Battle of Tigranocerta
©Angus McBride
69 BCE Oct 6

Battle of Tigranocerta

Diyarbakır, Turkey
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The Battle of Tigranocerta was fought on 6 October 69 BC between the forces of the Roman Republic and the army of the Kingdom of Armenia led by King Tigranes the Great. The Roman force, led by Consul Lucius Licinius Lucullus, defeated Tigranes, and as a result, captured Tigranes' capital city of Tigranocerta.


The battle arose from the Third Mithridatic War being fought between the Roman Republic and Mithridates VI of Pontus, whose daughter Cleopatra was married to Tigranes. Mithridates fled to seek shelter with his son-in-law, and Rome invaded the Kingdom of Armenia. Having laid siege to Tigranocerta, the Roman forces fell back behind a nearby river when the large Armenian army approached. Feigning retreat, the Romans crossed at a ford and fell on the right flank of the Armenian army. After the Romans defeated the Armenian cataphracts, the balance of Tigranes' army, which was mostly made up of raw levies and peasant troops from his extensive empire, panicked and fled, and the Romans remained in charge of the field.