Armenian Ancient Coin Kingdom Of Armenia Tigranes Ii “the Great” (95-56 B.c.)

Armenian Ancient Coin Kingdom Of Armenia Tigranes Ii “the Great” (95-56 B.c.)

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Armenian Ancient Coin Kingdom Of Armenia Tigranes Ii “the Great” (95-56 B.c.):

Kingdom of Armenia, Tigranes II “the Great” (95-56 B.C.), Silver Tetradrachm, Mint of Antioch. Diademed and draped bust of Tigranes II facing right, wearing a tiara ornamented with a star between two eagles. Rev. Tyche of Antioch seated right on a rock, holding a palm-branch, river god Orontes swimming below to right, monogram on rock
Tigranes the GreatFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThis article is about a king of Armenia in the 1st century BC. For other historical figures with the same name (including other kings of Armenia) seeTigranes.Tigranes the GreatKing of IIbearing hisbust.Reign95–55 BCBuriedTigranakertPredecessorTigranes ISuccessorArtavasdes IIConsortCleopatra of PontusIssueWith Cleopatra, three sons: Zariadres,Artavasdes II, Tigranes & two daughters: one marriedPacorus I of Parthiaand the other marriedMithridates I of Media IorTigranes IHistory of Armenia
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TheKingdom of Armeniaat its greatest extent under Tigranes the Great

Tigranes II(Armenian:Տիգրան Բ), more commonly known asTigranes the Great(Armenian:Տիգրան ՄեծTigran Mets;Greek:Τιγράνης ὁ ΜέγαςTigránes o Mégas) (140–55 BC) was emperor ofArmeniaunder whom the country became, for a short time, the strongest state east of the Roman Republic.[1]He was a member of theArtaxiad Royal House. Under his reign, the Armenian kingdom expanded beyond its traditional boundaries, allowing Tigranes to claim the titleGreat King, and involving Armenia in many battles against opponents such as and theRoman style="line-height: 1.5em; list-style-type: none; margin: 0.3em 0px; padding: 0px; list-style-image: none;">

  • 1Early years
  • 2Alliance with Pontus
  • 3Wars against the Parthians and Seleucids
  • 4Wars against Rome
  • 5Pompey and the reconciliation with Rome
  • 6Halley's comet
  • 7Legacy
    • 7.1In modern culture
  • 8See also
  • 9Notes
  • 10Further reading
  • Early years[edit]

    Tigranes had been a hostage until the age of 40 at the court of KingMithradates IIofParthiawho defeated the Armenians in 105 BCE. Other sources give the date as much earlier, at around 112–111 BCE.[2]After the death of KingTigranes Iin 95 BCE, Tigranes bought his freedom, according toStrabo, by handing over "seventy valleys" inAtropateneto the Parthians.[3]

    When he came to power, the foundation upon which Tigranes was to build his Empire was already in place, a legacy of the founder of the Artaxiad Dynasty,Artaxias I, and subsequent kings. The mountains of Armenia, however, formed natural borders between the different regions of the country and as a result, the feudalisticnakhararshad significant influence over the regions or provinces in which they were based. This did not suit Tigranes, who wanted to create a centralist empire. He thus proceeded by consolidating his power within Armenia before embarking on his campaign.[4]

    He deposed Artanes, the last king of ArmenianSopheneand a descendant ofZariadres.[3]

    Alliance with Pontus[edit]

    During theFirst Mithridatic War(89–85 BCE), Tigranes supportedMithridates VIofPontusbut was careful not to become directly involved in the war.

