A Political History of Parthia/Chapter 6

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PHRAATES IV came into power shortly before 37 b.c.[1] Not long thereafter he attempted to hasten the death of his aged father by a dose of aconite.[2] When this failed he resorted to the more certain method of strangulation. To make his position more secure, he shortly murdered his brothers[3] and was thus apparently without opposition. But soon he found himself compelled to remove numbers of prominent Parthians, while the remainder fled to refuge among various peoples and in distant cities. Some even sought the protection of the Romans. Among the latter was a noble, Monaeses, a man of great prominence and wealth who had gained a reputation as a commander during the war just completed.[4] He promised Antony to lead the Roman army and believed that he could easily win over almost all of Parthia. Induced by this favorable presentation of the situation, Antony prepared for war against the Parthians. Late in 37 or early in 36 b.c. Publius Canidius Crassus forced Armenia to become a Roman ally and then turned northward to defeat the Iberians and Albanians, thus removing the threat of an attack from the rear on the proposed expedition.[5]

Hyrcanus, the Jewish high priest carried off to Parthia in 39 b.c., though unable to serve again in his former capacity because of his mutilated condition, wished to return home. Not long after his accession to the throne in 37 b.c. Herod sent an ambassador to request the release of Hyrcanus. Despite the protests of the local Jews, leave to depart was granted by the Parthian king. Financed by his friends, Hyrcanus journeyed to Jerusalem, where he lived in honor until 30 b.c., when he was put to death on the suspicion that he was plotting against Herod.[6] Later Pheroras, brother of Herod, was accused of planning to flee to the Parthians.[7]

On the eastern frontier the precarious state of affairs in Parthia attracted the attention of the Hun Chih-chih, whose capital lay on the Talus River in western Turkestan; but his plans to invade Bactria and Parthia never materialized.[8]

Until the war with Parthia should terminate, Antony lent Monaeses three cities, Larissa (Sizara), Arethusa (Restan), and Hierapolis (Membidj),[9] and promised him the Parthian throne. Phraates opened negotiations with Monaeses and eventually persuaded him to return to Parthia, a move which Antony did not prevent, since to destroy Monaeses would merely result in alienating the pro-Roman Parthians. Envoys were sent with him to request the return of the standards captured from Crassus in 53 b.c. and of such of his men as still survived.[10]

While these negotiations were under way, Antony continued his preparations for war, the most important part of which was to secure allies to supply cavalry. Of these Artavasdes, king of Armenia, was the most powerful.[11] When late in April or early in May[12] Antony advanced to the Euphrates, contrary to expectations he found the whole region carefully guarded; but, since he was following the plan of invasion laid out by Caesar[13] rather than that of Crassus, this made little difference. Since in any case he needed the cavalry to be furnished by his northern allies, he turned up the Euphrates, passed through Zeugma (near modern Biredjik, Turkish Birecik, which is the ancient Apamea; see p. 83, n. 46), and at some point, perhaps Carana (Erzurum), met the auxiliaries and held a review of the troops.[14]

The total forces under Antony's command numbered about a hundred thousand men, divided as follows: sixty thousand legionaries (sixteen legions), ten thousand Iberian and Celtic cavalry, and thirty thousand allies, both horsemen and light-armed, including seven thousand foot and six thousand horse furnished by Artavasdes.[15] These horsemen, fully equipped and armored, the Armenian king was proud to display before Antony.[16] His advice was to attack Media Atropatene, since the ruler of that country, also named Artavasdes, and all of his troops were with the Parthians on the Euphrates. The guide who led the Romans northward from Zeugma to the borders of Atropatene, and later even Artavasdes himself, were accused of being Parthian agents;[17] but the charge may have been based on a desire to shift the blame for the defeat that ensued. In order to speed up his advance Antony left behind his slow-moving baggage, his siege engines (carried in three hundred wagons), and all beasts of burden. About two legions, under Oppius Statianus, were assigned the task of bringing forward this material as rapidly as possible.[18] Because there was no heavy timber in the country to be traversed, siege engines could not be constructed there; if they were to be available, they had to be brought with the army. Antony himself took the cavalry and the pick of the infantry and hurried to the capital of Media Atropatene, Praaspa (Takht-i-Sulaimān),[19] which he was forced to besiege.[20] Lack of siege equipment was a great handicap, for Antony had to build huge mounds in lieu of the usual towers. Phraates, when he saw that the task of reducing the well garrisoned and strongly defended city was likely to occupy Antony for some time, turned his attention to the baggage train. Statianus, caught off his guard, was surrounded by cavalry, and in the battle which ensued the Roman commander and all his men were lost.[21] The valuable siege engines and the baggage were destroyed by the Parthians. Among the numerous captives taken was Polemon, king of Pontus, who was afterward released for a ransom. Artavasdes the Armenian deserted either just before the battle, which may account for the completeness of the Roman defeat,[22] or shortly afterward when he despaired of the Roman cause.[23] He took with him, besides his own troops, some of the allied forces, a total of sixteen thousand men. Antony, hastening with reinforcements in response to messengers from Statianus, found only corpses.

