Ancient Armenia

Definition

Ancient Armenia, located in the south Caucasus area of Eurasia, was settled in the Neolithic era but its first recorded state proper was the kingdom of Urartu from the 9th century BCE. Incorporated into the Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BCE, the Orontid dynasty ruled as Persian satraps, a function they performed for their next overlords the Macedonians and Seleucid Empire into the 3rd century BCE. Under the Artaxiad and Arsacid dynasties the country flourished but was often caught between the ambitions of Parthia and Rome, and then the Sasanian and Byzantine Empires. The boundaries of the state varied considerably over the centuries but such common factors as religion and language were united by long-lasting dynastic clans, which gave Armenia its own unique identity throughout antiquity.

More about: Ancient Armenia

Timeline

  • c. 3500 BCE - c. 1000 BCE
    The Hurrian culture flourishes in the Near East.
  • 3500 BCE - 2200 BCE
    Occupation of Shnagavit in ancient Armenia.
  • c. 1500 BCE - c. 1200 BCE
    The Hayasa-Azzi confederation flourishes in ancient Turkey and Armenia.
  • c. 1320 BCE
    The Hittite king Musili II attacks the Hayasa-Azzi confederation.
  • c. 900 BCE - c. 590 BCE
    The Urartu civilization flourishes in ancient Armenia, eastern Turkey and western Iran.
  • c. 782 BCE
    The fortress of Erebuni is constructed in ancient Armenia.
  • 585 BCE
    The Erebuni fortress in ancient Armenia is occupied by the Median Empire.
  • c. 570 BCE - c. 200 BCE
    The Orontid dynasty rules in ancient Armenia.
  • c. 570 BCE - c. 560 BCE
    Orontes (Yervand) Sakavakyats reigns in Armenia, founder of the Orontid dynasty.
  • 522 BCE
    The Persian satrapy of Armenia briefly cedes from the Achaemenid Empire but is brought under control by Darius I.
  • 333 BCE
    The Armenian Orontid dynasty provides troops for the Persian cause at the Battle of Issus.
  • 331 BCE
    The Armenian Orontid dynasty provides troops for the Persian cause at the Battle of Gaugamela.
  • 330 BCE
    Armavir is made the capital of Armenia, a state under control of the Macedonian Empire.
  • c. 260 BCE
    The unified kingdom of Commagene and Sophene rises in western Armenia.
  • c. 212 BCE - c. 200 BCE
    Reign of king Orontes IV (aka Yervand IV), last ruler of the Orontid dynasty.
  • c. 200 BCE - c. 14 CE
    The Artaxiad dynasty rules in Armenia.
  • c. 200 BCE - c. 160 BCE
    Reign of Artaxias I, founder of the Artaxiad dynasty in Armenia.
  • c. 188 BCE
    Artaxata replaces Erebuni as the Armenian capital.
  • 176 BCE
    Artashat (Artaxata) is made the new capital of Armenia by Artaxias I.
  • c. 95 BCE - c. 56 BCE
    Reign of Tigranes II, king of Armenia.
  • 94 BCE
    Armenia king Tigranes II annexes the kingdom of Sophene.
  • 87 BCE
    Armenian king Tigranes II sacks Ecbatana, the Parthian royal summer residence.
  • 83 BCE
    Armenian king Tigranes II founds a new capital at Tigranocerta (aka Tigranakert).
  • 69 BCE
    Licinius Lucullus leads a Roman army which defeats Armenian king Tigranes II and his capital Tigranocerta is captured. Artashat becomes the capital again.
  • 66 BCE
    Pompey the Great rebuilds the Armenian city of Tigranocerta.
  • 66 BCE
    A Roman army led by Pompey the Great besieges Artashat in Armenia.
  • c. 56 BCE - c. 34 BCE
    Reign of Armenian king Artavasdes II.
  • 53 BCE
    Roman general Marcus Licinius Crassus compels Armenia to provide troops for his campaigns against Parthia.
  • 34 BCE
    Roman general Mark Antony attacks Armenia. The Armenian king Artavasdes II is taken captive to Alexandria.
  • 30 BCE
    Arteses (Artashes) II is made king of Armenia by the Parthians.
  • 20 BCE
    Roman emperor Augustus makes Tigranes III king of Armenia.n
  • c. 6 CE - c. 12 CE
    Reign of Tigran V, last Artaxiad king of Armenia.
  • 12 CE - 428 CE
    Reign of the Arsacid dynasty in Armenia.
  • 52 CE
    Parthian king Vologases I invades Armenia.
  • 54 CE - 60 CE
    Roman general Corbulo successfully campaigns in Armenia.
  • 58 CE
    The Roman general Corbulo captures the Armenian capital Artashat without a fight.
  • 63 CE - c. 88 CE
    Reign of Tiridates I in Armenia.
  • 63 CE
    The Treaty of Rhandia gives Rome and Parthia equality over Armenia rulers and government.
  • 72 CE
    Roman emperor Vespasian annexes the kingdoms of Commagene and Lesser Armenia.
