Discussion on Parthian Empire’s “Hellenic Dynasty Theory”

  As we all know, the Parthians (Parthians, “Partherreich” in German, 247 BC-224 AD, that is, “Π?ρθια” in ancient Greek writings, and the so-called “Ashkāniān” by the Iranians [阿什康尼Dynasty], “rest” recorded in Chinese historical materials) is famous for its three major characteristics: its intermediary position on the ancient Silk Road, its military confrontation relationship with the Roman Empire, and its friendly exchanges with China in the Han Dynasty. However, the local historical data of this dynasty are scarce. So far, Diodorus Siculus (90 BC-30 BC) and Strabo (Strabo, 64 BC-24 AD) have been studied in related studies so far. , Pliny the Elder (23-79), Plutarch (46-120), Tacitus (55-120), Justin (Justin, The records of classical writers such as the 2nd century are still indispensable. 1 This has led to the fact that the relevant researchers are mostly classical scholars. And taking Parthian history as an extended field of the study of Greco-Roman history is also in line with the “Barbarism” and “Orientalism” tendencies of Western civilization when exploring the “other” since ancient times. From the late Middle Ages to the early modern period, some Renaissance and Enlightenment scholars have begun to study the Parthian dynasty, but the true Parthian study started in the 19th century. Since the 19th century, “Oriental” and “Hellenic” research started and developed at the same time, which led to the study of the history of the ancient Persian dynasties closely related to ancient Greco-Roman history as a hot academic topic, and the Parthian dynasty “Greek The characteristics of both “sexuality” and “Iranianity” quickly aroused the interest of scholars in related fields. During this period, writings on the Parthian dynasty began to increase rapidly, such as “Fragments of Parthian History” compiled by JS Martin and “Parthian Coins and History by J. Lindsay” “Etc. are the representative works among them. 1 After entering the second half of the 19th century, Orientalists represented by G. Rawlinson began to conduct a comprehensive and in-depth study of the Parthian dynasty. His representative work “The Sixth Ancient Eastern Monarchy” opened the Parthian dynasty A new era of historical research. 2 During the same period, “Hellenic studies” rose rapidly in the unified Germany and became an important research field of classical studies. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Parthian dynasty also entered Rostovtsev (M. The vision of Hellenistic researchers such as Rostovtzeff and WW Tarn; the former uses archaeological materials to study Parthian Art, which has a profound impact on later generations. 3 Later, the Iranian scholar NC Debevoise also published his landmark work “Parthian Political History.” 4 In short, the study of the Parthian dynasty by foreign academic circles has a history of more than 400 years. 5 Its original background is still the “Orientalology” initiated by modern Western scholars to study the history and culture of ancient Eastern countries, which inevitably penetrates With a profound Western historical tradition and cultural centralism. In recent years, with the introduction of some of the results of foreign Hellenism and Parthian studies, domestic researchers of Greco-Roman history such as Yang Juping and Wang Sansan have also begun to dabble in the field of Parthian studies. 6 These results are of great pioneering significance, but they have never placed Parthia in the historical changes of ancient Iran/Persian civilization. It seems that Parthia was included in the framework of the “Hellenic study” from the very beginning. in. Of course, the non-Greco-Roman ethnic groups and empire civilization history of the Greco-Roman era (including early Byzantium) (such as the ancient Iranian empires, the inner pan-Scythian nomads, the European Celtic and Germanic tribes, the East African Ethiopians and the The narratives of civilizations in the Arabian Peninsula during the pre-Islamic period are included in the discourse system of the study of Greco-Roman history, which is the normal state of the study of modern Western ancient history. Moreover, as an extremely important “other civilization” of the day, it lacks its own historical writings and historical materials. Naturally, the Parthian Empire could not escape the fate of being “expressed” or even “monopolized” by researchers of Greco-Roman history. Debevoise) also published his landmark work “Parthian Political History”. 4 In short, the study of the Parthian dynasty by foreign academic circles has a history of more than 400 years. 5 Its original background is still the “Orientalology” initiated by modern Western scholars to study the history and culture of ancient Eastern countries, which inevitably penetrates With a profound Western historical tradition and cultural centralism. In recent years, with the introduction of some of the results of foreign Hellenism and Parthian studies, domestic researchers of Greco-Roman history such as Yang Juping and Wang Sansan have also begun to dabble in the field of Parthian studies. 6 These results are of great pioneering significance, but they have never placed Parthia in the historical changes of ancient Iran/Persian civilization. It seems that Parthia was included in the framework of the “Hellenic study” from the very beginning. in. Of course, the non-Greco-Roman ethnic groups and empire civilization history of the Greco-Roman era (including early Byzantium) (such as the ancient Iranian empires, the inner pan-Scythian nomads, the European Celtic and Germanic tribes, the East African Ethiopians and the The narratives of civilizations in the Arabian Peninsula during the pre-Islamic period are included in the discourse system of the study of Greco-Roman history, which is the normal state of the study of modern Western ancient history, and as an extremely important “other civilization” of the day, it lacks its own historical writings and historical materials. Naturally, the Parthian Empire could not escape the fate of being “expressed” or even “monopolized” by the researchers of Greco-Roman history. Debevoise) also published his landmark work “Parthian Political History”. 