Ariobarzanes: king of Armenia (r. c-2-4 CE).

In about 8 BCE, Tigranes IV succeeded his father Tigranes III as king of Armenia. He embarked upon a pro-Parthian policy, which was unacceptable to the Romans and causing some diplomatic exchanges between the Parthian king Phraataces and the emperor Augustus.note

When no solution was achieved, Augustus sent a pretender to the east, whose name was Artavasdes or Artabazus (two ways of spelling the same name),note but he was either dethroned by the Armenian people or succumbed to an illness.note More or less at the same time, Tigranes IV "perished in a war with barbarians".note

In the meantime, Augustus' grandson Gaius Caesar had arrived in the east, acting with the powers of a consul.note Learning that both Armenian reulers were dead, the Roman prince selected Ariobarzanes, a former king of Media Atropatene who had been dethroned by the Parthians, as new king in Armenia.

According to Tacitus, the Armenians "raised no objection to his good looks and brilliant qualities".note Nevertheless, Gaius Caesar had to intervene with his army.note

Ariobarzanes' reign started in 2 CE, but was very brief, because he had a deadly accident in 4 CE.note He was succeeded by his son Artavasdes III, who was almost immediately assassinated.note

This page was created in 2019; last modified on 26 May 2019.