Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity)

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Kingdom of Armenia

331 BC–428 AD
Artaxiad.svg
Standard of the Arshakuni Arsacid dynasty.svg
Left: standard of the Artaxiad dynasty
Right: standard of the Arsacid dynasty
Maps of the Armenian Empire of Tigranes.gif
Armenia its greatest extent under Tigranes the Great, 69 BC (including vassals)
Status Satrapy, Kingdom, Empire, Province
Capital Armavir (331–210 BC)
Yervandashat (210–176 BC)
Artashat (176–77 BC; 69–120 AD)
Tigranocerta (77–69 BC)
Vagharshapat (120–330)
Dvin (336–428)
Common languages Armenian (native language)
Greek
Aramaic
Iranian (Parthian and Pahlavi)
Religion
Armenian polytheism and Zoroastrianism: [1] [2] 3rd century BC – 301 AD
Christianity (Armenian Church) : from 301 AD
GovernmentMonarchy
King, King of Kings  
 321–317 BC
Orontes III
 422–428
Artaxias IV
Historical era Antiquity, Middle Ages
 Satrapy of Armenia is formed
c. 533 BC
331 BC
61 AD
 Christianity national religion
301 AD
387
428 AD
CurrencyTaghand
ISO 3166 code AM
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Yervanduni Armenia, IV-II BC.gif Satrapy of Armenia
Byzantine Armenia Simple Labarum.svg
Persian Armenia Marzbanate.svg
Redgate, Anne Elizabeth (2000). The Armenians. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 7. ISBN   0-631-22037-2.

The Kingdom of Armenia, also the Kingdom of Greater Armenia, [3] or simply Greater Armenia (Armenian : Մեծ ՀայքMets Hayk; [4] Latin : Armenia Maior), sometimes referred to as the Armenian Empire, was a monarchy in the Ancient Near East which existed from 321 BC to 428 AD. Its history is divided into successive reigns by three royal dynasties: Orontid (321 BC–200 BC), [5] [6] Artaxiad (189 BC–12 AD) and Arsacid (52–428).

Armenian language Indo-European language

The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken primarily by Armenians. It is the official language of Armenia. Historically being spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands, today, Armenian is widely spoken throughout the Armenian diaspora. Armenian is written in its own writing system, the Armenian alphabet, introduced in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.

A royal family is the immediate family of a king or queen regnant, and sometimes his or her extended family. The term imperial family appropriately describes the family of an emperor or empress, and the term papal family describes the family of a pope, while the terms baronial family, comital family, ducal family, archducal family, grand ducal family, or princely family are more appropriate to describe, respectively, the relatives of a reigning baron, count, duke, archduke, grand duke, or prince. However, in common parlance members of any family which reigns by hereditary right are often referred to as royalty or "royals." It is also customary in some circles to refer to the extended relations of a deposed monarch and his or her descendants as a royal family. A dynasty is sometimes referred to as "the House of ...". As of July 2013, there are 26 active sovereign monarchies in the world who rule or reign over 43 countries in all.

Artaxiad dynasty dynasty

The Artaxiad dynasty or Ardaxiad dynasty ruled the Kingdom of Armenia from 189 BC until their overthrow by the Romans in AD 12. Their realm included Greater Armenia, Sophene and intermittently Lesser Armenia and parts of Mesopotamia. Their main enemies were the Romans, the Seleucids and the Parthians, against whom the Armenians had to conduct multiple wars.

Contents

The root of the kingdom lies in one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia called Armenia (Satrapy of Armenia), which was formed from the territory of the Kingdom of Ararat (860 BC–590 BC) after it was conquered by the Median Empire in 590 BC. The satrapy became a kingdom in 321 BC during the reign of the Orontid dynasty after the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great, which was then incorporated as one of the Hellenistic kingdoms of the Seleucid Empire.

Achaemenid Empire first Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great

The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.

Satrapy of Armenia period of Yervanduni kingdom

The Satrapy of Armenia (Armenian: Սատրապական Հայաստան Satrapakan Hayastan; Old Persian: Armina or Arminiya, a region controlled by the Orontid Dynasty was one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC, which later became an independent kingdom. Its capitals were Tushpa and later Erebuni.

