Europe 114: Trajan’s Conquest of Armenia
In an attempt to placate the Romans, Shah Osroes I of Parthia had Axidares of Armenia deposed and replaced by another of his nephews, Parthamasiris. Trajan invaded Armenia anyway, rejecting Parthamasiris’ attempt at submission and annexing the entire country to the Roman Empire in 114.
Jan 114–?? 115 Rome–Osroene alliance▲
When, in January 114, the Roman emperor Trajan arrived in Antioch, Syria, to begin his war in Armenia, Abgar VII of Osroene sent him gifts and a message of friendship, but otherwise maintained his neutrality for fear of angering Parthia. More envoys with gifts followed and, when Trajan marched against Parthia in 115, Abgar submitted to the emperor in person and apologized to him for his hesitance. Partly due to the intercession of Abgar’s handsome son Arbandes, Trajan accepted Abgar as a friend and Osroene became a client kingdom of Rome.
May–?? 114 Trajan’s Conquest of Armenia▲
Advancing from Antioch in Syria, the Roman emperor Trajan assembled a force of 80,000 troops at Satala on the Armenian border in May 114. Rejecting efforts by the Parthian client king Parthamasiris of Armenia to surrender, Trajan invaded Armenia in four columns, sending his legions as far as the Caucasus mountains and the Caspian Sea. Having established control over the whole kingdom, Trajan annexed Armenia to the Roman Empire as an imperial province. In honor of this achievement, Trajan was given the title of Optimus (“Most Excellent”) by the Senate.