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Parthian Warfare Timeline

Parthian Warfare Timeline


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  • 247 BCE - 224 CE

    Empire of the Parthians.

  • 141 BCE

    Persis passes from Seleucid to Parthian domination.

  • 55 BCE

    Marcus Licinius Crassus is made consul for the second time and departs on campaign in Parthia.

  • 53 BCE

    Battle of Carrhae. Crassus is captured and executed by the Parthians.

  • 52 CE

    Parthian king Vologases I invades Armenia.

  • 58 CE - 63 CE

    Roman-Parthian War.

  • 114 CE

    Roman emperor Trajan annexes Armenia and declares war on Parthia.

  • 127 CE - 150 CE

    The Kushana emperor Kanishka conquers Kashmir, defeats Parthians, reaching the kingdom of Magadha. He crosses the Pamir mountains and defeats the Chinese under General Pan Yang and annexes Kashgar, Khotan and Yarkand.

  • 161 CE - c. 166 CE

    Parthian Wars with Rome; Lucius Verus commands Rome's forces in the field.

  • 195 CE

    First Parthian war.

  • 197 CE - 198 CE

    Second Parthian war.

  • 224 CE

    Sasanians overthrow the Parthians.


Persian history dates back to the development of ancient Mesopotamia, the land demarcated by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

Ancient Persian history, the time of the rise and fall of the Persian Empire is typically divided into three periods:

  • ● ACHAEMENID: (550 – 330 BC)
  • ● SELEUCIAN (306 BC- 150 BC) & PARTHIAN: (247 BC – 224 CE)
  • ● SASSANIAN: (224 -651 CE)

Achaemenid Persian Empire – History


Parthians Conquered in 116 AD

The Parthian and Roman Empire had a long-term conflict that resulted in a series of battles that started in 66 BC until 217 AD where it is listed on the Biblical Timeline with World History. Otherwise known as the Roman – Parthian Wars, these battles took over 700 years and led to massive destruction of property between these two powerful empires.

Early Beginnings of the War

The earliest recorded incursions that existed between Parthia and Rome was in the Battle of Carrhae, which occurred in 53 BC. Moreover, the Parthians showed support to Brutus and Cassius during the Civil War of the Roman Liberators in the First Century BC. The end of the Roman Civil War, however, only led to the strengthening of the Roman Army throughout Western Asia. Thus, this increased the supremacy of Rome over other nations that were once a threat to its victory.

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Emperor Trajan of Rome began formulating plans to conquer Parthia in 113 AD. Eventually, he succeeded in gaining power over Ctesiphon, the capital of Parthia. Afterwards, he appointed Parthamaspates as the client ruler, yet this policy was reversed by Trajan’s successor, Hadrian.

During the Second Century BC, another series of wars existed between Parthia and Rome. Throughout these battles, Rome gained an advantage over Parthia, which gave Trajan much optimism about ruling over this land once and for all. Soon, the emperor believed that the time is right to begin the annexation of Armenia and invade Parthia.

The Invasion of Armenia

With a new strategy set, Trajan was able to conquer Armenia and transformed it into one of Rome’s province in 114 AD. Also, he succeeded in killing Parthamasiris, who was appointed by King Osroes of Parthia as the ruler of Armenia. A year after, Rome invaded the northern part of Mesopotamia and annexed it as a part of the Roman Empire. Prior to heading towards the Persian Gulf, the Ctesiphon succumbed to the Romans, as well.

It was in 115 AD when various revolts broke out in various nations including northern Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine. To further put the Roman army’s abilities to the test, a massive Jewish revolt also erupted in the Roman territory. Because of these consecutive revolts, Trajan was unable to take over Hatra, and this prevented him from gaining power over Parthia. As a consequence, the Parthian Army threatened major Roman territories that caused significant challenges to Trajan.

Conquer of Parthia

Upon conquering Mesopotamia, Trajan had only a few concerns as Osroes was preoccupied with another civil war with Vologases III. Hence, Trajan decided to settle in Antioch from 115 to 116, but he continued his campaign and goal of defeating Parthia. As he proceeded to the Euphrates, he conquered Dura-Europos, Characene, and Susa.

Parthia’s great leader, Sanatruces II, gathered his army to fight the Romans in the eastern part of Parthia. However, he was betrayed and murdered by Parthamaspates, his cousin. During the remaining months of 116 AD, Trajan declared himself as Parthia’s new king, which signaled his victorious attempts of ruling over the land.

In 117 AD, Babylonians threatened the Roman garrisons with a series of revolts. This has led to Trajan’s withdrawal from Mesopotamia, yet he attempted to fight back in 118 AD to completely gain power over Parthia. Unfortunately, the mighty emperor died in 117 AD even before he was able to declare another war.


Contents

According to James Howard-Johnston, "from the third century BC to the early seventh century AD, the rival players [in the East] were grand polities with imperial pretensions, which had been able to establish and secure stable territories transcending regional divides". [3] The Romans and Parthians came into contact through their respective conquests of parts of the Seleucid Empire. During the 3rd century BC, the Parthians migrated from the Central Asian steppe into northern Iran. Although subdued for a time by the Seleucids, in the 2nd century BC they broke away, and established an independent state that steadily expanded at the expense of their former rulers, and through the course of the 3rd and early 1st century BC, they had conquered Persia, Mesopotamia, and Armenia. [4] [5] [6] Ruled by the Arsacid dynasty, the Parthians fended off several Seleucid attempts to regain their lost territories, and established several eponymous branches in the Caucasus, namely the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia, the Arsacid dynasty of Iberia, and the Arsacid dynasty of Caucasian Albania. Meanwhile, the Romans expelled the Seleucids from their territories in Anatolia in the early 2nd century BC, after defeating Antiochus III the Great at Thermopylae and Magnesia. Finally, in 64 BC Pompey conquered the remaining Seleucid territories in Syria, extinguishing their state and advancing the Roman eastern frontier to the Euphrates, where it met the territory of the Parthians. [6]

Roman Republic vs. Parthia Edit

Parthian enterprise in the West began in the time of Mithridates I and was revived by Mithridates II, who negotiated unsuccessfully with Lucius Cornelius Sulla for a Roman–Parthian alliance (c. 105 BC). [7] When Lucullus invaded Southern Armenia and led an attack against Tigranes in 69 BC, he corresponded with Phraates III to dissuade him from intervening. Although the Parthians remained neutral, Lucullus considered attacking them. [8] In 66–65 BC, Pompey reached agreement with Phraates, and Roman–Parthian troops invaded Armenia, but a dispute soon arose over the Euphrates boundary. Finally, Phraates asserted his control over Mesopotamia, except for the western district of Osroene, which became a Roman dependency. [9]

The Roman general Marcus Licinius Crassus led an invasion of Mesopotamia in 53 BC with catastrophic results he and his son Publius were killed at the Battle of Carrhae by the Parthians under General Surena [10] this was the worst Roman defeat since the battle of Arausio. The Parthians raided Syria the following year, and mounted a major invasion in 51 BC, but their army was caught in an ambush near Antigonea by the Romans, and they were driven back. [11]

The Parthians largely remained neutral during Caesar's Civil War, fought between forces supporting Julius Caesar and forces supporting Pompey and the traditional faction of the Roman Senate. However, they maintained relations with Pompey, and after his defeat and death, a force under Pacorus I assisted the Pompeian general Q. Caecilius Bassus, who was besieged at Apamea Valley by Caesarian forces. With the civil war over, Julius Caesar prepared a campaign against Parthia, but his assassination averted the war. The Parthians supported Brutus and Cassius during the ensuing Liberators' civil war and sent a contingent to fight on their side at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC. [12] After the Liberators' defeat, the Parthians invaded Roman territory in 40 BC in conjunction with the Roman Quintus Labienus, a former supporter of Brutus and Cassius. They swiftly overran the Roman province of Syria and advanced into Judea, overthrowing the Roman client Hyrcanus II and installing his nephew Antigonus. For a moment, the whole of the Roman East seemed lost to the Parthians or about to fall into their hands. However, the conclusion of the second Roman civil war soon revived Roman strength in Asia. [13] Mark Antony had sent Ventidius to oppose Labienus, who had invaded Anatolia. Soon Labienus was driven back to Syria by Roman forces, and, although reinforced by the Parthians, was defeated, taken prisoner, and killed. After suffering a further defeat near the Syrian Gates, the Parthians withdrew from Syria. They returned in 38 BC but were decisively defeated by Ventidius, and Pacorus was killed. In Judaea, Antigonus was ousted with Roman help by Herod in 37 BC. [14] With Roman control of Syria and Judaea restored, Mark Antony led a huge army into Atropatene, but his siege train and its escort were isolated and wiped out, while his Armenian allies deserted. Failing to make progress against Parthian positions, the Romans withdrew with heavy casualties. Antony was again in Armenia in 33 BC to join with the Median king against Octavian and the Parthians. Other preoccupations obliged him to withdraw, and the whole region came under Parthian control. [15]

Roman Empire vs. Parthia Edit

With tensions between the two powers threatening renewed war, Octavian and Phraataces worked out a compromise in 1 AD. According to the agreement, Parthia undertook to withdraw its forces from Armenia and to recognize a de facto Roman protectorate there. Nonetheless, Roman–Persian rivalry over control and influence in Armenia continued unabated for the next several decades. [16] The decision of the Parthian King Artabanus III to place his son on the vacant Armenian throne triggered a war with Rome in 36 AD, which ended when Artabanus III abandoned claims to a Parthian sphere of influence in Armenia. [17] War erupted in 58 AD, after the Parthian King Vologases I forcibly installed his brother Tiridates on the Armenian throne. [18] Roman forces overthrew Tiridates and replaced him with a Cappadocian prince, triggering an inconclusive war. This came to an end in 63 AD after the Romans agreed to allow Tiridates and his descendants to rule Armenia on condition that they receive the kingship from the Roman emperor. [19]

A fresh series of conflicts began in the 2nd century AD, during which the Romans consistently held the upper hand over Parthia. The Emperor Trajan invaded Armenia and Mesopotamia during 114 and 115 and annexed them as Roman provinces. He captured the Parthian capital, Ctesiphon, before sailing downriver to the Persian Gulf. [20] However, uprisings erupted in 115 AD in the occupied Parthian territories, while a major Jewish revolt broke out in Roman territory, severely stretching Roman military resources. Parthian forces attacked key Roman positions, and the Roman garrisons at Seleucia, Nisibis and Edessa were expelled by the local inhabitants. Trajan subdued the rebels in Mesopotamia, but having installed the Parthian prince Parthamaspates on the throne as a client ruler, he withdrew his armies and returned to Syria. Trajan died in 117, before he was able to reorganize and consolidate Roman control over the Parthian provinces. [21]

Trajan's Parthian War initiated a "shift of emphasis in the 'grand strategy of the Roman empire' ", but his successor, Hadrian, decided that it was in Rome's interest to re-establish the Euphrates as the limit of its direct control. Hadrian returned to the status quo ante, and surrendered the territories of Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Adiabene to their previous rulers and client-kings. [22]

War over Armenia broke out again in 161, when Vologases IV defeated the Romans there, captured Edessa and ravaged Syria. In 163 a Roman counter-attack under Statius Priscus defeated the Parthians in Armenia and installed a favored candidate on the Armenian throne. The following year Avidius Cassius invaded Mesopotamia, winning battles at Dura-Europos and Seleucia and sacking Ctesiphon in 165. An epidemic which was sweeping Parthia at the time, possibly of smallpox, spread to the Roman army and forced its withdrawal [23] this was the origin of the Antonine Plague that raged for a generation throughout the Roman Empire. In 195–197, a Roman offensive under the Emperor Septimius Severus led to Rome's acquisition of northern Mesopotamia as far as the areas around Nisibis, Singara and the third sacking of Ctesiphon. [24] A final war against the Parthians was launched by the Emperor Caracalla, who sacked Arbela in 216. After his assassination, his successor, Macrinus, was defeated by the Parthians near Nisibis. In exchange for peace, he was obliged to pay for the damage caused by Caracalla. [25]

Early Roman–Sasanian conflicts Edit

Conflict resumed shortly after the overthrow of Parthian rule and Ardashir I's foundation of the Sasanian Empire. Ardashir (r. 226–241) raided Mesopotamia and Syria in 230 and demanded the cession of all the former territories of the Achaemenid Empire. [26] After fruitless negotiations, Alexander Severus set out against Ardashir in 232 and finally repulsed him after one column of his army marched successfully into Armenia, while two other columns operated to the south and failed, mostly on account of physical hardship the emperor celebrated a triumph in Rome. [27] In 238–240, towards the end of his reign, Ardashir attacked again, taking several cities in Syria and Mesopotamia, including Carrhae, Nisibis and Hatra. [28]

The struggle resumed and intensified under Ardashir's successor Shapur I he invaded Mesopotamia and captured Hatra, a buffer state which had recently shifted its loyalty but his forces were defeated at a battle near Resaena in 243 Carrhae and Nisibis were retaken by the Romans. [31] Encouraged by this success, the emperor Gordian III advanced down the Euphrates but was defeated near Ctesiphon in the Battle of Misiche in 244. Gordian either died in the battle or was murdered by his own men Philip became emperor, and paid 500,000 denarii to the Persians in a hastily negotiated a peace settlement. [32]

With the Roman Empire debilitated by Germanic invasions and a series of short-term emperors, Shapur I soon resumed his attacks. In the early 250s, Philip was involved in a struggle over the control of Armenia Shapur conquered Armenia and killed its king, defeated the Romans at the Battle of Barbalissos in 253, then probably took and plundered Antioch. [33] Between 258 and 260, Shapur captured Emperor Valerian after defeating his army at the Battle of Edessa. He advanced into Anatolia but was defeated by Roman forces there attacks from Odaenathus of Palmyra forced the Persians to withdraw from Roman territory, surrendering Armenia and Antioch. [34]

In 275 and 282 Aurelian and Probus respectively planned to invade Persia, but they were both murdered before they were able to fulfil their plans. [35] In 283 the emperor Carus launched a successful invasion of Persia, sacking its capital, Ctesiphon they would probably have extended their conquests if Carus had not died in December of the same year. [36] After a brief period of peace during Diocletian's early reign, Narseh renewed hostilities with the Romans invading Armenia, and defeated Galerius not far from Carrhae in 296 or 297. [37] However, in 298 Galerius defeated Narseh at the Battle of Satala, sacked the capital Ctesiphon and captured the Persian treasury and royal harem. The Roman victory was the most decisive for many decades: many cities east of the Tigris were given to the Romans including Tigranokert, Saird, Martyropolis, Balalesa, Moxos, Daudia, and Arzan. Also, control of Armenia was given to the Romans. [38]

