Middle East Encyclopedia

Encyclopedia of the Middle East


MidEastWeb Middle East


Parthia was a region in ancient Persia corresponding approximately to Northwest Khurasan. It was called Parthava by the Persians.

Parthia is probably the region named Partukka or Partakka, known to the Assyrians as early as the seventh century B.C. It may have been a part of Media. Media was conquered by Cyrus (Kurush) the Great, of the Achaemenid dynasty.

Parthia was the seat of an empire begun by the Arsacid dynasty about 2500 B.C.E after the fall of of the Seleucid kingdoms founded by Alexander the Great, who in turn, had destroyed Achaemenid  Persia. Parthia and the Arsacid kingdom were Hellenistic civilizations, rather than Persian.

 Map: Area of Parthia about 250 BCE

map of parthia

The Arsacid dynasty built Parthia into a great empire that successfully competed with ancient Rome and limited its eastward expansion until about 220 AD.



Map: Parthian Arsacid Empire

Parthian Empir Map

Ami Isseroff

October 30, 2010.


Synonyms and alternate spellings: Iran, Persia

Further Information: Persia  

USA Credit Card - Donate On-Line - Help us live and grow

Encyclopedia of the Middle East

Note - This encyclopedia is a work in progress. It is far from complete and is being constructed and improved all the time. If you would like to contribute articles or expansions of existing articles, please contact news (at) mideastweb.org.  Suggestions and corrections are welcome. The concise version of this dictionary is at our Middle East Glossary.

Spelling - Spelling of words in Middle-Eastern languages is often arbitrary. There may be many variants of the same name or word such as Hezbollah, Hizbolla, Hisbolla or Husayn and Hussein. There are some conventions for converting words from Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew There are numerous variant renderings of the same Arabic or Hebrew words, such as "Hizbollah," "Hisbulla" etc. It is not possible to find exact equivalents for several letters. 

Pronunciation - Arabic and Hebrew vowels are pronounced differently than in English. "o" is very short. The "a" is usually pronounced like the "a" in market, sometimes as the "a" in "Arafat."  The " 'A " is guttural.  " 'H "- the 'het ('Hirbeh, 'Hebron, 'Hisbollah') designates a sound somewhat similar to the ch in "loch" in Scots pronunciation, but made by touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The CH should be pronounced like Loch, a more assertive consonant than 'het.

The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

Copyright 2007- 8,  MidEastWeb for Coexistence RA.

All original materials at MidEastWeb are copyright by MidEastWeb and/or by their authors unless otherwise noted. Please do not copy materials from this Web site to your Web site or to forums without permission. Please tell your friends about MidEastWeb. Please forward these materials in e-mails to friends with links to this URL - http://www.mideastweb.org and to the URL of the material. You can print out materials for your own use or classroom use, giving the URL of  MidEastWeb. For pages marked Copyright, printed material should bear this notice:

"Copyright by MidEastWeb for Coexistence R.A - Middle East Resources. - http://www.mideastweb.org. All rights reserved. "

and should give the URL of the original. Reproduction in any other form - by permission only. Consult detailed terms of use and copyright information

Mideastweb: Middle East Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Issues in a Nutshell Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Brief History Zionism Zionism: Definition & brief history

Middle East Encyclopedia