Artabanus II of Parthia

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Coin of Artabanus I.
For another ruler also known as Artabanus I, see Arsaces II of Parthia.

Artabanus II of Parthia (Persian: اردوان دوم‎‎) ruled the Parthian Empire from c. 126 to 122 BC.[1] The son of Phriapatius, it was originally believed that he succeeded his nephew Phraates II in 126 BCE; however, new evidence suggests that he succeeded his brother Bacasis, who reigned briefly in 126 BCE.[2] Just like Phraates II, Artabanus died in battle against the nomads in the East, namely the Tochari, a name commonly identified with the Yuezhi of the Chinese sources,[3] who had fled from Gansu in northwest China, via the Ili River and Issyk Kul region and then through Dayuan (Ferghana) into Daxia or Bactria, and apparently also invaded the eastern territories of Iran:

"Bello Tochariis inlato, in bracchio vulneratus statim decedit"
"During the war against the Tokharians, he was wounded in the arm and died immediately" Justin, Epitomes, XLII,2,2.

He is perhaps identical with the Artabanus mentioned in Trogus, Prologi, xli, 5.

Cuneiform and numismatic evidence also suggests that his young son, Arsaces X, succeeded him and reigned for a year (122-121 BCE), after which Mithridates II became king.[4]


  1. ^ "Assar_2005" pg. 47-9
  2. ^ "Assar_2005" pg. 47-9
  3. ^ Grousset, Rene (1970). The Empire of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press. p. 31. ISBN 0-8135-1304-9. 
  4. ^ "Assar_2005" pg. 49-51
Artabanus II of Parthia
Died: 122 BC
Preceded by
Phraates II
Great King (Shah) of Parthia
126–122 BC
Succeeded by
Mithridates II