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Thread: Parthians

  1. #1

    Default Parthians

    Quick question, how come the Parthians are called Pahlava? I thought that was what the Indians called them and that they called themselves Parthava?

  2. #2
    Marzbān-ī Jundīshāpūr Member The Persian Cataphract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    The issues with the nomenclature stretches back into the mod's beginnings; they are called Pahlava because it is derived from Middle Persian geographical designations. I argue however that it would have been more prudent to give them their dynastic name, that of the Arsacids, or even the name of their tribe, that of the Sparnii/Sparnioi/Sparnig or that of Parnii/Parnioi/Parnig. The Indians indeed did call them Pahlavas, which obviously is derived from an Iranic cognate.

    Parthava is the Old Persian name for the satrapy of Parthia, which really isn't what we are portraying; we are trying to project the lineage of Arsaces, and the journey of actually creating an Arsacid empire. It just so happened that the Arsacids decided to use Parthia proper as their base of power and thence became a "Parthian" empire. It was in all effects a projected Iranian empire.

    I believe however, if I'm not all wrong, that name changes are possible to commit to a faction during mid-game, so there are a lot of possibilities available.


    "Fortunate is every man who in purity and truth recognizes valiance and prevents it from becoming bravado" - Āriōbarzanes of the Sūrźn-Pahlavān

  3. #3

    Default Re: Parthians

    Cool, thanks for the clarification

  4. #4
    Xsaēapāvan é Skudra Member Atraphoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    I am happy with that but instead of region names they would be called as "Askhanians" or something like that. on wiki
    (Persian: اشکانیان [Ashkanian]) . I find it illogical when you capture Bactria Bactrians still have same name. so Instead of Regional names I would like to see full state names like S.P.Q.R. or Hegemon/Basileon ton Ptolemaoi etc. sorry my bad translation I have no idea on greek
    Current usage OK but mostly after conquests they lose their heartland like Epirot wiped out all Makedonian Inland Territory they are waiting their fate in Mythilene in my last camp. there should be a change but impossible to change nation name via scripting methinks.
    Last edited by Atraphoenix; 04-06-2009 at 08:46.



    My Submods for EB
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    My AAR/Guides How to assault cities with Horse Archers? RISE OF ARSACIDS! (A Pahlava AAR) - finished
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Parthians

    Quote Originally Posted by Atraphoenix View Post
    Current usage OK but mostly after conquests they lose their heartland like Epirot wiped out all Makedonian Inland Territory they are waiting their fate in Mythilene in my last camp. there should be a change but impossible to change nation name via scripting methinks.
    The Kingdoms mod Dominion of the Sword seems to have done something like that. I don't think they were able to actually change the name, but if certain requirements were met, the faction would "transform" into another, like if Aragon conquered all of Spain they would "become" Spain or something like that. I think the banners, faction colors, units, building infastructure, and other things change, but the name doesn't. So it would be cool if EB did something like this too.

  6. #6
    EB TRIBVNVS PLEBIS Member MarcusAureliusAntoninus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    In M2TW it is possible to change the name/color/symbols/etc of a faction. However, IIRC this requires the use of an additional faction slot which the EB team does not wish to waste.


  7. #7
    EBII Mod Leader Member Foot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusAureliusAntoninus View Post
    In M2TW it is possible to change the name/color/symbols/etc of a faction. However, IIRC this requires the use of an additional faction slot which the EB team does not wish to waste.
    Actually, you cannot change the name of the faction with this effect. You can however change the faction symbol and, I think, the colours.

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  8. #8
    Marzbān-ī Jundīshāpūr Member The Persian Cataphract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    Oh right... I confused the terms. Yeah, banners could be changed, whereas faction name remains as given.
    Last edited by The Persian Cataphract; 04-06-2009 at 22:28.


    "Fortunate is every man who in purity and truth recognizes valiance and prevents it from becoming bravado" - Āriōbarzanes of the Sūrźn-Pahlavān

  9. #9

    Default Re: Parthians

    A few questions:

    1) What are the Parthian Ethnicities? I've seen Arascid, Dahae, Saka, Mad, Pers, Surena, maybe a few others, but no Greeks, Assyrians or Bactrians? Always figured they would fight with them.

