Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity)
The Kingdom of Armenia the Kingdom of Greater Armenia, or Greater Armenia, sometimes referred to as the Armenian Empire, was a monarchy in the Ancient Near East which existed from 321 BC to 428 AD. Its history is divided into successive reigns by three royal dynasties: Orontid and Arsacid; the root of the kingdom lies in one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia called Armenia, formed from the territory of the Kingdom of Ararat after it was conquered by the Median Empire in 590 BC. The satrapy became a kingdom in 321 BC during the reign of the Orontid dynasty after the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great, incorporated as one of the Hellenistic kingdoms of the Seleucid Empire. Under the Seleucid Empire, the Armenian throne was divided in two – Armenia Maior and Sophene – both of which passed to members of the Artaxiad dynasty in 189 BC. During the Roman Republic's eastern expansion, the Kingdom of Armenia, under Tigranes the Great, reached its peak, from 83 to 69 BC, after it reincorporated Sophene and conquered the remaining territories of the falling Seleucid Empire ending its existence and raising Armenia into an empire for a brief period, until it was itself conquered by Rome in 69 BC.
The remaining Artaxiad kings ruled as clients of Rome until they were overthrown in 12 AD due to their possible allegiance to Rome's main rival in the region, Parthia. During the Roman–Parthian Wars, the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia was founded when Tiridates I, a member of the Parthian Arsacid dynasty, was proclaimed King of Armenia in 52. Throughout most of its history during this period, Armenia was contested between Rome and Parthia, the Armenian nobility was divided among pro-Roman, pro-Parthian or neutrals. From 114 to 118, Armenia became a province of the Roman Empire under Emperor Trajan; the Kingdom of Armenia served as a client state or vassal at the frontier of the two large empires and their successors, the Byzantine and Sassanid empires. In 301, Tiridates III proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of Armenia, making the Armenian kingdom the first state to embrace Christianity officially. During the Byzantine–Sasanian wars, Armenia was partitioned into Byzantine Armenia in 387 and Persian Armenia in 428.
The geographic Armenian Highlands known as the highlands of Ararat, was inhabited by Proto-Armenian tribes which did not yet constitute a unitary state or nation. The highlands were first united by tribes in the vicinity of Lake Van into the Kingdom of Van; the kingdom competed with Assyria over supremacy in the highlands of Ararat and the Fertile Crescent. Both kingdoms fell to Iranian invaders from the neighbouring East in the 6th century BC, its territory was reorganized into a satrapy called Armenia. The Orontid dynasty ruled as satraps of the Achaemenid Empire for three centuries until the empire's defeat against Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. After Alexander's death in 323 BC, a Macedonian general named Neoptolemus obtained Armenia until he died in 321 BC and the Orontids returned, not as satraps, but as kings. Orontes III and the ruler of Lesser Armenia, recognized themselves independent, thus elevating the former Armenian satrapy into a kingdom, giving birth to the kingdoms of Armenia and Lesser Armenia.
Orontes III defeated the Thessalian commander Menon, who wanted to capture Sper's gold mines. Weakened by the Seleucid Empire which succeeded the Macedonian Empire, the last Orontid king, Orontes IV, was overthrown in 200/201 BC and the kingdom was taken over by a commander of the Seleucid Empire, Artashes I, presumed to be related to the Orontid dynasty himself; the Seleucid Empire's influence over Armenia had weakened after it was defeated by the Romans in the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BC. A Hellenistic Armenian state was thus founded in the same year by Artaxias I alongside the Armenian kingdom of Sophene led by Zariadres. Artaxias seized Yervandashat, united the Armenian Highlands at the expense of neighboring tribes and founded the new royal capital of Artaxata near the Araxes River. According to Strabo and Plutarch, Hannibal Barca received hospitality at the Armenian court of Artaxias I; the authors add an apocryphal story of how Hannibal supervised the building of Artaxata. The new city was laid on a strategic position at the juncture of trade routes that connected the Ancient Greek world with Bactria and the Black Sea which permitted the Armenians to prosper.
