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Thread: What and who were the Parthians3365 days old

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    Default What and who were the Parthians

    So far I only found that the Parthians were some nomadic people who came up from Siberia and invaded West Asia but I who like to find out more from some people because it seems the people where amazing as their other Iranian tribes.

    Around 300 BC, some new people invaded West Asia from Siberia in the north. These people were called the Parthians. Like the Scythians, and like the Persians when they first came to West Asia, the Parthians were nomadic people. They travelled around Siberia with their horses and their cattle, and grazed the cattle and the horses on the great fields of grass there. Usually they lived well enough this way.

    But sometimes the weather was worse than usual, and the Parthian cattle could not find enough to eat. This time, when that happened, the Parthians headed south into Alexander's empire. Maybe they had heard that Alexander had died and they thought it would be easy to take over. Maybe they just thought it would be nicer in the south, where it was warmer.

    The Parthians immediately succeeded in taking over the middle part of Alexander's empire (roughly modern Iran). This split the Greek empire in half, leaving the Greek colonies in Bactria (modern Afghanistan) isolated. They stayed there for about 200 years, gradually learning the culture of West Asia. They converted to Zoroastrianism.

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    Here's a brief run-through;

    - The Parthian homeland was between NE Iran (Khorasan) and Turkmenistan (I believe Merv was their capital). They did not come from Siberia. The Parthian state existed during Alexander's Seleucid dynasty.

    - They were a confederation of Iranian tribes that spoke Parthian, a Northwest Iranian language (known to them as Pahlavanik; for lovers of trivia, the term "Pahlevun" is derived from this in modern Persian and means something like "He-Man" or "Goliath")

    - The Parni tribe was a main constituent of this Iranian-speaking confederation. They supposedly came from the Oxus river (Amu Darya), which was Scythian territory at that time. They were probably Scythians/Saka themselves, and their leader (Arsaces I, or Arshak) essentially founded the Parthian state. Their language is not attested but was probably East Iranian.

    - The Arsacid dynasty (Ashkanian in Persian), who descended from Arsaces I, ruled this Parthian confederation and conquered the Iranian plateau from the Seleucid Greeks that preceded them. Parthian was the language of court instead of Parni.

    - The Arsacid dynasty also extended itself into the Caucasus; a long line of Armenian kings were of Arsacid blood, and the Armenian language itself has numerous words of Parthian extraction that aren't found in Persian.

    - Regarding faith, the Parthians officially adopted Zoroastrianism during their presence on the Iranian plateau - However, their pre-empire confederacy may have been partially Zoroastrian to begin with.

    - The Parthians founded the western end of the Silk Road and their horses were of main interest to the Chinese who travelled all the way west. The Chinese needed these horses to repel the Xiongu invasions on their border.

    - Their decline was brought by the Sassanians, a Persian-speaking dynasty that sought to revive the Achaemenid empire's legacy in the region.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humata View Post
    Here's a brief run-through;

    - The Parthian homeland was between NE Iran (Khorasan) and Turkmenistan (I believe Merv was their capital). They did not come from Siberia. The Parthian state existed during Alexander's Seleucid dynasty.

    - They were a confederation of Iranian tribes that spoke Parthian, a Northwest Iranian language (known to them as Pahlavanik; for lovers of trivia, the term "Pahlevun" is derived from this in modern Persian and means something like "He-Man" or "Goliath")

    - The Parni tribe was a main constituent of this Iranian-speaking confederation. They supposedly came from the Oxus river (Amu Darya), which was Scythian territory at that time. They were probably Scythians/Saka themselves, and their leader (Arsaces I, or Arshak) essentially founded the Parthian state. Their language is not attested but was probably East Iranian.

    - The Arsacid dynasty (Ashkanian in Persian), who descended from Arsaces I, ruled this Parthian confederation and conquered the Iranian plateau from the Seleucid Greeks that preceded them. Parthian was the language of court instead of Parni.

    - The Arsacid dynasty also extended itself into the Caucasus; a long line of Armenian kings were of Arsacid blood, and the Armenian language itself has numerous words of Parthian extraction that aren't found in Persian.

    - Regarding faith, the Parthians officially adopted Zoroastrianism during their presence on the Iranian plateau - However, their pre-empire confederacy may have been partially Zoroastrian to begin with.

    - The Parthians founded the western end of the Silk Road and their horses were of main interest to the Chinese who travelled all the way west. The Chinese needed these horses to repel the Xiongu invasions on their border.

    - Their decline was brought by the Sassanians, a Persian-speaking dynasty that sought to revive the Achaemenid empire's legacy in the region.
    If I recall correctly, were they not responsible for a crushing defeat upon the Romans or am I getting them confused with another group?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAONABO View Post
    If I recall correctly, were they not responsible for a crushing defeat upon the Romans or am I getting them confused with another group?
    You're thinking of the Sassanians. Although, the Iranians and Romans were fighting inconsistently over Anatolia and adjacent regions for hundreds of years. Their territorial stalemate ended with Islam's expansion out of Arabia.

    Shapur I, who was the second king of the Sassanian Persian dynasty, defeated both Phillip the Arab and Valerian. His victory is depicted on the Naqshe-Rostam relief;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Re...g_Valerian.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAONABO View Post
    If I recall correctly, were they not responsible for a crushing defeat upon the Romans or am I getting them confused with another group?
    Ask Crassus -the bad guy in the film "Spartacus"-, who was executed by drinking gold.

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    I've never heard the allegation of Parthians being from Siberia before, maybe the one who wrote it confused the Parthians with horse riding people in southern Siberia (Scythians)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magavariko View Post
    Ask Crassus -the bad guy in the film "Spartacus"-, who was executed by drinking gold.
    Crassus, Crassus, rich as Croesus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humata View Post
    You're thinking of the Sassanians. Although, the Iranians and Romans were fighting inconsistently over Anatolia and adjacent regions for hundreds of years. Their territorial stalemate ended with Islam's expansion out of Arabia.

    Shapur I, who was the second king of the Sassanian Persian dynasty, defeated both Phillip the Arab and Valerian. His victory is depicted on the Naqshe-Rostam relief;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Re...g_Valerian.jpg
    Ah yes, I am coflating what I can remmember off the top of my head from some books on military history and horse warriors.

    Did the Romans ever manage to win any battles against the Sassanians?
    The groups that manage to win any battles against some the best armies always stick out to me. Same reason I recall the Mamelukes who managed to win against the Mongols.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humata View Post
    You're thinking of the Sassanians.
    No, actually he is right. The Parthians & Romans were in fact involved in a dispute:

    The Battle of Carrhae, fought in 53 BC near the town of Carrhae, was a major battle between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic. The Parthian Spahbod Surena decisively defeated a Roman invasion force led by Marcus Licinius Crassus. It was the first of many battles between the Roman and Persian empires, and one of the most crushing defeats in Roman history.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carrhae

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