Arzanene (Greek: Ἀρζανηνή), in Armenian Aghdznik or Altzniq (Armenian: Աղձնիք Ałjnikʿ), was a historical region in the southwest of the ancient kingdom of Armenia. It covered an area of 17,530 km2 (7,000 sq mi). In the past was kingdom Alzi or Alshe.

Under the independent Armenian Kingdom (2nd century BC – 4th century AD), Arzanene was divided into 11 cantons with their main town-castles:[1]

  • Nprkert: Tigranakert
  • Aghdzen: Arzan
  • Angeghtun: Angegh
  • Ketik
  • Tatik
  • Kagh: Keghimar
  • Aznvats Dzor: Khoghts
  • Yerkhetk
  • Gzekh: Gzekh
  • Salno Dzor: Salnodzor
  • Sanasunk (Sasun): Sanasun

Arzanene had a warm climate, and was famous for its rivers and springs, as well as its iron and lead mines. Cattle-breeding, grape cultivation and wine making were well-developed. In 298 AD, part of Arzanene was conquered by the Roman Empire, while the 387 Peace of Acilisene gave the rest of the region, except for the Aghdzn district, to the Romans as well. By 591, all of Arzanene had been annexed by the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. In the place of destroyed Tigranakert, the Romans built a new city named Martyropolis or Nprkert. During the Arab conquest of Armenia, many Arab tribes settled in Arzanene. The Armenian population remained in the mountainous parts until the Armenian Genocide in 1915.

Arzanene was later a small Arab chiefdom ("Arzan") in the 9th–10th centuries. Hamdum, an Arab chief, conquered Arzanene and Amid around 962. In 963 a sister of Hamdum whose name is not given in the original sources, governed the region for ten years. After that Arzanene was part of the Bagratuni Kingdom of Armenia. After 1045 it fell successively under Byzantine, Seljuk, Mongol and Ottoman Turkish control. For many years Sasun fought the Turks; well known battles are the Sasun Resistance (1894) and Sasun resistance 1915.

The location of Aghdznik in Greater Armenia

See also


  1. ^ Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia, 1st volume, page 258

Coordinates: 38°00′00″N 41°41′00″E / 38.0000°N 41.6833°E


Year 582 (DLXXXII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 582 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Arbāyistān (Parthian: 𐭀𐭓𐭁𐭉𐭎𐭈𐭍 [ʾrb]ystn, Zoroastrian Middle Persian: Arwāstān, Syriac: Bēṯ ʿArbāyē, Armenian: Arvastan) was a Sasanian province in Late Antiquity. Due to its situation and its road systems, the province was a source of income from commercial traffic, as well as a constant area of contention during the Roman-Persian wars.The province reached across Upper Mesopotamia toward the Khabur and north to the lower districts of Armenia; it bordered Adiabene in the east, Armenia in the north and Asōristān in the south.

Ardabur (consul 427)

Ardabur or Ardaburius (Greek: Ἀρδαβούριος) served as magister militum in the East Roman army in the 420s, under Theodosius II.

During the Roman-Persian War of 421–422, he invaded Arzanene and Mesopotamia, besieging Nisibis and defeating seven Persian generals.

Three years later, Ardabur and his son Aspar were sent on a campaign to Italy to overthrow the usurper Joannes. Ardabur was captured and held at Ravenna, where he succeeded in subverting some of the usurper's officers. Aspar was then able to capture the city and defeat Joannes.

After his return to Constantinople, he was made consul for the year 427.

Ardabur should be distinguished from his grandson of the same name, who was consul twenty years later.

Battle of Bagrevand (371)

Battle of Bagrevand was fought in 371, in the plains of Bagrevand, with the Roman-Armenian armies defeating the Persian forces.

Battle of Martyropolis (588)

The Battle of Martyropolis was fought in summer 588 near Martyropolis between an East Roman (Byzantine) and a Sassanid Persian army, and resulted in a Byzantine victory.

The Byzantine army of the East had been weakened by a mutiny in April 588, caused by unpopular cost-cutting measures and directed against the new commander, Priscus. Priscus was attacked and fled the army camp, and the mutineers chose the dux of Phoenice Libanensis, Germanus, as their temporary leader. Emperor Maurice then restored the former commander, Philippicus, to the post, but before he could arrive and take control, the Persians, taking advantage of the disorder, invaded Byzantine territory and attacked Constantina. Germanus organized a force of a thousand men which relieved the siege. As the historian Theophylact Simocatta records, "with difficulty [Germanus] spurred on and incited the Roman contingents with speeches" and managed to assemble 4,000 men and launch a raid into Persian territory. The arrival of Maurice's envoy Aristobulus eased the tension in the Byzantine camp, and the soldiers were restored to discipline. Germanus then led his army north to Martyropolis, from where he launched another raid across the border into Arzanene. The attack was blocked by the Persian general Maruzas (and possibly corresponds also with the raid defeated in battle at Tsalkajur near Lake Van by the Persian marzban of Armenia, Aphrahat), and turned back. The Persians under Maruzas followed close behind, and a battle was fought near Martyropolis which resulted in a major Byzantine victory: according to Simocatta's account, Maruzas was killed, several of the Persian leaders were captured along with 3,000 other prisoners, and only a thousand men survived to reach refuge at Nisibis. The Byzantines secured much booty, including the Persian battle standards, and sent them along with Maruzas' head to Maurice in Constantinople.

