CIC 477

Past Issues
CIC 476
CIC 475
CIC 474
CIC 473
CIC 472
CIC 471
CIC 470
CIC 469
CIC 468
CIC 467
CIC 466
CIC 465
CIC 464
CIC 463
CIC 462
CIC 461
CIC 460
CIC 459
CIC 458
CIC 457
CIC 456
CIC 455
CIC 454
CIC 453
CIC 452
CIC 451
CIC 450
CIC 449
CIC 448
CIC 447
CIC 446
CIC 445
CIC 444
CIC 443
CIC 442
CIC 441
CIC 440
CIC 439
CIC 438
CIC 437
CIC 436
CIC 435
CIC 434
CIC 433
CIC 432
CIC 431
CIC 430
CIC 429
CIC 428
CIC 427
CIC 426
CIC 425
CIC 424
CIC 423
CIC 422
CIC 421
CIC 420
CIC 419
CIC 418
CIC 417
CIC 416
CIC 415
CIC 414
CIC 413
CIC 412
CIC 411
CIC 410
CIC 409
CIC 408
CIC 407
CIC 406
CIC 405
CIC 404
CIC 403
CIC 402
CIC 401
CIC 400
CIC 399
CIC 398
CIC 397
CIC 396
CIC 395
CIC 394
CIC 393
CIC 392
CIC 391
CIC 390
CIC 389
CIC 388
CIC 387
CIC 386
CIC 385
CIC 384
CIC 383
CIC 382
CIC 381
CIC 380
CIC 379
CIC 378
CIC 377
CIC 375
CIC 374
CIC 373
CIC 372
CIC 371
CIC 370
CIC 369
CIC 368
CIC 367
CIC 366
CIC 365
CIC 364
CIC 363
CIC 362
CIC 361
CIC 360
CIC 359
CIC 358
CIC 357
CIC 356
CIC 355
CIC 354
CIC 353
CIC 352
CIC 351
CIC 350
CIC 349
CIC 348
CIC 347
CIC 346
CIC 345
CIC 344
CIC 343
CIC 342
CIC 341
CIC 340
CIC 339
CIC 338
CIC 337
CIC 336
CIC 335
CIC 334
CIC 333
CIC 332
CIC 331
CIC 330
CIC 329
CIC 328
CIC 327
CIC 326
CIC 325
CIC 324
CIC 323
CIC 322
CIC 321
CIC 320
CIC 319
CIC 318
CIC 317
CIC 316
CIC 315
CIC 314
CIC 313
CIC 312
CIC 311
CIC 310
CIC 309
CIC 308
CIC 307
CIC 306
CIC 305
CIC 304
CIC 303
CIC 302
CIC 301
CIC 300
CIC 299
CIC 298
CIC 297
CIC 296
CIC 295
CIC 294
CIC 293
CIC 292
CIC 291
CIC 290
CIC 289
CIC 288
CIC 287
CIC 286
CIC 285
CIC 284
CIC 283
CIC 282
CIC 281
CIC 280
CIC 279
CIC 278
CIC 277
CIC 276
CIC 275
CIC 274
CIC 273
CIC 272
CIC 271
CIC 270
CIC 269
CIC 268
CIC 267
CIC 266
CIC 265
CIC 264
CIC 263
CIC 262
CIC 261
CIC 260
CIC 259
CIC 258
CIC 257
CIC 256
CIC 255
CIC 254
CIC 253
CIC 252
CIC 251
CIC 250
CIC 249
CIC 248
CIC 247
