Tigranes I

Last updated
Tigranes I
Great King
Obverse Coin of Tigranes I.jpg
Coin of Tigranes I
King of Armenia
Reign120 – 95 BC (disputed)
Predecessor Artavasdes I
Successor Tigranes II the Great
Died95 BC
Issue Two sons:
Tigranes II
Guras
House Artaxiad
Father Artaxias I
Mother Satenik (?)

Tigranes I (Ancient Greek : Τιγράνης) was an Artaxiad king of Armenia at the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 1st century BC. Few records have survived about his and his predecessor Artavasdes I's reign, which has led to some confusion. [1] Some modern scholars have doubted that such a king reigned at all. [2] [3] Other historians, such as Hakob Manandian, David Marshall Lang and Rouben Paul Adalian consider him a real figure but differ or are uncertain on the exact dates of his reign. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] Although it has been proposed that Tigranes I reigned from 123 BC to 96 BC, [9] [11] this view has been criticized. [3] Another suggestion is that Tigranes I ruled in 120 BC - 95 BC and this has been recently corroborated by historian Christian Marek. [5] [12]

Contents

Name

The name Tigránēs (Τιγράνης) is the Greek form of Old Iranian Tigrāna (TigranՏիգրան in Armenian). [13] The exact etymology is disputed but it is likely an Old Iranian patronymic formation of the suffix *-āna- and the name *Tigrā- (meaning 'slender'). [14] [15] The Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi mentions a Tiran, "son of Artaxias and brother of Artavasdes", who has been identified as Tigranes I. [4] [16] [17]

Background

Tigranes I is assumed to be the fourth oldest son of five between Artaxias I and Satenik.[ according to whom? ] He ascended to the throne due to Artavasdes I not having an available heir, as well as his other brothers being kicked out of the royal estates by Artavasdes I. [18] [19] [4] [20] [1] [8] He was made sparapet (commander) over the western army by Artaxias I. [18]

After the departure of Artaxias's most trusted general, Smbat Bagratuni, Tigranes's brother, Mazhan, requested King Artaxias that Artavasdes's and Tigranes's roles be stripped from the army and instead be entrusted to Zariadres. Artaxias rejected the request and Mazhan began plotting against Tigranes. However, Artavasdes and Tigranes caught wind of the plot and ambushed and killed Mazhan during a hunting trip. They then buried him at Bagaran. [18]

Seleucid and Iberian invasion

In 165/4 BC, the Seleucid army, led by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, invaded Armenia and defeated Tigranes's army, forcing him to retreat to Basen and await aid from Artavasdes I and Smbat Bagratuni. Eventually the Armenian army defeated the Seleucid army, which had to return to Syria due to internal troubles at home. [18] Tigranes's brother, Zariadres was captured after a defeat in Javakhk, three years later Tigranes, Artavasdes, and Smbat marched towards Trialeti, but negotiate for Zariadres's freedom, as well as scoring an alliance with the Iberian kingdom while ceding Javakhk and Ardahan. [21] [18]

Parthian invasion

In 120 BC, the Parthian king Mithradates II invaded Armenia. Artavasdes I was forced to give Tigranes's son, the future Tigranes II the Great, to Mithradates II as a hostage and recognize Parthian suzerainty over Armenia. [22] [23]

Near East in 100 BC, during Tigran I's reign. Armenia is shown in green Alter Orient 0100BC.svg
Near East in 100 BC, during Tigran I's reign. Armenia is shown in green

Reign

In 120 BC, after the death of Artavasdes I, Tigranes I ascended the throne. [5] [12] Hakob Manandian, citing Strabo, mentions that Tigranes I put up a strong resistance against the Parthians and successfully defended Armenia and faced no conflict afterwards. [24] [25] He also stripped the Vahevunis of their priesthood after finding out that they had moved the gold plated statue of Vahagn located in Armavir to their domain in Ashtishat after the death of Artaxias I. [26] [27] [18]

