‘THE ORIGIN OF THE ARMENIANS’ by F. Michael Chamich English text


BY FATHER MICHAEL CHAMICH From BC 2247 to the year of Christ 1780, or 1229 of the Armenian era. Translated from the original Armenian by Johannes Avdal, esq.

The Armenians are an ancient people who live in an ancient land. Their home lies in the highlands surrounding the biblical mountains of Ararat, upon which tradition tells us Noah’s ark came to rest after the flood. (Gen. 8:4). In those highlands, the Armenian state has struggled to exist for more than 3000 years, most recently regaining independence in September 1991 upon the fall of the Soviet Union. Armenia’s more than 2780-year-old capital, Yerevan, derives its name from the fortress of Erebuni, founded on that site in 782 BC. On Yerevan’s streets, the people speak a distinctive Indo-European language upon which their ancestors put the stamp of their identity 5000 or more years ago.


After the universal deluge, the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth, fixed themselves for a period in the country about Mount Ararat, upon which, it will be recollected by all conversant with ancient tradition, that the ark of their highly favoured parent first settled on the subsiding of the waters. Here they multiplied considerably, and the anger of the Almighty against the sinful children of men, being appeased, fertility again covered the face of the earth, and peace and joy once more took possession of the bosoms of its inhabitants. Shem was the first to break the intimate union which subsisted between the families of his brethren and his own. Observing the rapidity with which the little community increased, he assembled his family, and communicating to the several members of it his intentions, he bade adieu to his brethren, and accompanied by his offspring, set out in a north-westerly direction, in search of a more commodious place of abode. In the course of a few days journey he arrived at the base of a lofty mountain, bounded by an extensive plain, and delightfully watered by a river, which passed through the middle of it. He rested two months on the banks of this river, and gave the neighbouring mountain the name of Shem, after himself. At the expiration of this period he resumed his journey, turning toward the south-east, leaving Taron, one of his younger sons, to settle in the country about the mountain to which he had given his name. The latter, on taking possession of his allotted inheritance, gave the land the name of Taron. It was subsequently called Taruberan. He then distributed to his several children portions of territory, all of which became, in course of time, populous provinces.


— The author of the History is the celebrated Father Michael Chamich, a native of Constantinople, who about the middle of the eighteenth century proceeded to Venice and joined the Mukhitharian society of San Lazaro. This society was founded in the year 1712 by Mukhithar of the city of Sebastia, an individual of high intellectual and moral endowments. The members thereof are all clerical persons, who have embraced the persuasion of the church of Rome. Although it is a circumstance much to be deplored, that they have abandoned the cause of their national church, yet I cannot refrain from applauding the extraordinary progress they have made in literature. The astonishing improvement they have made in our language, the number of useful books which they have published, — except their controversial works on religion, which are calculated to do more harm than good to the nation, — the excellent types brought into use by them, extort from us admiration and praise. Father Michael Chamich has particularly distinguished himself among the members of this useful society, by many valuable and meritorious publications; among which that of the History of Armenia claims the pre- eminence. In the year 1776 he published an enlarged History of Armenia in three large quarto volumes, of about 1,000 pages each, compiled from the historical works of various authors who flourished in Armenia in various times, and wrote the accounts of their own days, of whom I shall give a detailed biographical account in its proper place. In the year 1811, Father Chamich published an abridgment of his own history, of which the present volume is a translation.  In this some references are made by the author to the enlarged history, for example, See Hist. B. I. c. 3.", which I have inserted in the beginning of my translation, but I subsequently thought proper to omit them. I would have made notes at the end of each of these references, had I not been convinced that they would have considerably increased the size of the work^ and obliged me to issue a third volume, while the support I have hitherto received is barely sufficient to defray the expenses incurred in printing the two.

The families of Ham and Japheth, which had still remained connected together near Mount Ararat, in process of time became so numerous, that they entirely peopled the country afterwards known by the name of Armenia Major; the descendants of the former inhabiting the western parts, those of the latter retaining the original settlements about the mountain. It has been conjectured that the language in common use with these people, even at this early period, was the Armenian; it is, however, certain that no records have been handed down to us by our forefathers concerning the origin of the language; but tradition goes so far as to assert positively that it is the identical one which was used by the first settlers in Armenia, who without doubt were the children of Ham and Japheth. These are the generations which immediately lead to the first Armenian lord or chief: Japheth begat Gomer, who was the father of Torgomah and Ascanaz: Torgomah was the father of Haicus, from whom are descended the Haics or Armenians. The etymological signification of Haicus is, the father or founder of a particular race of men. These, as I have before observed, are the Armenians, who, notwithstanding all the vicissitudes of fortune, amidst the direst persecutions that ever visited a people, have preserved the bond of union with a fortitude which, alas! has only marked them out to the rest of the world as fugitives and wanderers, I might almost add, as anomalies and exceptions to the social compact amongst mankind.

Having given this short account of the origin of the Armenians, we shall now commence a detail of the several events that have distinguished them under the different modes of government through which they have passed.




The Foundation of the Armenian Monarchy by Haicus.

Year of the creation of the world according to the Jews 1757; according to the Septuagint 2663. Haicus the son of Torgomah, on the dis-
persion of the descendants of Noah, in search of new places of habitation, took up his resi-
dence in the country of Senaar in Mesopo-
tamia, together with his sons and daughters and their families. At this epoch Haicus was, according to the Jewish computation, 30 years of age; but by that of the Septuagint, 130; his great progenitor Noah was still in existence.

Here he lived for a long period, witnessing the events which happened during the erection of the Tower of Babel; the confusion of languages that ensued; the building of the city of Nineveh; and the foundation of sovereign power in Assy-
ria by Belus. During this time, his descendants rapidly increased, and his sons Armenac, Manavaz and Core had already distinguished themselves by their wisdom and virtue.

The authority which Belus had succeeded in establishing over the country of Mesopotamia proving burthensome, Haicus, with his family, amounting to 300 persons, exclusive of servants, sought another place of abode. He first proceeded northward to the country round about Ararat, and here incorporated with his followers a number of individuals whom he found living in a state destitute of all form and order. These people spoke the original language of their ancestor Noah, but they had for a long time been almost entirely secluded from civilized intercourse with their fellow creatures. Haicus settled his grandson Cadmus, the son of Armenac, near Mount Ararat, and then pro-
ceeded with the rest of his family to the north-west. After a few days journey, he arrived on an extensive plain, to which he gave the name of Harc (fathers;) that his posterity might recollect that the founder and father of their nation was of the race of Torgomah, and the first who took possession of it. Here he built a town, calling it after his own name, Haicashen, i.e. founded by Haicus, in which he dwelt with his descendants; the surrounding people, not yet formed into regular society, voluntarily submitting to the laws he had instituted for the government of his own family.

On information reaching Belus, that Haicus had withdrawn from his authority, he dispatched to the latter a deputation, composed of one of his sons and twenty other persons, to recal him to obedience. Haicus, as it will be readily conceived, rejected with contempt this arbitrary invasion of the liberty of himself and his descendants. Belus then had recourse to arms, and collecting a large force, marched towards Armenia, into which he entered by the settlement formed, as we have stated, by Cadmus. On the approach of this hostile body, Cadmus immediately dispatched messengers to his grand father, warning him of the nature of Belus’s appearance. On the advance of the invaders, Cadmus, too weak for opposition, took refuge with Haicus, accompanied by all his family. Belus then marched forward to Haicashen, confident of subjugating the newly planted colony by the superiority of his numbers. In the mean time Haicus, gathered all his male descendants, with those people who had recently submitted to him, and arming them as well as he was able, set out at their head to repel the invaders. His first halting place was on the shores of a lake or small sea called Van, upon which he marshalled his little army, and addressing them, declared it to be his intention on their falling in with Belus’s army to attack that part of it where the latter commanded in person. “For,” said he, “if we succeed in dis- comfiting that part, the victory is ours; should we, however, be unsuccessful in our attempt, let us never survive the misery and disgrace of a defeat, but rather perish sword in hand, defending the best and dearest right of reasonable creatures – our liberty!” He then resumed his march, and in the course of a short journey, came in view of the enemy’s army. The spot from which Haicus discerned the troops of Belus was a small eminence in the middle of a large valley, entirely surrounded by mountains of terrific height, on the tops of which, opposite him, they appeared like a gloomy and tempestuous cloud. Belus having perceived the approach of Haicus, selected some of his best troops, and quitting the main body of his army, advanced to attack him. He was completely cased in iron armour, and surrounded on all sides by warriors habited in the same formidable manner as their Prince.
Haicus, observing their intentions, formed his order of battle, stationing Armenac and his two brothers on the right of his small force, and giving Cadmus with his two sons the charge of the left. He himself took his position in the front, his followers forming a triangle in the rear. The fight then commenced by a charge on the force of Haicus by the invaders. After a short, but bloody conflict, Belus was repulsed; and in endeavouring to effect a retreat to the main body of his army, he fell by an arrow discharged at him by Haicus, which hitting him on his brazen breastplate went through his body. Thus perished Belus at the age of 300 years; the whole of his army, panic-struck at the repulse they had suffered, and the death of their Prince, dispersed and fled. Haicus gathered much spoil from the property which had been left by the invaders in their flight. To commemorate this first success of his descendants in war, he built a village on the spot of his victory, to which he gave the name of ” The victory of the Haics”. He caused the body of Belus to be embalmed and conveyed to Harc, where it was interred, and a large monument erected over it as a token of respect to his valour and greatness. The place where he fell was thenceforward called the Tombs.

The spoil being distributed amongst the victors, Cadmus returned to his former place of abode, and Haicus, with the remainder of his people, to Harc. The latter then founded a monarchical government, and his subjects becoming daily more numerous, the kingdom of the Haics or Armenians began to exhibit an aspect of power which rendered it an object of respect to all the states then in existence.