CIC 246
CIC 245
CIC 244
CIC 243
CIC 242
CIC 241
CIC 240
CIC 239
CIC 238
CIC 237
CIC 236
CIC 235
CIC 234
CIC 233
CIC 232
CIC 231
CIC 230
CIC 229
CIC 228
CIC 227
CIC 226
CIC 225
CIC 224
CIC 223
CIC 222
CIC 221
CIC 220
CIC 219
CIC 218
CIC 217
CIC 216
CIC 215
CIC 214
CIC 213
CIC 212
CIC 211
CIC 210
CIC 209
CIC 208
CIC 207
CIC 206
CIC 205
CIC 204
CIC 203
CIC 202
CIC 201
CIC 200
CIC 199
CIC 198
CIC 197
CIC 196
CIC 195
CIC 194
CIC 193
CIC 192
CIC 191
CIC 190
CIC 189
CIC 188
CIC 187
CIC 186
CIC 185
CIC 184
CIC 183
CIC 182
CIC 181
CIC 180
CIC 179
CIC 178
CIC 177
CIC 176
CIC 175
CIC 174
CIC 173
CIC 172
CIC 171
CIC 170
CIC 169
CIC 168
CIC 167
CIC 166
CIC 165
CIC 164
CIC 163
CIC 162
CIC 161
CIC 160
CIC 159
CIC 158
CIC 157
CIC 156
CIC 155
CIC 154
CIC 153
CIC 152
CIC 151
CIC 150
CIC 149
CIC 148
CIC 147
CIC 146
CIC 145
CIC 144
CIC 143
CIC 142
CIC 141
CIC 140
CIC 139
CIC 138
CIC 137
CIC 136
CIC 135
CIC 134
CIC 133
CIC 132
CIC 131
CIC 130
CIC 129
CIC 128
CIC 127
CIC 126
CIC 125
CIC 124
CIC 123
CIC 122
CIC 121
CIC 120
CIC 119
CIC 118
CIC 117
CIC 116
CIC 115
CIC 114
CIC 113
CIC 112
CIC 111
CIC 110
CIC 109
CIC 108
CIC 107
CIC 106
CIC 105
CIC 104
CIC 103
CIC 102
CIC 101
CIC 100
CIC 99
CIC 98
CIC 97
CIC 96
CIC 95
CIC 94
CIC 93
CIC 92
CIC 91
CIC 90
CIC 89
CIC 88
CIC 87
CIC 86
CIC 85
CIC 84
CIC 83
CIC 82
CIC 81
CIC 80
CIC 79
CIC 78
CIC 77
CIC 76
CIC 75
CIC 74
CIC 73
CIC 72
CIC 71
CIC 70
CIC 69
CIC 68
CIC 67
CIC 66
CIC 65
CIC 64
CIC 63
CIC 62
CIC 61
CIC 60
CIC 59
CIC 58
CIC 57
CIC 56
CIC 55
CIC 54
CIC 53
CIC 52
CIC 51
CIC 50
CIC 49
CIC 48
CIC 47
CIC 46
CIC 45
CIC 44
CIC 43
CIC 42
CIC 41
CIC 40
CIC 39
CIC 38
CIC 37
CIC 36
CIC 35
CIC 34
CIC 33
CIC 32
CIC 31
CIC 30
CIC 29
CIC 28
CIC 27
CIC 26
CIC 25
CIC 24
CIC 23
CIC 22
CIC 21
CIC 20
CIC 19
CIC 18
CIC 17
CIC 16
CIC 15
CIC 14
CIC 13
CIC 12
CIC 11
CIC 10
CIC 9
CIC 8
CIC 7
CIC 6
CIC 5
CIC 4
CIC 3
CIC 2
CIC 1