The Roman commander was now in a peculiarly difficult position. To obtain food he had to send out foraging parties, which, if they were small, were wiped out or, if large enough to defend themselves, so reduced the strength of the besiegers that the people of Praaspa could make successful sorties and destroy the siege works. The legionaries, though protected by slingers, suffered much from the Parthian archers and their run-and-fight cavalry tactics. As Dellius, probably an eyewitness, remarked in his account of a skirmish engaged in by a large foraging party in which the Parthian dead totaled eighty, the Romans thought it a terrible thing that, when they were victorious, they killed so few of the enemy and, when they were vanquished, they were robbed of as many men as they had lost with the baggage wagons.[24] Shortly after this particular party returned, the people of the city made a sally and put to flight the Romans on the mound. To punish the cowardice of these men Antony was reduced to decimation; that is, he put to death every tenth man. To the remainder he gave barley instead of the usual wheat.[25] Since neither side wished to prolong the campaign into the approaching winter, Antony made a last, unsuccessful attempt to secure the lost standards and captives before raising the siege. After all negotiations proved abortive, Antony departed, leaving behind his improvised siege implements.

Phraates expected the Romans to return by the route they had come, but Antony was advised by a friendly Mardian[26] to follow the hills and thus avoid the archers to some extent rather than cross the open, treeless plains. The hill route was also said to be shorter, to be better provisioned, and to have the additional advantage of passing through many villages. With the Mardian as guide, Antony took the route suggested, and for two days all went well. On the third, when he had relaxed his guard and was marching in open order, he came to a point where the road was flooded by a recently breached dike. Warned by his guide that this was the work of the Parthians, Antony ordered his men into battle array, a task scarcely accomplished when the Romans were enveloped by enemy cavalry. Charges by light-armed troops simply caused the Parthians to withdraw momentarily, but attacks by the Celtic horsemen were effective.

Antony then adopted a formation consisting of a hollow square the flanks of which were covered by slingers and javelin-throwers, while horsemen broke up the Parthian attacks with charges. Thus the column was able to proceed, though but slowly.[27] On the fifth day Flavius Gallus asked for some of the light-armed troops from the rear. When the usual attack came, he pressed forward against the enemy instead of drawing them back toward the legionaries as was the custom. In a few moments he was surrounded and forced to ask for aid, but the small detachments sent were quickly cut to pieces. Disaster appeared imminent until Antony arrived from the van and with him Legion III, which pushed its way through the fugitives and effected a rescue. Some three thousand were killed and five thousand wounded, among them Gallus, who died shortly afterward.[28] On the next day the Parthians, said to number about forty thousand, hoped to complete the destruction of the Roman forces, but the legions rallied and met the attack by forming a testudo.[29] The Parthians, deceived by the sea of shields, supposed that the Romans were giving up the struggle and so dismounted and charged on foot. When they were within a short distance, the legionaries rose and met them with their short swords, killing those in the front ranks and putting the remainder to flight. The weary retreat then continued.

Famine fought with the Parthians, for the small amount of grain available was difficult to grind after the mills had been abandoned with the transport animals. Wild plants which the soldiers ate produced sickness and even death.

