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sometimes successful, and sometimes unsuccessful, but, at all times, prosperous and possessing a good degree of independence. During the reign of Pharnak, 1531-1478 B. C., the kingdoms of Central and Northern Asia are said to have been invaded by Sesostris, king of Egypt, and after his departure from Armenia, a large number of fortresses were built by Pharnak to protect himself and his country against similar future invasions. While his son and successor, Sour, was ruler of the kingdom, the children of Israel took possession of Canaan, and, according to tradition, many of the aborigines of that country took refuge in Armenia under the conduct of a leader named Canaanidas, a man, as the records state, of immense riches. From him the Gunthunians or Gentunians, who are well known in the annals of Armenian history, are descended. One old writer says, "The Gentunians were Canaanites, and descended from those who, being expelled from their country by Joshua, the leader of the Israelites, sailing from the port of Acre, passed first to Thorsin, (Tarsus?), and from thence crossed over to Africa, where they left a monument of their coming, bearing this inscription, 'We, the prefects or leaders of the Canaanites, fleeing from the robber Joshua, have come to inhabit this place.' One of these became greatly distinguished in Armenia, and the founder of a celebrated family, frequently referred to in the history of the country." In after times, they received hereditary gifts from Valarsaces I., king of Armenia in the second century before Christ. They were thus honored from having constituted, during his reign, his chief body-guard. During the reign of Gar, another of their kings, Byzantium, now Constantinople, is said to have been founded. Zarmair was another distinguished and warlike king. In his reign occurred the famous siege of Troy, and, being an ally of the Assyrians and Trojans, he went, with a large body of troops, to the assistance of the latter. He is said to have been slain, however, by the troops of Achilles.

The names of many other kings might be given, who distinguished themselves, either in war or in improving and strengthening their own kingdom. During the reign of Pazong, (1035-985 B. C.), who was called the long-lived, from

the length of his reign, the temple of Solomon was built at Jerusalem. Paroyr is said to have united with Arbaces, prince of the Medes, and Belesis, surnamed Nabonazar, prince of Babylon, in a conspiracy against Sardanapalus, the Assyrian Emperor. After the expulsion of the latter from Nineveh, Assyria was governed by Tiglath pileser; then by his son Shalmaneser, who took Samaria, carried the ten tribes into captivity, placing them in Chalach and Cheebor, by the river Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. Shalmanezer was succeeded by his son, Sennacherib, who, in an expedition against the Jews, then governed by king Hezekiah, lost the whole of his army by the sword of the avenging angel. On his return to Nineveh he was plunged into the bitterest grief on account of the defeat and destruction of his soldiers; and, conceiving it to be the anger of the gods, he thought of appeasing them by the sacrifice of his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, on the altar of the idol Nisroch. They, however, learning the purpose of their unnatural father, and seizing their opportunity, slew him in the temple of their gods, and took refuge in Armenia. They were kindly received by Paroyr, and large estates were given them. To Sharezer was given a territory in the southwestern part of Armenia bordering on Assyria, and to Adramelech a country southeast of that of his brother. From the latter are descended the great tribes of the Arzrunians and Gnunians. The posterity of these two Assyrian princes, after some centuries, became so numerous that they established an independent kingdom called Vasburagan. We have also the testimony of Berosus, according to Josephus, to the fact that these sons of Sennacherib fled into Armenia. The same event is recorded in the Scriptures as follows: "And it came to pass as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, smote him with a sword, and they escaped into the land of Armenia."

Another king, Haikak II., who ruled from 607 to 569 B. C., joined Nebuchadnezzar in his expedition against the Jews, and on the latter being led into captivity, Haikak took one of the chiefs named Sembat, with all his family, and brought him into Armenia. From this prince descended the family of the

Bagratians, members of which afterwards became rulers, who shed lustre on the Armenian nation. It is certain that this family possessed great wealth and dignity under the Arsacidæ, as they were advanced to very high places of honor and influence in the government. The same family is still well known among the Armenians in the Russian Empire, and some of them there hold high civil and military offices. From 859 to 1079 A. D., it was a reigning family in Armenia, with a succession of thirteen kings. The capital of this kingdom was Ani, situated in the Ararat region, the remarkable ruins of which still bear witness to its former greatness and magnificence. This family, as now existing in Russia, can be regarded as one of the most ancient royal families in Europe, the descent of which is historically proved.

