Arsacid dynasty of Armenia
The Arsacid dynasty or Arshakuni, ruled the Kingdom of Armenia from 54 to 428. The dynasty was a branch of the Arsacid dynasty of Parthia. Arsacid Kings reigned intermittently throughout the chaotic years following the fall of the Artaxiad dynasty until 62 when Tiridates I secured Arsacid dynasty of Parthia rule in Armenia. An independent line of Kings was established by Vologases II in 180. Two of the most notable events under Arsacid rule in Armenian history were the conversion of Armenia to Christianity by Gregory the Illuminator in 301 and the creation of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots in c. 405. The reign of the Arsacids of Armenia marked the predominance of Iranianism in the country; the first appearance of an Arsacid on the Armenian throne came about in 12 when the Parthian King Vonones I was exiled from Parthia due to his pro-Roman policies and Occidental manners. Vonones I acquired the Armenian throne with Roman consent, but Artabanus III demanded his deposition, as Emperor Augustus did not wish to begin a war with the Parthians he deposed Vonones I and sent him to Syria.
Artabanus III did not waste time after the deposition of Vonones I. Emperor Tiberius had no intention of giving up the buffer states of the Eastern frontier and sent his nephew and heir Germanicus to the East. Germanicus concluded a treaty with Artabanus III, in which he was recognized as king and friend of the Romans. Armenia was given in 18 to Zeno the son of Polemon I of Pontus, who assumed the Armenian name Artaxias; the Parthians under Artabanus III were too distracted by internal strife to oppose the Roman-appointed King. Zeno's reign was remarkably peaceful in Armenian history. After Zeno's death in 36, Artabanus III decided to reinstate an Arsacid over the Armenian throne, choosing his eldest son Arsaces I as a suitable candidate, but his succession to the Armenian throne was disputed by his younger brother Orodes, overthrown by Zeno. Tiberius concentrated more forces on the Roman frontier and once again after a decade of peace, Armenia was to become the theater of bitter warfare between the two greatest powers of the known world for the next twenty-five years.
Tiberius, sent. Mithridates subjugated Armenia to the Roman rule and deposed Arsaces inflicting huge devastation to the country. Mithridates was summoned back to Rome where he was kept a prisoner, Armenia was given back to Artabanus III who gave the throne to his younger son Orodes. Another civil war erupted in Parthia upon Artabanus III's death. In the meantime Mithridates was put back on the Armenian throne, with the help of his brother, Pharasmanes I, Roman troops. Civil war continued in Parthia for several years with Gotarzes seizing the throne in 45. In 51 Mithridates' nephew Rhadamistus killed his uncle; the governor of Cappadocia, Julius Pailinus, decided to conquer Armenia but he settled with the crowning of Radamistus who generously rewarded him. The current Parthian King Vologases I, saw an opportunity, invaded Armenia and succeeded in forcing the Iberians to withdraw from Armenia; the harsh winter that followed proved too much for the Parthians who withdrew, thus leaving open doors for Radamistus to regain his throne.
After regaining power, according to Tacitus, the Iberian was so cruel that the Armenians stormed the palace and forced Radamistus out of the country and Vologases I got the opportunity to install his brother Tiridates on the throne. Unhappy with the growing Parthian influence at their doorstep, Roman Emperor Nero sent General Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo with a large army to the east in order to install Roman client kings. After Tiridates I escaped, Roman client king Tigranes VI was installed and in 61 he invaded the Kingdom of Adiabene, one of the Parthian vassal kingdoms. Vologases I considered this as an act of aggression from Rome and restarted a campaign to restore Tiridates I onto the Armenian throne. In the following battle of Rhandeia in 62, command of the Roman troops was again entrusted to Corbulo, who marched into Armenia and set a camp in Rhandeia, where he made a peace agreement with Tiridates upon which he was recognized as a king of Armenia but he agreed to become Roman client king in that he would go to Rome to be crowned by Emperor Nero.