When the vigor of the Parthian attacks had declined for a time, Antony considered leaving the hills for level ground, especially as the rough hill country ahead was reported to be waterless. A cousin of the Monaeses who had been with Antony came to camp and warned him through an interpreter that the same fate which had befallen Crassus awaited him should he ever leave the hills. The Mardian was of the same opinion, and he added that but one day without water awaited them on the safe route. Accordingly they continued on as originally planned. Camp was broken at night, the troops carrying water in such vessels as they had or even in their helmets. But the Parthians, contrary to their usual custom, took up the pursuit even in the darkness and followed close behind the legions. About sunrise they overtook the rear guard, then worn out by a thirty-mile march. The parched soldiers suffered from drinking water laden with salts, for it was impossible to restrain them from anything liquid. Antony began to pitch camp, but abandoned the idea and resumed the march on the advice of a Parthian deserter who assured him that a river of good water was not far off, and that beyond it the Parthians were not likely to pursue them. As a reward for this information, the deserter was given as many gold vessels as he could conceal in his garments. The disorganization of the Roman army was by this time almost complete, for Roman stole from Roman, Antony's own baggage-carriers were attacked, and the commander himself made arrangements for a freedman in his bodyguard to kill him should he so command. To reorganize his troops Antony called a halt, and he had partially brought order out of chaos when the Parthians resumed the attack. A testudo was formed, and the front ranks moved gradually along until they came to the river, across which the wounded were sent first, while the retreat was covered by the cavalry. Beyond this the Parthians did not pursue, even as the deserter had predicted. Six days later the Romans reached the Araxes (Aras) River, the border between Media and Armenia, twenty-seven days after leaving Praaspa.[30]

The expedition cost the lives of approximately thirty-five thousand men. In eighteen defensive engagements the Romans had managed to preserve their forces from annihilation. A few more such Pyrrhic victories, and no one would have returned to tell the tale.[31] Phraates celebrated his victory by restriking with his own types the tetradrachms of Antony and Cleopatra captured as a part of the spoils.[32]

Antony, though keenly aware that the desertion of Artavasdes the Armenian had cost him dearly, was forced to treat him with respect and friendliness in order to secure much needed supplies. From Armenia Antony proceeded in haste to a place called Leukē Kōmē ("White Village") between Beirut and Sidon on the Syrian coast, though he was constantly hampered by inclement weather in the rainy season and lost eight thousand men on the march. There he stayed until joined by Cleopatra, who brought with her clothing and money for the troops. When these proved insufficient, Antony made up the difference from his own pocket and the pockets of his allies.[33] After a short rest together on the Syrian coast, Antony and Cleopatra proceeded to Alexandria, where they spent the winter. In the meantime a quarrel had arisen between Phraates and his Median ally over the booty taken from the Romans. The Median, fearful for the safety of his throne, sent Polemon[34] to Antony with an offer of alliance. This Antony accepted, and he later gave the kingdom of Lesser Armenia as a reward to the ambassador.

During this winter in Alexandria Sextus Pompeius, perhaps inspired by the successes of the late Labienus, sent messengers to the Parthians to offer them his services. The envoys were captured by Antony's men and sent back to Egypt.[35]

Meantime Antony planned to advance through Media Atropatene in the spring, join the king at the Araxes River, and invade Parthia. He had actually left Egypt when he learned that his other wife, Octavia, was on the way from Rome; he thereupon returned to Alexandria.[36] After the failure of an attempt to entice Artavasdes into Egypt, Antony sent Quintus Dellius to seek one of the daughters of the Armenian monarch as a wife for his son by Cleopatra. Evidently this also failed, since in the early spring of 34 b.c. Antony marched northward through Pales­ tine. Herod escorted him for some distance, and Cleopatra accompanied him as far as the Euphrates.[37] Antony advanced to the borders of Armenia, whence he conducted further negotiations for the marriage alliance. At length, when the king did not appear in person, Antony hastened toward Artaxata, the Armenian capital. Artavasdes was finally induced to enter camp, where he was at once seized and put in chains. The fact that Octavian had attempted to enlist the aid of Artavasdes[38] may have provoked Antony's action. The Armenians, who knew nothing of this intrigue, found in the seizure of their king a permanent grievance against Rome.[39]

Antony thereupon subdued the country with comparative ease and drove the king's eldest son, Artaxes, about whom the Armenians had rallied, out of the country to refuge with Phraates. After the region had been garrisoned, Antony went back to Egypt. The Armenian king and his wife and children and much booty were given as presents to Cleopatra. The king eventually graced a triumph and later was put to death.[40] Antony's son Alexander was made king of Armenia, Media, and Parthia—that is, from the Euphrates to India![41]

In 33 b.c. Antony again penetrated as far as the Araxes River, where he made a treaty with the Median king, an alliance against Octavian and the Parthians. Troops were exchanged, the Median king received a part of Armenia, and Antony secured Iotape, daughter of the ruler, for his son. The standards taken at the defeat of Statianus were also returned.

