The accession of Tigranes I (Tigranes II according to certain authors) is usually dated to 95 or 94 . (F. Geyer, “Tigrane (no. 1),” in Pauly-Wissowa, VI A/1, col. 970; H. Seyrig, Revue numismatique , 1959, p. 117 n. 40; H. A. Manandian, Tigrane II et Rome , Lisbon, 1963, p. 22), but should perhaps be moved back by a few years. He was already of a ripe age, having been born ca. 140. His first move was to attack Sophene, then ruled by Artanes, which he conquered without resistance and united to the kingdom of Greater Armenia, thereby gaining a big territorial extension to the southwest and the west. He then (ca. 93 .?) became an ally and son-in-law of the king of Pontus, Mithridates Eupator. On the latter’s behalf he invaded Cappadocia, which adjoined Sophene, and evicted its king Ariobarzanes, who was a protégé of the Romans. The Roman commander, Sulla, soon reinstated Ariobarzanes, and then met Mithridates II’s envoy on the bank of the Euphrates (Plutarch, Sulla ; . Debevoise, A Political History of Parthia , Chicago, 1938, p. 46 n. 67). Tigranes, whose troops had just been driven out of Cappadocia, probably viewed these Parthian-Roman talks with suspicion, but he remained the ally of Mithridates II, one of whose wives was Tigranes’ daughter Aryazate, surnamed Automa (parchment from Awrōmān dated year 225 of the Seleucid era = November, 88 .; see ibid., p. 47 and E. Sullivan in H. Temporini and W. Haase, eds., Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II/9, Berlin, 1976, pp. 911-14). When Mithridates II’s position grew weaker in his last years Tigranes invaded Parthia, recovered the Seventy Valleys probably some time after 90 ., and took Atropatene, Adiabene, Gordyene, Osrhoene, and Upper Mesopotamia including Nisibis (Strabo ). From Atropatene, Tigranes pushed into Media Major as far as the gates of Ecbatana, where he burned down the Parthian court’s summer residence ( Adrapana in Isidore of Charax, Parthian Stations 6, to be corrected into Apadana , see Th. Reinach, Mithridate Eupator roi du Pont , Paris 1890, p. 311 n. 6). According to Plutarch ( Lucullus ), no previous adversary had dealt such blows to Parthian power. The campaigns of conquest are said to have been terminated by the conclusion of an alliance between Tigranes and one of Mithridates II’s successors (Justin ; see below). In or around 84/83 ., Tigranes attacked the remnant of the Seleucid kingdom, took Commagene, Cilicia Pedias, and Phoenicia; Syria including Antioch came to him either by force (Strabo ; Appian, Syr. 48f., 69; Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities ; Eutropius, Breviarium ab urbe condita ), or voluntarily (Justin -3; on the successive conquests of Tigranes, see Reinach, Mithridate , pp. 3l1f.; P. Asdourian, Die politischen Beziehungen zwischen Armenien und Rom l90 v. Chr. bis 428 n. Chr. , Venice, 1911, pp. 19-20; F. Geyer, in Pauly-Wissowa, VIA/1, cols. 970f.; Manandian, Tigrane II , pp. 41f.). The local kings of Atropatene, Adiabene, Osrhoene, Gordyene, and Commagene were left in office as vassals of the Armenian crown. The Nisibis district, perhaps with the enhanced status of a satrapy, was put under the command of Gouras, a brother of Tigranes. The governorship of Syria went to a certain Megadates or Bagadates (Bagadāt, Arm. Bagarat) (Appian, op. cit., 48); the view that this dignitary was the ancestor and eponym of the great Armenian family of the Bagratids seems speculative.