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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter IV - Pompeius and the East


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 49

The viceroys of this latter mountainous, warlike, and remote land had always exerted themselves to acquire a position independent of the great-king; it was the more offensive and menacing to the Parthian government, when Pompeius accepted the proffered homage of this dynast. Not less significant was the fact that the title of "king of kings," which had been hitherto conceded to the Parthian king by the Romans in official intercourse, was now all at once exchanged by them for the simple title of king. This was even more a threat than a violation of etiquette. Since Rome had entered on the heritage of the Seleucids, it seemed almost as if the Romans had a mind to revert at a convenient moment to those old times, when all Iran and Turan were ruled from Antioch, and there was as yet no Parthian empire but merely a Parthian satrapy.

The court of Ctesiphon would thus have had reason enough for going to war with Rome; it seemed the prelude to its doing so, when in 690 it declared war on Armenia on account of the question of the frontier. But Phraates had not the courage to come to an open rupture with the Romans at a time when the dreaded general with his strong army was on the borders of the Parthian empire. When Pompeius sent commissioners to settle amicably the dispute between Parthia and Armenia, Phraates yielded to the Roman mediation forced upon him and acquiesced in their award, which assigned to the Armenians Corduene and northern Mesopotamia. Soon afterwards his daughter with her son and her husband adorned the triumph of the Roman general. Even the Parthians trembled before the superior power of Rome; and, if they had not, like the inhabitants of Pontus and Armenia, succumbed to the Roman arms, the reason seemed only to be that they had not ventured to stand the conflict.

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