Satrapy of Armenia

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Satrapy of Armenia

Սատրապական Հայաստան  (Armenian)
Satrapakan Hayastan
570 BC–200 BC
Yervanduni Armenia, IV-II BC.gif
Territory of the Orontid Dynasty in IV-II BC
StatusSatrapy
Capital Tushpa
Erebuni
Common languages Armenian
Aramaic (South)
Median (East)
Religion
Armenian polytheism,
Zoroastrianism
GovernmentMonarchy
King  
History 
 Established
570 BC
 Disestablished
200 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
13-Urartu-9-6mta.gif Urartu
Median Empire.jpg Medes
Kingdom of Armenia (Antiquity) Standard of the Arshakuni Arsacid dynasty.svg
Lesser Armenia Blank.png
Sophene Blank.png
Commagene Blank.png

The Satrapy of Armenia (Armenian : Սատրապական ՀայաստանSatrapakan Hayastan; Old Persian: Armina or Arminiya, a region controlled by the Orontid Dynasty (Armenian : ԵրվանդունիներYervanduniner; 570–201 BC) 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.

Armenian language Indo-European language

The Armenian language is an Indo-European language that is the only language in the Armenian branch. It is the official language of Armenia as well as the de facto Republic of Artsakh. 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.

Achaemenid Empire first Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great

The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian 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.

Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity) ancient state of Armenia

The Kingdom of Armenia, also the Kingdom of Greater Armenia, or simply Greater Armenia, 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, Artaxiad and Arsacid (52–428).

Contents

History

Origins

After the collapse of the Kingdom of Urartu (Ararat), the region was placed under the administration of the Median Empire and the Scythians. Later the territory was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire, which incorporated it as a satrapy, and thus named it the land of "Armina" (in Old Persian; "Harminuya" in Elamite; " Urashtu " in Babylonian).

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

Urartu is 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.

Scythians historical ethnical group

The Scythians, also known as Scyth, Saka, Sakae, Sai, Iskuzai, or Askuzai, were Eurasian nomads, probably mostly using Eastern Iranian languages, who were mentioned by the literate peoples to their south as inhabiting large areas of the western and central Eurasian Steppe from about the 9th century BC up until the 4th century AD. The "classical Scythians" known to ancient Greek historians, agreed to be mainly Iranian in origin, were located in the northern Black Sea and fore-Caucasus region. Other Scythian groups documented by Assyrian, Achaemenid and Chinese sources show that they also existed in Central Asia, where they were referred to as the Iskuzai /Askuzai, Saka, and Sai, respectively.

Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages. Like other Old Iranian languages, this language was known to its native speakers as Iranian language. Old Persian appears primarily in the inscriptions, clay tablets and seals of the Achaemenid era. Examples of Old Persian have been found in what is now Iran, Romania (Gherla), Armenia, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt, with the most important attestation by far being the contents of the Behistun Inscription. Recent research (2007) into the vast Persepolis Fortification Archive at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago have unearthed Old Persian tablets, which suggest Old Persian was a written language in use for practical recording and not only for royal display.

An Armenian tribute bearer carrying a metal vessel with griffin handles. 6th century BC Hay pers.jpg
An Armenian tribute bearer carrying a metal vessel with griffin handles. 6th century BC

Orontid Dynasty

The Orontid Dynasty, or known by their native name, Eruandid or Yervanduni, was a hereditary dynasty of ancient Armenia, and the rulers of the successor state to the Iron Age kingdom of Urartu (Ararat). [1] [2] [3] Historians state that the dynasty was of Iranian origin, [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] and suggest, albeit not clearly, that it held dynastic familial linkages to the ruling Achaemenid dynasty. [9] Throughout their existence, the Orontids stressed their lineage from the Achaemenids in order to strengthen their political legitimacy. [10]

The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age and the Bronze Age. The concept has been mostly applied to Europe and the Ancient Near East, and, by analogy, also to other parts of the Old World.

