The earliest documented political interactions between the Roman and Parthian empires emerged in the early 1st century BCE against the backdrop of Rome’s wars with Mithridates VI of Pontus and Tigranes II of Armenia. A close analysis of these exchanges, which took place during the eastern appointments of Sulla c. 96/95 BCE and Lucullus in the late 70s and early 60s BCE, calls into question the traditional understanding that Rome and Parthia were diametrically opposed states, poised for war, from the beginning of their contact.