- Sep 12, 2009
"Mithranes Orontid was a fine man. A fine man indeed, well liked by the senate and by the citizens of Armenia, citizens of the nation that was most advanced country in middle-east."
So said his son after the death of his father and quoted his grandfather. Mithranes Orontid was a king of armenia. He succeeded his father when he was 41 years old, he had watched his father lying to all citizens of Armenia for many years, too many he could count them precisely. His father had used extreme propaganda to hide his real plans and that Armenia was years after some more advanced countries. When Mithranes Orontid was watching his father dying at an cold autumn evening he knew that he would stop everything his father has started and begin building new kingdom of Armenia.
Aevum de Obscurum
The age of darkness
1.1.474 AVC - 5.12.500 AVC
Aevum de Obscurum
The age of darkness
1.1.474 AVC - 5.12.500 AVC
"By the name of prophet Zoroaster I will serve Armenia as her ruler until the death takes me." After promising this Mithranes Orontid was crowned to the King of Armenia.
Not very long time after that his councillors and government started to bring him their ideas. One was to take Iberian lands that were just next to them. Mithranes accepted and declared a war against Iberia. Iberia was struggling against Colchis, Iberia's King Pharnavaz had declared a war on Colchis and marched all armies to Soani and Phasis. Mithranes' armies faced no enemies in Iberia and besieged both provinces.
Half a year lated Iberian provinces had surrendered and Iberia had wated their armies in Colchis by fighting against their archers with slow heavy infantry and badly armored militia.
Mithranes annexed whole Iberia to part of the Armenian Kingdom. Unlike his father would have done and against the orders of his all coucillors, he released captured and jailed Iberian king Pharnavaz Pharnavazid from jail. Decision was right, Pharnavaz was excellent general and became loyal to Armenia.
Mithranes Orontid after his death
Year later Mithranes was planning attack to Colchis. He couldn't start war directly with Colchis without losing his own reputation. He declared a war against Colchis' ally, Rhoxolani. Rhoxolanis' chief called Colchis to help with war and Mithranes answered by marching 9000 men with Excellent, yet unexperienced generals and equipment made of excellent Armenian steel to Colchisian lands. Battles were bloody because Colchis' archers did great damage to slow heavy infantry but Armenians killed almost every light infantry man of Colchis. Year turned from autumn to winter to spring and Colchisian cities weren't still intending to surrender. Mithranes had a plan against Pontus but because his main army was in Colchis he couldn't do anything else but plan the attack. Pontus had declared war against Bithynia and suffered absurd losses, all provinces except Pontus were conquered and took by Bithynia.
When the autumn came again Colchisian provinces surrendered. Soani and Coraxi became Armenian backyards.
Mithranes let the armies rest a while and trained more men. Armenian army became stronger than any of their neighbors except Seleucids'.
Finally at June 481 AVC Mithranes told Pharnavaz, the new general of 2nd army, to march over Pontus' border. Pharnavaz marched 10 000 men to Pontus and left no choice than die for Pontician light infantry. Battles were short but bloody, Pharnavaz lost 1200 men and Mithridates, Pontus' king and general of the first army lost 7300 men. Again the toughness of Armenian heavy infantry was shown. Year ended and another begun while Pharnavaz was besiegin Pontus. When the some of the first days of May was turning into the night Pontician man came out of the last castle all people had escaped the Armenians. He had his hands up above his head and he was skinny, sick, tired and scared. He came and told Pharnavaz that citizens decided to surrender instead of die. The last Pontic province was made Armenian and Mithranes was happy, one less greek country to cause trobles to him.
Mithranes married Polemakratia Galatid and they got their first son. The heir was named Artasyras Orontid. When their next son born he was given same name, third son was named Mazaces and their last child, first daughter was named Parmys Orontid.
Truce with Colchis ended, Mithranes didn't waste any time and declared a war on them, marched one of his great armies to Phasis and with one victorious battle all Colchisian 2000 soldiers were killed. Phasis fell in Armenian hands after 3 months.