    He rapidly built up his power, allying with Mithridates VI of Pontus and marrying his daughterCleopatra. Tigranes had agreed that he was to extend his influence in the East, while Mithridates was to conquer Roman land in Asia Minor and in Europe. By creating a stronger Hellenistic state, Mithridates was to contend with the well-established Roman foothold in Europe.[4]Mithridates then put into effect a planned a general attack on Roman and Italians in Asia Minor, tapping into local discontent with the Romans and their taxes and urging the peoples of Asia Minor against all foreign influence. 80,000 people were slaughtered in theprovince of Asia Minor, known as theAsiatic Vespers. The two kings' attempts to controlCappadociaand then the massacres resulted in The senate decided onLucius Cornelius Sulla, who was then one of the current consuls, to be commander of the army against Mithridates.[5]

    Wars against the Parthians and Seleucids[edit]

    After the death ofMithridates II of Parthiain 88 BCE, Tigranes took advantage of the fact that the Parthian Empire had been weakened byScythianinvasions and internal squabbling:

    When he acquired power, he recovered these (seventy) valleys, and devastated the country of the Parthians, the territory about Ninus (Nineveh), and that aboutArbela[disambiguation needed]. He subjected to his authority the Atropatenians , and the Goryaeans (on the UpperTigris); by force of arms he obtained possession also of the rest ofMesopotamiaand, after crossing theEuphrates, ofSyriaand Phoenicea. (Strabo)[6]

    In 83 BC, after a bloody strife for the throne of Syria, governed by the Seleucids, the Syrians decided to choose Tigranes as the protector of their kingdom and offered him the crown ofSyria.[2]Magadates was appointed as his governor in Antioch.[7]He then effectively putting an end to the last remnants of theSeleucid Empire, though a few holdout cities appear to have recognized the shadowy boy-kingSeleucus VII Philometoras the legitimate king during his reign. The southern border of his domain reached as far Many of the inhabitants of conquered cities were sent to his (Latin name, Tigranocerta).

    At its height, his empire extended from thePontic Alps(in modern north-Eastern Turkey) toMesopotamia, and from theCaspian Seato the Mediterranean. Tigranes apparently invaded territories as far away asEcbatanaand took the titleking of kingswhich, at the time, according to their coins, even the Parthian kings did not assume. He was called "Tigranes the Great" by many Western historians and writers, such asPlutarch. The "King of Kings" never appeared in public without having four kings attending him.Cicero, referring to his success in the east, said that he "made the Republic of Rome tremble before the prowess of his arms."[8]

    Tigranes' coin consist oftetradrachmsand copper coins having on the obverse his portrait wearing a decorated Armenian tiara with ear-flaps. The reverse has a completely original design. There are the seatedTyche of Antiochand the river godOrontesat her feet.

    Wars against Rome[edit]Tigranes the Great with four Kings surrounding him

    Mithridates had found refuge in Armenian land after confronting Rome, considering the fact that Tigranes was his ally and relative. The "King of Kings" eventually came into direct contact with Rome. The Roman commander,Lucullus, demanded the expulsion of Mithridates from Armenia – to comply with such a demand would be, in effect, to accept the status of vassal to Rome and this Tigranes refused.[9]Charles Rollins, in hisAncient History, says:

    Tigranes, to whom Lucullus had sent an ambassador, though of no great power in the beginning of his reign, had enlarged it so much by a series of successes, of which there are few examples, that he was commonly surnamed "King of Kings." After having overthrown and almost ruined the family of the kings, successors of the great Seleucus; after having very often humbled the pride of the Parthians, transported whole cities of Greeks into Media, conquered all Syria and Palestine, and given laws to the Arabians called Scenites, he reigned with an authority respected by all the princes of Asia. The people paid him honors after the manners of the East, even to adoration.[10]

    Lucullus' reaction was an attack that was so precipitate that he took Tigranes by surprise. According to Roman historians, the messenger who first brought news of the unexpected Roman attack was executed.[11]Eventually Mithrobazanes, one of Tigranes generals, told Tigranes of the Roman approach. Tigranes was, according to Keaveney, so impressed by Mithrobazanes' courage that he appointed Mithrobazanes to command an army against Lucullus – Mithrobazanes was however defeated and killed.[12]After this defeat Tigranes withdrew north to Armenia to regroup which left Lucullus free to put Tigranocerta under siege.[13]When Tigranes had gathered a large army he returned to confront Lucullus. On October 6, 69 BCE, Tigranes' much larger force was decisively defeated by theRoman armyunder Lucullus in theBattle of Tigranocerta. Tigranes' treatment of the inhabitants (the majority of the population had been forced to move to the city) led disgruntled city guards to open the gates of the city to the Romans. Learning of this, Tigranes hurriedly sent 6000 cavalrymen to the city in order to rescue his wives and some of his assets.[4]Tigranes escaped capture with a small escort.

