During this period the kingdom of Armenia was used as
a buffer state and as a battlefield by the Romans from the west and the
Parthians from the east border. The wars caused the division of Lesser
Armenia in AD 56, as well as that of Armenia Sophene.
While this was happening, kingdoms in the Caucuses
to the north were forming and gaining strength. Iberia and Armenia were
closely linked for a time, and at its greatest extent in the first century
BC, Armenia reached southwards as far as modern Syria. Pontus was a close
ally of Armenia, until it was conquered by Rome in AD 63.
During the first century AD, the Alans were a major force in
Sarmatia, to the north of Kolkis. They even raided as far south as
Armenia in circa AD 70.
The later medieval kingdom of Lesser Armenia was based in Cilicia, on
the northern Mediterranean coast of Anatolia, and is not shown here.
The kingdom of Media was conquered by the Persians
in the sixth century BC, but made a brief reappearance circa AD
70 as the Parthian Empire fragmented.