Vardan, speaking of the death of Belus by the hand of Haicus, calls the latter “the first champion of religion, for having refused to offer adoration to the statue of Belus, and for killing the latter, as the first introducer of idolatry amongst mankind!” According to the testimony of Maribas, Haicus was a man of an extremely imposing figure, and extraordinary strength; in height, rather tall, with sharp penetrating eyes, and hair of a silky softness. He was so powerful in his arms, that few of his subjects could bend his bow. In qualities of the mind, it is related that he was eminently distinguished, extremely slow and prudent in forming his determinations; but rapid, even to impetuosity, in the execution of them. This description tallies well with the valour and skill he displayed in all his actions, particularly in his encounter with Belus. After signalizing himself in various exploits against the powers by which he was at different times assailed, and forming a code of laws for the regulation of his infant monarchy, he died in peace in his own country; having, according to Gregorius Magistratus, and Johannes Catholicus, attained a very advanced age. We have no precise account of the number of years he lived, but it is probable, according to the general duration of man’s life at that period, stated in Jewish re- cords to be from 4 to 500 years, that he reached the latter age. We have authentic accounts that he survived 80 years after the defeat and death of Belus. Haicus was succeeded in his authority by his son Armenac. [1]

The Haics or Armenians were also known by the appellations of Torgomeans, Ascanazians and Japhethians. The first of these is derived from Torgomah, the father of Haicus ; the second from Ascanaz his uncle; and the third from Japheth his great grandfather. The country which they inhabited was called Haic, i.e. the abode of the Haics. Haicus had seven brothers; Carthlus, Bard, Movcan, Leca, Herar, Covcas, and Egres. Carthlus settled in the vicinity of Mount Ormuz, where he built a fortress, calling it Orbeth, from the name of his youngest son. This fortress was afterwards known by the name of Shamsholdey. The Chians subsequently inhabited this part and took the name of Orbethian or Orbelians. The eldest son of Carthlus built the city of Muzkitha, called after his own name. From him the Georgians are descended. The remainder of the brethren of Haicus dispersed themselves over various parts of Asia, and founded states which, in the lapse of a few ages, became great and powerful. Leca, otherwise Lec or Ghec, is the founder of the race of people subsequently known by the name of the Leczees. [1]


The period between the Reigns of Armenac and Harma.

On the succession of Armenac to the government of the Haics or Armenians, he quitted Harc, where he left two of his brothers, Manavaz and Core, and accompanied by a large body of his people, advanced a few days journey to the north-east, when arriving on a plain, delightfully situated at the foot of a mountain, by which ran a river of the purest water, he halted and built a city there, calling it after himself, Aragaz or Armenagaz; i.e. the abode of Armenac. To the neighbouring mountain he gave the singular appellation of the Foot of Armenac. Here he fixed the seat of his government, and lived in peace until his death, which happened 46 years after he had assumed the government of his nation. According to the computation of the Septuagint, this prince held the supreme authority over the Haics for a period of 96 years. It is said that Armenac had 12 brothers and 24 sisters, who, by some curious caprice or predilection were called, the former by the names of the months of the year, the latter by those of the hours of the day.

Manavaz the brother of Armenac, who with Core, had continued to reside in Harc, was the founder of the distinguished race of the Manavazians. The Buznoonians, of whom we shall frequently have occasion to speak hereafter, were descended from his son Buz, who about this period settled near the north-west shore of the sea of Akhthamar. Core is the ancestor of the powerful tribe of the Corcoreans, many of whom, as will hereafter appear, contributed greatly by their actions to spread the renown of Armenian virtue and valour through Asia.

Aramais, the son of Armenac, after the death of his father, succeeded to the vacant sovereignty. He built a city of hewn stones on a small eminence in the plain of Aragaz, and near the banks of the river before mentioned, which had received the name of Gihon. The new city, which afterwards became the capital of his kingdom, he called Armavir, after himself, and the name of the river he changed to Arax, after his son Arast. Aramais had several sons, one of whom Sharah, was the most ravenous glutton in the dominions of his father. Sharah had a numerous family, and on that account received peculiar marks of his father’s favour. A portion of the most fertile land in the kingdom, situate near the river Akhoorian, was given him as a maintenance. Here he settled himself with his family, giving the country the name of Shirac. From the insatiable appetite of this prince, and the abundant fruitfulness of his lands, arose the ancient proverb, “If you have the craving stomach of Sharah, ours are not the granaries of Shirac!” Aramais having reigned about 40 years, or according to the Septuagint, 90 years, died, and was succeeded in his power by his son Amassia.

This Prince fixed the seat of his government in the city of Armavir. He had three sons, Gelam, Pharokh and Zolak. Shortly after he had assumed the supreme authority, he set out on a journey to Mount Ararat, accompanied by his sons. On his arrival there he built at the foot of it two villages, at the distance of a day’s journey from each other, both conveniently situated near springs of the purest water. Here he settled Pharokh and Zolak, naming the villages which he gave them Pharacote and Zolakert. He also changed the name of Mount Ararat, calling it the Foot of Masis, after himself; the district about the base of it he called the country of Masis. Amassia, shortly after, returned to Armavir, with his son Gelam, and died in the 32nd year of his reign. Grelam succeeded his father in the government of the Armenians. In the course of a few years, this Prince appointed his son Harma regent of the nation, and quitting Armavir with a large body of people, proceeded toward the north-east, with a view of extending his dominions, by the establishment of colonies. Having reached the sea of Sevan, he built a number of towns and villages along its shores, giving them the name of the Royal Establishments of Gelam. This sea was henceforward also known by the name of the sea of Gelam, and a high mountain situated near it, received the name of Mount Gel or Mount Gelam.

The whole of the lands on the borders of this sea were given by him to his son Sisac, a man, it is said, upon whom nature had bestowed the choicest of her gifts, which by a judicious education had been carried to a very high state of perfection. In person he was of a towering height, and athletic make, yet with a countenance of the highest cast of manly beauty. His mental endowments and acquirements were of a no less distinguished nature. He was quick in his perception, and admirably just in his discrimination; gifted also with such a persuasive eloquence, that his rude contemporaries bestowed upon him the surname of the Savoury, or the man in whose language shone the highest excellence. He was the most skilful archer of the age in which he lived; and, indeed, in whatever point of view his character is taken, the same superiority is exhibited throughout. Sisac, on receiving this country from his father, covered the whole face of it with villages and hamlets, giving it the name of Sisakan. It is sometimes also called Seunic, and from these two appellations the inhabitants took the names of Sisakans and Seunics. Gelam, after settling the condition of this new province, proceeded eastward, and extended his dominions as far as the river Core; the inhabitants of the country, even to the Caspian Sea, willingly submitted to his sway, and took the name of Aluans, from one of his surnames. Gelam then returned into the heart of his kingdom, and founded a city near a stream at the foot of a mountain, which he called Gelamy, between the river Arax and the small sea of Sevan. This city was subsequently known by the name of Garnee, from the circumstance of its having been rebuilt by one of Gelam’s grandsons of that name. Gelam took up his residence in this city, and lived there until his death, which happened in the 50th year of his reign. Harma, the son of Gelam, who had been appointed regent during the expeditions of his father, now succeeded to the title and power of king of Armenia. He fortified the city of Armavir, surrounding it with stone walls of great height and thickness. He also embellished it by the erection of several magnificent palaces within the walls, and ornamented the face of the adjacent country by building a number of pleasure-houses and caravansaries for the entertainment of travellers. He enjoyed his dignity in peace and security during a period of 31 years, when he died, and was succeeded by his son Aram.


Reign of Aram to that of Anushavan.

ARAM ascended the throne of Armenia on the decease of the late monarch, and by his wisdom and policy greatly extended the dominions which had been bequeathed to him. The Armenian power, under the guidance of this prince, was acknowledged from Mount Caucasus to Mount Taurus, and the study of arts and arms experienced, during his reign, that nurture which rendered the Armenians in the succeeding ages so powerful and respected a nation.

Shortly after his assumption of the royal authority, his kingdom was invaded by the Medes, under their prince Neuchar, who had, for a period of two years previous to the death of Harma levied contributions on the inhabitants of the frontiers. On the news of the entrance of these enemies into the country, Aram collected a body of troops, consisting of 50,000 men, armed, according to the fashion of the age, with bows and lances, and making a hasty and secret march toward the spot where the invaders lay, took them completely by surprise. Little resistance was made, and the Medes fled on all sides. A dreadful slaughter of them ensued, and Neuchar, being overtaken in his flight, was made prisoner and brought to Armavir, where he was nailed by the head to the fortifications of the city. Aram then subjugated that part of the territory of the Medes which lies between Armenia and Mount Zarasp. Three years after these events Armenia was invaded by Barsham, prince of the Babylonians, at the head of 40,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry. He was however quickly met by Aram and his troops, and defeated and slain. Aram immediately after this success marched toward Cappadocia, with an army of 40,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry. He was gallantly opposed by Payabis, the prince of that country, who, however, was defeated and made prisoner. Aram confined his illustrious captive in an island in the Mediterranean Sea, conjectured to be Cyprus, and appointed Mishak, one of his followers, to the government of Cappadocia, ordering him to force the inhabitants to use only the Armenian language. He then returned to Armavir and made various improvements in his dominions, as well as in the condition of his subjects. This prince was the first to raise the Armenian name to any degree of renown; so that contemporary nations, in making mention of the actions performed by his subjects under his personal direction, called them the deeds of the Aramians, or followers of Aram, a name which has been corrupted into Armenians: and the country they inhabited, by universal consent, took the name of Armenia. This is the origin of the denomination which now distinguishes our country among foreigners; and the more ancient one of Haics, which is similar, and indeed is the juster of the two, has sunk into disuse.

Mishak, the governor of Cappadocia, who is called Moshok by Greek historians, founded about this epoch a city in that country, and surrounded it with stone walls. He gave it the name of Mishak, after himself; but the Cappadocians, unable to pronounce it correctly, called it Majak. The name was subsequently changed to Cesarea or Gaysarey. This country being annexed to the dominions of Aram by right of conquest, and being the first acquisition of territory he made, received the name of Armenia in reference to his name: it should be recollected also, that his paternal kingdom, at the period of his father’s death, was not known by the name of Armenia; but, as I have before stated, by that of Haic. In the course of time, however, Aram extended his arms into other countries, which being reduced, received the name of their conqueror, like Cappadocia, only with this difference, that each was numbered according to priority of conquest. Thus, Cappadocia is styled the first Armenia; the next conquest, second Armenia; the next, third Armenia. Here the progress of Aram’s arms ceased, and the whole three provinces were thenceforward called Armenia Minor, in reference to the country of Haic, which took the title of Armenia Major. One of the fifteen provinces of the latter, situate near the river Euphrates, borders on Armenia Minor, and is sometimes, in allusion to the divisions of the latter, called the fourth Armenia. At this period Aram was threatened with a formidable enemy in the person of Ninus, the powerful king of Assyria, who was a descendant of that Belus who had fallen by the hand of the great progenitor of the Armenian nation. Ninus recollecting this circumstance, meditated revenge on the posterity of Haicus, and would have invaded Armenia had it not been for his counsellors, who felt rather intimidated by the fame of Aram’s skill and courage. The two monarchs, some time afterwards, entered into a bond of amity, Ninus bestowing on Aram a wreath of pearls, then considered as a peculiar mark of honour, and giving him the title of his brother and colleague. Aram swayed the sceptre of Armenia for a period of 58 years, when he died and left the kingdom to his son Arah. During the reign of Aram, it appears, that the Armenians first became conscious of the extent of the resources of their country, and under the conduct of a wise and warlike sovereign made the surrounding nations sensible of their weight as a political body. National glory also first sprung into existence in the time of Aram; for, previous to the warlike operations, offensive and defensive, performed under his directions, the Armenians had not been accustomed to distinguish between private and public enmity. This era may be regarded as the dawn of that greatness which the Armenian nation afterwards attained, and which beamed with such lustre during the sway of the Arsacidae.

