Arsacid dynasty, also known as the Ashkanian dynasty built the empire of
was a region in ancient
Persia corresponding approximately
to Northwest Khurasan.
History of the Arsacid Dynasty
In 318 B.C.E. Pithon, satrap of Media, seized Parthia and installed his brother Eudamus. But other satraps became alarmed and united under Peucestas of Persis to drive Pithon back to Media.
After 316 B.C.E Parthia was joined to Bactria under Stasanor.
of Bactria revolted and declared himself king about 253 B.C.E.
247 B.C.E, Arsaces (Arschag) and his brother Tiridates founded the Arsacid
dynasty, They occupied the Seleucid satrapy of Parthia (the district of Tejen)
defeating and killing its governor Andragoras.
In 190 B.C.E, the Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great was defeated by the
Romans at Magnesia. The Seleucid kin Antiochus IV Epiphanes died in 164 B.C.E,
opening the way for the great Parthian Arsacid expansion.
Mithridates I annexed the provinces of Media, Susiana, Persis, Characene,
Babylonia and Assyria in the west and of Gedrosia and Sistan in the east, and
also took Seleucia on the Tigris, which was the second largest city of Western
Asia. Immediately facing the city, on the left bank of the Tigris, the
Parthians founded Ctesiphon in modern Iraq, the new capital of the empire.
Mithridates I created an empire which extended from the Euphrates to the
Indian Caucasus, comprising a vast array of peoples and traditions.
Mithridates II came to power about 123 B.C.E He exchanged ambassadors with
the Chinese around 110 B.C.E to facilitate commerce. Mithridates II also
worked with the Romans to overcome Tigranes of Armenia. This cooperation quickly
became a historic rivalry. Orodes I is noteworthy for having defeated Crassus
about 87 B.C.E
The last king of the Arsacid dynasty was Artabanus IV, killed in battle
with Ardashir of the Sassanid dynasty about 224 CE.
Map: Parthian Arsacid Empire
The Arsacid kings
The list is a reconstruction, using. on Parthian, Greek and Roman sources. It
is based on A.D.H Bivar 1983, "The Political History of Iran Under the Arsacids"
in The Cambridge History of Iran pp. 98–99,
Arsaces I c. 247 - ?? B.C.EE
I c. 246 - 211 B.C.E
II c. 211 - 191 B.C.E (also called Artabanus
Phriapatius c. 191 - 176
Phraates I c. 176 - 171 B.C.E
Mithridates I c. 171 - 138
Phraates II c. 138 - 127
Artabanus I c. 127 - 124
Mithridates II c. 123 - 88
Gotarzes I c. 95 - 90 B.C.E
Orodes I c. 90 - 80 B.C.E
Unknown kings c. 80 - 77
Sanatruces c. 77 - 70 B.C.E
Phraates III c. 70 - 57 B.C.E
Mithridates III c. 57 - 54
Orodes II c. 57 - 38 B.C.E
Pacorus I c. 39 - 38 B.C.E (co-ruler with his father Orodes II)
Phraates IV c. 38 - 2 B.C.E
Tiridates II c. 30 - 26 B.C.E
Phraates V (Phraataces) c. 2
B.C.E - A.C.E. 4
Musa c. 2 B.C.E - AD 4 (co-ruler with her son Phraates V)
Orodes III c. AD 6
Vonones I c. 8 - 12
Artabanus II c. 10 - 38
Tiridates III c. 35 - 36
Vardanes I c. 40 - 47
Gotarzes II c. 40 - 51
Sanabares c. 50 - 65
Vonones II 51
Vologeses I c. 51 - 78
Vardanes II c. 55 - 58
Vologeses II c. 77 - 80
Pacorus II c. 78 - 105
Artabanus III c. 80 - 90
Vologeses III c. 105 - 147
Osroes I c. 109 - 129
Parthamaspates c. 116
Mithridates IV c. 129 - 140
Unknown king c. 140
Vologeses IV c. 147 - 191
Osroes II c. 190 (rival claimant)
Vologeses V c. 191 - 208
Vologeses VI c. 208 - 228
Artabanus IV c. 216 - 224
October 30, 2010.
Synonyms and alternate spellings: