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He then visited the strongest governments, and was eager to recover Armenia, but was stopped by Vibius Marsus, governor of Syria, who threatened war. Meanwhile Gotarzes, who repented of having relinquished his throne, at the solicitation of the nobility, to whom subjection is a special hardship in peace, collected a force. Vardanes
COMMOTIONS IN PARTHIA
marched against him to the river Charinda; a fierce battle was fought over the passage, Vardanes winning a complete victory, and in a series of successful engagements subduing the intermediate tribes as far as the river Sindes, which is the boundary between the Dahæ and the Arians. There his successes terminated. The Parthians, victorious though they were, rebelled against distant service. So after erecting monuments on which he recorded his greatness, and the tribute won from peoples from whom no Arsacid had won it before, he returned covered with glory, and therefore the more haughty and more intolerable to his subjects than ever. They arranged a plot, and slew him when he was off his guard and intent upon the chase. He was still in his first youth, and might have been one of the illustrious few among aged princes, had he sought to be loved by his subjects as much as to be feared by his foes.

The murder of Vardanes threw the affairs of Parthia into confusion, as the people were in doubt who should be summoned to the throne. Many inclined to Gotarzes, some to Meherdates, a descendant of Phraates, who was a hostage in our hands. Finally Gotarzes prevailed. Established in the palace, he drove the Parthians by his cruelty and profligacy to send a secret entreaty to the Roman emperor that Meherdates might be allowed to mount the throne of his ancestors.

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