Arah ascended the throne of Armenia after the death of the late monarch. He was surnamed the Handsome, from the extreme beauty of his person. Ninus, who had entered into such an intimate league with Aram, continued to distinguish his son with marks of regard no way inferior to those which be had shewn his father. Arah considerably improved the kingdom; and about Armavir, the capital, so many buildings were erected by him, and so great was the content of the people residing near it, that by common consent that part of his dominions was called after him, Ararat or Ayrarat. The administration of public affairs, at that period, was so highly appreciated, that, by way of excellence it was named the Ayraratian government. Some years after the accession of Arah to the throne, his queen Nuardus was delivered of a son, who was named Cardus. Ninus died about this period, and was succeeded in the government of Assyria by his wife Semiramis, who was the first woman invested with sovereign power. She was of extremely loose principles, and having heard of the personal beauty of Arah, she sent him an offer of her hand and crown; or if he did not choose to marry her, she besought him to visit her at Nineveh to gratify her sensuality, when she would load him with riches, and permit him to return in safety to Armenia. Arah, disgusted at the grossness of the offer of the lustful queen, drove her ambassadors with disgrace out of his country. This brought on a war; Semiramis invading Armenia with a powerful army, Arah hastened at the head of his troops to oppose her. On the opposite armies joining battle, the Assyrian soldiers were charged by their queen to spare the life of Arah, and to endeavour to take him alive. The issue of the fight proved disastrous to the Armenians; they were defeated, and their prince was slain in the 26th year of his reign. Semiramis, on learning this last circumstance, was deeply afflicted; and having procured his dead body, endeavoured to restore life to it by means of magical incantations. The Armenians, in the mean time, irritated at the fall of their king, prepared to revenge his death on the invaders. Semiramis, alarmed at their preparations, and perceiving that all her attempts were fruitless to recal Arah to life, the body having already become putrid, directed the corpse to be flung into a dungeon, and one of her favourites to personate the unfortunate Arah, who, as she gave out to his subjects, had been restored to life by the peculiar favour of the gods. This artifice succeeded in pacifying the Armenians, and Semiramis raised the young Cardus, then 12 years of age, to the throne of his father, directing him to assume the name of Arah. The Assyrian queen was so pleased with the salubrity of the air, and the fertility and picturesque nature of the country, that she left a splendid mark of her munificence in it, on her returning to Assyria, having built a magnificent city on the shores of the sea of Akhthamar. Twelve thousand workmen and six hundred architects were employed in the erection of the buildings in this city. It became thenceforward the summer residence of Semiramis, and was afterwards known by the name of Van. Cardus, surnamed Arah succeeded to the throne of Armenia at the death of his father, under the auspices of Semiramis. This prince, on attaining maturity, married, and had one son named Anushavan, who, (through a superstitious idea that those trees were the favourite terrestrial residences of the gods) was solemnly dedicated to the poplars planted around Armavir by king Armenac. People at that period imagined that those who were thus offered to the gods would become the special objects of their care.

On this account Anushavan was surnamed the Poplar. Some few years after this event, Ninyas, the son of Semiramis, rebelled against his mother, and having formed a party vastly superior to what was attached to the queen, she was obliged to fly, and take refuge in Armenia. Here she was received by Cardus with all the friendship he could demonstrate, and raising an army he marched with her at the head of it to reduce her rebellious son. A battle ensued, in which. Semiramis and her gallant ally Cardus were defeated and slain; the former in her 62nd year, the latter in his 30th; eighteen of which he had ruled over Armenia.

Anushavan, on the defeat and death of his father, fell into the hands of the victor Ninyas, who retained him captive in his palace. At the time of this unfortunate event, Anushavan was but 14 years of age. When he attained maturity, some of the Assyrian nobles, with whom he had ingratiated himself by his amiable disposition and manners, interceded on his behalf with Ninyas, and procured his release and restoration to a part of his hereditary dominions, on condition that he should pay homage for them to the Assyrians. Anushavan, on agreeing to this condition, assumed the royal dignity in that portion of Armenia which had been restored to him. He proved a prince of eminently great qualities, and by the alternate use of arms and policy, eventually recovered the whole kingdom. He enjoyed a long reign; and died 63 years after the fall of Cardus.


The period between the Reigns of Paret and Scavordee.

ANUSHAVAN died without issue, and the crown of Armenia fell to the nearest collateral branch of his family, the supreme power being still possessed by the descendants of Haicus.

The successor to Anushavan, on the throne, was Paret, a prince of great valour and talent. He was several times engaged in war with the neighbouring powers, but always proved successful. He died after a reign of 50 years, during which the Jewish Patriarch Joseph died in Egypt at the age of 120 years.

Arbak succeeded Paret on the throne of Armenia, and reigned 44 years, when he died, Zavan, a prince of great courage and virtue, then seized upon the supreme authority, which he exercised with mildness and justice for a period of 37 years, when he was suddenly taken off by death. In his days the Athenian and Lacedaemonian states were founded.

Pharnak the first succeeded Zavan, and reigned 53 years. He was conquered, but restored to his kingdom, by Sesostris, king of Egypt. After the departure of the latter from Armenia, Pharnak built a number of fortresses in his dominions to protect himself against future invasions. At this period the Children of Israel quitted Egypt. On the death of Pharnak, Soor became the king of Armenia. He proved a great and successful warrior, and was the idol of his subjects. During his reign the Children of Israel took possession of Canaan or the land of promise. Many of the aborigines of that country took refuge in Armenia, under the conduct of a leader, named Canaanidas, a man, as the records state, of immense riches. From him the Canaanidians, otherwise the Gunthunians, who are well known in the annals of our history, are descended. Soor died after a splendid reign of 45 years.

Havanak, otherwise Hunak, then took possession of the sovereign power, and exercised it 30 years, when he died. Vashtak, his successor, reigned 22 years. Haykak the first, was the next sovereign. He proved a warlike and skilful prince, and raised the national glory to a greater height than it had ever before attained. He attacked and subdued Amindes the king of Assyria, and obliged him to do him homage for his dominions. He was not, however, equally successful in his endeavours to compel Belok, the successor of Amindes, to the same subjection; for that monarch resolutely opposed him, and in an action that took place between the Assyrians and the Armenians, Haykak was defeated and slain, after a splendid reign of 18 years.

After his death, Ambak the first took posses- sion of the kingdom and governed it 14 years.

Arnak was the next sovereign, who died after reigning 17 years.

He was succeeded by Shavarsh the first, who built the city of Shavarshan, but reigned only 6 years. Norayr, his successor, held the government 24 years.

Vistam, the next king, swayed the sceptre of Armenia for a period of 13 years.

Car then held the supreme power for 4 years, when he was succeeded by Gorak, who possessed it 18 years. Hirant the first, after the death of Gorak, governed the kingdom for 25 years. In the reign of this monarch, Buz the son of Neptune, founded the city of Byzantium, now Constantinople.

Unzak succeeded Hirant, and governed Armenia for 13 years. Gilak was the next sovereign; he reigned 30 years, and at his death the kingdom fell into the hands of Horo, who possessed it only three years.

The successor of Horo was Zarmayr, who proved a warlike and successful prince. He engaged in several wars with the neighbouring powers, and greatly raised the glory of the Armenian name. During his reign happened the famous siege of Troy, and as he was an ally of the besieged people, he went to their assistance with a large body of troops. After distinguishing himself considerably against the Grecian besiegers, he fell in an encounter with Achilles.

This event happened in the year 2818, (or 4017 according to the Septuagint,) and in the twelfth year of his government of Armenia. On the news of his death reaching his subjects, much discord arose amongst the chiefs as to the choice of his successor; and the interregnum lasted for about two years. At the expiration of this period Shavarsh the second, a lineal descendant of Shavarsh the first, by the force of his valour and policy, made himself king, and reigned prosperously during 43 years.

At his death the sovereignty of Armenia was seized upon by Perch the first, from the tribe of Seunics, a man of great skill and courage, who, by his exploits became the terror of all the adjacent nations. In these days lived Eli, the high priest of the Jews. After a glorious reign of 35 years. Perch died, and was succeeded in his power and dignity by Arbun, surnamed the Brave, in consequence of the many gallant actions he performed. His government lasted 27 years, during which, Saul was anointed king of Israel. Perch the second, the successor of Arbun, was contemporary with the Jewish King David. His reign continued for a period of 40 years. The kingdom of Armenia was next governed by Bazuk, surnamed the Long-lived, by reason of the unusually long duration of his reign, which extended to a period of 50 years, during which the temple of Solomon at Jerusalem was founded. Hoi, succeeded Bazuk in the government of the nation, and held it 44 years. He was surnamed the Terrific, from the peculiarly fierce expression of his countenance.

On the death of Hoi, Husak became king, and swayed the sceptre 31 years. Ambak the second, his successor, held the sovereign power 27 years.

Kaypak, the next king, reigned 45 years, and by the splendour of his military achievements threw the whole of the actions of his predecessors completely into the shade. Pharnavaz the first succeeded Kaypak, and governed the kingdom 33 years. Pharnak the second then assumed the authority, and exercised it for a period of 40 years. He was an inactive, inglorious prince, wasting his time in the most frivolous occupations, by which the country suffered a variety of evils, the territory being repeatedly invaded, and many provinces entirely conquered by the Assyrians.

The succeeding monarch, Scavordee, however, by his wisdom and valour, repaired all the injuries the kingdom had suffered under the weak and impotent sway of Pharnak. He succeeded in wresting from the Assyrians the conquests they had made in Armenia, and by the prudence of his administration rendered his people as happy as they had ever been under any of his predecessors. He died universally regretted, after a brilliant reign of 17 years, during which period Romulus laid the foundation of the city of Rome.


The period between the Reign of Paroyr, who was the first King of Armenia that was publicly crowned, and that of Erwand the first.

