Last updated

Tigranes ( /tɪˈɡrnz/ , Ancient Greek : Τιγράνης ) is the Greek transliteration of the Old Iranian name *Tigrāna. [1] This was the name of a number of historical figures, primarily kings of Armenia.


The name of Tigranes, which was theophoric in nature, was uncommon during the Achaemenid era (550 BC–330 BC). Only two historical figures are known to bear the name during that period. [2]

By far the best known Tigranes is Tigranes the Great, king of Armenia from 95 to 55 BC, who founded a short-lived Armenian empire. His father, who ruled from 115 to 95 BC, was also named Tigranes, as were several later kings of Armenia. There is some lack of consistency in assigning dynastic numbers to these kings. The earliest Tigranes and his son are usually not included, making Tigranes I the father of Tigranes the Great.

Another Tigranes was a member of the Achaemenid family who, according to Herodotus, was a son of Artabanus who commanded the Medes in the army of Xerxes during the invasion of Greece. [3]

The satirist Lucian, in his True History, describes Homer (probably 8th century BC) as a Babylonian called Tigranes, who assumed the name Homer when taken "hostage" (homeros) by the Greeks. [4] [ full citation needed ]


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tigranes the Great</span> King of Armenia from 95 to 55 BC

Tigranes II, more commonly known as Tigranes the Great was a king of Armenia. A member of the Artaxiad dynasty, he ruled from 95 BC to 55 BC. Under his reign, the Armenian kingdom expanded beyond its traditional boundaries and reached its peak, allowing Tigranes to claim the title Great King or King of Kings. His empire for a short time was the most powerful state to the east of the Roman Republic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Adiabene</span> Kingdom in northern Mesopotamia (c.164 BC - c. 379 AD)

Adiabene was an ancient kingdom in northern Mesopotamia, corresponding to the northwestern part of ancient Assyria. The size of the kingdom varied over time; initially encompassing an area between the Zab Rivers, it eventually gained control of Nineveh and starting at least with the rule of Monobazos I, Gordyene became an Adiabenian dependency. It reached its zenith under Izates II, who was granted the district of Nisibis by the Parthian king Artabanus II as a reward for helping him regain his throne. Adiabene's eastern borders stopped at the Zagros Mountains, adjacent to the region of Media. Arbela served as the capital of Adiabene.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity)</span> 321 BC – 428 AD monarchy in Ancient Near East

Armenia, also the Kingdom of Greater Armenia, or simply Greater Armenia sometimes referred to as the Armenian Empire, was a kingdom in the Ancient Near East which existed from 331 BC to 428 AD. Its history is divided into the successive reigns of three royal dynasties: Orontid, Artaxiad and Arsacid (52–428).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Phraates III</span> Great King, King of Kings, Arsaces

Phraates III, was King of Kings of the Parthian Empire from 69 BC to 57 BC. He was the son and successor of Sinatruces.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Artavasdes II of Armenia</span> King of Kings

Artavasdes II was king of Armenia from 55 BC to 34 BC. A member of the Artaxiad Dynasty, he was the son and successor of Tigranes the Great, who ascended the throne of a still powerful and independent state. His mother was Cleopatra of Pontus, thus making his maternal grandfather the prominent Pontus king Mithridates VI Eupator. Like his father, Artavasdes continued using the title of King of Kings, as seen from his coins.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zariadres</span> Satrap and then King of Sophene

Zariadres was an Orontid ruler of Sophene.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sophene</span> Province of the ancient kingdom of Armenia

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

The Artaxiad dynasty ruled the Kingdom of Armenia from 189 BC until their overthrow by the Romans in 12 AD. 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 conducted multiple wars.

The Orontid dynasty, also known as the Eruandids or Eruandunis, ruled the Satrapy of Armenia until 330 BC and the Kingdom of Armenia from 321 BC to 200 BC. The Orontids ruled first as client kings or satraps of the Achaemenid Empire and after the collapse of the Achaemenid Empire established an independent kingdom. Later, a branch of the Orontids ruled as kings of Sophene and Commagene. They are the first of the three royal dynasties that successively ruled the antiquity-era Kingdom of Armenia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Corduene</span> Ancient region south of Lake Van, Turkey

Corduene was an ancient historical region, located south of Lake Van, present-day eastern Turkey.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sames I</span> King of Sophene and Commagene

Sames I, was the Orontid king of Sophene and Commagene, ruling around 260 BC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Xerxes of Sophene</span> King of Sophene and Commagene from 228 BC to 212 BC

Xerxes was king of Sophene and Commagene from 228 BC to 212 BC. He was the son and successor of Arsames I.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abdissares</span> 2nd-century BC king of Adiabene

Abdissares was the first king of Adiabene, ruling sometime in the first half of the 2nd-century BC. Scholarship initially considered him to be the ruler of Sophene, due to stylistic similarities between his coins and the ones in Commagene and Sophene. However, this has now been debunked. It has now been established that Abdissares' name—contrary to the Sophenian kings—was not of Iranian origin, but of Semitic, meaning "servant of Ishtar," a name primarily used by Semitic inhabitants. The goddess Ishtar enjoyed great popularity in the heartland of ancient Assyria, where Adiabene was located.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Commagene</span> Anatolian kingdom (163 BC - 72 AD)

Commagene was an ancient Greco-Iranian kingdom ruled by a Hellenized branch of the Iranian Orontid dynasty that had ruled over Armenia. The kingdom was 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Satrapy of Armenia</span> Period of Yervanduni kingdom

The Satrapy of Armenia, a region controlled by the Orontid dynasty, was one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC that later became an independent kingdom. Its capitals were Tushpa and later Erebuni.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tigranes (legendary)</span>

Tigranes was a legendary Armenian prince, who was a contemporary of the Achaemenid ruler Cyrus the Great.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kingdom of Sophene</span>

The Kingdom of Sophene, was a Hellenistic-era political entity situated between ancient Armenia and Syria. Ruled by the Orontid dynasty, the kingdom was culturally mixed with Greek, Armenian, Iranian, Syrian, Anatolian and Roman influences. Founded around the 3rd century BCE, the kingdom maintained independence until c. 95 BCE when the Artaxiad king Tigranes the Great conquered the territories as part of his empire. Sophene laid near medieval Kharput, which is present day Elazığ.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Orontes I Sakavakyats</span>

Orontes I Sakavakyats was a legendary king of Armenia, who was the personification of the Orontid dynasty.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tigranes the Younger</span> Artaxiad prince who briefly ruled the Kingdom of Sophene in 65 BC

Tigranes the Younger was an Artaxiad prince, who briefly ruled the Kingdom of Sophene in 65 BC.

The Carduchii or Karduchoi were a group of warlike tribes that inhabited an area stretching from the Botan River in the south to an area north of Cizre in present-day Turkey. Sometime after 401 BC, they expanded their authority into the northern Tigris valley. Between 165–95 BC, they established the independent kingdom of Gordyene, seemingly as a result of the power vacuum that took place following the weakening of the Greek Seleucid Empire.


  1. Marciak 2017, p. 81.
  2. Shahbazi 2017, p. 127.
  3. "Perseus Encyclopedia, Tabalus, Thurius, Tigranes". www.perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  4. Lucian, Vera Historia, 2.20.2-8.