Battle of Nisibis
© Johnny Shumate

Battle of Nisibis

Parthian Empire

Battle of Nisibis
Battle of Nisibis ©Johnny Shumate
217 Jan 1

Battle of Nisibis

Nusaybin, Mardin, Turkey

The Battle of Nisibis was fought in the summer of 217 between the armies of the Roman Empire under the newly ascended emperor Macrinus and the Parthian army of King Artabanus IV. It lasted for three days, and ended with a bloody Parthian victory, with both sides suffering large casualties. As a result of the battle, Macrinus was forced to seek peace, paying the Parthians a huge sum and abandoning the invasion of Mesopotamia that Caracalla had begun a year before.

In June 218, Macrinus was defeated by the forces supporting Elagabalus outside Antioch, while Artabanus faced the uprising of the Persian Sassanid clan under Ardashir I. Nisibis was thus the last major battle between Rome and Parthia, as the Parthian dynasty was overthrown by Ardashir few years later. However, warfare between Rome and Persia soon resumed, as Ardashir and Macrinus' successor Alexander Severus fought over Mesopotamia, and hostilities continued intermittently until the Muslim conquests.

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