The Emperor Carus launched a successful invasion of Persia in 283, sacking the Sasanian capital Ctesiphon for the third time. The Persians were weakened by internal strife proceeding from dynastic disputes and the Romans probably would have extended their conquests had Carus not died in December of that year. [39] His successor Numerian was forced by his own army to retreat, being frightened by the belief that Carus had died of a strike of lightning. [40]

After a brief peace early in Diocletian's reign, the Persians renewed hostilities when they invaded Armenia and defeated the Romans outside Carrhae in either 296 or 297. [41] However, Galerius crushed the Persians in the Battle of Satala in 298, capturing the treasury and the royal harem. The resulting peace settlement gave the Romans control of the area between the Tigris and the Greater Zab. This was the most decisive Roman victory for many decades all the territories that had been lost, all the debatable lands, and control of Armenia lay in Roman hands. [42]

The arrangements of 299 lasted until the mid-330s, when Shapur II began a series of offensives against the Romans. Despite a string of victories in battle, culminating in the overthrow of a Roman army led by Constantius II at Singara (348), his campaigns achieved little lasting effect: three Persian sieges of Nisibis, in that age known as the key to Mesopotamia, [43] were repulsed, and while Shapur succeeded in 359 in successfully laying siege to Amida and taking Singara, both cities were soon regained by the Romans. [41] Following a lull during the 350s while Shapur fought off nomad attacks on Persia's eastern and then northern frontiers, he launched a new campaign in 359 with the aid of the eastern tribes which he had meanwhile defeated, and after a difficult siege again captured Amida (359). In the following year he captured Bezabde and Singara, and repelled the counter-attack of Constantius II. [44] But the enormous cost of these victories weakened him, and he was soon deserted by his barbarian allies, leaving him vulnerable to the major offensive in 363 by the Roman Emperor Julian, who advanced down the Euphrates to Ctesiphon [45] with a major army. Despite victory [46] [47] at the Battle of Ctesiphon before the walls Julian was unable to take the Persian capital and retreated along the Tigris. Harried by the Persians, Julian was killed in the Battle of Samarra, during a difficult retreat along the Tigris. With the Roman army stuck on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, Julian's successor Jovian made peace, agreeing to major concessions in exchange for safe passage out of Sasanian territory. The Romans surrendered their former possessions east of the Tigris, as well as Nisibis and Singara, and Shapur soon conquered Armenia, abandoned by the Romans. [48]

In 383 or 384 Armenia again became a bone of contention between the Roman and the Sasanian empires, but hostilities did not occur. [49] With both empires preoccupied by barbarian threats from the north, in 384 or 387, a definitive peace treaty was signed by Shapur III and Theodosius I dividing Armenia between the two states. Meanwhile, the northern territories of the Roman Empire were invaded by Germanic, Alanic, and Hunnic peoples, while Persia's northern borders were threatened first by a number of Hunnic peoples and then by the Hephthalites. With both empires preoccupied by these threats, a largely peaceful period followed, interrupted only by two brief wars, the first in 421–422 after Bahram V persecuted high-ranking Persian officials who had converted to Christianity, and the second in 440, when Yazdegerd II raided Roman Armenia. [50]

Anastasian War Edit

The Anastasian War ended the longest period of peace the two powers ever enjoyed. War broke out when the Persian King Kavadh I attempted to gain financial support by force from the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I the emperor refused to provide it and the Persian king tried to take it by force. [51] In 502 AD, he quickly captured the unprepared city of Theodosiopolis [52] and besieged the fortress-city of Amida through the autumn and winter (502–503). The siege of the fortress-city proved to be far more difficult than Kavadh expected the defenders repelled the Persian assaults for three months before they were beaten. [53] In 503, the Romans attempted an ultimately unsuccessful siege of the Persian-held Amida while Kavadh invaded Osroene and laid siege to Edessa with the same results. [54] Finally in 504, the Romans gained control through the renewed investment of Amida, which led to the fall of the city. That year an armistice was reached as a result of an invasion of Armenia by the Huns from the Caucasus. Although the two powers negotiated, it was not until November 506 that a treaty was agreed to. [55] In 505, Anastasius ordered the building of a great fortified city at Dara. At the same time, the dilapidated fortifications were also upgraded at Edessa, Batnae and Amida. [56] Although no further large-scale conflict took place during Anastasius' reign, tensions continued, especially while work proceeded at Dara. This was because the construction of new fortifications in the border zone by either empire had been prohibited by a treaty concluded some decades earlier. Anastasius pursued the project despite Persian objections, and the walls were completed by 507–508. [57]

. The siege of the city proved to be a far more difficult enterprise than Kavadh expected the defenders repelled the Persian assaults for three months before being defeated. [58] In 503 the Romans attempted an ultimately unsuccessful siege of the Persian-held Amida while Kavadh invaded Osroene, and laid siege to Edessa with the same results. [59]

Finally in 504, the Romans gained the upper hand with the renewed investment of Amida, leading to the hand-over of the city. That year an armistice was agreed to as a result of an invasion of Armenia by the Huns from the Caucasus. Negotiations between the two powers took place, but such was their distrust that in 506 the Romans, suspecting treachery, seized the Persian officials. Once released, the Persians preferred to stay in Nisibis. [60] In November 506, a treaty was finally agreed upon, but little is known of what the terms of the treaty were. Procopius states that peace was agreed for seven years, and it is likely that some payments was made to the Persians. [61]

In 505 Anastasius ordered the building of a great fortified city at Dara. The dilapidated fortifications were also upgraded at Edessa, Batnac and Amida. [62] Although no further large-scale conflict took place during Anastasius' reign, tensions continued, especially while work continued at Dara. This construction project was to become a key component of the Roman defenses, and also a lasting source of controversy with the Persians, who complained that it violated the treaty of 422, by which both empires had agreed not to establish new fortifications in the frontier zone. Anastasius, however, pursued the project, and the walls were completed by 507/508. [60]

Iberian War Edit

In 524–525 AD, Kavadh proposed that Justin I adopt his son, Khosrau, but the negotiations soon broke down. The proposal was initially greeted with enthusiasm by the Roman emperor and his nephew, Justinian, but Justin's quaestor, Proculus, opposed the move. [63] Tensions between the two powers were further heightened by the defection of the Iberian king Gourgen to the Romans: in 524/525 the Iberians rose in revolt against Persia, following the example of the neighboring Christian kingdom of Lazica, and the Romans recruited Huns from the north of the Caucasus to assist them. [64] To start with, the two sides preferred to wage war by proxy, through Arab allies in the south and Huns in the north. [65] Overt Roman–Persian fighting had broken out in the Transcaucasus region and upper Mesopotamia by 526–527. [66] The early years of war favored the Persians: by 527, the Iberian revolt had been crushed, a Roman offensive against Nisibis and Thebetha in that year was unsuccessful, and forces trying to fortify Thannuris and Melabasa were prevented from doing so by Persian attacks. [67] Attempting to remedy the deficiencies revealed by these Persian successes, the new Roman emperor, Justinian I, reorganized the eastern armies. [68] In 528 Belisarius tried unsuccessfully to protect Roman workers in Thannuris, undertaking the construction of a fort right on the frontier. [69] Damaging raids on Syria by the Lakhmids in 529 encouraged Justinian to strengthen his own Arab allies, helping the Ghassanid leader Al-Harith ibn Jabalah turn a loose coalition into a coherent kingdom.

In 530 a major Persian offensive in Mesopotamia was defeated by Roman forces under Belisarius at Dara, while a second Persian thrust in the Caucasus was defeated by Sittas at Satala. Belisarius was defeated by Persian and Lakhmid forces at the Battle of Callinicum in 531, which resulted in his dismissal. In the same year the Romans gained some forts in Armenia, while the Persians had captured two forts in eastern Lazica. [70] Immediately after the Battle of Callinicum unsuccessful negotiations between Justinian's envoy, Hermogenes, and Kavadh took place. [71] A Persian siege of Martyropolis was interrupted by Kavadh I's death and the new Persian king, Khosrau I, re-opened talks in spring 532 and finally signed the Perpetual Peace in September 532, which lasted less than eight years. Both powers agreed to return all occupied territories, and the Romans agreed to make a one-time payment of 110 centenaria (11,000 lb of gold). The Romans recovered the Lazic forts, Iberia remained in Persian hands, and the Iberians who had left their country were given the choice of remaining in Roman territory or returning to their native land. [72]

Justinian vs. Khosrau I Edit

The Persians broke the "Treaty of Eternal Peace" in 540 AD, probably in response to the Roman reconquest of much of the former western empire, which had been facilitated by the cessation of war in the East. Khosrau I invaded and devastated Syria, extorting large sums of money from the cities of Syria and Mesopotamia, and systematically looting other cities including Antioch, whose population was deported to Persian territory. [73] The successful campaigns of Belisarius in the west encouraged the Persians to return to war, both taking advantage of Roman preoccupation elsewhere and seeking to check the expansion of Roman territory and resources. [74] In 539 the resumption of hostilities was foreshadowed by a Lakhmid raid led by al-Mundhir IV, which was defeated by the Ghassanids under al-Harith ibn Jabalah. In 540, the Persians broke the "Treaty of Eternal Peace" and Khosrau I invaded Syria, destroying the great city of Antioch and deporting its population to Weh Antiok Khosrow in Persia as he withdrew, he extorted large sums of money from the cities of Syria and Mesopotamia and systematically looted the key cities. In 541 he invaded Lazica in the north. [75] Belisarius was quickly recalled by Justinian to the East to deal with the Persian threat, while the Ostrogoths in Italy, who were in touch with the Persian King, launched a counter-attack under Totila. Belisarius took the field and waged an inconclusive campaign against Nisibis in 541. In the same year Lazica switched its allegiance to Persia and Khosrau led an army to secure the kingdom. In 542 Khosrau launched another offensive in Mesopotamia, and unsuccessfully attempted to capture Sergiopolis. [76] He soon withdrew in the face of an army under Belisarius, en route sacking the city of Callinicum. [77] Attacks on a number of Roman cities were repulsed and the Persian general Mihr-Mihroe was defeated and captured at Dara by John Troglita. [78] Belisarius, recalled from the campaigns in the West to deal with the Persian threat, waged an inconclusive campaign against Nisibis in 541. Khosrau launched another offensive in Mesopotamia in 542 when he attempted to capture Sergiopolis. [79] He soon withdrew in the face of an army under Belisarius, sacking the city of Callinicum en route. [80] Attacks on a number of Roman cities were repulsed, and Persian forces were defeated at Dara. [81] An impetuous invasion of Armenia in 543 by the Roman forces in the East, numbering 30,000, against the capital of Persian Armenia, Dvin, was defeated by a meticulous ambush by a small Persian force at Anglon. Khosrau besieged Edessa in 544 without success and was eventually bought off by the defenders. [82] The Edessenes paid five centenaria to Khosrau, and the Persians departed after nearly two months. [82] In the wake of the Persian retreat, two Roman envoys, the newly appointed magister militum, Constantinus, and Sergius proceeded to Ctesiphon to arrange a truce with Khosrau. [83] [84] (The war dragged on under other generals and was to some extent hindered by the Plague of Justinian, because of which Khosrau temporarily withdrew from Roman territory) [85] A five-year truce was agreed to in 545, secured by Roman payments to the Persians. [86]

Early in 548, King Gubazes of Lazica, having found Persian protection oppressive, asked Justinian to restore the Roman protectorate. The emperor seized the chance, and in 548–549 combined Roman and Lazic forces with the magister militum of Armenia Dagistheus won a series of victories against Persian armies, although they failed to take the key garrison of Petra (present-day Tsikhisdziri). [87] In 551 AD, general Bassas who replaced Dagistheus put Abasgia and the rest of Lazica under control, and finally subjected Petra, demolishing its fortifications. [88] In the same year a Persian offensive led by Mihr-Mihroe and Khorianes occupied eastern Lazica. [89] The truce that had been established in 545 was renewed outside Lazica for a further five years on condition that the Romans pay 2,000 lb of gold each year. [90] The Romans failed to completely expel the Sasanian from Lazica, and in 554 AD Mihr-Mihroe launched a new attack, and captured the fortress of Telephis, which was commanded by general Martin. [91] In Lazica the war dragged on inconclusively for several years, with neither side able to make any major gains. Khosrau, who now had to deal with the White Huns, renewed the truce in 557, this time without excluding Lazica negotiations continued for a definite peace treaty. [92] Finally, in 562, the envoys of Justinian and Khosrau – Peter the Patrician and Izedh Gushnap – put together the Fifty-Year Peace Treaty. The Persians agreed to evacuate Lazica and received an annual subsidy of 30,000 nomismata (solidi). [93] Both sides agreed not to build new fortifications near the frontier and to ease restrictions on diplomacy and trade. [94]

War for the Caucasus Edit

War broke again shortly after Armenia and Iberia revolted against Sasanian rule in 571 AD, following clashes involving Roman and Persian proxies in Yemen (between the Axumites and the Himyarites) and the Syrian desert, and after Roman negotiations for an alliance with the Western Turkic Khaganate against Persia. [95] Justin II brought Armenia under his protection, while Roman troops under Justin's cousin Marcian raided Arzanene and invaded Persian Mesopotamia, where they defeated local forces. [96] Marcian's sudden dismissal and the arrival of troops under Khosrau resulted in a ravaging of Syria, the failure of the Roman siege of Nisibis and the fall of Dara. [97] At a cost of 45,000 solidi, a one-year truce in Mesopotamia (eventually extended to five years) [98] was arranged, but in the Caucasus and on the desert frontiers the war continued. [99] In 575, Khosrau I attempted to combine aggression in Armenia with discussion of a permanent peace. He invaded Anatolia and sacked Sebasteia, but to take Theodosiopolis, and after a clash near Melitene the army suffered heavy losses while fleeing across the Euphrates under Roman attack and the Persian royal baggage was captured. [100]