Not long afterward the Parthians together with Artaxes of Armenia, whom they had aided to recover his kingdom, were defeated by the Median Artavasdes with the help of his Roman allies.[42] Later, when Antony recalled his troops, Artavasdes was in turn overcome and forced to seek refuge with the Romans. Armenia and Media were thus lost to Rome, the first to Artaxes, the second to Phraates. Such Romans as were left behind were killed.[43]

As a result of Phraates' victory over Antony, the brewing internal strife in Parthia broke forth, and even before 31 b.c. a certain Tiridates (II) was in open revolt against the king.[44] Both parties sought aid from Octavian, who was too deeply engaged in his war with Antony to take up the matter. Cleopatra and Antony were defeated in the Battle of Actium in 31 b.c., and both chose to take their own lives rather than appear in the triumph of Octavian. Tiridates was victorious, and the deposed Phraates sought aid from the "Scythians." Among the Greek inscriptions from Susa is a much mutilated metric one which Cumont has dated to Phraates IV.[45] As he suggests, this rebel Tiridates might be the general mentioned in these verses, perhaps a commander who won fame in the victory over Antony.

From Egypt Octavian passed through Syria to the province of Asia, where he spent the winter of 30/29 b.c. About the same time Phraates and his "Scythian" allies drove Tiridates from Parthia, and he fled to Syria, where Octavian permitted him to live in peace.[46] Because of the laxity of the royal guards Tiridates had been able to steal Phraates' young son, whom he took with him to Syria. Phraates, then sole ruler of Parthia, on learning of this, sent envoys to Octavian in Asia Minor requesting the return of his son and the surrender of Tiridates. When Octavian left for Rome the son of the Parthian king and the pretender Tiridates went with him. They were brought before the Senate, which turned the matter over to Octavian for settlement. The son of Phraates was then returned to his father[47] upon the condition that the standards be restored, but it was a number of years before the Romans actually received them.

Coins of Attambelus II of Characene overstruck by Phraates about this time show that the former had suffered some defeat at the hands of his overlord.[48]

In the spring of 26 b.c.[49] Tiridates evidently advanced down the Euphrates with unexpected speed, for Phraates was forced to kill his harem on a little island a short distance south of Belesi Biblada (Kalat Bulak).[50] Perhaps at this time Tiridates struck the coins with the unique legend ΦΙΛ□ΡΩΜΑΙ□.[51] Tiridates must have reigned but a very short time, for his only coins of this period are dated in May, 26 b.c. Soon thereafter, if we may accept Justin,[52] he again fled with many of his adherents to Octavian, who was then in Spain. An inscription found in Spolato seems to refer to a son of Tiridates who eventually became a Roman citizen under the name Caius Julius Tiridates and who fell while in command of some Parthian auxiliaries serving in the Roman army.[53]

But Tiridates was not thus easily disposed of; in March, 25 b.c., he was again striking coins in the mint city of Seleucia. By May of the same year, however, Phraates had resumed control sufficiently to coin money at the same place, and Tiridates had vanished from our knowledge, this time permanently.

Meanwhile Roman losses at the hands of the Parthians had not been forgotten. War in the East was definitely among Octavian's plans.[54] The campaign was to be directed at Parthia, and at least a part of the troops would follow the route used by Antony. Even dreams of Bactria and India are mentioned; and ambassadors or agents, one of whom is called "Lycotas," apparently penetrated more than once to those regions.[55] Lycotas' lady love must learn where the Araxes flows and how many miles a Parthian charger can go without water, and she must consult a painted map (the world map of Agrippa?) to discover where the Dahae live.[56]

If a parchment written in Greek and found with two others at Avroman in Kurdistan is dated in the Seleucid era, Phraates had at least four queens: Olennieire, Cleopatra, Baseirta, and Bistheibanaps.[57]

On May 12,[58] 20 b.c., when Augustus was in Syria, the prisoners and standards were surrendered to Tiberius, who was commissioned to receive them.[59] One can hardly appreciate how large this event loomed in the eyes of contemporaries, even in view of the numerous literary references, until one turns to numismatics. The restoration of the standards was recorded on coins struck in the Asiatic, Spanish, imperatorial, and senatorial mints.[60] Indeed, most of the legends which relate to contemporary events are concerned with Parthian affairs. Augustus thought the return of the standards important enough to boast of it in his record a copy of which is preserved as the Monumentum Ancyranum.[61] The event was celebrated in Rome by the erection of a triumphal arch,[62] and the standards were ultimately placed in the temple of Mars Ultor.[63]