It is a well known fact, that long before the Christian era the Jewish population in Armenia was very large, and it continued thus even to the third, fourth, and fifth centuries of our era, when, in the desolating wars of the Persians, they either perished or were carried into captivity. Sapor II. drove a million of them out of Armenia, and probably more than this number were slain by the sword. Of all the nations upon the earth, among which the Jews have been scattered, no nation, perhaps, has treated them with so much kindness, and distinction even, as the Armenian. For many, many centuries, it was the custom for a royal Jewish family to place the crown upon the head of the Armenian kings.

We come next to speak of the renowned Tigranes, or Dicran, sometimes called Tigranes I., who ruled the Armenians from 565 to 520 B. C., and was contemporary, friend, and ally of Cyrus, king of Persia. "He was," says Moses of Chorene, "of all our kings, the most powerful, the wisest and bravest of princes and warriors. He raised our nation to a high elevation, and extended our territory even to its ancient limits. It was bowed down under a yoke, and he placed it in a position to impose its yoke upon many other nations. There was everywhere an abundance of gold, silver, and precious stones. Such as formerly had no weapons, were now furnished with bucklers and coats of mail. The sight alone of our

soldiers assembled together, the fire and shining of their weapons, were sufficient to put our enemies to flight. Tigranes established peace, promoted general improvements, and enriched all the country with streams of oil and honey." His personal appearance, the historian says, was dignified and commanding, and in the old songs that were sung to the sound of cymbals, in celebration of his excellences and virtues, he is described as a prince prudent and moderate in the desires of the flesh, full of wisdom, eloquent, and beneficent in all that concerned humanity. In the many wars in which he was engaged, he had wonderful success. He defeated the Greeks, and compelled them, a long time, to pay him tribute. With Cyrus, he made an alliance offensive and defensive, and with him he waged war with Astyages, or Ahasuerus, king of the Medes, overcame him, and took possession of his territory. With him he conquered Croesus, king of Lydia, and seized his kingdom, and with him, too, he besieged and took Babylon, which was given to Darius, uncle of Cyrus, who ruled as king. There are many proofs of this alliance in the taking of Babylon, and among them one in the Scriptures: "Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, (Babylon), call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz, appoint a Captain against her, cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillars." With reference to his expedition against Astyages, Moses of Chorene relates, that he took more than 10,000 prisoners, together with Anonish, the chief of the women of the king, and a great number of princesses, all of whom he brought into Armenia, and gave them a settlement in the region of Nakhchevan, upon the river Araxes. This transfer of the Medes into Armenia is authenticated by chants which the inhabitants of that vine country have ever sung, in which there is mention made of them as the descendants of the dragon, "for Astyages," says the historian, "in our language, signifies dragon." The exploits of king Tigranes occupy a long space in Armenian history, and his many virtues. and superior qualities are highly extolled. He greatly enlarged and enriched his kingdom, building numerous fortified

towns and cities, among which was Tigranocerta, now Diarbekir, situated on the Tigris. This place, with a large extent of country in its environs, he gave to his sister Tigrana, and ordered the canton, in which the new city was built, to render obedience to this princess. Some place this city of Tigranocerta further east, upon one of the branches of the Tigris, but the one referred to by old Armenian writers was evidently that which is now called Diarbekir. In confirmation of this, the latter city is now called, as it ever has been, among the Armenians, Tigranagerd, i. e., the city of Tigranes.

After a prosperous reign of forty-five years, in which his glory had eclipsed that of all Armenian rulers before him, Tigranes died, five years after the death of his great ally, Cyrus.

Vahakn, the son and successor of Tigranes, was also a brave and warlike ruler, and, on account of his great personal courage and strength, was usually called, by his subjects, Hercules the Second. Songs in his praise were composed and chanted to the sound of cymbals. "We have heard them," says the. historian of the fifth century," with our own ears." There are described in these celebrated chants, amongst a variety of other valiant actions, his combats and victories with the dragons. This alludes, doubtless, to his wars with the Medes. In the country of the Iberians a statue was erected to him, in commemoration of his many great qualities, and before this statue sacrifices were offered, according to pagan custom. He was raised to the rank of the gods. From this prince the tribe of Vahunians are descended, many of whom officiated as priests in temples which they had erected to their ancestor.

From 371 to 351 B. C., Armenia was ruled by a king of the name Van, who, having enlarged and embellished the city of Semiramis, gave to it his own name. It preserved, however, a long time its ancient name, together with the new, and at length, about the middle of the second century before our era, Valarsaces, the first king of the Arsacidae in Armenia, again restored the city, and also its ancient name.

At the time of Alexander the Great, Vahey, king of the Armenians, being an ally of the Persians, went to their assistance with an army of forty thousand infantry and one thousand

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