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Iraq and syria

During this century Syria and Iraq became primarily a battle ground between the two formidable forces of the Romans in the west and the Parthians in the east. Although Antiochus VIII and IX and Seleucus VI each reigned briefly, in 83 B.C. the shrunken Seleucid Kingdom was taken over by Armenia and twenty years later it became a Roman province. (Ref. 222 ) (Please see map in the ITALY section, this chapter). At the ancient Mesopotamian city of Carrhae, just north of the upper Euphrates, the Roman General Crassus met the Parthians and was defeated and killed by the Shaka bowmen of the Parthians' Suren ally. (Ref. 28 , 8 )

Iran (persia)

The Parthians were in control of Iran and were pretty well able to contain the Romans in Syria on their western flank, but they were now having additional troubles on their northern and eastern borders. In 88 B.C. Tigranes II of Armenia invaded Parthia, overrunning four vassal states, reducing the size of Parthian controlled territory. (Ref. 222 ) In addition the Yue-chi and the neighboring Iranian Shaka had already taken Bactria and were starting to move into the Middle East, attacking eastern Iran. To hold off these attacks the Parthians used very large, heavily armored horses and men in cavalry units called "cataphracts", against the invaders' light, nomad, bow cavalry.

ASIA MINOR: ANATOLIA

TURKEY

We noted in the last chapter that King Mithridates IV of Pontus had launched an imperialistic campaign which had brought him into contact with the displeased Romans.

The First Mithridatic War broke out in 88 B.C. and Mithridates surged out of Asia Minor to take the Cyclades, Thessaly, Macedonia and Thrace before he was stopped down in Greece, proper, by the Roman Sulla. The king was given a lenient peace and returned to Pontus to raise another army and fleet. The Roman legate in Asia, Murena, realizing that the king was rearming, attacked Pontus in the Second Mithridatic War between 83 and 81 B.C., but was defeated. The Romans returned to the attack in the Third Mithridatic War of 75 to 63 B.C. and this time all Asia Minor became Roman. Wells (Ref. 229 ) states that

100,000 Roman Italians were massacred during this war. The Roman conquest was complete when King Nicomedes III gave his country of Bithynia to Rome in 75 B.C. About 350 miles south of present day Ankara was the small country of Commagene, ruled by Ceniochus I, who claimed descent from both Greek and Persian kings. He had colossal statues made, including one of himself, and some of these thirty foot high constructions have survived earthquakes, storms and wars, remaining erect at the present time. (Ref. 229 , 176 )

ARMENIA

Tigranes the Great, actually a son-in-law of Mithridates, united Armenia once again in 95 B.C. and added territory from Syria and Cappadocia, making Armenia the most powerful nation in western Asia. By 70 B.C. his empire extended from the Ararat Valley to the Phoenician city of Tyre on the Mediterranean coast, much of this territory having been taken from the Parthians. By 66 B.C., however, Tigranes had fallen into the hands of Pompey as the latter was driving Mithridates of Pontus to the eastern edge of the Black Sea. Thereafter the Armenian king ruled merely as a vassal of Rome. (Ref. 222 ) By the end of the century when emissaries of the Han Dynasty of China reached the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea, they found only stories of a civilization that had receded. The memory of Alexander remained, but of Rome men knew only that Pompey had come to the western shore of the Caspian and then gone away and that Crassus had been destroyed.

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Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
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Source:  OpenStax, A comprehensive outline of world history. OpenStax CNX. Nov 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10595/1.3
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