Urartu Iron Age kingdom located in a large region around Lake Van

Urartu, which corresponds to the biblical mountains of Ararat, is the name of a geographical region commonly used as the exonym for the Iron Age kingdom also known by the modern rendition of its endonym, the Kingdom of Van, centered around Lake Van in the historic Armenian Highlands.

Under the Seleucid Empire (312–63 BC), the Armenian throne was divided in two – Armenia Maior and Sophene – both of which passed to members of the Artaxiad dynasty in 189 BC. During the Roman Republic's eastern expansion, the Kingdom of Armenia, under Tigranes the Great, reached its peak, from 83 to 69 BC, after it reincorporated Sophene and conquered the remaining territories of the falling Seleucid Empire, effectively ending its existence and raising Armenia into an empire for a brief period, until it was itself conquered by Rome in 69 BC. The remaining Artaxiad kings ruled as clients of Rome until they were overthrown in 12 AD due to their possible allegiance to Rome's main rival in the region, Parthia.

Sophene historical privince of the armenian and roman empire

Sophene was a province of the ancient kingdom of Armenia and of the Roman Empire, located in the south-west of the kingdom. The region lies in what is now southeastern Turkey.

Roman Republic Period of ancient Roman civilization (509–27 BC)

The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.

Tigranes the Great King of Armenia

Tigranes II, more commonly known as Tigranes the Great was King of Armenia under whom the country became, for a short time, the strongest state to Rome's east. He was a member of the Artaxiad Royal House. Under his reign, the Armenian kingdom expanded beyond its traditional boundaries, allowing Tigranes to claim the title Great King, and involving Armenia in many battles against opponents such as the Parthian and Seleucid empires, and the Roman Republic.

During the Roman–Parthian Wars, the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia was founded when Tiridates I, a member of the Parthian Arsacid dynasty, was proclaimed King of Armenia in 52. Throughout most of its history during this period, Armenia was heavily contested between Rome and Parthia, and the Armenian nobility was divided among pro-Roman, pro-Parthian or neutrals. From 114 to 118, Armenia briefly became a province of the Roman Empire under Emperor Trajan. The Kingdom of Armenia often served as a client state or vassal at the frontier of the two large empires and their successors, the Byzantine and Sassanid empires. In 301, Tiridates III proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of Armenia, making the Armenian kingdom the first state to embrace Christianity officially.

The Roman–Parthian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. It was the first series of conflicts in what would be 719 years of Roman–Persian Wars.

Arsacid dynasty of Armenia dynastic family

The Arsacid dynasty or Arshakuni, ruled the Kingdom of Armenia from 54 to 428. The dynasty was a branch of the Arsacid dynasty of Parthia. Arsacid Kings reigned intermittently throughout the chaotic years following the fall of the Artaxiad dynasty until 62 when Tiridates I secured Arsacid dynasty of Parthia rule in Armenia. An independent line of Kings was established by Vologases II in 180. Two of the most notable events under Arsacid rule in Armenian history were the conversion of Armenia to Christianity by Gregory the Illuminator in 301 and the creation of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots in c. 405. The reign of the Arsacids of Armenia marked the predominance of Iranianism in the country.

Tiridates I of Armenia King of Armenia

Tiridates I was King of Armenia beginning in 53 AD and the founder of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia. The dates of his birth and death are unknown. His early reign was marked by a brief interruption towards the end of the year 54 and a much longer one from 58 to 63 AD. In an agreement to resolve the Roman–Parthian conflict in and over Armenia, Tiridates I was crowned king of Armenia by the Roman emperor Nero in 66 AD; in the future, the king of Armenia was to be a Parthian prince, but his appointment required approval from the Romans. Even though this made Armenia a client kingdom, various contemporary Roman sources thought that Nero had de facto ceded Armenia to the Parthian Empire.

During the Byzantine–Sasanian wars, Armenia was ultimately partitioned into Byzantine Armenia in 387 and Persian Armenia in 428.

