* It’s the year 1 BCE
* Caius Caesar, biological son of Agrippa and Julia, adopted son of Augustus, is 19 years old.
* And what do you get for the 19 year old who has everything?
* A military command.
* In a distant land.
* There was a power struggle going on in Armenia – which is in Turkey – and the Parthian decided it was a good time to intervene and put their own guy on the throne – again.
* Armenia had been under Persian influence on and off for centuries.
* BTW, a few things I learned about Armenia.
* It’s the location of Mt Ararat
* The Book of Genesis claims Noah’s ark landed on “the mountains of Ararat”
* Most historians and Bible scholars agree that “Ararat” is the Hebrew name of Urartu, the geographic predecessor of Armenia and referred to the wider region at the time and not the mountain today known as Ararat.
* The Vulgate bible, written in Latin in the 4th century, translates that as the mountains of Armenia.
* But nevertheless, Christians around the world think the remains of Noah’s ark is somewhere actually on Mt Ararat.
* Even though smart people know Noah never existed and neither did his ark and the great flood is a mythical archetype which has been around since the days of Gilgamesh and which is unsupported by any archaeological evidence
* The other thing I learned is that Armenia was actually the first country to declare Christianity as the state religion.
* It happened under Tiridates III in 301, over a decade before Constantine even made Christianity legal in the Roman empire.
* Like Theodosius, who made Christianity the state religion of Rome around 390, Tiridates used a lot of violence to force his people to join the religion of love and peace too.
* Anyway, back to Caius.
* Everyone was super excited because he was going to Parthia to finally get the long-awaited revenge for Crassus.
* Ovid even wrote about it in the first book of his “art of love”
* It was a pretty big deal for his first command.
* He was originally heading to the Danube but when he got to the troops there, his mission was changed and he was given imperium over the eastern provinces.
* Wouldn’t you want to send someone with a little more experience?
* But who does Augustus have left?