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King Tigran II - The Great (140-54 BC.)

By Gevork Nazaryan

igran, who later on became Tigran II, was born in the year 140 B.C. and was the son of Tigran the First, who in 112 B.C. was sent to Parthia after the unsuccessful resistance of the Parthian campaign in Armenia, as a "sign of friendship between the Parthians and Armenians. The Parthians knew that Tigran I Artashesyan, would not risk his sons life and heir to the Artashesyan throne, by making war against the Parthians as long as Tigran was in Parthia. In deed the Parthians stood very close to Armenia, many of the Parthian noble houses had their branches in Armenia. Tigran was a member of the Parthian court and as the Prince of Armenia was the representative of Armenia in Parthia. During his presence in Parthia young Tigran learned many things from the Parthians who were famed for their war-like abilities and keen leadership. Tigran learned the fine and delicate skills of diplomacy and as well as strategically warfare. The Parthian army was trained to fight on horsebacks, their famous style of warfare that desolated Roman legions was the "Parthian shot" as the Romans called it: the Parthian cavalry, would first engage the enemy and very quickly "give in" and would pretend to retreat in unorganized fashion, the deceived Romans would quickly brake in their organized flanks and pursue the Parthians, then the Parthians would use their distinguished archery skills and would shoot down the pursuing Romans while slowly retreating. In such battles Romans would loose thousands of men before finally seeing the disastrous results and stopping the useless pursuit. Such tactics were later on adopted by Tigran and Armenian cavalry, and would be effectively used against the Romans in Armenia.

The Parthians were considered allies by most of Armenians at this time, this is especially true in Greater Armenia or Armenia Proper, where as Armenians of Armenia Minor and Anatolia had more of a Graeco-Roman stance. Many Parthian noble houses had branched out and established themselves in Armenia. Houses such as Kamsarakan, Mamikonyan ( possibly of Bactrian descent ) Pahlavuni and the biggest and powerful Royal Houses of Parthia, the Arshakounis ( Arsacids ) who ruled Iran from the late third century B.C. until the early part of the third century A.D. The Arshakouni Royal House of Armenia was formally established in the year 66 A.D. with the Roman recognition of king Trdat I ( Tiridates) Arshakouni as sole ruler and king of all of Armenia by Emperor Nero.

After the death of his father, Tigran the First in the year 96 B.C., Tigran agreed to hand over the "Seventy Valleys" in Southeastern Armenia ( possibly in Armenian Atrpatakan or Atrpatene) in exchange for his return and reclaim of the vacant throne in Armenia. Tigran was officially crowned king of Armenia in the year 95 B.C as Tigran II of the Artashesyan Royal House. From the first days of his ascendance of the kingdom Tigran quickly began to rebuilt and reorganize every economic, political and as well as military order in the country. He quickly reorganized and reformed the military forces. He crated a standing army of around 100,000 men which was compromised of large number of cavalry( which was mostly compromised of the Armenian aristocratic class of azats) he also created separate armies of footmen, archers, pikemen, with that of the allied nations the total force of the Tigran's army was at its height around 300,000 men in various army cores. Allied peoples included Georgians, Adiabenians, Caucasian Albanians, Atropatenes, Cappadocians, Gordeyenes ( Armenians of Korduk) and many other tribes and peoples where all comrades in arms with the main body compromised of battle hardened Armenian troops. As eminent and distinguished V th century historian Movses Khorenatsi (Moses of Khoren), who is considered the father of Armenian History, records in his book "Armenian History" about the reforms in the army that " heavy footmen became horsemen, the light infantry received armor and became heavy armored infantry. Tigran also united the various forces and military units of nobles, who controlled large portion of the military might of Armenia, into a single armed core and a powerful war machine that was extremely well trained and organized, with a high point being placed on loyalty and devotion to its leaders.

Another famous Greek historian, Strabo wrote "When he acquired power, he recovered these valley, and devastated the country of the Parthians, the territory about Ninus ( Nineveh ), and that about Arbela. He subjected to his authority the Atropatenians, and the Gordyaeans (Armenian nobles of province of Korduk) by force of arms he obtained possession also of the rest of Mesopotamia and, after crossing the Eurphrates, of Syria and Phoenicia (Strabo, XI.xiv.16)". But this was only the beginning of the rise of one of the greatest leaders of Armenia.

