Tiridat I iz Armenije

Tiridat I iz Armenije

Tiridat I. (Trdat I.) vladao je kao kralj Armenije od 63. do 75. ili 88. godine naše ere). Smatra se utemeljiteljem same dinastije Arsacida, njegova je vladavina započela s teškoćama invazijama iz Rima i Partije, no, jednom kad je okrunjen na raskošnoj ceremoniji u Rimu koju je vodio sam Neron, armenski je kralj vladao relativno mirno i vrlo uspješno dva desetljeća. Kada se točno završila njegova vladavina sporno je zbog oprečnih drevnih izvora, ali naslijedio ga je (vjerojatno) njegov sin Sanatruk II koji je nastavio s očevim uspjehom u uravnoteživanju Armenije na diplomatskoj uzici za koju se činilo da je predodređena da zauvijek zauzme dvije regionalne velesile.

Sukcesija

Tiridat I. od Armenije bio je brat partskog kralja Vologasija I. (zvanog Vagharsh, r. C. 51.- do 80. godine naše ere, sporni datumi) koji je napao Armeniju 52. godine nove ere s posebnom svrhom postavljanja Tiridata na prijestolje. Rimsko carstvo ipak nije bilo zadovoljno pasivno dopustiti Parthiju u ono što su smatrali tampon zonom između dviju velikih sila. Nadalje, u Rim je stiglo veleposlanstvo koje je predstavljalo prorimsku frakciju u Armeniji i zatražili su izravnu pomoć. Slijedom toga, rimski car Neron (r. 54-68. N. E.) Poslao je vojsku pod svojim najboljim generalom Gnejem Domitijem Corbulom 54. godine naše ere kako bi obnovila rimski utjecaj u regiji.

Tiridate je podržavala većina armenskog naroda koji je iz povijesnih i kulturnih razloga više naklonjen Partiji nego Rimu.

Prvo je Corbulo dobio zadatak osigurati i Siriju i malo kraljevstvo Sophene (Dsopk) kako bi pojačao prisutnost Rima u regiji i podsjetio Parthu protiv koga se bore. Kada je Partija 58. godine naše ere proglasila Armeniju vazalnom državom, Corbulo se preselio na sjever i napao samu Armeniju. Do vremena kada su Rimljani stigli u Tiridatino kraljevstvo, Vologasi su bili prisiljeni povući se radi rješavanja unutarnjih problema u Partiji, ali Tiridati su ostali u armenskom glavnom gradu Artaxati (Artashat). Tiridate je zapravo podržavala većina armenskog naroda koji je iz povijesnih i kulturnih razloga više naklonjen Partiji nego Rimu.

Corbulo se ponovno pokazao kao vrlo sposoban zapovjednik na terenu i uz logističku podršku rimskih brodova na Crnom moru uzeo je i uništio dva najvažnija citata - Artaxata i Tigranocerta. Do 60. godine nove ere mogao je tvrditi da vlada cijelim armenskim kraljevstvom, a Tiridat je bio prisiljen pobjeći natrag svom bratu u Partiju. Iste godine Tigranes V, koji je imao impresivne kraljevske veze budući da je bio unuk Heroda Velikog, postavljen je na prijestolje kao prorimski monarh, ali će izdržati samo dok ga Partnjani ne pošalju vojskom da ga opsjeda u lijevo od Tigranocerte. Nakon toga, Tigranes nestaje sa stranica povijesti nakon najkraćeg kamejskog pojavljivanja na armenskim kraljevskim popisima.

62. godine naše ere Partija je odnijela pobjedu protiv rimske vojske (vjerojatno, možda, više nije zapovijedala Corbulo), ali 63. godine poslije Krista vratili su se Rimljani i Corbulo i njihova je prijetnja bila dovoljna da se sastavi Randski ugovor (nazvan po mjestu u zapadnoj Armeniji). Sada je dogovoreno da Partija ima pravo imenovati armenske kraljeve, Rim pravo da ih okruni, a obje će sile podjednako vladati Armenijom s kraljem kao predstavnikom. Neronu je tako dana privilegija da okruni Tiridate u Rimu u raskošnom spektaklu koji je učinio mnogo da pokaže moć i globalni domet Rimskog Carstva.

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Krunidba Tiridata

66. godine, dakle, Tiridat je simbolično predstavio svoju krunu Neronovom liku, a zatim je otputovao u veliki grad Rim kako bi je ponovno primio iz carevih ruku. Krećući se kopnenim putem, impresivna pratnja, koja je uključivala uskoro buduću kraljevu ženu (koja nosi zlatnu kacigu i masku za lice umjesto vela), njegovu djecu, širu obitelj i 3.000 dvorjana, plemića, svećenika i tjelohranitelja iz Armenije, Partija i Rim, koračali prema zapadu. Kad se Nero ponudio podmiriti putne troškove, možda nije ni zamislio takav popis gostiju. Nije iznenadilo ni to što je cijela družina stigla u Napulj nakon devet mjeseci na putu, zakasnili su. Runda gladijatorskih i atletskih igara otvorila je svečanosti prije stvarne krunidbe u Rimskom forumu. Tamo su, klečeći pred carem, Tiridati morali izrecitirati ono što će postati poznata istočnjačka formula pokornosti:

Učitelju ... Došao sam k tebi, bože moj, da ti se poklonim kao što činim Mitru. Sudbina koju mi ​​vrtiš bit će moja, jer ti si moja sreća i moja sudbina. (Payaslian, 29)

Nero je odgovorio:

Dobro ste učinili što ste došli ovamo da osobno uživate u mojoj prisutnosti. Ono što vam vaš otac nije ostavio i što vam vaša braća nisu sačuvala, ja vam se slažem i činim vas kraljem Armenije, tako da vi, kao i oni, znaju da imam moć uzeti daleko i darovati kraljevstva. (Kurkjian, 78)

Kralj je tada okrunjen i dopušteno mu je da sjedne na prijestolje pored Nerona, iako nešto niže od onog rimskog cara. Slavlje se zatim nastavilo u Pompejevu kazalištu koje je Nero, istina, potpuno ukrasio svjetlucavim zlatnim i tirijskim ljubičastim baldahinima kao raskošan carski bonus. Rimljani su voljeli prizor i krunidba Tiridata zasigurno im je priuštila taj prizor; doista, nakon toga, dan slavlja nosio je epitet "zlatni". Kad je zabava završila, Neron je dao Tiridat na oproštaj od 2 milijuna sestercija i poslao ga na put obnove Armenije.

Prosperitetna vladavina

S takvim naletom drevnih izvora koji su navirali nad Tiridatovim krunidbom, prilično je razočaravajuće što znamo tako malo o ostatku njegove vladavine. Znamo da su Rimljani zatim postavili pregršt garnizona na tom području kako bi osigurali poštivanje Randskog ugovora, ali općenito je, kako su planirale sve tri strane, postojalo održivo razdoblje mira.

Garnijev natpis otkriva da se Tiridat sada nazivao "Sunce" i "Vrhovni vladar Armenije".

Blagostanje kraljevstva, temeljeno na prirodnim resursima, poljoprivredi i trgovini, omogućilo je Tiridatima da sagrade novu ljetnu rezidenciju u Garniju. Veličanstveni utvrđeni kompleks izgrađen od bijelog vapnenca, hvalio se svim sadržajima bilo koje palače bilo gdje u klasičnom svijetu. Postojale su rimske kupelji, vrtovi, dvorišta, sobe prekrivene mozaikom, pa čak i veliki rimski hram za kralja dok je boravio (koji stoji i danas). Garnijev natpis otkriva da se Tiridat sada nazivao "Sunce" i "Vrhovni vladar Armenije". Ostali značajni projekti tog razdoblja uključivali su obnovu Artaxate nakon što ju je Corbulo uništio, a za koju su rimski pisci zapisali da je preimenovana u Neroniju u čast kraljevog velikog dobročinitelja. Hram sjeverno od tog grada bio je posvećen bogu Tir. Konačno, kralj je odvojio niz imanja za hodočasnike da se poklone nekim od njegovih rođaka, na kraju krajeva, on je sada bio bog Sunca Helios. Poljoprivredna proizvodnja i posljedični danak s ovih mjesta također su dali zgodan poticaj kraljevskoj riznici.