Byzantine–Sasanian wars

The Byzantine–Sasanian wars, also known as the Irano-Byzantine wars refers to a series of conflicts between the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and the Sassanian Empire of Persia. A continuation of the Roman–Persian Wars, the conflict involved several smaller campaigns and peace treaties lasting for years at a time.

Byzantine Armenia

Byzantine Armenia, sometimes Western Armenia, is the name given to the parts of Kingdom of Armenia that became part of the Byzantine Empire. The size of the territory varied over time, depending on the degree of control the Byzantines had over Armenia.

History

Origins

The geographic Armenian Highlands, then known as the highlands of Ararat (Assyrian: Urartu), was originally inhabited by Proto-Armenian tribes which did not yet constitute a unitary state or nation. The highlands were first united by tribes in the vicinity of Lake Van into the Kingdom of Van (Urartian: Biainili). The kingdom competed with Assyria over supremacy in the highlands of Ararat and the Fertile Crescent.

Armenian Highlands highland area in western Asia south of the Caucasus

The Armenian Highlands is the central-most and highest of three land-locked plateaus that together form the northern sector of the Middle East. To its west is the Anatolian plateau which rises slowly from the lowland coast of the Aegean Sea and converges with the Armenian Highlands to the east of Cappadocia. To its southeast is the Iranian plateau, where the elevation drops rapidly by about 600 metres (2,000 ft) to 1,500 metres (5,000 ft) above sea level. The Caucasus extends to the northeast of the Armenian Highlands. To the southwest of the Armenian Highlands is Upper Mesopotamia.

Mountains of Ararat location mentioned in Genesis as place where Noahs Ark came to rest after the great flood

In the Book of Genesis, the mountains of Ararat is the term used to designate the region in which Noah's Ark comes to rest after the Great Flood. It corresponds to ancient Assyrian Urartu, an exonym for the Kingdom of Van.

Akkadian language extinct Semitic language

Akkadian is an extinct East Semitic language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia from the 30th century BC until its gradual replacement by Akkadian-influenced Old Aramaic among Mesopotamians by the eighth century BC.

Both kingdoms fell to Iranian invaders from the neighbouring East (Medes, followed by Achaemenid Persians) in the 6th century BC. Its territory was reorganized into a satrapy called Armenia (Old Persian: Armina, Elamite: Harminuya, Akkadian: Urashtu). The Orontid dynasty ruled as satraps of the Achaemenid Empire for three centuries until the empire's defeat against Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. After Alexander's death in 323 BC, a Macedonian general named Neoptolemus obtained Armenia until he died in 321 BC and the Orontids returned, not as satraps, but as kings.

Orontid Dynasty

Orontes III and the ruler of Lesser Armenia, Mithridates, recognized themselves independent, thus elevating the former Armenian satrapy into a kingdom, giving birth to the kingdoms of Armenia and Lesser Armenia. Orontes III also defeated the Thessalian commander Menon, who wanted to capture Sper's gold mines.

Weakened by the Seleucid Empire which succeeded the Macedonian Empire, the last Orontid king, Orontes IV, was overthrown in 200/201 BC and the kingdom was taken over by a commander of the Seleucid Empire, Artashes I, who is presumed to be related to the Orontid dynasty himself.

Artaxiad dynasty

Tigran II's Great Armenia Artaxiad Armenia 80BC-fr.svg
Tigran II's Great Armenia
Map of Armenia and the Roman client states in eastern Asia Minor, ca. 50 AD, before the Roman-Parthian War and the annexation of the client kingdoms into the Empire Roman East 50-en.svg
Map of Armenia and the Roman client states in eastern Asia Minor, ca. 50 AD, before the Roman–Parthian War and the annexation of the client kingdoms into the Empire

The Seleucid Empire's influence over Armenia had weakened after it was defeated by the Romans in the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BC. A Hellenistic Armenian state was thus founded in the same year by Artaxias I alongside the Armenian kingdom of Sophene led by Zariadres. Artaxias seized Yervandashat, united the Armenian Highlands at the expense of neighboring tribes and founded the new royal capital of Artaxata near the Araxes River. [7] According to Strabo and Plutarch, Hannibal Barca received hospitality at the Armenian court of Artaxias I. The authors add an apocryphal story of how Hannibal planned and supervised the building of Artaxata. [8] The new city was laid on a strategic position at the juncture of trade routes that connected the Ancient Greek world with Bactria, India and the Black Sea which permitted the Armenians to prosper. [7] Tigranes the Great saw an opportunity for expansion in the constant civil strife to the south. In 83 BC, at the invitation of one of the factions in the interminable civil wars, he entered Syria, and soon established himself as ruler of Syria—putting the Seleucid Empire virtually at an end—and ruled peacefully for 17 years. During the zenith of his rule, Tigranes the Great extended Armenia's territory outside of the Armenian Highland over parts of the Caucasus and the area that is now south-eastern Turkey, Iran, Syria and Lebanon, becoming one of the most powerful states in the Roman East.

Roman rule

Roman coin of 141 AD, showing emperor Antoninus Pius holding a crown on the Armenia King's head Antoninus Pius AE Sestertius 84001035.jpg
Roman coin of 141 AD, showing emperor Antoninus Pius holding a crown on the Armenia King's head

Armenia came under the Ancient Roman sphere of influence in 66 BC, after the battle of Tigranocerta and the final defeat of Armenia's ally, Mithridates VI of Pontus. Mark Antony invaded and defeated the kingdom in 34 BC, but the Romans lost hegemony during the Final War of the Roman Republic in 32–30 BC. In 20 BC, Augustus negotiated a truce with the Parthians, making Armenia a buffer zone between the two major powers.

Augustus installed Tigranes V as king of Armenia in AD 6, but ruled with Erato of Armenia. The Romans then installed Mithridates of Armenia as client king. Mithridates was arrested by Caligula, but later restored by Claudius. Subsequently, Armenia was often a focus of contention between Rome and Parthia, with both major powers supporting opposing sovereigns and usurpers. The Parthians forced Armenia into submission in AD 37, but in AD 47 the Romans retook control of the kingdom. In AD 51 Armenia fell to an Iberian invasion sponsored by Parthia, led by Rhadamistus. Tigranes VI of Armenia ruled from AD 58, again installed by Roman support. The period of turmoil ends in AD 66, when Tiridates I of Armenia was crowned king of Armenia by Nero. For the remaining duration of the Armenian kingdom, Rome still considered it a client kingdom de jure, but the ruling dynasty was of Parthian extraction, and contemporary Roman writers thought that Nero had de facto yielded Armenia to the Parthians. [9]

Arsacid dynasty

Under Nero, the Romans fought a campaign (55–63) against the Parthian Empire, which had invaded the Kingdom of Armenia, allied with the Romans. After gaining Armenia in 60, then losing it in 62, the Romans sent the Legio XV Apollinaris from Pannonia to Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, legatus of Syria. In 63, strengthened further by the legions III Gallica, V Macedonica, X Fretensis and XXII, General Corbulo entered into the territories of Vologases I of Parthia, who then returned the Armenian kingdom to Tiridates, king Vologases I's brother.

Another campaign was led by Emperor Lucius Verus in 162–165, after Vologases IV of Parthia had invaded Armenia and installed his chief general on its throne. To counter the Parthian threat, Verus set out for the east. His army won significant victories and retook the capital. Sohaemus, a Roman citizen of Armenian heritage, was installed as the new client king. But during an epidemic within the Roman forces, Parthians retook most of their lost territory in 166. Sohaemus retreated to Syria, and the Arsacid's dynasty was restored to power over Armenia.

After the fall of the Arsacid dynasty in Persia, the succeeding Sasanian Empire aspired to reestablish Persian control. The Sassanid Persians occupied Armenia in 252. However, in 287, Tiridates III the Great was established King of Armenia by the Roman armies. After Gregory the Illuminator's spreading of Christianity in Armenia, Tiridates accepted Christianity and made it his kingdom's official religion. The traditional date for Armenia's conversion to Christianity is established at 301, preceding the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great's conversion and the Edict of Milan by a dozen years.