Tigranes entered into a rivalry with a Bznuni prince named Datake, who boasted that he was richer than the king. Tigranes also had to deal with the inheritance issues of his and other families, as his relatives living in the region of Hashteank complained that there was not enough land to divide among themselves. Tigranes told them to move to Aghiovit or Arberan; however, they protested. Eventually Tigranes told them that they either move to Arberan or Aghiovit or split what they had among themselves. Seeing that not enough land could be split among themselves in Hashteank, some of the Artaxiads moved. [18]

Tigranes also gave away Artavasdes's holdings to an Andzevatsi prince named Erakhnavu, who was a distinguished man and had married the last of Artavasdes's wives. He was eventually made second rank and sparapet of the eastern army. He also took care of Druasp, a Persian friend who had become related by marriage to the princes of Vaspurakan and was given the town of Tateawn and its estates, and vineyards as well as establishing his court in the town of Chrmes in the region of Ekegheats. [18]

Tigranes married his daughter Eraneak to a man named Trdat Bagratuni, who was the son of Smbatuhi, the daughter of Smbat Bagratuni. Eraneak hater her husband, complaining about Trdat's ugly appearance. This angered Trdat and he beat Ereneak severely, dragging her outside. He then entered in rebellion to secure the regions of Media; however, upon arriving in Syunik, he received the news of Tigranes's death and ended the rebellion. Tigranes died in a snowstorm in around 95 BC. [18]

After his death, Tigranes II, who was given as hostage to the Parthians by Artavasdes I, returned from his captivity in Parthia and assumed the throne. [28] According to Appian, Tigranes II was the son Tigranes I. [29] This view has also been supported by modern research. [4] [20] [1] [30]

Barring the conflict with Parthians, the reign of Tigranes I has been described as generally peaceful and devoid of major external events. [31]

Coinage

Coin minted during Tigranes I's reign, eagle on the reverse. Coin of Tigranes I with eagle.jpg
Coin minted during Tigranes I's reign, eagle on the reverse.

According to Kovacs, only three types of coins have been attributed to Tigranes I, all with the Greek inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΤΙΓΡΑΝΟΥ ('King Tigranes the Great') and depicting Tigranes I wearing a five-pointed tiara. The reverses of these coins either depicts an eagle standing, a cornucopia with a grape cluster, or a thunderbolt. [32]

Coin of a deified Tigranes I, minted during Tigranes II's reign. Elephant on the reverse. The word ThEOU
('divine') is visible. Coin of Tigranes I Deified.jpg
Coin of a deified Tigranes I, minted during Tigranes II's reign. Elephant on the reverse. The word ΘΕΟΥ ('divine') is visible.

Following the death of Tigranes I, his son Tigranes II proclaimed him as a god and minted coins with his image and the inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΤΙΓΡΑΝΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ ('King Tigranes the Great and Divine'). Six of these coins were issued, three of which being minted in Artaxata and the other three minted in Tigranocerta. The reverses of these coins either depict an elephant, horse, lion, or the goddess Nike holding a wreath or palm. [32]

Coin of Tigranes II, commonly misattributed to Tigranes I. Coin of the Artaxiad king Tigranes I.jpg
Coin of Tigranes II, commonly misattributed to Tigranes I.

Some numismatists such as Bedoukian and Nupertlian have argued that the coins depicting a crude bust of a beardless king facing left is attributed to Tigranes I. [35] [36] [34] However, Kovacs attributes them to Tigranes II, citing the regnal year visible on the reverse. They were also minted in Nisibis, which was not under Armenian control during the time of Tigranes I. [32] [33]

Family

Tigranes I had four brothers: his predecessor Artavasdes I, Zariadres, Vruyr and Mazhan. [37] Although Alan princess Satenik has been shown to be Artaxias I's wife, [38] there is no concrete evidence that she was their mother.

Tigranes I had two sons and a daughter, his successor Tigranes II (r.95–55 BC) and Guras, who is mentioned by Plutarch as the governor of Nisibis, and Eraneak, who was married off to Trdat Bagratuni. [39] [40] [41] [18] Guras was later captured by Roman general Lucullus. [39] Judging by Roman author Lucian's Macrobii, Tigranes II was born to Tigranes I in c. 140 BC. [42] [43] [ failed verification ]

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.

This is a list of notable Armenians.