Unatoč dobrim vremenima, uskoro će se podsjetiti na status Armenije kao kraljevstva klijenta. Rimski car Vespazijan (r. 69.-79. N. E.) Pobrinuo se apsolutno da više nikakva područja u regiji ne padnu pod vladavinu Partija anektirajući kraljevstva Commagene i Mala Armenija 72. godine. Iste godine (ili možda sljedeće) nomadski narod Alani privremeno je napao Armeniju, ali Tiridati su ostali neoštećeni. Možda je došlo i do armenske invazije na Iberiju (moderna Gruzija), ali detalji nedostaju u sada nijemim povijesnim zapisima.

Nasljednik i dinastija Arsacid

Tiridat I. smatra se utemeljiteljem dugo vladajuće dinastije Arsacida (Arshakuni) koja će trajati do 428. godine. Dinastija je zapravo imala svog prvog kralja 12. godine poslije Krista nasljedstvom Vonona (Vonones), ali nestabilnost armenskog prijestolja i mnogi kratko vladajući monarhi nakon Vonona doveli su do toga da su neki povjesničari zauzeli Tiridate, s njegovim stabilnijim režimom i njegovi nasljednici, kao pravi utemeljitelj dinastije. Kad je Tiridat umro, naslijedio ga je (vjerojatno) njegov sin Sanatruk II koji će vladati do 109. godine.

Ovaj je članak omogućen uz velikodušnu podršku Nacionalnog udruženja za armenske studije i istraživanja i Fonda vitezova Vartana za armenske studije.


Tiridat I

Odabrane reference

... htio sam da njegov drugi brat, Tiridat, bude kralj Armenije - stavljajući ga u položaj da raskine s Rimom, koji mu se vojno suprotstavio. Po zapovijedi Nerona, rimski vojskovođa Corbulo osigurao je Armeniju, ali je njegova operacija prekinuta razmjenom veleposlanika. Konačno je postignut sporazum: 66…

Kad je armenski Tiridat priznao rimskog cara Nerona za svog vrhovnog gospodara, izveo je mitrajsku ceremoniju, ukazujući da je bog ugovora i prijateljstva uspostavio dobre odnose između Armenaca i moćnih Rimljana. Kraljevi Commagenea (jugoistočno od Turske) častili su Mitru.…

Udruženje sa

... vlasti vjeruju da je brat, Tiridat I., naslijedio Arsacesa oko 248. godine i vladao sve dok 211 druga vlast nije smatrala Arsacesa I i Tiridata I istom osobom.)

... godinama, jedan partski princ po imenu Tiridat, učinio se kraljem Armenije uz potporu njezina naroda. Kao odgovor, Neronova nova vlada poduzela je energične mjere, imenovavši sposobnog generala, Gneja Domicija Korbula, za zapovjedništvo. Dugotrajne vojne operacije Corbula dovele su 66. godine do novog naselja Tiridates je bio ...


Uznesenja

53. rimski namjesnik Kapadokije Paelignus napao je Armeniju i opustošio zemlju, tada pod iberijskim uzurpatorom kraljem Radamistom. Sirijski namjesnik Quadratus poslao je snage da poprave te zločine, ali je opozvan kako ne bi izazvao rat s Partijom. Partski kralj Vologases I. iskoristio je priliku i napao Armeniju, osvojio Artaxatu i proglasio svog brata Tiridata za kralja. Zimska epidemija prisilila ga je da povuče svoje trupe iz Armenije, dopuštajući Radamistu da se vrati i kazni mještane kao izdajnike koji su se na kraju pobunili i zamijenili ga partijskim knezom Tiridatom početkom 55. Radamisto je pobjegao zajedno sa svojom ženom Zenobijom. Zenobija je zarobljena, ali Tiridati su se prema njoj ponašali kao prema kraljevskoj kraljici. Sam Radamisto vratio se u Iberiju i njegov otac Parasmanes I od Iberije ubrzo ga je usmrtio zbog spletkarenja protiv kraljevske vlasti.


Monarhi slični ili poput Tiridata I. Armenskog

Monarhija na antičkom Bliskom istoku koja je postojala od 321. pr. Kr. Do 428. godine. Njegovu povijest dijele na uzastopne vladavine tri kraljevske dinastije: Orontid (321. pr. Kr. - 200. pr. Kr.), Artaxiad (189. pr. Kr. - 12. poslije Krista) i Arsacid (52-428). Nastalo je s područja Kraljevine Ararat (860. pr. Kr. - 590. pr. Kr.) Nakon što ga je Medijsko Carstvo osvojilo 590. pr. Satrapija je postala kraljevstvo 321. godine prije Krista za vrijeme vladavine dinastije Orontida nakon što je Aleksandar Veliki osvojio Perziju, koja je tada uključena u jedno od helenističkih kraljevstava Seleukidskog Carstva. Wikipedija

Velika iranska politička i kulturna moć u starom Iranu od 247. godine prije Krista do 224. godine. Njegovo posljednje ime potječe od njegovog osnivača, Arsacesa I, koji je vodio pleme Parni u osvajanju regije Parthia u Iranu na sjeveroistoku, tada satrapije pod Andragorom, u pobuni protiv Seleukidskog carstva. Mitridat I (r. Wikipedia

Kraljevski princ iz dinastije Pharnavazid Kraljevine Iberije koji je vladao nad Kraljevstvom Armenija od 51. do 53. i 54. do 55. Smatra se uzurpatorom i tiranom, koji je svrgnut u pobuni koju je podržalo Partsko carstvo. Wikipedija

Borio se između Rimskog carstva i Partskog carstva za kontrolu nad Armenijom, vitalnom zaštitnom državom između dva carstva. Armenija je bila rimska država klijent od vremena cara Augusta, ali su 52./53. Godine Partđani uspjeli postaviti svog kandidata, Tiridata, na armensko prijestolje. Wikipedija

Kralj kraljeva Partskog carstva od 51. do 78. Sin i nasljednik Vononesa II (r. Wikipedia

Povijest Armenije pokriva teme povezane s poviješću Republike Armenije, kao i armenskog naroda, armenskog jezika i regija koje se povijesno i zemljopisno smatraju armenskim. Armenija leži u gorju koje okružuje biblijske planine Ararat. Wikipedija

Popis armenskih monarha, za više informacija o staroj Armeniji i Armencima, pogledajte Povijest Armenije. Za informacije o srednjovjekovnom armenskom kraljevstvu u Kilikiji, pogledajte zasebnu stranicu Armensko kraljevstvo Kilikija. Wikipedija

Arsacidni princ, koji je vladao kao kralj kraljeva Partskog carstva od 8. do 12., a zatim kasnije kao kralj Armenije od 12. do 18. Najstariji sin Fralata IV ((r. Wikipedia

Kralj Partskog carstva od 40. do 51. Usvojeni sin Artabana II. Wikipedija

Armenski princ iz armenske dinastije Arsacid koji je živio u drugoj polovici 4. stoljeća i vjerojatno prvoj polovici 5. stoljeća. Sin je rođen od armenskih monarha Khosrova IV i Zruanduxt -a, dok mu je brat bio Tigranes. Wikipedija

Princ koji je služio kao rimski klijent kralj armenske arsakididske zemlje. Vologases je služio kao sukralj sa svojim bratom Arsacesom III od 378. do 386. Wikipedia


