Christianity in Armenia.
The division of the state between Rome and Persia.
The introduction of Armenia into a new era coincided with the fall of the Artashesian Dynasty. They had ruled over the country for about two centuries. For several centuries, Armenia had gradually lost independence, and as a result the region became divided up between the Roman Empire and the Persian Kingdom A number of governors, and vassals of Rome, ruled over Armenia during the first half of the first century. In the second half of the first century Trdat became the founder of the Arshakid Dynasty. Neron, the Emperor of Rome at the time, remained opposed to a strong Armenian government, and therefore sent legions to wage war. After several years of unsuccessful fighting, the Romans yielded, and acknowledge the symbolic expression of submitting to Armenia. Trdat agreed to go to Rome to accept his coronation from Emperor Neron. Ancient historians, such as Tacitus, Svetonius, and Plynius wrote about Trdat's trip to Rome-a significant event at the time. Trdat was applauded and welcomed by thousands of noble Armenians and Parthians, and Emperor Neron arranged a great feast in Trdat's honor. The emperor played the Cithern for him, a form of ancient guitar, and rode in the arena on his chariot, all to Trdat's humble disapproval. At the end of the feast Neron solemnly crowned Trdat, though he gave no certain criteria obligating Rome, and made no promises that he would remain loyal to the Armenians. Following the events, Neron made diplomatic gestures such as sending artists to Armenia, as well as financing the restoration of towns destroyed by Roman legions. The Armenians and the Romans were once again at odds during the second century. During the height of this period, the new capital of Armenia became known as Vagharshapat. (The history of this town coincides mainly with the Armenian Church. Armenia was the first to adopt the Christian faith in 301 AD, which became the state religion.) For centuries Armenia had been the ally of Rome, but it turned out fatal for Armenia in the end. The last war ended with a peace treaty, according to which the Empire yielded to Persia five provinces. In the year 387 Armenia was divided between Rome and Persia. Two years later the Cathedral at Echmiadzin was built. In 1945 Vagharshapat was renamed Echmiadzin.