The Annals of Imperial Rome

By Cornelius Tacitus; Michael Grant | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
Eastern Settlement

THE Parthian king Vologeses I had now heard of Corbulo's activities and Rome's award of the Armenian throne to the foreigner Tigranes V. Vologeses wanted to avenge the slur cast on the Parthian royal house by the expulsion of his brother Tiridates from Armenia. Yet Roman power, and his respect for the longstanding treaty with us, put him in two minds. Hesitant by nature, Vologeses was also embarrassed by the rebellion of the formidable Hyrcanian people and the numerous resultant campaigns. As he wavered, however, news of a further humiliation provoked him to action. Tigranes had left Armenia and subjected its neighbour Adiabene to devastation too protracted and comprehensive to be regarded as a mere raid.

This was too much for the Parthian grandees. 'Are we so utterly despised', they said, 'that we are invaded not even by a Roman commander but by an impudent hostage who has long been considered a slave?' The king of Adiabene 1 further inflamed their resentment. Where, he asked, 'from what quarter, can I find protection? Armenia is gone! The borderlands are following! If Parthia will not help, we must make the best of subjection to Rome -- avoid conquest by surrendering.' The silence, and restrained reproaches, of the dethroned exile Tiridates were even more effective. 'Passivity does not preserve great empires', he said. 'That needs fighting, with warriors and weapons. When stakes are highest, might is right. A private individual can satisfy his prestige by holding his own -- but a monarch can only do it by claiming other people's property.'

Vologeses was moved by these pleas. Calling a council, he placed Tiridates next to himself. 'When this man,' said Vologeses, 'whose father was mine too, renounced the supreme position to me as the elder, I awarded him the third-ranking kingdom, Armenia; for Pacorus had already been given Media Atropatene. By abandoning

____________________
1
Monobazus.

-334-

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The Annals of Imperial Rome
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Introduction 7
  • The Annals Of Imperial Rome 27
  • Chapter 1 - From Augustus to Tiberius 29
  • Chapter 2 - Mutiny on the Frontiers 41
  • Chapter 3 - War with the Germans 59
  • Chapter 4 - The First Treason Trials 88
  • Chapter 5 - The Death of Germanicus 102
  • Chapter 6 - Tiberius and the Senate 126
  • Chapter 7 - 'Partner of My Labours' 153
  • Chapter 8 - The Reign of Terror 193
  • Part Two - Claudius and Nero 223
  • Chapter 9 - The Fall of Messalina 225
  • Chapter 10 - The Mother of Nero 244
  • Chapter II - The Fall of Agrippina 274
  • Chapter 12 - Nero and His Helpers 310
  • Chapter 13 - Eastern Settlement 334
  • Chapter 14 - The Burning of Rome 349
  • Chapter 15 - The Plot 356
  • Chapter 16 - Innocent Victims 370
  • Notes 385
  • List of Roman Emperors 399
  • Lists of Some Eastern Monarchs 400
  • Key to Technical Terms 402
  • Key to Place-Names 410
  • Genealogical Tables 433
  • Index of Personal Names 439
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