Tiridates II

Tiridates II: king of Armenia (r. 217-c.252 CE) from the Arsacid dynasty.

Tiridates II is mentioned as king of Armenia by the Greco-Roman historian Cassius Dio in his account of the reign of the Roman emperor Macrinus (r.217-218). He had come to power after the assassination of Caracalla and had inherited a war against the Parthian Empire. Apparently, Cassius Dio referred to a war against Armenia as well in a lost part of his Roman History. Macrinus tried to stabilize the situation by recognizing Tiridates.

The warfare carried on against the Armenian king, to which I have referred, now came to an end, after Tiridates had accepted the crown sent him by Macrinus and received back his mother ... together with the booty captured in Armenia, and also entertained hopes of obtaining all the territory that his father had possessed in Cappadocia as well as the annual payment that had been made by the Romans.note

We can only deduce that Tiridates' father - perhaps the king known to modern historians as "Chosroes" - received payments and was in control of parts of Cappadocia, but the details are not well-understood.

Without naming Tiridates, Cassius Dio refers to him a second time in his account of the rise of the Persian Empire of the Sasanians. Its king Ardašir has defeated his former Parthian overlord Artabanus IV and is now subduing the territories that had once been held by the Parthians.

Ardašir made a campaign against Hatra, in the endeavour to capture it as a base for attacking the Romans. He actually did make a breach in the wall, but when he lost a good many soldiers through an ambuscade, he moved against Media. Of this country, as also of Parthia, he acquired no small portion, partly by force and partly by intimidation, and then marched against Armenia. Here he suffered a reverse at the hands of the natives, some Medes, and the sons of Artabanus, and either fled, as some say, or, as others assert, retired to prepare a larger expedition.note

A last reference to Tiridates II can be found in the History of Zonaras, a Byzantine author. During the reign of the Roman emperor Trebonianus Gallus, he tells,

Armenia was subdued by them, its king, Tiridates, having fled, and his children going over to the Persians.note

The source of this information cannot be identified but there is no reason to doubt that Tiridates left his kingdom, leaving Armenia to the Sasanians. The next king may have been Chosroes II.

This page was created in 2019; last modified on 2 June 2019.