The "Parthwa," or Parthians, who are early met with as one of the numerous peoples merged in the great Persian empire, at first in the modern Khorasan to the south-east of the Caspian sea, appear after 500 under the Scythian, i. e. Turanian, princely race of the Arsacids as an independent state; which, however, only emerged from its obscurity about a century afterwards.

He not only gave his daughter Cleopatra in marriage to Tigranes, but it was mainly through his support that Tigranes shook off the yoke of the Arsacids and took their place in Asia.

During his praetorship, which office he held in 661 after having failed in a previous candidature, it once more chanced that in his province, the least important of all, the first victory over king Mithradates and the first treaty with the mighty Arsacids, as well as their first humiliation, occurred. The Civil war followed.

He not only gave his daughter Cleopatra in marriage to Tigranes, but it was mainly through his support that Tigranes shook off the yoke of the Arsacids and took their place in Asia.

Meanwhile the Romans established themselves in western Cilicia, and the important Mesopotamia passed over definitively to the Parthians. The Parthian State Armenia The monarchy of the Arsacids had to pass through a dangerous crisis about the time of the Gracchi, chiefly in consequence of the inroads of Turanian tribes. Asia Minor

Why not, then, count as manvantaric doings in West Asia this rise of the Parthians to power? Why relegate them and their activities to the dimness of pralaya? It was anything rather than a world empire. The countries west of the Euphrates never owned its dominion, and even of Iran itself not one half was subject to the Arsacids.

In Armenia an Arsacid that is, Parthian house has survived and holds sovereignty: and Armenia is a sort of weak Belgium between Persia and Rome; inclining to the latter, of course, because ruled by Arsacids, who are the natural dynastic enemies of the Sassanids of Persia.

The Armenian monarch, who had been set on his throne by Artabanus, and was uncle to the young princes, was especially anxious to maintain the Arsacids in power; he gave them a refuge in Armenia, collected an army on their behalf, and engaging Artaxerxes, is even said to have defeated him in a battle. But his efforts, and those of Artavasdes, were unavailing.

The empire of Mithradates was, like himself, Oriental; polygamy and the system of the harem prevailed at court and generally among persons of rank; the religion of the inhabitants of the country as well as the official religion of the court was pre-eminently the old national worship; the Hellenism there was little different from the Hellenism of the Armenian Tigranids and the Arsacids of the Parthian empire.

Complaisant as had been the demeanour of Roman diplomacy towards Phraates while the Pontic and Armenian states still subsisted, willingly as both Lucullus and Pompeius had then conceded to him the possession of the regions beyond the Euphrates, the new neighbour now sternly took up his position by the side of the Arsacids; and Phraates, if the royal art of forgetting his own faults allowed him, might well recall now the warning words of Mithradates that the Parthian by his alliance with the Occidentals against the kingdoms of kindred race paved the way first for their destruction and then for his own.