Tiridates ruled Armenia until his death or deposition around 110 when Parthian king Osroes I invaded Armenia and throned his nephew Axidares, son of the previous Parthian king Pacorus II, as King of Armenia. This encroachment on the traditional sphere of influence of the Roman Empire ended the peace since Emperor Nero's times some half century earlier and started a new war with the new Roman Emperor Trajan. Trajan marched towards Armenia in October 113 to restore a Roman client king in Armenia. Envoys from Osroes I met Trajan at Athens, informing him that Axidares had been deposed and asking that Axidares' elder brother, Parthamasiris, be granted the throne. Trajan declined their proposal and in August 114 captured Arsamosata where Parthamasiris asked to be crowned, but instead of crowning him he annexed his kingdom as a new province to the Roman Empire. Parthamasiris was died mysteriously soon afterwards; as a Roman province Armenia was administered along with Cappadocia by Lucius Catilius Severus.
The Roman Senate issued coins which had celebrated this occasion and had borne the following inscription: ARMENIA ET MESOPOTAMIA IN POTESTATEM P. R. REDACTÆ. After a rebellion led by a pretender to the Parthian throne (Sanatruces II, son of Mithri
Urartu, which corresponds to the biblical mountains of Ararat, is the name of a geographical region used as the exonym for the Iron Age kingdom known by the modern rendition of its endonym, the Kingdom of Van, centered around Lake Van in the historic Armenian Highlands. The written language that the kingdom's political elite used is referred to as Urartian, which appears in cuneiform inscriptions in Armenia and eastern Turkey, it is unknown what language was spoken by the peoples of Urartu at the time of the existence of the kingdom, but there is linguistic evidence of contact between the proto-Armenian language and the Urartian language at an early date, occurring prior to the formation of Urartu as a kingdom. The kingdom rose to power in the mid-9th century BC, but went into gradual decline and was conquered by the Iranian Medes in the early 6th century BC; the geopolitical region would re-emerge as Armenia shortly after. Being heirs to the Urartian realm, the earliest identifiable ancestors of the Armenians are the peoples of Urartu.
The name Urartu comes from Assyrian sources. Shalmaneser I recorded a campaign in which he subdued the entire territory of "Uruatri"; the Shalmaneser text uses the name Urartu to refer to a geographical region, not a kingdom, names eight "lands" contained within Urartu. "Urartu" is cognate with the Biblical "Ararat", Akkadian "Urashtu", Armenian "Ayrarat". In addition to referring to the famous Biblical highlands, Ararat appears as the name of a kingdom in Jeremiah 51:27, mentioned together with Minni and Ashkenaz. Mount Ararat is located 120 kilometres north of its former capital; the name Kingdom of Van, is derived from the Urartian toponym Biainili, adopted in Old Armenian as Van, because of betacism, hence the names "Kingdom of Van" or "Vannic Kingdom". Other Urartian toponyms and words went through the same sound change as the Armenian language spread throughout the region and absorbed them. In the 6th century BC, with the emergence of Armenia in the region, the name of the region was referred to as variations of Armenia and Urartu.
In the trilingual Behistun Inscription, carved in 521 or 520 BC by the order of Darius I, the country referred to as Urartu in Akkadian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in the Elamite language. The mentions of Urartu in the Books of Kings and Isaiah of the Bible were translated as "Armenia" in the Septuagint; some English language translations, including the King James Version follow the Septuagint translation of Urartu as Armenia. The identification of the biblical "mountains of Ararat" with the Mt. Ararat is a modern identification based on postbiblical tradition; the name Ayrarat, used to describe lands located in the central region of the Kingdom of Armenia seems to have been of local usage as no known classical works use this word to refer to Armenia. The Ararat Province of modern Armenia is named after Mount Ararat, which itself receives its name from the biblical Mountains of Ararat. Scholars such as Carl Ferdinand Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after the god Ḫaldi.
Boris Piotrovsky wrote that the Urartians first appear in history in the 13th century BC as a league of tribes or countries which did not yet constitute a unitary state. In the Assyrian annals the term Uruatri as a name for this league was superseded during a considerable period of years by the term "land of Nairi". Shupria, believed to have been a Hurrian or Mitanni state, subsequently annexed into the Urartian confederation. Shupria is mentioned in conjunction with a district in the area called Arme which some scholars have linked to the name of Armenia. Linguists John Greppin and Igor Diakonoff argued that the Urartians referred to themselves as Shurele, a name mentioned within the royal titles of the kings of Urartu; the word Šuri has been variously theorized as referring to chariots, the region of Shupria, or the entire world. Assyrian inscriptions of Shalmaneser I first mention Uruartri as one of the states of Nairi, a loose confederation of small kingdoms and tribal states in the Armenian Highland in the 13th to 11th centuries BC which he conquered.
Uruartri itself was in the region around Lake Van. The Nairi states were subjected to further attacks and invasions by the Assyrians under Tukulti-Ninurta I, Tiglath-Pileser I, Ashur-bel-kala, Adad-nirari II, Tukulti-Ninurta II, Ashurnasirpal II. Urartu re-emerged in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC as a powerful northern rival of Assyria, which lay to the south in northern Mesopotamia and northeast Syria; the Nairi states and tribes became a unified kingdom under king Aramu, whose capital at Arzashkun was captured by the Assyrians under Shalmaneser III. Contemporaries of the Uruartri, living just to the west along the southern shore of the Black Sea, were the Kaskas known from Hittite sources; the Middle Assyrian Empire fell into a period
The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humankind. It was preceded by the Bronze Age; the concept has been applied to Europe and the Ancient Near East, and, by analogy to other parts of the Old World. The duration of the Iron Age varies depending on the region under consideration, it is defined by archaeological convention, the mere presence of some cast or wrought iron is not sufficient to represent an Iron Age culture. For example, Tutankhamun's meteoric iron dagger comes from the Bronze Age. In the Ancient Near East, this transition takes place in the wake of the so-called Bronze Age collapse, in the 12th century BC; the technology soon spread to South Asia. Its further spread to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Central Europe is somewhat delayed, Northern Europe is reached still by about 500 BC; the Iron Age is taken to end by convention, with the beginning of the historiographical record. This does not represent a clear break in the archaeological record.
The Germanic Iron Age of Scandinavia is taken to end c. AD 800, with the beginning of the Viking Age. In South Asia, the Iron Age is taken to begin with the ironworking Painted Gray Ware culture and to end with the reign of Ashoka; the use of the term "Iron Age" in the archaeology of South and Southeast Asia is more recent, less common, than for western Eurasia. The Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa are outside of the three-age system, there being no Bronze Age, but the term "Iron Age" is sometimes used in reference to early cultures practicing ironworking such as the Nok culture of Nigeria; the three-age system was introduced in the first half of the 19th century for the archaeology of Europe in particular, by the 19th century expanded to the archaeology of the Ancient Near East. Its name harks back to the mythological "Ages of Man" of Hesiod; as an archaeological era it was first introduced for Scandinavia by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen in the 1830s. By the 1860s, it was embraced as a useful division of the "earliest history of mankind" in general and began to be applied in Assyriology.
The development of the now-conventional periodization in the archaeology of the Ancient Near East was developed in the 1920s to 1930s. As its name suggests, Iron Age technology is characterized by the production of tools and weaponry by ferrous metallurgy, more from carbon steel; the Iron Age in Europe is being seen as a part of the Bronze Age collapse in the ancient Near East, in ancient India, ancient Iran, ancient Greece. In other regions of Europe the Iron Age began in the 8th century BC in Central Europe and the 6th century BC in Northern Europe; the Near Eastern Iron Age is divided into two subsections, Iron I and Iron II. Iron I illustrates both discontinuity with the previous Late Bronze Age. There is no definitive cultural break between the 13th and 12th centuries BC throughout the entire region, although certain new features in the hill country and coastal region may suggest the appearance of the Aramaean and Sea People groups. There is evidence, however, of strong continuity with Bronze Age culture, although as one moves into Iron I the culture begins to diverge more from that of the late 2nd millennium.
