Artashat – Capital of Armenia
Artashat (Artaxiasata) was founded by Artashes I (Artaxias) in166 B.C. It was built on 9 hills where Yerasqh and Metsamor Met. The place of the city have been chosen and developed on the advice of Hannibal – famous military commander of Carthage. Romans called that city Armenian Carthage. Artashes I built in new capital many temples.
Armenia’s first theatre also was built in Artashat. New capital quickly became a very important commercial, as well as cultural center of Armenia. Population rose rapidly and after several decades it became up to 100 thousand. Artashes I also transferred former Armenian capital (Yerevandashat) population to Artashat. During the reign of Tigran the Great Armenian capital transferred to Tigranakert. After death of Tigran Mec Armenian capital replaced to Artashat.
In 58 B.C. Roman military commander Corlubo with his legions attacked and captured Artashat – “Armenian Carthage”. Later when Roman senators asked him why hi robbed and lived the city he answered them that he had’nt enough soldiers to defend it.
But Artashat wasn’t destroyed latter Roman emperor Nero gave Trdat I money and constructers to rebuilt Armenian Carthage.
It lost its importance as a cultural and political center of Armenia only in early medieval.