ARMENIAN TIGRANAKERT/DIARBEKIR and EDESSA/URFA
Edited by Richard G. Hovannisian
Located along the Taurus Mountains between the Armenian Plateau and northern Mesopotamia, Tigranakert and Edessa hold special significance in Armenian history. It was in the vicinity of Tigranakert that Tigran the Great built an opulent new capital city in the heart of his expansive empire in the first century B.C. And it was by way of Edessa that early Christianity made its way to Armenia through the Apostles of Christ. For centuries the regions of Tigranakert and Edessa were on the front lines in the unceasing contest for dominance between the empires of the southeast (Parthian, Sasanian, Arab, Turkmen, Mongol, and Safavid) and the northwest (Roman, Byzantine, Crusader Europe, Ottoman). But these zones of military contact were also areas of active economic and cultural exchange as demonstrated in their caravan routes and marketplaces, their art and architecture, their literature and popular traditions.