Pacorus II

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pacorus II
Coin of Pacorus II
King of Atropatene
Reign 78–105
Predecessor Vonones II
Successor Unknown
King of the Parthian Empire
Predecessor Vologases II
Successor Osroes I
Vologases III
Born Unknown
Died 105
Issue Axidares
House Arsacid dynasty
Father Vonones II
Mother Greek concubine
Religion Zoroastrianism

Pacorus II (Persian: پاکور دوم‎, flourished 1st century & first half of second century) was king of the Parthian Empire from 78 to 105.


Pacorus II was the son of Vonones II and a Greek concubine, thus making him of mixed Iranian and Greek ancestry. Pacorus II was born and raised during his father’s kingship of Atropatene. Pacorus II was the namesake of his relative, a previous ruling Parthian King Pacorus I.

Rule in Atropatene[edit]

When Pacorus II's father died in 51, his brother Vologases I succeeded his father as Parthian King. Vologases I had given Pacorus II their paternal dominion the Kingdom of Atropatene to rule as King. He ruled as King of Atropatene from 51 until 78 and little is known on his reign, except that a group of Alans in 72 invaded his kingdom and forced him to flee into the mountains. The Alans, after having gained a lot of booty by plundering Atropatene and neighboring countries such as Armenia, quickly withdrew back to their steppes in North Caucasus. Pacorus shortly returned to Atropatene.

After the death of Vologases I, Pacorus II revolted against his nephew Vologases II (ca. 78–80) who was his father’s successor. After Pacorus II defeated Vologases II, he had him deposed.

Rule in Persia[edit]

According to the Roman Historian Cassius Dio, Pacorus II sold the kingdom of Osroene to Abgar VII, and according to Ammianus Marcellinus he enlarged the Parthian capital Ctesiphon and built its walls. He also had close contact with the Dacian ruler Decebalus, and was in 86 even given a Greek slave named Callidromus as a gift by Decebalus. In 101, Pacorus II sent an embassy to the Han Dynasty of China, the latter which recorded Parthia as the Anxi kingdom.[1]

On his numerous coins he always calls himself "Arsaces Pacorus". This mention of his proper name, together with the royal name Arsaces, shows that his kingdom was disputed by rivals. Three of them we know from coins; in addition to Vologases II, they included Artabanus IV, ca. 80–90 and Vologases III, from about 105. Pacorus II died about 105; he was succeeded by his brother Osroes I, who maintained the rivalry with king Vologases III based in East Parthia.


By an unknown wife Pacorus II had three sons: Axidares (Ashkhadar), Parthamasiris (Partamasir) who served as Kings of Armenia and Meredates who served as King of Characene in the mid second century.


  1. ^ Crespigny, 239.


External links[edit]

Pacorus II
Preceded by
Vologases II
Great King (Shah) of Parthia
Succeeded by
Osroes I and Vologases III