The Romans exploited Persian disarray as general Justinian invaded deep into Persian territory and raided Atropatene. [100] Khosrau sought peace but abandoned this initiative when Persian confidence revived after Tamkhusro won a victory in Armenia, where Roman actions had alienated local inhabitants. [101] In the spring of 578 the war in Mesopotamia resumed with Persian raids on Roman territory. The Roman general Maurice retaliated by raiding Persian Mesopotamia, capturing the stronghold of Aphumon, and sacking Singara. Khosrau again opened peace negotiations but he died early in 579 and his successor Hormizd IV (r. 578-590) preferred to continue the war. [102]

In 580, Hormizd IV abolished the Caucasian Iberian monarchy, and turned Iberia into a Persian province ruled by a marzpan (governor). [103] [104] During the 580s, the war continued inconclusively with victories on both sides. In 582, Maurice won a battle at Constantia over Adarmahan and Tamkhusro, who was killed, but the Roman general did not follow up his victory he had to hurry to Constantinople to pursue his imperial ambitions. [105] Another Roman victory at Solachon in 586 likewise failed to break the stalemate. [106]

The Persians captured Martyropolis through treachery in 589, but that year the stalemate was shattered when the Persian general Bahram Chobin, having been dismissed and humiliated by Hormizd IV, raised a rebellion. Hormizd was overthrown in a palace coup in 590 and replaced by his son Khosrau II, but Bahram pressed on with his revolt regardless and the defeated Khosrau was soon forced to flee for safety to Roman territory, while Bahram took the throne as Bahram VI. With support from Maurice, Khosrau raised a rebellion against Bahram, and in 591 the combined forces of his supporters and the Romans defeated Bahram at the Battle of Blarathon and restored Khosrau II to power. In exchange for their help, Khosrau not only returned Dara and Martyropolis but also agreed to cede the western half of Iberia and more than half of Persian Armenia to the Romans. [107]

Climax Edit

In 602 the Roman army campaigning in the Balkans mutinied under the leadership of Phocas, who succeeded in seizing the throne and then killed Maurice and his family. Khosrau II used the murder of his benefactor as a pretext for war and reconquer the Roman province of Mesopotamia. [108] In the early years of the war the Persians enjoyed overwhelming and unprecedented success. They were aided by Khosrau's use of a pretender claiming to be Maurice's son, and by the revolt against Phocas led by the Roman general Narses. [109] In 603 Khosrau defeated and killed the Roman general Germanus in Mesopotamia and laid siege to Dara. Despite the arrival of Roman reinforcements from Europe, he won another victory in 604, while Dara fell after a nine-month siege. Over the following years the Persians gradually overcame the fortress cities of Mesopotamia by siege, one after another. [110] At the same time they won a string of victories in Armenia and systematically subdued the Roman garrisons in the Caucasus. [111]

Phocas' brutal repression sparked a succession crisis that ensued as the general Heraclius sent his nephew Nicetas to attack Egypt, enabling his son Heraclius the younger to claim the throne in 610. Phocas, an unpopular ruler who is invariably described in Byzantine sources as a "tyrant", was eventually deposed by Heraclius, having sailed from Carthage. [112] Around the same time, the Persians completed their conquest of Mesopotamia and the Caucasus, and in 611 they overran Syria and entered Anatolia, occupying Caesarea. [113] Having expelled the Persians from Anatolia in 612, Heraclius launched a major counter-offensive in Syria in 613. He was decisively defeated outside Antioch by Shahrbaraz and Shahin, and the Roman position collapsed. [114] Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine, Egypt, [115] Rhodes and several other islands in the eastern Aegean, as well as to devastate Anatolia. [116] [117] [118] [119] Meanwhile, the Avars and Slavs took advantage of the situation to overrun the Balkans, bringing the Roman Empire to the brink of destruction. [120]

During these years, Heraclius strove to rebuild his army, slashing non-military expenditures, devaluing the currency and melting down Church plate, with the backing of Patriarch Sergius, to raise the necessary funds to continue the war. [121] In 622, Heraclius left Constantinople, entrusting the city to Sergius and general Bonus as regents of his son. He assembled his forces in Asia Minor and, after conducting exercises to revive their morale, he launched a new counter-offensive, which took on the character of a holy war. [122] In the Caucasus he inflicted a defeat on an army led by a Persian-allied Arab chief and then won a victory over the Persians under Shahrbaraz. [123] Following a lull in 623, while he negotiated a truce with the Avars, Heraclius resumed his campaigns in the East in 624 and routed an army led by Khosrau at Ganzak in Atropatene. [124] In 625 he defeated the generals Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan in Armenia, and in a surprise attack that winter he stormed Shahrbaraz's headquarters and attacked his troops in their winter billets. [125] Supported by a Persian army commanded by Shahrbaraz, together with the Avars and Slavs, the three unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople in 626, [126] while a second Persian army under Shahin suffered another crushing defeat at the hands of Heraclius' brother Theodore. [127]

Meanwhile, Heraclius formed an alliance with the Western Turkic Khaganate, who took advantage of the dwindling strength of the Persians to ravage their territories in the Caucasus. [128] Late in 627, Heraclius launched a winter offensive into Mesopotamia, where, despite the desertion of the Turkish contingent that had accompanied him, he defeated the Persians at the Battle of Nineveh. Continuing south along the Tigris, he sacked Khosrau's great palace at Dastagird and was only prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal. Khosrau was overthrown and killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II, who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. [129] Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a majestic ceremony in 629. [130]

The devastating impact of this last war, added to the cumulative effects of a century of almost continuous conflict, left both empires crippled. When Kavadh II died only months after coming to the throne, Persia was plunged into several years of dynastic turmoil and civil war. The Sasanians were further weakened by economic decline, heavy taxation from Khosrau II's campaigns, religious unrest, and the increasing power of the provincial landholders. [131] The Byzantine Empire was also severely affected, with its financial reserves exhausted by the war and the Balkans now largely in the hands of the Slavs. [132] Additionally, Anatolia was devastated by repeated Persian invasions the Empire's hold on its recently regained territories in the Caucasus, Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Egypt was loosened by many years of Persian occupation. [133]

Neither empire was given any chance to recover, as within a few years they were struck by the onslaught of the Arabs (newly united by Islam), which, according to Howard-Johnston, "can only be likened to a human tsunami". [134] According to George Liska, the "unnecessarily prolonged Byzantine–Persian conflict opened the way for Islam". [135] The Sasanian Empire rapidly succumbed to these attacks and was completely conquered. During the Byzantine–Arab wars, the exhausted Roman Empire's recently regained eastern and southern provinces of Syria, Armenia, Egypt and North Africa were also lost, reducing the Empire to a territorial rump consisting of Anatolia and a scatter of islands and footholds in the Balkans and Italy. [136] These remaining lands were thoroughly impoverished by frequent attacks, marking the transition from classical urban civilization to a more rural, medieval form of society. However, unlike Persia, the Roman Empire ultimately survived the Arab assault, holding onto its residual territories and decisively repulsing two Arab sieges of its capital in 674–678 and 717–718. [137] The Roman Empire also lost its territories in Crete and southern Italy to the Arabs in later conflicts, though these too were ultimately recovered.

When the Roman and Parthian Empires first collided in the 1st century BC, it appeared that Parthia had the potential to push its frontier to the Aegean and the Mediterranean. However, the Romans repulsed the great invasion of Syria and Anatolia by Pacorus and Labienus, and were gradually able to take advantage of the weaknesses of the Parthian military system, which, according to George Rawlinson, was adapted for national defense but ill-suited for conquest. The Romans, on the other hand, were continually modifying and evolving their "grand strategy" from Trajan's time onwards, and were by the time of Pacorus able to take the offensive against the Parthians. [138] Like the Sasanians in the late 3rd and 4th centuries, the Parthians generally avoided any sustained defense of Mesopotamia against the Romans. However, the Iranian plateau never fell, as the Roman expeditions had always exhausted their offensive impetus by the time they reached lower Mesopotamia, and their extended line of communications through territory not sufficiently pacified exposed them to revolts and counterattacks. [139]

From the 4th century AD onwards, the Sasanians grew in strength and adopted the role of aggressor. They considered much of the land added to the Roman Empire in Parthian and early Sasanian times to rightfully belong to the Persian sphere. [140] Everett Wheeler argues that "the Sassanids, administratively more centralized than the Parthians, formally organized defense of their territory, although they lacked a standing army until Khosrau I". [139] In general, the Romans regarded the Sasanians as a more serious threat than the Parthians, while the Sasanians regarded the Roman Empire as the enemy par excellence. [141] Proxy warfare was employed by both Byzantines and the Sasanians as an alternative to direct confrontation, particularly through Arab kingdoms in the south and nomadic nations in the north.

Militarily, the Sasanians continued the Parthians' heavy dependence on cavalry troops: a combination of horse-archers and cataphracts the latter were heavy armored cavalry provided by the aristocracy. They added a contingent of war elephants obtained from the Indus Valley, but their infantry quality was inferior to that of the Romans. [142] The combined forces of horse archers and heavy cavalry inflicted several defeats on the Roman foot-soldiers, including those led by Crassus in 53 BC, [143] Mark Antony in 36 BC, and Valerian in 260 AD. The Parthian tactics gradually became the standard method of warfare in the Roman empire [144] and cataphractarii and clibanarii units were introduced into the Roman army [145] as a result, heavily armed cavalry grew in importance in both the Roman and Persian armies after the 3rd century AD and until the end of the wars. [140] The Roman army also gradually incorporated horse-archers (Equites Sagittarii), and by the 5th century AD they were no longer a mercenary unit, and were slightly superior individually in comparison to the Persian ones, as Procopius claims however, the Persian horse-archer units as a whole always remained a challenge for the Romans, which suggests the Roman horse-archers were smaller in numbers. [146] By the time of Khosrow I the composite cavalrymen (aswaran) appeared, who were skilled in both archery and the use of lance. [147]

On the other hand, the Persians adopted war engines from the Romans. [2] The Romans had achieved and maintained a high degree of sophistication in siege warfare and had developed a range of siege machines. On the other hand, the Parthians were inept at besieging their cavalry armies were more suited to the hit-and-run tactics that destroyed Antony's siege train in 36 BC. The situation changed with the rise of the Sasanians, when Rome encountered an enemy equally capable in siege warfare. The Sasanians mainly used mounds, rams, mines, and to a lesser degree siege towers, artillery, [148] [149] and also chemical weapons, such as in Dura-Europos (256) [150] [151] [152] and Petra (550-551). [149] Recent assessments comparing the Sasanians and Parthians have reaffirmed the superiority of Sasanian siegecraft, military engineering, and organization, [153] as well as ability to build defensive works. [154]

By the beginning of Sasanian rule, a number of buffer states existed between the empires. These were absorbed by the central state over time, and by the 7th century the last buffer state, the Arab Lakhmids, was annexed to the Sasanian Empire. Frye notes that in the 3rd century AD such client states played an important role in Roman–Sasanian relations, but both empires gradually replaced them by an organized defense system run by the central government and based on a line of fortifications (the limes) and the fortified frontier cities, such as Dara. [155] Towards the end of the 1st century AD, Rome organized the protection of its eastern frontiers through the limes system, which lasted until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century after improvements by Diocletian. [156] Like the Romans, the Sasanians constructed defensive walls opposite the territory of their opponents. According to R. N. Frye, it was under Shapur II that the Persian system was extended, probably in imitation of Diocletian's construction of the limes of the Syrian and Mesopotamian frontiers of the Roman Empire. [157] The Roman and Persian border units were known as limitanei and marzobans, respectively.

The Sasanians, and to a lesser extent the Parthians, practiced mass deportations to new cities as a tool of policy, not just the prisoners-of-war (such as those of the Battle of Edessa), but also the cities they captured, such as the deportation of the Antioch's people to Weh Antiok Khosrow, which led to the decline of the former. These deportations also initiated the spread of Christianity in Persia. [158]

The Persians seem to have been reluctant to resort to naval action. [159] There was some minor Sasanian naval action in 620–23, and the only major Byzantine navy's action was during the Siege of Constantinople (626).

The Roman–Persian Wars have been characterized as "futile" and too "depressing and tedious to contemplate". [160] Prophetically, Cassius Dio noted their "never-ending cycle of armed confrontations" and observed that "it is shown by the facts themselves that [Severus'] conquest has been a source of constant wars and great expense to us. For it yields very little and uses up vast sums and now that we have reached out to peoples who are neighbor of the Medes and the Parthians rather than of ourselves, we are always, one might say, fighting the battles of those peoples." [161] In the long series of wars between the two powers, the frontier in upper Mesopotamia remained more or less constant. Historians point out that the stability of the frontier over the centuries is remarkable, although Nisibis, Singara, Dara and other cities of upper Mesopotamia changed hands from time to time, and the possession of these frontier cities gave one empire a trade advantage over the other. As Frye states: [155]

One has the impression that the blood spilled in the warfare between the two states brought as little real gain to one side or the other as the few meters of land gained at terrible cost in the trench warfare of the First World War.

