The Kura–Araxes culture or the early trans-Caucasian culture was a civilization that existed from about 4000 BC until about 2000 BC, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain. Altogether, the early trans-Caucasian culture enveloped a vast area 1,000 km by 500 km, encompassed, on modern-day territories, the Southern Caucasus, northwestern Iran, the northeastern Caucasus, eastern Turkey, as far as Syria; the name of the culture is derived from the Araxes river valleys. Kura–Araxes culture is sometimes known as Shengavitian, Karaz and Yanik Tepe cultures, it gave rise to the Khirbet Kerak-ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire. The formative processes of the Kura-Araxes cultural complex, the date and circumstances of its rise, have been long debated. Shulaveri-Shomu culture preceded the Kura–Araxes culture in the area. There were many differences between these two cultures, so the connection was not clear.
It was suggested that the Sioni culture of eastern Georgia represented a transition from the Shulaveri to the Kura-Arax cultural complex. At many sites, the Sioni culture layers can be seen as intermediary between Shulaver-Shomu-Tepe layers and the Kura-Araxes layers; this kind of stratigraphy warrants a chronological place of the Sioni culture at around 4000 BCE. Nowadays scholars consider the Kartli area, as well as the Kakheti area as key to forming the earliest phase of the Kura–Araxes culture. To a large extent, this appears as an indigenous culture of Caucasus, formed over a long period, at the same time incorporating foreign influences. There are some indications of the overlapping in time of the Uruk cultures; some scholars have suggested that the earliest manifestation of the Kura-Araxes phenomenon should be dated at least to the last quarter of the 5th millennium BC. This is based on the recent data from Ovçular Tepesi, a Late Chalcolithic settlement located in Nakhchivan by the Arpaçay river.
Rather elements of Kura–Araxes culture started to proceed westward to the Erzurum plain, southwest to Cilicia, to the southeast into the area of Lake Van, below the Urmia basin in Iran, such as to Godin Tepe. It proceeded into the present-day Syria, as far as Palestine, its territory corresponds to large parts of modern Armenia, Chechnya, Georgia, North Ossetia, parts of Iran and Turkey. At Sos Hoyuk, in Erzurum Province, early forms of Kura-Araxes pottery were found in association with local ceramics as early as 3500-3300 BC. During the Early Bronze Age in 3000-2200 BC, this settlement was part of the Kura-Araxes phenomenon. At Arslantepe, around 3000 BCE, there was widespread burning and destruction, after which Kura-Araxes pottery appeared in the area. According to Geoffrey Summers, the movement of Kura-Araxes peoples into Iran and the Van region, which he interprets as quite sudden, started shortly before 3000 BC, may have been prompted by the'Late Uruk Collapse', taking place at the end of Uruk IV phase c. 3100 BC.
Archaeological evidence of inhabitants of the Kura–Araxes culture showed that ancient settlements were found along the Hrazdan river, as shown by drawings at a mountainous area in a cave nearby. Structures in settlements have not revealed much differentiation, nor was there much difference in size or character between settlements, facts that suggest they had a poorly developed social hierarchy for a significant stretch of their history. Some, but not all, settlements were surrounded by stone walls, they built mud-brick houses round, but developing into subrectangular designs with structures of just one or two rooms, multiple rooms centered around an open space, or rectilinear designs. At some point the culture's settlements and burial grounds expanded out of lowland river valleys and into highland areas. Although some scholars have suggested that this expansion demonstrates a switch from agriculture to pastoralism and that it serves as possible proof of a large-scale arrival of Indo-Europeans, facts such as that settlement in the lowlands remained more or less continuous suggest that the people of this culture were diversifying their economy to encompass crop and livestock agriculture.
