Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 11.14.12 Str. 11.14.16 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.1.1


This is the ancient account, but the more recent, anc extending from the time of the Persians to our own age, may be given summarily, and in part only (as follows); Persians and Macedonians gained possession of Armenia, next those who were masters of Syria and Media. The last was Orontes, a descendant of Hydarnes, one of the seven Persians: it was then divided into two portions by Artaxias and Zariadris, generals of Antiochus the Great, who made war against the Romans. These were governors by permission of the king, but upon his overthrow they attached themselves to the Romans, were declared independent, and had the title of kings. Tigranes was a descendant of Artaxias, and had Armenia, properly so called. This country was contiguous to Media, to the Albani, and to the Iberes, and extended as far as Colchis, and Cappadocia upon the Euxine.

Artanes the Sophenian was the descendant of Zariadris, and had the southern parts of Armenia, which verge rather to the west. He was defeated by Tigranes, who became master of the whole country. He had experienced many vicissitudes of fortune. At first he had served as a

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hostage among the Parthians; then by their means he return ed to his country, in compensation for which service they obtained seventy valleys in Armenia. When he acquired power, he recovered these valleys, and devastated the country of the Parthians, the territory about Ninus, and that about Arbela. [Note] He subjected to his authority the Atropatenians, and the Gordyæans; by force of arms he obtained possession also of the rest of Mesopotamia, and, after crossing the Euphrates, of Syria and Phœnicia. Having attained this height of prosperity, he even founded near Iberia, [Note] between this country and the Zeugma on the Euphrates, a city, which he named Tigranocerta, and collected inhabitants out of twelve Grecian cities, which he had depopulated. But Lucullus, who had commanded in the war against Mithridates, surprised him, thus engaged, and dismissed the inhabitants to their respective homes. The buildings which were half finished he demolished, and left a small village remaining. He drove Tigranes both out of Syria and Phœnicia.

Artavasdes, his successor, prospered as long as he continued a friend of the Romans. But having betrayed Antony to the Parthians in the war with that people, he suffered punishment for his treachery. He was carried in chains to Alexandria, by order of Antony, led in procession through the city, and kept in prison for a time. On the breaking out of the Actiac war he was then put to death. Many kings reigned after Artavasdes, who were dependent upon Cæsar and the Romans. The country is still governed in the same manner. 11.14.16

Both the Medes and Armenians have adopted all the sacred rites of the Persians, but the Armenians pay particu- lar reverence to Anaitis, and have built temples to her honour in several places, especially in Acilisene. They dedicate there to her service male and female slaves; in this there is nothing remarkable, but it is surprising that persons of the highest rank in the nation consecrate their virgin daughters to the goddess. It is customary for these women, after being

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prostituted a long period at the temple of Anaitis, to be dis- posed of in marriage, no one disdaining a connexion with such persons. Herodotus mentions something similar respecting the Lydian women, all of whom prostitute themselves. But they treat their paramours with much kindness, they entertain them hospitably, and frequently make a return of more presents than they receive, being amply supplied with means derived from their wealthy connexions. They do not admit into their dwellings accidental strangers, but prefer those of a rank equal to their own.

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Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 11.14.12 Str. 11.14.16 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.1.1

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