Tigranes the Great saw an opportunity for expansion in the constant civil strife to the south. In 83 BC, at the invitation of one of the factions in the interminable civil wars, he entered Syria, soon established himself as ruler of Syria—putting the Seleucid Empire at an end—and ruled peacefully for 17 years. During the zenith of his rule, Tigranes the Great extended Armenia's territory outside of the Armenian Highland over parts of the Caucasus and the area, now south-eastern Turkey, Iran and Lebanon, becoming one of the most powerful states in the Roman East. Armenia came under the Ancient Roman sphere of influence in 66 BC, after the battle of Tigranocerta and the final defeat of Armenia's ally, Mithridates VI of Pontus. Mark Antony invaded and defeated the kingdom in 34 BC, but the Romans lost hegemony during the Final War of the Roman Republic in 32–30 BC. In 20 BC, Augustus negotiated a truce with the Parthians, making Armenia a buffer zone between the two major powers. Augustus i
The Iranian peoples, or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages. The Proto-Iranians are believed to have emerged as a separate branch of the Indo-Iranians in Central Asia in the mid-2nd millennium BCE. At their peak of expansion in the mid-1st millennium BCE, the territory of the Iranian peoples stretched across the entire Eurasian Steppe from the Great Hungarian Plain in the west to the Ordos Plateau in the east, to the Iranian Plateau in the south; the Western Iranian empires of the south came to dominate much of the ancient world from the 6th century BCE, leaving an important cultural legacy. The ancient Iranian peoples who emerged after the 1st millennium BCE include the Alans, Dahae, Massagetae, Parthians, Sagartians, Sarmatians, Scythians and Cimmerians among other Iranian-speaking peoples of Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Eastern Steppe. In the 1st millennium CE, their area of settlement was reduced as a result of Slavic, Germanic and Mongol expansions, many were subjected to Slavicisation and Turkification.
Modern Iranian-speaking peoples include the Baloch, Kurds, Mazanderanis, Pamiris, Persians, the Talysh and Yaghnobis. Their current distribution spreads across the Iranian Plateau, stretching from the Caucasus in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south and from eastern Turkey in the west to western Xinjiang in the east—a region, sometimes called the Iranian Cultural Continent, representing the extent of the Iranian-speakers and the significant influence of the Iranian peoples through the geopolitical reach of Greater Iran; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Parthian Aryān. The Middle Iranian terms ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Old Persian ariya-, Avestan airiia- and Proto-Iranian *arya-. There have been many attempts to qualify the verbal root of ar- in Old Iranian arya-; the following are according to 1957 and linguists: Emmanuel Laroche: ara- "to fit". Old Iranian arya- being descended from Proto-Indo-European ar-yo-, meaning " assembler".
Georges Dumézil: ar- "to share". Harold Walter Bailey: ar- "to beget". Émil Benveniste: ar- "to fit". Unlike the Sanskrit ā́rya-, the Old Iranian term has an ethnic meaning. Today, the Old Iranian arya- remains in ethno-linguistic names such as Iran, Alan, Ir, Iron.< In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of Avesta. The earliest epigraphically attested reference to the word arya- occurs in the Bistun Inscription of the 6th century BCE; the inscription of Bistun describes itself to have been composed in Arya. As is the case for all other Old Iranian language usage, the arya of the inscription does not signify anything but Iranian. In royal Old Persian inscriptions, the term arya- appears in three different contexts: As the name of the language of the Old Persian version of the inscription of Darius I in the Bistun Inscription; as the ethnic background of Darius the Great in inscriptions at Rustam Relief and Susa and the ethnic background of Xerxes I in the inscription from Persepolis.
As the definition of the God of Iranians, Ohrmazd, in the Elamite version of the Bistun Inscription. In the Dna and Dse and Xerxes describe themselves as "an Achaemenid, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, of Aryan stock". Although Darius the Great called his language arya-, modern scholars refer to it as Old Persian because it is the ancestor of the modern Persian language; the trilingual inscription erected by the command of Shapur. The languages used are Parthian, Middle Persian, Greek. In Greek inscription says "ego... tou Arianon ethnous despotes eimi", which translates to "I am the king of the kingdom of the Iranians". In Middle Persian, Shapur says "ērānšahr xwadāy hēm" and in Parthian he says "aryānšahr xwadāy ahēm"; the Avesta uses airiia- as an ethnic name, where it appears in expressions such as airyāfi daiŋˊhāvō, airyō šayanəm, airyanəm vaējō vaŋhuyāfi dāityayāfi. In the late part of the Avesta, one of the mentioned homelands was referred to as Airyan'əm Vaējah which means "expanse of the Iranians".
The homeland varied in its geographic range, the area around Herat and the entire expanse of the Iranian plateau. The Old Persian and Avestan evidence is confirmed by the Greek sources. Herodotus, in his Histories, remarks about the Iranian Medes that "Medes were called anciently by all people Arians". In Armenian sources, the Parthians and Persians are collectively referred to as Iranians. Eudemus of Rhodes refers to "the Magi and all those of Iranian lineage". Diodorus Siculus considers Zoroaster as one of the Arianoi. Strabo, in his Geographica, mentions of the Medes, Persians and Sogdians of the Iranian Plateau and Transoxiana of antiquity: The name of Ariana is further extended to a part of Persia and of Media, as to the Bactrians and Sogd
The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is an endorheic basin located between Europe and Asia, to the east of the Caucasus Mountains and to the west of the broad steppe of Central Asia; the sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 and a volume of 78,200 km3. It has a salinity of 1.2%, about a third of the salinity of most seawater. It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, Turkmenistan to the southeast; the Caspian Sea is home to a wide range of species and may be best known for its caviar and oil industries. Pollution from the oil industry and dams on rivers draining into the Caspian Sea have had negative effects on the organisms living in the sea; the wide and endorheic Caspian Sea has a north–south orientation and its main freshwater inflow, the Volga River, enters at the shallow north end. Two deep basins occupy its southern areas.
These lead to horizontal differences in temperature and ecology. The Caspian Sea spreads out over nearly 750 miles from north to south, with an average width of 200 miles, it covers a region of around 149,200 square miles and its surface is about 90 feet below sea level. The sea bed in the southern part reaches as low as 1,023 m below sea level, the second lowest natural depression on Earth after Lake Baikal; the ancient inhabitants of its coast perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean because of its saltiness and large size. The word Caspian is derived from the name of the Caspi, an ancient people who lived to the southwest of the sea in Transcaucasia. Strabo wrote that "to the country of the Albanians belongs the territory called Caspiane, named after the Caspian tribe, as was the sea. Moreover, the Caspian Gates, the name of a region in Iran's Tehran province indicates that they migrated to the south of the sea; the Iranian city of Qazvin shares the root of its name with that of the sea. In fact, the traditional Arabic name for the sea itself is Baḥr al-Qazwin.
In classical antiquity among Greeks and Persians it was called the Hyrcanian Ocean. In Persian middle age, as well as in modern Iran, it is known as Daryā-e Khazar. Ancient Arabic sources refer to it as Baḥr Gīlān meaning "the Gilan Sea". Turkic languages refer to the lake as Khazar Sea. In Turkmen, the name is Hazar deňizi, in Azeri, it is Xəzər dənizi, in modern Turkish, it is Hazar denizi. In all these cases, the second word means "sea", the first word refers to the historical Khazars who had a large empire based to the north of the Caspian Sea between the 7th and 10th centuries. An exception is Kazakh, where it is called Kaspiy teñizi. Renaissance European maps labelled it as Mar de Bachu, or Mar de Sala. Old Russian sources call it the Khvalis Sea after the name of Khwarezmia. In modern Russian, it is called Каспи́йское мо́ре, Kaspiyskoye more; the Caspian Sea, like the Black Sea, is a remnant of the ancient Paratethys Sea. Its seafloor is, therefore, a standard oceanic basalt and not a continental granite body.
