After a period of independence, followed by Roman
rule, Parthia regained control over the province of Armenia by the late 2nd
century. The situation was helped by an epidemic among the Roman forces which
Parthia seized the opportunity to retake much of their lost territory in
Armenia. This forced, the then client king Sohaemus to flee the country to
In 198 Vologases II
assumed the Parthian throne and named
his son Khosrov I
as successor. Septimius Severus’ invasion of Parthia
was delayed briefly to campaign in Armenia. Khosrov I was subsequently captured
by the Romans, who installed one of their own to take charge of kingdom. However
the Armenians themselves revolted against their Roman overlords, and in
accordance to new Rome-Parthia compromise, Khosrov I's son, Tiridates II
(217–252) was made king of Armenia.
After the collapse of the Arsacid
Dynasty (221-227) in Persia, the conquest of Armenia became an objective for
Ardeshir I. As part of reestablishing Persia’s former glory, Zoroastrianism was
proclaimed the state religion which would become a source of friction in
Armenia. In 252, Shapur I occupied Armenia forcing Tiridates II to flee; the
immediate presence of the magi followed by fire temples would make it clear that
Armenia was now part of the Sassanid Empire.
Shapur I installed his own
on the Armenian throne. When Shapur I died in 270, Hurmazd
took the Persian throne and his brother Narseh
ruled Armenia in his
In 285, Diocletian would wage a successful campaign against Persia
and as one of the conditions for a peace settlement was the establishment of
independent Armenia. This was conceded and in 287, Tiridates III
as King of Armenia.
Tiridates III as ruler, was in possession of the
western parts of Armenian territory. The Sassanids stirred some nobles to revolt
when Narseh left to take the Persian throne in 293. Rome nevertheless defeated
Narseh in 298, and Khosrov II's son Tiridates III regained control over Armenia
with the support of Roman soldiers.
Compiled from a
number of sites and Wiki.
I have found the capsule overviews, such as this one for Armenia a useful reference tool for devising scenarios our games centred on the 3rd century. Rome had a number of campaigns as well as
Parthia and later Sassan Persia; these will offer some interesting introduction
games. Of further interest are the kingdoms on the periphery of Armenia.
Sasanian Persia, The Rise and Fall of an Empire by Touraj Daryaee
offered some useful direction and prompted me to look to the smaller kingdoms of
Kolkhis, Iberia, and Albania.
I had not realised how great a threat the
nomadic tribes north of the Caucasus were until I read about the defensive
measures that were set in place. Aside from the forts, some villages had no need
of walls as each house was fortified. Somewhat reminiscent of the fortified
manors of Roman Africa.