Up to this time, those monarchs who ruled over Armenia, although they possessed all the power of absolute princes, had never undergone the ceremony of a public coronation. Indeed the ensigns of royal dignity, the crown and sceptre, were scarcely known by them to have an existence, and it was not until an intercourse took place between the Armenians and Assyrians, that the former became sensible of the importance with which the decorations of a sovereign prince were invested. It appears also, from the events that took place in the reign we are about to notice, that those kings only who wore the badges of royalty, could permit other princes to assume them.

On the death of Scavordee, the government of Armenia was taken possession of by his son Paroyr; which event happened two years after the foundation of Rome. At this period Sardanapalus, a man of vicious habits and the most unruly passions, swayed the sceptre of Assyria. Five years after the assumption of the supreme controul of Armenia by Paroyr, the conduct of Sardanapalus became so disgusting to the Assyrians, that a rebellion broke out against him, headed by Arbaces, prince of the Medes, a man of talent and virtue.

This latter, previous to his commencing hostilities against Sardanapalus, sent to Paroyr and Belesis, surnamed Nabonazar, the prince of Babylon, offering, if they would join him in his projected attempt to dethrone the king of Assyria, to confer upon them the ensigns of royalty, on his being seated on the throne of Nineveh, which was his object in heading the Assyrian insurgents. Paroyr and Belesis having accepted the offer of Arbaces, and joined him with their respective forces, the whole three advanced to Nineveh, and expelled Sardanapalus. Arbaces was then raised to the throne, and, pursuant to the promises he had made his two allies, solemnly crowned them kings of their respective countries. Belesis then proceeded to Babylon with his family, where he reigned for a long period with absolute power. Paroyr returned to Armenia, and forthwith assumed the crown and sceptre, which had been so lately conferred upon him. Arbaces did not retain possession of Nineveh, but returned to Media some time after he and his allies had separated. Assyria, by the succession of various events, was, after the expulsion of Sardanapalus, at first governed by Tiglathpileser; then by his son Shalmanazar, who conquered Samaria. Sennacherib, the son and successor of the latter, in an expedition against the Jews, then governed by king Hezekiah, lost the whole of his army by the sword of the avenging angel. On his return to Nineveh, he was plunged into the bitterest grief by the reflection of the late defeat and destruction of his soldiers, and superstitiously conceiving that the anger of the gods he worshipped was kindled against him, he meditated endeavouring to appease them by the sacrifice of his sons Adramelech and Sharezer on the altar of the idol Nisroch. The two intended victims, how- ever, got timely information of the cruel designs of their unnatural father, and seizing their opportunity, killed Sennacherib in the temple of Nisroch. They then took refuge in Armenia, where they were kindly received by king Paroyr, who allotted them portions of land for their maintenance. To Sharezer he gave a territory in the south-western part of Armenia, bordering on Assyria. The Sanasoons or Sasoons, a numerous and valiant race, who principally inhabited Mount Sion, claim Sharezer for their ancestor. The king gave Adramelech a country to the south-east of that of his brother Sharezer. From Adramelech are descended the great tribes of the Arzrunians and Gnunians. The posterity of these two Assyrian princes, in the course of a few ages, became so numerous, that they established an independent kingdom in the country in which their ancestors had first settled, calling it Vaspurakan, and themselves Vaspurakanians.

Paroyr, after a glorious reign of 48 years, died in peace at Armavir, in the 50th year of the building of Rome. He was succeeded in his crown by his son Hirachay the Keen, so called from the brightness of his eyes, and who was also contemporary with Hezekiah king of Judah. He died after a reign of 22 years.

Pharnavaz the second, the son of Hirachay, governed Armenia 13 years, and was contemporary with Manasseh the king of Judah and son of Hezekiah.

Pachoych, son of the late monarch of Armenia, ruled 35 years.

Cornak, the son of Pachoych, succeeded his father at his death, and wore the crown of Armenia eight years, when he died, and was succeeded by his son Phavos, who reigned 17 years.

Haykak the second, the son of Phavos, at the death of the latter, ascended the throne of Armenia. He joined Nebuchadnezzar the great king of Babylon in his expedition against the Jews, and on the latter being led into captivity, Haykak took one of their chiefs, named Shambat, together with all his family, and brought him into Armenia: from Shambat are descended the great family of the Bagratians, which afterwards possessed the throne of Armenia, and which derived their name from the illustrious Bagarat, who, it will hereafter be seen, shed such a lustre on the reign of Valarsaces. Many of the most distinguished of this race were called Sumbat, after their original ancestor, and a few took the name of Ashot, in memory of Asood the son of this Jewish chief. Haykak died after a prosperous reign of 36 years. He was succeeded by his son Erwand the first, surnamed the Short-lived, who reigned only four years. The sister of this monarch was married to an Armenian chief named Vardkes, who founded a large city near the river Casakh, calling it by his own name. It was some ages after rebuilt by Valarsaces, a king of Armenia of the Arsacidaean line, who gave it the name of Valarshapat.


The Reign of Tigranes Haicus.

ON the death of Erwand, the crown was taken possession of by his son Tigranes, who adorned his dignity by virtues of the highest order. Endowed by nature with the most estimable qualities of the mind, Tigranes, by a happy union of gentleness and humility in his manners, gained the affections of all who were in habits of intercourse with him; and that superiority which the powers of his understanding gave him over his fellow-men, which, in too many instances, is the means of estranging the good will of others from its possessor, by his unassuming disposition was never employed but for the best purposes. His person was not at all inferior to his mind, for the perfection of manly beauty shone in it. He was also distinguished for the most chivalric bravery, and during his reign the manners and customs of the Armenians experienced a complete revolution. Refinement in dress and living was carried to the highest pitch of perfection, and the army was completely re-modelled, upon principles which afterwards proved the source of so much glory to the nation. He engaged in several wars with the adjacent powers, in all of which he was attended by incredible success. He defeated the Greeks, and compelled them for a long period to pay him tribute. Cyrus at this period was at the head of the Persian nation, and had immortalized himself by the most splendid achievements in war. An alliance offensive and defensive was formed between this monarch and Tigranes, which nearly proved the means of depriving the latter of his crown and life. [1]

Ahasuerus, king of Media, who was at this time at war with Cyrus, no sooner heard of the alliance that had been formed between the latter and Tigranes, than he was seized with terror, and abandoned all hopes of future success in the war which he was then prosecuting. One evil, it is said, is only the harbinger of another; for shortly after, Abasuerus received information that Nebuchadnezzar the great king of Babylon, had joined the alliance between Cyrus and Tigranes.

While the king of Media was under the influence of the fears which the coalition of three such powerful states had induced, he had a dream full of dreadful portents. In it, he beheld a mountain in labour, which, in the end, produced three warriors. One of these appeared seated on the back of a furious lion, which he guided toward the west. The second rode on a leopard, and took a northerly direction. The third, more dreadful than the other two in his aspect, was sustained by a dragon, which forthwith appeared to enter and desolate the whole face of the country of Media. The king thought that he endeavoured to stop the progress of the hero with the dragon, but was wounded and killed by him.

On his awaking from this horrible dream, he commanded his wise men to interpret to him the meaning of the objects his fancy had conjured up during his sleep. He was informed that the first was Cyrus; the second Nebuchadnezzar; but the one who had brought him to destruction was the formidable Tigranes, by whom they augured the Medes would be conquered. Ahasuerus, alarmed at this prophecy, determined to make preparations for meeting the first two in the field; but he resolved to endeavour to take Tigranes off by assassination. For the latter purpose he sent ambassadors into Armenia, bearing magnificent presents to the king, and begging his sister Tigrana in marriage, whom, he said, he would exalt to the dignity of Queen of queens. Tigranes, not suspecting the faith of Ahasuerus, readily complied with his desire, and sent Tigrana into Media attended by a numerous suite, and such as befitted a princess of the royal house of Haicus. The marriage was celebrated immediately on her arrival, and Ahasuerus, in prosecution of his designs, paid her a respect almost bordering on adoration, in order to prepare her to second him in his attempt on the life of her brother. At length he disclosed to her his designs, endeavouring at the same time to stir up her jealousy against Zarina the wife of her brother, who, he told her, had instigated Tigranes to join Cyrus to extirpate the royal family of Media. “Thus,” said he, “unless you assist me in procuring the death of Tigranes, we shall infallibly fall victims to the powerful coalition against us. I, doubtless, shall perish in defending my crown, but a harder fate will befal you, surviving, as you most assuredly will, all your honour and dignities!”

Tigrana, however, was too affectionate a sister to engage in the black designs of her guilty husband. She appeared to listen to his proposals with pleasure, but secretly sent to Armenia, by the means of trusty servants, a faithful account of all that had occurred from the period of her leaving it. Tigranes no sooner learned the fate to which his brother- in-law had devoted him, than he became furious, and despatching a messenger to Cyrus, requested him immediately to push the war vigourously against Ahasuerus. In the mean time he levied a large army, and placing himself at its bead, advanced to the frontiers of Media. Here he waited the arrival of Cyrus, and forbore commencing hostilities, through affection for his sister Tigrana, for whose safety he feared, should Ahasuerus suspect her having disclosed to him the projects of her husband. About five months after, Tigrana managed to effect her escape to her brother; and Cyrus having arrived with a Persian army, the two princes forthwith entered Media.

Ahasuerus made a faint attempt to protect his dominions, but he was defeated, and fell by the hand of Tigranes, who killed him by a thrust of his spear. A vast number of Medes fell in the action, and 10,000 were made prisoners, among whom were the whole of the women belonging to the king. The country then submitted to the victors, and Cyrus added it, by the consent of Tigranes, to his own dominions. The latter returned to Armenia loaded with booty, and attended by a vast number of captives. In gratitude to his sister, he gave her the city of Tigranakert, which he had lately built, with a large extent of country in its environs. The women of Ahasuerus, with the remainder of the captives, he settled near Nackjuan and along the banks of the rivet Arax.

The descendants of these women, proceeding from the king of Media, were thence forward called the offspring of Ajdahak or the Dragon, in allusion to the name of Ahasuerus, which, in the Armenian language, signifies a dragon. At this period, Cyrus, accompanied by Tigranes, effected the conquest of Lydia, which was then in the possession of Croesus, but was now added to the large empire of the former. Shortly after, the two monarchs besieged and took the city of Babylon, which was given to Darius, the uncle of Cyrus, who thenceforward governed it under the title of king. All the christian nations are in possession of authentic accounts of Tigranes being associated with Cyrus in his conquest of Babylon; for the prophet Jeremiah exclaims, “Set ye up a standard in the land; blow the trumpet among the nations; prepare the nations against her (Babylon); call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up, as the rough caterpillars.” See Chap. 51, verse 27, &c. It is evident, by the chronology of the Jews and Armenians, that, at the capture of Babylon, Tigranes was king of Ararat. After a glorious reign of 45 years, in which his glory had eclipsed that of all his predecessors, Tigranes died, to the great regret of all the nation, leaving three sons born of his queen Zarina, viz. Bab, Tiran, and Vahagn. The great conqueror Cyrus died five years before his ally Tigranes.


The period between the Reign of Vahagn and the Conquest of Armenia by Alexander the Great.

Vahagn, although the youngest son of the late Monarch, took possession of the throne at the decease of his faxher; his two elder brothers being of a less warlike disposition, quietly relinquishing their claims. This prince proved a virtuous and magnanimous character. His personal strength and courage were so great, that he was usually called by his subjects Hercules the Second. He performed many gallant exploits, and became so renowned that songs in his praise were composed and sung by the Armenians and Georgians; wherein, amongst a variety of other valiant actions, he was said to have fought and conquered dragons. This alluded, no doubt, to his wars with the Medes, the descendants of Ahasuerus, who, as we have related, were called the Dragons. These songs were current in Armenia even in the days of the most flourishing state of Christianity in that country. Vahagn died after a brilliant reign of 27 years. A statue of this monarch was erected in Georgia by the inhabitants of that country, in commemoration of his many great qualities, and according to the pagan custom in those days, divine honours were paid him; sacrifices being offered to the statue. From this prince the tribe of Vahunians are descended, many of whom afterwards officiated as priests in temples which they had erected to their ancestor, who, as we before stated, had been deified.

Aravan the youngest son of Vahagn succeeded his father on the throne of Armenia, and held it 18 years. He is the ancestor of the tribe of the Aravenians.

Nerseh, the son of Aravan, was the next king, and reigned 35 years. He was succeeded by his son Zareh, who swayed the sceptre 46 years. From him are descended the Zarehavenians. Armog, the son of Zareh, wore the crown of Armenia nine years. He was succeeded by his son Baygam, who died after a reign of 14 years. Van, the son of Baygam, became king on the decease of his father, and held that dignity 20 years. This monarch repaired the large city which had been built in Armenia by the Assyrian queen Semiramis, and changed its name to Van. Vahey, the son of Van, was the last king of the posterity of Haicus, who held the sovereignty of Armenia. In the beginning of his reign he proved exceedingly fortunate in all the enterprizes in which he engaged, but success forsook him at length, and he lost his crown and his life at the same moment. Alexander the Macedonian, about this period, was engaged in war with the Persians, and as the Armenians were allies of the latter, Vahey sent to their assistance an army of 40,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry. Darius the Persian king, having been defeated and killed, Vahey, listening only to the suggestions of his friendship for that monarch, assembled a vast army, composed of Armenians, Huns, Alans, Georgians, Aluans, and other nations, with which he advanced against Alexander, determined to revenge the death of Darius or perish in the attempt. The latter fate befel him; for in an action that shortly after followed, Vahey was defeated and fell, after performing the most heroic exploits, having reigned about twenty-three years. A vast number of his army perished on the field; many were made prisoners; and the whole of Armenia fell into the hands of Alexander. From this period royalty was unknown in Armenia until the rise of the Arsacidae.



AFTER the conquest of Armenia by Alexander the Great, it was ruled by Governors. They were seven in number, following in succession, several of whom possessed all the power and state of absolute monarchs. The first of course was appointed by the conqueror; the others were nominated by his successors. Some came from Macedonia, the remainder from Seleucia, as will hereafter appear.


Embracing the period between the Governments of Mihran and Hirant.

MIHRAN was the first governor of Armenia. He was appointed by Alexander the Great three years after the death of Vahey, and after presiding over the country five years, was recalled by Perdiccas, then king of Macedonia.

Neoptolemus, a celebrated Macedonian nobleman, succeeded him. He was a cruel and haughty tyrant, and harassed the Armenians to such a degree that they were driven almost to despair. At this period, Perdiccas the Macedonian having defeated the king of Cappadocia, in a war that had broken out between them, prince Arithes, the son of the latter, took refuge in Armenia, and being at enmity with Neoptolemus, excited a rebellion amongst the Armenians, the object of which was to expel the tyrant.

They were easily prevailed upon to make the attempt, and Ardward or Erwand, the chief of the Seunics, a valiant and powerful man, having collected troops in his country, joined the insurgents, and attacking the tyrant unexpectedly, the latter was defeated, and with difficulty saved himself by flight. This occurred in the second year of his government.

Ardward having thus expelled Neoptolemus, and gained the affection of the Armenian troops and nobles, threw off the Macedonian yoke, and took upon himself the government of the nation. Perdiccas was greatly exasperated on receiving the news of this revolt, and as he had no leisure to occupy himself with the affairs of Armenia, owing to the incessant wars in which he was engaged, he sent an order to Eumenes, whom he had appointed governor of Cappadocia, to take immediate steps for the reduction of the insurgents.

Eumenes marched with a great force into Armenia; and after some operations found that nothing was to be effected by coercion; he therefore determined to try mild measures, and with that view sent a conciliatory message to Ardward.

“Let not Armenia,” said he, “consider it disgraceful to be under the powerful control of Macedonia; and do thou, who hast gotten possession of the country, receive again Neoptolemus as governor of it under thy countenance and support; consent, therefore, to pay the Macedonians the yearly tribute through him!” Ardward, the successful chief, accepted these terms, yet doubted the good faith of Eumenes. His reply to the latter was couched in this language. “May the sway of heroes be unmolested! There is no reason why Neoptolemus, the agent of the Macedonian power, should not be the ruler of our land. We also know well how to appreciate the merits of our fellow men; yet let him beware of acting as heretofore.”

Neoptolemus hereupon returned to Armenia, and was honourably received by Ardward, who became his prime minister. But as we have already observed, the former was an arrogant tyrannical character, he took every occasion to distress the Armenians, and by this means to revenge the injury he had formerly sustained from them when he was driven out of the country.

A quarrel however took place between him and Eumenes the illustrious governor of Cappadocia, who had advised him to treat the Armenians with mildness. Having by flattery engaged Ardward, the great chief, to espouse his cause, by his means he raised troops, and being joined by some discontented Macedonians residing in Cappadocia, boldly advanced towards Eumenes, but being defeated by the latter, he was obliged to seek safety by flight.

A second battle took place shortly after, in which the chiefs of the two armies had a personal encounter. Such virulence and rancour were displayed by them in this conflict, that they resembled two wild beasts encountering with a determination not to desist until after the destruction of one. Dropping the reins of their horses, they grappled each other by the armour, and falling in this position to the ground, gave and received several dreadful wounds. Eumenes had stabbed Neoptolemus in the thigh; but the latter, undaunted, continued to fight on his knees, inflicting three severe wounds in the other’s arm and thigh. Eumenes, however, succeeded in killing his antagonist, 49
whose head he severed from the body. The army of the slain leader fled to Armenia. His auxiliaries retired to their respective homes.

Some years afterwards, when Eumenes and Perdiccas were dead, Ardward, the great chief of the Armenians, whom some of the ancients style king, assembled a considerable force, for the purpose of restoring Arithes, prince of Cappadocia, who had taken refuge in Armenia, to the throne of his ancestors. The latter, placed at the head of this army, marched into Cappadocia, overthrew his enemies, and firmly established himself in the possession of the kingdom. Not unmindful of his Armenian friends he distributed presents to the army, and sent it back to Ardward, to whom also he testified his gratitude by many valuable gifts. Ardward governed the kingdom of Armenia happily for a period of 33 years, and died to the infinite regret of the whole people. The power of the Seleucidae preponderating at this period in the east, whose sway was acknowledged by the Persians, Medes, Parthians, and Armenians, a governor from amongst them was readily admitted as the successor of Ardward. This individual, whom history designates by the name of Hirant, exercised the supreme controul of Armenia for a period of 46 years unmarked by any incident worthy of record.


Comprehending the time that elapsed between the Government of Artavaz and Artavazd.

AFTER the death of Hirant, the government of the country was seized by Artavaz, an Armenian chief of great power and influence. He exercised his power in the most arbitrary manner. Being naturally of an unquiet ambitious spirit, he, by various successful wars, extended his dominion to the confines of Atropatia and other surrounding countries. Elated by his successes, he boldly declared himself independent of the Seleucidae, to whom he thenceforward refused to pay the usual tribute.

Antiochus, at this epoch, swayed the sceptre of Seleucia. Upon his being made acquainted with the defalcation of Artavaz, he determined to bring him to reason. He assembled his forces hereupon and marched with great heat toward the latter. The refractory Artavaz, however, not daring to meet Antiochus in the field, was obliged to compromise, and Armenia 52 became again subject to the power of the Seleucidae. Antiochus withdrew his army, after being paid the arrears of tribute, and receiving gifts from the hands of Artavaz. The latter governed Armenia in peace for a period of 50 years, when he died.

Antiochus of Seleucia, after the death of Artavaz, divided Armenia into two governments, of which one is called Armenia Major and the other Armenia Minor. Over the former he placed Artaces, whose principal seat of government was the country of Ararat, near the river Arax, and over the latter, Darius, whose chief province was the country of Zophs near the river Euphrates.

About this time war raged between Rome and Carthage. The latter being worsted, her great general, Hannibal, was obliged to flee from the enmity of the Romans. He took refuge with Antiochus, who shortly after went to war with the Romans but was defeated by them. Being obliged by the superiority of these people to conclude a peace with them, they demanded the person of their old and inveterate enemy Hannibal to be given up to them. But as Antiochus had a personal regard for this great man, he was unwilling to comply with their demand, and evaded it by secretly assisting him to flee to Armenia.

Hannibal found an asylum with Artaces, the governor of Armenia Major, and became his favourite and confidant. He assisted him in rendering his government more secure and permanent, and was deemed a great acquisition by him. Hannibal, during his sojourn with Artaces, drew the plan of a city, afterwards built by the latter near the river Arax, which is connected with the river Mezamore, emphatically called the great mother, and he called it after his own name Artashat. To this place, which afterwards became one of the greatest cities in Armenia, Artaces transferred the seat of his government.

The two governors, Artaces and Darius, having observed that the Roman power predominated, withdrew their allegiance from the Seleucidae, and making a treaty with the Romans, were by them established in their governments. They were from this period designated kings. Hannibal, apprehending danger from this connection with his enemies, withdrew into Crete. Artaces, beloved by his subjects, daily grew in power and consequence, and made many improvements in his kingdom of Armenia. Both he and Darius governed their respective countries with a mildness that was productive of as much honour to themselves as happiness to their people. After a few years Antiochus Epiphanes then ruling Seleucia, hearing of the union of Artaces with the Romans, and that he governed with regal dignity, sent him a threatening message, to yield immediate subjection to him, and claiming payment of the arrears of tribute.