    On October 6, 68 BCE, the Romans approached the old capital ofArtaxata. Tigranes' and Mithridates' combined Armeno-Pontian army of 70,000 men formed up to face them but were resoundingly defeated. Once again, both Mithridates and Tigranes evaded capture by the victorious Romans. However, the Armenian historians claim that Romans lost the battle of Artaxata and Lucullus' following withdrawal from the Kingdom of Armenia in reality was an escape due to the above-mentioned defeat. The Armenian-Roman wars are depicted inAlexandre Dumas'Voyage to the Caucasus.

    The long campaigning and hardships that Lucullus' troops had endured for years, combined with a perceived lack of reward in the form of plunder,[4]led to successive mutinies among the legions in 68–67. Frustrated by the rough terrain of Northern Armenia and seeing the worsening moral of his troops, Lucullus moved back south and put Nisibis under siege. Tigranes concluded (wrongly) that Nisibis would hold out and sought to regain those parts of Armenia that the Romans had captured.[14]Despite his continuous success in battle, Lucullus could still not capture either one of the monarchs. With Lucullus' troops now refusing to obey his commands, but agreeing to defend positions from attack, thesenatesentGnaeus Pompeyto recall Lucullus to Rome and take over his command.

    Pompey and the reconciliation with Rome[edit]Illustration of Tigranes the Great in 1898 bookIllustrated Armenia and the Armenians

    In 67 BCE[15]Pompeywas given the task of defeating Mithradates and Tigranes.[16]Pompey first concentrated on attacking Mithradates while distracting Tigranes by engineering a Parthian attack on Gordyeyne.[17]Phraates III, the Parthian king was soon persuaded to take things a little further than an anexation of Gordyeyne when a son of Tigranes (also named Tigranes) went to join the Parthians and persuaded Phraates to invade Armenia in an attempt to replace the elder Tigranes with the younger.[18]Tigranes decided not to meet the invasion in the field but instead ensured that his capital, Artaxata, was well defended and withdrew to the hill country. Phraates soon realized that Artaxata would not fall without a protracted siege, the time for which he could not spare due his fear of plots at home. Once Phraates left Tigranes came back down from the hills and drove his son from Armenia. The son then fled to Pompey.[19]

    In 66 BCE, Pompey advanced intoArmeniawith the younger Tigranes, and Tigranes the Great, now almost 75 years old, surrendered.Pompeytreated him generously and allowed him to retain his kingdom shorn of his conquests[20]in return for 6,000talents/ 180tonnesof silver. His unfaithful son was sent back to Rome as a prisoner.

    Tigranes continued to rule Armenia as an ally of Rome until his death in 55/54.[21]

    Halley's comet[edit]

    A recent ABC News article on May 19, 2004 noted that according to the Armenian and Italian researchers, the "symbol on his crown that features a star with a curved tail may represent the passage ofHalley's Cometin 87 BC."[22][23]Tigranes could have seen Halley's comet when it passed closest to the Sun on August 6 in 87, according to the researchers, who said the comet would have been a 'most recordable event'– heralding the New Era of the King of Kings.

    Legacy[edit|edit source]Obverse of the 1993 Armenian 500drams

    Over the course of his conquests, Tigranes founded four cities that bore his name.Tigranakert near SilvanandTigranakert of Artsakhand the two best known ones.

    Armenian Ancient Coin Kingdom Of Armenia Tigranes Ii “the Great” (95-56 B.c.):

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