In 387, the Kingdom of Armenia was split between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Persian Empire. Western Armenia first became a province of the Roman Empire under the name of Armenia Minor, and later Byzantine Armenia; Eastern Armenia remained a kingdom within Persia until, in 428, the local nobility overthrew the king, and the Sassanids installed a governor in his place, beginning the Marzpanate period over Persian Armenia. Those parts of historical Armenia remained firmly under Persian control until the Muslim conquest of Persia, while the Byzantine parts remained until being conquered, also by invading Arabic armies, in the 7th century. In 885, after years of Roman, Persian, and Arab rule, Armenia regained its independence under the Bagratuni dynasty.

Army

Under Tigranes the Great

The army of the Kingdom of Armenia reached its peak under the reign of Tigranes the Great. According to the author of Judith , his army included chariots and 12,000 cavalrymen, most likely heavy cavalry or cataphracts, a unit also commonly used by Seleucids and Parthians. His army consisted mainly of 120,000 infantrymen and 12,000 mounted archers, also an important feature of the Parthian army. Like the Seleucids, the bulk of Tigranes' army were foot soldiers. The Jewish historian Josephus talks of 500,000 men in total, including camp followers. These followers consisted of camels, donkeys, and mules used for baggage, sheep, cattle, and goats for food, said to be stocked in abundance for each man, and hoards of gold and silver. As a result, the marching Armenian army was listed as "a huge, irregular force, too many to count, like locusts or the dust of the earth", not unlike many other enormous Eastern armies of the time. The smaller Cappadocian, Graeco-Phoenician, and Nabataean armies were generally no match for the sheer number of soldiers, with the organized Roman army with its legions eventually posing a much greater challenge to the Armenians. [10]

Note that the numbers given by Israelite historians of the time were probably exaggerated, considering the fact that the Hasmonean Jews lost the war against Tigranes.

Ayrudzi

From ancient times in Armenia there existed "Azatavrear" cavalry which consisted of the Armenian elite. "Azatavrear" cavalry made up the main part of the Armenian king's court. In medieval times "Azatavrear" cavalry were collected from nobles (usually the youngest sons of Armenian lords), and were known as Ayrudzi, or "horsemen." During times of peace, Armenian cavalry were divided into small groups which took the roles of guarding the King and other Armenian lords, as well as their families. Some part of the Armenian cavalry force was always patrolling Armenian borders, under the command of an Armenian general (sparapet). The group of Armenian cavalry whose main mission was the protection of the Armenian king and his family consisted of 6000 heavily armored horsemen in the ancient period, and 3000 horsemen in the medieval period. During times of war, the number of Armenian cavalry would rise, with estimates ranging from 10,000 to at least 20,000 horsemen. Besides heavy cavalry, there was also light cavalry, which primarily consisted of mounted archers. [12] [ self-published source? ]

Legio I Armeniaca-Armenian First Legion

"Legio Armeniaca" translates from Latin as "Armenian Legion" and "prima" as "first". The Armenian First Legion was one of the later-period Roman imperial legions. This Legion was mentioned in the late-antique text known as Notitia Dignitatum. It is most likely that the Armenian First Legion was formed in the 2nd or 3rd century AD, in the western part of the Kingdom, with the mission to protect the lands of Armenia from intrusion. It might first have been the garrison of Armenian lands which had been under the control of the Roman Empire. The Armenian First Legion took part in the ill-fated Persian campaign of the emperor Julianus Apostata in 363.

Legio II Armeniaca-Armenian Second Legion

"Legio Armeniaca" translates from Latin as "Armenian Legion" and "Secunda" as "Second". Like the First legion, the Armenian Second Legion was one of the later-period Roman imperial legions. This legion is also mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum. The Armenian Second Legion was thought to have been created around the end of the 3rd century or in the beginning of the 4th century. The Armenian Second Legion had a permanent camp in one of the Northern provinces of the Orient, and built a camp in Satala. The Armenian Second legion is mentioned in the year 360 AD as a part of the garrison of Bezabda (anciently called Phoencia) in upper Tigris. In Bezabde the Armenian Second Legion served together with the Legions Parthica and II Flavia. In 390 AD Bezabde was taken by the Persian army, and a terrible bloodbath ensued against the inhabitants and garrison. The legion seemed to have survived this battle, because it appears in Notitia Dignitatum, which was written in the 5th century.

Later on, the Armenian Second legion became a part of the Byzantine army.

Mythology and pre-Christian religion

The pre-Christian Armenian pantheon included:

During the 1st century AD, Christianity spread through Armenia due to (according to legend) the efforts of the apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus. After persecutions by kings Sanatruk, Axidares, Khosrov I, and Tiridates III, Christianity was adopted as the state religion by Tiridates III after he was converted by Gregory the Illuminator. Armenia's adoption of Christianity as the state religion (the first country to do so) distinguished it from Parthian and Mazdaen influence. [13]

Zoroastrianism

Until the late Parthian period, Armenia was a predominantly Zoroastrian-adhering land. [1] With the advent of Christianity, both paganism and Zoroastrianism gradually started to diminish. The founder of the Arsacid branch in Armenia, Tiridates I was a Zoroastrian priest or magus. [14] [15] A noted episode which illustrates the observance by the Armenian Arsacids is the famous journey of Tiridates I to Rome in A.D. 65-66. [2] With the adoption of Christianity in the early 4th century, Zoroastrianism's influence in the kingdom gradually started to decline.

Literature

Little is known about pre-Christian Armenian literature. Many literature pieces known to us were saved and then presented to us by Moses of Chorene. This is a pagan Armenian song, telling about the birth of Vahagn:

Armenian version

Երկնէր երկին, երկնէր երկիր,
Երկնէր և ծովն ծիրանի,
Երկն ի ծովուն ունէր և զկարմրիկն եղեգնիկ։

Ընդ եղեգան փող ծուխ ելանէր,
Ընդ եղեգան փող բոց ելանէր,
Եւ ի բոցոյն վազէր խարտեաշ պատանեկիկ։

Նա հուր հեր ունէր,
Բոց ունէր մօրուս,
Եւ աչքունքն էին արեգակունք։

Translation

In travail were heaven and earth,
In travail, too, the purple sea,
The travail held in the sea the small red reed.

Through the hollow of the stalk came forth smoke,
Through the hollow of the stalk came forth flame,
And out of the flame a youth ran․

Fiery hair had he,
Ay, too, he had flaming beard,
And his eyes, they were as suns.

Language

Before the Armenian alphabet was created, Armenians used the Aramaic and Greek alphabets, the last of which had a great influence on the Armenian alphabet. The Armenian alphabet was created by Saint Mesrop Mashtots and Isaac of Armenia (Sahak Partev) in AD 405, primarily for a Bible translation into the Armenian language. Traditionally, the following phrase translated from Solomon's Book of Proverbs is said to be the first sentence to be written down in Armenian by Mashtots:

Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of Armenian Alphabet, by Francesco Maggiotto (1750-1805) Mesrop Mashtots by Francesco Majotto.jpg
Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of Armenian Alphabet, by Francesco Maggiotto (1750–1805)

By the 2nd century BC, according to Strabo, the inhabitants of Greater Armenia spoke the Armenian language, implying that modern Armenians descended from that population. [16] [17]

Capitals

Political geography

The Kingdom of Armenia was bordered by Caucasian Albania in the east, Caucasian Iberia in the north, the Roman Empire in the west, and Parthia, later succeeded by Sassanian Empire, in the south. The border between Caucasian Iberia and the Kingdom of Armenia was the Kur river, which was also the border between Caucasian Albania and Kingdom of Armenia.