Battle of Solachon

The Battle of Solachon was fought in 586 CE in northern Mesopotamia between the East Roman (Byzantine) forces, led by Philippicus, and the Sassanid Persians under Kardarigan. The engagement was part of the long and inconclusive Byzantine–Sassanid War of 572–591. The Battle of Solachon ended in a major Byzantine victory which improved the Byzantine position in Mesopotamia, but it was not in the end decisive. The war dragged on until 591, when it ended with a negotiated settlement between Maurice and the Persian shah Khosrau II (r. 590–628).

In the days before the battle, Philippicus, newly assigned to the Persian front, moved to intercept an anticipated Persian invasion. He chose to deploy his army at Solachon, controlling the various routes of the Mesopotamian plain, and especially access to the main local watering source, the Arzamon river. Kardarigan, confident of victory, advanced against the Byzantines, but they had been warned and were deployed in battle order when Kardarigan reached Solachon. The Persians deployed as well and attacked, gaining the upper hand in the centre, but the Byzantine right wing broke through the Persian left flank. The successful Byzantine wing was thrown into disarray as its men headed off to loot the Persian camp, but Philippicus was able to restore order. Then, while the Byzantine centre was forced to form a shield wall to withstand the Persian pressure, the Byzantine left flank also managed to turn the Persians' right. Under threat of a double envelopment, the Persian army collapsed and fled, with many dying in the desert of thirst or from water poisoning. Kardarigan himself survived and, with a part of his army, held out against Byzantine attacks on a hillock for several days before the Byzantines withdrew.


Hasankeyf (Kurmanji Kurdish: Heskîf, Arabic: حصن كيفا‎, Armenian: Հարսնքվ, Greek: Κιφας, Latin: Cepha, Syriac: ܟܐܦܐ‎) is an ancient town and district located along the Tigris River in the Batman Province in southeastern Turkey. It was declared a natural conservation area by Turkey in 1981. Kurdish people form the majority of the city centre today.

Much of the city and its archeological sites are at risk of being flooded with the completion of the Ilisu Dam.

Kardarigan (6th century)

Kardarigan (Greek: Καρδαριγάν) was a Sassanid Persian general of the late 6th century, who fought in the Byzantine–Persian War of 572–591. Since he is recorded as being old enough to have an adult nephew in 586, it is uncertain whether he is the same as the general of the same name who fought in the later wars of the early 7th century. His name is actually an honorific title and means "black hawk".


Lucius Licinius Lucullus (; 118 BC– 57/56 BC) was an optimate politician of the late Roman Republic, closely connected with Lucius Cornelius Sulla. In the culmination of over twenty years of almost continuous military and government service, he became the main conqueror of the eastern kingdoms in the course of the Third Mithridatic War, exhibiting extraordinary generalship in diverse situations, most famously during the Siege of Cyzicus, 73–72 BC, and at the Battle of Tigranocerta in Armenian Arzanene, 69 BC. His command style received unusually favourable attention from ancient military experts, and his campaigns appear to have been studied as examples of skillful generalship.Lucullus returned to Rome from the east with so much captured booty that the whole could not be fully accounted, and poured enormous sums into private building, husbandry and even aquaculture projects which shocked and amazed his contemporaries by their magnitude. He also patronized the arts and sciences lavishly, transforming his hereditary estate in the highlands of Tusculum into a hotel-and-library complex for scholars and philosophers. He built the horti Lucullani, the famous Gardens of Lucullus, on the Pincian Hill in Rome, and in general became a cultural innovator in the deployment of imperial wealth. He died during the winter of 57-56 BC. and was buried at the family estate near Tusculum.

The conquest agnomen of Ponticus is sometimes falsely appended to his name in modern texts. In ancient sources it is only ever attributed to his consular colleague Marcus Aurelius Cotta after the latter's capture and brutal destruction of Heraclea Pontica during the Third Mithridatic War.


