Battle of Ecbatana

The Battle of Ecbatana was fought in 129 BC between the Seleucids led by Antiochus VII Sidetes and the Parthians led by Phraates II, and marked the final attempt on the part of the Seleucids to regain their power in the east against the Parthians. After their defeat, the territory of the Seleucids was limited to the area of Syria.

Battle of Ecbatana
Part of Seleucid–Parthian wars
Ecbatana is located in Near East
Ecbatana
Ecbatana
Location of the Battle of Ecbatana
Date129 BC
Location
Result Decisive Parthian victory[1][2]
End of Hellenistic rule in Iran
Territorial
changes
The Parthians retake Media after briefly losing it
Belligerents
Parthians Seleucid Empire and allies
Commanders and leaders
Phraates II Antiochus VII Sidetes 
Strength
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Mostly killed or captured

BattleEdit

Phraates II (ca. 139/138 BC – ca. 128 BC) faced the final attempt on the part of the Seleucids to regain their power in the east. The Seleucids amassed a large force of Greek mercenaries and led the army, totaling 80,000 soldiers, to confront the Parthians, initiating a campaign in 130 BC to retake Mesopotamia. The Parthian general Indates was defeated along the Great Zab, followed by a local uprising where the Parthian governor of Babylonia was killed. Antiochus conquered Babylonia and occupied Susa, where he minted coins, and advanced his army into Media.[3]

After these initial successes, defeating the Parthians in three battles, Phraates sent a delegation to negotiate a peace agreement. Antiochus refused to accept unless the Arsacids relinquished all lands to him except Parthia proper, paid heavy tribute, and released Demetrius from captivity. Arsaces released Demetrius and sent him to Syria, but refused the other demands.[4]

Antiochus then dispersed his army into their winter quarters. By spring 129 BC, the Medes were in open revolt against Antiochus, whose army had exhausted the resources of the countryside during winter.[5] The cities revolted against their presence so Antiochus marched to support one such isolated garrison with only a small force (probably only his Royal Guards). Phraates exploited the situation and ambushed him, inflicting a crushing defeat upon Selecuid forces at the Battle of Ecbatana. During the battle, Antiochus VII was killed and his royal guard was annihilated.[6][7] His body was sent back to Syria in a silver coffin; his son Seleucus was made a Parthian hostage[8] and a daughter joined Phraates' harem.[9]

After the Battle of Ecbatana, the rest of Selecuid army which was based in Media was largely destroyed, and the remainder was captured and folded into Parthian ranks. This battle marked the decisive and final defeat for the Seleucid Empire by the Parthians and ended the Hellenistic period in Iran.[10]

ProtagonistsEdit

The Battle of Ecbatana was fought between the Seleucids led by Antiochus VII Sidetes and the Parthians led by Phraates II.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Frye, Richard Nelson (1984). The History of Ancient Iran. C.H.Beck. p. 212. ISBN 9783406093975. battle of ecbatana parthian victory.
  2. ^ Jaques, Tony (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: P-Z. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1127. ISBN 9780313335396.
  3. ^ Bivar 1983, pp. 36–37; Curtis 2007, p. 11; Shayegan 2011, pp. 121–150
  4. ^ Garthwaite 2005, pp. 76–77; Bivar 1983, pp. 36–37; Curtis 2007, p. 11
  5. ^ Bivar 1983, pp. 37–38; Garthwaite 2005, p. 77; see also Brosius 2006, p. 90 and Katouzian 2009, pp. 41–42
  6. ^ McLaughlin, Raoul (2016). The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes: The Ancient World Economy and the Empires of Parthia, Central Asia and Han China. West Yorkshire, England: Pen & Sword. ISBN 978-1-47383-374-6.
  7. ^ Kia, Mehrdad (2016). The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Historical Encyclopedia (Empires of the World). ABC-CLIO. p. 305. ISBN 978-1-4408-4568-0.
  8. ^ Shayegan 2011, pp. 145–150
  9. ^ Bivar 1983, pp. 37–38; Garthwaite 2005, p. 77; see also Brosius 2006, p. 90 and Katouzian 2009, pp. 41–42
  10. ^ Jakobsson, Jens (2004). "Seleucid Empire (306 - c.150 BCE)". Iran Chamber Society. Retrieved February 2, 2018.

SourcesEdit

  • Bivar, A.D.H. (1983). "The Political History of Iran Under the Arsacids". In Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.). The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 3(1): The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian Periods. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 21–99. ISBN 0-521-20092-X..
  • Bivar, A.D.H. (2007), "Gondophares and the Indo-Parthians", in Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh and Sarah Stewart (ed.), The Age of the Parthians: The Ideas of Iran, 2, London & New York: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd., in association with the London Middle East Institute at SOAS and the British Museum, pp. 26–36, ISBN 978-1-84511-406-0.
  • Brosius, Maria (2006), The Persians: An Introduction, London & New York: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-32089-4.
  • Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh (2007), "The Iranian Revival in the Parthian Period", in Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh and Sarah Stewart (ed.), The Age of the Parthians: The Ideas of Iran, 2, London & New York: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd., in association with the London Middle East Institute at SOAS and the British Museum, pp. 7–25, ISBN 978-1-84511-406-0.
  • Garthwaite, Gene Ralph (2005), The Persians, Oxford & Carlton: Blackwell Publishing, Ltd., ISBN 978-1-55786-860-2.
  • Katouzian, Homa (2009), The Persians: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Iran, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-12118-6.

Coordinates: 34°47′46″N 48°30′57″E / 34.7961°N 48.5158°E / 34.7961; 48.5158