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ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA.

OR, A

DICTIONARY

OF

ARTS, SCIENCES, AND MISCELLANEOUS

LITERATURE;

ENLARGED AND IMPROVED.

THE SIXTH EDITION.

Illustrated with nearly six hundred Engravings.

VOL. XVI.

INDOCTI DISCANT; AMENT MEMINISSE PERITI.

EDINBURGH:

PRINTED FOR ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE AND COMPANY;
AND HURST, ROBINSON, AND COMPANY, 90, CHEAPSIDE,

LONDON.

1823.

ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA.

PAR

PAR

Parthia.

I

Ancient

PARTHIA, a celebrated empire of antiquity, Arsaces; but was still more unfortunate than he had Parthia.

bounded on the west by Media, on the north by Hyrcania, on the east by Aria, on the south by Carmania the desert; surrounded on every side by mountains, which still serve as a boundary, though its name is now changed, having obtained that of Eyrac or Arac; and, to distinguish it from Chaldæa, that of Eyrac Agami. By Ptolemy it is divided into five districts, viz. divisions. Caminsine or Gamisene, Partheyne, Choroane, Atticene, and Tabiene. The ancient geographers enumerate a great many cities in this country. Ptolemy in particular reckons 25 large cities; and it certainly must have been very populous, since we have accounts of 2000 villages, besides a number of cities, which were destroyed by earthquakes. Its capital was named Hecatompolis, from the circumstance of its having 100 gates. It was a noble and magnificent place; and, according to some, it still remains under the name of Ispahan, the capital of the present Persian empire.

2

Whence peopled.

3

the Parthians re

Parthia is by some supposed to have been first peopled by the Phetri or Pathri, often mentioned in Scripture, and that the Parthians are descended from Pathrusim the son of Misraim. But however true this may be with regard to the ancient inhabitants, yet is is certain, that those Parthians who were so famous in history, descended from the Scythians, though from what tribe we are not certainly informed.

The history of the ancient Parthians is totally lost. All that we know about them is, that they were first subject to the Medes, afterwards to the Persians, and lastly to Alexander the Great. After his death the province fell to Seleucus Nicator, and was held by him and his successors till the reign of Antiochus Theus, about the year 250 before Christ. At this time the Parthians revolted, and chose one Arsaces for their Cause of king. The immediate cause of this revolt was the lewdness of Agathocles, to whom Antiochus had comvolt from mitted the care of all the provinces beyond the EuAnticchus phrates. This man made an infamous attempt on Tiridates, a youth of great beauty; which so enraged his brother Arsaces, that he excited his countrymen to revolt; and before Antiochus had leisure to attend to the rebellion, it became too powerful to be crushed. Seleucus Callinicus, the successor of Antiochus Theus, attempted to reduce Arsaces; but the latter having had so much time to strengthen himself, defeated and drove his antagonist out of the country. Seleucus, however, in a short time, undertook another expedition against VOL. XVI. Part I.

Theus.

been in the former, being not only defeated in a great
battle, but taken prisoner, and died in captivity. The
day on which Arsaces gained this victory was ever after
observed among the Parthians as an extraordinary fes-
tival. Arsaces being thus fully established in his new
kingdom, reduced Hyrcania and some other provinces
under his power; and was at last killed in a battle
against Ariarthes IV. king of Cappadocia. From this
prince all the other kings of Parthia took the surname
of Arsaces, as those of Egypt did that of Ptolemy, from
Ptolemy Soter.

Arsaces I. was succeeded by his son Arsaces II. who,
entering Media, made himself master of that country,
while Antiochus the Great was engaged in war with
Ptolemy Euergetes king of Egypt. Antiochus, how-
ever, was no sooner disengaged from that war, than he
marched with all his forces against Arsaces, and at first
drove him quite out of Media. But he soon returned
with an army of 100,000 foot and 20,000 horse, with
which he put a stop to the further progress of Antio-
chus; and a treaty was soon after concluded, in which
it was agreed, that Arsaces should remain master of
Parthia and Hyrcania, upon condition of his assisting
him in his wars with other nations.

thian mo

Arsaces II. was succeeded by his son Priapatius, who Conquests reigned 15 years, and left three sons, Phrahates, Mithri- of the Pardates, and Artabanus. Phrahates, the elder, succeeded narchs. to the throne, and reduced under his subjection the Mardi, who had never been conquered by any but Alexander the Great. After him, his brother Mithridates was invested with the regal dignity. He reduced the Bactrians, Medes, Persians, Elymeans, and overran in a manner all the east, penetrating beyond the boundaries of Alexander's conquests. Demetrius Nicator, who then reigned in Syria, endeavoured to recover those provinces; but his army was entirely destroyed, and himself taken prisoner, in which state he remained till his death; after which victory Mithridates made himself master of Babylonia and Mesopotamia, so that all the provinces between the Euphrates and the Ganges were now subject to his power.

5

Mithridates died in the 37th year of his reign, and Antiochus left the throne to his son Phrahates II. who was scarce Sidetes desettled in his kingdom when Antiochus Sidetes march- stroyed with his ed against him at the head of a numerous army, under whole arpretence of delivering his brother Demetrius, who was my. still in captivity. Phrahates was defeated in three + pitched

A

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