Shengavit Settlement is a prominent Kura-Araxes site in present-day Yerevan area in Armenia. It was inhabited from 3200 BC cal to 2500 BC cal. On, in the Middle Bronze Age, it was used irregularly until 2200 BC cal; the town occupied an area of six hectares, large for Kura-Araxes sites. In the 3rd millennium B. C. one particular group of mounds of the Kura–Araxes culture is remarkable for their wealth. This was the final stage of culture's development; these burial mounds are known as the Martqopi period mounds. Those on the left bank of the river Alazani are 20-25 meter high and 200-300 meter in diameter, they contain rich artefacts, such as gold and silver jewelry. The economy was based on livestock-raising, they grew grain and orchard crops, are known to have used implements to make flour. They raised cattle, goats, in phases, horses. Before the Kura-Araxes period, horse bones were not found in Transcaucasia. Beginning about 3300 BCE, they became widespread, w
The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran. Under the Neo-Assyrian Empire, late 9th to early 7th centuries BC, the region of Media was bounded by the Zagros Mountains to its west, to its south by the Garrin Mountain in Lorestan Province, to its northwest by the Qaflankuh Mountains in Zanjan Province, to its east by the Dasht-e Kavir desert, its neighbors were the kingdoms of Gizilbunda and Mannea in the northwest, Ellipi and Elam in the south. In the 7th century BC, Media's tribes came together to form the Median Kingdom, which remained a Neo-Assyrian vassal. Between 616 and 609 BC, King Cyaxares, allied with King Nabopolassar of the Neo-Babylonian Empire against the Neo-Assyrian Empire, after which the Median Empire stretched across the Iranian Plateau as far as Anatolia, its precise geographical extent remains unknown. A few archaeological sites and textual sources provide a brief documentation of the history and culture of the Median state.
Apart from a few personal names, the language of the Medes is unknown. The Medes had an ancient Iranian religion with a priesthood named as "Magi". During the reigns of the last Median kings, the reforms of Zoroaster spread into western Iran. According to the Histories of Herodotus, there were six Median tribes: The six Median tribes resided in Media proper, the triangular area between Rhagae and Ecbatana. In present-day Iran, the area between Tehran and Hamadan, respectively. Of the Median tribes, the Magi resided in Rhaga, modern Tehran, they were of a sacred caste. The Paretaceni tribe resided in and around Aspadana, modern Isfahan, the Arizanti lived in and around Kashan, the Busae tribe lived in and around the future Median capital of Ecbatana, near modern Hamadan; the Struchates and the Budii lived in villages in the Median triangle. The original source for their name and homeland is a directly transmitted Old Iranian geographical name, attested as the Old Persian "Māda-"; the meaning of this word is not known.
However, the linguist W. Skalmowski proposes a relation with the proto-Indo European word "med-", meaning "central, suited in the middle", by referring to the Old Indic "madhya-" and Old Iranian "maidiia-" which both carry the same meaning; the Latin medium, Greek méso and German mittel are derived from it. Greek scholars during antiquity would base ethnological conclusions on Greek legends and the similarity of names. According to the Histories of Herodotus: In the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, Medea is the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis and a paternal granddaughter of the sun-god Helios. Following her failed marriage to Jason while in Corinth, for one of several reasons depending on the version, she marries King Aegeus of Athens and bears a son Medus. After failing to make Aegeus kill his older son Theseus and her son fled to Aria, where the Medes take their name from her, according to several Greek and Roman accounts, including in Pausanias' Description of Greece. According to other versions, such as in Strabo's Geographica and Justin's Epitoma Historiarum Philippicarum, she returned home to conquer neighboring lands with her husband Jason, one of, named after her.
The discoveries of Median sites in Iran happened only after the 1960s. For 1960 the search for Median archeological sources has focused in an area known as the “Median triangle,” defined as the region bounded by Hamadān and Malāyer and Kangāvar. Three major sites from central western Iran in the Iron Age III period are: Tepe Nush-i Jan,The site is located 14 km west of Malāyer in Hamadan province; the excavations started in 1967 with D. Stronach as the director; the remains of four main buildings in the site are "the central temple, the western temple, the fort, the columned hall" which according to Stronach were to have been built in the order named and predate the latter occupation of the first half of the 6th century BC. According to Stronach, the central temple, with its stark design, "provides a notable, if mute, expression of religious belief and practice". A number of ceramics from the Median levels at Tepe Nush-i Jan have been found which are associated with a period of power consolidation in the Hamadān areas.
These findings show four different wares known as “common ware” including jars in various size the largest of, a form of ribbed pithoi. Smaller and more elaborate vessels were in “grey ware”; the “cooking ware” and “crumbly ware” are recognized each in single handmade products. Godin Tepe,The site is located 13 km east of Kangāvar city on the left bank of the river Gamas Āb"; the excavations, started in 1965, were led by T. C. Young, Jr. which according to David Stronach, evidently shows an important Bronze Age construction th
The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was used to make implements with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted 3.4 million years and ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking. Stone Age artifacts include tools used by modern humans and by their predecessor species in the genus Homo, by the earlier contemporaneous genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus. Bone tools were used during this period as well but are preserved in the archaeological record; the Stone Age is further subdivided by the types of stone tools in use. The Stone Age is the first period in the three-age system of archaeology, which divides human technological prehistory into three periods: The Stone Age The Bronze Age The Iron Age The Stone Age is contemporaneous with the evolution of the genus Homo, the only exception being the early Stone Age, when species prior to Homo may have manufactured tools. According to the age and location of the current evidence, the cradle of the genus is the East African Rift System toward the north in Ethiopia, where it is bordered by grasslands.
