Trdat III (Tiridates III) was a King of Armenia (286-344), also known as Tiridates the Great. He is remembered for being a warrior king with incredible physical power. Tiridates was an ally of Rome, he waged many long and successful wars against Persia, regaining control over much of the lost territories, such as parts of Mesopotamia and Atropatene. In the beginning of his reign, Tiridates was a fierce persecutor of Christians. He arrested and imprisoned St. Gregory the Illuminator; later he ordered the killing of the Christian virgin nuns Gayane and Hripsime. By 300, Tiridates turned from a persecutor to the protector of the Christians. He released St. Gregory who then baptized him. In 301, Tiridates proclaimed Christianity as the sole religion in Armenia, making the country the first Christian State in the world.