Iranian peoples diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group

The Iranian peoples, or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group.

Members of the dynasty ruled Armenia intermittently during the period spanning from the 6th to at least the 2nd centuries BC, first as client kings or satraps of the Median and Achaemenid empires and later, after the collapse of the Achaemenid empire, as rulers of an independent kingdom, and later as kings of Sophene and Commagene, which eventually succumbed to the Roman Empire.

Satrap Ruler of a province in ancient Persia

Satraps were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to the king, though with considerable autonomy; and the word also came to suggest tyranny, or ostentatious splendour.

Kingdom of Sophene

The Kingdom of Sophene was an ancient Armenian kingdom. Founded around the 3rd century BC the kingdom maintained independence until around 90 BC when Tigranes the Great conquered the territories as part of his empire. An offshoot of this kingdom was the Kingdom of Commagene, formed when the Seleucids detached Commagene from Sophene.

Roman Empire Period of Imperial Rome following the Roman Republic (27 BC–476 AD)

The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome, consisting of large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean sea in Europe, North Africa and West Asia ruled by emperors. From the accession of Caesar Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, it was a principate with Italy as metropole of the provinces and its city of Rome as sole capital. The Roman Empire was then ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when it sent the imperial insignia to Constantinople following the capture of Ravenna by the barbarians of Odoacer and the subsequent deposition of Romulus Augustus. The fall of the Western Roman Empire to Germanic kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

The Orontids established their supremacy over Armenia around the time of the Scythian and Median invasion in the 6th century BC. [11] Its founder was Orontes I Sakavakyats (Armenian: Երվանդ Ա Սակավակյաց, Yervand I Sakavakyats). His son, Tigranes Orontid, united his forces with Cyrus the Great and killed Media's king. Moses of Chorene called him "the wisest, most powerful and bravest of Armenian kings."

Medes ancient Iranian civilization

The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran. Under the Neo-Assyrian Empire, late 9th to early 7th centuries BC, the region of Media was bounded by the Zagros Mountains to its west, to its south by the Garrin Mountain in Lorestan Province, to its northwest by the Qaflankuh Mountains in Zanjan Province, and to its east by the Dasht-e Kavir desert. Its neighbors were the kingdoms of Gizilbunda and Mannea in the northwest, and Ellipi and Elam in the south.

Orontes I Sakavakyats was the first Orontid king of Armenia, reigning in the period between 570 BC – 560 BC.

Cyrus the Great King and founder of the Achaemenid Empire

Cyrus II of Persia, commonly known as Cyrus the Great, and also called Cyrus the Elder by the Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Western Asia and much of Central Asia. From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen. Under his successors, the empire eventually stretched at its maximum extent from parts of the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east. His regal titles in full were The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, and King of the Four Corners of the World. The Nabonidus Chronicle notes the change in his title from simply "King of Anshan", a city, to "King of Persia". Assyriologist François Vallat wrote that "When Astyages marched against Cyrus, Cyrus is called 'King of Anshan', but when Cyrus crosses the Tigris on his way to Lydia, he is 'King of Persia'. The coup therefore took place between these two events."

From 553 BC to 521 BC, Armenia was a subject kingdom of the Achaemenid Empire, but when Darius I was king, he decided to conquer Armenia. He sent an Armenian named Dâdarši to stop a revolt against Persian rule, later replacing him with the Persian general, Vaumisa, who defeated the Armenians in 521 BC. Around the same time, another Armenian by the name of Arakha, son of Haldita, claimed to be the son of the last king of Babylon, Nabonidus, and renamed himself Nebuchadnezzar IV. His rebellion was short lived and was suppressed by Intaphrenes, Darius' bow carrier.

The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up over half the population of Iran. They share a common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language, as well as languages closely related to Persian.

Armenians ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland

Armenians are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.