The closest relative among the other living primates, the genus Pan, represents a branch that continued on in the deep forest, where the primates evolved. The rift served as a conduit for movement into southern Africa and north down the Nile into North Africa and through the continuation of the rift in the Levant to the vast grasslands of Asia. Starting from about 4 million years ago a single biome established itself from South Africa through the rift, North Africa, across Asia to modern China, called "transcontinental'savannahstan'" recently. Starting in the grasslands of the rift, Homo erectus, the predecessor of modern humans, found an ecological niche as a tool-maker and developed a dependence on it, becoming a "tool equipped savanna dweller"; the oldest indirect evidence found of stone tool use is fossilised animal bones with tool marks. Archaeological discoveries in Kenya in 2015, identifying the oldest known evidence of hominin use of tools to date, have indicated that Kenyanthropus platyops may have been the earliest tool-users known.
The oldest stone tools were excavated from the site of Lomekwi 3 in West Turkana, northwestern Kenya, date to 3.3 million years old. Prior to the discovery of these "Lomekwian" tools, the oldest known stone tools had been found at several sites at Gona, Ethiopia, on the sediments of the paleo-Awash River, which serve to date them. All the tools come from the Busidama Formation, which lies above a disconformity, or missing layer, which would have been from 2.9 to 2.7 mya. The oldest sites containing tools are dated to 2.6–2.55 mya. One of the most striking circumstances about these sites is that they are from the Late Pliocene, where previous to their discovery tools were thought to have evolved only in the Pleistocene. Excavators at the locality point out that: "...the earliest stone tool makers were skilled flintknappers.... The possible reasons behind this seeming abrupt transition from the absence of stone tools to the presence thereof include... gaps in the geological record."The species who made the Pliocene tools remains unknown.
Fragments of Australopithecus garhi, Australopithecus aethiopicus and Homo Homo habilis, have been found in sites near the age of the Gona tools. In July 2018, scientists reported the discovery in China of the oldest stone tools outside Africa, estimated at 2.12 million years old. Innovation of the technique of smelting ore began the Bronze Age; the first most significant metal manufactured was bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, each of, smelted separately. The transition from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age was a period during which modern people could smelt copper, but did not yet manufacture bronze, a time known as the Copper Age, or more technically the Chalcolithic, "copper-stone" age; the Chalcolithic by convention is the initial period of the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age; the transition out of the Stone Age occurred between 6000 BCE and 2500 BCE for much of humanity living in North Africa and Eurasia. The first evidence of human metallurgy dates to between the 5th and 6th millennium BCE in the archaeological sites of Majdanpek and Pločnik in modern-day Serbia, though not conventionally considered part of the Chalcolithic or "Copper Age", this provides the earliest known example of copper metallurgy.
Note the Rudna Glava mine in Serbia. Ötzi the Iceman, a mummy from about 3300 BCE carried with him a flint knife. In regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the Stone Age was followed directly by the Iron Age; the Middle East and southeastern Asian regions progressed past Stone Age technology around 6000 BCE. Europe, the rest of Asia became post-Stone Age societies by about 4000 BCE; the proto-Inca cultures of South America continued at a Stone Age level until around 2000 BCE, when gold and silver made their entrance. The Americas notably did not develop a widespread behavior of smelting Bronze or Iron after the Stone Age period, although the technology existed. Stone tool manufacture continued after the Stone Age ended in a given area. In Europe and North America, millstones were in use until well into the 20th century, still are in many parts of the world; the terms "Stone Age", "Bronze Age", "Iron Age" were never meant to suggest that advancement and time periods in prehistory are only measured by the type of tool material, rather than, for
The Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia known as Bagratid Armenia, was an independent state established by Ashot I Bagratuni in the early 880s following nearly two centuries of foreign domination of Greater Armenia under Arab Umayyad and Abbasid rule. With the two contemporary powers in the region, the Abbasids and Byzantines, too preoccupied to concentrate their forces in subjugating the people of the region and the dissipation of several of the Armenian nakharar noble families, Ashot was able to assert himself as the leading figure of a movement to dislodge the Arabs from Armenia. Ashot's prestige rose as he was courted by both Byzantine and Arab leaders eager to maintain a buffer state near their frontiers; the Caliphate recognized Ashot as "prince of princes" in 862 and on, king in 884 or 885. The establishment of the Bagratuni kingdom led to the founding of several other Armenian principalities and kingdoms: Taron, Kars and Syunik. Unity among all these states was sometimes difficult to maintain while the Byzantines and Arabs lost no time in exploiting the kingdom's situation to their own gains.
