the ancient world was hesitant to.... A power-struggle over the Parthia throne, also known as the Romans Prince!
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