Tigranes (Orontid)

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Tigran Yervanduni
Unknown painter. Tigranes Orontid.jpg
19th-century rendition of Tigranes
King of Armenia
Reign560 BC – 535 BC
Predecessor Orontes I Sakavakyats
Dynasty Orontid dynasty
Father Orontes I Sakavakyats

Tigranes was an Orontid King of Armenia reigning in the period between 560–535 BC.


According to Moses of Khorene's "History of Armenia, during the reign of Tigranes (Tigran Yervanduni) the territory of Armenia spread for about 400.000 km2. Moses calls him "the wisest, most powerful and bravest of Armenian Kings". [1]

According to Herodotus it was Harpagus who overthrew Astyages with Cyrus, although Cyrus the Great allowed many kings to remain in power by providing tribute to him there. This is to be contrasted with an Armenian legend, which claims that the king of the Medes, Azhdahak (Astyages) dreamed that Tigranes would come to attack him and so plotted to bring about his downfall. War commenced and Tigranes killed Azhdahak and then married his widowed wife Anush (Aryenis).

Xenophon mentions the Armenian King Tigranes in his Cyropaedia , [2] where he states that he was an ally of Cyrus the Great. According to the Armenian author H. Khachatryan, they were hunting companions. Tigranes was a great archer and was always victorious over Cyrus. The latter once decided to organize a tournament in which the participants were to drink ten cups of wine before shooting. Cyrus and Tigranes drank the wine, but, after that, Cyrus the Great took a special herb to counteract the effects of the wine. Tigranes, however, did likewise, and then won the tournament. After that, Cyrus claimed: "No, wine can not win such men like us. No matter how much we drink, we do not get drunk. And I miss only two times of four and you didn't miss at all". [3]

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  1. History of Armenia, Moses of Khorene, http://www.vehi.net/istoriya/armenia/khorenaci/index.html
  2. Xenophon, The Cyropaedia,
  3. Khachatryan, Hayk (2006). 141 Kings of the Armenians . Erevan: Amaras. ISBN   978-99930-1-192-7