As we have previously seen,[64] after Artaxes had cleared Armenia of the Roman garrisons left by Antony, he remained ruler of the country. About 20 b.c. the Armenians became so dissatisfied with him that they requested that Tigranes, brother of Artaxes, be sent to rule over them. Augustus sent not only Tigranes but in addition an army under the command of Tiberius to drive out Artaxes and place Tigranes on the throne. Archelaus of Cappadocia was given Lesser Armenia as well as certain lands in Cilicia. Ariobarzanes, son of the former king of Media Atropatene, was appointed to rule over his father's lands.[65] Before Tiberius arrived, Artaxes had been slain by the Armenians; hence there remained little for the Roman forces to do. Tigranes reigned for some years, and at a later date may have fallen under Parthian influence,[66] although at the time the general feeling was that Armenia had been restored to the ostensible, if not actual, control of Rome.[67]

The years which followed the Parthian victories in Syria and Armenia and the subsequent disorder within their empire saw the scene of their contest with Rome shifted to the Euphrates, which by the beginning of the Christian era had for nearly a hundred years been the boundary between the two great powers.

  1. No coins are known to have been struck in 38/37 b.c. either by Orodes II or by Phraates IV; see McDowell, Coins from Seleucia, p. 184. Phraates' first known issue, A. Ritter von Petrowicz, Arsaciden-Münzen (Wien, 1904), p. 77, No. 1, is dated June, 37 b.c. Horace Ep. 7. 9 should be placed about this time.
  2. Plut. Crassus 33. In dropsy the excess blood which the heart cannot handle backs up into the extremities, causing them to swell. When given in small doses, aconite strengthens and steadies the heart action and might thus effect a temporary cure, though larger quantities would be fatal. The drug is made from common monkshood and would be in an impure state as prepared in antiquity—a fact which may account for the cure rather than the death of Orodes. The whole incident may be a later Greek or Roman addition.
  3. There is almost no agreement of sources with regard to the time of these murders: no clue in Justin xlii. 5. 1; Plut. Antony 37, Phraates put Orodes to death; Dio Cass. xlix. 23, Orodes dies of grief and old age before the murder of the sons. Cf. Rawlinson, Sixth Mon., p. 196 and note 1.
  4. Horace Od. iii. 6. 9; Plut. Antony 37. Adolf Günther, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Kriege zwischen Römern und Parthern (Berlin, 1922), p. 58, n. 1, suggests that his reputation was won in the attack on Statianus.
  5. Dio Cass. xlix. 24; T. R. Holmes, The Architect of the Roman Empire (Oxford, 1928), pp. 122 f. and notes; Günther, op. cit., p. 51 and n. 1.
  6. Josephus Bell. i. 433 and Ant. xv. 11–22 and 164–82.
  7. Josephus Bell. i. 486.
  8. J. de Groot, Chinesische Urkunden zur Geschtchte Asiens, I, 230 f. ("Tsit-ki" = Chih-chih).
  9. PW, arts. "Larisa," No. 12; "Arethusa," No. 10; and "Hierapolis" (in Suppl. IV).
  10. Dio Cass. xlix. 24; Plut. Antony 37.
  11. Dio Cass. xlix. 25; Plut. Antony 37; cf. Strabo xi. 13. 4 and xvi. 1. 28.
  12. Kromayer, "Kleine Forschungen zur Geschichte des zweiten Triumvirats," Hermes, XXXI (1896), 92 ff.; Holmes, op. cit., pp. 225 f. Günther, Beitrdge, p. 55, makes it the middle of April; cf. also J. Kromayer and G. Veith, Schlachten-Atlas zur antiken Kriegsgeschichte (Leipzig, 1922–29), Röm. Abt., Blatt 24:7. Florus ii. 20. 2 states that Antony made no declaration of war.
  13. Suet. Julius 44.
