Ancient History/Iran/Parthian Empire

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to: navigation, search

Parthia was a civilization situated in the northeast of modern Iran, but at its height covering all of Iran, Mesoptamia, and parts of the Arabian Peninsula, and Central Asia. Led by the Arsacid dynasty, reunited and ruled over the Iranian plateau, taking over the eastern provinces of the Greek Seleucid Empire, beginning in the late 3rd century BC, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 150 BC and 224 AD. It was the second native dynasty of ancient Iran (Persia). Parthia (mostly due to their invention of heavy cavalry) was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the east; and it limited Rome's expansion beyond central Anatolia.

The Parthian empire lasted four centuries, longer than most Eastern Empires. After the Scythian-Parni nomads (Assyrians called them Ashkuz) had settled in Parthia and had built a small independent kingdom, they rose to power under king Mithradates the Great. The end of this loosely organized empire came in 224 AD, when the last king was defeated by one of the empire's vassals, the Persians of the Sassanid dynasty. The Parthins in battle were noted for the use of the so called Partian arrow. This being in retret from the enemy they would losse an arrow at the enemy. Thus a parting shot.