The latter treated the message with contempt. Antiochus hereupon determined to enforce obedience by arms. He marched with a considerable army toward Artaces, who no way intimidated, met him with the whole force of Armenia Major, assisted by other nations, with whom he was in alliance. Artaces was defeated and fled. Having no other means of opposing the conqueror, he reluctantly submitted, collecting all the treasure of Armenia Major for the payment of the other’s demands. Artaces, in the meantime, suspecting that Darius had instigated Antiochus to this attack upon him, determined on taking vengeance. Darius, coming to the knowledge of this, and conscious of his inability to contend with the other, sought to appease him by gifts. A reconciliation by this means was effected; and Darius, to shew his good faith, placed his youngest son with Artaces as a hostage.

On the death of Darius, his son Morpheulices succeeded him in the government of the country of Zophs. Artaces, hearing of this event, prepared to march into Armenia Minor to take possession of it. Morpheulices terrified at the news, immediately applied for aid to Areth king of Cappadocia. Artaces informed of this, sent messengers to Areth, saying “Why need you interest yourself with the sons of Darius? Come and join me. We will kill them and take possession of Armenia. The one that is with me, I will despatch; he who is now with thee, may be taken off with ease, and thus success crowns our enterprize!” But Areth was averse to this cruel project and wrote to Artaces bidding him quit his unjust and barbarous designs. Areth furnished Morpheulices with an army to oppose Artaces. Morpheulices was a man of gigantic stature and undaunted courage, fierce and terrible in his appearance, and skilful in all the practices of war. Artaces, in the midst of his preparations for the invasion of Armenia Minor was suddenly taken off by death, having attained a very advanced age, and governed Armenia Major for a period of 30 years. His son Artavazd succeeded him. He reigned 10 years and was the last governor of Armenia Major, being succeeded by the Arsacidae.



The origin of the Arsacidae.

During the height of the power of the Seleucidae, while they controlled all the oriental nations, there sprang up amongst the Parthians a prince named Arsaces, descended from. Abraham by Keturah, who throwing off the Seleucian yoke, by many successful events, established himself in the city of Bahl, in the land of Cassoei. His great qualities rendered him illustrious, and he succeeded in establishing his sway over the Parthians, Persians, Medes and Babylonians. In honour of his nation, all the people over whom he reigned took the appellation of Parthians. His power in process of time extended to Armenia, which ultimately swelled the list of his conquests.

This Arsaces, after a brilliant reign of 31 years, died, and was succeeded in his power by Artaces his son, who also died after enjoying his dignity 26 years. Arsaces the Second, a son of the latter succeeded.

This prince was styled the Great. His glory far transcended that of his grandfather. He extended his conquests in India, to the shores of the Indus. He subsequently conquered the whole of Armenia. He expelled Artavazd, the last governor of this country, and appointed his brother Valarsaces king of both Armenia Major and Minor, to which he annexed the country of Atropatia. This revolution in the affairs of Armenia happened in the 40th year of the reign of Arsaces the Second, or the Great, which is about 149 years before the Christian era. Arsaces exhorted his brother to extend his dominion by arms towards the north-west. “As far as your mind conceives an enterprize practicable, let your valour make the attempt. For the brave acknowledge no limits. Arms are their engines of power: the more these are exercised, the more they possess.”


The reign of Valarsaces I.

Valarsaces, the brother of Arsaces the Great, who was the grandson of Arsaces the Parthian, assumed the government of Armenia, and established himself in Nisibis.

He immediately began preparations to carry into effect the determination of extending his fame and dominions which the advice of Arsaces had excited in his bosom. He assembled an immense army and marched to the borders of his kingdom, encamping on the banks of the river Arax, near the city of Armavir. After remaining here a few days, in order to marshal his troops, he directed his course toward the north-west, advancing to the borders of Armenia Minor, at that time in quiet possession of Morpheulices the son of Darius, of whom we have before given some account.

Great apprehension of danger having been excited by the warlike preparations of Valarsaces, a league had been formed by the Chaldeans, Lazicians, the people of Pontus, Cappadocians, Phrygians, and others, the constant allies of the Seleucians, to repel the invader at whatever point he should commence attack. The brave Morpheulices was appointed the leader of the combined forces. The hostile armies at length met. The onset was made by the troops of Valarsaces. Morpheulices, clad in armour, in the meantime selected a number of brave men, daringly rushed into the enemy’s camp, and penetrated as far as the tent of the king, killing numbers of the enemy who had presented themselves to stop his progress. Here the valiant Morpheulices, finding himself before Valarsaces his foe, with prodigious strength hurled his spear at him, but the surrounding warriors of the race of Haicus, and that of Sennacherib, interposed and stopped the progress of the weapon, thereby preserving the life of their master. The unfortunate, but gallant Morpheulices, surrounded by foes, baffled in his object, and attacked on every side, was at length unhorsed, and became an easy victim to the numbers of his opposers. He was slain on the spot. His army, disheartened by the loss of its leader, was speedily put to flight. The fugitives were pursued with such slaughter that their blood covered the plain like an inundation. Valarsaces afterward subdued Cappadocia, Pontus, Lazicia, Chaldaea and Egeria. They became his tributaries. Returning from these conquests he visited the country of the Taics, built a summer residence at the foot of Mount Paharian, and afterwards returned to his city Nisibis. Valarsaces at this period, being in profound peace, expressed a desire to know the origin of the Armenians, who had boasted of greater antiquity than his nation; also what events had taken place in their country, and the different races of their princes. He searched diligently for some time, but found nothing recorded on these subjects, except in some few old songs, where there were some things related of this nature, but so obscured by allegory, that nothing satisfactory could be gathered from them. He at length resolved to consult the old Chaldean manuscripts, and for this purpose obtained the assistance of a very learned man, a Syrian, named Maribas Catina, which signifies Ibas the witty, who was quite conversant in the language of both Chaldeans and Greeks. This man was sent by Valarsaces with a letter to his brother Arsaces at Nineveh, requesting the latter to permit the bearer to examine the ancient manuscripts lying there, for the purpose of extracting from them whatever might be found relating to the Armenians. Arsaces, on receipt of the letter complied with the request, and even expressed pleasure at the object of his brother’s search. The whole of the archives at Nineveh were then exposed to the inspection of Maribas. Having examined these papers, he found a manuscript in the Greek character with this label, “This book, containing the annals of ancient history, was translated from Chaldean into Greek by order of Alexander the Great.” From this manuscript Maribas extracted, in due order, the history of Armenia, from the time of Haicus to that of Paroyr, and thence to the time of Vahey, and then returned to Valarsaces in Nisibis. This discovery afforded a deal of joy to the king, who preserved the extracts with great care in his treasury. Other books having been discovered by Maribas, containing the narrative of events to his own times, he added to the extracts from the manuscripts of Nineveh, others, which rendered the history complete. He wrote also an account of the exploits of Valarsaces and his son Arsaces. He wrote the lives of Arsaces the Parthian, and his grandson Arsaces the Great, from which it appears that we have greater claims to antiquity, and that our records are more authentic, than those of all other nations, the Hebrews or Jews excepted. Valarsaces then commenced improving the state of his kingdom and people. He divided the former into provinces, over which he appointed princes, and the latter into the several classes, military and civil, to which their talents were best adapted. He also formed his army into legions after the manner of the Romans.

What is still more worthy of record, is the singular and virtuous appointment of two officers whose duties were of a peculiar nature. The first of these had it in command to remind the king of his duty, when he was tempted to unjust or cruel measures. The other was directed to impress on the king’s mind the necessity of punishing crime, and the salutary effects of example, when he was inclined to be unjustly or weakly merciful. Bagarat, his counsellor, was appointed by him to the hereditary office of placing the crown on the king’s head at the coronation. This Bagarat, as was mentioned above, was a Jew, an excellent character, and of the greatest service to Valarsaces from his intimate acquaintance with the laws of God. The descendants of this individual were named after him Bagratians, many of whom, from their attachment to their faith, suffered martyrdom under our kings.

Valarsaces had several sons, and to prevent discord amongst them, and disputes about the succession to the throne, he established a law, that only the eldest son should remain with the reigning king at Nisibis, the others should be kept at a distance in the province of Hashtens, where each had estates allotted him and an allowance from the royal treasury. This law was observed by all the Arsacidae. At length, after a prosperous reign of 22 years, Valarsaces died at Nisibis. The posterity of Valarsaces, who swayed the sceptre of Armenia, were called Arsacidae, from their ancestor Arsaces the Parthian; like the Persians, whom foreign historians style Parthians, from their being subject to Arsaces the Parthian.

CHAPTER II. page 63

The period between Arsaces the First and Artaces.

ARSACES, the eldest son of Valarsaces, having succeeded to the throne of his father, rivalled him in his good qualities. He made many improvements, and added various excellent orders and regulations to those established by the late king. Shortly after he was crowned, the people of Pontus rebelled. But acting with promptitude, he marched against the insurgents and entirely defeated them. He erected a statue of stone on the shore of the Black Sea to commemorate his victory. This prince had a spear with a round sharp head, which had a peculiar property from the circumstance of its having been dipped in the blood of certain venomous reptiles. As he was walking on the shore of the Black Sea, he threw this spear at the statue before-mentioned, when, strange to relate, it entered the pedestal with as much ease as if it had been clay. The pedestal was an immense mass of rock shaped like a mill-stone. The statue of which we speak was worshipped for a considerable time by the people of Pontus, who regarded it as the work of the gods. On a fresh rupture breaking out between them and Artaces, the son of Arsaces, they threw it into the sea.

Arsaces was extremely bigoted in religion and in his reign commenced an unjust persecution of the Jews. Observing that the Bagratians, of whose origin the reader is already aware, did not worship the idols of the country, he put two of them to death, and issued a proclamation by which they were forbidden all intercourse with women, unless they bound themselves by oath not to circumcise their children and to neglect the observance of their sabbath. The poor Bagratians having no hopes of milder usage if they contested the point, complied with this most unjust decree, but did not consent to the worship of idols. The same kind of persecution was exercised on them during the reign of Tigranes, the grand-son of this monarch. About this time, in consequence of dissensions amongst the inhabitants of the parts about Mount Caucasus, a prince called Vund, followed by a considerable body of people, emigrated from thence into Armenia, and settled in a place which was afterwards called Vanand, from his name.

