Phraates III

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Coin of Phraates III.

Phraates III of Parthia (Persian: فرهاد سوم‎) succeeded his father Sanatruces and ruled the Parthian Empire from 70 to 57 BC. He was called "the God" because of his coins, that were ideal for sailors because they were polished with gold dust, so that people from other countries considered their value higher than their actual value.

When Phraates III came to the throne in 70 BC, the Roman general Lucullus was preparing to attack Tigranes the Great, king of Armenia, who was supreme in western Asia and had wrested Mesopotamia and several vassal states from Parthia. Naturally, Phraates declined to assist Mithradates VI of Pontus and Tigranes against the Romans. Instead, he supported his son-in-law, the younger Tigranes, when he rebelled against his father, and invaded Armenia in 65 BC in alliance with Pompey, who abandoned Mesopotamia to the Parthians. But the desperate Pompey soon overrode the pompous treaty; he acknowledged the elder Tigranes, took his son prisoner, occupied the vassal states Gordyene and Osroene for the Romans, and denied the title of "king of kings," which Phraates had adopted again, to the Parthian king. About 57 BC Phraates was murdered by his two sons, Orodes II and Mithridates III.

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Phraates III
Born: Unknown Died: 57 BC
Preceded by
Sanatruces
Great King (Shah) of Parthia
70–57 BC
Succeeded by
Orodes II and Mithridates III