archaeological excavation in the Iranian historical city of Sad-Darvazeh
(Hektumpolis), Arsaces’ major capital city, would erase much of
current ambiguity about the history of Damghan and its neighboring
was one of the most thriving cities of the Arsaces dynasty, which
has raised a lot of doubts about the era (c. 247-211 B.C).
"The exact location of the city is contentiously disputed.
believe it is located near the village of Ghoshe, whose
developments had gradually wiped off the ancient city. The
presence of some caravansaries and aqueducts support the
theory,’ said Majid husseini, head of Damghan’s Cultural
Heritage and Tourism Organization. "Others believe that the
city of Sad-Darvazeh is located near today’s Damghan, while
others maintain Damghan was built on its ruins."
I was the first king of the Parthians. Arrian reported Arsaces I
was descended from Arsaces, son of Phriapites, and that his
brother was Tiridates. Confusion exists among historians as to
whether Arsaces I or his brother Tiridates ruled until 211 B.C.,
but it is generally accepted today that Arsaces I was the king and
Arian's references to Tiridates should be attributed to Arsaces.
I overthrew Andragoras, the Seleucid governor of Parthia and was
crowned in 247 B.C. in Asaak (Arshaak), the capital city of
Astauene. Arsaces I had to deal with attempts by Antiochus III to
recapture lost Seleucid territories, but evidently succeeded in
consolidating control of Parthia, Hyrcania, Herat and Astauene
(and possibly Nisaia). Early in his reign of 36 years he invaded
and conquered Hyrcania and then, on the death of the elder King
Diodotus in Bactria, formed and alliance with Diodotus II. About
228 B.C., Seleucus II Calinicus (247-226 B.C.) gathered an army in
Babylon with which he marched east to reclaim the lost satrapies.
I retreated before him and eventually sought refuge among the
Sakae, but circa 227 B.C. he returned victorious to Parthia when
other troubles in Syria diverted Seleucus II. Following his death,
Seleucus II was succeeded by his elder son Seleucus III Soter who
ruled only three years until his murder, to be succeeded in turn
by his younger brother Antiochus III (the Great) in 223 B.C. While
Antiochus III was concerned with rebellion by two of his generals,
the brothers Molon and Alexander, Arsaces continued to consolidate
his position, increase his army, build forts and establish new
cities such as Apaortenon, an almost impregnable position.