The King of Armenia and the son-in-law of Mithridates. He was an ally of Mithridates during the Third Mithridatic War.
A King of Armenia, who expanded the kingdom beyond well beyond its traditional boundary thus earning the epithet “The Great.” Though he was a hostage at the neighboring royal court of Parthia in his youth, he bought his freedom after the death of his father and claimed the throne of Armenia.
During the First Mithridatic War, Tigranes supported Mithridates VI of Pontus but did not become directly involved in the war. He further allied himself with Mithridates by marrying Mithridates’ daughter, Cleopatra. After the death of the Parthian king in 88 BCE, he expanded his kingdom eastward into the land of the Parthians and the Seleucids.
When his father-in-law took refuge in Armenia, Tigranes came into direct contact with the Romans. The Roman commander,
Lucullus, demanded that Mithridates be expelled from Armenia and Tigranes initially refused. Lucullus then attacked and eventually defeated the Armenian general Mithrobazanes. Tigranes withdrew north to Armenia and allowed Lucullus to besiege Tigranocerta. In 69 BCE at the Battle of Tigranocerta, the Armenians, despite gathering their forces, were swiftly defeated. The next year at the Battle of Artaxata, Tigranes and Mithridates were resoundingly defeated. After Lucullus’ troops began to mutiny between 68-67BCE, Pompey was then given the task of defeating these two leaders. In 66 BCE, Pompey advanced into Armenia and Tigranes the Great surrendered. He was allowed to retain his kingdom in return for 6,000 talents of silver. He became an ally of Rome.