Artaxias II

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Artaxias II,[1] also known as Artaxes II[2] and Artashes[3] (Armenian: Արտաշես Երկրորդ, flourished 1st century BC – murdered 20 BC[4]) was a Prince of the Kingdom of Armenia and member of the Artaxiad Dynasty who served as a Roman Client King of Armenia from 34 BC until 20 BC.[5]

Family Background & Early Life[edit]

Artaxias II was the eldest son of Artavasdes II of Armenia[6] by an unnamed mother and was the namesake of his paternal ancestor, a previous ruling Armenian King Artaxias I. Artaxias II had two siblings: a younger brother called Tigranes III[7] and an unnamed sister[8] who possibly married King Archelaus of Cappadocia. He was born and raised in Armenia.

Kingship[edit]

Artaxias II ascended to the Armenian throne in 34 BC as he regained the throne lost by his father.[9] The Roman Triumvir Mark Antony, had captured Artavasdes II with his family, in which they were taken as political prisoners to Alexandria where Artavasdes II was later executed there on the orders of Ptolemaic Greek Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt.[10] Artaxias II had escaped and fled to King Phraates IV of Parthia.[11] Phraates IV invaded Armenia and place Artaxias II on the throne.[12] After ascending to the Armenian throne and regaining the country, with the support of Phraates IV, Artaxias II was successful in a military campaign against Artavasdes I of Media Atropatene, a former enemy of Artavasdes II.[13] From this moment on, Artaxias II became pro-Parthian and anti-Roman.[14]

Artaxias II the young King who was spiteful and vengeful,[15] massacred the remaining Roman garrison[16] and slaughtered all the Roman traders in Armenia, as these acts went unavenged.[17] A possible consequence of this action, when Artaxias II sent emissaries in Rome to try to secure the release of his family then in Roman captivity and the Roman emperor Augustus refused Artaxias II’s request.

Artaxias II proved to be an unpopular leader with his people.[18] As the Armenians lost faith in their ruling monarch, they sent messengers to Augustus requesting him to remove Artaxias II from his throne and to install his brother, Tigranes III as his successor. In 20 BC, Tigranes III had lived in Rome for 10 years.[19] Augustus agreed to the request from the Armenians.[20] Augustus sent his step-son Tiberius, with Tigranes III[21] with a large army to depose Artaxias II. Before Tiberius and Tigranes III arrived in Armenia, a cabal within the palace was successful in murdering Artaxias II.[22] The Romans installed Tigranes III as the new King of Armenia unopposed.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Temporini, Politische Geschichte (Provinzen Und Randv Lker: Griechischer Balkanraum; Kleinasien): Griechischer Balkanraum; Kleinasien), p.979
  2. ^ Daryaee, The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, p.173
  3. ^ Sicker, The Pre-Islamic Middle East, p.156
  4. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.48
  5. ^ Coinage and information on Artaxias II
  6. ^ Tacitus, The Annals 2.3
  7. ^ Coinage and information on Artaxias II
  8. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History 49.39.2
  9. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.48
  10. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.47
  11. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.48
  12. ^ Daryaee, The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, p.173
  13. ^ Coinage and information on Artaxias II
  14. ^ Naroll, Military Deterrence in History: A Pilot Cross-Historical Survey, p.p.161-162
  15. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.48
  16. ^ Sicker, The Pre-Islamic Middle East, p.156
  17. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.48
  18. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.48
  19. ^ Naroll, Military Deterrence in History: A Pilot Cross-Historical Survey, p.161
  20. ^ Temporini, Politische Geschichte (Provinzen Und Randv Lker: Griechischer Balkanraum; Kleinasien): Griechischer Balkanraum; Kleinasien), p.979
  21. ^ Temporini, Politische Geschichte (Provinzen Und Randv Lker: Griechischer Balkanraum; Kleinasien): Griechischer Balkanraum; Kleinasien), p.979
  22. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.48

Sources[edit]

  • R. Naroll, V.L. Bullough & F. Naroll, Military Deterrence in History: A Pilot Cross-Historical Survey, SUNY Press, 1974
  • H. Temporini & W. Haase, Politische Geschichte (Provinzen Und Randv Lker: Griechischer Balkanraum; Kleinasien): Griechischer Balkanraum; Kleinasien), Walter de Gruyter, 1980
  • M. Sicker, The Pre-Islamic Middle East (Google eBook), Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000
  • M. Bunsen, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, Infobase Printing, 2009
  • T. Daryaee, The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, Oxford University Press, 2012
  • Coinage and information on Artaxias II

External links[edit]

Artaxias II
Born: unknown Died: 20 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Artavasdes II
Prince of Armenia
34 BC – 20 BC
Succeeded by
Tigranes III