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Tiridates

Tiridates

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Gender male
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Biography

Tiridates (Armenian: Տրդատ, flourished 4th century, died between 364 and 375) was a Prince from the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia.

Tiridates was the third born son to the Roman Client King of Armenia, Tiran (Tigranes VII) who reigned from 339 until 350 by an unnamed wife. Tiridates’ second oldest brother was his father’s successor Arsaces II (Arshak II), who reigned as Roman Client King of Armenia from 350 until 368. Tiridates was the namesake of his paternal great-grandfather Tiridates III of Armenia, a previous Armenian King and was also the namesake of his Armenian and Parthian ancestors who ruled with this name as King.

The Sassanid King Shapur II launched a war on Rome and her allies, firstly by persecuting the Christians that lived in Persia and Mesopotamia. Shapur II’s war by capturing these territories began to dealt a severe blow to Roman prestige in the East. In his father’s reign, Shapur II with his army had invaded Armenia; eventually taking Tiridates with members of his family as hostages as they were betrayed to Shapur II by his father’s chamberlain. Tiridates along with members of his family had become Sassanid political prisoners in which his father was blinded and thrown into prison after Shapur II accused his father of collusion with Rome.

The nobles of Armenia were infuriated by the brutality of Shapur II and his treatment of Tiridates with members of his family, took up arms and fought against Shapur II and his army with assistance from the Romans. They successfully drove Shapur II and his army out from Armenia. After Shapur II was defeated, he had signed a treaty and Tiridates with members of his family were released from prison. As Tiridates’ father being depressed and blinded from his experience in captivity, had abdicated his throne and Arsaces II succeeded their father as Armenian King in 350.

Not much is known on his life and his relationship with Arsaces II. During the reign of the Roman emperor Valentinian I, who ruled from 364 until 375, Tiridates was sent as a political hostage to Constantinople and was executed on the orders of Valentinian I during Arsaces II’s reconciliation with the Sassanid Empire. Tiridates married an unnamed woman by whom he had a son called Gnel, also known as Gnelus.

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