Under the reign of Ashot III, Ani became the kingdom's capital and grew into a thriving economic and cultural center. The first half of the 11th century saw the decline and eventual collapse of the kingdom. With emperor Basil II's string of victories in annexing parts of southwestern Armenia, King Hovhannes-Smbat felt forced to cede his lands and in 1022 promised to "will" his kingdom to the Byzantines following his death. However, after Hovhannes-Smbat's death in 1041, his successor, Gagik II, refused to hand over Ani and continued resistance until 1045, when his kingdom, plagued with internal and external threats, was taken by Byzantine forces; the weakening of the Sassanian Empire during the 7th century led to the rise of another regional power, the Muslim Arabs. The Umayyad Arabs had conquered vast swaths of territory in the Middle East and, turning north, began to periodically launch raids into Armenia territory in 640. Theodore Rshtuni, the Armenian Curopalates, signed a peace treaty with the Caliphate although the continuing war with the Arabs and Byzantines soon lead to further destruction throughout Armenia.
In 661, Armenian leaders agreed to submit under Muslim rule while the latter conceded to recognize Grigor Mamikonian from the powerful Mamikonian nakharar family as ishkhan of Armenia. Known as "al-Arminiya" with its capital at Dvin, the province was headed by governor. However, Umayyad rule in Armenia grew in cruelty in the early 8th century. Revolts against the Arabs spread throughout Armenia until 705, when under the pretext of meeting for negotiations, the Arab ostikan of Nakhichevan massacred all of the Armenian nobility; the Arabs attempted to conciliate with the Armenians but the levying of higher taxes, impoverishment of the country due to a lack of regional trade, the Umayyads' preference of the Bagratuni family over the Mamikonians made this difficult to accomplish. Taking advantage of the overthrow of the Umayyads by the'Abbasids, a second rebellion was conceived although it too was met with failure because of the frictional relationship between the Bagratuni and Mamikonian families.
The rebellion's failure resulted in the near disintegration of the Mamikonian house which lost most of the land it controlled. A third and final rebellion, stemming from similar grievances as the second, was launched in 774 under the leadership of Mushegh Mamikonian and with the support of other nakharars; the Abbasid Arabs, marched into Armenia with an army of 30,000 men and decisively crushed the rebellion and its instigators at the battle of Bagrevand on April 24, 775, leaving a void for the sole intact family, the Bagratunis, to fill. The Bagratuni family had done its best to improve its relations with the Abbasid caliphs since they took power in 750; the Abbasids always treated the family's overtures with suspicion but by the early 770s, the Bagratunis had won them over and the relationship between the two drastically improved: the Bagratuni family members were soon viewed as leaders of the Armenians in the region. Following the end of the third rebellion, which the Bagratunis had wisely chosen not to participate in, the dispersal of several of the princely houses, the family was left without any formidable rivals.
Any immediate opportunities to take full control of the region was complicated by Arab immigration to Armenia and the caliph's appointment of emirs to rule in newly created administrative districts. But the number of Arabs residing in Armenia never grew in number to form a majority nor were the emirates subordinate to the Caliph; as historian George Bournoutian observes, "this fragmentation of Arab authority provided the opportunity for the resurgence" of the Bagratuni family headed by Ashot Msaker. Ashot began to annex the lands that belonged to the Mamikonians and campaigned against the emirs as a sign of his allegiance to the Caliphate, who in 804 bestowed upon him the title of ishkhan. Upon his death in 826, Ashot bequeathed his land to two of his sons: the eldest, Bagrat Bagratuni received Taron and Sasun and inherited the prestigious title of ishkhanats ishkhan, or prince of princes, whereas his brother, Smbat the Confessor, became the sparapet of Sper and Tayk; the brothers, were unable to resolve their differences with one another nor able to form a unified front against the Muslims.
