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Reign of ArrowsThe Rise of the Parthian Empire in the Hellenistic Middle East$
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Nikolaus Leo Overtoom

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190888329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190888329.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 28 January 2022

The Climax of the Seleucid-Parthian Rivalry

The Climax of the Seleucid-Parthian Rivalry

Chapter:
(p.189) 5 The Climax of the Seleucid-Parthian Rivalry
Source:
Reign of Arrows
Author(s):

Nikolaus Leo Overtoom

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190888329.003.0006

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.

Keywords:   Parthians, Seleucids, nomads, Syria, Mesopotamia, Media, Iran, ancient warfare, rebellion, civil war

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