<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">Artaxias I</span> Founder of the Artaxiad dynasty of Armenia (r. 189 BC-160 BC)

Artaxias I was the founder of the Artaxiad dynasty of Armenia, ruling from 189 BC to 160 BC. Artaxias was a member of a branch of the Orontid dynasty, the earlier ruling dynasty of Armenia. He expanded his kingdom on all sides, consolidating the territory of Greater Armenia. He enacted a number of administrative reforms to order his expanded realm. He also founded a new capital in the central valley of the Araxes River called Artaxata (Artashat), which quickly grew into a major urban and commercial center. He was succeeded by his son Artavasdes I.

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

Artaxias II, also known as Artaxes II and Artashes was a prince of the Kingdom of Armenia, member of the Artaxiad dynasty and King of Armenia from 34 BC until 20 BC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Artavasdes I of Armenia</span>

Artavasdes I was the Artaxiad king of Armenia from approximately 160 BC to 115 BC. He was the son and successor of Artaxias I. Little is known about his reign. He is the subject of ancient Armenian folk traditions, which are recorded by later Armenian authors.

The Arsacid dynasty, called the Arshakuni in Armenian, ruled the Kingdom of Armenia from 12 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, brother of Parthian King Vologases I, secured Arsacid rule in Armenia as a client king of Rome. However, he did not succeed in establishing his line on the throne, and various princes of different Arsacid lineages ruled until the accession of Vologases II, who succeeded in establishing his own line on the Armenian throne, which ruled the kingdom until its abolishment by the Sasanian Empire in 428.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Artaxiad dynasty</span> Ruling dynasty of ancient Armenia from 189 BC to 12 AD

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.

Erato was a queen of Armenia from the Artaxiad dynasty. She co-ruled as Roman client queen in 8–5 BC and 2 BC–AD 1 with Tigranes IV. After living in political exile for a number of years, she co-ruled as Roman client queen from 6 until 12 with Tigranes V, her distant paternal relative and possible second husband. She may be viewed as one of the last hereditary rulers of her nation.

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">Tigranes V of Armenia</span> Roman Client King of Armenia (16 BC – 36 AD) (r. 6–12 AD)

Tigranes V, also known as Tigran V was a Herodian prince who ruled as a Roman client king of Armenia from 6 AD to 12 AD.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tigranes IV</span> King of Armenia

Tigranes IV was a prince of the Kingdom of Armenia and member of the Artaxiad dynasty who served as a Roman client king of Armenia from 8 BC until 5 BC and 2 BC until 1 AD.

Satenik was an Alanian princess who, according to Armenian tradition, married Artashes, the king of Armenia. The Artashes in the tradition is identified with the 2nd-century BC king Artaxias I, although it is generally believed that the real historical basis for the story came from the invasion of Armenia by the Alans in the 1st century AD, during the reign of Tiridates I. The story of Artashes and Satenik forms a part of the ancient Armenian epic known as Vipasank῾, fragments of which are presented by the Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi in his History of Armenia. Movses notes that the story, which he directly quotes from, was a well-known epic during his time among the common people of Armenia told by traveling storytellers and minstrels. The name and character of Satenik are connected with Satana, a figure in the folklore of the Ossetians and other peoples of the North Caucasus.

<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">Bagratuni dynasty</span> Royal dynasty of Armenia

The Bagratuni or Bagratid dynasty was an Armenian royal dynasty which ruled the medieval Kingdom of Armenia from c. 885 until 1045. Originating as vassals of the Kingdom of Armenia of antiquity, they rose to become the most prominent Armenian noble family during the period of Arab rule in Armenia, eventually establishing their own independent kingdom. Their domain included regions of Armenia such as Shirak, Bagrevand, Kogovit, Syunik, Lori, Vaspurakan, Vanand and Taron. Many historians, such as Cyril Toumanoff, Nicholas Adontz and Ronald Suny, consider them to be the progenitors of the Georgian royal Bagrationi dynasty.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Artaxata</span> Capital of the ancient Kingdom of Armenia

