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Orontes II

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Orontes II
Satrap of Armenia
Reign336 BC – unknown
Coronation336 BC
PredecessorDarius III
SuccessorMithrenes?
IssueMithrenes?
DynastyOrontid Dynasty
FatherOrontes I?
MotherRodogoune?

Orontes II (Armenian: Երուանդ , Yervand ) was a Persian noble living in the 4th century BC.[1] He is probably to be identified as the satrap of Armenia under Darius III, and may in fact have succeeded Darius in this position when Darius ascended the throne of Persia in 336 BC.[1]

Arrian lists Orontes and a certain Mithraustes as two commanders of Armenian forces in the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC.[2] The interpretation of this passage is controversial, with different historians interpreting it as indicating that Mithraustes commanded the infantry,[3] or that there were two different contingents of Armenian cavalry in this battle,[4] or even that Armenia was divided into two parts ruled by two satraps.[5]

Orontes fought at the Battle of Gaugamela on the Persian right flank with 40,000 units of infantry and 7,000 of cavalry under his command,[6] where he died.[citation needed] His son,[citation needed] Mithrenes, Satrap of Lydia, had joined Alexander the Great after being defeated at Sardis in 334 BC, and fought at Gaugamela on the side of Alexander. After the battle, Mithrenes was made Satrap of Armenia by Alexander.[7][8][9]

The ultimate fate of Orontes is unknown. Diodorus and Polyaenus mention a man named Orontes, who was a Satrap of Armenia during the Second War of the Diadochi;[10][11] Diodorus adds that this Orontes was a friend of Peucestas.[10] Andrew Burn, Edward Anson and Waldemar Heckel consider this satrap to be the same Orontes who fought for Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela;[12][1][13] Anson and Heckel state that Mithrenes may have perished in an unsuccessful attempt to wrest Armenia from Orontes.[1][13] Heckel stated that in all likehood Armenia, which was bypassed by the Macedonian army, was never part of Alexander's empire.[1] Anson, on the other hand, considered it likely that at some point after the Battle of Gaugamela Orontes made his submission to Alexander, who later put him in charge of the Greater Armenia.[13] N. G. L. Hammond interpreted the sources as indicating that Armenia was already in submission when Mithrenes was sent there from Babylon late in 331 BC, that Mithrenes took it over as satrap ruling on behalf of the new Macedonian regime, and that he was left as satrap in 323 BC when Perdiccas let some satrapies remain under the existing satraps; in 317 BC Mithrenes was no longer satrap but had been replaced by Orontes.[14]

One of the inscriptions from the Mount Nemrut detailing the ancestry of Antiochus I Theos of Commagene mentions an ancestor whose name was incompletely preserved, and who was a son of Aroandas. This Aroandas (Orontes) is inferred to be the second ancestor of Antiochus listed in the inscriptions from Mount Nemrut who bore that name,[15] succeeding the first Aroandas, who in turn was the son of Artasyrus and who married Rhodogune, the daughter of Artaxerxes II of Persia.[16] Friedrich Karl Dörner and John H. Young (1996) interpreted the first preserved letter of the name of the son of Aroandas II as a delta, so that the name ended with -δανης, -danes. The authors considered this reading to be important, because it settled the proposal of Ernst Honigmann's ([Mιθρ]άνην), as well as one of the suggestions presented by Salomon Reinach ([Όστ]άνην).[17] Brijder (2014) also interpreted the inscription as indicating that name of the son of Orontes II ended with -danes.[18]

