The Legend of Tigranes the Great

Armenia had many kings throughout its history, however Tigranes II (also known as Tigranes the Great) was by far the most powerful, wise and brave ruler of them all.

During his reign the borders of Armenia stretched from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea. Also during this time simple merchants in his country would trade with gold and silver and peasant women would decorate their hats with jewels and wear costumes made from colorful fabric.

Tigranes the Great uplifted his people—he made foot soldiers into horsemen and slingers into skillful archers. The infantry and archers were given impenetrable shields and when the Armenian regiment’s powerful steel weapons and armor shone in the sun, their enemies were left awestruck and thereby their will to battle was shattered.

King Tigranes had sincere eyes, was slim and handsome, with fair curly hair. Although he was a king, he lived humbly and behaved in an exemplary way during all forms of celebration and feasts. And although he had the means to, he did not live an excess lifestyle. He held honest servants in high regard—he loved them. He conducted fair trials, never envied anyone who was better and never despised anyone not as good—his care and sanctuary was extended to all.

However, he was still a king and he had some kingly habits as well. Although harmless, some would say his interest in waterfalls was an obsession. Each time he entered Armenia after a long war campaign he would make sure the way home included a waterfall, even if this meant the way home would be longer than it needed to be. Due to this he always arrived at the palace having been refreshed by the cool water from the river.

The people close to him never asked him about his waterfall habit. They were just happy that their mighty king had some playfully quaint behavior. Finally though, someone summoned the courage to ask him about the waterfalls, even though they knew his aversion to explaining things which he thought did not require explaining. Nevertheless, he was merciful and obliged: “I bathe in the waterfalls so that the foreign dust upon me may be washed away, so that I may again enjoy all that is Armenian and feel the spirit of my ancestors. The water in Armenia gives me strength and power for new battles ahead.”

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