May 12, 2009
As readers of my books know, the Parthian Empire (which is almost totally ignored in modern history books) was an empire of the ten tribes of Israel whose ancestors were originally taken into an Asian captivity by Assyria in the 8th century BC. Isaiah 14:3 prophesied that the captive Israelites would eventually turn the table on their captors and “rule over their oppressors.” The rise of the Parthian Empire fulfilled this prophecy. The captive tribes from the ancient kingdom of Israel were first taken captive by Assyria, and were later ruled by both the Babylonian and Persian Empires. When the Parthian Empire was born, it ruled over all these previous empires.
The Parthians exhibited many cultural and linguistic origins in the Israelite/Semitic region, and even gave some of their cities names which testified to their Israelite origins. George Rawlinson’s book, Ancient History, reprinted by Barnes and Noble in 1993, lists Samariane and Gaza as chief Parthian cities (see pp. 474-475). These names reveal that the Parthians named these cities after Samaria, the former capital of the biblical northern kingdom of Israel and Gaza, a chief city of the Philistines (no doubt the Assyrians took Philistines into captivity as well). The 1943 Encyclopedia Britannica (p. 576) shows the Parthian city, Asaac, on its map of the Parthian Empire. This city obviously is named in honor of Isaac, whose name was prophesied to remain on the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel (Genesis 21:12, 48:16). The Parthian city of Dara is shown on a map in George Rawlinson’s book, The Sixth Oriental Monarchy (map between pp. 78-79), as being located in the modern region of Turkmenistan. Dara is the exact name of one of the clans of the tribe of Judah (I Chronicles 2:6). Even Kabul, the capital of modern Afghanistan, had a predecessor city in the old Promised Land of Israel named Cabul (Joshua 19:27). Hosea 1:10 prophesied that the ten tribes would grow exceedingly numerous after they went into an Asian captivity, and Josephus wrote that in his lifetime the ten tribes were an exceedingly great multitude with their western border being the Euphrates River (Antiquities of the Jews, XI, V, 2). When Josephus penned those words, the Euphrates River was the western border of the Parthian Empire so Josephus’ words meant the ten tribes were located “in the Parthian Empire.”
The evidence that the mighty Parthian Empire was an Empire of the ten tribes of Israel ruling over a large region of Asia is extensive,easily-documented and irrefutable. Perhaps that is why Parthia has been all but censored out of the history texts and why modern man in not taught about this massive ancient empire, which warred against the Roman Empire as an equal. The real rulers of this world (Ephesians 2:2, 6:12) do not want the truth about Parthia told because it would reveal the accuracy of the Bible and the true modern locations of the ten tribes of Israel among the modern nations (Clue: the Parthian Israelites migrated out of Asia into Europe when the Parthian Empire fell and were called “Caucasians” because these Parthian refugees exited Asia via the Caucasus Mountains).
As evidence of how huge the Parthian Empire became, the Parthian city named after Isaac was located in the region of modern Turkmenistan. The Parthian Empire ruled everything in South Central Asia from the Euphrates River in the west to the border-region of India on its eastern side. The Britannica map shows Parthia extending from Turkmenistan on the north to the Persian Gulf on its southern border. Parthia reached a very large size after it vanquished the Seleucid Greek Empire and absorbed its territory. The extension of Parthia to the Euphrates River brought it in conflict with the Roman Empire. There were many Roman-Parthian wars which usually, but not always, resulted in Parthian victories. The first major battle fought between Rome and Parthia was the battle of Carrhae in 37 BC, fought near the modern border of Syria and Turkey.
A few years ago, a cable-TV series used video-game technology to depict famous battles of the ancient world. One of these battles was the Roman-Parthian battle at Carrhae. It is now available on You Tube, and I thank reader, Robert Williford, for bringing this excellent video to my attention! There are three short video clips which formed the original content of a half-hour TV broadcast, and Parts 2 and 3 are available at the menu options on the right-hand side of the link after the first clip concludes. I think you will be delighted to see this video clip of a Roman-Parthian battle. especially when you realize the Roman Empire was fighting against the military power of the displaced ten tribes of Israel!
The video clip closely follows the account of the Roman historian, Plutarch, about the life of Crassus in its portrayal of the battle. It notes the war took place due to Rome’s breaking of a treaty and Crassus’ greed. Historical accounts record that the Parthian heavy cavalry had heavily-armored horses, but that is not visually shown on the video clip. The video does a very good job of faithfully following the ancient records of the battle, which Plutarch obtained from the Romans who survived the conflict.
There is one detail of the video clip that I think is in error. The narrative relates that the Romans had 35,000 soldiers and the Parthians only 10,000 horsemen, divided into archers and lancers. These exact numbers are found in Plutarch’s Crassus, but the context is incorrect. Plutarch wrote that Surenas, the Parthian commander at Carrhae, traveled with a very large company of personal escorts. His rank was next to that of the Emperor of Parthia, and Plutarch writes that the retainers of Surenas included “a baggage train of 1,000 camels, 200 wagons carried his harem, 1,000 armored cavalry and still more light armed cavalry acted as his escort. The total number of his cavalry, his vassals and his slaves came to at least 10,000 men.” This account of Plutarch is a sidebar to the account of the battle and it does not describe the size of the army that Surenas brought to fight the Romans at Carrhae. Plutarch wrote that Surenas had 10,000 escorts when he traveled “about the country on his own affairs.” This Parthian commander had 10,000 escorts when he traveled on routine, civilian business around the Parthian Empire! The number of combatants he brought to fight the Romans when they invaded Parthian territory was, no doubt, far larger than the number of his civilian retainers. The video correctly shows that the Romans, when they saw the Parthian force that faced them, drew into a strictly-defensive position. If the Romans outnumbered the Parthians by over 3-1, They would not have recoiled into a defensive position that infers their fear of facing a superior force. The Parthians, I believe, far outnumbered the Roman forces. As my book, Parthia–The Forgotten Ancient Superpower, reveals, a later Roman invasion led by Mark Antony numbered over 100,000 Roman soldiers and Antony was also badly whipped and did well to salvage his life and much of his army in a fighting retreat out of Parthia. The Romans initially had no clue concerning how big and powerful the Parthian Empire really was.
Enjoy the video!