  14. On the route followed see Kromayer, op. cit., pp. 70–86; Holmes, op. cit., pp. 124 f. and 223–25 (with bibliographical notes). Cf. Theodor Mommsen, The Provinces of the Roman Empire (tr. by W. P. Dickson; New York, 1906), II, 30–34, and Delbruck, Geschichte der Kriegskunst, I, 478–81.
  15. Plut. Antony 37. Justin xlii. 5. 3 and Florus ii. 20 state that he had with him sixteen legions; Victor De vir. ill. 85. 4 reports the number as fifteen; Livy Epit. cxxx gives 18; and Vell. Pat. ii. 82 says thirteen. Kromayer, op. cit., Hermes, XXXIII (1898), 27, estimates the average strength of these legions at 3750. See also Günther, Beiträge, p. 50 and n. 2; Tarn, "Antony's Legions," Classical Quarterly, XXVI (1932), 75–81.
  16. Strabo xi. 14. 9.
  17. Strabo xi. 13. 4 and xvi. 1. 28.
  18. Dio Cass. xlix. 25; Plut. Antony 38 says ten thousand men.
  19. Praaspa is the classical Vera, Strabo xi. 13. 3. See Sykes, Hist. of Persia, I, 360 and n. 1; H. C. Rawlinson, "Memoir on the Site of Atropatenian Ecbatana," Journ. Royal Geog. Soc., X (1841), 113–15.
  20. Dio Cass. xlix. 25.
  21. Plut. Antony 38 mentions the loss of ten thousand men; Livy Epit. cxxx and Vell. Pat. ii. 82, two legions.
  22. Dio Cass. xlix. 25.
  23. Plut. Antony 39.
  24. Plut. Antony 39.
  25. Ibid.; Frontinus Strat. iv. 1. 37. Though Dio Cass. xlix. 27 says that all the army was given barley, the substitution of barley for wheat is ordinarily part of the punishment; cf. Octavian in the Dalmatian War, Suet. Augustus 24; Dio Cass. xlix. 38. 4; H. M. D. Parker, The Roman Legions (Oxford, 1928), pp. 232–34 (a work almost valueless for the eastern campaigns).
  26. Plut. Antony 41. The later writers Vell. Pat. ii. 82 and Florus ii. 20.4 represent him as a survivor of Crassus' expedition, settled in Margiana.
  27. On the retreat see also Frontinus Strat. ii. 13. 7.
  28. Plut. Antony 42 f.; cf. Tac. Hist. iii. 24.
  29. Plut. Antony 45; Dio Cass. xlix. 29 f.; Frontinus Strat. ii. 3. 15.
  30. Plut. Antony 47 ff.; Frontinus Strat. ii. 3. 15 and ii. 13. 7. On the retreat see H. C. Rawlinson, "Memoir on the Site of the Atropatenian Ecbatana," Journ. Royal Geog. Soc., (1841), 113–17.
  31. Plut. Antony 50 puts the loss at twenty thousand infantry and four thousand cavalry, but apparently (see Rawlinson, Sixth Mon., p. 205 and n. 2) does not include the ten thousand men lost under Statianus. Vell. Pat. ii. 82 states that losses amounted to not less than one-fourth of all the soldiers, one-third of the camp followers, and all of the baggage. Florus ii. 20. 10 says one-third of the legions remained; cf. Plut. Demetrius et Antonius 1!
  32. Allotte de la Fuÿe, "Monnaies arsacides surfrappées," Rev. num., 1904, pp. 174–87; the example discussed is now in the collection of E. T. Newell, New York City. See also Allotte de la Fuÿe in Mém. Miss. archéol. de Perse, XXV (1934), 34.
  33. Dio Cass. xlix. 31. Cf. Plut. Antony 51, according to whom one account relates that Cleopatra brought only the clothing and Antony furnished the money from his private funds.
  34. Dio Cass. xlix. 33.
  35. Appian Bell. civ. v. 133 and 136; Dio Cass. xlix. 18; Livy Epit. cxxxi.
  36. Plut. Antony 52; Dio Cass. xlix. 33.
  37. Josephus Ant. xv. 80 and 96 and Bell. i. 362.
  38. Dio Cass. xlix. 41. 5, possibly also Vergil Georg. iv. 560.
  39. Tac. Ann. ii. 3.
  40. Plut. Antony 50 and Demetrius et Antonius 5; Josephus Bell. i. 363 and Ant. xv. 104 f.; Strabo xi. 14. 15.
  41. Plut. Antony 54. 4; Dio Cass. xlix. 41.
  42. Horace Od. iii. 8. 19 suggests internal strife among the Parthians; cf. also Plut. Antony 53. 6.
