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About this same time Mithridates, of whom I have before spoken as having ruled Armenia, and having been imprisoned by order of Caius Cæsar, made his way back to his kingdom at the suggestion of Claudius and in reliance on the help of Pharasmanes. This Pharasmanes, who was king of the Iberians and Mithridates' brother, now told him that the Parthians were divided, and that the highest questions of empire being uncertain, lesser matters were neglected. Gotarzes, among his many cruelties, had caused the death of his brother Artabanus, with his wife and son. Hence his people feared for themselves and sent for Vardanes. Ever ready for daring achievements, Vardanes traversed 375 miles in two days, and drove before him the surprised and terrified Gotarzes. Without a moment's delay, he seized the neighbouring governments, Seleucia alone refusing his rule. Rage against the place, which indeed had also revolted from his father, rather than considerations of policy, made him embarrass himself with the siege of a strong city, which the defence of a river flowing by it, with fortifications and supplies, had thoroughly secured. Gotarzes meanwhile, aided by the resources of the Dahæ and Hyrcanians, renewed the war; and Vardanes, compelled to raise the siege of Seleucia, encamped on the plains of Bactria.

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