Parthia was an ancient empire of Asia, in what are now Iran and Afghanistan. The Parthians were of Scythian descent, and adopted Median dress and Aryan speech. They were excellent horsemen and archers. In battle, mounted Parthians often discharged their arrows back toward the enemy while pretending to flee; this is the origin of the phrase “a Parthian shot.” Parthia was subject successively to the Assyrians, Medes, Persians, and Macedonians under Alexander the Great, and Seleucids.
About 250 BC the Parthians succeeded in founding an independent kingdom that, during the 1st century BC, grew into an empire extending from the Euphrates River to the Indus River and from the Oxus (now Amu Darya) River to the Indian Ocean. The main Parthian cities were Seleucia, Ctesiphon, and Hecatompylos. After the middle of the 1st century BC Parthia was a rival of Rome, and several wars occurred between the two powers. In AD 224 Parthia was conquered by Ardashir I, king of Persia and founder of the Sassanid dynasty.
Gotarzes I was the son of Artabanus II, whose coin types are very similar to those of his father. Gotarzes was a harsh ruler which resulted in several revolts during his reign.