Arsaces, after a reign of 13 years, died, and was succeeded by his eldest son Artaces. During the infancy of this prince many were the delightful hopes he excited in the bosoms of his grandfather Valarsaces and his father Arsaces, by his sprightly manners and bold robust figure. Nor were these hopes doomed to be blighted by his maturity. The brightest visions of paternal love and pride in the childhood of the prince, were realized in the manhood of the king. He was great, glorious and good. His actions greatly eclipsed those of his predecessors, and he consequently became infinitely more powerful. At this period of Armenian history, when Artaces ascended the throne left vacant by the death of Arsaces, the king of Persia was reckoned, amongst his eastern contemporaries, to have the precedence of the king of Armenia: but in the splendour of his exploits, the latter, in the person of Artaces, raised himself greatly above the former. Nay, all Persia was under his controul, and he built palaces there, and struck money bearing his name and image, which was the current coin of the country. His son Tigranes always remained with his father, where his mind was early stored with maxims of prudence and virtue, the practice of which was his continual employment. He was also trained to the usual military exercises of a young prince. His daughter Artashama was given in marriage to Mithridates, the great and valiant chief of the Georgians, and descendant of Mithridates, the first minister of Darius. To his son-in-law Artaces entrusted the government of the nations about the northern mountains and the Pontic Sea.

Inflated with the contemplation of his greatness, Artaces became vain-glorious, and sought for gratification in the splendour of foreign conquests rather than in the task of ameliorating the condition of his subjects.

For this purpose he assembled an army so numerous that he himself did not know their number; for, it is said, it would have been easier to reckon them by measurement than by numbering. It is also said, that if this immense army were to shoot their arrows at midday, the rays of the sun would be obscured by the greatness of their numbers. And, to give an idea of the infinity of people that followed this prince, we are told, that on passing a country covered with pebbles, every man received orders to cast one into a heap; after all had passed, this heap was as big as a mountain!

Artaces, with this multitude, set out on his expedition. He directed his course to the westward, and subdued the whole of Asia Minor. He then fitted out a fleet, passed the Hellespont, and conquered Thrace and Greece, destroyed the chief cities in these countries, entered the Morea, and defeated the Lacedaemonians. His fame spread abroad to such an extent that even the people on the borders of the Mediterranean trembled at the sound of his name. Thus, having gratified his thirst for conquest he returned to Armenia. He then appointed his son Tigranes to the temporary government of his kingdom, and again set out on another expedition into Persia. No resistance was made against these incursions of Artaces; because the Romans, although at that time very powerful, were engaged in other wars, and had not the means of resisting him.

On another expedition planned by him shortly after, a sedition broke out amongst the soldiers, in which much blood was shed yet without success in quelling it; and Artaces, endeavouring to get away into Armenia from the danger that threatened him with the army, was slain, having reigned 25 years. It is said, that on receiving his death-blow he exclaimed, “Alas! how transient and unsatisfactory is glory!” Artaces enriched and adorned his kingdom with several beautiful pieces of statuary. In particular, he found in Asia three well-executed brazen and gilt statues of Diana, Hercules, and Apollo, from the hands of Scyllis and Dipaenus, two celebrated Cretan artists, which he sent to Armavir in Armenia. In his expedition to Greece he discovered and sent to Armenia five statues of Jupiter, Diana, Minerva, Vulcan, and Venus. They were accompanied by their respective priests. The statue of Diana, which is also called Anaites, was afterwards placed by Tigranes at Eriza, and that of Minerva at the village of Thil.


The reign of Tigranes the Second, and the actions of Mithridates against the Romans.

After the death of Artaces the reins of government were seized by his son Tigranes, who, as we have seen, had been left in temporary charge of the kingdom when his father set out upon his last unfortunate expedition. He effected the restoration of order and tranquillity amongst his subjects, which had been so sadly broken during the last years of the reign of his father. He nominated his brother-in-law Mithridates to the important and honourable office of prime minister.

In the first year of this prince’s reign the kingdom was invaded by the Greeks, who imagined from the state of confusion that followed the death of the king, and the youth of his successor, that Armenia would become an easy prey to a bold and enterprizing enemy. In this however they were deplorably mistaken. On the first news of the approach of the Greeks, Tigranes, accompanied by his relation Mithridates, placed himself at the head of a few troops, and attacked the invaders with such skill and determined bravery, that they received a total overthrow; and the survivors were very glad to relinquish their hopes of a splendid conquest for the certainty of personal safety. The kingdom was soon cleared of these adventurers. Immediately after this event Tigranes repaired to Majak or Cesarea, taking possession of Asia Minor, which he placed in charge of Mithridates, appointing him king of Pontus and the regions about the Mediterranean. To enable the latter to remain firm in the government which had been conferred upon him, Tigranes left with him, on his departure, a considerable number of troops. After their separation, we are told that Tigranes became daily more powerful. Many countries were subdued by him, whose kings were kept captive at his court, to render more splendid the daily state in which he lived. This fact is authenticated by the Roman historians. We are informed, that many unfortunate kings, prisoners at his court, were obliged to stand in his presence with their arms folded on their breasts, in token of the absolute power he had over them. Four of these wretched monarchs were obliged to be constantly in attendance on him dressed in their regal robes. To such an extravagance was the tate of this pompous prince carried, that when he exposed himself to his subjects publicly on horseback, his unfortunate royal captives were obliged to precede him on foot.

Mithridates, his brother-in-law, rendered himself no less glorious. He extended his dominions even to the borders of Scythia. His subjects and tributaries comprised 22 nations; and it is related that this prince conversed with equal fluency in the whole of the languages spoken by these people. He never needed the aid of an interpreter.

Cappadocia, one of the newly acquired kingdoms of Mithridates, was placed under the dominion of his son Ariarath, a child of eight years of age, assisted by a man of experience and talent named Gordius.

The Cappadocians having appealed to the Romans against the usurpation of Mithridates, they sent to their assistance Cornelius Sylla the younger, of Cilicia, a renowned captain. This latter, having entered Cappadocia, encountered and overthrew Gordius, the guardian of the young Ariarath, and placed upon the throne Ariobarzan, of the family of the ancient kings of that country.

Mithridates was no sooner informed of the success of Sylla, and the expulsion of his son, than he dispatched a messenger to Tigranes for assistance. The latter sent two of his generals, Mihran and Bacoor, against Cappadocia, the newly-appointed king of which, Ariobarzan, with his ally Nicomedes, king of Bithynia, not daring to meet the invaders, fled to Rome. As soon as the Armenian leaders entered Cappadocia, they restored the young Ariarath to his throne. Elated by the success of this his first contest with the Romans, Mithridates collected a large army, and put to sea a fleet of 300 sail for the purpose of annoying them and their allies. The Romans, duly informed of these measures of Mithridates, sent against him a force said to amount to 200,000 men. Against this immense army Mithridates contended with various success for some time, although his troops were infinitely inferior in point of numbers, yet they were enriched with the spoil of the Romans. One of the generals of the latter, named Aquilus Manius, commanding a body of 4,000 cavalry and 40,000 infantry, was met and routed by the troops of Mithridates; 10,000 of the Romans were slain, 300 made prisoners and the rest dispersed.
Aquilus with difficulty made his escape by night over the river Sangar, and took refuge in Pergamus; but some time after, having fallen into the hands of Mithridates, the latter caused molten gold to be poured down his throat, saying, Since thy love of gold is so insatiable, take thy fill of it, and acknowledge my generosity in thus bestowing it !” Mithridates, after a war of two years with the Romans under Cornelius Sylla, was obliged to sue for peace, in the city of Dardanum in Phrygia, which was granted him upon condition that he would relinquish all claims to the kingdom of Cappadocia, which thenceforward was to be possessed by Ariobarzan, under the protection of the Romans.

About this period the Seleucians, in discontent with their king, sent to Tigranes, offering him the dominion of their kingdom, on condition that he would deliver them from the power of Antiochus, who was then upon the throne. Tigranes hereupon advanced against Antiochus and defeated him, to the great joy of the Seleucians, whom he thenceforward governed. He also subdued the whole of Assyria, with the exception of a few unimportant places. On his leaving Seleucia he appointed a viceroy over it, of the name of Mazdat, a native of Antioch. He afterwards made an incursion into Palestine, whence, on his return to Nisibis, he brought a number of Jews, to whom he gave the village of Vardkes, near the river Casakh, at which place they settled.
On the death of Cornelius Sylla, the celebrated Roman general, the treaty made by him with Mithridates was revoked by the Roman Senate, and war again declared between them and him. Mithridates having informed Tigranes of the rupture, the latter, by a forced march of his army, entered Cappadocia unexpectedly, and subdued the whole country, out of which he drew 30,000 of the population, and sent them to Armenia, where they had villages and towns allotted to them for settling in. He then returned to his own kingdom, after having dispatched to Mithridates a large body of Basenian troops reinforce his army. A considerable detachment of Armenians was previously in the army of this prince.
The forces which Mithridates had assembled for the approaching war with the Romans amounted to 16,000 cavalry, 140,000 infantry disciplined after the manner of the Romans, and 100 armed chariots.
With these he conquered the whole of Upper Asia, being attended with success in every encounter. His naval armament was no less formidable than his forces on land, for the sea was covered with his ships. The Roman army opposed to him, was commanded by Lucullus, with Cotta as his lieutenant, both renowned warriors. They were however obliged to retreat before Mithridates, who attacked and drove them as far as the gate of Chalcedon, in which city they took shelter. Here a battle was shortly after fought, the result of which was extremely fatal to the Romans, numbers of whom were slain by the victorious troops of Mithridates. In the harbour of this town 60 Roman ships were also captured, the crews of which were indiscriminately slaughtered. Four of their gallies were also burnt. It is said that on this memorable occasion the dead bodies of the Romans actually covered the land and sea. Mithridates immediately after gave an account of this exploit to Tigranes and the king of Persia, who participated in his joy on the occasion.
He then set forward with his victorious army to lay siege to the city of Cyzicus, near the sea of Marmora, belonging to the Romans. With his usual promptitude he commenced a vigorous attack upon it, but the works being strong he was unable to make any impression upon them. He therefore turned the siege into a blockade.
But unfortunately, provisions began to be scarce, and famine and its consequent effect, disease, broke out in his army. At this juncture Lucullus arrived with a powerful army, and attacking the troops of Mithridates, easily obtained a victory, by reason of their enfeebled condition. Great slaughter was made by the Romans amongst the troops of Mithridates. He, with a chosen body of men, succeeded in breaking through the main body of the enemy, which had hemmed him in, and retreated to Pontus.
Lucullus hereupon marched through Asia Minor, taking possession of all the places which were in the interest of Mithridates, who was unable to offer any opposition.
The Roman soldiers who were with Lucullus, seeing no enemy with whom they could contend, began to murmur, expressing their dissatis* faction that he did not lead them against Mithridates. But Lucullus was unwilling to force the latter to extremity, saying, in answer to the murmurs of his troops, “If we persist in the pursuit of Mithridates, he will obtain aid from Tigranes, and who can withstand his power?”* Mithridates again appearing in arms against the Romans, mutinies and treasons broke out among his troops; several of his generals deserting him and going over to the Romans. At length, utterly despairing of success in his contest with these people, he retired in a state of despondency to Armenia. Tigranes was so much offended at his conduct in thus relinquishing all hope, that he would not suffer him to appear in his presence for one year and eight months.