The Iron Age as an archaeological period is defined as that part of the prehistory of a culture or region during which ferrous metallurgy was the dominant technology of metalworking. The periodization is not tied to the presence of ferrous metallurgy and is to some extent a matter of convention; the characteristic of an Iron Age culture is mass production of tools and weapons made from steel alloys with a carbon content between 0.30% and 1.2% by weight. Only with the capability of the production of carbon steel does ferrous metallurgy result in tools or weapons that are equal or superior to bronze. To this day bronze and brass have not been replaced in many applications, with the spread of steel being based as much on economics as on metallurgical advancements. A range of techniques have been used to produce steel from smelted iron, including techniques such as case-hardening and forge welding that were used to make cutting edges stronger. By convention, the Iron Age in the Ancient Near East is taken to last from c. 1200 BC to c. 550 BC, taken as the beginning of historiography or the end of the proto-historical period.
In Central and Western Europe, the Iron Age is taken to last from c. 800 BC to c. 1 BC, in Northern Europe from c. 500 BC to 800 AD. In China, there is no recognizable prehistoric period characterized by ironworking, as Bronze Age China transitions directly into the Qin dynasty of imperial China; the following gives an overview over the
Battle of Avarayr
The Battle of Avarayr was fought on 2 June 451 on the Avarayr Plain in Vaspurakan between the Armenian Army under Vardan Mamikonian and Sassanid Persia. It is considered one of the first battles in defense of the Christian faith in history. Although the Persians were victorious on the battlefield, the battle proved to be a major strategic victory for Armenians, as Avarayr paved the way to the Nvarsak Treaty of 484 AD, which affirmed Armenia's right to practise Christianity freely; the battle is seen as one of the most significant events in Armenian history. The commander of the Armenian forces, Vardan Mamikonian, is considered a national hero and has been canonized by the Armenian Apostolic Church; the Kingdom of Armenia under the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia was the first nation to convert to Christianity, in 301 AD under Tiridates III. In 428, Armenian nobles petitioned Bahram V to depose Artaxias IV; as a result, the country became a Sassanid dependency with a Sassanid governor. The Armenian nobles welcomed Persian rule, provided they were allowed to practise Christianity.
He summoned the leading Armenian nobles to Ctesiphon, pressured them into cutting their ties with the Orthodox Church as he had intended. Yazdegerd II himself was a Zoroastrian rather than a Christian, his concern was not religious but securing political loyalty. According to Armenian tradition, attempts at demolishing churches and building fire-temples were made and a number of Zoroastrian magi were sent, with Persian military backing, to replace Armenian clergy and suppress Christianity, but Yazdegerd's policy provoked, rather than forestalled, a Christian rebellion in Armenia. When news about the compulsion of the nobles reached Armenia, a mass revolt broke out. Yazdegerd II, hearing the news, gathered a massive army to attack Armenia. Vardan Mamikonian sent to Constantinople for aid, as he had good personal relations with Theodosius II, who had made him a general, he was after all fighting to remain in the Orthodox Church; the 66,000-strong Armenian army took Holy Communion before the battle.
