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Parthian Empire (248 BC – AD 224)

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Parthian Empire (248 BC – AD 224)

Postby Gotravel » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:10 am

The Parthian Empire was the realm of the Arsacid dynasty (اشکانیان), who reunited and governed the Iranian plateau after conquering Parthia and defeating the Greek Seleucid Empire (سلوکیان) in the later 3rd century BC, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 150 BC and AD 224.

Parthia was the Eastern arch-enemy of the Roman Empire; and it limited Rome's expansion beyond Cappadocia (central Anatolia). The Parthian armies included two types of cavalry: the heavily armed and armoured cataphracts and lightly armed but highly mobile mounted archers.

For the Romans, who relied on heavy infantry, the Parthians were too hard to defeat, as both types of cavalry were much faster and more mobile than foot soldiers. On the other hand, the Parthians found it difficult to occupy conquered areas as they were unskilled in siege warfare. Because of these weaknesses, neither the Romans nor the Parthians were able completely to annex each other's territory.

The Parthian empire subsisted for five centuries, longer than most Eastern Empires. The end of this empire came at last in AD 224, when the empire's organization had loosened and the last king was defeated by one of the empire's vassal peoples, the Persians under the Sassanian dynasty.
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