Satrapy of Armenia
Սատրապական Հայաստան (Armenian)
|570 BC–200 BC|
Territory of the Orontid Dynasty in IV-II BC
|Capital|| Tushpa |
|Common languages|| Armenian |
|Religion|| Armenian polytheism,|
|History of Armenia|
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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).Historians state that the dynasty was of Iranian origin, and suggest, albeit not clearly, that it held dynastic familial linkages to the ruling Achaemenid dynasty. Throughout their existence, the Orontids stressed their lineage from the Achaemenids in order to strengthen their political legitimacy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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."
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 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 are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.
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.
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).
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
Although the origins of the Ervanduni [Orontid] family is not clear, historians suggest dynastic familial linkages to the ruling Achaemenid dynasty in Persia.
The Ervandunis certainly stressed their Achaemenian lineage to strengthen their political legitimacy.
Artaxias I was the founder of the Artaxiad dynasty of Armenia, ruling from 189 BC to 160 BC. He was succeeded by his son Artavasdes I.
Mithrenes was a Persian commander of the force that garrisoned the citadel of Sardis. According to Cyril Toumanoff, he was also a member of the Orontid dynasty, of Iranian origin. Waldemar Heckel, on the other hand, considers Mithrenes to be a Persian noble of unknown family background. After the battle of the Granicus Mithrenes surrendered voluntarily to Alexander the Great, and was treated by him with great distinction. Mithrenes was present in the Macedonian camp after the Battle of Issus, and Alexander ordered him to visit the captured family of Darius III and assure them that Darius was alive, before changing his mind and assigning the duty to Leonnatus instead. He fought for Alexander at Gaugamela, and ironically he was fighting against an army that included his father Orontes II. Afterwards, Alexander appointed him Satrap of Armenia.
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.
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.
The Orontid dynasty, also known by their native name Eruandid or Yervanduni, was a hereditary Armenian dynasty and the rulers of the successor state to the Iron Age kingdom of Urartu (Ararat). The Orontids established their supremacy over Armenia around the time of the Scythian and Median invasion in the 6th century BC.
Arsames I seems to have taken control of Commagene, Sophene and Armenia in the year 260 BC after the death of his grandfather Orontes III, king of Armenia, and his father Sames, king of Commagene.
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.
Tushpa was the 9th-century BC capital of Urartu, later becoming known as Van which is derived from Biainili the native name of Urartu. The ancient ruins are located just west of Van and east of Lake Van in the Van Province of Turkey. In 2016 it was inscribed in the Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Turkey.
Ptolemaeus was of Armenian descent. Initially satrap of Commagene, he became the first King of Commagene in 163 BC. He was of Orontid Armenian descent, being related to the king of Sophene Arsames I. His father was King Orontes IV of Armenia, son of Arsames I.
Orontes II was a Persian noble living in the 4th century BC. He is probably to be identified as the satrap of Armenia under Darius III, and may in fact have succeeded Darius in this position when Darius ascended the throne of Persia in 336 BC.
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.
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’.
Artasyrus or Ardashir was recorded as being the Satrap of Armenia during the reign of king Artaxerxes II. Referred to as the "King's Eye", Artasyrus was of Bactrian origin. His more "well known" son, Orontes, who was therefore sometimes referred to as "Orontes the Bactrian", served as the Satrap of Sophene and Matiene (Mitanni) during the reign of Artaxerxes II. There appears to be confusion in the historical records as to whether Artasyrus and Artaxerxes II were the same person. The daughter of Artaxerxes II, Rhodogune, was the wife of the satrap Orontes I. There are few English language sources to fully explain who he was, when he was born or died.
Yervand and in some transliterations Ervand, is an Armenian given name of Persian origin. The Latinized equivalent is Orontes.