SCENE I. -- A Plain in Syria.

Enter VENTIDIUSin triumph, with SILIUSand other Romans,
Officers, and Soldiers; the dead body of PACORUSborne
before him.

Ven. Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck;1 and now
Pleased fortune does of Marcus Crassus' death
Make me revenger. -- Bear the King's son's body
Before our army. -- Thy Pacorus, Orodes,2
Pays this for Marcus Crassus.

Sil. Noble Ventidius,
Whilst yet with Parthian blood thy sword is warm,
The fugitive Parthians follow; spur through Media,
Mesopotamia, and the shelters whither
The routed fly: so thy grand captain Antony
Shall set thee on triumphant chariot, and
Put garlands on thy head.

Ven. O Silius, Silius,
I've done enough: a lower place, note well,

Struck alludes to darting. "Thou whose darts have often struck others art struck now thyself." The Parthians were specially noted for their mounted archers, whose most effective fighting was when they pretended to be flying; as they would then turn upon their horses, and shoot their arrows or darts into the faces of the pursuing enemy. Some twenty years before the time of this scene, Marcus Crassus had led a huge army against the Parthians, and was defeated with immense slaughter. Crassus himself was slain, and his head sent to Orodes, who caused melted gold to be poured into his mouth, saying, "Sate thyself now with that of which in life thou wast so greedy." See Julius Cæsar, page 95, note 8.
Pacorus was the son of Orodes, King of Parthia.


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