In 34 BCE, the Roman general Mark Antony captured the Armenian king Artavasdes II, who was later executed. Some of his relatives were living in Rome. One of these was a man prince named Artavasdes, who was to become king in Armenia at the beginning of the common era.
Before 6 BCE, perhaps in 8 BCE, Tigranes IV succeeded his father Tigranes III.note The new king appears to have pursued a pro-Parthian policy; the Greco-Roman historian Cassius Dio records that the Armenians were becoming estranged,note which suggests a pro-Parthian policy. Indeed, the Armenian kingdom was at a later stage considered to be in a state of revolt,note causing first some diplomatic exchanges between the Parthian king Phraataces and the emperor Augustus.note
When no solution was achieved, Augustus sent Artavasdes or Artabazus (two ways of spelling the same name) to the east.note The Roman historian Tacitus says that this Artavasdes "was shaken off, not without a measure of discredit to Roman arms";note Cassius Dio believes that he succumbed to an illness.note Not much later, in the year 2 CE, Tigranes IV died as well: according to Dio, he "perished in a war with barbarians".note