Roman Armenia

Roman Armenia

From the 1st century BC onwards, Armenia was, in part or whole, subject to the Roman Empire and its successor, the East Roman or Byzantine Empire.


Struggle over influence with Parthia

With the eastwards expansion of the Roman Republic during the Mithridatic Wars, the Kingdom of Armenia, under the Artaxiad Dynasty, was made a Roman protectorate by Pompey in 66/65 BC. For the next 100 years, Armenia remained under Roman influence. Towards the middle of the 1st century AD, the rising Parthian influence disputed Roman supremacy, which was re-established by the campaigns of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. In 114, Emperor Trajan incorporated Armenia into the Empire, making it a full Roman province. However shortly after, in 118, his successor Hadrian gave Armenia up, and installed Parthamaspates as its king. In 161, Armenia was lost again to Vologases IV of Parthia. Thereafter Armenia was in frequent dispute between the two Empires and their candidates for the Armenian throne, a situation which lasted until the emergence of a new power, the Sassanids.

Late Roman Armenia

In 384, a treaty was signed between the East Roman and Sassanid Persian Empire, which divided Armenia between the two. The Persians retained the larger part of Armenia while the Romans received a small part of Western Armenia. The new territory was organized into two provinces, "Armenia Maior" and the "Satrapiae", which was constituted of five semi-autonomous satrapies under Armenian nobles. Together with the old-established provinces of Armenia Minor, which were named "Armenia I" and "Armenia II", they came under the Diocese of Pontus.

The situation remained unchanged for over a century, until in 536, Emperor Justinian I abolished the autonomy of the Armenian satrapies and reorganized the Armenian provinces anew. "Armenia Maior" was joined with parts of the "Pontus Polemoniacus" to form a new province, "Armenia I Magna", the old "Armenia I" and "Armenia II" were re-divided into "Armenia II" and "Armenia III", and the old "Satrapiae" formed the new "Armenia IV" province. In 538, the Armenian nobles rose up against heavy taxation, but were defeated and forced to find refuge in Persia.

In 591, the treaty between Khosrau II and Maurice ceded most of Persarmenia to the East Roman Empire.

Later History

After the downfall of Bagratid Armenia in 1045 and resulting subsequent losses of Byzantine Empire in the East in 1071 after the Battle of Manzikert, Armenia fell to the Seljuks.

See also

* Marzpanate Period



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