The army was a popular uprising, rather than a professional force, but the Armenian nobility who led it and their respective retinues were accomplished soldiers, many of them veterans of the Sassanid dynasty's wars with Rome and the nomads of Central Asia. The Armenians were allowed to maintain a core of their national army led by a supreme commander, traditionally of the Mamikonian noble family; the Armenian cavalry was, at the time an elite force appreciated as a tactical ally by both Persia and Byzantium. In this particular case, both officers and men were additionally motivated by a desire to save their religion and their way of life; the Persian army, said to be three times larger, included war elephants and the famous Savārān, or New Immortal, cavalry. Several Armenian noblemen with weaker Christian sympathies, led by Vasak Siuni, went over to the Persians before the battle, fought on their side. Following the victory, Yazdegerd jailed some Armenian priests and nobles and appointed a new governor for Armenia.
The Armenian Church was unable to send a delegation to the Council of Chalcedon, as it was involved in the war. In the 6th century, the Armenian Church would decide not to accept the Council of Chalcedon, instead adhering to Miaphysitism. Armenian resistance continued in the decades following the battle, led by Vardan's successor and nephew, Vahan Mamikonian. In 484 AD, Sahag Bedros I signed the Nvarsak Treaty, which guaranteed religious freedom to the Christian Armenians and granted a general amnesty with permission to construct new churches. Thus, the Armenians see the Battle of Avarayr as a moral victory. Persian Armenia War elephant Zoroastrianism in Armenia Elishe: History of Vardan and the Armenian War, transl. R. W. Thomson, Mass. 1982 Visions Of Ararat: Writings On Armenia By Christopher J. Walker. ISBN 964-6961-11-8 Modern Armenia: People, State By Gerard J. Libaridian Vahan Kurkjian - Period of the Marzbans — Battle of Avarair Battle map Summary of the battle from A History of Armenia by Vahan M. Kurkjian St Vartan's life on www.armenianchurch.net The Vartanank War The interregnum
Roman–Parthian War of 58–63
The Roman–Parthian War of 58–63 or the War of the Armenian Succession was fought between the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire over control of Armenia, a vital buffer state between the two realms. Armenia had been a Roman client state since the days of Emperor Augustus, but in 52/53, the Parthians succeeded in installing their own candidate, Tiridates, on the Armenian throne; these events coincided with the accession of Nero to the imperial throne in Rome, the young emperor decided to react vigorously. The war, the only major foreign campaign of his reign, began with rapid success for the Roman forces, led by the able general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, they overcame the forces loyal to Tiridates, installed their own candidate, Tigranes VI, on the Armenian throne, left the country. The Romans were aided by the fact that the Parthian king Vologases was embroiled in the suppression of a series of revolts in his own country; as soon as these had been dealt with, the Parthians turned their attention to Armenia, after a couple of years of inconclusive campaigning, inflicted a heavy defeat on the Romans in the Battle of Rhandeia.
The conflict ended soon after, in an effective stalemate and a formal compromise: a Parthian prince of the Arsacid line would henceforth sit on the Armenian throne, but his nomination had to be approved by the Roman emperor. This conflict was the first direct confrontation between Parthia and the Romans since Crassus' disastrous expedition and Mark Antony's campaigns a century earlier, would be the first of a long series of wars between Rome and Iranian powers over Armenia. Since the expanding Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire had come into contact in the mid-1st century BC, there had been friction between the two great powers of the Near East over the control of the various states lying between them; the largest and most important of these was the Kingdom of Armenia. In 20 BC, Augustus succeeded in establishing a Roman protectorate over the country, when Tigranes III was enthroned as king of Armenia. Roman influence was secured through a series of Roman-sponsored kings until 37 AD, when a Parthian-supported candidate, assumed the throne.