Sadržaj

Tiridat I. bio je jedan od sinova koje je Vonones II., Kralj Medije Atropatene, a kasnije kralj Partije, rodila grčka konkubina. [8] O Tiridatinoj mladosti, koju je proveo u Media Atropatenu, ne zna se gotovo ništa. "Tiridi" znači "dano od Tira". Tir je bio armensko-partski bog književnosti, znanosti i umjetnosti temeljen na avestanskoj Tishtryi i stopljen s grčkim Apolonom. [9]

51. godine poslije Krista rimski prokurator Kapadokije Julije Paelignus napao je Armeniju i opustošio zemlju, tada pod iberijskim uzurpatorom Rhadamistusom. Rhadamistus je ubio svog ujaka Mitridata, zakonitog armenskog kralja, namamivši rimski garnizon koji ga je štitio izvan tvrđave Gornea. [10] Djelujući bez uputa, Paelignus je priznao Rhadamista za novog armenskog kralja. Sirijski namjesnik Ummidius Quadratus poslao je Helvidija Priska s legijom da popravi ove zločine, no on je opozvan kako ne bi izazvao rat s Partijom. [10]

52. godine poslije Kralj Vologases I. iz Partije iskoristio je priliku da napadne Armeniju, osvojivši Artaxatu (Artashat u Armeniji) i proglasivši za kralja svog mlađeg brata Tiridata I. [11] Ovim postupkom prekršen je ugovor koji su potpisali rimski car August i partski kralj Fraat IV., Koji je Rimljanima dao izričito pravo imenovanja i okrunjavanja armenskih kraljeva. [12] Vologase za koje sam smatrao da su armensko prijestolje nekoć bili vlasništvo njegovih predaka, a danas ih je uzurpirao strani monarh zbog zločina. [13] Zimska epidemija, kao i pobuna koju je pokrenuo njegov sin Vardanes, natjerali su ga da povuče svoje trupe iz Armenije, dopuštajući Rhadamistu da se vrati i kazni mještane kao izdajnike, na kraju su se pobunili i zamijenili ga knezom Tiridatom I. početkom 55. godine. [14] Rhadamistus je pobjegao zajedno sa suprugom Zenobijom koja je bila trudna. Budući da nije mogla nastaviti bježati, zamolila je muža da joj okonča život, umjesto da bude zarobljen. Rhadamistus ju je izbo Medijanskim bodežom i bacio joj tijelo u rijeku Araxes. Zenobia nije smrtno ozlijeđena, a oporavili su je pastiri koji su je poslali u Tiridat. Tiridete Ljubazno sam je primio i tretirao je kao pripadnicu monarhije. [15] Sam Rhadamistus se vratio u Iberiju, a njegov otac Parasmanes I od Iberije ubrzo ga je usmrtio zbog spletkarenja protiv kraljevske vlasti. [10]


Tiridat I iz Armenije

Tiridati I (armenski: Տ ր դ ա տ Ա, Trdat A Parthian:, T īrid āt grčki: Τ ι ρ ι   x03c2, Tirid átes) bio je armenski kralj počevši od 53. godine nove ere i utemeljitelj armenske dinastije Arsacida. Datumi njegova rođenja i smrti nisu poznati. Njegovu ranu vladavinu obilježio je kratki prekid krajem 54. godine i mnogo duža vladavina od 58. do 63. godine. U sporazumu o rješavanju rimsko-partijskog sukoba u Armeniji i oko nje, Tiridata I. (jednog od braće Vologasesa I. iz Partije) rimski car Neron je u budućnosti 66. biti partski princ, ali je za njegovo imenovanje bilo potrebno odobrenje Rimljana. Iako je to Armeniju učinilo klijentskim kraljevstvom, različiti suvremeni rimski izvori mislili su da je Neron de facto ustupio Armeniju Partskom carstvu.

Osim što je bio kralj, Tiridat I. bio je i zoroastrijski svećenik, a pratili su ga i drugi magovi na svom putu u Rim 66. godine. Početkom 20. stoljeća Franz Cumont nagađao je da je Tiridat bio ključan u razvoju mitraizma koji je postao glavna religija rimske vojske i proširio se po cijelom carstvu. Nadalje, tijekom svoje vladavine započeo je reformu administrativne strukture Armenije, reformu koju su nastavili njegovi nasljednici, a koja je u nju unijela mnoge iranske carine i urede.

Tiridat I jedan je od glavnih likova u operi Radamisto Georgea Friderica Handela i operi Octavia Reinharda Keisera.

Tiridat I. bio je jedan od sinova koje je Vonones II., Kralj Medije Atropatene, a kasnije kralj Partije, rodila grčka konkubina. Gotovo se ništa ne zna o Tiridatovoj mladosti koju je proveo u Media Atropatenu. & quotTiridates & quot znači & quotdaje Tir & quot. Tir je bio armensko-partski bog književnosti, znanosti i umjetnosti temeljen na avestanskoj Tishtryi i stopljen s grčkim Apolonom.

51. godine poslije Krista rimski prokurator Kapadokije Julije Paelignus napao je Armeniju i opustošio zemlju, tada pod iberijskim uzurpatorom Rhadamistusom. Rhadamistus je ubio svog ujaka Mitridata, zakonitog armenskog kralja, namamivši rimski garnizon koji ga je štitio izvan tvrđave Gornea. Djelujući bez uputa, Paelignus je priznao Rhadamistusa za novog armenskog kralja. Sirijski namjesnik Ummidius Quadratus poslao je Helvidija Priska s legijom da popravi ove zločine, no on je opozvan kako ne bi izazvao rat s Partijom.

52. godine poslije Krista Vologases I. iz Partije iskoristio je priliku da napadne Armeniju, osvoji Artaxata (Artashat u Armeniji) i proglasi svog kralja svog mlađeg brata Tiridata I. Ovim postupkom prekršen je ugovor koji su potpisali rimski car August i partski kralj Fraat IV., Koji je Rimljanima dao izričito pravo imenovanja i okrunjavanja armenskih kraljeva. Vologases I smatrao sam da je armensko prijestolje nekad bilo vlasništvo njegovih predaka, a danas ga je uzurpirao strani monarh zbog zločina. Zimska epidemija, kao i pobuna koju je pokrenuo njegov sin Vardanes, prisilili su ga da povuče svoje trupe iz Armenije, dopuštajući Rhadamistu da se vrati i kazni mještane kao izdajice koje su na kraju pobunili i zamijenili ga knezom Tiridatom I. početkom 55. Rhadamistus je pobjegao zajedno sa suprugom Zenobijom koja je bila trudna. Budući da nije mogla nastaviti bježati, zamolila je muža da joj okonča život, umjesto da bude zarobljen. Rhadamistus ju je izbo Medijanskim bodežom i bacio joj tijelo u rijeku Araxes. Zenobia nije smrtno ozlijeđena, a oporavili su je pastiri koji su je poslali u Tiridat. Tiridete Ljubazno sam je primio i tretirao je kao pripadnicu monarhije. Sam Rhadamistus vratio se u Iberiju, a njegov otac Parasmanes I od Iberije ubrzo ga je usmrtio zbog spletkarenja protiv kraljevske vlasti.

Rat s Rimom

Nezadovoljan sve većim utjecajem Partana na njihovom pragu, rimski car Neron poslao je generala Corbula s velikom vojskom na istok kako bi obnovio rimske kraljeve klijente. Hasmonejac po imenu Aristobulus dobio je Malu Armeniju (Nikopolis i Satala), a Sohem iz Emese dobio je Armeniju Sofen. U proljeće 58. Corbulo je iz Kapadokije ušao u Veliku Armeniju i napredovao prema Artaxati, dok je Parasmanes I iz Iberije napao sa sjevera, a Antioh IV iz Commagenea s jugozapada. Uz podršku svog brata, Tiridat I poslao je leteće kolone u ratne napadaje na Rimljane. Corbulo je uzvratio koristeći istu taktiku i upotrebu plemena Moschoi koji su izvršili raciju u udaljenim regijama Armenije. Tiridat I pobjegao je iz glavnog grada, a Corbulo je spalio Artaxatu do temelja. U ljeto se Corbulo počeo kretati prema Tigranocerti po neravnom terenu i prolaziti kroz Taronitidu (Taron), gdje je nekoliko njegovih zapovjednika poginulo u zasjedi od strane armenskog otpora, međutim, grad je otvorio svoja vrata, s izuzetkom jedne od citadela , koja je uništena u napadu koji je uslijedio. Do tada je većina Armenaca napustila otpor i prihvatila princa koji je favorizirao Rim.

Neron je dao krunu posljednjem kraljevskom potomku kraljeva Kapadokije, unuku Glafire (kći Arhelaja Kapadokijskog) i Aleksandru Judejskom (brat Heroda Arhelaja i sina Heroda Velikog), koji je preuzeo armensko ime Tigranes (ujak mu je bio Tigranes V). Njegov sin, po imenu Gaj Julije Aleksandar, oženio se Iotapom, kćerkom Antioha IV od Commagena, i postavljen za kralja Kilikije. Neron je u javnosti snažno pozdravljen zbog ove početne pobjede, a Corbulo je kao nagradu imenovan guvernerom Sirije. Straža od 1000 vojnika legionara, tri pomoćne kohorte i dva krila konja dodijeljena je Tigranu radi obrane zemlje. Pogranični okruzi bili su darovani rimskim saveznicima koji su pomagali Corbulu, uključujući Polemona, Parasmana, Aristobola i Antioha.

Vologases I razbjesnio se zbog činjenice da je izvanzemaljac sada sjeo na armensko prijestolje, ali je oklijevao vratiti svog brata jer je bio u sukobu s pobunjenim Hirkancima. Tigranes je napao Kraljevstvo Adiabene i 61. svrgnuo njegova kralja Monobazesa, koji je bio vazal Partjana.

Vologases I smatrao je to činom agresije iz Rima i započeo kampanju za vraćanje Tiridata I. na armensko prijestolje. Stavio je pod zapovjedništvo spahboda Monesija dobro discipliniranu silu katafrakata zajedno s adijabenskim pomoćnicima i naredio mu da protjera Tigrana iz Armenije. Nakon što je ugušio hirkansku pobunu, Vologases I je prikupio snagu njegovih vladavina i krenuo prema Armeniji. Nakon što je obaviješten o predstojećem napadu, Corbulo je poslao dvije legije pod zapovjedništvom Verulanusa Severusa i Vettiusa Bolana u pomoć Tigranu s tajnim uputama da trebaju djelovati opreznije, a ne energično. Također je poslao poruku Neronu, pozivajući ga da pošalje drugog zapovjednika s izričitom svrhom obrane Armenije jer je Sirija sada također u opasnosti. Ostatak legija Corbulo je smjestio na obale Eufrata i naoružao neregularne trupe obližnjih provincija. Budući da je regiji nedostajalo vode, podigao je utvrde nad fontanama i sakrio potoke nabacujući pijesak po njima.

Moneses je krenuo prema Tigranocerti, ali nije uspio slomiti obranu gradskih zidina jer su njegove trupe bile nesposobne za dugu opsadu. Corbulo, iako izrazito uspješan, smatrao je da je pametno koristiti svoju sreću s umjerenošću. Poslao je rimskog centuriona po imenu Casperius u tabor Vologases I u Nisibisu koji se nalazio 60 kilometara (60 milja) od Tigranocerte sa zahtjevom za podizanjem opsade. Zbog nedavne oluje sa skakavcima i nedostatka stočne hrane za njegove konje, Vologases sam pristao podići opsadu Tigranocerte i zamolio da mi se odobri Armenija kako bi se postigao čvrst mir. Vologases I zahtijevao je da se i rimska i partska vojska evakuiraju iz Armenije, da se Tigranes svrgne s prijestolja i da se prizna položaj Tiridata I. Rimska vlada nije htjela pristupiti tim aranžmanima i poslala je Lucija Caesenniusa Paeta, namjesnika Kapadokije, da riješi pitanje stavljanjem Armenije pod izravnu rimsku upravu.

Paetus je bio nesposoban zapovjednik i doživio je ponižavajući poraz u bitci za Rhandeiu 62. godine, izgubivši legije XII Fulminata kojima je zapovijedao Calvisius Sabinus i IIII Scythica kojima je zapovijedao Funisulanus Vettonianus. Zapovjedništvo nad trupama vraćeno je Corbulu, koji je sljedeće godine poveo jaku vojsku u Melitene i dalje u Armeniju, eliminirajući sve regionalne namjesnike za koje je sumnjao da su propartijski orijentirani. Konačno sam se u Randeji, Corbulu i Tiridatesu sastao kako bih sklopio mirovni sporazum. Položaj Randeje odgovarao je i Tiridatima I i Corbulu. Apelirao je na Tiridata I. jer je tamo njegova vojska potukla Rimljane i poslala ih pod kapitulaciju, s druge strane, dopala se Korbulu jer se spremao izbrisati lošu reputaciju koju je prije stekao na istom mjestu. Kad je Tiridat I stigao u rimski kamp, ​​skinuo je svoju kraljevsku dijademu i postavio je na tlo blizu kipa Nerona, pristavši je primiti natrag samo od Nerona u Rimu. Tiridat I. bio je priznat kao vazalni kralj Armenije, a rimski garnizon trajno će ostati u zemlji, u Sopheneu, dok će se Artaxata obnoviti. Corbulo je ostavio svog zeta Annius Vinicianusa da prati Tiridata I. u Rim kako bi potvrdio svoju vjernost Neronu.

Posjeta Rimu

Prije nego što je krenuo u Rim, Tiridat I posjetio je njegovu majku i dva brata u Mediji Atropateni i Parthiji. Na dugom putu pratili su ga supruga i djeca te dva njegova brata. Njegova pratnja uključivala je impozantnu pratnju, koja se sastojala od mnogih feudalaca, nekoliko mudraca, 3000 partskih konjanika, a također i velikog broja Rimljana. Njegov je put prolazio preko Trakije, kroz Iliriju, na istočnoj obali Jadrana i Picenumu, u sjeveroistočnoj Italiji. Putovanje je trajalo devet mjeseci, a Tiridat I jahao je na konju s djecom i kraljicom uz sebe. Djeca Vologasa, Monobaze i Pakora također su pratila Tiridata I.

Cassius Dio, rimski povjesničar iz drugog stoljeća, povoljno je opisao Tiridata I u vrijeme njegova dolaska: & quotTiridat je bio na vrhuncu svog života, značajan lik zbog svoje mladosti, ljepote, obitelji i inteligencije. & Nero je pozdravio Tiridat I. u Neapolisu (Napulj) u listopadu, šaljući državna kola koja će posjetitelja prevesti zadnjih nekoliko kilometara. Nitko nije smio prići caru naoružan, ali Tiridat I. održao je njegovo dostojanstvo odbijajući maknuti njegov mač dok se približavao vladaru Rimskog Carstva (iako je kao kompromis pristao da mu mač bude čvrsto pričvršćen u korice, pa da se nije moglo nacrtati). U Puteolisu (moderni Pozzuoli, u blizini Napulja) Neron je naredio da se prirede atletske igre u čast njegovog gosta. Sam armenski kralj imao je priliku pokazati svoju sposobnost strijelca ispucavši strijelu kroz tijela dva bizona. Događaj u Puteolisu označio je i prvi svjedočeni nastup žena gladijatorica:

Nero mu se divio zbog ove radnje [(odbijanje Tiridata da mu makne mač)] i zabavljao ga je na mnogo načina, osobito izlaganjem gladijatorske izložbe u Puteolima. Bilo je to pod vodstvom Patrobija, jednog od njegovih oslobođenih, koji je to uspio učiniti najsjajnijom i najskupljom aferom, što se može vidjeti iz činjenice da jednoga dana nije bila osoba već etiopski muškarci, žene i djeca #x2014pojavio se u kazalištu.

Vrhunac ceremonija bio je rezerviran za glavni grad. Rim je bio bogato ukrašen zastavama, bakljama, vijencima i ogrlicama, a noću je bio raskošno osvijetljen velikim gomilama ljudi posvuda.

Dan nakon dolaska Tiridata I, Nero je došao na Forum odjeven u trijumfalnu odjeću i okružen uglednicima i vojnicima, sav sjajan u skupocjenoj odjeći i svjetlucavom oklopu. Dok je Neron sjedio na carskom prijestolju, Tiridat I. i njegova pratnja napredovali su između dva reda vojnika. Došavši pred podij, Tiridat I. kleknuo je, sklopljenih ruku na grudima. Nakon što su se stišali gromoglasni povici i uzvici uzbuđeni ovim spektaklom, Tiridat I. obratio se caru:

Gospodaru moj, ja sam potomak Arsakesa i brat kraljeva Vologasesa i Pakora. Došao sam k vama koji ste moj bog, štovao sam vas kao [sunce] i bit ću ono što mi naredite, jer vi ste moja sudbina i bogatstvo.

Dobro ste učinili što ste došli ovamo da osobno uživate u mojoj prisutnosti. Ono što vam vaš otac nije ostavio i što vam vaša braća nisu sačuvala, ja vam se slažem i činim vas kraljem Armenije, tako da vi, kao i oni, znaju da imam moć uzeti daleko i darovati kraljevstva.

Tiridati I su se tada popeli na stepenice platforme i kleknuli, dok je Nero stavio kraljevsku dijademu na glavu. Budući da se mladi kralj trebao drugi put kleknuti, Nero ga je podignuo za desnu ruku i nakon što ga je poljubio, natjerao ga da sjedne kraj njega na stolac malo niži od njegove. U međuvremenu, stanovništvo je burno pozdravilo oba vladara. Pretor je, obraćajući se prisutnima, protumačio i objasnio riječi Tiridata, koji je govorio na grčkom. Prema Pliniju Starijem, Tiridat I. je zatim uveo Nerona u magijske gozbe (magicis cenis). Tacit je tvrdio da sam Tiridata zanimao i sve rimsko.

Javne svečanosti nastavile su se još neko vrijeme nakon ceremonije krunidbe. Unutrašnjost Pompejskog kazališta i svaki komad njegova namještaja bili su u cijelosti pozlaćeni iz tog razloga, Rim je od tada prisjećao taj datum kao "Zlatni dan." Dnevne svečanosti nisu bile ništa manje raskošne od onih noćnih: kraljevske ljubičaste tende rastegnute kao zaštita od topline sunca. Nero, odjeven u zeleno i nosio pokrivala za vozača kola, sudjelovao je u utrci kočija. Na večernjim domjencima Nero je u zlatno vezenom ruhu pjevao i svirao na liri uz pratnju citre. Tiridati Bio sam zadivljen i zgrožen Neronovom ekstravagancijom, ali on je imao samo pohvale za Corbula i izrazio je Corbulu svoje iznenađenje što služi takvom gospodaru. [38] Nije skrivao svoje poglede na Neronovo lice i sarkastično mu rekao: & quotSire, imate divnog slugu u osobi Corbula. & Quot

U spomen na te događaje, Senat je Nerona počastio lovorovim vijencem i titulom imperatora, odnosno vrhovnog zapovjednika vojske. U povijesti Rima nije zabilježen nijedan prijem usporediv s ovim po veličini i sjaju. Osim ogromne svote potrošene na svečanosti, rimska je vlada snosila sve troškove putovanja Tiridata I. i njegove svite, kako iz njihove domovine, tako i u njihovu domovinu. Nero je također dao Tiridat I. dar od pedeset milijuna sestercija.

Na svom putu natrag u Armeniju, Tiridat I je pogledao izložbu pankracija. Kad sam vidio da je jedan od natjecatelja pao na leđa i da su ga tukli protivnici, vidio sam Tiridates kako uzvikuje: & quotTo je nepravedno natjecanje. Nije pošteno da čovjeka koji je pao treba tući. & Quot

Later, Nero summoned the Parthian King Vologases I to Rome several times, but when the invitations became burdensome to Vologases I, he sent back a dispatch to this effect: "It is far easier for you than for me to traverse so great a body of water. Therefore, if you will come to Asia, we can then arrange to meet each other."

It has been suggested that the visit of Tiridates I, an event that greatly impressed contemporaries, was adapted by Christians to become the story of the adoration of the Christ Child by the Three Magi. The Christian legend changed Rome into Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Ruler of the coming Kingdom of God, and replaced Tiridates I with that contemporary king who was already connected with Christianity through the Acts of St. Thomas: Gondophares, otherwise known as Kaspar.

Fragile Peace

Peace prevailed at this time throughout the Roman Empire. Nero therefore closed the gates of the Temple of Janus, which were never shut save in times of universal peace. When Tiridates I returned to Armenia, he took with him a great number of skilled artisans for the reconstruction of Artaxata. He renamed the capital Neronia in honor of the emperor he embellished the royal residence at Garni, nearby, with colonnades and monuments of dazzling richness and also the addition of a new temple. Trade between the two continents also grew, allowing Armenia to secure its independence from Rome. Rome now counted upon Armenia as a loyal ally, even after Nero's death and through the entire duration of Vespasian's rule in the East. Peace was a considerable victory for Nero politically.

The immediate dividend of the peace was Rome's ability to turn its full attention to the mounting problems at Judea, which broke into open warfare culminating in the First Jewish-Roman War just one year after Tiridates' coronation. Large numbers of legions were diverted to Judea from Syria, which would otherwise have been impossible. Nero became very popular in the eastern provinces of Rome and with the Armenians and Parthians. The name of Legio XII Fulminata discovered carved on a mountain in Gobustan (in modern Azerbaijan), attests to the presence of Roman soldiers by the shores of the Caspian Sea in 89 AD, farther east than any previously known Roman inscription. The peace between Parthia and Rome lasted 50 years, until emperor Trajan invaded Armenia in 114.

War with Alans and Aftermath

In 72 the Alans, a warlike nomadic Sarmatian tribe, made an incursion into Media Atropatene as well as various districts of northern Armenia. Tiridates I and his brother Pacorus, King of Media Atropatene, faced them at a number of battles, during one of which Tiridates I was briefly captured, narrowly escaping being taken alive. He was lassoed from a distance and caught, but he quickly managed to whip out his sword and slash the rope in time. The Alans withdrew with a lot of booty after plundering Armenia and Media Atropatene. The King of Iberia asked for protection against the Alans from Vespasian, who helped reconstruct the fortress of Harmozica around the Iberian capital Mtskheta, near modern Tbilisi. An Aramaic inscription found near Tbilisi indicates that Tiridates I also warred with Iberia during his final years. The exact date of the end of Tiridates I's reign is unknown various sources name Sanatruces as his successor. It is known that Tiridates' nephew, Axidares, the son of Pacorus II of Parthia, was King of Armenia by 110.

Franz Cumont in Les Réligions Orientales dans le Paganisme Romain ("The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism") pointed out that Tiridates I was instrumental in the development of Mithraism in Rome, which ultimately became the most dominant Roman religion throughout the empire.

Tiridates I is one of the principal characters in George Frideric Handel's opera Radamisto and Reinhard Keiser's opera Octavia.


Tiridates II of Armenia

Tiridates II (Armenian: Տրդատ Բ , flourished second half of the 2nd century - died ca. 256), known in Armenian sources as Khosrov, [1] was an Armenian Parthian Prince who served as a Roman Client King of Armenia.

Tiridates II was the son and heir of the Armenian King Khosrov I, [2] by an unnamed mother. Tiridates II was the namesake of his ancestor, Tiridates I of Armenia and of his Parthian ancestors who ruled with this name as King. As a part of the Armenian Arsacid period, [3] he was also known as Khosrov. [4]

During the last years of his father's reign in 214-216, Tiridates II with his family where under Roman detention for unknown reasons which provoked a major uprising in Armenia against Rome. [5] In 215, the Roman emperor Caracalla with the Roman army had invaded Armenia [6] to end the uprising.

In 217 Khosrov I had died and Tiridates II succeeded his father as King of Armenia. [7] Tiridates II was granted the Armenian Crown [8] by Caracalla. [9] He was declared King of Armenia upon Caracalla's assassination [10] which was on April 8, 217.

Tiridates II ruled as King of Armenia from 217 until his death in 252. [11] After the death of Caracalla, Macrinus became the new Roman emperor and not so long after Tiridates II received his Armenian Kingship, Macrinus agreed to release Tiridates II's mother from Roman captivity. [12] After the Battle of Nisibis in 217 and the treaty that occurred after between Rome and Parthia, Tiridates II was officially restored to his Armenian throne [13] and his rule over Armenia was officially recognised.

At an unknown date during his reign, there's the possibility that the Mamikonian family immigrated from Bactria to Armenia. [14] Tiridates II was first the King in Armenia to persecute Christians in the country which continued with his predecessors. [15]

Partly due to his long reign, Tiridates II became one of the most powerful and most influential monarchs from the Arsacid dynasty. [16] In 224, the Parthian Empire was destroyed the last King who was Tiridates II's paternal uncle, Artabanus V of Parthia was killed by Ardashir I, the first king of the Sassanid Empire. [17]

In 226-228, Ardashir I after annexing Parthia wanted to expand his Empire which including conquering Armenia. Into two years of the conflict, the armies of the Romans, Scythians and the Kushans withdrew. [18] Tiridates II with his army was left in the end alone to continue fighting against Ardashir I. [19]

Tiridates II put up a stubborn resistance against Ardashir I [20] and wasn't defeated after no less than ten years of fighting. [21] After twelve years of fighting with Tiridates II, Ardashir I withdrew his army and left Armenia. [22] Tiridates II's military conflict with Ardashir I highlights the strength of Armenia in the time of Tiridates II. [23] Tiridates II died in 256 and was succeeded by his son, Khosrov II of Armenia. [24]


A Brief History Of Armenia

There are several theories about the history of Armenia. Legends opine that the descendants of bisbisnipote (great great grandson) of Noah, Hayk are known as the Armenians. It is said that after the floods, Noah’s Ark ran aground on Mount Ararat. Since then to mark this tradition, the Armenians call it their country and the place came to be known as Hayastan.

However, historians have spoken differently about the history of Armenia. Historians have linked the origin of Armenians to the birth of a tribal group in Hayasa-Azzi between 1500 BC-1200 BC. The tribals lived to the west of the Armenian plateau.

As the Hayasa-Azzi lived close to the Hittite empire, violent confrontations often broke out between the two. The clashes continued till the end of the Bronze age when the Hayasa-Azzi was finally defeated by the Hittites.

The rise of Urartu Kingdom

According to the history of Armenia, the Armenian empire fell under a group of kingdoms, referred to as Nairi (land of rivers) by the Assyrians between 1200 and 800 BC. These kingdoms finally assimilated with the kingdom of Urartu.

The kingdom of Urartu is a civilization that developed in between 800 and 600 BC is the East Asia minor and the Caucasus. The kingdom was known as the first Armenian empire.

King Aramu was the first to unite the empire as per the history of Armenia. The empire stretched from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea and also spread across the majority of Eastern Turkey.

The Urartu kingdom enjoyed its maximum prosperity under King Sardui II. He extended the borders of the kingdom beyond River Tigris and river Euphrates, much similar to Lake Aleppo and Urmia.

Urartu was also known as the ‘kingdom of Ararat.’ Through the various manuscripts about the history of Armenia, it is learned that Urartu and Armenia were often referred to as the same country.

The Behistun’s inscription, carved in three languages in 520 BC is a prime example. Built under the orders of Persia’s Darius the great, the inscription refers to the kingdom as Harminuia in Elamite, Armenia in Old Persian, and Urartu in Babylon.

Between the end of the seventh century and early sixth century, the Urartu kingdom was substituted by the Armenian kingdom. Orontid, the Armenian dynasty ruled over this empire.

The Rule of the Orontid dynasty, the Birth of Armenian Kingdom

The dynasty of Orontid established their rule over the empire of Armenia after the fall of the Urartu kingdom in 600 BC. The Orontids had captured the Armenian empire during the invasion of the Medes and the Scythians. Around this period, the Armenians took to Iranians traditions and names.

The Orontids acted as provincial governors or satraps to the Persian kings. However, after the death of Persia’s Cambyses II, the Armenians led a revolution that was disrupted by Persia’s Darius the I.

Soon after the changes in the Persian Empire, the Armenian empire too was divided into many satrapies. In 480 BC, the satrapies had assigned troops for the Xerxes invasion. The proximity of the Persians and the Armenians were broken by the Macedonian conquest.

After the invasion of Alexander the Great, the Persian empire crumbled, and just like other regions, the Armenian empire was soon divided into two parts.

One region, Sophene or great Armenia was located between the Tigris headwaters Euphrates’s middle course. Later it was bifurcated into Sophene and Armenia.

The other region, Armenia Pontica or little Armenia was located between the headwaters of Ali and Lico and the Euphrates.

According to the history of Armenia, the different regions were subjected to different fates. Little Armenia came under the rule of the very powerful king Pontus in the second century BC.

Meanwhile, Sophene lost its independence and survived under the rule of king Cappadocia for a brief period.

A different Armenian history says that Great Armenia established itself as a state by escaping the rule of the Seleucids. The Seleucids could not capture the region because of its mountainous region which acted as a barrier against Greek invasions. The other reason was the Persian characteristics ingrained in the Armenians that involuntarily opposed Greek influence.

Armenia’s Second Kingdom

As per Strabo, during this time the Armenians started speaking one language, the Armenian language. Soon the Armenians announced their independence with the defeat of the Seleucides by the Roman empire.

Between 95 to 66 BC, under the leadership of Tigranes II the Great, the empire spread from the Caucasus to the present eastern region of Turkey, from Syria to Lebanon and across the ‘kingdom of three seas’- the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, and the Mediterranean sea.

The capital of the second Armenian empire which was born cannot be located to date. However, Tigranes II succumbed in the hands of the Roman troops, and the Armenian major was ruled by the Romans.

The Advent of Rome

In 37 AD the Armenians were forced to surrender under the Parthians soon to be taken over by the Roman after 10 years. The Romans lost the empire shortly after.

Under Nero’s rule between 55-63 AD, the Romans again fought against the Parthians ruling over Armenia. Capturing the Armenian empire in 60 AD and losing it in 62 AD, the Romans finally captured the region in 63 AD. However, In the battle of Rhandeia, the Parthians lost. The Parthian king forcibly signed a treaty assigning his brother Tiridates the throne of Armenia. The crowning of the king took place under Nero’s rule. Thus rose Armenia’s Arcadis dynasty.

Armenia Christianized

The Armenian history records the Armenians as the first to officially be termed as Christians after its conversion in 301 AD, long before the Romans adapted to it.

According to the King Tiridates’ historic Agatangelo, the Christianization took place due to a clash between king Tiridates III and Son of Anak, Gregory.

The Armenian history says that Gregory was instructed to make sacrifices to goddess Anahit which he refused in the name of his faith for Christianity. Upon his refusal, he was subjected to severe torture which didn’t deter him from his opinion. Finally, he was ordered to be thrown into a deep well filled with snakes, a place where none had been before. But Gregory survived his time in the well with the blessings of a widow.

