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Parthian Empire (Arascid Dynasty)

The Parthian city of Hatra in north Mesopotamia (The Brittish Museum)

The Parthian Empire is a fascinating period of Persian history closely connected to Greece and Rome. Ruling from 247 BC to AD 228 in ancient Persia (Iran), the Parthians defeated Alexander the Great's successors, the Seleucids, conquered most of the Middle East and Southwest Asia, and built Parthia into an Eastern superpower. The Parthian empire revived the greatness of the Achaemenid empire and counter balanced Rome's hegemony in the West. Parthia at one time occupied areas now in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaidzhan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel ...

The Parthians were a subgroup of the nomadic steppe culture known to us as the Scythians. Tradition has it that they conquered the region known in the ancient period as Parthia (now part of Iran) during the mid 4th century BC under Arsaces I. Arsaces I was the leader of a small nomadic group known as the Parni which were a part of the Dahae confederation of tribes centered around the eastern Caspian in present day Turkistan. Under Arsaces I and most of Arsaces II's reign the Parthians managed to maintain their independence, as demonstrated by the existence of coins for these kings, despite repeated attempts by their neighbors, particularly the Seleucid monarchs who had once ruled the area, to conquer them ...

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium