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Ruler: Parthia: Orodes II
Reigned: 57 BC - 37 BC
Denomination: AR Drachm
Obverse: Orodes, wart on forehead, diademed left. Crescent and star behind and star in front.
Reverse: Archer seated right on throne holding bow, anchor behind. "ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ / ΑΡΣΑΚΟϒ ΕϒΕΡΓΤΟϒ / ΔΙΚΑΙΟϒ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟϒΣ / ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ"
Reference: GCV 7445, Sellwood 48/6
Weight: 3.5 gms
Diameter: 20.3 mm


ORODES II, king of Parthia (reigned c. 57-37/36 BC) helped his brother Mithradates III murder their father, Phraates III, and in turn supplanted Mithradates.

Crassus, one of Rome's 1st Triumvirate with Pompey and Caesar, attacked Parthia to aquire land and military glory, but was driven back, his troops slaughtered. He withdrew to Carrhae but was tricked by Surenas, Pompey's General, during a truce and killed (53 BC), leaving Pompey and Caesar to fight it out. Orodes tried to seize Syria in 51 BC but failed. He tried again in 42 BC, and after the battle of Philippi, he took Antioch, Jerusalem and Phoenicia, but was driven out by one of Mark Anthony's generals in 39-38 BC. Anthony revived Caesar's plan to conquer Parthia (but to strengthen Cleopatra's kingdom, not Rome's), but his army was decimated in 36 BC.

When Mithradates occupied Seleucia and Babylon, Orodes stormed those towns, immediately executing his brother. No less ruthless to his attendants, he put to death the general who in 53 BC had crushed the Romans under the triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus at Carrhae in northern Mesopotamia.

Parthian raids into Roman Syria were checked by the death of Pacorus, Orodes' favourite son and perhaps joint king. Orodes, stunned by the loss, was murdered in turn by another son, who became Phraates IV.

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