Last of the Parthian kings; died in the year 227. He was the son of Volageses V., whose throne he ascended about 216, after a struggle with his brother Volageses VI. For many years he successfully conducted a war against the Romans, defeating both Caracalla and his successor Macrinus. He lost his life, however, in his conflicts with the Persians, 227.
This last ruler of the house of the Arsacids was well inclined toward the Jews; Abba Arika, the head of the academy of Sura, received signal marks of his friendliness. Thus he once sent to him a number of valuable pearls as a gift, and received in return from Abba Arika a mezuzah (door-post inscription), with the remark that the word of God was of a higher value than all the gems of earth(Yer. Peah. i. 1, p. 15d; Gen. R. xxxv., end; in both places "Rabbi" is erroneously given in place of the original "Rab").
When Artaban died Rab exclaimed in sorrow, "The bond of friendship has been sundered!" ('Ab. Zarah 10b. The text has ; read (Persian Ardewan); Kohut, "Aruch Completum," i. 280).
- Gutschmid, Gesch. Iran's, pp. 154 et seq., 1888;
- Jost, Gesch. des Judenthums, ii. 139;
- Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, 2d ed., iv. 281.