"How could it be a good thing to hand over one's dearest possessions to a stranger, a barbarian, the ruler of one's bitterest enemy, one whose good faith and sense of justice were untried, and, what is more, one who belonged to an alien and heathen faith?"
Agathias (Histories, 4.26.6, translated by Averil Cameron) about the Persians, a judgment typical of the Roman view. [162]

Both sides attempted to justify their respective military goals in both active and reactive ways. According to the Letter of Tansar and the Muslim writer Al-Tha'alibi, Ardashir I's and Pacorus I's invasions, respectively, of Roman territories, were to avenge Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia, which was thought to be the cause of the subsequent Iranian disarray [163] [164] this is matched by the notion imitatio Alexandri cherished by the Roman emperors Caracalla, Alexander Severus, [165] and Julian. [166] The Roman quest for world domination was accompanied by a sense of mission and pride in Western civilization and by ambitions to become a guarantor of peace and order. Roman sources reveal long-standing prejudices with regard to the Eastern powers' customs, religious structures, languages, and forms of government. John F. Haldon underscores that "although the conflicts between Persia and East Rome revolved around issues of strategic control around the eastern frontier, yet there was always a religious-ideological element present". From the time of Constantine on, Roman emperors appointed themselves as the protectors of Christians of Persia. [167] This attitude created intense suspicions of the loyalties of Christians living in Sasanian Iran and often led to Roman–Persian tensions or even military confrontations [168] (e.g. in 421–422). A characteristic of the final phase of the conflict, when what had begun in 611–612 as a raid was soon transformed into a war of conquest, was the pre-eminence of the Cross as a symbol of imperial victory and of the strong religious element in the Roman imperial propaganda Heraclius himself cast Khosrau as the enemy of God, and authors of the 6th and 7th centuries were fiercely hostile to Persia. [169] [170]

The sources for the history of Parthia and the wars with Rome are scant and scattered. The Parthians followed the Achaemenid tradition and favored oral historiography, which assured the corruption of their history once they had been vanquished. The main sources of this period are thus Roman (Tacitus, Marius Maximus, and Justin) and Greek historians (Herodian, Cassius Dio and Plutarch). The 13th book of the Sibylline Oracles narrates the effects of the Roman–Persian Wars in Syria from the reign of Gordian III to the domination of the province by Odaenathus of Palmyra. With the end of Herodian's record, all contemporary chronological narratives of Roman history are lost, until the narratives of Lactantius and Eusebius at the beginning of the 4th century, both from a Christian perspective. [171]

The principal sources for the early Sasanian period are not contemporary. Among them the most important are the Greeks Agathias and Malalas, the Persian Muslims al-Tabari and Ferdowsi, the Armenian Agathangelos, and the Syriac Chronicles of Edessa and Arbela, most of whom depended on late Sasanian sources, especially Khwaday-Namag. The Augustan History is neither contemporary nor reliable, but it is the chief narrative source for Severus and Carus. The trilingual (Middle Persian, Parthian, Greek) inscriptions of Shapur are primary sources. [172] These were isolated attempts at approaching written historiography however, and by the end of the 4th century AD, even the practice of carving rock reliefs and leaving short inscriptions was abandoned by the Sasanians. [173]

For the period between 353 and 378, there is an eyewitness source to the main events on the eastern frontier in the Res Gestae of Ammianus Marcellinus. For the events covering the period between the 4th and the 6th century, the works of Sozomenus, Zosimus, Priscus, and Zonaras are especially valuable. [174] The single most important source for Justinian's Persian wars up to 553 is Procopius. His continuators Agathias and Menander Protector offer many important details as well. Theophylact Simocatta is the main source for the reign of Maurice, [175] while Theophanes, Chronicon Paschale and the poems of George of Pisidia are useful sources for the last Roman–Persian war. In addition to Byzantine sources, two Armenian historians, Sebeos and Movses, contribute to the coherent narrative of Heraclius' war and are regarded by Howard-Johnston as "the most important of extant non-Muslim sources". [176]

Primary sources Edit

    , Histories. Book 4. , Liber de Caesaribus. See original text in the Latin Library. [177] , Roman History. Book LXXX. Translated by Earnest Cary. [178]
  • Chronicon Paschale. See the original text in Google Books [179] , Johannis[180] Book I. , Abridgment of Roman History. Book IX. Translated by the Rev. John Selby Watson. [181] , History of the Roman Empire. Book VI. Translated by Edward C. Echols. [182]
  • John of Epiphania. History[183] , Chronicle. Translated by William Wright. [184] , Historiarum Philippicarum. Book XLI. See original text in the Latin Library. [185] , De Mortibus Persecutorum. See original text in the Latin Library. [186]Plutarch, Antony. Translated by John Dryden. Plutarch, Crassus. Translated by John Dryden. Plutarch, Sylla. Translated by John Dryden. , History of the Wars, Book II. Translated by H. B. Dewing.
  • Sibylline Oracles. Book XIII. Translated by Milton S. Terry. , Ecclesiastical History, Book II. Translated by Chester D. Hartranft, Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. [187]Tacitus, The Annals. Translation based on Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. . Chronicle. See original text in Documenta Catholica Omnia. (PDF) [188] . History. Books I and V. Translated by Michael and Mary Whitby. (PDF) [189] . Epitoma Rei Militaris. Book III. See original text in the Latin Library. [190] . Historia Ecclesiastica.

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  2. Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh Stewart, Sarah (March 24, 2010). The Age of the Parthians – Google Knihy. ISBN978-18-4511-406-0 . Retrieved 2019-06-09 .
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  4. electricpulp.com. "Byzantine–Iranian Relations – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org . Retrieved 31 March 2018 .
  5. ^ Howard-Johnston (2006), 1
  6. ^Kia 2016, p. liii.
  7. ^De Blois & van der Spek 2008, p. 137.
  8. ^ ab Ball (2000), 12–13 Dignas–Winter (2007), 9 (PDF)
  9. ^ Plutarch, Sulla, 5. 3–6
    * Mackay (2004), 149 Sherwin-White (1994), 262
  10. ^ Bivar (1993), 46
    * Sherwin-White (1994), 262–263
  11. ^ Sherwin-White (1994), 264
  12. ^ Plutarch, Crassus, 23–32
    * Mackay (2004), 150
  13. ^ Bivar (1993), 56
  14. ^ Justin, Historiarum Philippicarum, XLII. 4Archived 2008-05-11 at the Wayback Machine
    * Bivar (1993), 56–57
  15. ^ Bivar (1993), 57
  16. ^ Justin, Historiarum Philippicarum, XLII. 4Archived 2008-05-11 at the Wayback Machine Plutarch, Antony, 33–34
    * Bivar (1993), 57–58
  17. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History, XLIX, 27–33
    * Bivar (1993), 58–65
  18. ^ Sicker (2000), 162
  19. ^ Sicker (2000), 162–163
  20. ^ Tacitus, Annals, XII. 50–51
    * Sicker (2000), 163
  21. ^ Tacitus, Annals, XV. 27–29
    * Rawlinson (2007), 286–287
  22. ^ Sicker (2000), 167
  23. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History, LXVIII, 33
    * Sicker (2000), 167–168
  24. ^ Lightfoot (1990), 115: "Trajan succeeded in acquiring territory in these lands with a view to annexation, something which had not seriously been attempted before . Although Hadrian abandoned all of Trajan's conquests . the trend was not to be reversed. Further wars of annexation followed under Lucius Verus and Septimius Severus." Sicker (2000), 167–168
  25. ^ Sicker (2000), 169
  26. ^ Herodian, Roman History, III, 9.1–12
    Campbell (2005), 6–7 Rawlinson (2007), 337–338
  27. ^ Herodian, Roman History, IV, 10.1–15.9
    Campbell (2005), 20
  28. ^ Herodian, Roman History, VI, 2.1–6 Cassius Dio, Roman History, LXXX, 4.1–2
    * Dodgeon–Greatrex–Lieu (2002), I, 16
  29. ^ Herodian, Roman History, VI, 5.1–6
    * Dodgeon–Greatrex–Lieu (2002), I, 24–28 Frye (1993), 124
  30. ^ Frye (1993), 124–125 Southern (2001), 234–235
  31. ^
  32. Overlaet, Bruno (30 June 2009). "A Roman Emperor at Bishapur and Darabgird". Iranica Antiqua. 44: 461–530. doi:10.2143/IA.44.0.2034386.
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  34. Overlaet, Bruno (3 November 2017). "Šāpur I: Rock Reliefs". Encyclopaedia Iranica . Retrieved 25 February 2020 .
  35. ^ Frye (1968), 125
  36. ^ Aurelius Victor, Liber de Caesaribus, 27. 7–8 Sibylline Oracles, XIII, 13–20
    • Frye (1968), 125 Southern (2001), 235
  37. ^ Frye (1993), 125 Southern (2001), 235–236
  38. ^ Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum, 5 Sibylline Oracles, XIII, 155–171
    * Frye (1993), 126 Southern (2001), 238
  39. ^ Dodgeon-Greatrex-Lieu (2002), I, 108–109, 112 Southern (2001), 241
  40. ^ Aurelius Victor, Liber de Caesaribus, 38. 2–4 Eutropius, Abridgment of Roman History, IX, 18.1
    • Frye (1968), 128 Southern (2001), 241
  41. ^ Frye (1968), 130 Southern (2001), 242
  42. ^ Aurelius Victor, Liber de Caesaribus, 39. 33–36 Eutropius, Abridgment of Roman History, IX, 24–25.1
    • Frye (1968), 130–131 Southern (2001), 243
  43. ^ Aurelius Victor, Liber de Caesaribus, 38. 2–4 Eutropius, Abridgment of Roman History, IX, 18.1
    * Frye (1993), 128 Southern (2001), 241
  44. ^ Dodgeon–Greatrex–Lieu (2002), 114
  45. ^ ab Frye (1993), 130 Southern (2001), 242
  46. ^ Aurelius Victor, Liber de Caesaribus, 39. 33–36 Eutropius, Abridgment of Roman History, IX, 24–25.1
    * Frye (1993), 130–131 Southern (2001), 243
  47. ^Lenski 2002, p. 162.
  48. ^Blockley 1997, p. 423. sfn error: no target: CITEREFBlockley1997 (help)
  49. ^ Frye (1993), 137
  50. ^ Browning, Robert The Emperor Julian University of California Press (1978) 978-0-520-03731-1 p. 243
  51. ^ Wacher, J.S. The Roman World, Volume 1 Routledge 2 edition (2001) 978-0-415-26315-3 p. 143
  52. ^ Frye (1993), 138
  53. ^ Frye (1968), 141
  54. ^ Bury (1923), XIV.1 Frye (1968), 145 Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 37–51
  55. ^ Procopius, Wars, I.7.1–2
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  56. ^ Joshua the Stylite, Chronicle, XLIII
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  57. ^ Zacharias Rhetor, Historia Ecclesiastica, VII, 3–4
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 63
  58. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), I I, 69–71
  59. ^ Procopius, Wars, I.9.24
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 77
  60. ^ Joshua the Stylite, Chronicle, XC
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  61. ^ Joshua the Stylite, Chronicle, XCIII–XCIV
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 77
  62. ^ Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 63
  63. ^ Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 69–71
  64. ^ ab Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 77
  65. ^ Procopius, Wars, I.9.24
    • Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 77
  66. ^ Joshua the Stylite, XC
    • Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 74
  67. ^ Procopius, Wars, I.11.23–30
    * Greatrex (2005), 487 Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 81–82
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  70. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 84
  71. ^ Zacharias Rhetor, Historia Ecclesiastica, IX, 2
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 83, 86
  72. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 85
  73. ^ Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 86
  74. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 92–96
  75. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 93
  76. ^ Evans (2000), 118 Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 96–97
  77. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 102 see H. Börm, "Der Perserkönig im Imperium Romanum", Chiron 36 (2006), 299ff.
  78. ^ Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 102
  79. ^ "Justinian I – Foreign Policies and Wars" Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  80. ^ Procopius, Wars, II.20.17–19
    • Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 109–110
  81. ^ Procopius, Wars, II.21.30–32
    • Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 110
  82. ^ Corripus, Johannidos, I.68–98
    • Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 111
  83. ^ Procopius, Wars, II.20.17–19
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 109–110
  84. ^ Procopius, Wars, II.21.30–32
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 110
  85. ^ Corripus, Johannidos, I.68–98
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 111
  86. ^ ab Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 113
  87. ^ Procopius, Wars, 28.7–11
    • Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 113
  88. ^ Procopius, Wars, 28.7–11
    * Greatrex (2005), 489 Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 113
  89. ^ Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 110 "Justinian I – Foreign Policies and Wars" Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  90. ^ Procopius, Wars, 28.7–11
    * Evans, Justinian (527–565 AD) Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 113
  91. ^ Treadgold (1997), 204–205
  92. ^ Treadgold (1997), 205–207
  93. ^ Treadgold (1997), 204–207
  94. ^ Treadgold (1997), 209
  95. ^ Farrokh (2007), 236
  96. ^ Greatrex (2005), 489 Treadgold (1997), 211
  97. ^ Menander Protector, History, frag. 6.1. According to Greatrex (2005), 489, to many Romans this arrangement "appeared dangerous and indicative of weakness".
  98. ^ Evans, Justinian (527–565 AD)
  99. ^John of Epiphania, History, 2 AncientSites.comArchived 2011-06-21 at the Wayback Machine gives an additional reason for the outbreak of the war: "[The Medians'] contentiousness increased even further . when Justin did not deem to pay the Medians the five hundred pounds of gold each year previously agreed to under the peace treaties and let the Roman State remain forever a tributary of the Persians." See also, Greatrex (2005), 503–504
  100. ^ Treadgold (1997), 222
  101. ^ The great bastion of the Roman frontier was in Persian hands for the first time (Whitby [2000], 92–94).
  102. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 152 Louth (2005), 113
  103. ^ Theophanes, Chronicle, 246.11–27
    * Whitby (2000), 92–94
  104. ^ ab Theophylact, History, I, 9.4Archived 2011-06-10 at the Wayback Machine (PDF)
    Treadgold (1997), 224 Whitby (2000), 95
  105. ^ Treadgold (1997), 224 Whitby (2000), 95–96
  106. ^ Soward, Theophylact Simocatta and the PersiansArchived 2011-06-10 at the Wayback Machine (PDF) Treadgold (1997), 225 Whitby (2000), 96
  107. ^Suny 1994, p. 25.
  108. ^Mikaberidze 2015, p. 529.
  109. ^ Soward, Theophylact Simocatta and the PersiansArchived 2011-06-10 at the Wayback Machine (PDF) Treadgold (1997), 226 Whitby (2000), 96
  110. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 168-169
  111. ^ Theophylact, V, History, I, 3.11Archived 2011-06-10 at the Wayback Machine and 15.1 (PDF)
    * Louth (2005), 115 Treadgold (1997), 231–232
  112. ^ Foss (1975), 722
  113. ^ Theophanes, Chronicle, 290–293
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 183–184
  114. ^ Theophanes, Chronicle, 292–293
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 185–186
  115. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 186–187
  116. ^ Haldon (1997), 41 Speck (1984), 178.
  117. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 188–189
  118. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 189–190
  119. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 190–193, 196
  120. ^ The mint of Nicomedia ceased operating in 613, and Rhodes fell to the invaders in 622–623 (Greatrex-Lieu (2002), II, 193–197).
  121. ^Kia 2016, p. 223.
  122. ^Howard-Johnston 2006, p. 33.
  123. ^Foss 1975, p. 725
  124. ^ Howard-Johnston (2006), 85
  125. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 196
  126. ^ Theophanes, Chronicle, 303–304, 307
    * Cameron (1979), 23 Grabar (1984), 37
  127. ^ Theophanes, Chronicle, 304.25–306.7
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 199
  128. ^ Theophanes, Chronicle, 306–308
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 199–202
  129. ^ Theophanes, Chronicle, 308–312
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 202–205
  130. ^ Theophanes, Chronicle, 316
    * Cameron (1979), 5–6, 20–22
  131. ^ Theophanes, Chronicle, 315–316
    McBride (2005), 56
  132. ^ Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 209–212
  133. ^ Theophanes, Chronicle, 317–327
    * Greatrex–Lieu (2002), II, 217–227
  134. ^ Haldon (1997), 46 Baynes (1912), passim Speck (1984), 178
  135. ^ Howard-Johnston (2006), 9: "[Heraclius'] victories in the field over the following years and its political repercussions . saved the main bastion of Christianity in the Near East and gravely weakened its old Zoroastrian rival."
  136. ^ Haldon (1997), 43–45, 66, 71, 114–15
  137. ^ Ambivalence toward Byzantine rule on the part of miaphysites may have lessened local resistance to the Arab expansion (Haldon [1997], 49–50).
  138. ^ Foss (1975), 746–47 Howard-Johnston (2006), xv
  139. ^ Liska (1998), 170
  140. ^ Haldon (1997), 49–50
  141. ^ Haldon (1997), 61–62 Howard-Johnston (2006), 9
  142. ^ Rawlinson (2007), 199: "The Parthian military system had not the elasticity of the Romans . However loose and seemingly flexible, it was rigid in its uniformity it never altered it remained under the thirtieth Arsaces such as it had been under the first, improved in details perhaps, but essentially the same system." According to Michael Whitby (2000), 310, "the eastern armies preserved the Roman military reputation through to the end of the 6th century by capitalizing on available resources and showing a capacity to adapt to a variety of challenges".
  143. ^ ab Wheeler (2007), 259
  144. ^ ab Frye (2005), 473
  145. ^ Greatrex (2005), 478 Frye (2005), 472
  146. ^ Cornuelle, An Overview of the Sassanian Persian Military Sidnell (2006), 273
  147. ^ According to Reno E. Gabba, the Roman army was reorganized over time after the impact of the Battle of Carrhae (Gabba [1966], 51–73).
  148. ^The Cambridge History of Iran : "The Parthian tactics gradually became the standard method of warfare in the Roman empire. The ancient Persian tradition of large-scale hydraulic engineering was thus combined with the unique Roman experience in masonry. The Greco-Roman picture of the Persians as a nation of fierce and indomitable warriors contrasts strangely with another stereotype, the Persians as past masters of the art of refined living, of luxuriose vivere. The Persian influence on Roman religion would be enormous, were people allowed to call Mithraism a Persian religion."
  149. ^ Vegetius, III, Epitoma Rei Militaris, 26
    * Verbruggen–Willard–Southern (1997), 4–5
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  154. ^ Campbell–Hook (2005), 57–59 Gabba (1966), 51–73
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  156. Elton, Hugh (2018). The Roman Empire in Late Antiquity: A Political and Military History. Cambridge University Press. p. 326. ISBN9780521899314 .
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  160. ^Excavations In Iran Unravel Mystery Of "Red Snake", Science Daily Levi (1994), 192
  161. ^ Rekavandi–Sauer–Wilkinson–Nokandeh, "The Enigma of the Red Snake"
  162. ^ ab Frye (1993), 139
  163. ^ Shahîd (1984), 24–25 Wagstaff (1985), 123–125
  164. ^ Frye (1993), 139 Levi (1994), 192
  165. ^A. Shapur Shahbazi, Erich Kettenhofen, John R. Perry, “DEPORTATIONS,” Encyclopædia Iranica, VII/3, pp. 297–312, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/deportations (accessed on 30 December 2012).
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  169. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History, LXXV, 3. 2–3
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    Contents