"What in Goddamn Hell. . . ?"

On August 29, 1924, four newly minted ensigns fresh out of Annapolis – among them Hanson W. Baldwin, later a famous New York Times war correspondent – arrived at dockside in Hampton Roads, Virginia, to take up their first assignment in the Navy, aboard the battleship Texas (BB-35).

Naturally, they reported to the ship by the book, properly turned out in dress whites, with gloves and swords. 

Boarding the ship, they reported to the Executive Officer, who took one look at them and bellowed, “What in goddamn hell have you got all that silly stuff on for?  Take it off and get over the side into the coal barges and help coal the ship”, thus unceremoniously introducing them to what was undoubtedly the most detested duty in the fleet.

 

The Royal Warts of Parthia

Around 250 BC, Arasces, the leader of the Parni, an Iranic tribe, established himself as ruler of Parthia, a break-away province of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire in what is now Iran.  This initiated a line of some 50 kings who built Parthia into an empire that at its peak stretched from the Mediterranean to the Indus.  A rival to Rome, the Parthians defeated an invasion by Marcus Licinius Crassus at Carrhae in 53 BC and another by Mark Antony in a protracted war in 40-33 BC, during which their King Pacorus I was killed in action.  The Romans, in turn, got their licks in, probably winning more often than not. Indeed Ctesiphon, the Parthian capital, was several times taken and sacked by the Roman, such Trajan during his campaign of AD 113-116, Lucius Verus in 161-165, Septimius Severus in 195-197, and Carus in 283.  Despite these, and many other less famous campaigns, neither Rome nor Parthia was ever able to gain more than a temporary advantage over the other superpower of the age, a situation that would continue in four centuries of warfare between the Romans and the Persians, who finally overthrew the Parthians in AD 228.

Like most monarchs, the Arascid kings of Parthia, a number of whom were notable warriors, liked to adorn their coins with their own images, just to let their subjects know who was boss.  Interestingly, surviving specimens of these coins reveal that from the accession of Mithridates II in 121 BC the Arascid kings suffered from a noticeable genetic defect, known as trichoepithelioma.

Trichoepithelioma is a benign tumor that usually appears on the forehead, near the nose, or just in front of the ear, often showing up in middle age.  From Mithridates II to the end of the Parthian Empire, the coins of eighteen kings show evidence of trichoepithelioma: either the wart itself or a curious arrangement of the hair that suggests that it is covering up something.  

  • Mithridates II (123-88 BC)
  • Orodes II (57-37 BC), and his brother and co-ruler
  • Mithridates III (57-54 BC)
  • Pacorus I (38-37 BC)
  • Phraates IV (37-c. 2 BC)
  • Phraataces (c. 2 BC-AD 4)
  • Vonones I (AD 8-12)
  • Artabanus III (AD 10-38)
  • Vardanes I (AD c. 38-45), and his brother and rival,
  • Gotarzes II (AD c. 40-51)
  • Volagases I (AD 51-78)
  • Volagases II (AD 78-80)
  • Pacorus II (AD 80-105)
  • Volagases III (AD 105-116, 117-147)
  • Parthamaspates (AD 116-117)
  • Volagases IV (AD 147-191)
  • Volagases V (AD 191-208)
  • Volagases VI (AD 208-228)

That the coins even show the kings with trichoepithelioma is unusual, since during most of history royal persons are usually depicted as nearly perfect specimens of humanity, and often ageless as well. Itís possible that the trait was so well-known it helped lend legitimacy to the king, showing that he was indeed a kinsman to his predecessor, even if he had bumped the guy off.

Coin of King Volagases I of Parthia, with a noticeable “wart” above the left corner of his eye, suggesting Trichoepithelioma.

(Courtesy Wikipedia)   

Of the remaining kings, the surviving coins of five do not show evidence of trichoepithelioma, which could mean there was none, or they were being careful about their image (though this seems unlikely).  As for the rest, either no coins have survived or those that do are too badly damaged to serve as evidence.

Note, by the way, the actual dating for Arascid history is somewhat shaky, given serious difficulties in reconciling the Roman calendar and the Parthian one, not to mention the Arascid penchant for staging coups, civil wars, and assassinations in order to usurp the throne from one another.

 


© 1998 - 2021 StrategyWorld.com. All rights Reserved.
StrategyWorld.com, StrategyPage.com, FYEO, For Your Eyes Only and Al Nofi's CIC are all trademarks of StrategyWorld.com
Privacy Policy