Artashat, Hellenized as Artaxata and Artaxiasata (Ἀρταξιάσατα), was a major city and commercial center of ancient Armenia which served as the capital of the Kingdom of Armenia from its founding in 176 BC to 120 AD, with some interruptions. It was founded during reign of King Artaxias I (Artashes), the founder of the Artaxiad dynasty. Its ruins are located in the Ararat Province of modern-day Armenia, on the left bank of the Araks River, at the site of the monastery of Khor Virap. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times from the 1st to the 5th centuries AD, before finally being abandoned.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Military campaigns of Tigranes the Great</span>

The military campaigns of Tigranes the Great constituted offensives by Tigranes the Great, King of Armenia, against client kingdoms of the Roman and Parthian Empires. His conquests from 95 to 75 bce expanded his territory from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean. He built a new capital Tigranocerta and populated it with people deported from Cappadocia. His initial invasions of Cappadocia drew the attention of the Roman Empire and after being defeated in two separate campaigns, Tigranes was allowed to keep Armenia as a client kingdom of Rome while paying an indemnity of 6,000 talents and relinquishing all his conquests.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Garsoïan 1997, p. 52.
  2. Foss 1986, p. 48.
  3. 1 2 Sullivan 1973, p. 25.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Manandian 1945, p. 135.
  5. 1 2 3 Schottky 1989, p. 242.
  6. de Morgan 1965, p. 402.
  7. Lang 1980, p. 125.
  8. 1 2 Adalian 2010, p. 19.
  9. 1 2 Bedoukian 1978, p. 9.
  10. Nercessian 1995, p. 55.
  11. Garsoïan 1997, p. 62.
  12. 1 2 Marek 2016, p. 570.
  13. Acharian 1942, p. 146-147.
  14. Tavernier 2007, p. 324.
  15. Schmitt 2005.
  16. Nahapetyan 2017, p. 70.
  17. Movses Khorenatsi, Գիրք Բ. ԿԱ.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Moses, of Khoren, activeth century (1978). History of the Armenians. Robert W. Thomson. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN   0-674-39571-9. OCLC   3168093.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. Bedoukian 1968, p. 43.
  20. 1 2 Manandian 2007, p. 19.
  21. The Georgian chronicles of Kʻartʻlis Cʻxovreba (A History of Georgia) : translated and with commentary. Stephen Jones, Roin Metreveli, Sakʿartʿvelos mecʿnierebatʿa akademia. Komissii︠a︡ po istochnikam istorii Gruzii. Tʻbilisi. 2014. ISBN   978-9941-445-52-1. OCLC   883445390.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  22. Højte, Jakob Munk (2009). Mithridates VI and the Pontic Kingdom. Santa Barbara: Aarhus University Press. ISBN   978-87-7934-655-0. OCLC   818118033.
  23. Garsoïan, Nina (2005). "TIGRAN II". Encyclopaedia Iranica Online. doi:10.1163/2330-4804_eiro_com_1382 . Retrieved 2023-03-03.
  24. Manandian 1945, p. 134-135.
  25. Strabo, XVI 19.
  26. Movses Khorenatsi, Գիրք Բ. ԺԲ-ԺԴ.
  27. Margaryan 2018, p. 295.
  28. Garsoïan 1997, p. 54.
  29. Appian, The Syrian Wars. 48.
  30. Redgate 2000, p. 77.
  31. Aghayan 1971, p. 551.
  32. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Kovacs, Frank L. (2016). Armenian coinage in the classical period. Lancaster, Pennsylvania. ISBN   978-0-9837652-4-0. OCLC   956380761.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  33. 1 2 Nurpetlian, Jack. "Ancient Armenian Coins, the Artaxiad Dynasty (189 BC - AD 6).pdf".{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  34. 1 2 Bedoukian 1968, p. 52.
  35. Bedoukian 1968, p. 58.
  36. Bedoukian 1978, p. 10.
  37. Sargsyan 1991, p. 51.
  38. Margaryan 2018, p. 292.
  39. 1 2 Plutarch, Volume 3. page 270.
  40. Encyclopedia Iranica, Tigran II.
  41. Kurkjian 1958, p. 82.
  42. Lucian. Macrobii, 15.
  43. Encyclopedia Britannica, Tigranes II The Great.

Bibliography

Tigranes I
Preceded by King of Armenia
120 BC – 95 BC
Succeeded by