A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

VOLOGESES III., probably a son of the preceding, began to reign according to coins (Eckhel, iii. p. 538), A. D. 149. During the reign, of Antoninus, he continued at peace with the Romans; but on the death of this emperor, the long threatened war at length broke out. In A. D. 162, Vologeses invaded Armenia, and cut to pieces a Roman legion, with its commander Severianus, at Elegeia, in Armenia. He then entered Syria, defeated Atidius Cornelianus, the governor of Syria, and laid waste every thing

before him. Thereupon the emperor Verus proceeded to Syria, but when he reached Antioch, he remained in that city and gave the command of the army to Cassius, who soon drove Vologeses out of Syria, and followed up his success by invading Mesopotamia and Assyria. He took Seleuceia and Ctesiphon, both of which he sacked and set on fire, but on his march homewards lost a great number of his troops by diseases and famine. Meantime Statius Priscus, who had been sent into Armenia, was equally successful. He entirely subdued the country, and took Artaxata, the capitol. (D. C. 70.2, 71.2; Lucian, Alex. Pseudom. 100.27; Capitol. M. Ant. Phil. cc. 8, 9, Verus, cc. 6, 7; Eutrop. 8.10.) This war seems to have been followed by the cession of Mesopotamia to the Romans.

From this time to the downfall of the Parthian empire, there is great confusion in the list of kings. Several modern writers indeed suppose, that the events related above under Vologeses III., happened in the reign of Vologeses II., and that the latter continued to reign till shortly before the death of Commodus (A. D. 192); but this is highly improbable, as Vologeses II. ascended the throne about A. D. 122, and must on this supposition have reigned nearly seventy years. If Vologeses III. began to reign in A. D. 149, as we have supposed from Eckhel, it is also improbable that he should have been the Vologeses spoken of in the reign of Caracalla, about A. D. 212. We are therefore inclined to believe that there was one Vologeses more than has been mentioned by modern writers, and have accordingly inserted an additional one in the list we have given.