Narseh (Middle Persian: 𐭭𐭥𐭮𐭧𐭩‎ Persian: : نرسه‎, Narsē, whose name is also sometimes written as Narses or Narseus) was seventh king (shah) of the Sasanian Empire from 293 to 302. He was the son of Shapur I (r. 240–270).During the rule of his father Shapur I, Narseh had served as the governor of Sakastan, Sindh and Turan. Prior to becoming shah of Iran, he held the title of "Great King of Armenia". Narseh overthrew the increasingly unpopular Bahram III in 293 with the support of most of the nobility, which thus makes him the first Sasanian shah to not ascend the throne as a crown prince. The circumstances of Narseh's rise to power are detailed in the Paikuli inscription. Narseh was known for his tolerance of other religions.

Nor Shirakan

Nor Shirakan (Armenian: Նոր Շիրական), Parskahayk (Armenian: Պարսկահայք) or Persarmenia, was the seventh province of the ancient kingdom of Armenia, situated on the western shore of Lake Urmia, bordered on Adiabene and Atropatene, now in northwestern Iran. Following the partition of Greater Armenia between the Roman Empire and Sassanid Empire in 387, the territory under Sassanid influence came to be known as Persarmenia. The region of Arzanene, traditionally part of Lesser Armenia, also became part of Persarmenia.

Zarehavan was the centre of the province.

Persarmenia had nine cantons:







Ayli (Kurijan)



Pap of Armenia

Pap, also known as Papas (Armenian: Պապ; Latin: Papes or Papa; 353–374) was a Prince who served as the Roman Client King of Arsacid Armenia from 370 until 374.

Patricius (consul 500)

Flavius Patricius (Greek: Πατρίκιος, died after 519) was a prominent East Roman (Byzantine) general and statesman during the reign of Byzantine emperor Anastasius I (r. 491–518).

Peace of Nisibis (299)

The Peace of Nisibis of 299, also known as the First Peace of Nisibis, was a peace treaty signed in 299 by the Roman and Sassanian empires, and concluded the Roman-Sassanian War of 296-299. The border established as a result of the treaty was maintained until the Second Peace of Nisibis of 363.

The terms of the treaty are known from a 6th-century summary of its content by Peter the Patrician.

Philippicus (general)

Philippicus or Philippikos (Greek: Φιλιππικός, fl. 580s–610s) was an East Roman general, comes excubitorum, and brother-in-law of Emperor Maurice (r. 582–602). His successful career as a general spanned three decades, chiefly against the Sassanid Persians.

Principality of Ake

The Principality of Ake was a Carduchian or possibly Median dynasty who ruled territory in what is now south eastern Turkey. The principality was located between the upper valley of the Centritis and the Zabus (Lycus), southeast of lake Van, between Arzanene and Adiabene, in what later became southern Vaspurakan.

The princes of Ake took part in the insurrection of 451 and were active at the battle of Avarayr. They played a significant regional role until the Arab invasion. At the beginning of 10th century the principality became a vassal of the Artsrunis of Vaspurakan.


Sason (Armenian: Սասուն Sasun; Kurdish: Qabilcewz‎ from Arabic: قبل جوز‎; formerly known as Sasun or Sassoun) is a district in the Batman Province of Turkey. It was formerly part of the sanjak of Siirt, which was in Diyarbakır vilayet until 1880 and in Bitlis Vilayet in 1892. Later it became part of Muş sanjak in Bitlis vilayet, and remained part of Muş until 1927. It was one of the districts of Siirt province until 1993. The boundaries of the district varied considerably in time. The current borders are not the same as in the 19th century, when the district of Sasun was situated more to the north (mostly territory now included in the central district of Muş) Sasun, as it is called by Armenians, holds a prominent role in Armenian culture and history. It is the setting of Daredevils of Sassoun, Armenia's national epic. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries it was a major location of Armenian fedayi activities, who staged two uprisings against the Ottoman authorities and Kurdish tribes in 1894 and 1904.

Siege of Martyropolis (531)

A siege of Martyropolis occurred in Autumn of 531 during the Iberian War between the Sasanian Empire under Kavadh I and Byzantine Empire under Justinian I.

A Roman raid from Martyropolis triggered the Sasanians to launch a siege on the newly fortified frontier city. Initially, the Sasanians had the upper hand, but a series of political events and logistical issues led them to withdraw. It was the last conflict of the Iberian War.


Tigranocerta (Greek: Τιγρανόκερτα, Tigranόkerta; Tigranakert (Armenian: Տիգրանակերտ)) was the capital of the Armenian Kingdom. It bore the name of Tigranes the Great, who founded the city in the first century BC. The name of the city means "made by Tigran", and was possibly located near present-day Silvan or nearby Arzan (Arzn, in the Armenian province of Arzanene or Aghdznik), east of Diyarbakır, Turkey. It was one of four cities in historic Armenia named Tigranakert. The others were located in Nakhichevan, Artsakh and Utik.

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