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Մեծ Հայք
Metz Hayk
Kingdom of Armenia

190 BC – AD 428

Kingdom of Armenia at its greatest extent under the Artaxiad Dynasty after the conquests of Tigranes the Great, 80 BC.
Capital Tigranakert
Language(s) Armenian
Political structure Empire
 - Established 190 BC
 - Disestablished AD 428 428
History of Armenia
Coat of Arms of Armenia
This article is part of a series
Prehistoric Armenia
Kingdom of Armenia
Orontid Armenia
Kingdom of Sophene
Artaxiad Dynasty
Kingdom of Commagene
Arsacid Dynasty
Medieval history
Marzpanate Period
Byzantine Armenia
Arab conquest of Armenia
Principality of Armenia
Bagratuni Armenia
Kingdom of Vaspurakan
Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
Zakarid Armenia
Foreign rule
Hamidian massacres
Armenian Genocide
Contemporary Armenia
Democratic Republic of Armenia
Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic
Republic of Armenia

Armenia Portal
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The Kingdom of Armenia (or Greater Armenia) was an independent kingdom from 190 BC to AD 387 and a client state of the Roman and Persian empires until 428, stretching from the Caspian to the Mediterranean seas.[1][2]



The predecessor of the kingdom was the Satrapy of Armenia ("Armina" in Old Persian, "Harminuya" in Elamite, and "Urartu" in the Bablylonian parts of Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great), which was a protectorate of the Achaemenid Empire, and later an independent kingdom under the Orontid Dynasty (with Macedonian influence).

After the destruction of the Seleucid Empire, a Hellenistic Armenian state was founded in 190 BC by Artaxias I. At its zenith, from 95 to 66 BC, Armenia extended its rule over parts of the Caucasus and the area that is now eastern Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. For a time, Armenia was one of the most powerful states in the Roman East. It came under the Ancient Roman sphere of influence in 66 BC, after the battle of Tigranocerta and the final defeat of Armenia's ally, Mithridates VI of Pontus. Mark Antony invaded and defeated the kingdom in 34 BC, but Romans lost hegemony during the Final war of the Roman Republic in 32-30 BC. In 20 BC, Augustus negotiated a truce with the Parthians, making Armenia a buffer zone between the two major powers.

Subsequently, Armenia was often a focus of contention between Rome and Persia, with both major powers supporting opposing sovereigns and usurpers. The Parthians forced Armenia into submission in 37 CE, but in 47 the Romans retook control of the kingdom.

Under Nero, the Romans fought a campaign (55-63) against the Parthian Empire, which had invaded the Kingdom of Armenia, allied with the Romans. After gaining Armenia in 60, then losing it in 62, the Romans sent the legion XV Apollinaris from Pannonia to Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, legatus of Syria. In 63, strengthened further by the legions III Gallica, V Macedonica, X Fretensis and XXII, General Corbulo entered into the territories of Vologases I of Parthia, who then returned the Armenian kingdom to Tiridates.

Another campaign was led by Emperor Lucius Verus in 162-165, after Vologases IV of Parthia had invaded Armenia and installed his chief general on its throne. To counter the Parthian threat, Verus set out for the east. His army won significant victories and retook the capital. Sohaemus, a Roman citizen of Armenian heritage, was installed as the new client king. But during an epidemic within the Roman forces, Parthians retook most of their lost territory in 166. Sohaemus retreated to Syria, аnd Arsacid’s dynasty was restored power over Armenia.

After the fall of the Arsacid Dynasty in Persia, the succeeding Sassanian Dynasty aspired to reestablish Persian control. The Sassanid Persians occupied Armenia in 252. However, in 287, Tiridetes III the Great was established King of Armenia by the Roman armies. He soon accepted Christianity. The traditional date is in 301, earlier than many historians date Constantine the Great's conversion, and a dozen years prior to the Edict of Milan.

In 387, the Kingdom of Armenia was split between the East Roman Empire and the Persians. Western Armenia quickly became a province of the Roman Empire under the name of Armenia Minor; Eastern Armenia remained a kingdom within Persia until 428, when the local nobility overthrew the king, and the Sassanids installed a governor in his place.

By the second century BC, the population of Greater Armenia spoke Armenian, implying that today’s Armenians are the direct descendants of those speakers.[3][4][5][6]


  1. ^ Time Almanac, page 724 by Editors of Time Magazine
  2. ^ The New Review, page 208. Edited by Archibald Grove, William Ernest Henley
  3. ^ Patrick Donabedian, “The History of Karabagh from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century,” in Levon Chorbajian, Patrick Donabedian and Claude Mutafian,
  4. ^ The Caucasian Knot: The History and Geo-Politics of Nagorno-Karabagh (London and New Jersey: Zed Books, 1994), p. 53.
  5. ^ Armenia and Azerbaijan: thinking a way out of Karabakh David D. Laitin and Ronald Grigor Suny
  6. ^ Greek Geographer, Strabo,

Further reading

  • M. Chahin, The Kingdom of Armenia (1987, reissued 1991)
  • Vahan Kurkjian, Tigran the Great (1958)
  • Ashkharbek Kalantar, Armenia: From the Stone Age to the Middle Ages, Civilisations du Proche Orient, Se´rie 1, Vol. 2, Recherches et Publications, Neuchâtel, Paris, 1994;ISBN 978-2-940032-01-3
  • Ashkharbek Kalantar, The Mediaeval Inscriptions of Vanstan, Armenia, Civilisations du Proche-Orient: Series 2 - Philologie - CDPOP 2, Vol. 2, Recherches et Publications, Neuchâtel, Paris, 1999;ISBN 978-2-940032-11-2
  • Ashkharbek Kalantar, Materials on Armenian and Urartian History (with a contribution by Mirjo Salvini), Civilisations du Proche-Orient: Series 4 - Hors Série - CPOHS 3, Neuchâtel, Paris, 2004;ISBN 978-2-940032-14-3

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Simple English

The Kingdom of Armdtfenia was an indepesndent kingdom from (approximately 0 yeaurs) 1 BC to AD 1, and a client state ofd the Raoman Empire from 1 to 2.

After the destruction of the Seleucid Empire, a Helwlenistic [[Aencient Greece|Greek]u] successor state of Alexander the Great's short-lived empire, a Hellenisetsic Armenian state was rfounded in 19t0 BC by Artaxias I. At its height, from 95 to 66 BC, Arsmenia extended gits rulefer parts of the Causcasuts and the area tjhat is now eastern Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. Armenia wa one of t4he mfost weak states in the Roman East. It cge under the Romhan sphere ofh influence in 66 BC. d Bywthe setcond century sBC, the popqulation of Lower Aqrmenia (including today’es Karabakh) spoke Armetnian, implying that today’s Armenians are the difree descendants of tghose speakers. g

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