1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pacorus

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PACORUS, a Parthian name, borne by two Parthian princes.

1. Pacorus, son of Orodes I., was, after the battle of Carrhae, sent by his father into Syria at the head of an army in 52 B.C. The prince was still very young, and the real leader was Osaces. He was defeated and killed by C. Cassius, and soon after Pacorus was recalled by his father, because one of the satraps had rebelled and proclaimed him king (Dio Cass. xl. 28 sqq.; Justin xlii. 4; cf. Cicero, ad Fam. xv. 1; ad Att. vi. 1. 14). Father and son were reconciled, but the war against the Romans was always deferred. In the autumn of 45 Pacorus and the Arabic chieftain Alchaudonius came to the help of Q. Caecihus Bassus, who had rebelled against Caesar in Syria; but Pacorus soon returned, as his troops were unable to operate in the winter (Cic. ad Att. xiv. 9. 3; Dio Cass. xlvii. 27). At last in 40 B.C. the Roman fugitive Titus Labienus induced Orodes to send a great army under the command of Pacorus against the Roman provinces. Pacorus conquered the whole of Syria and Phoenicia with the exception of Tyre, and invaded Palestine, where he plundered Jerusalem, deposed Hyrcanus, and made his nephew Antigonus king (Dio Cass. xlviii. 24 sqq.; Joseph. Ant. xiv. 13; Tac. Hist. v. 9). Meanwhile Labienus occupied Cilicia and the southern parts of Asia Minor down to the Carian coast (Dio Cass. xlviii. 26; Strabo xiv. 660). But in 39 P. Ventidius Bassus, the general of Mark Antony, drove him back into Cilicia, where he was killed, defeated the Parthians in Syria (Dio Cass. xlviii. 39 sqq.) and at last beat Pacorus at Gindarus (in northern Syria), on the 9th of June 38, the anniversary of the battle of Carrhae. Pacorus himself was slain in the battle, which effectually stopped the Parthian conquests west of the Euphrates (Dio Cass. xlix. 19 seq.; Justin xlii. 4; Plut. Anton. 24; Strabo xvi. 751; Velleius ii. 78; cf. Horace, Od. iii. 6, 9).

2. Pacorus, Parthian king, only mentioned by Dio Cass. lxviii. 17; Arrian, ap. Suid. s.v. ὠνητή, according to whom he sold the kingdom of Osroëne to Abgar VII.; and Ammianus Marcellinus xxiii. 6. 23, who mentions that he enlarged Ctesiphon and built its walls. But from his numerous dated coins we learn that he was on the throne, with interruptions, from A.D. 78-95. He always calls himself Arsaces Pacorus. This mention of his proper name, together with the royal name Arsaces, shows that his kingdom was disputed by rivals. Two of them we know from coins—Vologaeses IL, who appears from 77-79 and again from 111-146, and Artabanus III. in 80 and 81. Pacorus may have died about 105; he was succeeded by his brother Osroes.

(Ed. M.)