Parthian Shot


Parthian Shot
   , PARTING SHOT
   A Turkomanic people living southeast of the Caspian Sea and ruled by Scythian nomads, the Parthians were soldiers known to be among the best. Their country was Parthia, and they devoted their lives to becoming expert marksmen and fighters. They rode their horses, fully armored, and their slaves served as infantry. They bested the Roman hordes time and again, beginning with the disastrous defeat of Crassus in S3 B.C. Years later they defeated Mark Antony by repulsing his advance into Persia. The Parthians were deadly adversaries. They planned their aggressive movements strategically. One of their peculiar maneuvers was to appear to leave the battleground as though in flight, but as the enemy began to rejoice, they turned and discharged their bows. This maneuver has come to be known as the Parthian shot or the parting shot. Today any parting or final remark of an insulting nature made on departure and giving one's adversary no time to reply may be called a Parthian shot, an allusion to the ancient warriors of Parthia.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.