    The family name of the Hasmonean dynasty originates with the ancestor of the house, whom Josephus Flavius called by the Hellenised form Asmoneus or Asamoneus (Greek: Ἀσαμωναῖος ), [11] said to have been the great-grandfather of Mattathias, but about whom nothing more is known. [12] The name appears to come from the Hebrew name Hashmonay (חַשְׁמוֹנַאי). [13] An alternative view posits that the Hebrew name Hashmona'i is linked with the village of Heshbon, mentioned in Joshua 15:27. [12] Gott and Licht attribute the name to "Ha Simeon," a veiled reference to the Simeonite Tribe. [14]

    The lands of the former Kingdom of Israel and Kingdom of Judah ( c. 722 –586 BCE), had been occupied in turn by Assyria, Babylonia, the Achaemenid Empire, and Alexander the Great's Hellenic Macedonian empire ( c. 330 BCE), although Jewish religious practice and culture had persisted and even flourished during certain periods. The entire region was heavily contested between the successor states of Alexander's empire, the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemaic Egypt, during the six Syrian Wars of the 3rd–1st centuries BCE: "After two centuries of peace under the Persians, the Hebrew state found itself once more caught in the middle of power struggles between two great empires: the Seleucid state with its capital in Syria to the north and the Ptolemaic state, with its capital in Egypt to the south. Between 319 and 302 BC, Jerusalem changed hands seven times." [15]

    Under Antiochus III, the Seleucids wrested control of Palestine from the Ptolemies for the final time, defeating Ptolemy V Epiphanes at the Battle of Panium in 200 BCE. [16] [17] Seleucid rule over the Jewish parts of the region then resulted in the rise of Hellenistic cultural and religious practices: "In addition to the turmoil of war, there arose in the Jewish nation pro-Seleucid and pro-Ptolemaic parties and the schism exercised great influence upon the Judaism of the time. It was in Antioch that the Jews first made the acquaintance of Hellenism and of the more corrupt sides of Greek culture and it was from Antioch that Judea henceforth was ruled." [18]

    The major source of information about the origin of the Hasmonean dynasty is the books 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees, held as canonical scripture by the Catholic, Orthodox, and most Oriental Orthodox churches and as apocryphal by Protestant denominations, though they do not comprise the canonical books of the Hebrew Bible. [19]

    The books cover the period from 175 BCE to 134 BCE during which time the Hasmonean dynasty became semi-independent from the Seleucid empire but had not yet expanded far outside of Judea. They are written from the point of view that the salvation of the Jewish people in a crisis came from God through the family of Mattathias, particularly his sons Judas Maccabeus, Jonathan Apphus, and Simon Thassi, and his grandson John Hyrcanus. The books include historical and religious material from the Septuagint that was codified by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians.

    The other primary source for the Hasmonean dynasty is the first book of The Wars of the Jews by the Jewish historian Josephus, (37–c. 100 CE). [6] Josephus' account is the only primary source covering the history of the Hasmonean dynasty during the period of its expansion and independence between 110 to 63 BCE. Notably, Josephus, a Roman citizen and former general in the Galilee, who survived the Roman–Jewish wars of the 1st century, was a Jew who was captured by and cooperated with the Romans, and wrote his books under Roman patronage.

    Hellenisation Edit

    The continuing Hellenization of Judea pitted traditional Jews against those who eagerly Hellenized. [20] The latter felt that the former's orthodoxy held them back. [21] Jews were divided both between those favoring Hellenization and those opposing it and over allegiance to the Ptolemies or Seleucids.

    In 175 BCE, conflict broke out between High Priest Onias III (who opposed Hellenisation and favoured the Ptolemies) and his son Jason (who favoured Hellenisation and the Seleucids). A period of political intrigue followed, with both Jason and Menelaus bribing the king to win the High Priesthood, and accusations of murder of competing contenders for the title. The result was a brief civil war. The Tobiads, a philo-Hellenistic party, succeeded in placing Jason into the powerful position of High Priest. He established an arena for public games close by the Temple. [22] Author Lee I. Levine notes, "The 'piece de resistance' of Judaean Hellenisation, and the most dramatic of all these developments, occurred in 175 BCE, when the high priest Jason converted Jerusalem into a Greek polis replete with gymnasium and ephebeion (2 Maccabees 4). Whether this step represents the culmination of a 150-year process of Hellenisation within Jerusalem in general, or whether it was only the initiative of a small coterie of Jerusalem priests with no wider ramifications, has been debated for decades." [23] Hellenised Jews are known to have engaged in non-surgical foreskin restoration (epispasm) in order to join the dominant Hellenistic cultural practice of socialising naked in the gymnasium, [24] [25] [26] where their circumcision would have carried a social stigma [24] [25] [26] Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman culture found circumcision to be a cruel, barbaric and repulsive custom. [24] [25] [26]

    Antiochus IV against Jerusalem Edit

    In spring 168 BCE, after successfully invading the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt, Antiochus IV was humiliatingly pressured by the Romans to withdraw. According to the Roman historian Livy, the Roman senate dispatched the diplomat Gaius Popilius to Egypt who demanded Antiochus to withdraw. When Antiochus requested time to discuss the matter Popilius "drew a circle round the king with the stick he was carrying and said, 'Before you step out of that circle give me a reply to lay before the senate.'" [27]

    While Antiochus was campaigning in Egypt, a rumor spread in Judah that he had been killed. The deposed high priest Jason took advantage of the situation, attacked Jerusalem, and drove away Menelaus and his followers. Menelaus took refuge in Akra, the Seleucids fortress in Jerusalem. When Antiochus heard of this, he sent an army to Jerusalem to sort things out. Jerusalem was taken, Jason and his followers were driven out, and Menelaus reinstated as high priest. [28]

    He then imposed a tax and established a fortress in Jerusalem. Antiochus tried to suppress public observance of Jewish laws, apparently in an attempt to secure control over the Jews. His government set up an idol of Zeus [29] on the Temple Mount, which Jews considered to be desecration of the Mount it also forbade both circumcision and possession of Jewish scriptures, on pain of death. According to Josephus,

    "Now Antiochus was not satisfied either with his unexpected taking the city, or with its pillage, or with the great slaughter he had made there but being overcome with his violent passions, and remembering what he had suffered during the siege, he compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcised, and to sacrifice swine's flesh upon the altar." [30]

    He also outlawed observance of the Sabbath and the offering of sacrifices at the Jerusalem Temple and required Jewish leaders to sacrifice to idols punitive executions were also instituted. Possession of Jewish scriptures was made a capital offence. The motives of Antiochus are unclear. He may have been incensed at the overthrow of his appointee, Menelaus, [31] he may have been responding to a Jewish revolt that had drawn on the Temple and the Torah for its strength, or he may have been encouraged by a group of radical Hellenisers among the Jews. [32]

    Maccabean Revolt Edit

    The author of the First Book of Maccabees regarded the Maccabean revolt as a rising of pious Jews against the Seleucid king who had tried to eradicate their religion and against the Jews who supported him. The author of the Second Book of Maccabees presented the conflict as a struggle between "Judaism" and "Hellenism", words that he was the first to use. [32] Modern scholarship tends to the second view.

    Most modern scholars argue that the king was intervening in a civil war between traditionalist Jews in the countryside and Hellenised Jews in Jerusalem. [33] [34] [35] According to Joseph P. Schultz, modern scholarship, "considers the Maccabean revolt less as an uprising against foreign oppression than as a civil war between the orthodox and reformist parties in the Jewish camp." [36] In the conflict over the office of High Priest, traditionalists with Hebrew/Aramaic names like Onias contested against Hellenisers with Greek names like Jason or Menelaus. [37] Other authors point to social and economic factors in the conflict. [38] [39] What began as a civil war took on the character of an invasion when the Hellenistic kingdom of Syria sided with the Hellenising Jews against the traditionalists. [40] As the conflict escalated, Antiochus prohibited the practices of the traditionalists, thereby, in a departure from usual Seleucid practice, banning the religion of an entire people. [39] Other scholars argue that while the rising began as a religious rebellion, it was gradually transformed into a war of national liberation. [41]

    The two greatest twentieth-century scholars of the Maccabean revolt, Elias Bickermann and Victor Tcherikover, each placed the blame on the policies of the Jewish leaders and not on the Seleucid ruler, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, but for different reasons.
    Bickermann saw the origin of the problem in the attempt of "Hellenised" Jews to reform the "antiquated" and "outdated" religion practised in Jerusalem, and to rid it of superstitious elements. They were the ones who egged on Antiochus IV and instituted the religious reform in Jerusalem. One suspects that [Bickermann] may have been influenced in his view by an antipathy to Reform Judaism in 19th- and 20th-century Germany. Tcherikover, perhaps influenced by socialist concerns, saw the uprising as one of the rural peasants against the rich elite. [42]

    According to I and II Maccabees, the priestly family of Mattathias (Mattitiyahu in Hebrew), which came to be known as the Maccabees, [43] called the people forth to holy war against the Seleucids. Mattathias' sons Judas (Yehuda), Jonathan (Yonoson/Yonatan), and Simon (Shimon) began a military campaign, initially with disastrous results: one thousand Jewish men, women, and children were killed by Seleucid troops because they refused to fight, even in self-defence, on the Sabbath. Other Jews then reasoned that they must fight when attacked, even on the Sabbath. The institution of guerrilla warfare practices by Judah over several years led to victory against the Seleucids:

    It was now, in the fall of 165, that Judah's successes began to disturb the central government. He appears to have controlled the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem, and thus to have cut off the royal party in Acra from direct communication with the sea and thus with the government. It is significant that this time the Syrian troops, under the leadership of the governor-general Lysias, took the southerly route, by way of Idumea. [44]

    Towards the end of 164, Judah felt strong enough to enter Jerusalem and the cult of Yahweh was re-established. The feast of Hanukkah was instituted to commemorate the recovery of the temple. [45] Antiochus, who was away on a campaign against the Parthians, died at about the same time in Persis. [46] Antiochus was succeeded by Demetrius I Soter, the nephew whose throne he had usurped. Demetrius sent the general Bacchides to Israel with a large army, in order to install Alcimus with the office of high priest. Bacchides subdued Jerusalem and returned to his King. [ citation needed ]

    Judah and Jonathan Edit

    After five years of war and raids, Judah sought an alliance with the Roman Republic to remove the Greeks: "In the year 161 BCE he sent Eupolemus the son of Johanan and Jason the son of Eleazar, 'to make a league of amity and confederacy with the Romans.'" [47]

    A Seleucid army under General Nicanor was defeated by Judah (ib. 7:26–50) at the Battle of Adasa, with Nicanor himself killed in action. Next, Bacchides was sent with Alcimus and an army of twenty thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry, and met Judah at the Battle of Elasa (Laisa), where this time it was the Hasmonean commander who was killed. (161/160 BCE). Bacchides now established the Hellenes as rulers in Israel and upon Judah's death, the persecuted patriots, under Jonathan, brother of Judah, fled beyond the Jordan River.(ib. 9:25–27) They set camp near a morass by the name of Asphar, and remained, after several engagements with the Seleucids, in the swamp in the country east of the Jordan.

