The Greeks lost their first battle against the Persians.
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The Greeks indeed often used the term “Mede” to refer to Persians.
Marw, Bactria, and Sogdiana were all centres ofHellenism. The Saka conquest of Bactria checked, but did not destroythis Hellenic element. Meanwhile the western end of the route also hadits vicissitudes. There the chief barrier between the Greek andoriental world was Parthia which was encroaching upon the Seleuciddominions and about 150 B.C. absorbed Mesopotamia. But Parthian advancewas checked. Not long after the invasion of Mesopotamia came the Sakapenetration of the eastern provinces. On the other hand the Seleucidmonarchy ceased to be a serious obstacle when in 129 B.C. AntiochusSidetes was defeated and slain by the Parthians, though they were notable to follow up this victory effectively because the Sakas werealready menacing their eastern frontier. This defeat left Syria tooweak to defend herself from foes gathering round and only waiting foran opportunity to seize her territory. Already Arab tribes wereencroaching on the eastern parts of Syria and a native dynasty atEdessa had declared its independence in I32, whilst the whole countrywas subject to incursions of Arab tribes who before long began preyingoil Parthia as well. Thus Mesopotamia became a neutral territorycovered by minor native states over which neither the Seleucid king atAntioch nor the King of Parthia could exercise control.
Greek resistance to the persian invasion | Jelks & White
Our main interest here is with the overlandroute between the Roman Empire and the Far East. That route led fromthe Syrian border to Marw, a city founded by Antiochus I (280-240 B.C.)as a Greek colony with surrounding agricultural settlements, allpredominantly Greek, both city and rural area frequently recruited byfresh Greek colonists. Under the Parthian kings this became a martwhere Roman and Chinese trade met. At the time of the Arab conquest andfor long afterwards this was a scene of great prosperity, producingsilk and fine cotton when those materials were still rare and costly inthe Roman Empire. Before that conquest the western quarter or rabad hadmuch increased in population, and in early Arab times the main businesspart of the city had removed to this quarter. To Marw the la PersianKing Yazdegird III fled on his defeat and there he was overtaken by theArabs in 651 and killed at a mill in the village of Raziq closeby. The Christian (Nestorian) bishop took the deceased monarch's bodyto Pa-i-Baban and buried it there (Tabari, , i, 2881), anincident suggesting that the Nestorians formed an important element inthe city. There was a great Nestorian monastery at Masergasan north ofthe quarter known later as Sultan-Qal'a, adjoining Rabad (Tabari, .,ii, 1925). Marw seems to have been an outpost of Hellenism, with aconsiderable proportion of Christians, both Nestorians andMonophysites, in its population, no doubt largely swelled bythe many captives taken by Khusraw II from the Romans and sent far eastfor safe custody.
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