Meanwhile, several attempts were made by Diocletian, a Roman emperor, to seduce Hripsime. Smelling the danger, Hripsime had escaped to Armenia to seek protection.

Amidst this, Tiridates fell in love with Hripsime and wanted to be with her. After several rejections from Hripsime, Tiridates tortured and killed her.

As a traditional punishment marked in the history of Armenia, the king was transformed into a wild boar. He came back to his human form after rescuing Gregory from the pit after thirteen years.

Witnessing the miracle of being transformed into the human form, Tiridates decided to take to Christianity. He also baptized the Armenians and the official religion of the Armenians came into being.

Soon Gregory and Tiridates started destroying the Pegan’s worship places and started building churches.

The Armenian history also speaks about a vision of Jesus Christ that Gregory saw. Following the vision, Gregory built a church in Vagarshapat. The place came to be known as the Etchmiadzin meaning a place where the only-begotten descended.

Soon the Pegan priests were taught about Christianity. They became ministers of the new religion. Pegan children went on to priests in churches. Thereafter, Gregory left the kingdom and settled as a hermit. His son became a bishop and head of the church.

Despite several historical theories about Armenians, the period of 301 AD- the Christianization of Armenians and 404 AD- the initiation of the Armenian alphabets by Mesrop Mashtots will remain evidence of the Armenian history.

The clash of the Three-Byzantine, Arab, and Seljuk

In 591, the Persians were crushed by the Emperor Maurice of Byzantine. The emperor captured a vast part of Armenian territory. In 629 AD, Emperor Heraclius completed the capture only to lose it to Muslim Arabs in 645 AD. Following this, the Armenians came under the Caliph rule.

Being ruled by a prince, the region soon came under the pressure of being converted to Islam. However, a treaty was signed which allowed the Armenians to practice Christianity.

The Armenians went through an economic, political, and cultural renaissance between 884-1045 AD until captured by Byzantium.

Ani, a new capital was founded which had a population of 200,000 people and 1001 churches. Armenian history says that at this time the population of European capitals had not reached 20,000.

Armenia gained prosperity after Ani came into the picture. It is said that Armenia was said to have a political impact on neighboring countries after Ani was built. However, the country’s loyalty faded as the feudal system became powerful in the region,

The greater Armenia was finally conquered by the Seljuk Turks In 1071 AD. Fearing slavery and death, several families fled from Armenia to settled places like Poland, Cilicia, etc.

It is mention-worthy that among the escapists was Ani’s last king, Rupen, Gagik II’s relative who settled in Cilicia.

The Death of the Armenian Independence

In 1080, Rupen founded the Cilician kingdom also known as Little Armenia or Armenia Minor after arriving on the Mediterranean Sea’s Gulf of Alexandretta.

Thus the Rupenid dynasty was found which was a part of the Bagratid dynasty. Sis Sis became the capital of the kingdom. Although being squeezed between several Muslim states, the Christian kingdom was able to establish a powerful relationship with important Italian maritime cities that have been prospering for three hundred years. Colonies were built by Genoa, Venice, and Pisa on the kingdom’s coast.

The Mamelukes invaded Cilicia in the latter part of the fourteenth century. In 1375 the capital of Sis was captured by them which brought an end to the ongoing reign.

The last independent king of the Armenian kingdom, Leo VI escaped for exile in Paris where he breathed his last is 1393.

In the Armenian history, Armenia lost its sovereignty during this period for atleast the next six centuries and was ruled by several foreign kings.

The Dominating Rule of the Ottoman and Persian

The Armenian culture lost itself in the period between the fall of the Cilician empire and the end of the seventeenth century.

Tamerlane forced his rule in Eastern Europe and Central Anatolia at the end of the fourteenth century but soon his kingdom was crushed.

The Ottoman Empire and the Safavids dynasty in Central Iran rose during the middle of the fifteenth century. The two dynasties battled against each other for about a hundred years for capturing Caucasus areas and Eastern Anatolia.

The fight came to an end with the victory of the Ottomans. In 1585, the Ottomans successfully conquered Armenia’s eastern part.

At the onset of the seventeenth century, the Ottomans were forced to leave the Armenian territory by Shah Abbas I who failed in his repeated attempts.

While he was withdrawing from the kingdom, he demanded the Armenians migrate from Julfa city.

Following the incident, the city of New Julfa was founded by the migrants in Esfahan where they had settled. The region prospered commercially and culturally throughout the 17th century and early 18th century. The economic activities took place from India to Britain and Italy.

In 1736, the enmity between Persians and Ottomans settled with the defeat of the Ottomans by the Persians. The Persians established rule over the southern part of Transcaucasia which included Armenia.

As portrayed in the history of Armenia, the Persian Armenia soon feel into the hands of Russia and became a part of the USSR due to the Treaties of Gulistan and Turkmanchay,1813 and 1828, respectively.

The Armenian region which was still under the Ottomans aimed at getting independence. Revolution started in the latter part of the 19th century with the formation of revolutionary committees based on a model by the nihilists of Russia.

Sultan Abdul-Hamid struck back fiercely and the first mass killing of the Armenians took place in 1894, August-September.

The second Armenian massacre happened in 1895-1896 during which thousands of Armenians were slaughtered by Hamidiés.

Thus started the Armenian massacre which was to continue for the next thirty years under the regime of various Turks.

The Massacre

As the ‘Union and Progress’ party rose, the Armenians living in Turkey continued to suffer. The ‘young Turks’ tried to establish the supremacy of the Turks in the Ottoman region.

As the Turks had lost the Ottoman region in Europe, hey decided that the only way to expand was to reunite the Turks of Central Asia namely Tatars, Uzbeks, Kazakhs etc.

The idea of Pan-Turkism in the history of Armenia originated from two main cultures. The first ideology was that of Marxism which taught the Young Turks about equality which said that all Ottomans must be equal, if so then all Ottomans must be Turks and in turn Muslims.

The second ideology focused on the Turks of the steppes of Central Asia and their reunion as the expansion of the European region was getting out of hand.

The idea of Pan Turkism was opposed by Christians, Armenians, Indo-Europeans, and Kurdish minorities. The Kurds being Muslims had no problem in getting along with the Turks. But the Christians and Armenians being of completely different origins posed a problem in accepting the Turks. Thus, they had to be removed.

In a view to eliminating the Armenians, in 1909 the massacre of Adana was led by the Turks who grabbed the opportunity at the eruption of the first world war.

During this period, the young Turks started eliminating the Armenians referred to as “Metz Yeghèrn,’ the Great Crime, the Armenian Genocide.

The initial genocide of the 20th century took place between 1915 to 1923. The history of Armenia recorded the massacre of nearly 1.5 people. The Armenian genocide let to the deportation and death of people in the Syrian desert.

The survivors of the Armenian Genocide sought refuge in the Republic of Armenia.

The Republic of Armenia was born after the battle of Sardaraparat in which the Armenians defeated the Turks. Many people also took refuge in Syria, Israel, Europe, the United States, Egypt, and Lebanon.

In 1920, after the war, the Treaty of Sèvres forced the Turks to free the Armenians and hand over Armenia’s Ottoman territories.

The Turkish national movement rejected the treaty. The leader of the movement, Mustafa Kemal toppled the Ottoman sultanate and announced a national secular republic.

On 24th September, the Turks with the help of the Russians waged the Armenian-Turkish war. The war ended with the Treaty of Alexandropol signed on 2nd December 1920. The treaty marked the victory of the Turks.

However, on December 4th, Yerevan of Armenia was occupied by the Soviet Eleventh Army. This marked the end of the independent Democratic Republic.

Armenia became a part of the Soviet Union on 4th March 4th, 1922.

On 11 September 1922 the Treaty of Kars was signed which made Turkey give up the Batumi port in exchange for cities like Iğdır, Kars, and Ardahan.

The communist economic system-aided Soviet Armenia. It became an industrial economy from an agricultural one. Several villages transformed into cities. The Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic broke down in 1936.