History of Armenia
Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the Biblical mountains of Ararat. The original Armenian name for the country was Hayk Hayastan, translated as the land of Haik, consisting of the name of the ancient Mesopotamian god Haya and the Persian suffix'-stan'; the historical enemy of Hayk, was Bel, or in other words Baal. The name Armenia was given to the country by the surrounding states, it is traditionally derived from Armenak or Aram. In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittite Empire and Hayasa-Azzi. Soon after the Hayasa-Azzi were the Nairi and the Kingdom of Urartu, who successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highland; each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people. Yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by King Argishti I at the western extreme of the Ararat plain. Erebuni has been described as "designed as a great administrative and religious centre, a royal capital."The Iron Age kingdom of Urartu was replaced by the Orontid dynasty.
Following Persian and subsequent Macedonian rule, the Artaxiad dynasty from 190 BC gave rise to the Kingdom of Armenia which rose to the peak of its influence under Tigranes II before falling under Roman rule. In 301, Arsacid Armenia was the first sovereign nation to accept Christianity as a state religion; the Armenians fell under Byzantine, Sassanid Persian, Islamic hegemony, but reinstated their independence with the Bagratid Dynasty kingdom of Armenia. After the fall of the kingdom in 1045, the subsequent Seljuk conquest of Armenia in 1064, the Armenians established a kingdom in Cilicia, where they prolonged their sovereignty to 1375. Starting in the early 16th century, Greater Armenia came under Safavid Persian rule, however over the centuries Eastern Armenia remained under Persian rule while Western Armenia fell under Ottoman rule. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia was conquered by Russia and Greater Armenia was divided between the Ottoman and Russian Empires. In the early 20th century Armenians suffered in the genocide inflicted on them by the Ottoman government of Turkey, in which 1.5 million Armenians were killed and many more dispersed throughout the world via Syria and Lebanon.
Armenia, from on corresponding to much of Eastern Armenia, regained independence in 1918, with the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia, in 1991, the Republic of Armenia. Stone tools from 325,000 years ago have been found in Armenia which indicate the presence of early humans at this time. In the 1960s excavations in the Yerevan 1 Cave uncovered evidence of ancient human habitation, including the remains of a 48,000-year-old heart, a human cranial fragment and tooth of a similar age; the Armenian Highland shows traces of settlement from the Neolithic era. Archaeological surveys in 2010 and 2011 have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe, straw skirt, wine-making facility at the Areni-1 cave complex; the Shulaveri-Shomu culture of the central Transcaucasus region is one of the earliest known prehistoric cultures in the area, carbon-dated to 6000–4000 BC. An early Bronze-Age culture in the area is the Kura-Araxes culture, assigned to the period between c. 4000 and 2200 BC.
The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain. Early 20th-century scholars suggested that the name Armenian may have been recorded for the first time on an inscription which mentions Armanî together with Ibla, from territories conquered by Naram-Sin identified with an Akkadian colony in the current region of Diyarbekir. Today, the Modern Assyrians refer to the Armenians by the name Armani; the word is speculated to be related to the Mannaeans, which may be identical to the biblical Minni. The earliest forms of the word Hayastan, an ethonym the Armenians use to designate their country, might come from Hittite sources of the Late Bronze Age, such as the kingdom of Hayasa-Azzi. Another record mentioned by pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt in the 33rd year of his reign as the people of Ermenen, says in their land "heaven rests upon its four pillars". However, what all these attestations refer to cannot be determined with certainty, the earliest certain attestation of the name Armenia comes from the Behistun Inscription.
Between 1500 and 1200 BC, the Hayasa-Azzi existed in the western half of the Armenian Highland clashing with the Hittite Empire. Between 1200 and 800 BC, much of Armenia was united under a confederation of kingdoms, which Assyrian sources called Nairi; the Kingdom of Urartu flourished between 585 BC in the Armenian Highland. The founder of the Urartian Kingdom, Aramé, united all the principalities of the Armenian Highland and gave himself the title "King of Kings", the traditional title of Urartian Kings; the Urartians established their sovereignty over all of Vaspurakan. The main rival of Urartu was the Neo-As
The Areni-1 cave complex is a multicomponent site, late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age ritual site and settlement, located near the Areni village in southern Armenia along the Arpa River. In 2010, archeologist discovered the earliest known shoe at the site. In January 2011, the earliest known winery in the world was uncovered in the cave. In 2011, the discovery of a straw skirt dating to 3,900 years BCE was reported. In 2009, the oldest humanoid brain was discovered in the cave. Areni-1 shoe Areni-1 winery
Roman–Parthian War of 58–63
The Roman–Parthian War of 58–63 or the War of the Armenian Succession was fought between the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire over control of Armenia, a vital buffer state between the two realms. Armenia had been a Roman client state since the days of Emperor Augustus, but in 52/53, the Parthians succeeded in installing their own candidate, Tiridates, on the Armenian throne; these events coincided with the accession of Nero to the imperial throne in Rome, the young emperor decided to react vigorously. The war, the only major foreign campaign of his reign, began with rapid success for the Roman forces, led by the able general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, they overcame the forces loyal to Tiridates, installed their own candidate, Tigranes VI, on the Armenian throne, left the country. The Romans were aided by the fact that the Parthian king Vologases was embroiled in the suppression of a series of revolts in his own country; as soon as these had been dealt with, the Parthians turned their attention to Armenia, after a couple of years of inconclusive campaigning, inflicted a heavy defeat on the Romans in the Battle of Rhandeia.
