Orodes II of Parthia
|Orodes II of Parthia|
|"King of kings of Iran"|
Coin of Orodes II.
|Predecessor||Phraates III of Parthia|
|Successor||Phraates IV of Parthia|
Orodes II of Parthia (Persian: ارد دوم), (also called Hyrodes Anaridius) ruled the Parthian Empire from 57 to 38 BC. Orodes was a son of Phraates III, whom he murdered in 57 BC, assisted by his brother Mithridates. He married a Greek Princess from the Kingdom of Commagene, called Laodice who was a daughter of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene and Queen Isias Philostorgos of Commagene.
Orodes' brother Mithridates was made king of Media; but, soon afterwards, Mithridates was disposed by Orodes and forced to flee to Syria. Mithridates then returned to invade the Parthia, restoring his reign as king briefly in 55 BC. However, king Mithridates was besieged by Orodes' general, Surena, in Seleucia on the Tigris: after a prolonged resistance, Mithridates was captured and slain.
Meanwhile, the Roman general and triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus had made an attempt to extend his share of Roman territory by eastward conquest, and in the event had been decisively defeated and killed in 53 BC, in the Battle of Carrhae, along with his son and with the loss of most of his army, by Orodes' general Surena. Orodes himself had invaded Armenia and forced King Artavasdes, the son of Tigranes the Great to submit and abandon his alliance with the Romans. The victory at Carrhae secured for the Parthians the countries east of the Euphrates. Then, the next year they invaded Syria, but with little success, for Surena, whose achievements had made him too dangerous, was killed by Orodes, and Pacorus, the young son of the king was defeated by Cassius in 51 BC.
During the Roman Republican civil wars the Parthians sided first with Pompey and then with Brutus and Cassius, but took no action until 40 BC, when Pacorus, assisted by the Roman deserter Quintus Labienus conquered a great part of Syria and Asia Minor, but was defeated and killed by Ventidius in 38 BC. Orodes, who was deeply afflicted by the death of his gallant son, appointed his son Phraates IV successor, but was soon afterwards killed by him. Plutarch relates that Orodes understood Greek very well. After the death of Crassus the Bacchae of Euripides was presented at Artavasdes' court, with the head of Crassus himself allegedly being used as an accessory for a scene actually including a severed head, on the order of the king.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Plutarch, Dio Cassius
Orodes II of ParthiaBorn: Unknown Died: 38 BC
|Great King (Shah) of Parthia