  • 114 CE
    Roman emperor Trajan annexes Armenia and declares war on Parthia.
  • 117 CE
    Roman emperor Hadrian grants independence to the Kingdom of Armenia.
  • 166 CE
    A Roman army sacks the Armenia capital of Artashat.
  • c. 239 CE - c. 330 CE
    Life of Saint Gregory the Illuminator who is credited with bringing Christianity to Armenia (dates disputed).
  • 252 CE
    The Sasanid Empire invades the Kingdom of Armenia.
  • c. 298 CE - c. 330 CE
    Reign of Armenian king Tiridates the Great.
  • 298 CE
    Roman Emperor Diocletian reunifies the Kingdom of Armenia.
  • c. 303 CE
    Work is begun on Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Vagharshapat, Armenia.
  • c. 314 CE
    Armenia adopts Christianity as the state religion.
  • 368 CE - 369 CE
    The Sasanid Empire destroys several cities in the kingdom of Armenia.
  • 368 CE
    The Sasanian ruler Shapur II sacks the Armenian city of Artashat.
  • 387 CE
    Partition of Armenia between the Roman and Sasanian Empires.
  • c. 387 CE
    Roman emperor Theodosius I and Shapur III of Persia agree to formally divide Armenia between the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and the Sasanian Empire.
  • 387 CE
    Tigranocerta in Armenia is renamed Martyropolis.
  • 405 CE
    The Armenian alphabet is invented by Mesrop Mashtots.
  • c. 410 CE - c. 490 CE
    Life of the Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi.
  • 422 CE - 428 CE
    Reign of Armenia king Artashes IV, last ruler of the Arsacid dynasty.
  • c. 428 CE - 652 CE
    Persia rules one half of Armenia as the Marzpanate, that is with marzpan viceroys.
  • c. 439 CE
    Mamikonian prince Hamazasp marries Sahakanyush and so unifies the estates of the Mamikonians and descendants of Saint Gregory the Illuminator.
  • 451 CE
    Battle of Avarayr between Armenian forces and those of the Sasanian Empire.
  • 483 CE
    Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Vagharshapat, Armenia is rebuilt by Vahan Mamikonian.
  • 484 CE
    The Treaty of Nvarsak is signed between Persia and Armenia giving the latter a greater political autonomy and freedom of religious thought.
  • 485 CE
    Vahan Mamikonian is made marzpan of Armenia.
  • 506 CE
    First Council of Dvin establishes that the Armenian Church did not recognize the Fourth Ecumenical Council.
  • c. 554 CE
    The Council of Dvin declares the Armenian Church's adherence to the doctrine of monophysitism.
  • 562 CE
    Artashat in Armenia is confirmed as an official trading post between Persia and the Byzantine Empire.
  • 623 CE
    The Byzantine emperor Heraclius attacks the Armenian capital of Dvin.
  • 640 CE - 650 CE
    The Rashidun Caliphate conquers Armenia.
  • Oct 640 CE
    A Muslim Arab force attacks and captures the Armenian capital of Dvin.
  • 642 CE
    Byzantine emperor Constans II attacks the Armenian capital of Dvin.
  • 651 CE
    Arab Rashidun Caliphate conquers the Sasanian Empire.
  • 701 CE
    Armenia is formally annexed as a province of the Umayyad Caliphate.
  • 746 CE - 752 CE
    Byzantine emperor Constantine V conducts successful campaigns in northern Syria and Armenia.
  • 789 CE
    Partav replaces Dvin as the capital of Armenia.
  • 862 CE
    Council of Sirakawan between the Armenian and Byzantine Orthodox Churches discuss Christological issues in an effort to reunify, although ultimately unsuccessful.
  • 892 CE
    A huge earthquake destroys much of Dvin, the Armenian capital.
  • 961 CE
    Ani is made the capital of Armenia.
  • 1001 CE - 1006 CE
    The cathedral at Ani is completed by Trdat the Architect.
  • 1021 CE - 1022 CE
    Byzantine emperor Basil II wins victories in Armenia and Georgia.
  • 16 Aug 1064 CE
    Seljuk Turks, under Alp Arslan, sack the former Armenian capital of Ani, then under Byzantine control.
  • 1124 CE
    Georgia captures the city of Ani at the invitation of its Armenian population.
  • 1137 CE
    Byzantine emperor John II Komnenos conquers the Rubenids in Armenia and occupies the capital at Anazarbos.
  • 1206 CE
    Georgian forces under Tamar occupy the Armenian cities Erzurum and Kars.
  • 1209 CE
    The Sultan of Ardabil sacks the Georgian-held Armenian city of Ani.
  • 1236 CE
    Dvin, the former capital of Armenia, is destroyed during the Mongol invasion and definitively abandoned.
Membership