Genealogy of Parthian Rulers

This chart presents the genealogy on which all dating and attributions of this web site are based, and represents the generally accepted genealogy for Parthian rulers and rival claimants. (See commentary below.) In main, the chronologies of Frye [The History of Ancient Iran (1984), pp. 209ff, 360] and Sellwood [An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia, 1980, 2nd ed...] are followed with some modification. Specific changes include revisions to the early kings following Koshelenko's theory of descent based on information found in the Parthian ostraca of Nisa. [Koshelenko (1976), "Genealogia Pervykh Arshakidov", p. 34]. Koshelenko reconciles Justin (Trogus) with Arrian, based on archaeological evidence. Olson's study of Greek letterforms (1973) and additional numismatic evidence have been considered. The revised father-son relationship between Mithradates IV and Vologases IV is established by the inscription on the bronze Herakles [W. I. al-Salihi, Sumer 43 (1984), p. 219, and J. Black, ibid., p. 230]. Tiridates III was added at the end of the genealogy following Sellwood's clarification of a numismatic inscription in "The End of the Parthian Dynasty" (1990).

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