vii. PARTHIAN PRINCES
Darius was the name of several petty princes in the Parthian period.
In 64 B.C.E. while his father, Mithridates VI Eupator, king of Pontus (ca. 121/20-63 B.C.E.), was fighting his last, losing campaign against the troops of the Roman general Pompey (106-48 B.C.E.), the child Darius was taken prisoner, along with several brothers and his sister Eupatra, in Phanagoria (Appian, Mithridatica 108). He was carried in procession among the defeated kings, princes, and other royal figures at Pompey’s triumphal reentry into Rome (Appian, Mithridatica 117).
His nephew, son of Pharnaces II (63-47 B.C.E.), was Darius, king of Pontus, appointed by Mark Antony in 39 B.C.E. (Appian, Bellum Civile 5.319). He ruled for only about two years before being dethroned by Polemon, son of the rhetor Zeno of Laodicia.
A third Darius, son of Mithridates, was king of Media Atropatene, though almost nothing is known about him. In order to rid himself of his Armenian overlords, he submitted to Pompey in about 65 B.C.E., during the conflict between the Romans and the Armenian king Tigranes. He is said to have ruled later over part of Armenia, under the suzerainty of the Parthians (Appian, Mithridatica 106; cf. 117).
Originally Published: December 15, 1994
Last Updated: November 17, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 1, p. 55
Rudiger Schmitt, “DARIUS vii. Parthian Princes,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, VI/1, p. 55, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/darius-vii (accessed on 30 December 2012).