Kingdom of Armenia
The Kingdom of Armenia (or Greater Armenia) was an independent kingdom from (approximately 355 years) 190 BC to AD 165, and a client state of the Roman Empire from 165 to 428.
The predecessor of the Kingdom was the Satrapy of Armenia part of the Achaemenid Empire, which later became an independent Kingdom under the Orontid Dynasty with Macedonian influence.
After the destruction of the Seleucid Empire, a Hellenistic Greek successor state of Alexander the Great's short-lived 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 Roman sphere of influence in 66 BC. Kingdom of Armenia at its greatest extent under the Artaxiad Dynasty after the conquests of Tigranes the Great, 80 BC Kingdom of Armenia at its greatest extent under the Artaxiad Dynasty after the conquests of Tigranes the Great, 80 BC
Subsequently, Armenia was often a focus of contention between Rome and Persia. The Parthians forced Armenia into submission from 37 to 47, when 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 to the Romans. After gaining (60) and losing (62) Armenia, the Romans sent XV Apollinaris from Pannonia to Cn. Domitius Corbulo, legatus of Syria. Corbulo, with the legions XV Apollinaris, III Gallica, V Macedonica, X Fretensis and XXII, entered (63) into the territories of Vologases I of Parthia, who 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.
The Sassanid Persians occupied Armenia in 252 and held it until the Romans returned in 287. In 384 the kingdom was split between the Byzantine or 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.
- M. Chahin, The Kingdom of Armenia (1987, reissued 1991)
- Vahan Kurkjian, Tigran the Great (1958)