My Coins, Up For Sale Right Now

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Artaxiad Dynasty: Zareh

Coin ascribed to Abdissares, son of Xerxes. I think Abdissares and Dsariadris are one and the same king.

Zareh (Greek: Δσαριαδρις = Dsariadris) was a Satrap and later a King of Sophene.

Strabo cites Sophene and Armenia being taken over by two "generals" of king Antiochus III  by 188 BC, called Zariadres and Artaxias.
Following the defeat of Antiochus III by the Romans at the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BC, Zariadres and Artaxias revolted and with Roman consent began to reign as kings; Zariadres over Sophene and Artaxias over Armenia.

It is possible that Zareh's name was a corruption of Bagdassar.
Greek sources have him as "ΔΣΑΡΙ ΑΝΙΣΑΔΩ" or Zareh son of Anisades.
Anisades may be a Greek corruption of a name such as "Anahita Zade" = Born of Anahit.

Richard G. Hovannisian believe Artaxias was the son of Zariadres, citing Aramaic inscriptions found in the Republic of Armenia that testify to him being the son of Zareh: "Artashes, the son of Zareh" and "Artashes, the Eruand king, the Good, the son of Zareh".

It is interesting also that these inscriptions refer to "Eruand" or Orontes. Baring in mind that Orontes (Aurand) meant "brave" and might not imply a direct familial connection but a title.
It is also strange why as the senior, he did not rule Armenia but the small region of Sophene, whilst his son Artaxias ruled Armenia.

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