It became landlocked about 5.5 million years ago due to a fall in sea level. During warm and dry climatic periods, the landlocked sea dried up, depositing evaporitic sediments like halite that were covered by wind-blown deposits and were sealed off as an evaporite sink when cool, wet climates refilled the basin. Due to the current inflow of fresh water in the north, the Caspian Sea water is fresh in its northern portions, getting more brackish toward the south, it is most saline on the Iranian shore. The mean salinity of the Caspian is one third that of Earth's oceans; the Garabogazköl embayment, which dried up when water flow from the main body of the Caspian was blocked in the 1980s but has since been restored exceeds oceanic salinity by a factor of 10. The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world and accounts for 40 to 44% of the total lacustrine waters of the world; the coastlines of the Caspian are shared by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The Caspian is divided into three distinct physical regions: the Northern and Southern Caspian.
The Northern–Middle boundary is the Mangyshlak Threshold, which runs through Chechen Island and Cape Tiub-Karagan. The Middle–Southern boundary is the Apsheron Threshold, a sill of tectonic origin between the Eurasian continent and an oceanic remnant, that runs through Zhiloi Island and Cape Kuuli; the Garabogazköl Bay is the saline eastern inlet of the Caspian, part of Turkmenistan and at times has been a lake in its own right due to the isthmus that cuts it off from the Caspian. Differences between the three regions are dramatic; the Northern Caspian only includes the Caspian shelf, is shallow. The sea noticeably drops off towards the Middle Caspian; the Southern Caspian is the deepest, with oceanic depths of over 1,000 metres exceeding the depth of other reg
Arame of Urartu
Arame or Aramu was the first known king of Urartu. Living at the time of King Shalmaneser III of Assyria, Arame united the Nairi tribe against the threat of the Assyrian Empire, his capital at Arzashkun was captured by Shalmaneser. Arame has been suggested as the prototype of both Aram and Ara the Beautiful, two of the legendary forefathers of the Armenian people. Khorenatsi's History puts them six and seven generations after Haik, in the chronology of historian Mikayel Chamchian dated to the 19th to 18th century BC. List of kings of Urartu David Marshall Lang, Armenia: Cradle of Civilization
Strabo was a Greek geographer and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus in around 64 BC, his family had been involved in politics since at least the reign of Mithridates V. Strabo was related to Dorylaeus on his mother's side. Several other family members, including his paternal grandfather had served Mithridates VI during the Mithridatic Wars; as the war drew to a close, Strabo's grandfather had turned several Pontic fortresses over to the Romans. Strabo wrote that "great promises were made in exchange for these services", as Persian culture endured in Amasia after Mithridates and Tigranes were defeated, scholars have speculated about how the family's support for Rome might have affected their position in the local community, whether they might have been granted Roman citizenship as a reward. Strabo's life was characterized by extensive travels, he journeyed to Egypt and Kush, as far west as coastal Tuscany and as far south as Ethiopia in addition to his travels in Asia Minor and the time he spent in Rome.
Travel throughout the Mediterranean and Near East for scholarly purposes, was popular during this era and was facilitated by the relative peace enjoyed throughout the reign of Augustus. He moved to Rome in 44 BC, stayed there and writing, until at least 31 BC. In 29 BC, on his way to Corinth, he visited the island of Gyaros in the Aegean Sea. Around 25 BC, he sailed up the Nile until reaching Philae, after which point there is little record of his proceedings until AD 17, it is not known when Strabo's Geography was written, though comments within the work itself place the finished version within the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Some place its first drafts around 7 BC, others around AD 17 or 18; the latest passage to which a date can be assigned is his reference to the death in AD 23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia, said to have died "just recently". He worked on the Geography for many years and revised it not always consistently, it is an encyclopaedical chronicle and consists of political, social, geographic description of whole Europe: British Isles, Iberian Peninsula, Germania, The Alps, Greece.