Babylon Kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC

Babylon was a key kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC. The name-giving capital city was built on the Euphrates river and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods. Babylon was originally a small Akkadian town dating from the period of the Akkadian Empire c. 2300 BCE.

After the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC), Orontes III was able to regain independence for Armenia. But in 201 BC, Armenia was conquered by Artashes, a general from the Seleucid Empire, and also said to be a member of Orontid dynasty. The last Orontid king Orontes IV was killed, but the Orontids continued to rule in Sophene and Commagene until the 1st century BC.

In two inscriptions of king Antiochus I of Commagene on his monument at Mount Nemrut, Orontes I (son of Artasouras and husband of Artaxerxes' daughter Rhodogoune), is reckoned as an ancestor of the Orontids ruling over Commagene, who traced back their family to Darius the Great.

Silver Rhyton, Yerznka, Armenia, 5th century BCE. Silver Rhyton.jpg
Silver Rhyton, Yerznka, Armenia, 5th century BCE.

See also

Notes

  1. Toumanoff, Cyril (1963). Studies in Christian Caucasian history. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press. pp. 278ff.
  2. (in Armenian) Tiratsyan, Gevorg. «Երվանդունիներ» (Yerevanduniner). Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. vol. iii. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1977, p. 640.
  3. Krause, Todd B. and John A.C. Greppin, and Jonathan Slocum. "The Yervanduni Dynasty." The A. Richard Diebold Center for Indo-European Language and Culture at the University of Texas. Jan. 22, 2009.
  4. Garsoïan, Nina (1997). "The Emergence of Armenia" in The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I, The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century. Richard G. Hovannisian (ed.) New York: St. Martin's Press, pp. 46-47. ISBN   0-312-10169-4.
  5. Babaie, Sussan; Grigor, Talinn (2015). Persian Kingship and Architecture: Strategies of Power in Iran from the Achaemenids to the Pahlavis. I.B.Tauris. p. 80. ISBN   978-1848857513. Iranian culture deeply influenced Armenia, and Iranian dynasties ruled Armenia during several important periods, including the Orontids (c. sixth century - c. early second century BCE) and Arsacids (54-428 CE).
  6. Garsoian, N. (2005). "TIGRAN II". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Tigran (Tigranes) II was the most distinguished member of the so-called Artašēsid/Artaxiad dynasty, which has now been identified as a branch of the earlier Eruandid [Orontid] dynasty of Iranian origin attested as ruling in Armenia from at least the 5th century B.C.E
  7. Allsen, Thomas T. (2011). The Royal Hunt in Eurasian History. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 37. ISBN   978-0812201079.
  8. Sartre, Maurice (2005). The Middle East Under Rome. Harvard University Press. p. 23. ISBN   978-0674016835.
  9. Payaslian, Simon (2007). The history of Armenia : from the origins to the present (1st ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 8. ISBN   1403974675. Although the origins of the Ervanduni [Orontid] family is not clear, historians suggest dynastic familial linkages to the ruling Achaemenid dynasty in Persia.
  10. Payaslian, Simon (2007). The history of Armenia : from the origins to the present (1st ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 8. ISBN   1403974675. The Ervandunis certainly stressed their Achaemenian lineage to strengthen their political legitimacy.
  11. Tiratsyan, Gevork. «Երվանդունիներ» (Yerevanduniner). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia. vol. iii. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1977, p. 640.[ need quotation to verify ]

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The history of Armenia dates back to the 6th century BC Orontid Dynasty The country's name "Armenia" is a creation of the 6th century BC. The earliest attestations of the exonym Armenia date to the Achaemenid Empire. In his trilingual Behistun Inscription, Darius I the Great of Persia refers to Urashtu as Armina and Harminuya. In Greek, Αρμένιοι "Armenians" is attested from about the same time, perhaps the earliest reference being a fragment attributed to Hecataeus of Miletus. and it means ‘the land of the people of Arame’.

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