The conflict ended soon after, in an effective stalemate and a formal compromise: a Parthian prince of the Arsacid line would henceforth sit on the Armenian throne, but his nomination had to be approved by the Roman emperor. This conflict was the first direct confrontation between Parthia and the Romans since Crassus' disastrous expedition and Mark Antony's campaigns a century earlier, would be the first of a long series of wars between Rome and Iranian powers over Armenia. Since the expanding Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire had come into contact in the mid-1st century BC, there had been friction between the two great powers of the Near East over the control of the various states lying between them; the largest and most important of these was the Kingdom of Armenia. In 20 BC, Augustus succeeded in establishing a Roman protectorate over the country, when Tigranes III was enthroned as king of Armenia. Roman influence was secured through a series of Roman-sponsored kings until 37 AD, when a Parthian-supported candidate, assumed the throne.
The Roman-supported king, recovered his throne with the support of Emperor Claudius in 42 AD, but was deposed in 51 AD by his nephew Rhadamistus of Iberia. His rule became unpopular and this gave the newly crowned king Vologases I of Parthia the opportunity to intervene, his forces seized the two capitals of Armenia and Tigranocerta, put his younger brother Tiridates on the throne. The onset of a bitter winter and the outbreak of an epidemic forced the Parthian forces to withdraw, allowing Rhadamistus to retake control of the country, his behavior towards his subjects, was worse than before, they rose in rebellion against him. Thus in 54 AD Rhadamistus fled to his father's court in Iberia, Tiridates re-established himself in Armenia. In the same year, in Rome, Emperor Claudius was succeeded by his stepson Nero; the Parthian encroachment in an area regarded as lying within the Roman sphere of influence worried the Roman leadership, was seen as a major test of the new emperor's ability. Nero reacted vigorously, appointing Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, a general who had distinguished himself in Germania and now served as governor of Asia, to supreme command in the East.
Corbulo was given control over two provinces and Galatia, with propraetorial and proconsular authority or imperium. Although Galatia was considered a good recruiting-ground and Cappadocia had a few units of auxiliaries, the bulk of his army came from Syria, where half the garrison of four legions and several units of auxiliaries was transferred to his command; the Romans hoped to resolve the situation by diplomatic means: Corbulo and Ummidius Quadratus, the governor of Syria, both sent embassies to Vologases, proposing that he give up hostages, as was customary during negotiations, to ensure good faith. Vologases, himself preoccupied by the revolt of his son Vardanes which forced him to withdraw his troops from Armenia complied. A period of inactivity ensued. Corbulo used this lull to restore his troops' discipline and combat readiness, which had diminished in the peaceful garrisons of the East. According to Tacitus, Corbulo discharged all who were old or in ill health, kept the entire army under canvas in the harsh winters of the Anatolian plateau to acclimatize them to the snows of Armenia, enforced a strict discipline, punishing deserters by death.
At the same time, however, he took care to be present amongst his men, sharing their hardships. In the meantime, backed by his brother, refused to go to Rome, engaged in operations against those Armenians whom he deemed were loyal to Rome. Tension mounted and in the early spring of 58, war broke out. Corbulo had placed a large number of his auxiliaries in a line of forts near the Armenian frontier under a former primus pilus, Paccius Orfitus. Disobeying Corbulo's orders, he used some newly arrived auxiliary cavalry alae to stage a raid against the Armenians, who appeared to be unprepared. In the event, his raid failed, the retreating troops spread their panic amongst the garrisons of the other forts, it was an inauspicious start for a campaign, Corbulo punished the survivors and their commanders. Having drilled his army for two years, despite this misadventure, was ready, he had three legions at his disposal, to which were added a large number of auxiliaries and allied contingents from Eastern client kings like Aristobulus of