    Following the death of his puppet governor Alcimus, High Priest of Jerusalem, Bacchides felt secure enough to leave the country, but two years after the departure of Bacchides from Israel, the City of Acre felt sufficiently threatened by Maccabee incursions to contact Demetrius and request the return of Bacchides to their territory. Jonathan and Simeon, now more experienced in guerrilla warfare, thought it well to retreat farther, and accordingly fortified in the desert a place called Beth-hogla [48] there they were besieged several days by Bacchides. Jonathan offered the rival general a peace treaty and exchange of prisoners of war. Bacchides readily consented and even took an oath of nevermore making war upon Jonathan. He and his forces then vacated Israel. The victorious Jonathan now took up his residence in the old city of Michmash. From there he endeavoured to clear the land of "the godless and the apostate". [49] The chief source, 1 Maccabees, says that with this "the sword ceased in Israel", and in fact nothing is reported for the five following years (158–153 BCE).

    Seleucid civil conflict Edit

    An important external event brought the design of the Maccabeans to fruition. Demetrius I Soter's relations with Attalus II Philadelphus of Pergamon (reigned 159–138 BCE), Ptolemy VI of Egypt (reigned 163–145 BCE), and Ptolemy's co-ruler Cleopatra II of Egypt were deteriorating, and they supported a rival claimant to the Seleucid throne: Alexander Balas, who purported to be the son of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and a first cousin of Demetrius. Demetrius was forced to recall the garrisons of Judea, except those in the City of Acre and at Beth-zur, to bolster his strength. Furthermore, he made a bid for the loyalty of Jonathan, permitting him to recruit an army and to reclaim the hostages kept in the City of Acre. Jonathan gladly accepted these terms, took up residence at Jerusalem in 153 BCE, and began fortifying the city.

    Alexander Balas offered Jonathan even more favourable terms, including official appointment as High Priest in Jerusalem, and despite a second letter from Demetrius promising prerogatives that were almost impossible to guarantee, [50] Jonathan declared allegiance to Balas. Jonathan became the official leader of his people, and officiated at the Feast of Tabernacles of 153 BCE wearing the High Priest's garments. The Hellenistic party could no longer attack him without severe consequences.

    Soon, Demetrius lost both his throne and his life, in 150 BCE. The victorious Alexander Balas was given the further honour of marriage to Cleopatra Thea, daughter of his allies Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II. Jonathan was invited to Ptolemais for the ceremony, appearing with presents for both kings, and was permitted to sit between them as their equal Balas even clothed him with his own royal garment and otherwise accorded him high honour. Balas appointed Jonathan as strategos and "meridarch" (i.e., civil governor of a province details not found in Josephus), sent him back with honours to Jerusalem, [51] and refused to listen to the Hellenistic party's complaints against Jonathan.

    Hasmoneans under Balas and Demetrius II Edit

    In 147 BCE, Demetrius II Nicator, a son of Demetrius I Soter, claimed Balas' throne. The governor of Coele-Syria, Apollonius Taos, used the opportunity to challenge Jonathan to battle, saying that the Jews might for once leave the mountains and venture out into the plain. [52] Jonathan and Simeon led a force of 10,000 men against Apollonius' forces in Jaffa, which was unprepared for the rapid attack and opened the gates in surrender to the Jewish forces. Apollonius received reinforcements from Azotus and appeared in the plain in charge of 3,000 men including superior cavalry forces. Jonathan assaulted, captured and burned Azotus along with the resident temple of Dagon and the surrounding villages.

    Alexander Balas honoured the victorious High Priest by giving him the city of Ekron along with its outlying territory. The people of Azotus complained to King Ptolemy VI, who had come to make war upon his son-in-law, but Jonathan met Ptolemy at Jaffa in peace and accompanied him as far as the River Eleutherus. Jonathan then returned to Jerusalem, maintaining peace with the King of Egypt despite their support for different contenders for the Seleucid throne. [53]

    Hasmoneans under Demetrius and Diodotus Edit

    In 145 BCE, the Battle of Antioch resulted in the final defeat of Alexander Balas by the forces of his father-in-law Ptolemy VI. Ptolemy himself, however, was among the casualties of the battle. Demetrius II Nicator remained sole ruler of the Seleucid Empire and became the second husband of Cleopatra Thea.

    Jonathan owed no allegiance to the new King and took this opportunity to lay siege to the Acra, the Seleucid fortress in Jerusalem and the symbol of Seleucid control over Judea. It was heavily garrisoned by a Seleucid force and offered asylum to Jewish Hellenists. [54] Demetrius was greatly incensed he appeared with an army at Ptolemais and ordered Jonathan to come before him. Without raising the siege, Jonathan, accompanied by the elders and priests, went to the king and pacified him with presents, so that the king not only confirmed him in his office of high priest, but gave to him the three Samaritan toparchies of Mount Ephraim, Lod, and Ramathaim-Zophim. In consideration of a present of 300 talents the entire country was exempted from taxes, the exemption being confirmed in writing. Jonathan in return lifted the siege of the Acra and left it in Seleucid hands.

    Soon, however, a new claimant to the Seleucid throne appeared in the person of the young Antiochus VI Dionysus, son of Alexander Balas and Cleopatra Thea. He was three years old at most, but general Diodotus Tryphon used him to advance his own designs on the throne. In the face of this new enemy, Demetrius not only promised to withdraw the garrison from the City of Acre, but also called Jonathan his ally and requested him to send troops. The 3,000 men of Jonathan protected Demetrius in his capital, Antioch, against his own subjects. [55]

    As Demetrius II did not keep his promise, Jonathan thought it better to support the new king when Diodotus Tryphon and Antiochus VI seized the capital, especially as the latter confirmed all his rights and appointed his brother Simon (Simeon) strategos of the Paralia (the sea coast), from the "Ladder of Tyre" to the frontier of Egypt. [56]

    Jonathan and Simon were now entitled to make conquests Ashkelon submitted voluntarily while Gaza was forcibly taken. Jonathan vanquished even the strategoi of Demetrius II far to the north, in the plain of Hazar, while Simon at the same time took the strong fortress of Beth-zur on the pretext that it harboured supporters of Demetrius. [57]

    Like Judah in former years, Jonathan sought alliances with foreign peoples. He renewed the treaty with the Roman Republic and exchanged friendly messages with Sparta and other places. However, the documents referring to those diplomatic events are of questionable authenticity.

    Diodotus Tryphon went with an army to Judea and invited Jonathan to Scythopolis for a friendly conference, where he persuaded him to dismiss his army of 40,000 men, promising to give him Ptolemais and other fortresses. Jonathan fell into the trap he took with him to Ptolemais 1,000 men, all of whom were slain he himself was taken prisoner. [58]

    Simon assumes leadership Edit

    When Diodotus Tryphon was about to enter Judea at Hadid, he was confronted by the new Jewish leader, Simon, ready for battle. Tryphon, avoiding an engagement, demanded one hundred talents and Jonathan's two sons as hostages, in return for which he promised to liberate Jonathan. Although Simon did not trust Diodotus Tryphon, he complied with the request so that he might not be accused of the death of his brother. But Diodotus Tryphon did not liberate his prisoner angry that Simon blocked his way everywhere and that he could accomplish nothing, he executed Jonathan at Baskama, in the country east of the Jordan. [59] Jonathan was buried by Simeon at Modin. Nothing is known of his two captive sons. One of his daughters was an ancestor of Josephus. [60]

    Simon assumed the leadership (142 BCE), receiving the double office of High Priest and prince of Israel. The leadership of the Hasmoneans was established by a resolution, adopted in 141 BCE, at a large assembly "of the priests and the people and of the elders of the land, to the effect that Simon should be their leader and High Priest forever, until there should arise a faithful prophet" (1 Macc. 14:41). Ironically, the election was performed in Hellenistic fashion.

    Simon, having made the Jewish people semi-independent of the Seleucid Greeks, reigned from 142 to 135 BCE and formed the Hasmonean dynasty, finally capturing the citadel [Acra] in 141 BCE. [61] [62] The Roman Senate accorded the new dynasty recognition c. 139 BCE, when the delegation of Simon was in Rome. [63]

    Simon led the people in peace and prosperity, until in February 135 BCE, he was assassinated at the instigation of his son-in-law Ptolemy, son of Abubus (also spelled Abobus or Abobi), who had been named governor of the region by the Seleucids. Simon's eldest sons, Mattathias and Judah, were also murdered.

    In c. 135 BCE, John Hyrcanus, Simon's third son, assumed the leadership and ruled as high priest (Kohen Gadol) and took a Greek "regnal name" (see Hyrcania) in an acceptance of the Hellenistic culture of his Seleucid suzerains. Within a year of the death of Simon, Seleucid King Antiochus VII Sidetes attacked Jerusalem. According to Josephus, [64] John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulchre and removed three thousand talents which he paid as tribute to spare the city. He remained governor as a Seleucid vassal. For the next two decades of his reign, Hyrcanus continued, like his father, to rule semi-autonomously from the Seleucids.

    The Seleucid empire had been disintegrating in the face of the Seleucid–Parthian wars and in 129 BCE Antiochus VII Sidetes was killed in Media by the forces of Phraates II of Parthia, permanently ending Seleucid rule east of the Euphrates. In 116 BCE, a civil war between Seleucid half-brothers Antiochus VIII Grypus and Antiochus IX Cyzicenus broke out, resulting in a further breakup of the already significantly reduced kingdom.

    This provided opportunity for semi-independent Seleucid client states such as Judea to revolt. [65] [66] [67] In 110 BCE, John Hyrcanus carried out the first military conquests of the newly independent Hasmonean kingdom, raising a mercenary army to capture Madaba and Schechem, significantly increasing his regional influence. [68] [69] [ full citation needed ]

    Hyrcanus conquered Transjordan, Samaria, [70] and Idumea (also known as Edom), and forced Idumeans to convert to Judaism:

    Hyrcanus . subdued all the Idumeans and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would circumcise their genitals, and make use of the laws of the Jews and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision, (25) and of the rest of the Jewish ways of living at which time therefore this befell them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews. [71]

    He desired that his wife succeed him as head of the government, with his eldest of five sons, Aristobulus I, becoming only the high-priest.

    Upon Hyrcanus' death, however, Aristobulus jailed his mother and three brothers, including Alexander Jannaeus, and allowed her to starve there. By this means he came into possession of the throne and became the first Hasmonean to take the title basileus, asserting the new-found independence of the state. Subsequently he conquered Galilee. Aristobulus I died after a painful illness in 103 BCE.

    Aristobulus' brothers were freed from prison by his widow Alexander reigned from 103–76 BCE, and died during the siege of the fortress Ragaba. In c. 87 BCE, according to Josephus, following a six-year civil war involving Seleucid king Demetrius III Eucaerus, Hasmonean ruler Alexander Jannaeus crucified 800 Jewish rebels in Jerusalem.

    The Hasmoneans lost the territories acquired in Transjordan during the 93 BC Battle of Gadara, where the Nabataeans ambushed Jannaeus and his forces in a hilly area. The Nabataeans saw the acquisitions as a threat to their interests, and used a large number of camels to push the Hasmonean forces into a deep valley where Jannaeus was "lucky to escape alive". Jannaeus returned to fierce Jewish opposition in Jerusalem after his defeat, and had to cede the acquired territories to the Nabataeans so that he could dissuade them from supporting his opponents in Judea. [72]

    Alexander was followed by his wife, Salome Alexandra, who reigned from 76–67 BCE. She was the only regnant Jewish Queen. During her reign, her son Hyrcanus II held the office of High Priest and was named her successor.

    Pharisee and Sadducee factions Edit

    It is difficult to state at what time the Pharisees, as a party, arose. Josephus first mentions them in connection with Jonathan, the successor of Judas Maccabeus ("Ant." xiii. 5, § 9). One of the factors that distinguished the Pharisees from other groups prior to the destruction of the Temple was their belief that all Jews had to observe the purity laws (which applied to the Temple service) outside the Temple. The major difference, however, was the continued adherence of the Pharisees to the laws and traditions of the Jewish people in the face of assimilation. As Josephus noted, the Pharisees were considered the most expert and accurate expositors of Jewish law.

    During the Hasmonean period, the Sadducees and Pharisees functioned primarily as political parties. Although the Pharisees had opposed the wars of expansion of the Hasmoneans and the forced conversions of the Idumeans, the political rift between them became wider when Pharisees demanded that the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus choose between being king and being High Priest. In response, the king openly sided with the Sadducees by adopting their rites in the Temple. His actions caused a riot in the Temple and led to a brief civil war that ended with a bloody repression of the Pharisees, although at his deathbed the king called for a reconciliation between the two parties. Alexander was succeeded by his widow, Salome Alexandra, whose brother was Shimon ben Shetach, a leading Pharisee. Upon her death her elder son, Hyrcanus, sought Pharisee support, and her younger son, Aristobulus, sought the support of the Sadducees. The conflict between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus culminated in a civil war that ended when the Roman general Pompey captured Jerusalem in 63 BCE and inaugurated the Roman period of Jewish history.

    Josephus attests that Salome Alexandra was very favourably inclined toward the Pharisees and that their political influence grew tremendously under her reign, especially in the institution known as the Sanhedrin. Later texts such as the Mishnah and the Talmud record a host of rulings ascribed to the Pharisees concerning sacrifices and other ritual practices in the Temple, torts, criminal law, and governance. The influence of the Pharisees over the lives of the common people remained strong, and their rulings on Jewish law were deemed authoritative by many. Although these texts were written long after these periods, many scholars believe that they are a fairly reliable account of history during the Second Temple era.

