The Parthian Empire (247 BC – 224 AD) is also known as the Arsacid Empire, this name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia who is the first in the list below. Parthia was a region located in what is now north-eastern Iran. It was conquered by the Medes during the 7th century BC, later it became part of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC. It was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran and Iraq prior to that. The only mention of Parthians is in the Pentecost story of Acts 2. In Acts 2:5-12  we read:

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: "Aren't all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"

Arsaces was leader of the Parni tribe and when he concured the region that became Parthia in the mid-3rd century BC he basically, founded what would be an empire that would rival Rome. The region of Parthia had been a province of the Seleucid Empire. Mithridates I of Parthia (r. c. 171–138 BC) greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han Empire of China, became a center of trade and commerce.

The Parthians largely adopted the art, architecture, religious beliefs, and royal insignia of their the various peroples in their empire. It encompassed Persian, Hellenistic, and other regional elements. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture, though it eventually saw a gradual revival of Iranian traditions. The Arsacid rulers were titled the "King of Kings", as a claim to be the heirs to the Achaemenid Empire; indeed, they accepted many local kings as vassals where the Achaemenids would have had centrally appointed, albeit largely autonomous, satraps. The court did appoint a small number of satraps, largely outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of Arsacid power, the seat of central government shifted from Nisa to Ctesiphon along the Tigris (south of modern Baghdad, Iraq), although several other sites also served as capitals.

The earliest enemies of the Parthians were the Seleucids in the west and the Scythians in the east. However, as Parthia expanded westward, they came into conflict with the Kingdom of Armenia, and eventually the late Roman Republic. Rome and Parthia competed with each other to establish the kings of Armenia as their subordinate clients. The Parthians soundly defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, and in 40–39 BC, Parthian forces captured the whole of the Levant except Tyre from the Romans. However, Mark Antony led a counterattack against Parthia, although his successes were generally achieved in his absence, under the leadership of his lieutenant Ventidius. Also, various Roman emperors or their appointed generals invaded Mesopotamia in the course of the several Roman-Parthian Wars which ensued during the next few centuries. The Romans captured the cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon on multiple occasions during these conflicts, but were never able to hold on to them. Frequent civil wars between Parthian contenders to the throne proved more dangerous to the Empire's stability than foreign invasion, and Parthian power evaporated when Ardashir I, ruler of Estakhr in Fars, revolted against the Arsacids and killed their last ruler, Artabanus V, in 224 AD. Ardashir established the Sassanid Empire, which ruled Iran and much of the Near East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century AD, although the Arsacid dynasty lived on through the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia, the Arsacid dynasty of Iberia, and the Arsacid Dynasty of Caucasian Albania; all eponymous branches of the Parthian Arsacids.

Native Parthian sources, written in Parthian, Greek and other languages, are scarce when compared to Sassanid and even earlier Achaemenid sources. Aside from scattered cuneiform tablets, fragmentary ostraca, rock inscriptions, drachma coins, and the chance survival of some parchment documents, much of Parthian history is only known through external sources. These include mainly Greek and Roman histories, but also Chinese histories, prompted by the Han Chinese desire to form alliances against the Xiongnu. Parthian artwork is viewed by historians as a valid source for understanding aspects of society and culture that are otherwise absent in textual sources.

 

Throne NameTitleBirth–DeathEntered officeLeft officeFamily RelationsNote
Arsacid dynasty of Parthia (247 BC – 228 AD)
Arsaces I King, Karen, Autocrator  ?–211 BC 247 BC 211 BC A descendant of Arsaces son of Phriapatius who was probably son of Artaxerxes II  
Arsaces II    ?–185 BC 211 BC 185 BC Son of Arsaces I  
Arsaces III    ?–170 BC 185 BC 170 BC Grandson of Tiridates I  
Arsaces IV    ?–167 BC 170 BC 167 BC Son of Phriapatius  
Arsaces V The Great King, Theos, Theopator, Philhellene  ?–132 BC 167 BC 132 BC Son of Phriapatius  
Arsaces VI The Great King, Philopator, Theopator, Nikephoros  ?–127 BC 132 BC 127 BC Son of Mithridates I Killed in battle with Scythians
Arsaces VII King  ?–126 BC 127 BC 126 BC Son of Phriapatius Killed in battle with Tocharians
Arsaces VIII The Great King, Theopator, Philadelphos, Philhellene, Epiphanes  ?–122 BC 126 BC 122 BC Son of Phriapatius He was the first Arsacid king of Media, Arran and Iberia
Arsaces IX The Great King, King of kings, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–121 BC 122 BC 121 BC Son of Artabanus I Killed in battle with Medians
Arsaces X The Great King, The Great King of Kings, Epiphanes, Soter  ?–91 BC 121 BC 91 BC Son of Artabanus I  
Arsaces XI The Great King, Epiphanes, Philhellene, Euergetes, Autocrator  ?–87 BC 91 BC 87 BC Son of Mithridates II  
Arsaces XII The Great King, Theopator, Nicator  ?–77? BC 91 BC 77? BC Probably son of Vologases (?)  
Arsaces XIII The Great King, The Great King of Kings, Dikaios, Euergetes, Philhellene, Autocrator, Philopator, Epiphanes  ?–67 BC 88 BC 67 BC Probably son of Mithridates II  
Arsaces XIV The Great King, Euergetes, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–75 BC 80 BC 75 BC Probably son of Mithridates II  
Arsaces XV The Great King, Theopator, Euergetes, Epiphanes, Philhellene 157–70 BC 77 BC 70 BC Probably son of Vologases (?)  
Arsaces XVI The Great King, Theopator, Euergetes, Epiphanes, Philhellene, Eusebes  ?–66 BC 77 BC 66 BC  ? The most obscure major monarch of the first millennium BC. Nothing about him is currently known.
Arsaces XVII The Great King, Theos, Euergetes, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–57 BC 70 BC 57 BC Son of Sanatruces Killed by Orodes II
Arsaces XVIII The Great King, Philopator, Euergetes, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–63 BC 66 BC 63 BC probably son of Arsaces XVI The second most obscure monarch of the first millennium BC, nothing about him is known.
Arsaces XIX The Great King, The Great King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Theos, Eupator, Theopator, Philhellene  ?–54 BC 65 BC 54 BC Son of Phraates III Killed by Orodes II
Arsaces XX King of Kings, Philopator, Eupator, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene, Ktistes  ?–38 BC 57 BC 38 BC Son of Phraates III Killed by Phraates IV
Arsaces XXI King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–38 BC 50 BC 38 BC Son of Orodes II Killed in battle with Romans
Arsaces XXII King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–2 BC 38 2 BC Son of Orodes II Killed by Musa
Arsaces XXIII King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene, Autocrator, Philoromaeos  ?–after 23 BC 30 BC 25 BC Probably a descendant of Mithridates (III) Deposed and went to Rome
Arsaces XXIV  ?  ?–? BC 12 BC 9 BC Probably a descendant of Mithridates (III)  
Musa Queen of Queens, Thea, Urania  ?–4? AD 2 BC 4 AD Queen of Phraates IV  
Arsaces XXV King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–4 AD 2 BC 4 AD Son of Musa Deposed and went to Rome
Arsaces XXVI King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–6 4 6 Probably a descendant of Mithridates (III) Killed by Parthian aristocrats
Arsaces XXVII The Great King, King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene, Nikephorus  ?–19 8 12 Son of Phraates IV Deposed and went to Rome. Later, He was killed by Romans.
Arsaces XXVIII King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–40 10 40 Probably a descendant of Mithridates (III)  
Arsaces XXIX  ?  ?–? 35 36 Probably a descendant of Tiridates II Deposed and went to Rome
Arsaces XXX  ?  ?–? 37 37 Son of Artabanus III Abdicated
Arsaces XXXI King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene 11–51 40 – 51 Son of Artabanus III  
Arsaces XXXII King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–46 40 46 Son of Artabanus III Killed by Gotarzes II
Arsaces XXXIII King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–51 c. 45 51 Probably son of Artabanus III
Arsaces XXXIV  ?  ?–? 49 50 Son of Vonones I Deposed and mutilated by Gotarzes II
Arsaces XXXV King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene, The Lord  ?–77 51 77 Son of Vonones II  
Arsaces XXXVI King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–? 55 58 Son of Vologases I Deposed
Arsaces XXXVII King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–? 77 89/90 Probably the eldest son of Vologases I
Arsaces XXXVIII King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–115 77 115 Probably the younger son of Vologases I  
Arsaces XXXIX King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–? 80 81 Probably son of Vologases I  
Arsaces XL King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–130 89/90 130 Probably son of Vologases I  
Arsaces XLI King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–148 105 148 Probably son of Sanatruces I king of Armenia 89–109 (brother of Osroes I) He was also king of Armenia as Vologases I
Arsaces XLII King of Kings, Euergetes, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–after 123 116 117 Son of Osroes I Deposed and went to Rome
Arsaces XLIII King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?c. 145 c. 130 c. 145 Probably son of Osroes I  
Arsaces XLIV King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–c. 140 c. 140 c. 140  ?  
Arsaces XLV King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–191 148 191 Son of Mithridates IV  
Arsaces XLVI King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–208 191 208 Son of Vologases IV  
Arsaces XLVII King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–? c. 190 c. 195 Probably son of Vologases IV  
Arsaces XLVIII King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene 181–228 208 228 Son of Vologases V Killed by Ardashir I
Arsaces XLIX King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–226 213 226 Son of Vologases V Killed by Ardashir I
Arsaces L King of Kings, Dikaios, Epiphanes, Philhellene  ?–? 217 222 Son of Vologases IV He was also king of Armenia

http://biblehub.com/topical/p/parthians.htm 2/27/18 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthian_Empire 2/27/18

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Parthian_kings 2/27/18