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The Parthian Empire


Parthia Map CoverageThe Parthian Empire is a fascinating period of Persian history closely connected to Greece and Rome. Ruling from 247 B.C. to A.D. 228 in ancient Persia (Iran), the Parthians defeated Alexander the Great's successors, the Seleucids, conquered most of the Middle East and southwest Asia, controlled the Silk Road and built Parthia into an Eastern superpower. The Parthian empire revived the greatness of the Achaemenid empire and counterbalanced Rome's hegemony in the West. Parthia at one time occupied areas now in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaidzhan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

Because limited written historical sources have survived, much of what we know about the Parthians and their sub-kingdoms of Characene, Elymais and Persis must be deduced from coins. For that reason, the primary focus is on numismatics. But this site is not just a virtual coin collection; here you can also gain insight into Parthian art, history, archaeology, and geography. You will also find references to the books, articles, maps and other resources necessary for further study.

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Interested in discussing Parthia with others? Join the Parthia-L mail list group! It is a lightly moderated mail list created to facilitate discussions about Parthia. It is not limited to numismatics, and discussion of all aspects of Parthia is encouraged. Numerous scholars use the list but popular topics are also welcome. To subscribe, visit the mail list's home page.


This page last updated 23 Oct 2019

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Online since 28 March 1998
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