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probably in a. d. 62. The Armenian historians have treated with particular attention the history of the younger branch ; they speak but little about the earlier transactions with Rome; and they are almost silent with regard to those kings, the offspring of the kings of Pontus and Judaea, who were imposed upon Armenia by the Romans. From this we may conclude, that the Armenians considered those instruments of the Romans as intruders and political adventurers, and that the Arsacidae were the only legitimate dynasty. Thus they sometimes speak of kings unknown to the Romans, and who perhaps were but pretenders, who had succeeded in preserving an obscure independence in some inaccessible corner of the mountains of Armenia. On the other hand the Romans, with all the pride and haughtiness of conquerors, consider their instruments or allies alone as the legitimate kings, and they generally speak of the Arsacidae as a family imposed upon Armenia by the Parthians. As to the origin. of the Armenian Arsacidae, both the Romans and Armenians agree, that they were descended from the dynasty of the Parthian Arsacidae, an opinion which was so generally established, that Procopius (De Aedificiis Justi?iiam9 iii. 1) says, that nobody had the slightest doubt on the fact. But as to the origin of the earlier kings, who according to the Romans were not Arsacidae, we must prefer the statements of the Armenians, who, as all Orientals, paid great attention to the genealogy of their great
families, and who say that those kings were Arsacidae.
The Persian historians know this dynasty by the name of the Ashcanians, and tell us, that its founder was one Ashk, who lived at the time of Alexander the Great. But the Persian authors throw little light upon the history of the Arsacidae. A series of the kings, according to the Romans, is necessary for understanding their historians. But as their statements are rather one-sided, they will be found insufficient not only for a closer investigation into the history of Armenia, but also for many other events connected with the history of the eastern empire. It has, therefore, been thought advisable to give first the series of the kings according to the Roman writers, and afterwards a series of these kings according to the Roman accounts combined with those of the Armenians. The chronology of this period has not yet been satisfactorily fixed, and many points remain vague.
The following is a series of the Arsacidae and other kings of Armenia according to the Romans.
Caesar. He was the last of his race. granes III.]
ariobarzanes. After Artavasdes II. and Tigranes III. had been driven out by the Romans, the choice of Augustus for a king of the Armenians fell upon one Ariobarzanes, a Median or Parthian prince, who seems not to have belonged to the dynasty of the Arsacidae. As Ariobarzanes was a man of great talents and distinguished by bodily beauty, a quality which the eastern nations have always liked to see in their kings, the Armenians applauded the choice of Augustus. He died suddenly after a short reign in a. d. 2, according to the chronology of St. Martin. He left male issue, but the Armenians disliked his children, and chose Erato their queen. She was, perhaps, the widow of Tigranes III. (Tac. Ann. iii. 4.)
vonones. Erato was deposed by the Armenians after a short reign, and the throne remained vacant for several years, till the Armenians at length chose Vonones as their king, the son of Phraates IV., and the exiled king of Parthia. (a. d. 16.) Vonones maintained himself but one year on the throne, as he was compelled to fly into Syria through fear of Artabanus III., the king of Parthia. [arsaces XVIII.]
arsaces I., the eldest son of Artabanus, king of the Parthians, was placed on the throne of Armenia by his father, after the death of Artaxias III. He perished by the treachery of Mithridates, the brother of Pharasmanes, king of Iberia, who had bribed some of the attendants of Arsaces to kill their master. After his death, which happened in A. d. 35, Mithridates invaded Armenia and took its capital, Artaxata. Josephus (xviii. 3. § 4.) calls this Armenian king Orocles, but this was the name of his brother, who, as we learn from Tacitus, was sent by the Parthian king to revenge his death. (Tac. Ann. vi. 31—33 ; Dion Cass. Iviii. 26.)
mithridates, the aforesaid brother of Pharasmanes, was established on the throne of Armenia by the emperor Tiberius, a. d. 35. He was recalled to Rome by Caligula., but sent into Armenia again by Claudius, about a. D. 47, where he continued to reign, supported by the Romans^ till lie was expelled and put to death by his nephew Rhadamistus, a. d. 52. (Tac. Ann. vi. 33? ix. tf, 9, xii. 44—47 ; Dion Cass. Ix. 8.)
rhadamistus, the son of Pharasmanes, king of Iberia, was a highly gifted but ambitious youth, whom his old father tried to get rid of by exciting him to invade Armenia, for which purpose he gave him an army. (a. d. 52.) Rhadamistus, seconded by the perfidy of the Roman praefect in Armenia, Pollio, succeeded in seizing upon'the person of his uncle, whom he put to death with his wife and his children. Rhadamistus then ascended the throne; but Vologeses I., the king of the Parthians, took advantage of the distracted state of the country to send his brother Tiridates into Armenia, and proclaim him king. Tiridates advanced upon Tigranocerta, took this city and Artaxata, and compelled Rhadamistus to fly. Rhadamistus was subsequently killed by his father Pharasmanes. (Tac. Ann. xii. 44—51, xiii. 6, 37.)