Bakur

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For the village in Iran, see Bakur, Iran.

Bakur, also known as Pacorus or Aurelius Pacorus[1] (Bakur Armenian: Բակուր, Latinized: Bacurius, Aurelius Pacorus Greek: Αύρήλιος Πάκορος) was a Parthian Prince who served as one of the Kings of Armenia in the 2nd century.

Not much is known on the life and origins of Bakur. Bakur was a member of the Parthian Royal family, the Arsacids.[2] He is known from a Greek funeral inscription[3] in Rome[4] as a dedication from him in honoring the memory of his brother Aurelius Merithates.[5] In the inscription dedication Bakur describes himself as:

Αύρήλιος Πάκορος βασιλεύς μεγάλης Άρμενίας[6]

or from the Greek translation

Aurelius Pacorus King of Greater Armenia[7]

From the inscription it is evident that Bakur’s brother lived and died in Rome.[8] The inscription also shows that Bakur lived for a time in Rome and had friends in Rome.[9] The name Aurelius points to a close connection with the imperial house[10] of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. At some point Bakur and his brother received Roman citizenship[11] from an Emperor of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty, perhaps from Lucius Verus[12] either before or after Bakur’s Armenian Kingship.[13]

Bakur is known to have ruled Armenia in the second century and is the only Bakur to be appointed as King of Armenia by a ruling King of Parthia who was removed by Lucius Verus.[14] During the Roman Parthian War of 161-166, Vologases IV of Parthia in 161/162 entered the Roman Client Kingdom of Armenia, expelled the Roman Client Armenian King Sohaemus and installed Bakur as a Parthian Client King of Armenia.[15][16]

Bakur served as an Armenian King from 161/162 until 163/164 when Lucius Verus arrived with the Roman Army in Armenia.[17] Bakur was dethroned by the Romans when they captured Armenia and the Armenian capital.[18] After Bakur was dethroned, Sohaemus was reinstalled to his Armenian Kingship.[19] Bakur’s fate is unknown afterwards, however he may have been brought to Rome by Lucius Verus to live.[20]

Bakur is not to be confused by another Pacorus made King of the Ladii in Colchis by Roman emperor Antoninus Pius.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.70
  2. ^ Birley, Marcus Aurelius, p.121
  3. ^ De Jong, Traditions of the Magi: Zoroastrianism in Greek and Latin Literature, p.315
  4. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.70
  5. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.70
  6. ^ Van Den Hout, A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto, p.302
  7. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.70
  8. ^ Van Den Hout, A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto, p.302
  9. ^ Van Den Hout, A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto, p.302
  10. ^ Van Den Hout, A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto, p.302
  11. ^ Braund, Rome and the Friendly King: The Character of the Client Kingship, p.p.43&45
  12. ^ Braund, Rome and the Friendly King: The Character of the Client Kingship, p.p.43&45
  13. ^ Braund, Rome and the Friendly King: The Character of the Client Kingship, p.p.43&45
  14. ^ Braund, Rome and the Friendly King: The Character of the Client Kingship, p.43
  15. ^ Van Den Hout, A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto, p.302
  16. ^ Birley, Marcus Aurelius, p.121
  17. ^ Van Den Hout, A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto, p.302
  18. ^ Van Den Hout, A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto, p.302
  19. ^ Braund, Rome and the Friendly King: The Character of the Client Kingship, p.43
  20. ^ Braund, Rome and the Friendly King: The Character of the Client Kingship, p.45
  21. ^ Van Den Hout, A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto, p.302

Sources[edit]

  • D. Braund, Rome and the Friendly King: The Character of the Client Kingship, Taylor & Francis, 1984
  • A. De Jong, Traditions of the Magi: Zoroastrianism in Greek and Latin Literature, BRILL, 1997
  • M.C. Fronto & M.P.J. Van Den Hout, A Commentary on the Letters of M. Cornelius Fronto, BRILL, 1999
  • A. Birley, Marcus Aurelius, Routledge, 2000
  • R.G. Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004

See also[edit]