History of Iran: Parthian Empire
The Parthian empire was the most enduring of the empires of the ancient Near East. After the Parni nomads had settled in Parthia and had built a small independent kingdom, they rose to power under king Mithradates the Great (171-138 BCE). The Parthian empire occupied all of modern Iran, Iraq and Armenia, parts of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and -for brief periods- territories in Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Israel. The end of this loosely organized empire came in 224 CE, when the last king was defeated by one of their vassals, the Persians of the Sassanid dynasty.