In 94 B.C in the wake of Roman expansion in Western Anatolia Tigran concluded and signed a treaty of cooperation and mutual defense pact with king Mithradates of Pontus, thus making Pontus an ally of Armenia. In 93 B.C Tigran first of all focused its attention on the Armenian province of Tsopk( Sophene ) on the eastern banks of river Euphrates in Western Armenia. The rulers of Tsopk, claimed descendance from the Royal House of Yervandouni, which had previously ruled all of Greater Armenia ( Armenia Major in Armenian Highland or Armenia Proper) and as well as Lesser Armenia ( Armenia Minor on the western banks of Euphrates, ancient land of the kingdom of Haiasa-Azzi). The Yervanduni house was overthrown by one of its own members, governor Artashes in the year 189 B.C. Artashes who was known as Artashes I became known as Artashes the Good because of the number of economic reforms in agriculture and land of peasantry. He also managed to unite and centralize the government of Armenia, and the loose confederation of Armenian states under the rule of noble families ( 15 or 17 if counting the inclusion of Armenian Mesopotamia and Goderdzakan states or ashkhars with internal divisions of 120 regions or gavars) thus weakening the rule of the nobles and increasing the power of centralized monarchy and the power of the authocrartic monarch, thus achieving something that for centuries the Yervandunis could not accomplish.

According to Greek historians the strategic location of the royal city of Artashat or Artaxata (166 B.C.) on the banks of river Yeraskh (Arax) was chosen by the great Carthaginian general Hannibal, who was an honored guest at Artashes' court after leaving his campaign in Italian peninsula and departing to Anatolia and Armenia. Artashes the Good established a separate Royal House, which later on became known to historians as the Royal Artashesian dynasty, Artashes was the grandfather of Tigran the Great.

After reincorporating the state of Tsopk into Greater Armenia, Tigran turned his armies against Cappadocia, which had a mixed population of Armenians, Greeks and number of other ancient peoples who were to a large extent Hellenized and assimilated into Hellenistic culture. Cappadocia favored the Romans and was providing the necessary ground for Roman entry into Eastern Anatolia and possibly beyond. In 93 B.C the Armenian troops entered Cappadocia and dethroned king Ariobarzanes and crowned and recognized Gordios as king of Cappadocia with the pledge of Gordios of Cappadocia being an ally state of Armenia along with that of Pontus and Armenia Minor. Thus Tigran created a buffer zone between the encroaching Romans and the Armenian State which was quickly becoming a world superpower. Tigran also made military campaigns and subdued Iberia (Georgia) and other tribes of Caucasus such as the Albanians.

Tigran realized the importance of the control of the important trade routes of the Near East which stretched from Central Asia to Anatolia and from Babylon to Egypt. He placed the Arabic tribes of Skenites to guard the major trade points of the trade routes throughout Near East particularly those of Syria and Mesopotamia. Tigran also established treaties of military and trade cooperation with the Scytho-Iranian tribes of Central Asia. Tigran also married the daughter of Mithridates, Cleopatra as a sign of affirmation of the Ponto-Armenian treaty. Tigran had four sons the first was killed in one of Tigran's battle leading one of the armies, the second Zareh organized a revolt against Tigran and tried with the help of nobles, who were upset by the strong centralized ruler and wanted a strong power to be reinstated into individual Armenian States started a treason which was put down by Tigran and Zareh was put to death. Tigran's third son, also named Tigran ( Tigran the Young) tried to continue the revolt of his elder brother and it is due to this reason that Tigran the Great and his position later on in his reign would be weakened, he constantly had to move back troops from other countries such as Palestine and Commagene to fight wars and put down the rebellious nobles headed by Tigran the Young, it was later on suggested by some historians that Cleopatra, mother of Tigran was responsible for provoking her sons to rebel against Tigran, because of the fact that she felt Tigran did not provide adequate support to Mithridates, her father who was constantly at wars with the Romans. Tigran could not commit large number of troops to Mithridates, because of the reason that he constantly needed large number of boarder troops to safeguard the Southern and as well as Northeastern borders of the Empire against the Parthians on one hand and the Barbarian tribes who constantly infiltrated the borders in their raids from the Caucasus mountains. The Parthians were hoping to once again take the leading position in the East and never forgot Tigran who humiliated their king by taking his title King of Kings after sacking the royal city of Ecbatana in the ancient province of Media which along with Atrpatakan formed part of Armenian Empire, after the military campaigns of Tigran.