    Civil war Edit

    Alexander Jannaeus' son, Hyrcanus II, had scarcely reigned three months when his younger brother, Aristobulus II, rose in rebellion, whereupon Hyrcanus advanced against him at the head of an army of mercenaries and his Pharisee followers: "Now Hyrcanus was heir to the kingdom, and to him did his mother commit it before she died but Aristobulus was superior to him in power and magnanimity and when there was a battle between them, to decide the dispute about the kingdom, near Jericho, the greatest part deserted Hyrcanus, and went over to Aristobulus." [73]

    Hyrcanus took refuge in the citadel of Jerusalem, but the capture of the Temple by Aristobulus II compelled Hyrcanus to surrender. A peace was then concluded, according to the terms of which Hyrcanus was to renounce the throne and the office of high priest (comp. Emil Schürer, "Gesch." i. 291, note 2), but was to enjoy the revenues of the latter office: "but Hyrcanus, with those of his party who stayed with him, fled to Antonia, and got into his power the hostages (which were Aristobulus's wife, with her children) that he might persevere but the parties came to an agreement before things should come to extremes, that Aristobulus should be king, and Hyrcanus should resign, but retain all the rest of his dignities, as being the king's brother. Hereupon they were reconciled to each other in the Temple, and embraced one another in a very kind manner, while the people stood round about them they also changed their houses, while Aristobulus went to the royal palace, and Hyrcanus retired to the house of Aristobulus." [73] Aristobulus ruled from 67–63 BCE).

    From 63–40 BCE, the government was in the hands of Hyrcanus II as High Priest and Ethnarch, although effective power was in the hands of his adviser Antipater the Idumaean.

    Intrigues of Antipater Edit

    The struggle would have ended here but for Antipater the Idumean. Antipater saw clearly that it would be easier to reach the object of his ambition, the control of Judea, under the government of the weak Hyrcanus than under the warlike and energetic Aristobulus. He accordingly began to impress upon Hyrcanus' mind that Aristobulus was planning his death, finally persuading him to take refuge with Aretas, king of the Nabatæans. Aretas, bribed by Antipater, who also promised him the restitution of the Arabian towns taken by the Hasmoneans, readily espoused the cause of Hyrcanus and advanced toward Jerusalem with an army of fifty thousand. During the siege, which lasted several months, the adherents of Hyrcanus were guilty of two acts that greatly incensed the majority of the Jews: they stoned the pious Onias (see Honi ha-Magel) and, instead of a lamb which the besieged had bought of the besiegers for the purpose of the paschal sacrifice, sent a pig. Honi, ordered to curse the besieged, prayed: "Lord of the universe, as the besieged and the besiegers both belong to Thy people, I beseech Thee not to answer the evil prayers of either." The pig incident is derived from rabbinical sources. According to Josephus, the besiegers kept the enormous price of one thousand drachmas they had asked for the lamb.

    Pompey the Great Edit

    While this civil war was going on the Roman general Marcus Aemilius Scaurus went to Syria to take possession, in the name of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, of the kingdom of the Seleucids. The brothers appealed to him, each endeavouring by gifts and promises to win him over to his side. At first Scaurus, moved by a gift of four hundred talents, decided in favour of Aristobulus. Aretas was ordered to withdraw his army from Judea, and while retreating suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Aristobulus. But when Pompey came to Syria (63 BCE), a different situation arose. Pompey, who had just been awarded the title "Conqueror of Asia" due to his decisive victories in Asia Minor over Pontus and the Seleucid Empire, had decided to bring Judea under the rule of the Romans. He took the same view of Hyrcanus' ability, and was moved by much the same motives as Antipater: as a ward of Rome, Hyrcanus would be more acceptable than Aristobulus. When, therefore, the brothers, as well as delegates of the people's party, which, weary of Hasmonean quarrels, desired the extinction of the dynasty, presented themselves before Pompey, he delayed the decision, in spite of Aristobulus' gift of a golden vine valued at five hundred talents. The latter, however, fathomed the designs of Pompey, and assembled his armies. Pompey defeated him multiple times however and captured his cities. Aristobulus II entrenched himself in the fortress of Alexandrium but, soon realising the uselessness of resistance, surrendered at the first summons of the Romans, and undertook to deliver Jerusalem to them. The patriots, however, were not willing to open their gates to the Romans, and a siege ensued which ended with the capture of the city. Pompey entered the Holy of Holies this was only the second time that someone had dared to penetrate into this sacred spot. Judaea had to pay tribute to Rome and was placed under the supervision of the Roman governor of Syria:

    In 63 BC, Judaea became a protectorate of Rome. Coming under the administration of a governor, Judaea was allowed a king the governor's business was to regulate trade and maximise tax revenue. [74]

    In 57–55 BCE, Aulus Gabinius, proconsul of Syria, split the former Hasmonean Kingdom into Galilee, Samaria, and Judea, with five districts of legal and religious councils known as sanhedrin (Greek: συνέδριον, "synedrion"): "And when he had ordained five councils (συνέδρια), he distributed the nation into the same number of parts. So these councils governed the people the first was at Jerusalem, the second at Gadara, the third at Amathus, the fourth at Jericho, and the fifth at Sepphoris in Galilee." [75] [76]

    Pompey and Caesar Edit

    Julius Caesar initially supported Aristobulus against Hyrcanus and Antipater. Between the weakness of Hyrcanus and the ambition of Aristobulus, Judea lost its independence. Aristobulus was taken to Rome a prisoner, and Hyrcanus was reappointed High Priest, but without political authority. When, in 50 BCE, it appeared that Julius Caesar was interested in using Aristobulus and his family as his clients to take control of Judea from Hyrcanus and Antipater, who were beholden to Pompey, supporters of Pompey had Aristobulus poisoned in Rome and executed Alexander in Antioch.

    However, Pompey's pawns soon had occasion to turn to the other side:

    At the beginning of the civil war between [Caesar] and Pompey, Hyrcanus, at the instance of Antipater, prepared to support the man to whom he owed his position but when Pompey was murdered, Antipater led the Jewish forces to the help of Caesar, who was hard pressed at Alexandria. His timely help and his influence over the Egyptian Jews recommended him to Caesar's favour, and secured for him an extension of his authority in Palestine, and for Hyrcanus the confirmation of his ethnarchy. Joppa was restored to the Hasmonean domain, Judea was granted freedom from all tribute and taxes to Rome, and the independence of the internal administration was guaranteed." [77]

    The timely aid from Antipater and Hyrcanus led the triumphant Caesar to ignore the claims of Aristobulus's younger son, Antigonus the Hasmonean, and to confirm Hyrcanus and Antipater in their authority, despite their previous allegiance to Pompey. Josephus noted,

    Antigonus. came to Caesar. and accused Hyrcanus and Antipater, how they had driven him and his brethren entirely out of their native country. and that as to the assistance they had sent [to Caesar] into Egypt, it was not done out of good-will to him, but out of the fear they were in from former quarrels, and in order to gain pardon for their friendship to [his enemy] Pompey. [78]

    Hyrcanus' restoration as ethnarch in 47 BCE coincided with Caesar's appointment of Antipater as the first Roman Procurator, allowing Antipater to promote the interests of his own house: "Caesar appointed Hyrcanus to be high priest, and gave Antipater what principality he himself should choose, leaving the determination to himself so he made him procurator of Judea." [79]

    Antipater appointed his sons to positions of influence: Phasael became Governor of Jerusalem, and Herod Governor of Galilee. This led to increasing tension between Hyrcanus and the family of Antipater, culminating in a trial of Herod for supposed abuses in his governorship, which resulted in Herod's flight into exile in 46 BCE. Herod soon returned, however, and the honours to Antipater's family continued. Hyrcanus' incapacity and weakness were so manifest that, when he defended Herod against the Sanhedrin and before Mark Antony, the latter stripped Hyrcanus of his nominal political authority and his title, bestowing them both upon the accused.

    Caesar was assassinated in 44 BCE and unrest and confusion spread throughout the Roman world, including Judaea. Antipater the Idumean was assassinated in 43 BCE by the Nabatean king, Malichus I, who had bribed one of Hyrcanus’ cup-bearers to poison and kill Antipater. However, Antipater's sons managed to maintain their control over Judea and their father's puppet Hasmonean, Hyrcanus.

    Parthian invasion, Antony, Augustus Edit

    After Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 BCE, Quintus Labienus, a Roman republican general and ambassador to the Parthians, sided with Brutus and Cassius in the Liberators' civil war after their defeat Labienus joined the Parthians and assisted them in invading Roman territories in 40 BCE. The Parthian army crossed the Euphrates and Labienus was able to entice Mark Antony's Roman garrisons around Syria to rally to his cause. The Parthians split their army, and under Pacorus conquered the Levant from the Phoenician coast through the Land of Israel:

    Antigonus. roused the Parthians to invade Syria and Palestine, [and] the Jews eagerly rose in support of the scion of the Maccabean house, and drove out the hated Idumeans with their puppet Jewish king. The struggle between the people and the Romans had begun in earnest, and though Antigonus, when placed on the throne by the Parthians, proceeded to spoil and harry the Jews, rejoicing at the restoration of the Hasmonean line, thought a new era of independence had come. [80]

    When Phasael and Hyrcanus II set out on an embassy to the Parthians, the Parthians instead captured them. Antigonus, who was present, cut off Hyrcanus's ears to make him unsuitable for the High Priesthood, while Phasael was put to death. Antigonus, whose Hebrew name was Mattathias, bore the double title of king and High Priest for only three years, as he had not disposed of Herod, the most dangerous of his enemies. Herod fled into exile and sought the support of Mark Antony. Herod was designated "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate in 40 BCE: Antony

    then resolved to get [Herod] made king of the Jews. [and] told [the Senate] that it was for their advantage in the Parthian war that Herod should be king so they all gave their votes for it. And when the senate was separated, Antony and Caesar [Augustus] went out, with Herod between them while the consul and the rest of the magistrates went before them, in order to offer sacrifices [to the Roman gods], and to lay the decree in the Capitol. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the first day of his reign. [81]

    The struggle thereafter lasted for some years, as the main Roman forces were occupied with defeating the Parthians and had few additional resources to use to support Herod. After the Parthians' defeat, Herod was victorious over his rival in 37 BCE. Antigonus was delivered to Antony and executed shortly thereafter. The Romans assented to Herod's proclamation as King of the Jews, bringing about the end of the Hasmonean rule over Judea.

    Herod and the end of the dynasty Edit

    Antigonus was not, however, the last Hasmonean. The fate of the remaining male members of the family under Herod was not a happy one. Aristobulus III, grandson of Aristobulus II through his elder son Alexander, was briefly made high priest, but was soon executed (36 BCE) due to Herod's jealousy. His sister Mariamne was married to Herod, but fell victim to his notorious jealousy. Her sons by Herod, Aristobulus IV and Alexander, were in their adulthood also executed by their father.

    Hyrcanus II had been held by the Parthians since 40 BCE. For four years, until 36 BCE, he lived amid the Babylonian Jews, who paid him every mark of respect. In that year Herod, who feared that Hyrcanus might induce the Parthians to help him regain the throne, invited him to return to Jerusalem. The Babylonian Jews warned him in vain. Herod received him with every mark of respect, assigning him the first place at his table and the presidency of the state council, while awaiting an opportunity to get rid of him. As the last remaining Hasmonean, Hyrcanus was too dangerous a rival for Herod. In the year 30 BCE, charged with plotting with the King of Arabia, Hyrcanus was condemned and executed.

    The later Herodian rulers Agrippa I and Agrippa II both had Hasmonean blood, as Agrippa I's father was Aristobulus IV, son of Herod by Mariamne I, but they were not direct male descendants, unless Herod was understood as a Hasmonean as per the following synthesis:

    According to Josephus, Herod was also of Maccabean descent:

      called Auran brother of Judas Maccabeus (Josephus Antiquity of the Jews [82] Book XII/Chapter 9/Section 4)
  • Jason son of Eleazar (Ditto: Book XII/Chapter 10/Section 6)
  • Antipater I son of Jason (Ditto: Book XIII/Chapter 5/Section 8)
  • Antipater II Antipas son of Antipater I (Ditto: Book XIV/Chapter 1/Section 3)
  • Herod
  • While the Hasmonean dynasty managed to create an independent Jewish kingdom, its successes were rather short-lived, and the dynasty by and large failed to live up to the nationalistic momentum the Maccabee brothers had gained.

    Jewish nationalism Edit

    The fall of the Hasmonean Kingdom marked an end to a century of Jewish self-governance, but Jewish nationalism and desire for independence continued under Roman rule, beginning with the Census of Quirinius in 6 and leading to a series of Jewish-Roman wars in the 1st–2nd centuries, including the Great Revolt (AD 66–73), the Kitos War (115–117), and Bar Kokhba's revolt (132–135).

    During the wars, temporary commonwealths were established, but they ultimately fell to the sustained might of Rome. Roman legions under Vespasian and Titus besieged and destroyed Jerusalem, looted and burned Herod's Temple (in the year 70) and Jewish strongholds (notably Gamla in 67 and Masada in 73), and enslaved or massacred a large part of the Jewish population. The defeat of the Jewish revolts against the Roman Empire notably contributed to the numbers and geography of the Jewish Diaspora, as many Jews were scattered after losing their state or were sold into slavery throughout the empire.

    Jewish religious scholarship Edit

    Jewish tradition holds that the claiming of kingship by the later Hasmoneans led to their eventual downfall, since that title was only to be held by descendants of the line of King David. [83] The Hasmonean bureaucracy was filled with men with Greek names, and the dynasty eventually became very Hellenised, to the annoyance of many of its more traditionally-minded Jewish subjects. [84] [85] Frequent dynastic quarrels also contributed to the view among Jews of later generations that the latter Hasmoneans were degenerate. [86] One member of this school was Josephus, whose accounts are in many cases our sole source of information about the Hasmoneans.

    The books of Maccabees use the names "Judea" and "Israel" (or cognates) as geographical descriptors throughout for both the land and people over whom the Hasmoneans would rule. The Talmud includes one of the Hasmonean kings under the description "Kings of Israel". Scholars refer to the state as the Hasmonean Kingdom to distinguish it from the previous kingdoms of Israel. The name "Judaea" has also been used to describe the Hasmonean Kingdom although this name reflects the later designation of the region under the Romans at the time of Josephus' writings in the late 1st century.