The Roman-supported king, recovered his throne with the support of Emperor Claudius in 42 AD, but was deposed in 51 AD by his nephew Rhadamistus of Iberia. His rule became unpopular and this gave the newly crowned king Vologases I of Parthia the opportunity to intervene, his forces seized the two capitals of Armenia and Tigranocerta, put his younger brother Tiridates on the throne. The onset of a bitter winter and the outbreak of an epidemic forced the Parthian forces to withdraw, allowing Rhadamistus to retake control of the country, his behavior towards his subjects, was worse than before, they rose in rebellion against him. Thus in 54 AD Rhadamistus fled to his father's court in Iberia, Tiridates re-established himself in Armenia. In the same year, in Rome, Emperor Claudius was succeeded by his stepson Nero; the Parthian encroachment in an area regarded as lying within the Roman sphere of influence worried the Roman leadership, was seen as a major test of the new emperor's ability. Nero reacted vigorously, appointing Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, a general who had distinguished himself in Germania and now served as governor of Asia, to supreme command in the East.
Corbulo was given control over two provinces and Galatia, with propraetorial and proconsular authority or imperium. Although Galatia was considered a good recruiting-ground and Cappadocia had a few units of auxiliaries, the bulk of his army came from Syria, where half the garrison of four legions and several units of auxiliaries was transferred to his command; the Romans hoped to resolve the situation by diplomatic means: Corbulo and Ummidius Quadratus, the governor of Syria, both sent embassies to Vologases, proposing that he give up hostages, as was customary during negotiations, to ensure good faith. Vologases, himself preoccupied by the revolt of his son Vardanes which forced him to withdraw his troops from Armenia complied. A period of inactivity ensued. Corbulo used this lull to restore his troops' discipline and combat readiness, which had diminished in the peaceful garrisons of the East. According to Tacitus, Corbulo discharged all who were old or in ill health, kept the entire army under canvas in the harsh winters of the Anatolian plateau to acclimatize them to the snows of Armenia, enforced a strict discipline, punishing deserters by death.
At the same time, however, he took care to be present amongst his men, sharing their hardships. In the meantime, backed by his brother, refused to go to Rome, engaged in operations against those Armenians whom he deemed were loyal to Rome. Tension mounted and in the early spring of 58, war broke out. Corbulo had placed a large number of his auxiliaries in a line of forts near the Armenian frontier under a former primus pilus, Paccius Orfitus. Disobeying Corbulo's orders, he used some newly arrived auxiliary cavalry alae to stage a raid against the Armenians, who appeared to be unprepared. In the event, his raid failed, the retreating troops spread their panic amongst the garrisons of the other forts, it was an inauspicious start for a campaign, Corbulo punished the survivors and their commanders. Having drilled his army for two years, despite this misadventure, was ready, he had three legions at his disposal, to which were added a large number of auxiliaries and allied contingents from Eastern client kings like Aristobulus of
Mamikonian or Mamikonean was an aristocratic dynasty which dominated Armenian politics between the 4th and 8th century. They ruled the Armenian regions of Taron, Sasun and others, their patron saint was Saint Hovhannes Karapet whose monastery of the same name they fiercely defended against the Sassanid invaders. The origin of the Mamikonians is shrouded in the mists of antiquity. Moses of Chorene in his History of Armenia claims that three centuries earlier two noblemen of "Chem" origin and Konak, rose against their half-brother, the king of Chenk, they were defeated and fled to the king of Parthia who, braving the Emperor's demands to extradite the culprits, sent them to live in Armenia, where Mamik became the progenitor of the Mamikonians. Another 5th-century Armenian historian, Pavstos Buzand, seconded the story. In his History of Armenia, he twice mentions that the Mamikonians descended from the Han Dynasty of China and as such were not inferior to the Arshakid rulers of Armenia; this genealogical legend may have been part of an agenda by the Bagratid dynasty of Armenia to take away the legitimacy off the Mamikonian dynasty.
