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Tigranakert (Amid)

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Tigranakert (Amid)

For other uses, see Tigranakert (disambiguation).

Tigranocerta (Armenian: Տիգրանակերտ Tigranakert) was a city possibly located near present-day Silvan or nearby Arzan (Arzn, the ancient Armenian province of Aghdznik),[1] east of Diyarbakır. It was founded by the Armenian Emperor Tigranes the Great in the 1st century BC. Tigranakert was founded as the new capital (after Artashat) of the Armenian Empire in order to be in a more central position within the boundaries of the expanding empire. It was one of four cities in historic Armenia named Tigranakert. The others were located in Nakhichevan (modern Azerbaijan), Artsakh and Northern Artsakh (modern Nagorno-Karabakh Republic).

History

To create this city, Tigranes forced many people out of their homes to make up the population.[2] Armenia at this time had expanded east to the Caspian Sea, west to central Cappadocia, and south towards Judea, advancing as far as the regions surrounding what is now the Krak des Chevaliers. A Roman force under Lucius Lucullus defeated Tigranes at the Battle of Tigranocerta nearby in 69 BC, and afterwards sacked the city, sending many of the people back to their original homes. During Pompey the Great's 'conquests of the east', Tigranakert was retaken briefly by Rome, but was lost when Tigranes the Great was given parts of his kingdom back after his initial surrender to Pompey for the cost of 6,000 talents (an indemnity paid to Rome over an uncertain period). It was again taken by the Romans when Corbulo, a Roman legate (head of a legion), defeated Tiridates during the Armenian rebellion of 64 AD.[3] During the Ottoman period, Armenians who lived in Diyarbekir referred to their city as "Dikranagerd" and themselves as "Dikranagerdtsi". In reality, the location of ancient Tigranakert is still debated, but it is unlikely to be Diyarbekir, a city called Amida in later antiquity.

The city's markets were filled with traders and merchants doing business from all over the ancient world. Tigranakert quickly became a very important commercial, as well as cultural center of the Near East. The magnificent theater that was established by the Emperor, of which he was an avid devotee, conducted dramas and comedies mostly played by Lucullus took most of the gold and silver from the melted-down statues, pots, cups and other valuable metals and precious stones. During the pillage most of the city's inhabitants simply fled to the countryside. The newly established theater building was also destroyed in the fire. The great city would never recover from this devastating destruction.

See also

References

External links

  • Ancient and premodern Armenia
  • "Armenia's 12 Capital Cities" Exhibition Opened in Paris

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