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Sohaemus was the king of Armenia who was placed at the head of the kingdom by the Roman emperors Marc Aurèle and Lucius Verus into 163. It is possible that he was an already king d' Armenia before, and that he was driven out of his throne by Parthes. The chronology of the sovereigns of Arménie at the second century of our era is unfortunately very dubious. The gréco-Romans sources are indeed very lacunar and the text of Moses of Khoren presents, for this period, of serious chronological confusions.

In 161, or at the beginning of 162, the forces parthes of Vologèse IV inflicted in Elegeia a cuisante demolished with the Roman troops which had come to defend Roman protectorateon Armenia. A sovereign depend on Parthes thus settled with the head of the kingdom. He was driven out by it by the controffensive Roman carried out by Statius Priscus into 163, which fought for the emperors Lucius Verus and Marc Aurèle. The latter took the title of Armeniacus (victorious of Armenia), and installed on the Sohaemus throne. Although bound by its origins to the dynasty arsacide, Sohaemus was completely acquired with the Roman cause, and we know by a summary of Photios that he had been a consul in Rome, he are indeed described like “Achéménide and Arsacide, which was a king and whose fathers were kings, but became also member of the Roman senate, then consul, then again king of large Armenia".

Its reign met rebellions however, in particular that of the Tiridate satrap. Sohaemus could then be maintained on the throne only thanks to the intervention of Martius Verus, governor Roman of Cappadoce. This episode, moreover obscure, was placed on variable dates. If the date of 168 were advanced, it is today that of 172 which is most usually retained. On this occasion, Martius Verus strengthens the role of new capital which Vagharshapat-Kainepolis (today Etchmiadzine) had taken. A Roman garrison, made up detached soldiers of the legions of Cappadoce was installed in the city to maintain calms it and the capacity of Sohaemus. It was still present later about fifteen years.

The completion date of its reign is unknown.

By Narek Yegoyan

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