Although it echoes the Bagratids' claim of Davidic descent and the Artsruni's claim of the royal Assyrian ancestry, some Armenian historians tended to interpret it as something more than a piece of genealogical mythology. A theory from the 1920s postulated that the Chenk mentioned in the Armenian sources were not Han-Chinese but from a different Iranian-speaking ethnic group from Transoxania, such as the Tocharians in Northwest China. Edward Gibbon in his The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire believed that the founder of Mamikonian clan was not Han-Chinese but from the territory of the Chinese Empire and ascribes a Scythian origin to Mamgon stating that at the time the borders of the Chinese Empire reached as far west as Sogdiana. Another reconstruction, similar to the previous ones but without references whatsoever to distant China, has that the family immigrated from Bactriana under the reign of Tiridates II of Armenia coinciding with the accession of the Sassanids in Iran.
More recent theories, suggests that the "Chank" are to be identified either with the Tzans, a tribe in the southern Caucasus, or with a Central Asian group living near the Syr Darya river. In the words of Nina Garsoïan / Encyclopædia Iranica: The Mamikoneans claimed to be of royal Čenkʿ descent, a people traditionally associated with China. Although this origin is disputed by scholars, who have not yet reached a final conclusion, the Mamikoneans have been thought to have come from Central Asia or from the region of Darband. Adontz and Toumanoff considered that their ancestry should be linked with Georgia; the family first appears in the early 4th century. Under the late Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia, the family occupied an important position: they were hereditary commanders-in-chief and royal tutors and controlled large domains, including most of Taron and Tayk; the Mamikonian increased their property further with the death of the last hereditary Patriarch of Armenia, Isaac in ca. 428, when they inherited many Church lands through the marriage of his only daughter to Hamazasp Mamikonian.
The first known Mamikonid lord, or nakharar, about whom anything certain is known was a certain Vatche Mamikonian. The family reappears in chronicles in 355. At that point the family chief was Vassak Mamikonian, the sparapetof Armenia; the office of sparapet would become hereditary possession of the Mamikonians. Vassak Mamikonian was in charge of the Armenian defense against Persia but was defeated through the treachery of Merujan Artsruni. Following the defeat, Vassak's brother Vahan Mamikonian and multiple other feudal lords defected to the Persian side; the Emperor Valens, interfered in Armenian affairs and had the office of sparapet bestowed on Vassak's son Mushegh I Mamikonian in 370. Four years Varasdates, a new king, confirmed Mushegh in office; the latter was subsequently assassinated on behest of Sembat Saharuni who replaced him as sparapet' of Armenia. On this event, the family leadership passed to Mushegh's brother, Manuel Mamikonian, kept as a hostage in Persia; the Mamikonids routed Varasdates and Saharuni at Karin.
Emmanuel, together with his sons Hemaiak and Artches, took the king prisoner and put him in a fortress, whence Varasdates escaped abroad. Zarmandukht, the widow of Varasdates' predecessor, was proclaimed queen. Emmanuel came to an agreement with the powerful Sassanids, pledging his loyalty in recompense for their respect of the Armenian autonomy and laws. Upon the queen's demise in 384, Manuel Mamikonian was proclaimed Regent of Armenia pending the minority of her son Arsaces III and had the infant king married to his daughter Vardandukht, it was Manuel's death in 385 that precipitated the country's conquest by the Persians in 386-387. Hamazasp Mamikonian was recorded as the family leader in 393, his wife is known to have been daughter of Patriarch Isaac the Great. She was Saint Gregory the Illuminator, they had a son, Vardan Mamikonian, revered as one of the greatest military and spi
House of Hasan-Jalalyan
The House of Hasan-Jalalyan was an Armenian dynasty that ruled the region of Khachen from 1214 onwards in what are now the regions of lower Karabakh, Nagorno-Karabakh and small part of Syunik. It was named after an Armenian feudal prince from Khachen; the Hasan-Jalalyan family was able to maintain its autonomy throughout several centuries of foreign domination of the region by Seljuk Turks and Mongols as they, as well as the other Armenian princes and meliks of Khachen, saw themselves of holding the last bastion of Armenian independence in the region. Through their many patronages of churches and other monuments, the Hasan-Jalalyans helped cultivate Armenian culture throughout the region. By the late 16th century, the Hasan-Jalalyan family had branched out to establish melikdoms in Gulistan and Jraberd, along with their original holdings in the melikdom of Khachen, alongside the separatly ruled melikdoms of Varanda and Dizak, a part of what was known as the "Melikdoms of Khamsa." Hasan-Jalal traced his descent to the Armenian Aranshahik dynasty, a family that predated the establishment of the Parthian Arsacids in the region.
