Tigran I Yervandid and Cyrus II Achaemenid – Defeat of the Median Kingdom

According to the Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi, the Median Empire was defeated by the Armenian King Tigran in alliance and with the assistance of Cyrus II.

The historical grain of this message unfolds when compared with the account of Xenophon, a Greek historian of the 5th to the early half of the 4th century BC, contained in his work “Cyropaedia.”

Here, Cyrus and the Armenian Prince Tigran appear as friends, and later, Tigran with Armenian troops participates in Cyrus’s campaigns.

“…The most powerful and wise of our kings, surpassing in bravery not only them but all others. He [Tigran I Yervanduni] with the help of Cyrus crushed the rule of the Mades and, having subdued the Greeks, held them in obedience for a long time.

He expanded the boundaries of our habitat, extending them to the very ancient limits. He was the envy of all his contemporaries, and for us, living now, his time and he himself are a cherished dream.

The Armenian king summons the Cappadocians and all the elite warriors of Iberia and Albania and all the chosen warriors of Greater and Lesser Armenia and moves with all his forces to the Median country.

Danger forces Azhdahak to meet the Armenian with significant forces. But the skirmish is delayed for almost five months, for a healthy and brisk matter wilted as soon as Tigran remembered his beloved sister.

He tried to arrange the outcome of events in such a way that there would be a way to save Tigranuhi. When this succeeds, the hour of battle comes.

I praise my valiant spearman, distinguished by a perfect body, proportionate in all its parts, for he was strong, harmonious in everything and in strength had no equals. But why am I prolonging my story?

For in the ensuing battle, Tigran splits Azhdahak’s strong iron armor with his spear like water, impales him on the long spear point, and pulling back his hand, tears out half of his lungs with the weapon.

But the clash was terrible, for brave men, having met with brave men, did not hurry to turn their backs on each other. Therefore, the battle lasted many hours.

And the affair ended only with the death of Azhdahak. This event, adding to Tigran’s fortunes, served to increase his glory,” – narrates Movses Khorenatsi.

The History of Armenians

Translated by Vigen Avetisyan

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