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Farhad 4 Murdered

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April, 1, 2 B.C.:
Farhad 4 Murdered

By: Mir M.Hosseini

Farhad IV of Parthia was poisoned by his Italian wife Thermusa and her younger son. Farhad IV ascended the throne in 37 B.C. after his brother's death. He then killed his father and 30 of his brothers, seen as rivals. In 36 B.C. the Roman general Marc Anthony invaded Parthia but he was defeated in Atropatene and was forced to retreat. In 32 B.C. a peace treaty was accorded between the Roman and Parthian empires by which Farhad agreed to give back prisoners, and conquered eagles. Farhad also recognized the kingdom of Armenia as a Roman dependency in exchange for some concessions; including a beautiful Italian girl named Thermusa who became Farhad's favorite concubine. This was the way the Roman emperor Augustus somehow succeeded in infiltrating the Parthian court. Farhad soon fell in love with Thermusa and became a toy in her hand. Thermusa convinced Farhad to send 5 of his elder sons as hostages to Augustus thus acknowledging his dependence on Rome. Thermusa became his legitimate wife under the name "The goddess Thermusa".
After eliminating the rivals and achieving some legitimacy, Thermusa and her son poisoned the king and blamed the incident on the bad luck due to 13th of Farvardin. This was the first time in Iran that people were acquainted with such a superstition. Thermusa's son ascended the throne as Farhad V, but when he married his own mother and coins were minted with Thermusa's picture as co-ruler and a Greek sentence "queen, goddess in heaven"; this was unacceptable by Parthians and they were overthrown and slain, then the throne was offered to Ardoan 3.

KEY TERMS:Ardoan , Ardoan 3 , Armenia , Atropatene , Augustus , Farhad , Farhad 4 , Farvardin , Greek , Iran , Marc Anthony , Murder , Parthia , Parthian , Roman , Rome , Thermusa

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