king of Urartu (first half of the eighth century B.C.), son of Menua, and founder of the city of Yerevan (Erebuni). Several dozens of his inscriptions are known, including an extensive chronicle carved in rock at Van; Argistis is also mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions.
During the reign of Argistis, Urartu became a powerful state of the Near East. Major victories were won in the struggle with Assyria for the possession of northern Syria, the Urmia region, and the southern Transcaucasus. Under Argistis the major strongholds of Erebuni (Arin-berd), near Yerevan, and Argistikhinili were built in the Transcaucasus. The conquest of the Sevan region, where inscriptions telling of the victories of the Urartian kings are preserved, was begun under the reign of Argistis.
G. A. MELIKISHVILI