And now the Parthians, unable to throw the army into confusion or break up its array, but many times already defeated and put to flight, began once more to mingle peaceably with the men who went out in search of fodder or grain, and pointing to their unstrung bows would say that they themselves were going back, and that this was the end of their retaliation, although a few Medes would still follow the Romans one or two days' march, not molesting them at all, but merely protecting the more outlying villages.
To these words they added greetings and acts of friendliness, so that once more the Romans became full of courage, and Antony, when he heard about it, was more inclined to seek the plains, since the way through the mountains was said to be waterless. But as he was about to do this, there came a man to the camp from the enemy, Mithridates by name, a cousin of the Monaeses who had been with Antony and had received the three cities as a gift.1
Mithridates asked that someone should come to him who could speak the Parthian or Syrian language.
So Alexander of Antioch came to him, being a close friend of Antony, whereupon Mithridates, after explaining who he was, and attributing to Monaeses the favour now to be shown, asked Alexander if he saw a range of lofty hills on beyond. Alexander said he did see them.
‘Under those hills,’ said Mithridates,
‘the Parthians with all their forces are lying in ambush for you.
For the great plains adjoin these hills, and they expect that you will be beguiled by them into turning in that direction and leaving the road through the mountains. That road, it is true, involves thirst and hard labour, to which you are now accustomed; but if Antony proceeds by way of the plains, let him know that the fate of Crassus awaits him.’