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Arsaces II (/ˈɑːrsəsz/; from Greek: Ἀρσάκης; in Parthian: 𐭀𐭓𐭔𐭊 Aršak, Persian: اشکAšk), was the Arsacid king of Parthia from 217 BC to 191 BC.

Arsaces II
Coin of Arsaces II, Ray mint.jpg
Coin of Arsaces II.
King of the Arsacid dynasty
Reign217 – 191 BC
PredecessorArsaces I
Died191 BC
FatherArsaces I



Arsacēs is the Latin form of the Greek Arsákēs (Ἀρσάκης), itself from Parthian Aršak (𐭀𐭓𐭔𐭊). The Old Persian equivalent is Aršaka- (𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎣).


Arsaces II succeeded his father Arsaces I in 217 BC. In 209 BC, the energetic Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great recaptured Parthia, which had been previously seized from the Seleucids by Arsaces I and the Parni around 247 BC. Arsaces II sued for peace following his defeat on the battlefield at Mount Labus. Prior to this, Antiochus had already occupied the Parthian capital at Hecatompylos, pushing forward to Tagae near Damghan. Following the defeat of Arsaces II at Mount Labus, Antiochus turned westwards into Hyrcania where he occupied Tambrax. The heavily barricaded city of Syrinx was then taken by siege.[1]

In the terms of the peace, Arsaces accepted feudatory status and from then onwards ruled Parthia and Hyrcani as a vassal state of the Seleucids. Antiochus in turn withdrew his troops westwards, where he would subsequently be embroiled in wars with Rome and so would leave the fledgling Parthian kingdom to its own devices. Arsaces II was succeeded by his relative Phriapatius in 191 BC.


  1. ^ Bivar 2002, pp. 151-153.


  • Bivar, A. D. H. (2002). "GORGĀN v. Pre-Islamic history". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XI, Fasc. 2. pp. 151–153.
  • Shahbazi, A. Sh. (1986). "Arsacids i. Origins". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. II, Fasc. 5. Cyril Toumanoff. p. 525.
  • Schippmann, K. (1986). "Arsacids ii. The Arsacid dynasty". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. II, Fasc. 5. Cyril Toumanoff. pp. 525–536.
  • Kia, Mehrdad (2016). The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1610693912.
  • Bickerman, Elias J. (1983), "The Seleucid Period", in Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.), Cambridge History of Iran, 3.1, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 3–20
  • Bivar, A.D.H. (1983), "The Political History of Iran under the Arsacids", in Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.), Cambridge History of Iran, 3.1, London: Cambridge UP, pp. 21–99
  • Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh; Stewart, Sarah, eds. (2007), The Age of the Parthians, Ideas of Iran, vol. 2, London: I. B. Tauris
  • Dąbrowa, Edward (2012). "The Arsacid Empire". In Daryaee, Touraj (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press. pp. 1–432. ISBN 0-19-987575-8.
Arsaces II of Parthia
Born: Unknown Died: 191 BC
Preceded by
Arsaces I
King of Parthia
217–191 BC
(Seleucid vassal 209–191 BC)
Succeeded by