The Fall of the Seleucid Empire – the Formation of Armenian States

The Fall of the Seleucid EmpireThe Battle of Magnesia (190 BC) was a point of no return for the fall of the Seleucid Empire. As a result of the battle, Seleucid King Antiochus III the Great was forced to abandon all his Asia Minor domain north of Taurus.

Seleucid satraps of Greater Armenia and Sophene, Artashes and Zareh, took advantage of the empire’s defeat and declared themselves independent kings. That’s when the first quite sovereign Armenian states were established, the formation of which was in some sense connected to the emerged anti-Hellenistic attitudes of the population.

Sophene and Greater Armenia conquered several territories outside of the Armenian Highlands, namely, they captured the lands of the neighbor Iberians and Medians. Greater Armenia’s might has particularly increased.

Under Artashes, as well as his successors (though Armenia’s positions weakened after Artashes), the trade relations between Armenia and its neighbor countries were reinforced. On one of the trade routes passing through Armenia was established its new capital city, Artashat, which was located on one of the banks of Aras River in the vicinity of Armavir. Artashat soon became a prominent center of Armenian trade and crafts.

However, the place of Seleucids would be taken by the Parthian Empire, a new powerful state that had separated from the Seleucid Empire in the 3rd century BC.

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