    2) Slightly odd question and I am treading on questionable ground, but do we know what the Parthians (or Saka of the area) looked like? I have in my head something resembling the modern Pashtuns, perhaps taller. Did they tattoo like the Scythians, or maybe only before they became Parthians?

    3) Is there any particular reason I can't set up a reformed government in, say, Egypt? Seems somehow odd that a hyper civilized Pahlavan Empire of Achaemenid would treat Egypt like, say, modern day Astrakhan. Though I like the idea of an Empire descending from the desert East of the Caspian and overunning the Greeks in Anatolia for semi-independent nomad settlement. Also, would a settled Parthian Empire have any interest in the subjugation of the entire Pontic-Caspian Steppe?

    Thanks in advance. The Pahlavan Faction is a stand out among the myriad wonderful factions of this fantastic mod. Great job, hope to see great work in the future from all of you.
    Last edited by Shatov; 04-07-2009 at 03:34.

  10. #10
    Xsaēapāvan é Skudra Member Atraphoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatov View Post
    A few questions:

    1) What are the Parthian Ethnicities? I've seen Arascid, Dahae, Saka, Mad, Pers, Surena, maybe a few others, but no Greeks, Assyrians or Bactrians? Always figured they would fight with them.

    2) Slightly odd question and I am treading on questionable ground, but do we know what the Parthians (or Saka of the area) looked like? I have in my head something resembling the modern Pashtuns, perhaps taller. Did they tattoo like the Scythians, or maybe only before they became Parthians?

    3) Is there any particular reason I can't set up a reformed government in, say, Egypt? Seems somehow odd that a hyper civilized Pahlavan Empire of Achaemenid would treat Egypt like, say, modern day Astrakhan. Though I like the idea of an Empire descending from the desert East of the Caspian and overunning the Greeks in Anatolia for semi-independent nomad settlement. Also, would a settled Parthian Empire have any interest in the subjugation of the entire Pontic-Caspian Steppe?

    Thanks in advance. The Pahlavan Faction is a stand out among the myriad wonderful factions of this fantastic mod. Great job, hope to see great work in the future from all of you.
    1-It is still under debate but Arsacids were members of Parni tribe migrated from north mostly thought as Sakaen origin.
    when they conquered the Persia. their empire was a multi cultural, multi ethnic empire. The native persians, greeks, sakaes, dahaes, even jews lived in their empire. Many kings could speak greek persian but later the greek population assimilated into persian cultural dominance. and later greek speakers reduced in number then greek was forgatten. Even now genetic searches shows that only 10 -20 percent of the iranian population persian origined. but you should not be surprised persia is a bridge between cultures, nations, and many ethnicities. Assyrians are still survive in syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey as mostly Christian. so it would be a mistake to accept vast empires as having a pure one ethnicity.

    2-1 should answer this.

    3- yes there is a reason EB team scripted or coded Parthians can get reformed goverment only in the area they conquered so you cannot build reformed goverments on the west of euphrates. but it can be changed very easily. but you should change EDB. if you want AFAIK it is save game compatible as well but that means you break historical accuracy.But I must confess that I, myself do not follow it. I mostly blitz with Pahlava otherwise AS will attack you and as you have just 2 cities it will be a nightmare. around 150 Bcs they conquered Media in that time methinks I will have recreated Achaemenid Empire . Plus there are many threads that may explain how to get reformed governments for pahlava. Search is your friend.

    Atra
    Last edited by Atraphoenix; 04-07-2009 at 08:44.



    My Submods for EB
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    My AAR/Guides How to assault cities with Horse Archers? RISE OF ARSACIDS! (A Pahlava AAR) - finished
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  11. #11
    Member Member Alexandros94's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatov View Post
    A few questions:

    1) What are the Parthian Ethnicities? I've seen Arascid, Dahae, Saka, Mad, Pers, Surena, maybe a few others, but no Greeks, Assyrians or Bactrians? Always figured they would fight with them.

    2) Slightly odd question and I am treading on questionable ground, but do we know what the Parthians (or Saka of the area) looked like? I have in my head something resembling the modern Pashtuns, perhaps taller. Did they tattoo like the Scythians, or maybe only before they became Parthians?

    3) Is there any particular reason I can't set up a reformed government in, say, Egypt? Seems somehow odd that a hyper civilized Pahlavan Empire of Achaemenid would treat Egypt like, say, modern day Astrakhan. Though I like the idea of an Empire descending from the desert East of the Caspian and overunning the Greeks in Anatolia for semi-independent nomad settlement. Also, would a settled Parthian Empire have any interest in the subjugation of the entire Pontic-Caspian Steppe?

    Thanks in advance. The Pahlavan Faction is a stand out among the myriad wonderful factions of this fantastic mod. Great job, hope to see great work in the future from all of you.

    For the part where you wanted to know what they looked like, their skin colour was actually quite light.
    I read this in the Maharbarata somewhere once and they were described as having fair skin with the ocassional Pahlav having green or blue eyes. This is still seen today in some Indians and also some Kamboj people like my Grandad (blue eyes). Since conquering part of India the majority of them had brown eyes though.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Parthians

    TPC & Atraph, can either of you reccomend a good book on the Parthians or the Sassanids? Understand if you don't as you wouldn't need an introductory history, but all I have now is an excellent translation of the Shahnameh, EB and Wikipedia.

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    Marzbān-ī Jundīshāpūr Member The Persian Cataphract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatov View Post
    A few questions:

    1) What are the Parthian Ethnicities? I've seen Arascid, Dahae, Saka, Mad, Pers, Surena, maybe a few others, but no Greeks, Assyrians or Bactrians? Always figured they would fight with them.

    2) Slightly odd question and I am treading on questionable ground, but do we know what the Parthians (or Saka of the area) looked like? I have in my head something resembling the modern Pashtuns, perhaps taller. Did they tattoo like the Scythians, or maybe only before they became Parthians?

    3) Is there any particular reason I can't set up a reformed government in, say, Egypt? Seems somehow odd that a hyper civilized Pahlavan Empire of Achaemenid would treat Egypt like, say, modern day Astrakhan. Though I like the idea of an Empire descending from the desert East of the Caspian and overunning the Greeks in Anatolia for semi-independent nomad settlement. Also, would a settled Parthian Empire have any interest in the subjugation of the entire Pontic-Caspian Steppe?

    Thanks in advance. The Pahlavan Faction is a stand out among the myriad wonderful factions of this fantastic mod. Great job, hope to see great work in the future from all of you.
    The first question, I'm still brainstorming a more extensive framework, which will aim to include more ethnicities in order to make the Pahlavān more immersive, from a historical point of view. This is problematic because ethnicities require a lot of work to code, and somewhere we need to make a clear distinction between what gets in and what gets out. Therefore improvements are pending to EB2, where I hope the system will be a desirable model of simulating the political fragmentation in the "Greater Iran" at the time.

    Second question, we have a somewhat clear picture on how the ancient Iranians looked like, and it would seem that much like the Hellenic-speaking peoples there was a breadth of almost reddish skin to fair complexions to go with the nearly full range of hair and eye-colours. For ancient Iranians during the Parthian era, we have a few mummified examples encountered in a salt-mine in Zanjan, now displayed in the National Museum of Iran in Tehran. Now of course the natural bleaching process of the hair is no way indicative to what hair colour the mummified man once may have had, but that his complexion was fair seems a rather unanimous assessment. The perhaps most reasonable assessment one could make is to look at Iran's ethnical minorities, and draw contrasts from there in order to appreciate the range of diversity between the Iranic-speaking peoples.

    There is furthermore little reason to suspect any profound difference between the Parthians during the Achaemenid era and the Arsacid era; I think you are referring to the Parthians as the "ruling dynasty" in which they were descended from the Dahae-originated Parni tribe. This is an important difference. However surveying numismatic evidence, we come across this profound shift of time where we see the Arsacids transition from nomadic attire to a dress and grooming code far more representative of an Iranian empire. They may have tattooed themselves when they were part of the Dahae super-tribe still (Pre-Arsaces I), however this is no more than educated guesswork.

    Third question, the system of settling down is not finished. The idea was that the reformation process, once a set of acquired territories has been satisfied, the reformation process would no longer be needed. The idea I have in mind is far too complex to be written out here... And it's supposed to be a secret so, you'll just have to wait and see

    Glad you enjoy the faction!


