Sites & cities that bear the name of Armavir


Today in : Armenia
First trace of activity : 1,980 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : 1603 C.E
Recorded names : Արմավիր, Armaouira, Sardarabad

Description : Armavir (Armenian: Արմավիր) (also called Armaouira in antiquity) was a large commercial city and the capital of ancient Armenia during the reign of the Orontid Dynasty. It is located 1 km west of the 17th-century village of Armavir. The area of ancient Armavir was inhabited since the 6th millennium BC. Various obsidian instruments, bronze objects and pottery have been found from that period. Armavir was regarded as an ancient capital of Armenia, said to have been founded by King Aramais in 1980 BC. During the first half of the 8th century BC, King Argishti I of Urartu built a fortress in the area and named it Argishtikhinili. In 331 BC, when Armenia under the Orontid Dynasty asserted its independence from the Achaemenid Empire, Armavir was chosen as the capital of Armenia. Slabs of clay have been found from the Achaemenid period written in the Elamite language concerning episodes of the Gilgamesh epic. Various inscriptions in Hellenistic Greek carved around the third century BC, have been found, including poetry from Hesiod, lines from Euripides, a list of Macedonian months, and names of Orontid Kings. According to the 5th-century Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi, Armavir was the first capital of the kingdom of Armenia (although, from a geographical standpoint, the first capital of Armenia was Van). Movses has preserved the tradition that when King Valarsace the Parthian settled in Armavir (ca. 149 BC), he built a temple there and asked prince aspet (knight) Smbat of the Bagratuni Dynasty to give up his religion and worship idols. But Smbat refused to comply. Movses also relates that when King Tigranes II (whom he places on the throne from 90-36 BC), in order to take revenge on Queen Cleopatra of Egypt, sent an expedition to Palestine, he carried a great number of Jews into captivity, and settled them in Armavir and in Vardges. Movses goes on to state that later Jews were transferred from Armavir to Yervandashat; and under King Artashes I, were again transferred into the new capital Artashat. When King Sapor II of Persia invaded Armenia (360-370), he led away from Artashat 30,000 Armenian and 9,000 Jewish families, the latter brought by King Tigranes from Judea, and then completely destroyed the city. In 591 during the reign of emperor Maurice, Armavir (then called Armaouira) and much of Armenia came under Roman administration after the Romans defeated the Sassanid Persian Empire at the battle of the Blarathon. During Antiquity, Armavir was taken by the Seleucids, Parthians, Roman Empire, Sassanids and Byzantine Empire before it was taken over by the Arabs in 645.

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