Coinage of Arsames, King of Sophene.
|King of Armenia, Sophene & Commagene|
|Reign||260 – 228 BC|
|Successor||Possibly Arsames II|
Xerxes, King of Sophene & Commagene
Arsames I (Armenian: Արշամ) seems to have taken control of Commagene, Sophene and Armenia in the year 260 BC after the death of his grandfather Orontes III, king of Armenia, and his father Sames, king of Commagene.
Quite why they both died in the same year is not recorded, though it looks suspicious. It is known the Seleucid Empire was always trying to overthrow the Armenian dynasties who still ruled the lands their forebears had in the time of the Achaemenid Empire.
Arsames also supported Antiochus Hierax against his brother, Seleucus II Callinicus, who was defeated at a battle against king Mithridates II of Pontus near Ankara in 239 BC, after which Seleucus lost control of any lands he had across the Taurus mountains. This was to the benefit of Arsames.
After his death his eldest son Xerxes became king of Commagene, Sophene and Armenia. Orontes IV would succeed Xerxes whilst another son known as "Mithras" (or Mithrenes II) is recorded as being the High Priest of the temple to the Sun and Moon at Armavir.
- Xerxes, King of Armenia and Sophene 228 – 212 BC
- Orontes IV, King of Armenia 212 – 200 BC
- Mithrenes II, High Priest of the temple to the Sun and Moon at Armavir.
- The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times, 2 vols. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997
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