Pharnavaz Pharnavazid wasn't happy with his position as a general, he and his troops started to plan taking over the government. Mithranes heard about this and travelled to Pontus where Pharnavaz and his troops were serving and had a long talk with Pharnavaz. Most of what happened in Pharnavaz's great house are unclear and not know by most of people but one of Pharnavaz's loyal soldiers was listening and later wrote this in his recollection book:
"We all hailed the king like we had been taught but he didn't look happy. He wanted to see Pharnavaz and talk to him. At this point I knew he had heard about our plans and I started to pack up things I'd need, I was going to leave the province of Pontus. I didn't want to die. Somehow curiosity took the control of me and instead of leaving I went to Pharnavaz's house and below the open window I listened two kings talking.
- I've heard a rumor you are more loyal to your pockets and your soldiers than your kingdom.
- Thats ridiculous rumor! I'd never betray you after you released me instead of executing me as a nameless prisoner of war. What comes to my pockets, they are deep because I got a lot's of gold from the battles of Pontus.
- DON*T LIE TO ME!! One of my agents have found a notebook you have written things including your plan to invade king's palace. Do NOT say anything! Let me talk. You deserve execution but I know you too well. You have done lot's of good for Armenia and I don't want to lose one of my best generals. This is your last warning, if I hear about anything I can concern as unloyalty your days are numbered.
- My king... Forgive me.. As a former king the greed for power takes the control sometimes. I will serve you as well as I can."
This was enough to scare Pharnavaz to be loyal for next 10 years and make it clear to all soldiers that the goverment won't be taken over as long as he lives.
When new year 485 begun Mithranes asked his sons to come to him. He knew that his time was soon over and his oldest son would take his place.
- Artasyras, come here, I don't want to shout, he said quietly
"- Okay father.
- Listen, you will become next king, you will become king soon, my days are soon over. Don't fear what will come before you, you can control it. You're young and strong, I'm old and weak. It's your time soon.
- Father, what you mean by soon?
- I had a dream last night, I was told that my days are over, I don't know what told me but.. When death takes me I don't hesitate to look it in the eyes, It can't surprise me anymore.
- But father... when?
- My dear child.... go, sleep now, tomorrow awaits. I don't know when, some day it's tomorrow."
21st April 485 Mithranes Orontid died at the age of 61 years. One day was sanctified for the memory of old king but next day whole kingdom was eagerly waiting for Artasyras Orontid to be crowned.
The new king was crowned when he was 14 years old. Government and his coucillors would be leading the country until Artasyras was 16 and he would become able to rule the Armenia.
Two years passed by fast and Armenia was cooling off from the wars Mithranes had declared.
The first thing Artasyras did was start to build navy. Armenia didn't have any ships yet but Artasyras knew that there was enough wood in Soani that could be brought to Phasis for dockyard.
Artasyras started to spend the huge amount of gold there was in nations coffers, he wanted 10 ships to be built from Phasis.
Later he spent some gold to build irrigations and however he tried to use the gold the taxes still brought more and more to government. Artasyras noticed that his father had made Armenia extremely wealthy nation and the actions his father had done didn't just bring wealth to nation, they brought help to people which raised tax amounts. Artasyras had to switch his ruling methods or he would get bad reputation.
When the navy was built Artasyras declared a war against Rhoxolani, this time Armenia would claim the provinces in bosporus. Rhoxolani seemed to interest other nations too, almost half of the greek countries were at war with them too but by using gross strategies and by abusing greek armies he took over whole Rhoxolani. Armenia demanded Rhosolani and Alazones in the peace deal and Rhoxolani had to accept it.
Artasyras faced the rough truth that his generals started to be disloyal, his father never had such problems. He held a speech to his armies and generals which seemed to help. But one man was brave enough to face Artasyras: Pharnavaz Pharnavazid. Mithranes had left some orders for Artasyras how to deal with several people and executing his fathers orders he brought Pharnavaz to the capital city of armenia and at the steps of the king's palace Pharnavaz's head was cut off. Blood ran at the streets after some Pharnavaz's supporters attacked the royal family and were killed. Altought Artasyras had show he can rule the nation and his popularty was one of the lowest in the history of Armenian leaders.
When year 500 AVC begun Artasyras decided that the era of the peace will begin. Armenia was surrounded by allied force of Seleucids, Bosporan Kingdom and Bithynia. Any mis-move could cause extremely deadly war, only Seleucids had 45 000 men right next to Armenian border, Armenia had 30 000 men spread all over the Kingdom, Bithynia had access to wood and iron which could make very deadly army and Bosporians had colonized several new provinces.
Artasyras decided that only expansion Armenia would do will be settling barbarian lands.
The end of era of darkness had ended.