The Geography is the only extant work providing information about both Greek and Roman peoples and countries during the reign of Augustus. On the presumption that "recently" means within a year, Strabo stopped writing that year or the next, when he died, he was influenced by Homer and Aristotle. The first of Strabo's major works, Historical Sketches, written while he was in Rome, is nearly lost. Meant to cover the history of the known world from the conquest of Greece by the Romans, Strabo quotes it himself and other classical authors mention that it existed, although the only surviving document is a fragment of papyrus now in possession of the University of Milan. Strabo studied under several prominent teachers of various specialties throughout his early life at different stops along his Mediterranean travels, his first chapter of education took place in Nysa under the master of rhetoric Aristodemus, who had taught the sons of the same Roman general who had taken over Pontus. Aristodemus was the head of two schools of rhetoric and grammar, one in Nysa and one in Rhodes, the former of the two cities possessing a distinct intellectual curiosity of Homeric literature and the interpretation of epics.
Strabo was an admirer of Homer's poetry a consequence of his time spent in Nysa with Aristodemus. At around the age of 21, Strabo moved to Rome, where he studied philosophy with the Peripatetic Xenarchus, a respected tutor in Augustus's court. Despite Xenarchus's Aristotelian leanings, Strabo gives evidence to have formed his own Stoic inclinations. In Rome, he learned grammar under the rich and famous scholar Tyrannion of Amisus. Although Tyrannion was a Peripatetic, he was more relevantly a respected authority on geography, a fact significant, considering Strabo's future contributions to the field; the final noteworthy mentor to Strabo was Athenodorus Cananites, a philosopher who had spent his life since 44 BC in Rome forging relationships with the Roman elite. Athenodorus endowed to Strabo three important items: his philosophy, his knowledge, his contacts. Unlike the Aristotelian Xenarchus and Tyrannion who preceded him in teaching Strabo, Athenodorus was Stoic in mindset certainly the source of Strabo's diversion from the philosophy of his former mentors.
Moreover, from his own first-hand experience, Athenodorus provided Strabo with information about regions of the empire which he would not otherwise have known. Strabo is most notable for his work Geographica, which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era. Although the Geographica was utilized in its contemporary antiquity, a multitude of copies survived throughout the Byzantine Empire, it first appeared in Western Europe in Rome as a Latin translation issued around 1469. The first Greek edition was published in 1516 in Venice. Isaac Casaubon, classical scholar and editor of Greek texts, provided the first critical edition in 1587. Although Strabo cited the antique Greek astronomers Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, acknowledging their astronomical and mathematical efforts towards geography, he claimed that
Carthage was a Phoenician state that included, during the 7th–3rd centuries BC, its wider sphere of influence known as the Carthaginian Empire. The empire extended over much of the coast of Northwest Africa as well as encompassing substantial parts of coastal Iberia and the islands of the western Mediterranean Sea. Phoenicians founded Carthage in 814 BC. A dependency of the Phoenician state of Tyre, Carthage gained independence around 650 BC and established its political hegemony over other Phoenician settlements throughout the western Mediterranean, this lasting until the end of the 3rd century BC. At the height of the city's prominence, it served as a major hub of trade, with trading stations extending throughout the region. For much of its history, Carthage was on hostile terms with the Greeks in Sicily and with the Roman Republic; the city had to deal with hostile Berbers, the indigenous inhabitants of the area where Carthage was built. In 146 BC, after the third and final Punic War, Roman forces destroyed Carthage redesigned and occupied the site of the city.
Nearly all of the other Phoenician city-states and former Carthaginian dependencies subsequently fell into Roman hands. According to Roman sources, Phoenician colonists from modern-day Lebanon, led by Dido, founded Carthage circa 814 BC. Queen Elissa was an exiled princess of the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre. At its peak, the metropolis she founded, came to be called the "shining city", ruling 300 other cities around the western Mediterranean Sea and leading the Phoenician world. Elissa's brother, Pygmalion of Tyre, had murdered the high priest. Elissa escaped the tyranny of her own country, founding the "new city" of Carthage and subsequently its dominions. Details of her life are sketchy and confusing, but the following can be deduced from various sources. According to Justin, Princess Elissa was the daughter of King Belus II of Tyre; when he died, the throne was jointly bequeathed to her brother and her. She married her uncle Acerbas known as Sychaeus, the High Priest of Melqart, a man with both authority and wealth comparable to the king.
This led to increased rivalry between the monarchy. Pygmalion was a tyrant, lover of both gold and intrigue, who desired the authority and fortune enjoyed by Acerbas. Pygmalion assassinated Acerbas in the temple and kept the misdeed concealed from his sister for a long time, deceiving her with lies about her husband's death. At the same time, the people of Tyre called for a single sovereign. In the Roman epic of Virgil, the Aeneid, Queen Dido, the Greek name for Elissa, is first introduced as a esteemed character. In just seven years, since their exodus from Tyre, the Carthaginians have rebuilt a successful kingdom under her rule, her subjects present her with a festival of praise. Her character is perceived by Virgil as more noble when she offers asylum to Aeneas and his men, who had escaped from Troy. A spirit in the form of the messenger god, sent by Jupiter, reminds Aeneas that his mission is not to stay in Carthage with his new-found love, but to sail to Italy to found Rome. Virgil ends his legend of Dido with the story that, when Aeneas tells Dido, her heart broken, she orders a pyre to be built where she falls upon Aeneas' sword.
As she lay dying, she predicted eternal strife between Aeneas' people and her own: "rise up from my bones, avenging spirit" she says, an invocation of Hannibal. Aeneas goes on to found the Roman Kingdom; the details of Virgil's story do not, form part of the original legend and are significant as an indication of Rome's attitude towards the city she had founded, exemplified by Cato the Elder's much-repeated utterance, "Carthago delenda est", "Carthage must be destroyed". The Phoenicians established numerous colonial cities along the coasts of the Mediterranean to provide safe harbors for their merchant fleets, to maintain a Phoenician monopoly on an area's natural resources, to conduct trade free of outside interference, they were motivated to found these cities by a desire to satisfy the demand for trade goods or to escape the necessity of paying tribute to the succession of empires that ruled Tyre and Byblos, by fear of complete Greek colonization of that part of the Mediterranean suitable for commerce.
The Phoenicians lacked the population or necessity to establish large self-sustaining cities abroad, most of their colonial cities had fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, but Carthage and a few others developed larger populations. Although Strabo's claim that the Tyrians founded three hundred colonies along the west African coast is exaggerated, colonies were established in Tunisia, Algeria, to a much lesser extent, on the arid coast of Libya; the Phoenicians were active in Cyprus, Corsica, the Balearic Islands and Sicily, as well as on the European mainland at present-day Genoa in Italy and Marseille in present-day France. The settlements at Crete and Sicily were in perpetual conflict with the Greeks, but the Phoenicians managed to control all of Sicily for a limited time; the entire area came under the leadership and protection of Carthage, which in turn dispatched its own colonists to found new cities or to reinforce those that declined with the loss of primacy of Tyre and Sidon. The first colonies were settled on the two paths to Iberia's mineral wealth — along the Northwest African coast and on Sicily and the Ba
Movses Khorenatsi was a prominent Armenian historian from the period of Late Antiquity and the author of the History of Armenia. Khorenatsi is credited with the earliest known historiographical work on the history of Armenia written in Armenian, but was a poet, or hymn writer, a grammarian; the History of Armenia was written at the behest of Prince Sahak of the Bagratuni dynasty and has had an enormous impact on Armenian historiography. It was used and quoted extensively by medieval Armenian authors. Although other Armenians such as Agathangelos had written histories on Armenia, Movses' work holds particular significance because it contains unique material on the old oral traditions in Armenia before its conversion to Christianity and, more traces Armenian history from Movses' day back to its origins. Khorenatsi is considered to be the "father of Armenian history", is sometimes referred to as the "Armenian Herodotus." Khorenatsi's work became the first attempt of a universal history of Armenia.
