Arsaces VIII, Bagasis

Arsaces VIII, Bagasis: Arsacid king of the Parthian Empire (r.127-126). He is almost certainly identical to the prince Bagayasha who had occupied several high offices during the reign of king Mithradates I the Great.

A Parthian

Although Justin, our most important source for the first century of the Parthian Empire, mentions that Phraates II (the son and successor of the great conqueror Mithradates I the Great) was succeeded in 127 BCE by his uncle Artabanus I,note there is sufficient numismatic and documentary evidence (e.g, ostraca from Nisa) that Artabanus succeeded Phraates only after some eight months, after the brief reign of one Bagasis.

It is extremely likely that this Bagasis is identical to an important official whose earlier career is known from other sources:

It seems that the final stage of this splendid career was the kingship, as successor of Mithradates' son Phraates II, but it is frustrating that we have no information about the reign of Bacasis/Bagayasha/Bagasis, except that it lasted for only several months in 127/126 BCE and led to the accession of Artabanus I (r.126-122). From the fact that Bagayasha's son [PN x]x-na-a was to occupy a very high military office in Babylonia during the reign of Mithradates II (r.121-91), we may infer that Bagayasha had not fallen into disgrace and remained highly respected.


The chronology of the Arsacid kings of the Parthian Empire is less well-understood than, for example, the sequence of Seleucid and Ptolemaic kings or the emperors of Rome. This information is based on the researches by G.R.F. Assar, as published in "Iran under the Arsakids, 247 BC – AD 224/227" in: Numismatic Art of Persia (2011).

This page was created in 2019; last modified on 21 April 2019.