Arbaces (AHR-buh-seez), the king of Iberia. He proudly proclaims his own humility and bravery after his victory over the Armenians, but he finds his self-confidence shaken by his passion for the girl he believes to be his sister. His melodramatic inner torments are relieved when he discovers that he is not the son of the previous king and is therefore free to marry Panthea.
Tigranes (tih-GRAY-neez), the king of Armenia, who is conquered and taken prisoner by Arbaces. He succumbs briefly to the charms of Panthea but recognizes the virtues of the faithful Spaconia and resolves to be constant to her.
Arane (uh-RAY-nee), the queen mother, who attempts to murder her foster son to make her daughter queen.
Gobrias (GOH-bree-uhs), the lord protector, Arbaces’ father. He is forced to thwart Arane’s plots until he can reveal the truth at the time when his son most welcomes it.
Panthea (PAN-thee-uh), Arane’s daughter. She is distressed by her unsisterly feelings for Arbaces and accepts imprisonment to save them both from sin.
Spaconia (spa-KOH-nee-uh), an Armenian lady who follows her beloved Tigranes to Iberia. She readily forgives his brief infatuation with Panthea and agrees to become his wife.
Lygones (LI-goh-neez), her father, whose anger with his runaway daughter is mollified when he learns that she is to be Tigranes’ queen.
Mardonius (mahr-DOH-nee-uhs), Arbaces’ captain, the one person who dares to criticize the king to his face.
Bessus (BEH-suhs), another captain, a notorious cowardly braggart, one in the long tradition of the milites gloriosi.
Bacarius (ba-KAY-ree-uhs), an Iberian lord who plans a trap to deflate Bessus’ pride.