Arsaces II of Parthia

Arsaces II, also Artabanus I, of the Arsacid dynasty was King of Parthia between 211 BC and 191 BC. Greek 'Arsaces' appears as 'Artabanus' in Latin sources, and both forms appear in history books.

Due to a confusion of names, the line of succession is equally unclear. Artabanus's uncle, Arsaces I, had founded the dynasty around 247 BC. Arsaces I may then have been directly succeeded by his brother Tiridates I, who however - like all other Arsacid dynasts also - adopted the name Arsaces upon his coronation. Subject then to which genealogy is followed (neither is epigraphically assured), Artabanus (a.k.a. Arsaces II) succeeded either his uncle Arsaces I or his father Tiridates I (a.k.a. Arsaces II).

In 209 BC, the Seleucid Emperor Antiochus III recaptured Parthia, which had been previously seized from the Seleucids by the Arsaces I and the Parni around 247 BC. Antiochus III sued for peace following his defeat on the battlefield at Mount Labus.

In the terms of peace, Arsaces accepted feudatory status and from then onwards ruled Parthia and Hyrancia as a vassal state of the Seleucids. Antiochus in turn withdrew his troops westwards, where he would subsequently be embroiled in wars with Rome and so would leave the fledgling Parthian kingdom to its own devices.

Arsaces II was succeeded by his son (or cousin) Phriapatius in 191 BC.


* Richard Nelson Frye, "The History of Ancient Iran", 1984.
*, pp. 31, 51-67

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