Movses identified himself as a young disciple of Mesrop Mashtots, inventor of the Armenian alphabet, is recognized by the Armenian Apostolic Church as one of the Holy Translators. Movses' biographical details are given at the end of the History of the Armenians but additional information provided by medieval Armenian historians have allowed modern scholars to piece together additional information on him. Movses was believed to have been born in the village of Khorni in the Armenian province of Taron or Turuberan sometime in 410. However, some scholars contend that if he was born here, he would have been known as Movses of Khorneh or Khoron, they instead move the location of his birth from Taron to the Armenian province of Syunik, in the village of Khorena in the region of Harband. He received his education in Syunik' and was sent to be taught under the auspices of Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet, Catholicos Sahak Partev. In having considerable difficulty translating the Bible from Greek to Armenian and Sahak felt the need to send Movses and several of their other students to Alexandria, Egypt, at that time the center of education and learning, so that they themselves learn the Greek and Syriac languages, as well as grammar, oratory and philosophy.
The students left Armenia sometime between 432 and 435. First they went to Edessa, they moved towards Jerusalem and Alexandria. After studying in Alexandria for five to six years and his classmates returned to Armenia, only to find that Mesrop and Sahak had died. Movses expressed his grief in a lament at the end of History of the Armenians: While they awaited our return to celebrate their student’s accomplishments, we hastened from Byzantium, expecting that we would be dancing and singing at a wedding...and instead, I found myself grieving at the foot of our teachers' graves... I did not arrive in time to see their eyes close nor hear them speak their final words. To further complicate their problems, the atmosphere in Armenia that Movses and the other students had returned to was one, hostile and they were viewed at with contempt by the native population. While Armenian historians blamed this on an ignorant populace, Persian ideology and policy lay at fault, since its rulers "could not tolerate educated young scholars fresh from Greek centers of learning."
Given this atmosphere and persecution by the Persians, Movses went into hiding in a village near Vagharshapat and lived in relative seclusion for several decades. Gyut, Catholicos of All Armenians, one day met Movses while traveling through the area and, unaware of his true identity, invited him to supper with several of his students. Movses was silent, but after Gyut's students encouraged him to speak, Movses made a marvelous speech at the dinner table. One of the Catholicos' students was able to identify Movses. Gyut embraced Movses and, being either a Chalcedonian Christian, or, at least, tolerant of them, brought his friend back from seclusion and appointed him to be a bishop in Bagrevan. Serving as a bishop, Movses was approached by Prince Sahak Bagratuni, having heard of Movses' reputation, asked him to write a history of the Armenians the biographies of Armenian kings and the origins of the Armenian nakharar families. Armenian historian Artashes Matevosyan placed Movses' completion of History to the year 474 CE based on his research on the Chronicle by the sixth century Armenian historian Atanas Taronatsi.
One of his primary reasons for taking up Sahak Bagratuni's request is given in the first part of Patmutyun Hayots, or History of the Armenians: "For though we are small and limited in numbers and have been conquered many times by foreign kingdoms, yet too, many acts of bravery have been performed in our land, worthy of being written and remembered, but of which no one has bothered to write down." His work is a first historical record that covered the whole history of Armenia from a ancient period until the death of the historian. His History served as a textbook to study the history of Armenia until the eighteenth century. Movses' history gives a rich description of the oral traditions that were popular among the Armenians of the time, such as the roma