Tigranes (Orontid)

Tigran Yervanduni
King of Armenia

19th-century rendition of Tigranes
Reign 560 BC – 535 BC
Predecessor Orontes I Sakavakyats
Successor Vahagn
House Van
Dynasty Orontid dynasty

Tigranes was an Orontid King of Armenia reigning in the period between 560–535 BC.


According to Moses of Khorene's "History of Armenia, during the reign of Tigranes (Tigran Yervanduni) the territory of Armenia spread for about 400.000 km2. Moses calls him "the wisest, most powerful and bravest of Armenian Kings".[1]

According to Herodotus it was Harpagus who overthrew Astyages with Cyrus, although Cyrus the Great allowed many kings to remain in power by providing tribute to him there. This is to be contrasted with an Armenian legend, which claims that the king of the Medes, Azhdahak (Astyages) dreamed that Tigranes would come to attack him and so plotted to bring about his downfall. War commenced and Tigranes killed Azhdahak and then married his widowed wife Anush (Aryenis).

Xenophon mentions the Armenian King Tigranes in his Cyropaedia, where he states that he was an ally of Cyrus the Great. According to the Armenian author H. Khachatryan, they were hunting companions. Tigranes was a great archer and was always victorious over Cyrus. The later once decided to organize a tournament with term participants must have drunk 10 cups of wine and shoot after that. Cyrus and Tigranes drank wine, but, after that, Cyrus the Great tasted special herb to vanish wine effect, but Tigranes had also the same herb. And during the tournament Tigranes won again. And after that Cyrus claims: "No, wine can not win such men like us. No matter how much we drink, we do not get drunk. And I miss only two times of four and you didn't miss at all".[2]


  1. History of Armenia, Moses of Khorene, http://www.vehi.net/istoriya/armenia/khorenaci/index.html
  2. Khachatryan, Hayk (2006). 141 Kings of the Armenians. Erevan: Amaras. ISBN 978-99930-1-192-7
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