The fourth son of Tigran the Great was Artavazd who later on succeeded his father to the throne. Artavazd was famed for his love of theater and Hellenestic culture, Plutarch wrote that Artavazd ( Artavasdes ) had written number of plays and dramas for the theater in Artashat, he also chronicled historical events and wrote numerous other philosophical thoughts and speeches, which unfortunately have not survived through the journey of time.

In 91 B.C. as a sign of gesture and friendship Tigran passed the protectorate of Cappadocia to Mithridates of Pontus, who was in need of raw material and manpower. Mithridates was planing a long military campaign against the Romans to drive the invaders out of Anatolia and possibly as Mithridates hoped out of Greece and beyond. Tigran realized the growing strength of Rome and he believed in neutral coexistence with Rome and with the recognition of both sides spheres of influences respectively. Mithridates on the other hand believed in uniting the newly created Armenian Empire, the Parthian State and other countries of the East to check the advancement of Roman legions. The Romans who would promise the conquered nations protection and stability would place a heavy taxation on the population of the conquered countries, which lots of times resulted in the fact that many farmers and peasantry fell into deep debt to their owners or land lessors and became involuntarily slaves thus ending up somewhere on a slaves on Roman villas of or even worse as gladiators in Roman arenas. With the exception of the battle in 88 B.C. of the Mithradatic wars when Romans headed by consular regate Manlius Maltinus and Aquillius, and under the overall leadership of Sulla were defeated to the great amazement of the Romans by combined Ponto-Armenian Armies. The Roman historians of this period for most part were extremely partial and bias and today remain and are regarded as not credible and complete sources for those periods. Yet one Roman historian, Justin wrote 'Having put them to flight, he ( Tigran ) was received with great joy by the cities ( in Cappadocia) in which he found a great quantity of gold and silver and vast warlike sources, laid up by the care of the former princes. Taking possession of these, he remitted the cities all sorts of debts, public and private, and granted them immunity from tribute for five years.'( Justin XXXVIII.iii). Tigran was in deed generous with the people of the liberated lands, he too understood the danger of Roman expansion and believed in strong East united by Hellenizm which could serve as the true force of unity and common belief against common foe.

The true nature of the Roman conquests was quickly understood and a number of revolts against the Roman rule took place, the biggest of which took place in 70's B.C. under the leadership of gladiator-slave Spartacus, a Phrygian by nationality forced to fight and die for the entertainment of his Roman masters, he chose to rather die in arms fighting the Romans rather then die in chains for amusement of his masters. The revolt also forced the Romans to focus their attention into their own "back yard" on Italian peninsula and for a while Anatolia and the East as a whole was at peace. But Tigran could not afford to join such an alliance and commit troops to these campaigns mostly due to the fact that the Parthians still maintained a hostile stand against rapidly growing powerful Armenian State. Already early in 92 B.C. the Parthians conducted secret negations with the Romans asking for joint operation against Armenia and its ever growing might. But the Romans were still busy in reorganizing and putting down the remaining resistance in their newly acquired possessions in Western Anatolia and were in no position to launch military campaign of many legions and tens of thousands of troops against the might of Armenia They were already beginning to give way in the leadership of the East to Armenia.

In the years 87-85 B.C. Tigran's armies victoriously entered Armenian Mesopotamia ( Northern Mesopotamia ), Armenian Korduk, Migdonia and Adiabene which previously were under the control of the Parthians. The kingdoms of Osroyene and Atrpatakan ( Atropatene) too hurried to pledge their loyalty and support to the Armenian Empire and Tigran who by this time became known as Tigran the Great. In the year 85 B.C. the Parthians officially recognized him as the sole ruler of the East and Tigran took over the glorious title of King of Kings from the Parthian king, and honorably maintained the title to the end of his brilliant reign and glorious lifetime.

In 83 B.C. after a bloody strife for the throne of Syria, which was previously governed by Seleucid dynasty, the Syrians decided to invite Tigran to their throne to be their king thus assuring stability and protection by King of Kings Tigran. After the coronation of Tigran the Seleucid dynasty that was of Graeco-Macedonian origin and was established after the death of Alexander of Macedon ended. Tigran conducted a free and open policy to the great Hellenistic polis-cities of his Empire granting the right of self-government and control within the frameworks of the state. The right of coinage by individual cities was also granted and Syrian cities issued their own coinage as well as the coinage with the depiction of Tigran, King of Kings. 'Tigran reigned for eighteen years'(Justin XL.1) on the Syrian throne. At the same time Tigran's armies advanced and conquered the kingdoms of Commagene (mostly comprised of Armenian population) and Cilicia ( also with considerable number of Armenian folk). Once in Syria, Tigran was confronted with another foe, queen Alexandra, ruler of Palestine, as Josephus stated 'She was a sagacious woman… she increased the army the one half, and procured a great body of foreign troops, till her own nation became not only very powerful at home, but terrible also to foreign potentates.'( Wars, I.v.3; Antiq. XIII.xvi.4) Her troops marched and took Damascus, and in the face of these events Tigran was force to send the troops to neutralize the treat of any further advancement by Alexandra's army. Tigran personally took over the leadership of the military expedition to Phoenicia and Palestine, in his absence he placed one of his prominent generals Bagrat of the Noble House of Bagratouni as the governor of Syria. The Armenian regiments quickly advanced and took the city of Acre (Ptolemais) in Phoenicia. Tigran's army also successfully besieged the once the seat of Seleucid eastern capital, Seleucia-on Tigris.

Josephus in his book "Antiquities" continues to tell us that Queen Alexandra 'prevailed with Tigran(es), with many valuable presents, as also ambassadors … by agreements and presents pledged her loyalty and all of Phoenicia to King of Kings, Tigran the Great. After the successive campaigns on the Eastern sea shore of the Mediterranean in Syria, Phoenicia and Palestine the Armenian soldiers gained a great deal of fame and respect throughout the East and as well as the Roman world, classical historian Strabo wrote 'They fight on foot and on horseback, both in light and heavy armor. The horses are too protected with armor. They use javelins and bows and wear breastplates, shields, and coverings'; (XI.xiv.12) 'They have a passion for riding and take good care of their horses.' Plutarch wrote that Armenian archers could kill from 200 meters with their deadly accurate arrows. The Romans too admired and respected the core of Tigran's army the Armenian Cavalry, Sallustius Crispus wrote that Armenian army in particular the regiments of horsemen were 'remarkable by the beauty of their horses and armor' ( Ayrudzi, literary means-the horsemen. Horses in Armenia, since ancient times were considered as the most important part and pride of the warrior. It was the horse and the wagons, that made possible of vast migrations of Indo-European peoples from Armenia-Ararat. The Armenian kingdom of Mitanni and later on the Haiasa-Azzi confederation, too were very famous for their powerful horseback armies which successfully checked the Semetic-Assyrian treat against the Armenian Highland, Land of Nairi. The kingdom of Ararat continued the tradition and even increased the number of horseback troops to tens of thousands, thus becoming a superpower in the ancient world and having the biggest cavalry and the best horse mounted troops of that time). The Armenian army, now compromised with elements of other allied peoples and tribes moved on rest of Phoenicia and Palestine, Tigran hoped for a campaign in Africa, for he knew that Egypt was in relative turmoil and had considerably weakened. After acquiring Phoenicia and Palestine the armies of Tigran closed in to the Egyptian border and the kingdom of Nabataens who pledged their support and loyalty to Tigran. Eminent and great cities such as Tarson, Laodicea, Seleucia, Tyros, Sidon, Berithos ( modern Beyrut), as well as number of other Hellenistic polis' in Cappadocia, Cilicia and Commagene where now part of the Armenian Empire.

Tigran was a great admirer of cities and he truly believed that the power of the state greatly relied on the power of the individual polis-cities. The Armenian capital of Artashat, which was established by king Artashes the Good became remote from the major trade routes and was now in the eastern corner of the vast empire Tigran greatly felt the need for construction and establishment of a new, bigger and more grandeur city that would lay in the path of the trade routes and in the center of the Empire, the marvelous city of Tigranakert ( Tigranocerta). For Tigran the city would also represent the symbol of his glory and deeds and would be a center of all of the Eastern world. Around early 70's B.C. Armenian Empire was at the zenith of its power. Tigran finally began the project of the building of his dream city Tigranakert in the Armenian province of Aghdznik( Alzini). The city location of the city was chosen after precise calculations and planning, greatly taking into consideration the fact that it lay on the crossroads of trade routes ( most important of which was the ancient Persian "Royal Road" from Suza to Sardes from which the East was connected to the West) and at the heart of the Armenian Empire. Its location was near to that of the ancient city of Amid (Diarbekir). The city was surrounded by huge, thick walls that were 50 cubits (25 meters) in their height, inside of the towers of the walls were built in stables, storage rooms and warehouses of armaments and ammunition, as well as food supplies and other inventories. The great palace of Tigran was outside of the city walls surrounded by beautiful gardens. Tigran at the beginning of the establishment encouraged a extensive migration by nobility and as well as craftsmen and laborers who would form the bulk of the Royal City of Tigranakert. From Cappadocia and Armenia Minor many people moved to the ever promising and rapidly growing city of Tigranakert. At its peek the city had a population of around 100,000 people of various nationalities the largest of which were the Armenians, Greeks and Jews. There large number of merchants and markets were filled with traders from all over the ancient world. Tigranakert very quickly became a culture center of not only Armenian State, but of all of the ancient Near East. The magnificent theater that was establishment by Tigran of which he was a devoted admirer and great fan, conducted dramas and comedies mostly played by Greek as well as Armenian actors. As a major center of Hellenistic culture and thought the city attracted a great number of Greek scholar who flocked to the court of Tigran the Great. Plutarch wrote that the city was as 'a rich and beautiful city where every common man and every man of rank studied to adorn it'. The Hellenistic culture at this point was very strong in Armenia and Greek language was the official language of the court and was used by Armenian aristocracy. Tigran had divided Armenia proper into four major strategic regions or viceroyalties. Each of the four appointed governor-kings were closest to Tigran and held the highest and most prestigious position in the court after King of Kings in the royal city of Tigranakert. They were followed by the nobility and members of other houses of aristocracy. Unfortunately the dream of Tigran of even greater and mass construction within the city of educational centers of learning and establishment of other different institutions was caught short in the year 69 B.C. when the invading Romans headed by Lucullus demolished and burned the great city after the Greek garrison that was suppose to guard the city and was sworn its "loyalty" to Tigran opened the gates of the thick walls that couldn't have been taken by means of force. In its short lived time the grand city of Tigranakert had become truly a heaven for Hellenistic culture and Hellenistic ideals. The Romans did not care for the city nor Hellenizm. After plundering and looting the city of its numerous architectural treasures of fine statues and temples of gods, as well as a large quantity of gold and silver which in its number of abundance surprised the Romans and was carried off to Rome with Lucullus having taken the largest possession of the "booty" from the gold and silver Hellenistic statues, pots, cups and other inventory of the Royal court and had melted them down for valuable metal of which they were made not valuing even a bit of their architectural and artistry importance. After thoroughly looting and "cleaning" up the city the Romans set it ablaze. Many of its citizens of various nationalities were forced to leave the city, their homes and possessions being lost in the fire. The great theater of Tigranakert was too lost in the blazes. But the city did not die out, it continued its existence well into the middle ages, but the splendor and importance of the royal city were gone forever. 

Tigran provided an extensive help to his ally Mithridates, who after fleeing his own kingdom and the advancing Roman army found refuge in Tigran's court bringing along with him members of his royal court and members of nobility of Pontus ( all together around two to four thousand kinsmen). Tigran was in not so comfortable position, he faced palace revolts headed his sons Zareh and Tigran, who only persuaded their own ambitious and self centered path, without actually realizing the danger and the treat that had gradually emerged, the Parthians on the South and the Roman legions in the West. In 71 B.C Mithridates after an unsuccessful campaign against the Romans fled Pontus and found refuge in Tigran's court in the city of Artashat. Plutarch wrote 'Mithridates meanwhile, a panic-stricken fugitive, found welcome with Tigranes, King of Armenia, who comforted his despair, raised his drooping spirits and restored his ruined fortunes. Indeed Tigran did provide Mithridates with the necessary support in military and economic concept. An emissary from Lucullus demanded the handover of Mithridates, Tigran refused and sent the emissary back to Lucullus. The war between Rome and Armenia was inevitable. Lucullus entered Armenia in the spring of 69 B.C. He knew that the most vulnerable point in the west was the province of Tsopk (Sophene) which along with the province of Korduk (Gordyene) had a history of separatist tendencies. Tigran faced number of enemies within and outside of the Empire. The Parthians were ready to attack from the South, the Romans from the West, two of the most powerful mights of those times, yet Tigran had enough power to check both of them at their frontiers. Tigran knew that he had the support of the army, especially the Armenian bulk which remained very loyal to Tigran, the allied peoples such as the Albanians, Iberians, Adiabenis, Atropatenis, Mards etc. were also devoted to Tigran's cause who in the time of need stood up for Mithridates who after loosing his own kingdom totally relied on Tigran the Great and hoped of restoration of the throne of Pontus with the help of Tigran. Plutarch in a sense criticized the entry of Plutarch into Armenia and believed that it was a mistake. He wrote ' He ( Lucullus) seemed to be making reckless attack, and one admitted on no saving calculation, upon warlike nations, countless thousands of horsemen, and a boundless region surrounded by deep rivers and mountains covered with perpetual snow'. The Romans after treacherously entering Tigranakert looted and burnt the city. Tigran decided to have the decisive battle by the Aratsani (Arsanias) which in Armenia was regarded as a sacred river. The Armenian army using the famous tactics of "Parthian shot "and cavalry charge completely decimated and crushed the Roman legions, remnants of the Roman army fled from the borders of Armenia, meanwhile Mithridates with a contingent of Armeno-Pontic forces liberated Pontus and Cappadocia. The initial successes of Lucullus quickly faded away. Having seen the impotence and defeats of Lucullus, senate quickly recalled him back to Rome.

Rome now understood that they were dealing with fomitable foe. A huge Roman army was organized, with recruits from all of the Roman provinces and consul Pompey was placed in charge of the military expedition. At the same time the Romans felt that they also needed the help of the Parthians if they wanted to achieve victory over the battle hardened troops of Tigran the Great. Tigran the Young, who married the daughter of Parthian king Hrahat ( Phraates) III and hoped to ascend to the throne with the help of the Romans and Parthians led a Parthian army to the gates of Artashat. Tigran managed to quickly throw back the bulk of his army to Eastern Armenia and in 67 B.C. crush the Parthian army at the gates of Artashat. But the removal of the majority of forces from the Western frontier made it easier for the Roman legions to conquer Pontus, the kingdom of Mithridates, who was unable to resist the Roman advance with the limited army that was under his command, Mithridates was forced to flee to his possessions in Crimea and to never return to Pontus Proper in Anatolia again. Soon after Pompey was joined by the treasonous son of Tigran the Great, Tigran the Young, who offered his assistance to Pompey along with a promise of help from the Parthians and treasonous and separatist nobles from the Tsopk and Korduk provinces. Tigran now fighting on three fronts for the first time realized and understood the serious situation that he was in. He was greatly disappointed in his son, who by his actions of support to the Parthians ( Tigran the Young's marriage to the Parthian princes) and his ambitious self centered goals.

Tigran's only hope in succession of the throne and the continuity of the Artashesyan Royal House was his youngest son Artavazd, who indeed proved himself to be a wise and powerful reader, thus making him the rightful heir to the great throne of his father and the Artashesyan Royal bloodline. Tigran the Young lead the Roman legions through the passages and secret routes that were unknown to the Romans which made their advance very rapid. When the Roman legions reached the gates of Artashat in the year 66 B.C. Tigran realized that it was time to place away his own aspiration and place the needs of the country and its interests first. He as a true brave and noble man without placing value on his own life, rode to the camp of Pompey at the gates of Artashat. Pompey, after seeing Tigran who was unarmed and alone, was amazed and astonished at Tigran's courage. Tigran told Pompey that he understood the situation quite well, he knew that the Parthians already crossed the southern point into Armenian Mesopotamia and Atrpatakan and he faced a huge Roman army headed by Pompey and his treasonous son Tigran the Young. Tigran offered Pompey peace for the prize of the subdued lands such as Cappadocia, Syria, Iberia, Albania, Adiabene, Phoenicia etc. Tigran also as a part of the treaty requested that the Romans openly and officially denounce and cancel their ill-fated treaty with the Parthians, who hoped along with the Romans to conquer and divide Armenia. Pompey, who was extremely happy of the fact that there was no loss of Roman soldiers and achieved an "easy" victory quickly agreed and signed the treaty. Meanwhile Tigran the Young, who was also promised the throne of Armenia, became enraged and rebelled against Pompey after hearing the treaty between Tigran the Great and Pompey. He was arrested and sent back to Rome as a captive and representative of Parthian king Hrahat (Phraates) III, Tigran the Young being his son-in-law. The Parthians who hoped for at least a chunk of Southern Armenia, lands such as Armenian Mesopotamia and Korduk felt that they were betrayed by the Romans and their treaty, thus although the great possessions and lands were lost, but in the face of such circumstances and the many "fronts" and treats that faced Armenia from all over and particular treat to Armenia's independence itself, which would have been most certainly lost if Armenia would have been overran by numerous armies of Romans and Parthians.

Tigran in the face of extreme disastrous and almost hopeless situation kept Armenia Proper not only fully independent, but also kept the country powerful. The potential strength and wealth of the nation was kept in tact and the potential would later on show itself and provide the necessary base for the later decades and centuries that followed the great reign of King of Kings Tigran the Great. The unity of the country was also kept and the separatist states, such as Tsopk and Korduk which hoped to secede, remained and were recognized by Pompey as part of Greater Armenia, moreover provinces of Armenia Minor, east of the river Euphrates became part of Greater Armenia.

After the treaty with Pompey in 66 B.C., Tigran reigned for eleven more years, a peaceful and economically booming period for Armenia. Tigran, after to some point cutting back and dismantling his war machine, because of the fact that in peace time it was no longer necessary and was expensive to sustain and support such a numerous army, gradually began to develop an agricultural and as well as an extensive and widespread trade economy, by attracting major merchant caravans and ensuring them safe passage through the routes and roads of Armenia to the markets of the West. This had an immensely positive effect on the economy of Armenia and a large portion of the population became even more prosperous and wealthy.

In the year 54 B.C. King of Kings, Tigran the Great peacefully passed away at the age of 85, at peace with himself, at peace with his people and at peace with the world. Tigran the Great, was truly an amazingly brilliant and talented in some many fields of military, political and as well as economical aspects. It is this precise combination that made him one of the greatest men of his time. He forever left a deep mark on the history of Armenia and the Armenian nation.

. Tigran the Great is still to this day immensely loved and honored as a national hero by the Armenian nation. He will be forever remembered as the true champion and defender of the common people, advocate and supporter of culture, science, philosophy and illustrious ideas.

Courtesy of
Armenian Highland - Armenian Enlightenment Chronicle 
Web site: www.armenianhighland.com
Updated 30 August 1999 ..
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