    Hasmonean coins usually featured the Paleo-Hebrew script, an older Phoenician script that was used to write Hebrew. The coins are struck only in bronze. The symbols include a cornucopia, palm-branch, lily, an anchor, star, pomegranate and (rarely) a helmet. Despite the apparent Seleucid influences of most of the symbols, the origin of the star is more obscure. [87]


    Parthian Warfare Timeline - History


    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

    par'-thi-anz (Parthoi):
    1. Country and Early History:
    A people mentioned in Acts 2:9 only, in connection with other strangers present at Jerusalem at Pentecost, from which we infer that they were Jews or proselytes from the regions included in the Parthian empire. This empire stretched from the Euphrates to the confines of India and the Oxus, and for centuries was the rival of Rome, and more than once proved her match on the battlefield. The Parthians are not mentioned in the Old Testament, but are frequently in Josephus, and they had an important connection with the history of the Jews, on account of the large colonies of the latter in Mesopotamia, and the interference of the Parthians in the affairs of Judea, once making it a vassal state.
    Parthia proper was a small territory to the Southeast of the Caspian Sea, about 300 miles long by 120 wide, a fertile though mountainous region, bordering on the desert tract of Eastern Persia. The origin of the Parthians is rather uncertain, though the prevailing opinion is that they were of Scythic stock or of the great Tartar race. We have no reference to them earlier than the time of Darius the Great, but they were doubtless among the tribes subdued by Cyrus, as they are mentioned by Darius as being in revolt. They seem to have remained faithful to the Persians after that, and submitted to Alexander without resistance.
    2. The Seleucid Kings:
    Next they came under the rule of the Seleucid kings of Syria, but revolted about 250 BC, in the reign of Antiochus II (Theos), and gained their independence under the lead of Arsaces I who established the dynasty of the Arsacidae, which continued for nearly 5 centuries. His capital was Hecatompylos, but his reign continued only about 3 years, and his brother Tridates succeeded him as Arsaces II and he consolidated the kingdom. The war between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies freed him from interference from that quarter until 237 BC, when Seleucus II (Callinicus) marched against him, but was completely defeated, and Parthian independence was secured. Artabanus I, who followed him, extended his dominions westward to the Zagros Mountains, but Antiochus III would not permit such an encroachment with impunity, and led an expedition against him, driving him back and even invading his ancestral dominion. But after a struggle of some years the Parthians remained still unsubdued, and the difficulties of the contest led Antiochus to conclude peace with him in which he acknowledged the independence of Parthia. For about a quarter of a century the king of Parthia remained quiet, but Phraates I (181-174 BC) recommenced aggressions on the Seleucid empire which Were continued by Mithridates I (174-137), who added to his dominions a part of Bactria, on the East, and Media, Persia and Babylonia on the West. This was a challenge to Demetrius II, of Syria, to whose empire the provinces belonged, and he marched against him with a large force, but was defeated and taken prisoner. He remained in Parthia some years, well treated by Phraates II, whose sister he married, and, when Phraates wished to create a diversion against Antiochus Sidetes, he set Demetrius at liberty and sent him back to Syria. Antiochus was at first successful, as his force of 300,000 men far outnumbered the Parthians, but he was at last defeated and slain in 129 BC and his army destroyed. This was the last attempt of the Seleucid kings to subdue Parthia, and it was acknowledged as the dominant power in Western Asia. But Phraates fell in conflict with the Scyths, whom he called in to aid him in his war with Sidetes, and his successor likewise, and it was only on the accession of Mithridates in 124 BC that these barbarians were checked. The king then turned his attention toward Armenia, which he probably brought under his control, but its king Tigranes recovered its independence and even attacked the Parthians, and took from them two provinces in Mesopotamia.
    3. In Contact with Rome:
    Not long after, the power of Rome came into contact with armenia and Parthia. In 66 BC when, after subduing Mithridates of Pontus, Pompey came into Syria, Phraates III made an alliance with him against Armenia, but was offended by the way in which he was treated and thought of turning against his ally, but refrained for the time being. It was only a question of time when the two powers would come to blows, for Parthia had become an empire and could ill brook the intrusion of Rome into Western Asia. It was the ambition and greed of Crassus that brought about the clash of Rome and Parthia. When he took the East as his share of the Roman world as apportioned among the triumvirs, he determined to rival Caesar in fame and wealth by subduing Parthia, and advanced across the Euphrates on his ill-fated expedition in 53 BC. The story of his defeat and death and the destruction of the army and loss of the Roman eagles is familiar to all readers of Roman history. It revealed Parthia to the world as the formidable rival of Rome, which she continued to be for nearly 3 centuries. After the death of Crassus, the Parthians crossed the Euphrates and ravaged Northern Syria, but retired the following year without securing any portion of the country, and thus ended the first war with Rome. In 40 BC, after the battle of Philippi, Pacorus, who was then king, invaded Syria a second time and took possession of it together with all Israel, Tyre alone escaping subjection. He set Antigonus on the throne of Judea, deposing Hyrcanus for the purpose. Syria and Israel remained in the hands of Parthia for 3 years, but the coming of Ventidius gave a new turn to affairs. He drove the Parthians out of Syria, and when they returned the following year, he defeated them again and Pacorus was slain. Parthia had to retire within her own borders and remain on the defensive. Antony's attempt to subdue them proved abortive, and his struggle with Octavian compelled him to relinquish the project. The Parthians were unable to take advantage of the strife in the Roman empire on account of troubles at home. an insurrection led by Tiridates drove the king Phraates IV from the throne, but he recovered it by the aid of the Scyths, and Tiridates took refuge in Syria with the youngest son of the king. Augustus afterward restored him without ransom, and obtained the lost standards of Crassus, and thus peace was established between the rival empires. Each had learned to respect the power of the other, and, although contention arose regarding the suzerainty of armenia, peace was not seriously disturbed between them for about 130 years, or until the reign of Trajan. Parthia was not at peace with herself, however. Dynastic troubles were frequent, and the reigns of the kings short. Artabanus III, who reigned 16-42 AD, was twice expelled from his kingdom and twice recovered his throne. In his days occurred a terrible massacre of Jewish colonists in Mesopotamia, as narrated by Josephus (Ant., XVIII, ix). The contest with Rome over Armenia was settled in the days of Nero in a manner satisfactory to both parties, so that peace was not broken for 50 years. The ambition of Trajan led him to disregard the policy inaugurated by Augustus, adhered to, for the most part, by succeeding emperors, not to extend the limits of the empire. After the conquest of Dacia he turned his attention to the East and resolved on the invasion of Parthia. The Parthian king, Chosroes, endeavored to placate Trajan by an embassy bearing presents and proposals of peace, but Trajan rejected them and carried out his purpose. He subdued armenia, took Upper Mesopotamia, Adiabebe (Assyria), Ctesiphon, the capital, and reached the Pets Gulf, but was obliged to turn back by revolts in his rear and failed to reduce the fortress of Hatra. The conquered provinces were restored, however, by Hadrian, and the Parthians did not retaliate until the reign of Aurelius, when they overran Syria, and in 162 AD Lucius Verus was sent to punish them. In the following year he drove them back and advanced into the heart of the Parthian empire, inflicting the severest blow it had yet received. It was evident that the empire was on the decline, and the Romans did not meet with the resistance they had experienced in former times. Severus and Caracalla both made expeditions into the country, and the latter took the capital and massacred the inhabitants, but after his assassination his successor, Macrinus, fought a three days' battle with the Parthians at Nisibis in which he was worsted and was glad to conclude a peace by paying an indemnity of some 1,500,000 British pounds (217 AD).
    4. Fall of the Empire:
    But this was the last achievement of the Parthians. It is evident that Artabanus had suffered severely in his conflict with the Romans, and was unable to put down the revolt of the Persians under the lead of Artaxerxes, who overthrew the Parthian empire and established the dynasty of the Sassanidae in its place (226 AD).
    5. Culture:
    The Parthians were not a cultured people, but displayed a rude magnificence, making use, to some extent, of remains of Greek culture which they found within the regions they seized from the empire of Alexander. They had no native literature, as far as known, but made use of Greek in writing and on their coins. They were familiar with Hebrew or Syro-Chaldaic, and the later kings had Semitic legends on their coins. Josephus is said to have written his history of the Jewish War in his native tongue for Parthian readers. In their method of government they seem to have left the different provinces pretty much to themselves, so long as they paid tribute and furnished the necessary contingents.
    H. Porter Bibliography Information
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'parthians'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE 1915.

    Copyright Information
    © International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)


    Parthian great families ( historical & Important )

    hi guys
    there are three families for Rome and Carthage but it seems that there are no part of the families for the most powerful country in Middle East "Parthia" :eek:
    The most important enemy and rival of Rome "Parthia" needs to playing with three families like Rome .
    I think if you want to make the game more historical and documentary , the three families to be playable for Parthian faction and I am sure that all users are eager to see the oriental families in the game !
    Historically , the Parthian dynasty had three families with specific responsibilities .

    The official flag :

    Description:
    House of Suren or Surenas are one of two Parthian noble families explicitly mentioned by name in sources dateable to the Parthian period.
    The head of Surena family had the privilege to crown the first Parthian king in the 3rd century BC, which founded a tradition that was continued by his descendants. Following the 3rd century AD defeat of the Arsacids and the subsequent rise of the Sassanids, the Surenas then switched sides and began to serve the Persians, at whose court they were identified as one of the so-called "Parthian clans." The last attested scion of the family was a military commander active in northern China during the 9th century.
    It is "probable" that the Surenas were landowners in Dzaranga, that is, in the region south and west of Arachosia and called Drangiana in Greek literature. The Surenas appear to have governed Sistan (which derives its name from 'Sakastan' and was once a much larger region than the present day province) as their personal fiefdom.
    "Ernst Herzfeld maintained that the dynasty of [the Indo-Parthian emperor] Gondophares represented the House of Suren." Other notable members of the family include the 1st century BC cavalry commander Surena and a 6th-century AD governor (satrap) of Armenia who attempted to reestablish Zoroastrianism in that province.

    Description:
    The House of Karen (also Karen-Pahlevi, -Karan, -Kiran, -Qaran and -Qaren) were an aristocratic feudal family of Hyrcania (Gorgan). The seat of the house lay at Nahavand, about 65 km south of Ecbatana (present-day Babol, Iran).
    The Karenas, Karan-Vands, or Karen-Pahlevi as they are also called, claimed descent from Karen, a figure of folklore and son of the equally mythical Kava the blacksmith. The Karenas are first attested in the Arsacid era, specifically as one of the feudal houses affiliated with the Parthian court. In this they were similar to the House of Suren, the only other attested feudal house of the Parthian period. Following the conquest of the Parthians, the Karenas allied themselves with the Sassanids, at whose court they were identified as one of the so-called "Parthian clans".
    Following the defeat of the Sassanids by the army of Rashidun at the Battle of Nahavand, the Karenas pledged allegiance to the Caliphate. In 783 however, under Vandad Hormoz and allied with the Bavands, the Karenas proclaimed independence and refused to continue to pay tribute. Notwithstanding repeated (and some temporarily successful) attempts to conquer the Karenas, during which the family had withdrawn further eastwards to the Savadkuh region, some of the lands of the Karenas appear to have remained independent until the 11th century, after which the House of Karen is no longer attested. Other notable members of the family include Maziar, the grandson of Vandad Hormoz, and whose devotion to Zoroastrianism and defiance of the Arabs brought him great fame.

    Description:
    The House of Mihrān or House of Mehrān was a leading Iranian noble family (šahrdārān), one of the Seven Great Houses of the Sassanid Persian Empire which claimed descent from the earlier Arsacid dynasty. A branch of the family formed the Mihranid line of the kings of Caucasian Albania and the Chosroid Dynasty of Kartli.
    First mentioned in a mid-3rd-century CE trilingual inscription at the Ka'ba-i Zartosht, concerning the political, military, and religious activities of Shapur I, the second Sassanid king of Iran, the family remained the hereditary "margraves" of Ray throughout the Sassanid period. Several members of the family served as generals in the Roman–Persian Wars, where they are mentioned simply as Mihran or Μιρράνης, mirranēs, in Greek sources. Indeed, Procopius, in his History of the Wars, holds that the family name Mihran is a title equivalent to General.
    Notable generals from the Mihran clan included: Perozes, the Persian commander-in-chief during the Anastasian War and the Battle of Dara, Golon Mihran, who fought against the Byzantines in Armenia in 572–573, and his son Bahram Chobin, who led a coup against Khosrau II and briefly usurped the crown from 590 to 591.
    In the course of the 4th century, the purported branches of this family acquired the crowns of three Caucasian polities: Iberia (Chosroids), Gogarene and Caucasian Albania/Gardman (Mihranids).

    **************************************************
    These families are not attractive for play ?
    I hope that managers should pay attention to this topic


    The Climax of the Seleucid-Parthian Rivalry

    This chapter focuses on the contexts and consequences of the last great Seleucid campaign in the Middle East. The new rivalry of the Seleucids and Parthians was highly volatile. Yet the potential strength of the Seleucid state remained considerable under a strong ruler. The enthusiastic Seleucid king, Antiochus VII, became determined to reestablish the undisputed power of the Seleucid Empire throughout Mesopotamia and the Iranian plateau. His grand campaign against the Parthians in the early 120s was the greatest threat to the survival of the Parthian state since the campaign of Antiochus III almost a century before. Unfortunately for the Seleucids, it also culminated in the greatest defeat in their history. With their decisive victory, the Parthians were poised to push their advantage against the Seleucids into the lands of the Near East for the first time. However, a near catastrophic series of nomadic invasions along the eastern frontier of the Parthian Empire demanded the full attention of the Parthians. Once more the Parthians faced a considerable threat to the survival of their state as they suffered multiple severe defeats in their efforts to repulse nomadic incursions into the Iranian plateau. It was not until arguably the greatest of the Parthian monarchs, Mithridates II, became the new leader of the Parthians that they emerged as a world power.

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    End of the Ptolemies

    31: Battle of Actium (September 2) and victory of Octavian Cleopatra returns to Egypt to hand over the kingdom to Caesarian but is thwarted by Malchos. Octavian moves to Rhodes and negotiations begin.

    30: Negotiations fail and Octavian invades Egypt. Cleopatra sends Antony a note that she has committed suicide and he stabs himself and dies on August 1 on August 10, she commits suicide herself. Her son Caesarion becomes king but Octavian has him killed as he travels to Alexandria. The Ptolemaic dynasty ends, and Egypt becomes a Roman province on August 29.



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