Aroandas II mentioned in an inscription from Mount Nemrut was identified with the Orontes who was a commander in the Battle of Gaugamela by Karl Julius Beloch[19] and Herman Brijder.[20] This Orontes was also inferred to be a descendant of Orontes I and his wife Rhodoghune,[21] possibly their son[19] or grandson.[22][12] On the other hand, Friedrich Karl Dörner was unsure whether ancient citations of connections of the bearers of the name Aroandas/Orontes with Armenia or their status as leaders of Armenian military units are compelling reasons for assuming that they were relatives. Dörner considered it very questionable whether Aroandas II mentioned in an inscription from Mount Nemrut is identical with the Orontes of Alexander's time; the author stressed the need to consider that in the course of the 4th century BC, besides the two ancestors of Antiochus I of Commagene, other bearers of the same name may have played a part in Persian politics.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Waldemar Heckel (2006). "Orontes". Who's who in the age of Alexander the Great: prosopography of Alexander's empire. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4051-1210-9.
  2. ^ Arrian, The Anabasis of Alexander, iii. 8
  3. ^ Waldemar Heckel (2006). "Mithraustes". Who's who in the age of Alexander the Great: prosopography of Alexander's empire. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4051-1210-9.
  4. ^ Michał Marciak (2017). "Political history of Sophene". Sophene, Gordyene, and Adiabene: Three Regna Minora of Northern Mesopotamia Between East and West. Brill Publishers. p. 115. ISBN 978-90-04-35070-0.
  5. ^ Nicholas Adontz (1970). Armenia in the period of Justinian: the political conditions based on the Naxarar system. Translated by Nina G. Garsoïan. p. 306.
  6. ^ Lang, David Marshall. "Iran, Armenia and Georgia: Political Contacts". Cambridge History of Iran. 3.
  7. ^ Arrian, The Anabasis of Alexander, iii. 16
  8. ^ Curtius, Histories of Alexander the Great, v. 1.44
  9. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica, xvii. 64.6
  10. ^ a b Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica, xix. 23.3
  11. ^ Polyaenus, Stratagems in War, iv. 8.3
  12. ^ a b A. R. Burn (2003) [1985]. "Persia and the Greeks". In Ilya Gershevitch (ed.). The Cambridge History of Iran Volume 2: The Median and Achaemenian periods. Cambridge University Press. p. 384.
  13. ^ a b c Edward Anson (2014). "The funeral games begin". Alexander's Heirs: The Age of the Successors. Wiley Blackwell. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-4443-3962-8.
  14. ^ N. G. L. Hammond (1996). "Alexander and Armenia". Phoenix. 50 (2): 130–137. doi:10.2307/1192698. JSTOR 1192698.
  15. ^ F.K. Dörner (1996). "Epigraphy analysis". In Donald H. Sanders (ed.). Nemrud Daği: The Hierothesion of Antiochus I of Commagene. 1: Text. Eisenbrauns. p. 365. ISBN 978-1-57506-015-6.
  16. ^ Herman Brijder (2014). "The East Terrace". In Herman Brijder (ed.). Nemrud Daği: recent archaeological research and conservation activities in the tomb sanctuary on Mount Nemrud. De Gruyter. p. 330. ISBN 978-1-61451-713-9.
  17. ^ F.K. Dörner; J.H. Young (1996). "Sculpture and inscription catalogue". In Donald H. Sanders (ed.). Nemrud Daği: The Hierothesion of Antiochus I of Commagene. 1: Text. Eisenbrauns. p. 297. ISBN 978-1-57506-015-6.
  18. ^ Herman Brijder (2014). "The West Terrace". In Herman Brijder (ed.). Nemrud Daği: recent archaeological research and conservation activities in the tomb sanctuary on Mount Nemrud. De Gruyter. p. 373. ISBN 978-1-61451-713-9.
  19. ^ a b Karl Julius Beloch (1923). Griechische geschichte. Volume 3, part 2. Walter de Gruyter & co. p. 141.
  20. ^ Herman Brijder (2014). "The East Terrace". In Herman Brijder (ed.). Nemrud Daği: recent archaeological research and conservation activities in the tomb sanctuary on Mount Nemrud. De Gruyter. p. 331. ISBN 978-1-61451-713-9.
  21. ^ David M. Lang (2008) [1983]. "Iran, Armenia and Georgia". In Ehsan Yarshater (ed.). The Cambridge History of Iran Volume 3: The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanid Periods, Part 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 506. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521200929.016. ISBN 9781139054942.
  22. ^ Walther Judeich (1892). Kleinasiatische Studien. Untersuchungen zur Griechisch-Persischen Geschichte des IV. jahrhunderts v. Chr. N. G. Elwertsche Verlagsbuchhandlung. p. 225.
  23. ^ F.K. Dörner (1996). "Epigraphy analysis". In Donald H. Sanders (ed.). Nemrud Daği: The Hierothesion of Antiochus I of Commagene. 1: Text. Eisenbrauns. pp. 365–366. ISBN 978-1-57506-015-6.

Bibliography[edit]

  • J. M. Cook, The Persian Empire
  • Richard G. Hovannisian, The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times, 2 vols. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997
  • Professor David Marshall Lang, Iran, Armenia and Georgia: Political Contacts. In Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 3