The Exploits of Tigranes against the People of Ftolofnais, and afterwards against the Romans.

While Mithridates was thus a fugitive in Armenia from the Roman power, queen Selena, otherwise Cleopatra, the consort of Antiochus Pius, who, as we have seen, was driven out of Seleucia by Tigranes, excited a rebellion amongst the Assyrians and Seleucians, against the power of the Armenians. It will be recollected that Tigranes in his conquest of Assyria, had left a few unimportant places in that kingdom unsubdued. These were possessed by queen Selena, the instigator of the rebellion alluded to. Her principal town was Ptolemais, whither all the rebels had repaired. Tigranes, on coming to the knowledge of this circumstance, drew together an army and besieged Ptolemais. He captured it, but the queen effected her escape to one of the fortresses of Seleucia, where, being pursued, she was taken and put to death. The Jews in Palestine fearing some hostile intention towards them, from the army collected by Tigranes, their queen Alexandra Selena, with the princes of her country, sent ambassadors to him while besieging Ptolemais, deprecating his anger and offering him valuable presents. They besought him to look with an eye of kindness on their nation, and to desist from all intention of injuring them. Tigranes was pleased with the embassy, and promised to regard the Jews as his friends. The Bagratians were under the greatest apprehension that some injury was meditated against them, but their fear was groundless. After he had quelled this rebellion, Tigranes returned to Mesopotamia.

On the news of the arrival of Tigranes at Antioch, Lucullus, the Roman general, sent one of his officers named Appius to him, requiring the immediate delivery of Mithridates to the Roman State. “In the event of a refusal,” says he, “we are prepared to commence hostilities with you.” Tigranes replied, that it was impossible for him to comply with the demand of the Roman general, since Mithridates was connected with him by ties of kindred. With this answer he dismissed Appius, after having loaded him with presents. War now became inevitable between Tigranes and the Romans. Mithridates was immediately put in command of 10,000 cavalry, and dispatched with them to Pontus.
Lucullus, with his army, advanced upon Tigranakert and laid siege to it. Tigranes, hearing this, sent 6,000 troops to the place, which, taking the Romans by surprize, broke through their camp, entered the city, and succeeded in rescuing many of the king’s concubines who resided there; and besides carried off a large quantity of treasure, with which they returned to Tigranes. [3935;5134]
On the publishing of this exploit the Romans were struck with shame and astonishment. Tigranes, having completed his warlike preparation, marched to meet Lucullus, attended by 360,000 men, all clad in iron armour. Lucullus hearing of this was much alarmed, and having left some troops at Tigranakert to continue the siege advanced towards the king with 24 cohorts and 1,000 slingers and archers, and having approached near the Armenian army pitched his camp on a large plain. When Tigranes observed the Roman troops, he exclaimed with contempt, “Who are these? Ambassadors or enemies? If the former, they come in large numbers; if the latter, they are very few.” With this show of contempt, he gave himself no further trouble in providing against the chance of a defeat, but considered the Romans as already overthrown. He betook himself to his usual amusements, in which he was imitated by his soldiers. As for the army of Lucullus, they were greatly alarmed when they observed the vast army marshalled against them, and intimated to their commander a desire to commence a retreat. But Lucullus, knowing the careless security into which Tigranes was lulled by his too great contempt of the foes with whom he had to contend, encouraged his troops, telling them not to think of the numbers of the Armenians, but of the quantity of spoil they would secure in conquering them.
His language inspirited them, and they all demanded to be led to the attack. Tigranes in the meanwhile remained in a state of careless inaction, through a too great confidence in his numbers, and never dreamed of the possibility of an attack from the Romans until it actually commenced. Then all was confusion: the Romans, led on by their resolute commander, took the Armenians by surprize, and Tigranes, not being able to form his troops in order, directed the trumpets to sound a retreat. But it was too late: the Romans, by their judicious arrangements, soon made the Armenians take to indiscriminate flight: 5,000 of them were left dead on the field and many taken prisoners.
Tigranes himself took shelter in a fortress with some of his troops; the remainder dispersed, seeking shelter where they could. Lucullus then returned to Tigranakert, which he afterwards took and found in it vast treasures. About this time the cavalry of Tigranes in an excursion fell in with that of Lucullus, and gave it a complete overthrow. The Roman general being apprized of this, advanced against the Armenian horses with a body of lancers. The former retreated, feigning a flight, and on being pursued with more haste than judgement by the Romans, they turned about, and made such a desperate charge, accompanied by a flight of arrows, that almost the whole of the lancers were either killed or wounded. It is recorded by the Roman historians that the Armenian cavalry was the best in the world. The arrows which they discharged were barbed at the points, rendering them extremely dangerous, the wounds they gave being dreadful, from the difficulty of extracting them from the body. And as they were extremely expert in the shooting of these weapons, scarcely one missed its object. The Roman lancers, unused to «ach enemies, fled in disorder. During the war between Tigranes and the Romans, Mazdat, the viceroy of Seleucia, rebelled against his benefactor, and caused Antiochus the 10th to ascend the throne of that kingdom, after it had been under the rule of Tigranes 14 years.

In the meanwhile Tigranes, burning with [3936;5135] resentment against the Romans in consequence of his late defeat, appointed Mithridates to command an army against them. He continued fighting with various success.*
Tigranes once more made an incursion into Cappadocia with a powerful army: Lucullus, who was to oppose him, having marshalled his troops, found that fear prevailed amongst them, of which he himself was not entirely divested, and when he attempted to lead them to attack Tigranes, numbers of them deserted, and those who remained firm were too few to effect anything. Cappadocia consequently fell into the hands of Tigranes, who restored it to Mithridates. From that period the latter began to recover the whole of the places he had lost daring his unfortunate war with the Romans. [3938; 5137]
Lucullus was shortly after superseded in the command of the Roman army in the east by Pompey the Great. Between him and Mithridates many battles were fought. The latter having collected an army of Scythians combated with great success, and succeeded in regaining the whole of Pontus. But what all the power of the Roman state had been unable to do for so many years, treachery at last effected: he was deserted by his prime minister, who had permitted himself to be seduced by the Romans, whom he joined with all his power and influence. His chiefs followed the example of his minister, and to crown the whole, his illegitimate son Pharnaces, forgetful of every principle of filial piety, raised an insurrection even in his camp, and marched with the insurgent soldiers to the attack of the fortress in Pontus, in which Mithridates had taken up his residence. At [3941; 5140] this moment despair seized him. He caused his two daughters Mithridata and Neussa, one betrothed to the king of Egypt and the other to the king of Cyprus, to be called before him, and having pathetically bewailed the events which had necessitated him to the measure he was about to take, he produced a cup of poison, which he declared it to be his intention to drink and adyised them to die with him. They solicited their father to permit them first to perish, and taking the cup from his hands, drank a part of the poison of which they soon expired.

The wretched Mithridates drank the remainder, which not operatipg as quickly as he wished, he stabbed himself with his sword, which failed in producing the desired effect. He then sought to make the poison operate by walking. In the meantime the mob penetrated into the fortress and surrounded him on all sides, on which he called out to a soldier to guide his hand, and with a great effort plunged bis sword into his breast, fell and expired. Thus perished Mithridates, after ruling vanous tribes for a period of 50 years.*

Before this event happened, Tiran, the son of [3939 5138] Tigranes, haying ingratiated himself with some of the Armenian chiefs, excited a rebellion against his father, and induced Arshez the king of Persia to join him. They marched against and captured several cities in Armenia. But haying laid siege to the city of Artashat, it was so well defended that their efforts to reduce it were unavailing. After remaining before it some days, Arshez grew weary of tbe enterprize, and returned to his country. Tigranes, who at this moment was engaged in a distant quarter, no sooner heard of this revolt than he marched with haste toward the rebels.

Tiran, not being sufficiently strong to make head against his father’s forces, was obliged to make a precipitate retreat. Having no other resource, and being unwilling to encounter the anger of his father, he fled to Pompey. This general, guided by Tiran, entered Armenia, and shortly after made a peace between the Romans and Tigranes : the latter relinquishing all claims to that part of the countries of Assyria and Phoenicia lying between the Euphrates and the sea, to be thenceforward possessed by the Romans. He also gave up a part of Cappadocia and Cilieia. Tigranes bestowed great gifts on Pompey, with whom he entered into friendship. To each soldier of the Roman army he gave 160 pieces of silver, to every lieutenant 1,000, and to the captains 10,000 each. The two sons of the unfortunate Mithridates, whose names were Mithridates and Arsham, were delivered up to Pompey, with whom they proceeded to Rome. Here, shortly after, was formed that celebrated triumvirate by which the government of the three quarters of the globe were divided between Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus. [3945;5144] After the peace between Tigranes and the Romans, the former appointed his son Artavazd to reign over the country of Ararat. This event happened in the 33rd year of his reign, when the king was in Mesopotamia.
Gabius the Roman general, having been sent to superintend the government of Assyria lately ceded to the Roman power by Tigranes, there ensued a quarrel between them, in which Tigranes flew to arms, and attacked and conquered several places which he had before yielded up. Gabius alarmed for the safety of his government, speedily made peace with him, and as a means of conciliating his friendship, restored his two nephews Mithridates and Arsham, who, as we have related, had been before taken away by Pompey. Gabius shortly after went to Egypt to assist king Ptolemy against the Alexandrians. Crassus, that member of the triumvirate before [3949;5148] alluded to, to whom the government of Asia was allotted, about this period came into Assyria, where he established the seat of his empire. Having, however, engaged in a war with the Parthians, he was killed in an engagement with that people.
Cassius was the next governor of Assyria. Bibulus succeeded him. The latter was much harassed in his government by the Armenians, but finally the Romans succeeded in obtaining possession of the whole of Assyria, part of which, as we before observed, was under the govenment of Tigranes.




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