Hasan-Jalal's ancestry was "almost exclusively" Armenian according to historian Robert H. Hewsen, a professor at Rowan University and an expert on the history of the Caucasus: In the male line, the princes of Siunik. Through various princesses, who married his ancestors, Hasan-Jalal was descended from the kings of Armenia or the Bagratuni Dynasty, centered at Ani. Much of Hasan-Jalal Dawla's family roots were entrenched in an intricate array of royal marriages with new and old Armenian nakharar families. Hasan-Jalal's grandfather was a prince who ruled over the northern half of Artsakh. In 1182, he stepped down as ruler of the region and entered monastery life at Dadivank, divided his land into two: the southern half went to his oldest son Vakhtank II and the northern half went to the youngest, Gregory "the Black." Vakhtank II married Khorishah Zakarian, herself the daughter of Sargis Zakarian, the progenitor of the Zakarid line of princes. When he married the daughter of the Aṛanshahik king of Dizak-Balk, Hasan-Jalal inherited his father-in-law's lands.
In the late 1960s and into the 1970s, Hasan-Jalal’s origins became a part of a larger debate revolving around the history of Artsakh between Armenian and Azerbaijani scholars. In addition to the position held solely by Azerbaijani historians that much of Artsakh at the time was under heavy Caucasian Albanian influence, they contend that the population and monuments were not Armenian but Caucasian Albanian in origin. Among the foremost revisionists who expounded these views were Farida Mamedova. Mamedova herself asserted that Hasan-Jalal, based upon her interpretation of an inscription carved into the Gandzasar Monastery by the prince, was Caucasian Albanian. Armenian historians as well as experts of the region such as Hewsen, reject her conclusions, along with the notion held in Azerbaijan, that the Armenians "stole" Caucasian Albania’s culture. With the surrender of Ani to the Byzantine Empire in 1045 and the Byzantine annexation of Kars in 1064, the final independent Armenian state in historic Armenia, Bagratuni kingdom, came to an end.
However, despite foreign domination of the region, which became more pronounced after the Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines at the battle of Manzikert in 1071, Armenians in eastern Armenia were able to maintain autonomy in the two mountainous kingdoms of Syunik and Lori and in the principality of Khachen. From the early to mid-12th century, the combined Georgian and Armenian armies were successful in pushing the Turks out of Eastern Armenia, thereby establishing a period of relative peace and prosperity until the appearance of the Mongols in 1236. Khachen used to be a part of Syunik until numerous Turkic invasions severed it from the rest of the kingdom; the reign of the Hasan-Jalalyan family was concentrated around the Terter and the Khachenaget rivers. Hasan-Jalal's birth date is unknown; when his father Vakhtank died in 1214, Hasan-Jalal inherited his lands and took up residence in a castle at Akana in Jraberd. He was addressed with the titles tagavor or inknakal but took the official title of "King of Artsakh and Balk" when he married the daughter of the final king of Dizak-Balk.
The medieval Armenian historian Kirakos Gandzaketsi extolled Hasan-Jalal in his work History of Armenia, lacing him with praise for his piety and devotion to Christianity: He was...a pious and God-loving man and meek, a lover of the poor, striving in prayers and entreaties like one who lived in the desert. He performed vespers unhindered, no matter where he might be, like a monk, he was fond of the priests, a lover of knowledge, a reader of the divine Gospels. A further testament to this devotion included Hasan-Jalal's commissioning of the Gandzasar Monastery. Construction of the monastery b