Lander, James (1975) Roman-parthlan relations in the time of Augustus with reference to Augustus’ foreign policy. Masters thesis, Durham University.
The Parthlans, heirs to the Seleucld empire, yet hardly touched by Hellenism, had a tough, nomadic background which enabled them to resist any Imposition of the traditional client-patron relationship of Roman foreign policy. Though socially and politically de centralized, the Parthlans were yet able to defeat Crassus, twice Invade Syria, and later turn back an Invasion by Antonlus. Augustus, neither a pacific consolidator nor a world-conqueror, maintained a flexible policy toward Parthla. Conquest was not a prudent aim, yet the stability of the eastern possessions .of the Roman Empire required that Rome be in a position superior to Parthla. For a time Augustus carried on a policy (begun. In fact, by Antonlus) of supporting a rival to the Parthlan throne, but this brought no long-term success. The return of Crassus' captured standards, which would symbolize Parthla' s submission, was effected In 20 B. C. but only after Augustus seriously threatened war and seized Armenia. Maintaining an effective suzerainty In Armenia, whose strategic and prestige value was great, became the crux of Augustus policy. This policy was adhered to by Tiberius, allowed to lapse by Caligula, and then was revived by Claudius. But In Nero's reign, amid altered circumstances in both East and West, a Parthlan nominee was allowed to sit on the Armenian throne. Peace followed, but Vespasian felt the need to fortify the frontier, and. In effect, made the preparations for Trajan's solution to the reawakened feud: conquest and annexation. Despite his military successes, Trajan could not stabilize the situation: Hadrian felt compelled to withdraw. The violence continued on this frontier even long after the Parthlans had been replaced by the Persians in the third century. The virtue of Augustus' policy was that It attempted no absolute remedies, but Instead, through constant effort, Intervention and re-adjustment, Roman predominance was maintained west of the Euphrates, the Parthlans were kept off balance, and Augustus avoided a strenuous eastern war which the young empire could ill-afford.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||14 Mar 2014 16:29|