Rome & Parthia: Empires at war

Rome & Parthia: Empires at war

Gareth C Sampson
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
A very interesting read, entertaining as well as being very informative. The first Romano - Parthian war resulted in Roman defeat at the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC and the death of Marcus Crassus. Incidentally, his head was filled with molten gold and sent to the Parthian capital and he was the second general to suffer this fate, the first being the Marian general Marcus Aquillius.

The second war ebbed and flowed over a period of some twenty years having started when Parthia saw an opportunity due to civil war in Rome to expand its empire westwards from the Caspian Sea area and push Rome back to Europe There were periods of quiet when civil wars in both empires prevented any fighting in the middle east. There were victories and defeats on both sides, quite a few changes of allegiances from the smaller empires in that theatre, and the rise and fall of various generals both Parthian and Roman.

Eventually the Roman general Publius Ventidius secured victory over the Parthians at the battle of Gindarus in 38 BC. This paved the way for Marc Antony's plans to conquer and secure the Parthian empire. Marc Antony, along with his Ptolemaic ally, Cleopatra were at odds with Octavianus but were defeated at the Battle of Actium.

Octavianus became Augustus, the first of the Roman Emperors, and the middle east was secured for the immediate future.

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