After 331 BC, Armenia was divided into Lesser Armenia (a region of the Kingdom of Pontus), the Kingdom of Armenia (corresponding to Armenia Major) and the Kingdom of Sophene. In 189 BC when Artashes I's reign began, many neighboring countries (Media, Caucasian Iberia, Seleucid Empire) exploiting the weakened state of the kingdom, conquered its remote regions. Strabo says that Artaxias I raided to the east and reunited Caspiane and Paytakaran, then raided to the north, defeated the Iberians, reuniting Gugark (Strabo also notes that Iberia recognized themselves as vassals of the Kingdom of Armenia at this time), to the west, reuniting Karin, Ekeghik and Derjan and to the south, where, after many battles with the Seleucid Empire, he reunited Tmorik. Artaxias I was not able to reunite Lesser Armenia, Corduene, and Sophene, something completed by his grandson Tigranes the Great. During Artaxias I's reign the Kingdom of Armenia covered 350,000 km2 (135,000 sq mi). At its peak, under Tigranes the Great, it covered 3,000,000 km2 (1,158,000 sq mi), incorporating, besides Armenia Major, Iberia, Albania, Cappadocia, Cilicia, Armenian Mesopotamia, Osroene, Adiabene, Syria, Assyria, Commagene, Sophene, Judea and Atropatene. Parthia and also some Arab tribes were vassals of Tigranes the Great. Lesser Armenia's area was 100,000 km2 (39,000 sq mi).

Provinces

Regions of Greater Armenia (Arsacid Armenia). Historical regions of Greater Armenia.png
Regions of Greater Armenia (Arsacid Armenia).
Historical provinces of Greater Armenia Ayrarat.jpg
Historical provinces of Greater Armenia

The 15 provinces of the Kingdom of Armenia with their capitals are as follows:

Other Armenian regions:

Maps

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The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. Its latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid-3rd century BC when he conquered the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy (province) under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. Mithridates I of Parthia (r. c. 171–138 BC) greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han dynasty of China, became a center of trade and commerce.

Kingdom of Commagene ancient Armenian kingdom of the Hellenistic period

The Kingdom of Commagene was an ancient Armenian kingdom of the Hellenistic period, located in and around the ancient city of Samosata, which served as its capital. The Iron Age name of Samosata, Kummuh, probably gives its name to Commagene. Commagene has been characterized as a "buffer state" between Armenia, Parthia, Syria, and Rome; culturally, it seems to have been correspondingly mixed. The kings of the Kingdom of Commagene claimed descent from Orontes with Darius I of Persia as their ancestor, by his marriage to Rodogoune, daughter of Artaxerxes II who had a family descent from king Darius I. The territory of Commagene corresponds roughly to the modern Turkish provinces of Adıyaman and northern Antep.

Armavir (village) Place in Armavir, Armenia

Armavir is a village in the Armavir Province of Armenia. Cuneiform inscriptions of Urartian King Sarduri II were found at Armavir.

Parthia region of north-eastern Iran

Parthia is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran. It was conquered and subjugated by the empire of the Medes during the 7th century BC, was incorporated into the subsequent Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC, and formed part of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire following the 4th-century-BC conquests of Alexander the Great. The region later served as the political and cultural base of the Eastern-Iranian Parni people and Arsacid dynasty, rulers of the Parthian Empire. The Sasanian Empire, the last state of pre-Islamic Persia, also held the region and maintained the Seven Parthian clans as part of their feudal aristocracy.

Ancient Armenia refers the history of Armenia during Antiquity. It covers a period of approximately one thousand years after Prehistoric Armenia, beginning at the end of the Iron Age with the events that led to the dissolution of the Kingdom of Urartu, and the emergence of the first geopolitical entity called Armenia in the 6th century BC. It's during this period that Armenia rises as one of the great kingdoms in Western Asia in the 4th century BC, becomes an empire under the Great King Tigranes II, and converts to Christianity. This is also the period when the Armenian alphabet is created. It concludes with its demise and partition of Armenia in the 5th century AD, marking the beginning of Medieval Armenia.

Zoroastrianism in Armenia

Zoroastrianism in Armenia dates back as far as to the fifth-century BC, notably during the Achaemenian and Parthian periods in the Armenian Highlands. Prior to Armenia's Christianisation, it was a predominantly Zoroastrian-adhering land.

This article is about Khosrovidukht, the Armenian Princess of the Arsacid dynasty who lived in the 3rd century and 4th century. For the Armenian Poet who lived in the 8th century, see Khosrovidukht.

Artaxata capital

Artashat ; Hellenized as Artaxata, was a large commercial city and the capital of ancient Armenia during the reign of king Artaxias I; the founder of the Artaxiad Dynasty of the ancient Kingdom of Armenia. The name of the city is derived from Iranian languages and means the "joy of Arta". Founded by King Artaxias I in 176 BC, Artaxata served as the capital of the Kingdom of Armenia from 185 BC until 120 AD, and was known as the "Vostan Hayots".

References

  1. 1 2 Mary Boyce. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices Psychology Press, 2001 ISBN   0415239028 p 84
  2. 1 2 Russel, James R. (1987). Zoroastrianism in Armenia (Harvard Iranian series). Harvard University, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. ISBN   978-0674968509. The Parthian Arsacids who came to the throne of Armenia in the first century A.D. were pious Zoroastrians who invoked Mithra as the lord of covenants, as is proper. An episode which illustrates their observance of the cult is the famous journey of Tiridates to Rome in A.D. 65-66. (...)
  3. "Kingdom of Greater Armenia". Oxford University Press . Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  4. Adontz, Nicolas (1970). The Reform of Justinian Armenia. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. p. 310.
  5. Mach Chahin (2001). Kingdom of Armenia. Surrey: Routledge. p185–190.
  6. "Armenia - Geography & History". britannica.com. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  7. 1 2 Hovannisian, Richard G. (2004). The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 49. ISBN   1-4039-6421-1.
  8. Bournoutian, George A. (2006). A Concise History of the Armenian People: From Ancient Times to the Present. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda, p. 29. ISBN   1-56859-141-1.
  9. Redgate, Anne Elizabeth (2000). The Armenians (First ed.). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc. pp. 88–91. ISBN   0-631-22037-2.
  10. W, Aa. (2005). Materia Giudaica X/1. Editrice La Giuntina. p. 93. ISBN   88-8057-226-1.
  11. Gevork Nazaryan, Armenian Empire.
  12. Armenian heavy Cavalry (Ayrudzi). Armenian-history.com. Retrieved on 2013-11-24.
  13. Gilman, Ian; Klimkeit, Hans-Joachim (11 January 2013). "Christians in Asia before 1500". Routledge. Retrieved 27 March 2018 via Google Books.
  14. Lang, David Marshall (1980). Armenia, cradle of civilization. Allen & Unwin. pp. 84, 141, 149. (..) Though Tiridates was to be a client king of the Romans, Nero rightly judged that his investiture would satisfy the honour of the Parthians as well. Three years later, Tiridates made the journey to Rome. As a magus or priest of the Zoroastrian faith, he had to observe the rites which forbade him to defile water by travelling. (...)
  15. Boyce, Mary (2001). Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Psychology Press. p. 84. (..) In 62 A.C. the Parthian king Vologases (Valakhsh) put his younger brother Tiridates on the Armenian throne, and this cadet branch of the Arsacids ruled there into the Sasanian period. Tiridates was himself a strictly observant Zoroastrian - Roman sources even call him a Magus - and there is no doubt that during the latter period of the Parthian period Armenia was a predominantly Zoroastrian adhering land.
  16. Donabedian, Patrick (1994). "The History of Karabagh from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century". In Chorbajian, Levon; Mutafian, Claude. The Caucasian Knot: The History & Geopolitics of Nagorno-Karabagh. Zed Books. pp. 51–53. ISBN   978-1-85649-288-1.
  17. Laitin, David D.; Suny, Ronald Grigor (1999). "Armenia and Azerbaijan: thinking a way out of Karabakh" (PDF). Middle East Policy. 7: 145. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4967.1999.tb00348.x.
  18. (in Armenian) Movses Khorenatsi. History of Armenia, 5th Century (Հայոց Պատմություն, Ե Դար). Annotated translation and commentary by Stepan Malkhasyants. Gagik Sargsyan (ed.) Yerevan: Hayastan Publishing, 1997, 2.49, p. 164. ISBN   5-540-01192-9.

Further reading