Mithridates I of Parthia
Coin of Mithridates I from the mint at Seleucia on the Tigris. The reverse shows Heracles holding a cup, lion's skin and club. The Ancient Greek inscription reads ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ, basileōs megalou arsakou philellēnos ([coin] of the Great King Arsaces, friend of the Greeks). The date ΓΟΡ is the year 173 of the Seleucid era, corresponding to 140–139 BC.
Parthian relief of Mithridates Ist of Parthia at Xong-e Ashdar. City of Izeh, Khūzestān

Mithridates or Mithradates I (Ancient Greek: Μιθριδάτης or Μιθραδάτης, Persian: مهرداد Mehrdād) (ca. 195 BC? - 138 BC) was the "Great King" of Parthia from ca. 171 BC - 138 BC, succeeding his brother Phraates I. His father was King Phriapatius of Parthia, who died ca. 176 BC). Mithridates I made Parthia into a major political power by expanding the empire to the east, south, and west. During his reign the Parthians took Herat (in 167 BC), Babylonia (in 144 BC), Media (in 141 BC) and Persia (in 139 BC).

Mithridates first expanded Parthia's control eastward by defeating King Eucratides of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. This gave Parthia control over Bactria's territory west of the Arius river, the regions of Margiana and Aria (including the city of Herat in 167 BC).

"The satrapy Turiva and that of Aspionus were taken away from Eucratides by the Parthians." (Strabo XI.11.2[1])

These victories gave Parthia control of the overland trade routes between east and west (the Silk Road and the Persian Royal Road). This control of trade became the foundation of Parthia's wealth and power and was jealously guarded by the Arsacids, who attempted to maintain direct control over the lands through which the major trade routes passed.

In Persia in 139 BC, Mithridates I captured the Seleucid King Demetrius II, and held him captive for 10 years while consolidating his conquests. Demetrius II later married Mithridates I's daughter Rhodogune and had several children with her.

Parthian victories broke the tenuous link with Greeks in the West that had sustained the Hellenistic kingdom of Greco-Bactria, yet Mithridates I actively promoted Hellenism in the areas he controlled and titled himself Philhellene ("friend of the Greeks") on his coins. The coins minted during his reign show the first appearance on Parthian coinage of a Greek-style portrait showing the royal diadem, the standard Greek symbol for kingship. Mithradates I resumed the striking of coins, which had been suspended ever since Arsaces II of Parthia (211–191 BC) had been forced to submit to the Seleucid Antiochus III (223–187 BC) in 206 BC.

His name assigned him to the protection of Mithra and carried the god's authority in some measure.

Mithridates I's son, Phraates (138–128 BC), succeeded him on his death as Great King.

Mithridates I of Parthia
Died: 138 BC
Preceded by
Phraates I
King of Parthia
171 – 138 BC
Succeeded by
Phraates II


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mithridates II of Parthia — Mithridates II the Great. Early coin …   Wikipedia

  • Mithridates IV of Parthia — Coin of Mithridates IV. Reverse shows a seated archer holding a bow, surrounded by mostly meaningless Greek like letterforms – though ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ, [of] the just , remains readable – and a line of Aramaic at top. Mithridates IV of Parthia ruled the… …   Wikipedia

  • Osroes I of Parthia — Coin of Osroes I. The date ΗΚΥ is year 428 of the Seleucid era, corresponding to 116–117. Osroes I of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire c. 109–129. He succeeded his brother Pacorus II. For the whole of his reign he contended with the rival king… …   Wikipedia

  • Phraates I of Parthia — Phraates I of Parthia, son of Phriapatius (191 BC ndash;171 BC), ruled the Parthian Empire from 176 BC to 171 BC. He subdued the Mardi, a mountainous tribe in the Elburz. He died young, and appointed as his successor not one of his sons, but his… …   Wikipedia

  • Orodes I of Parthia — Coin of the Parthian King Orodes I King Orodes I of Parthia ruled the Parthian Empire from c. 90 to 80 BC in succession to Gotarzes I. Until 88 BC his reign coincided with that of Mithridates II, the rival king against whom Gotarzes had revolted …   Wikipedia

  • Gotarzes I of Parthia — ruled parts of the Parthian Empire c. 95 ndash;90 BC. He was the grandson of Phriapatius and came to power during the troubled times around the end of the reign of Mithridates II. He is mentioned on some astronomical tablets from Babylon and… …   Wikipedia

  • Mithridates I — (reigned 171 ca. 138 b.c.)    A Parthian king who made the Parthian Empire an independent and major Near Eastern power. Mithridates brother Phraates (reigned 176 171 b.c.), who had ruled the Parthians before him, had paid tribute to the Greek… …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

  • Phraates II of Parthia — Phraates II of Parthia, son of Mithridates I of Parthia (171 ndash;128 BC), the conqueror of Babylon, ruled the Parthian Empire from 138 BC to 128 BC. He was attacked in 130 BC by Antiochus VII Sidetes (138 ndash;129 BC), ruler of the Seleucid… …   Wikipedia

  • Vologases III of Parthia — claimed the throne of the Parthian Empire about 105, in the last days of Pacorus II of Parthia (80 ndash;105). He reigned over the eastern portion of the kingdom from 105 to 147. The period was one of civil war in the Parthian kingdom; for the… …   Wikipedia

  • Sanatruces II of Parthia — Sanatruces II of Parthia, the son of Mithridates IV, was a pretender to the throne of the Parthian Empire during the disputed reign of his uncle Osroes I.When Osroes was deposed by the invading Roman Emperor Trajan in 116 in favor of the puppet… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”