Thereafter, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan gained the title of independent republics of the USSR.

During the fifteenth anniversary of the Armenian genocide, the Armenians protested on the streets for the incident to be recognized by the Russian government. However, the order was restored by the Soviet troops.

To steer clear of further protests, a monument was built honoring the ones who died in the Armenian genocide.

In Yerevan, a memorial was constructed in 1967 which consisted of a 44-meter stele. This symbolized the rebirth of the Armenians. The monument also had twelve monoliths in a circle which signified the twelve provinces which now belonged to the Turkish territories.

A flame burning in the center of the circle represents the memory of the deceased in the Armenian genocide. A 100-meters long memorial hall leading to the monument displays the names of the villages where the Armenian genocide took place.

Nagorno-Karabakh War

Armenia announced its independence on 23 August 1990 which was a year prior to the downfall of the Soviet Union. But Armenia’s independence wasn’t acknowledged officially until 21 September 1991. On this day the new Republic of Armenia was declared.

The history of Armenia mentions that the rivalry between Armenia and Azerbaijan regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh territory kept growing and resulted in war. The war continued even after a cease-fire notice in 1994 and is still unresolved.

Present Armenia

Since Armenia’s independence, it has gone through several developments even after blocked borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey. It has been referred to as “the Tiger of the Caucasus” since then and is appreciated for its high growth rate.

The region receives funds worth $1.5 billion every year which accounts for about 20% of the GDP. Although poverty exists, the government involves the export of powerful technology and human capital for development.

However, after the violent history of Armenia, it has been able to establish itself as a country that promises growth and has successfully maintained friendly relations with neighboring countries like Russia, Iran, and Georgia.

The development is funded by the international network of expats of the diaspora, who pay $ 1.5 billion each year: about 20% of GDP. Poverty is still widespread: to fight it the government supports exports focused on high technology and human capital and, although in the last five years the economic boom has been resized, Armenia is still a country with a strong growth thanks to the friendly relations maintained with the other neighboring Countries: Russia, Georgia, and Iran.


How Armenia &ldquoInvented&rdquo Christendom

ONLY A WEEK PRIOR TO HIS ATTACK on Poland in September, 1939, Adolf Hitler reportedly delivered a secret talk to members of his General Staff, urging them to wipe out the Polish race. “After all,” he argued, “who remembers today the extermination of the Armenians?”

Hitler was referring to the genocide of nearly 1.5 million Armenian Christians at the hands of Ottoman Turks from 1915 to 1923 in what is now eastern Turkey. Turkish authorities deny the atrocities ever took place, but the story of bloodbath in Armenia is one of the well-documented tragedies of our time.

Still, it’s unfortunate that Armenia (today located directly east of Turkey and west of the Caspian Sea) is now known for this story above any other. It says nothing about the people of Armenia, or the part they have played in global Christianity. For contribute they did, in a manner that might surprise even a seasoned church historian.

Tortured for Christ

No man has more stature in the Armenian church today than Gregory the Illuminator. While not the first to bring Christianity to Armenia, Gregory is, at least in the minds of Armenians, the nation’s spiritual father and the people’s patron saint.

Born into a wealthy family around 257, Gregory nevertheless had a rough beginning—his biographer, Agathangelos, tells us Gregory’s father murdered the Armenian king and paid for it with his life. But the boy was rescued from the chaos following the murder, and his new guardians raised him as a Christian in Cappadocia (east-central Turkey). There, according to Agathangelos, Gregory “became acquainted with the Scriptures of God, and drew near to the fear of the Lord.”

When Gregory’s tutors told him of his father’s wickedness, Gregory approached the murdered king’s son, Tiridates, to offer his service (all the while concealing his identity). Tiridates accepted Gregory’s offer, but when Gregory refused to worship Anahit, an idol the king had raised in gratitude for military successes, Tiridates became furious: “You have come and joined us as a stranger and foreigner. How then are you able to worship that God whom I do not worship?”

Tiridates tortured Gregory, hanging him upside-down and flogging him, then fastening blocks of wood to his legs and tightening them. When these tactics failed, he tried even more gruesome measures. Still the saint refused to bow the knee. Tiridates then learned that Gregory was the son of his father’s murderer, and he ordered that the missionary be thrown into a “bottommost pit” filled with dead bodies and other filth. There Gregory sat for 13 years, surviving only on bread a widow threw down each day after receiving instruction to do so in a dream.

Converting the King

At about this time a beautiful woman named Rhipsime arrived in Armenia, fleeing an enforced marriage to the Roman emperor Diocletian. Tiridates took a liking to her too, and took her forcibly when she refused to come to him. But “strengthened by the Holy Spirit,” she fought off his advances and escaped. Furious, Tiridates ordered her execution, and that night Rhipsime burned at the stake. Her abbess Gaiane soon followed her in death, along with 35 other companions.

The king, still lusting after Rhipsime, mourned her death for six days, then prepared to go hunting. But God visited on him a horrible punishment—Agathangelos calls it demon possession—reducing him to insanity and throwing his court into chaos. Tiridates’ sister had a vision to send for Gregory, imprisoned so long ago. People laughed at the idea Gregory might still be alive, but recurrent visions finally convinced a nobleman, Awtay, to visit his pit. Astonished to find the missionary living, Awtay brought him to meet the king, who was feeding with swine outside the city.

Tiridates, along with other possessed members of his court, rushed at Gregory. But Gregory “immediately knelt in prayer, and they returned to sobriety.” Tiridates then pleaded for Gregory’s forgiveness, and the king and his whole court repented of their sin and confessed faith in Christ.

Assessing Gregory’s Legacy

Scholars disagree over how much Agathangelos’s history can be taken at face-value. After all, he wrote his book in 460 (Tiridates is believed by Armenians to have converted in 301), and much of his story has elements of hagiography that lead one to wonder whether the events ever happened. But even skeptics acknowledge that Gregory was a real person with considerable ecclesiastical influence in Armenia—the signature of his son and successor Aristakes can be found among those ratifying the Council of Nicaea in 325. And even if we can document little about the man, his pre-eminence among Armenia’s heroes of the faith is unassailable.

Why? First, Gregory persuaded the king to build a string of churches across Armenia, beginning with Holy Etchmiadzin— according to some scholars the oldest cathedral site in the world and an important pilgrimage site for all Armenians. The seat of the Armenian church would pass to other cities, but Gregory “established” Christianity in Armenia via this church.

Gregory also introduced Christian liturgy to Armenia. These rites consisted of psalmody, scriptural readings, and prayers recited in Greek or Syriac. After Mesrop Mashtots invented an Armenian alphabet at the beginning of the fifth century, both the Bible and the liturgy were translated into the Armenian language.

Most importantly, Gregory set in motion the mass conversion of Armenia to Christianity. According to Agathangelos, the king ordered all pagan shrines to be torn down, and Gregory proceeded to baptize more than 190,000 people into the new faith. Whether the nation converted as quickly as Agathangelos implies is difficult to discern. Certainly by the fifth century, Armenia was well on its way to becoming a “Christian” nation.

Armenia is an ancient—if not the oldest—model for what we now call Christendom. Church historian Kenneth Scott Latourette notes that the Armenian church “was an instance of what was to be seen again and again, a group adoption of the Christian faith engineered by the accepted leaders and issuing in an ecclesiastical structure which became identified with a particular people, state, or nation.”

Certainly the Roman Empire is a prime example of this, but Armenia is at least as old, and perhaps a more impressive example given the invasions and persecution it endured at the hands of the Turks (and before them, Arabs and Persians). Indeed even Byzantium attempted to bring Armenia within its orbit, but the nation resisted, arguing that its apostolic origins were on par with Rome.

So lest you assume Rome is our first example of Christendom, think again. Long may Armenia’s church endure. CH

By Steven Gertz

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #85 in 2005]


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