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The political ascendancy of Urartu was enhanced further by the weakness of Assyria under Shalmaneser III (782‑772). Under Argistis I (785‑755), son of Menuas, the Vannic Empire was still at the zenith of its power. The future city of Armavir rose on the bank of the Arax River in honor of Khaldis. The whole Armenian tableland was subject to Urartu, and its inscriptions recording conquests are found from Lake Urmiah to the Euphrates River at Malatia. Thus having become an unrivalled power in Hither Asia, it imposed its suzerainty in 775 B.C. upon the kingdoms of Kummuch (Diarbekir), Tabal (west of Malatia) and several other kingdoms and principalities. Later on, in 758, after crushing the revolt of the Hatti king of Milidu (Malatia), Sardur III, successor of Argistis I, moved southward, put the Great King of Carchemish (Jarablus) under tribute, and captured the whole territory as far as Halpa (Aleppo). The empire of Assyria was then encircled, says the Turkish scholar, Professor Shemseddin, as if "in an iron hoop."

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