The old capital of Armenia, on the southeastern slope of Mount Ahaghöz, said to have been founded by King Armais in 1980 B.C. Moses of Chorene (fifth century) has the tradition that when King Vaharshak settled in Armavir (149 B.C.), he built a temple there and asked his favorite, the Jew Shambu Bagarat (Bagratuni), to give up his religion and worship idols. Shambu refused compliance. Moses also relates that when King Tigranes II. (90-36 B.C.), in order to take revenge on QueenCleopatra of Egypt, sent an expedition to Palestine, he carried a great number of Jews into captivity, and settled them in Armavir and in Vardges. He goes on to state that later they were transferred from Armavir to Ernanda; and under King Arsaces (85-127) again transferred into the new capital Artashat. When King Sapor II. of Persia invaded Armenia (360-370), he led away from Artashat 30,000 Armenian and 9,000 Jewish families, the latter brought by King Tigranes from Palestine, and then completely destroyed the city.
Bibliography:G. H. R.
- Faustus de Byzance in Langlois, Collection des Histoires Arméniennes, i. 274, 275;
- Regesty i Nadpisi (Regests and Inscriptions), pub. by the Society for the Promotion of Education Among the Jews of Russia, pp. 37 et seq., St. Petersburg, 1899.