The Artabanus inscription was set up not long before the Arsacid dynasty succumbed to the revolt of Ardashir, the founder of the Sasanian line of kings. Artabanus IV ruled from 212–224 CE. That his reign began in 212 is shown by Bivar, although the year 216 is often reported in the literature. He was killed in the Battle of Hormizdgan against Ardashir in 224 CE.
The text is of interest because it attests a satrap by the name of Xwāsak in charge of Susa, a city in the region of Elymais. It thus appears that the Parthians were able to reconquer this province, which had previously broken away from their empire (Schmitt 1998: 173). The reason for Artabanus’ erection of this monument (perhaps an honor of some sort) is unclear.
According to Henning, the date attached to the text corresponds to September 14, 215 CE, which would place it relatively early in Artabanus’ reign.
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