Artavasdes III of Armenia

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Artavasdes III of Armenia;[1] also known as Artavasdes II of Atropatene;[2] Artavasdes II of Media Atropatene and Armenia Major;[3] Artavasdes II[4] and Artavasdes[5] (20 BC-6[6]) was a Prince who served as King of Media Atropatene.[7] During his reign of Media Atropatene, Artavasdes also served as a Roman Client King of Armenia Major.[8][9]

Family Background & Early Life[edit]

Artavasdes was a monarch of Median, Armenian and Greek descent. He was the first son born to King Ariobarzanes II of Atropatene[10] by an unnamed wife.[11] He had a younger brother called Gaius Julius Ariobarzanes I and may had a possible nephew called Gaius Julius Ariobarzanes II.[12] Artavasdes was the namesake of his paternal grandfather, a previous ruling King of Media Atropatene and Sophene, Artavasdes I.[13] He was born and raised in Media Atropatene.

Kingship of Media Atropatene & Armenia[edit]

The father of Artavasdes, Ariobarzanes II died on June 26, 4[14] and Artavasdes succeeded his father as King of Media Atropatene and Armenia.[15] Like his father, Artavasdes in his kingship of Media Atropatene and Armenia, based his rule at Artagira, which his late father made the city, their capital.[16] As Artavasdes, was both King of Media Atropatene and Armenia, as King of Media Atropatene he is known as Artavasdes II and as King of Armenia, he is known as Artavasdes III.

Unfortunately, the reign of Artavasdes didn't last. As his father, as King was respected by his subjects,[17] this was the opposite for Artavasdes. As a ruling King, over the Atropatenians and Armenians, he proved to be an unpopular monarch. In 6,[18] Artavasdes was quickly killed[19] by his subjects.

In his Kingship of Media Atropatene, Artavasdes was succeeded by his paternal first cousin Artabanus and in the Kingship of Armenia the Roman emperor Augustus, appointed the Herodian Prince Tigranes.[20] Artavasdes from an unnamed wife was survived by a son called Gaius Julius Artavasdes.[21]

Coinage & Inscription Evidence[edit]

Coinage has survived from the reign of Artavasdes. They have been dated from 2 until 10.[22] An example of this is on one surviving coin dated from his reign, is on the obverse side shows the head of Augustus with the Greek inscription ΘΕΟΥ ΚΑΙΣΑΡΟΣ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ which means of Caesar, the God, the Benefactor, while on the reverse side shows the head of Artavasdes, with the Greek inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΑΡΤΑΥΑΖΔΟΥ which means of Great King Artavasdes.[23]

Artavasdes is mentioned in paragraphs 27 and 33 of the Res Gestae Divi Augusti. In Rome, two Epitaph inscriptions have been found bearing the name of an Artavasdes. The Epitaphs are probably of the son and the grandson of a Median Atropatenian King called Ariobarzanes.[24] However it is uncertain, if the Ariobarzanes refers to Ariobarzanes I or Ariobarzanes II.[25]

Note[edit]

Although archaeological evidence reveals and shows that Artavasdes is the son of Ariobarzanes II, there is some confusion, and there are different, various theories on the origins of Artavasdes. Some modern historical sources and reference books state that he is a son of Artavasdes II of Armenia. While others state he is either a brother or a paternal first cousin of Tigranes IV and Erato. In fact, Artavasdes through his father was a distant relative of Artavasdes II of Armenia, Tigranes IV and Erato.

References[edit]

  1. ^ A Chronology of the Roman Empire, p.365
  2. ^ Swan, The Augustan Succession: An Historical Commentary on Cassius Dio’s Roman History, Books 55-56 (9 B.C.-A.D. 14), p.114
  3. ^ Swan, The Augustan Succession: An Historical Commentary on Cassius Dio’s Roman History, Books 55-56 (9 B.C.-A.D. 14), p.115
  4. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Affiliated Lines, Descendant Lines
  5. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.36
  6. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Affiliated Lines, Descendant Lines
  7. ^ Azerbaijan iii. Pre-Islamic History, Atropates, Persian satrap of Media, made himself independent in 321 B.C. Thereafter Greek and Latin writers named the territory as Media Atropatene or, less frequently, Media Minor: Parthian period
  8. ^ Swan, The Augustan Succession: An Historical Commentary on Cassius Dio’s Roman History, Books 55-56 (9 B.C.-A.D. 14), p.p.114-115
  9. ^ A Chronology of the Roman Empire, p.365
  10. ^ Swan, The Augustan Succession: An Historical Commentary on Cassius Dio’s Roman History, Books 55-56 (9 B.C.-A.D. 14), p.p.114-115
  11. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Affiliated Lines, Descendant Lines
  12. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Affiliated Lines, Descendant Lines
  13. ^ Swan, The Augustan Succession: An Historical Commentary on Cassius Dio’s Roman History, Books 55-56 (9 B.C.-A.D. 14), p.114
  14. ^ A Chronology of the Roman Empire, p.365
  15. ^ Azerbaijan iii. Pre-Islamic History, Atropates, Persian satrap of Media, made himself independent in 321 B.C. Thereafter Greek and Latin writers named the territory as Media Atropatene or, less frequently, Media Minor: Parthian period
  16. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.36&47
  17. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.36
  18. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Affiliated Lines, Descendant Lines
  19. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.36
  20. ^ Temporini, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im spiegel der neueren Forschung, p.1164
  21. ^ Ptolemaic Genealogy: Affiliated Lines, Descendant Lines
  22. ^ Regal coinage of Armenia – Artavasdes III
  23. ^ Regal coinage of Armenia – Artavasdes III
  24. ^ Azerbaijan iii. Pre-Islamic History, Atropates, Persian satrap of Media, made himself independent in 321 B.C. Thereafter Greek and Latin writers named the territory as Media Atropatene or, less frequently, Media Minor: Parthian period
  25. ^ Azerbaijan iii. Pre-Islamic History, Atropates, Persian satrap of Media, made himself independent in 321 B.C. Thereafter Greek and Latin writers named the territory as Media Atropatene or, less frequently, Media Minor: Parthian period

Sources[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ariobarzanes II
King of Atropatene
4 – 6
Succeeded by
Artabanus III
King of Armenia
4 – 6
Succeeded by
Tigranes V