    "Fortunate is every man who in purity and truth recognizes valiance and prevents it from becoming bravado" - Āriōbarzanes of the Sūrźn-Pahlavān

  14. #14
    Marzbān-ī Jundīshāpūr Member The Persian Cataphract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatov View Post
    TPC & Atraph, can either of you reccomend a good book on the Parthians or the Sassanids? Understand if you don't as you wouldn't need an introductory history, but all I have now is an excellent translation of the Shahnameh, EB and Wikipedia.
    For an introductory book which addresses the entirety of pre-Islamic Iran, you'll be wanting to read K. Farrokh - "Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War". After you have read this, you will want to move up to "The Age of the Parthians‎" by Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, and Sarah Stewart, for a slightly more detailed insight into the Arsacids.

    Some modern classics on the post-Achaemenid Iranian dynasties include "Iran: Parthians and Sassanians" by the eminent Roman Ghirshman, "Cambridge History of Iran" edited by E. Yarshater. "The History of Ancient Iran" by Richard Nelson Frye also counts as a must read. On the Sassanians, there really is no real defining work yet. I also recommend reading A.E. Redgate's "The Armenians" in order to understand the significant historical role of Armenia during the Partho-Sassanian period.

    Or you could pick up a relevant Osprey or a Montvert title. I think as far as Montvert is concerned, there are four must-read books, one on Bactrian armies by Valerii Nikonorov, one on Seleucid arms by Nicholas Sekunda (Which I think ought to be complemented by Bezalel Bar Kochva's publications), one on Achaemenid armies by Duncan Head, and finally one on the Sassanians by David Nicolle. Out of all these, the ones that I've found of greatest value is the one on Bactrian armies by Nikonorov and especially the one on Achaemenid armies by Duncan Head. Eventually one will want to read these pieces as they provide a background and a valid historical context.

    As for Ospreys go, there is one by Kaveh Farrokh on Sassanian elite cavalry, one by Peter Wilcox on the Parthians and the Sassanians. Mielczarek co-authored a book on the Sarmatians; Nicholas Sekunda authored a book focused on the Achaemenid Army, bizarrely it turned more out to be an analysis on the corps of the Immortals. David Nicolle wrote one piece which pertained to the "Desert Frontier" which deals a bit with the western Parthian frontier. They are easily searched for.

    Wikipedia is not a poor resource when it comes to the Sassanians; however it diminishes in its currently lackluster article on the Arsacids; try these Internet resources instead:

    Encyclopaedia Iranica
    Sasanika UC Irvine
    Edward C. Hopkins "Parthia.com"
    Livius' section on Persia

    This should suffice as a starting point before you may decide to move towards reading journals (Dumbarton Oaks, Iran and the Caucasus, Achemenet, et al.).

    Good luck!
    Last edited by The Persian Cataphract; 04-11-2009 at 15:18.


    "Fortunate is every man who in purity and truth recognizes valiance and prevents it from becoming bravado" - Āriōbarzanes of the Sūrźn-Pahlavān

  15. #15

    Default Re: Parthians

    I'm Armenian and I don't know much about Pahlavan history as my father does, but I do know that UC Irvine, where I am a student, has a large surrounding Iranian population and incidentally the uni has, if I'm not mistaken, a great Persian studies in its humanities department. I'm almost sure of it. I found it great that TPC linked to Sasanika. Good job!
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  16. #16
    Member Member R-Teen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    Quote Originally Posted by The Persian Cataphract View Post
    Third question, the system of settling down is not finished. The idea was that the reformation process, once a set of acquired territories has been satisfied, the reformation process would no longer be needed. The idea I have in mind is far too complex to be written out here... And it's supposed to be a secret so, you'll just have to wait and see
    Glad you enjoy the faction!
    You mean Pahlava's reforming system will change in EB II?

  17. #17
    Marzbān-ī Jundīshāpūr Member The Persian Cataphract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    Yes.


    "Fortunate is every man who in purity and truth recognizes valiance and prevents it from becoming bravado" - Āriōbarzanes of the Sūrźn-Pahlavān

  18. #18
    EBII Bricklayer Member V.T. Marvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parthians

    As for the good books on Parthians and Sassanians, I would recommend - besides those already submitted by TPC - Ancient Persia : from 550 BC to 650 AD by Josef Wiesehöfer, London, 2001.

    It is a very good and rather new introduction into the history of the three great Persian dynasties - Achaemenids, Arsacids and Sassanians, with a good bibliography.

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