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Cause baby now we got Bad Blood


This post seeks to provide an understanding of the formative events that led to birth of the bad blood between Rome and Parthia, from Parthian’s point of view. It zooms in on the very first contact between the Empires of Rome and Parthian as well as the state of affairs the Parthian Empire was in at the outset of its relations with Rome.

These factors consequently brought Parthia and Rome into conflict in the bloody Battle of Carrhae in 53 BCE. This defining engagement henceforth marked the start of the Romano-Parthian wars, which stretched from 53 BCE to 217 CE. The Roman-Parthian relations offer us a view into a time of diplomacy and war between two empires of distinct cultures and methods of war.


In this video, it can be seen from Parthian’s perspective, that the early development of the Romano-Parthian feud was a product of:

1. The diplomatic contact between Roman magistrate, Sulla, and Parthian King’s envoy, Orobazus.

As well as internal discords, such as Parthian’s preoccupation with

2. political upheavals caused by competing bloodlines, and

3. attempts at secession by various constituent kingdoms, such as Elymais

The build up of these events then subsequently led to the first war between the Parthians and the Romans - the Battle of Carrhae.

HOWEVER, do look out for our very own modern spin to historical events mentioned. (winks)

 Image from [ GIPHY ]

Image from [GIPHY]



 Image from [ GIPHY ]

Image from [GIPHY]

Regrettably, due to the scarcity of Parthian sources, we are unable to cross reference the events presented by our Roman sources. This was a period of Parthian history stretching from 95 to 55 BCE termed the Parthian Dark Age due to its lack of literary sources. As such, the narrative told in the video is largely dependent on Greek and Roman writers, who perceived the Parthians as barbarians. This attitude naturally prejudiced their accounts, which many times correct themselves through obvious inconsistency.

Also, no humans or animals were harmed in the making of this video :D


Recommended speed :1.25x


Debevoise, Neilson C. “Parthian Problems.” The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, vol. 47, no. 2, 1931, pp. 73–82.

Edwell, Peter M. Between Rome And Persia: The middle Euphrates, Mesopotamia and Palmyra under Roman control. 1st ed., pp. 9-11, New York, Routledge, 2008.

Ferguson, R. James, "Rome and Parthia: Power politics and diplomacy across cultural frontiers" (2005). CEWCES Research Papers. Paper 10.

Jordan, Brad. "Graham, Daryn, Rome & Parthia: Power, Politics and Profit." Melbourne Historical Journal, vol. 41, no. 2, 2013, p. 103. Academic OneFile.

Keaveney, Arthur. “Roman Treaties with Parthia circa 95-circa 64 B.C.” The American Journal of Philology, vol. 102, no. 2, 1981, pp. 195–212.

Keaveney, Arthur. “The King and the War-Lords: Romano-Parthian Relations Circa 64-53 B.C.” The American Journal of Philology, vol. 103, no. 4, 1982, pp. 412–428.

Plutarch. “The Life of Lucullus.” The Parallel Lives. Loeb Classical Library edition, 1914.

Plutarch.  “The Life of Sulla.” The Parallel Lives. Loeb Classical Library edition, 1916.

Schlude, Jason M. Rome, Parthia, and Empire: The First Century of Roman -Parthian Relations, University of California, Berkeley, Ann Arbor, 2009, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

Sellwood, D. G. “Wroth’s Unknown Parthian King.” The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Royal Numismatic Society, vol. 5, 1965, pp. 113–135.

Sheldon, Rose Mary. Rome's Wars in Parthia Blood in the Sand. Portland: Vallentine Mitchell, 2010.

Simpson, Adelaide D. “The Departure of Crassus for Parthia.” Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol. 69(1938), pp. 532-541.

Simonetta, Alberto M. “A Proposed Revision of the Attributions of the Parthian Coins Struck during the So-Called 'Dark Age' and Its Historical Significance.” East and West, vol. 51, no. 1/2, 2001, pp. 69–108.

Simonetta, Alberto M. "The Coinage of the So-Called Parthian ‘Dark Age’ Revisited." Electrum, vol. 15, 2009, pp. 141–188.

Wenke, Robert J. “Elymeans, Parthians, and the Evolution of Empires in Southwestern Iran.” Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 101, no. 3, 1981, pp. 303–315.



Artacoana, Map of Parthian Empire circa 100 BCE (2011) Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, Accessed 13 April 2017.

Sinatruces drachm (coin) Classical Numismatic Group (2008) Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Accessed 19 April 2017.

"Epic." Royalty Free Music from Bensound. Accessed 23 April 2017.

"Memories." Royalty Free Music from Bensound. Accessed 23 April 2017.

Mona GIF from [GIPHY]. Accessed 19 April 2017.

Wait GIF from [GIPHY]. Accessed 19 April 2017.


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