This, then, is the ancient account; but the more recent account, and that which begins with Persian times and extends continuously to our own, might appropriately be stated in brief as follows: The Persians and Macedonians were in possession of Armenia; after this, those who held Syria and Media; and the last was Orontes, the descendant of Hydarnes, one of the seven Persians;1
and then the country was divided into two parts by Artaxias and Zariadris, the generals of Antiochus the Great, who made war against the Romans; and these generals ruled the country, since it was turned over to them by the king; but when the king was defeated, they joined the Romans and were ranked as autonomous, with the title of king. Now Tigranes was a descendant of Artaxias and held what is properly called Armenia, which lay adjacent to Media and Albania and Iberia, extending as far as Colchis and Cappadocia on the Euxine, whereas the Sophenian Artanes, who held the southern parts and those that lay more to the west than these, was a descendant of Zariadris. But he was overcome by Tigranes, who established himself as lord of all. The changes of fortune experienced by Tigranes were varied, for at first he was a hostage among the Parthians; and then through them he obtained the privilege of returning home, they receiving as reward therefore seventy valleys in Armenia; but when he had grown in power, he not only took these places back but also devastated their country, both that about Ninus and that about Arbela; and he subjugated to himself the rulers of Atropene and Gordyaea, and along with these the rest of Mesopotamia, and also crossed the Euphrates and by main strength took Syria itself and Phoenicia; and, exalted to this height, he also founded a city near Iberia,2
between this place and the Zeugma on the Euphrates; and, having gathered peoples thither from twelve Greek cities which he had laid waste, he named it Tigranocerta; but Leucullus, who had waged war against Mithridates, arrived before Tigranes finished his undertaking and not only dismissed the inhabitants to their several home-lands but also attacked and pulled down the city, which was still only half finished, and left it a small village;3
and he drove Tigranes out of both Syria and Phoenicia. His successor Artavasdes4
was indeed prosperous for a time, while he was a friend to the Romans, but when he betrayed Antony to the Parthians in his war against them he paid the penalty for it, for he was carried off prisoner to Alexandreia by Antony and was paraded in chains through the city; and for a time he was kept in prison, but was afterwards slain, when the Actian war broke out. After him several kings reigned, these being subject to Caesar and the Romans; and still today the country is governed in the same way.