  43. Dio Cass. li. 16. 2. Note the Zeus Nikephoros types struck by Phraates in 32/31; see McDowell, Coins from Seleucia, pp. 184 f.
  44. Justin xlii. 5. 4; Dio Cass. li. 18; cf. also Horace Epist. i. 12. 27–28 and Od. i. 26. 5, and Vergil Georg. i. 509. See also PW, art. "Tiridates," No. 4.
  45. "Nouvelles inscriptions grecques de Suse," CR, 1930, pp. 211–20.
  46. Dio Cass. li. 18. There are no known dated tetradrachms of Phraates for 30/29 b.c.; see McDowell, Coins from Seleucia, p. 185. Horace Od. ii. 2. 17 mentions Phraates' restoration. On the problem of Tiridates and Phraates see H. Ten Cate Fennema, Quaestiones Parthicae (Neomagi, 1882), pp. 44 f.
  47. Dio Cass. li. 18. 3 is just after Actium. Dio liii. 33. 1 clearly suggests he is recalling earlier events; hence the next section probably refers to the same time as the passage previously cited. Dio states that the matter was referred to the Senate, which turned it over to Octavian for settlement. This would require some time, which the interval between Octavian's stay in Asia Minor and the reappearance of Tiridates in Parthia in May, 26 b.c., provides. We cannot accept all of Justin xlii. 5. 6 f., where he says that Tiridates with the son of Phraates and later the envoys, dispatched after the news reached Phraates, were received by Octavian in Spain. The ten months allowed by the numismatic evidence would be barely sufficient for Tiridates alone, to say nothing of the envoys, to reach Spain and return. Since Tiridates' coins stop in March, 25, the above interpretation of Dio liii. 33. 1 solves the problem usually created by dating the passage to 23 b.c. All of Justin xlii. 5. 6 may by erroneous, or he may have misplaced the incident of the kidnaping of the son. This type of error is even more common in Justin than one of fact. If the foregoing argument is accepted, we must date the return of Phraates' son between 29 and 26 b.c.
  48. G. F. Hill, "Greek Coins Acquired by the British Museum in 1926," Num. Chron., 5th ser., VII (1927), 207.
  49. The following table, drawn from McDowell, Coins from Seleucia, p. 185, lists the known tetradrachms from Mesopotamia bearing dates from 26–25 b.c. assigned to Phraates IV and Tiridates II:
    Phraates IV April, 26 b.c.
    Tiridates II May, 26 b.c.
    Phraates IV Aug., Sept., and Nov., 26 b.c.
    Tiridates II March, 25 b.c.
    Phraates IV May, 25 b.c.
  50. Isid. Char. Mans. Parth. 1.
  51. Wroth, Parthia, p. 135. The reference in Horace Sat. ii. 5. 62 should be dated about this time.
  52. Cf. p. 136, n. 44. See the discussion of this period in David Magie, "The Mission of Agrippa to the Orient in 23 b.c.," Class. Philol., III (1908), 145 ff. Trogus sheds no light on the question. Tiridates had a maximum of ten months to make the trip, but perhaps like Herod he did not fear to travel in winter. Tiridates is mentioned by Horace Od. i. 26. 5 and in Mon. Ancyr. vi (32). I cannot agree with the suggestion of Tarn, "Tiridates II and the Young Phraates," Mélanges Glotz II, 834, that "Phraates, son of Phraates," mentioned by Augustus was set up as a joint king by Tiridates in his second attempt on the throne. Tarn feels that Dio Cass. li. 18. 3 is impossible and Justin xlii. 5. 6 untrue, but it seems equally impossible that the Romans ever supported dual candidates for the throne. The junior Phraates in question is perhaps Phraataces, son of Phraates IV.
  53. CIL, III, No. 8746; V. E. Gardthausen, "Die Parther in griechisch-römischen Inschriften," Orientalische Studien Theodor Nöldeke zum siebzigsten Geburtstag gewidmet (Gieszen, 1906), pp. 847 f.