4 In short, the study of the Parthian dynasty by foreign academic circles has a history of more than 400 years. 5 Its original background is still the “Orientalology” initiated by modern Western scholars to study the history and culture of ancient Eastern countries, which inevitably penetrates With a profound Western historical tradition and cultural centralism. In recent years, with the introduction of some of the results of foreign Hellenism and Parthian studies, domestic researchers of Greco-Roman history such as Yang Juping and Wang Sansan have also begun to dabble in the field of Parthian studies. 6 These results are of great pioneering significance, but they have never placed Parthia in the historical changes of ancient Iran/Persian civilization. It seems that Parthia was included in the framework of the “Hellenic study” from the very beginning. in. Of course, the non-Greco-Roman ethnic groups and empire civilization history of the Greco-Roman era (including early Byzantium) (such as the ancient Iranian empires, the inner pan-Scythian nomads, the European Celtic and Germanic tribes, the East African Ethiopians and the The narratives of civilizations in the Arabian Peninsula during the pre-Islamic period are included in the discourse system of the study of Greco-Roman history, which is the normal state of the study of modern Western ancient history. Moreover, as an extremely important “other civilization” of the day, it lacks its own historical writings and historical materials. Naturally, the Parthian Empire could not escape the fate of being “expressed” or even “monopolized” by researchers of Greco-Roman history.
  With the advancement of research on Parthia and Hellenism at home and abroad, some domestic scholars have begun to study the Parthian Empire as an extended “Hellenic country”. 7 This practice itself is not problematic. However, related scholars have not clearly stated what the “particularity” of the Parthian dynasty distinguished from the general “Hellenic dynasty”. The most critical question is whether the direct integration of the Parthian dynasty into the framework of the “Hellenic dynasty” helps to reveal the particularity of the Parthian dynasty and its possible “non-Greek” characteristics? Due to professional limitations and the gap between classical history and Near Eastern linguistics, the study of Parthia gradually became a subordinate field of the study of Greco-Roman history. However, Near Eastern linguists are immersed in the interpretation of specific texts, and are unwilling to involve too much research on the macro-level history of the dynasty. A similar problem also exists in the study of the Sassanids (Sassanids, 224-651), the successor of the Parthian dynasty. In the Western academic training, classical studies and the study of Near Eastern languages ​​and civilizations belonged to different majors, which made the positioning of the study of the history of ancient Iranian dynasties very embarrassing. 1 The study of Hellenism in China is in its infancy. Parthian studies are often regarded as the “new field” of the study of Hellenistic history; with the efforts of relevant researchers, the Parthian dynasty has been listed as a successor to Seleucid. Ancient Dynasty (Seleucids, 312 BC-63 BC), Ptolemaic Dynasty (305 BC-31 BC), Antigonids (276 BC-168 BC), The Attalid Pergamon (281 BC-133 BC) in the Lesser Apagama and the Greco-Bactrians (Greco-Bactrians, 276 BC-168 BC) and India-Greek The “sixth echelon” trend of the Hellenistic dynasty after the dynasty (Indo-Greeks, 256 BC-10 AD). 2 It is true that taking the Parthian dynasty as an important international actor and cultural integration participant in Central Asia, West Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean during the Hellenistic era is a comprehensive and in-depth study of the characteristics of the Eastern and Western civilization exchanges and even the so-called “Hellenic civilization” during the Hellenistic era. The inevitable demand. However, if the Parthian study is completely subordinated to Hellenistic studies and even classical studies, it will undoubtedly have a negative impact on understanding the Parthian dynasty and even objectively interpreting the history of the ancient Iranian empires. There are indeed some members of the Parthian royal family in the writings of classical writers who are “familiar with” and even favor Greek culture; The “Hellenic characteristics” of the buildings, coins, and other unearthed artworks of the Parthian dynasty have also undergone in-depth research by related scholars, and there is no need to argue. 3 But this is only one side of the truth. Whether Parthia can be classified as a “Hellenic dynasty”, and whether it can be used to define the cultural attributes of all regimes in the Hellenistic world is not easy. Out of the question of judgment. Specifically, is “Hellenicization” the basic characteristic, mainstream concept and development trend of the Parthian dynasty, and can it be used to define the “fundamental” characteristic of the Parthian dynasty? I am afraid it is still an issue to be investigated. In fact, “Hellenic dynasty” cannot be easily equated with “Hellenic” and “Hellenic civilization” in time and space.