Orontes IV

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Orontes IV
Engraving of Orontes IV by Josef I. Rotter
King of Armenia
Reign212 – 200 BC
Coronation212 BC
SuccessorArtaxias I
Died200 BC
IssuePtolemaeus of Commagene
DynastyOrontid dynasty
FatherArsames I

Orontes IV (Old Persian: *Arvanta-) was the son of King Arsames and is recorded as ruling Armenia from inscriptions found at the historic capital of the Orontid dynasty, Armavir. He was the founder of the city of Yervandashat. In his reign the religious site of Bagaran was founded. Large bronze statues in the Hellenistic style of the gods, Zeus (Aramazd), Artemis (Anahit) and Herakles (Vahagn) were brought there and set up in temples dedicated to them. He is also said to have founded a shrine at Armavir dedicated to Apollo (Mithra), a golden statue of four horses pulling a chariot with Apollo as god of the Sun. This was later destroyed by the Sassanid Persian army in the 4th century AD.[citation needed]

King Antiochus III instigated a revolt against King Orontes IV. Strabo, who wrote about this 200 years later, stated that it was general Artaxias I, who was also an Orontid, who overthrew King Orontes IV. Aramaic inscriptions found at Armavir state that King Orontes IV died at the hands of his own army, in other words by betrayal from Artaxias I. This was most likely bribery of the Armenian army by King Antiochus III.

Artaxias I took over as King of Armenia soon afterwards, according to Strabo. Orontes IV had a son, Ptolemaeus of Commagene, who served as the last Satrap of Commagene between 201 and 163 BC, became in 163 BC the first King of Commagene and died in 130 BC.



  1. ^ The Persian Empire, 1993
  2. ^ The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times, 2 vols. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997


  • Facella, Margherita (2021). "Orontids". In Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.). Encyclopædia Iranica, Online Edition. Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation.
  • Marciak, Michał (2017). Sophene, Gordyene, and Adiabene: Three Regna Minora of Northern Mesopotamia Between East and West. BRILL. ISBN 9789004350724.