  54. Propertius iii. 1. 16; 4. 1–19; 5. 48; 9. 25 and 53 f.; 12. 1–15. The ante quem date for these plans would seem to be the recognition of Octavian as a god, Propertius iii. 4. 1–19, and the post quem date the recovery of the standards in 20 b.c. Since his patron was C. Maecenas, friend and military adviser to Octavian, Propertius would be in a position to secure information. There are indications of such plans as early as 30 b.c. in Tibullus iii. 7 and Horace Od. i. 2. 21 f. and 51 (on the dating of this ode see J. Elmore, "Horace and Octavian [Car. i. 2]," Class. Philol., XXVI [1931], 258–63); 11. 2; 12. 53 ff.; 19. II f.; 21. 15. On Iccius' preparing chains for the Mede see ibid. i. 29. 4 f.; on new levies, i. 35. 30–32. See also ibid. ii. 9. 18 ff.; 13. 17 f.; 16. 6; iii. 2. 3; 3. 44; 5. 4; 29. 27; Vergil Aeneid vii. 605 f.
  55. Propertius iv. 3.
  56. Magie, "Mission of Agrippa," Class. Philol., Ill (1908), 145 ff., suggests that while Agrippa was at Mytilene in 23 b.c. his officers may have been negotiating for the return of the standards. Horace Od. i. 12. 53, and perhaps also i. 19. 12, should be placed about this time. The date of Od. i. 21. 15 is uncertain; see A. Steinmann, De Parthis ab Horatio memoratis (Berlin, 1898), p. 22.
  57. Avroman II; see E. H. Minns, "Parchments of the Parthian Period from Avroman in Kurdistan," JHS XXXV (1915), 22–65. The document bears the date 291, i.e., 21/20 b.c. if the era is Seleucid, a.d. 44/45 if it is Arsacid. For further bibliography on the parchment see p. 47, n. 70; see also p. 170, n. 87.
  58. Ovid Fasti v. 545 ff.; CIL, I (2d ed.), pp. 229 and 318.
  59. Suet. Augustus 21. 3 and Tiberius 9. 1; Justin xlii. 5. 11 f.; Livy Epit. cxli; Vell. Pat. ii. 91. 1; Florus ii. 34. 63; Eutrop. Brev. vii. 9; Orosius vi. 21. 29; Horace Od. iv. 15. 6–8 and Epist. i. 12. 27 f. and 18. 56 f.; Ovid Tristia ii. 227 f. and Fasti v. 579 f. and vi. 465–68; Strabo vi. 4. 2 and xvi. 1. 28; Vergil Aeneid vii. 605 f.; Propertius iv. 6. 79–82; Orac. Sibyl. v. 47 ff. See also the later statue of Augustus in CAH, Plates, IV, 148 a and 150.
  60. Harold Mattingly and E. A. Sydenham, The Roman Imperial Coinage, I (London, 1923), 46; 63, Nos. 46 ff.; 70, Nos. 98 ff.; 84, No. 256; 86, Nos. 302 ff.
  61. Mon. Ancyr. v (29).
  62. Mattingly and Sydenham, op. cit., I, 46; 61, No. 17; and 63, No. 37; Dio Cass. liv. 8.
  63. Mon. Ancyr. v (29); Dio Cass. liv. 8. This temple in the forum of Augustus was not finished until 2 b.c., and the representations on the coins (for which see Mattingly and Sydenham, op. cit., I, 46; 61, No. 16; 85, Nos. 281 ff.) do not correspond to the known plan of the building. G. F. Hill, Historical Roman Coins (London, 1909), p. 143, and other writers have suggested that the building on the coins is a temporary shrine erected on the Capitol.
  64. See p. 135.
  65. Strabo xii. 1. 4 and 3. 29; Dio Cass. liv. 9. 2; Suet. Tiberius 9. 1.
  66. Tigranes' coins bear Parthian titles; see Newell, Coins of Eastern Dynasts ("Numismatic Notes and Monographs," No. 30), pp. 13–15.
  67. Mon. Ancyr. v (27); Strabo xvii. 1. 54; Dio Cass. liv. 9; Josephus Ant. xv. 105; Tac. Ann. ii. 3; Vell. Pat. ii. 94. 4 and 122. 1; Suet. Augustus 21. 3 and Tiberius 9. 1. Cf. also Crinagoras in Anthologia Planudea xvi. 61 (Loeb, V). On the coinage see Mattingly and Sydenham, op. cit., I, 47 and 69, Nos. 97 ff., issued in 18 b.c., especially No. 101, which bears the legend CAESAR DIVI F ARME CAPTA and the figure of an Armenian kneeling to the right.