Aurelius Pacorus king of greater Armenia

When in 161 AD the Emesene king Sohaemus, the Roman appointed king for Armenia was deposed by the emboldened Parthian king Vologases IV, he installed his son PACORUS to be King over Armenia.

During the years running up to the upcoming Roman Parthian war, and the destruction of the Cappadocian Roman garrison by the Parthians following the false predictions of the cult leader Abonotichus after he consulted his “snake” Glycon, and until Lucius Verus took his sweet time to come over to Antioch and prepare the legions to take Armenia back under the Roman wing, Pacorus ruled for 3 years.

By no means a short time, considering that one term for an American president is only 4 years and we all know how much can be achieved within that time frame. There is no evidence that Armenians disliked or rebelled against Pacorus.

In general, most Parthians were welcome in Armenia (after all, the Armenian Arsacid dynasty was a branch of the Parthian) and throughout history Armenians and Parthians are not known to ever having engaged in a pitched battle.

The only time Armenia turned against Parthia was under duress when they had to honor their agreements with Rome.

After the 3 year war between 163-166, Rome prevailed due to their able generals, king Sohaemus returned from his Roman exile to resume his long kingship over Armenia, and Pacorus funny enough took his place as he himself was exiled to Rome.

How do we know that?

We know that because he is probably the one referred to from a Greek funeral inscription found in Rome, in a dedication from him honoring the memory of his brother Aurelius Merithates.

In the inscription dedication Pacorus describes himself as: Αύρήλιος Πάκορος βασιλεύς μεγάλης Άρμενίας, (Aurelius Pacorus king of greater Armenia).

This meant that he had received Roman citizenship and been living in Rome after his deposition from the Armenian kingship by Lucius Verus, but peculiarly he still referred to himself as the king.

This gold coin of Lucius Verus commemorates the re-inauguration of king Sohaemus on the Armenian throne.

You can hear me talking about the fun details on this war and the weird snake Glycon on the YouTube channel of the podcast by Mer Herosner

by Joseph Sarkissian

Season 2: Episode 1: Armenian History Through Coinage with guest Dr. Joseph Sarkissian

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *