- Artaxias also spelled ARTASHES (fl. 2nd century BC) one of the founders of the ancient kingdom of Armenia (reigned 190-159 BC). After the defeat of the Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great by the Romans in the Battle of Magnesia (190), Artaxias and Zariadres, who were Antiochus' satraps (governors) in Armenia, revolted and established themselves with Roman consent as kings of Greater Armenia and its district of Sophene to the southwest, respectively. They united their efforts to enlarge their domains at the expense of neighbouring areas and are considered the creators of historical Armenia. Artaxias built his capital, Artaxata, on the Araxes (now Aras, or Araks) River near Lake Sevan.