The Bagratuni or Bagratid royal family ruled many regional polities of the medieval Kingdom of Armenia, such as Syunik, Vaspurakan, Vanand and Tayk. The Bagratid family first emerged as members of the hereditary nobility of Armenia, their holdings were in the Çoruh River valley. As early as 288–301, the Bagratid prince Smbat held the hereditary Armenian titles of Aspet, which means Master of the Horse, T'agatir, which means Coronant of the King. According to Prince Cyril Toumanoff, the earliest Bagratid prince was chronicled as early as 314 AD. In the 8th century, Smbat VII Bagratuni revolted against the Abbasid Caliphate but the revolt was defeated; the Bagratid Princes of Armenia are known as early as 1st century BC when they served under the Artaxiad Dynasty. Unlike most noble families of Armenia they held only strips of land, as opposed to the Mamikonians, who held a unified land territory; these are the earliest Bagratid princes in Armenia prior to the establishment of the kingdom, as mentioned by the Union of Armenian Noblemen.
Ashot I was the first Bagratid King, the founder of the Royal Bagratid dynasty. He was recognized as prince of princes by the court at Baghdad in 861, which provoked war with local Arab emirs. Ashot won the war, was recognized as King of the Armenians by Baghdad in 885. Recognition from Constantinople followed in 886. In an effort to unify the Armenian nation under one flag, the Bagratids subjugated other Armenian noble families through conquests and fragile marriage alliances; some noble families such as the Artsrunis and the Siunis broke off from the central Bagratid authority. Ashot III the Merciful transferred their capital to the city of Ani, now famous for its ruins, they kept power by playing off the competition between the Arabs. They assumed the Persian title of "King of Kings". However, with the start of the 10th century and on, the Bagratunis broke up into different branches, breaking up the unified kingdom in a time when unity was needed in the face of Seljuk and Byzantine pressure.
The rule of the Ani branch ended in 1045 with the conquest of Ani by the Byzantines. The Kars branch held on until 1064; the dynasty of Cilician Armenia is believed to be a branch of the Bagratids took the throne of an Armenian Kingdom in Cilicia. The founder, Ruben I, had an unknown relationship to the exiled king Gagik II, he was either kinsman. Ashot, son of Hovhannes, was governor of Ani under the Shaddadid dynasty. Bakran tribe List of Armenian kings Pakradouni Prince Cyrille Toumanoff, Manuel de généalogie et de chronologie pour l'histoire de la Caucasie Chrétienne. Edizioni Aquila, Roma, 1976. - still remains the only account of the family available in the West, although its scientific standard has been criticized as low. The Families of the Nobility of the Russian Empire, Volume III, Moscow, 1996. - contains the latest research available in Russian, compiled by Georgian scientists, some of them Bagratids themselves. Armenian Nobility Site Robert Bedrosian's History Page R. H. Hewsen. "Armenia: A Historical Atlas", 2001 ISBN 0-226-33228-4 Media related to Bagratuni at Wikimedia Commons
Satrapy of Armenia
The Satrapy of Armenia (Armenian: Սատրապական Հայաստան Satrapakan Hayastan. Its capitals were Tushpa and Erebuni. After the collapse of the Kingdom of Urartu, the region was placed under the administration of the Median Empire and the Scythians; the territory was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire, which incorporated it as a satrapy, thus named it the land of "Armina". The Orontid Dynasty, or known by their native name, Eruandid or Yervanduni, was a hereditary dynasty of ancient Armenia, the rulers of the successor state to the Iron Age kingdom of Urartu. Historians state that the dynasty was of Iranian origin, suggest, albeit not that it held dynastic familial linkages to the ruling Achaemenid dynasty. Throughout their existence, the Orontids stressed their lineage from the Achaemenids in order to strengthen their political legitimacy. Members of the dynasty ruled Armenia intermittently during the period spanning from the 6th to at least the 2nd centuries BC, first as client kings or satraps of the Median and Achaemenid empires and after the collapse of the Achaemenid empire, as rulers of an independent kingdom, as kings of Sophene and Commagene, which succumbed to the Roman Empire.
The Orontids established their supremacy over Armenia around the time of the Scythian and Median invasion in the 6th century BC. Its founder was Orontes I Sakavakyats, his son, Tigranes Orontid, killed Media's king. Moses of Chorene called him "the wisest, most powerful and bravest of Armenian kings." From 553 BC to 521 BC, Armenia was a subject kingdom of the Achaemenid Empire, but when Darius I was king, he decided to conquer Armenia. He sent an Armenian named Dâdarši to stop a revolt against Persian rule replacing him with the Persian general, who defeated the Armenians in 521 BC. Around the same time, another Armenian by the name of Arakha, son of Haldita, claimed to be the son of the last king of Babylon and renamed himself Nebuchadnezzar IV, his rebellion was short was suppressed by Intaphrenes, Darius' bow carrier. After the Battle of Gaugamela, Orontes III was able to regain independence for Armenia, but in 201 BC, Armenia was conquered by Artashes, a general from the Seleucid Empire, said to be a member of Orontid dynasty.
The last Orontid king Orontes IV was killed, but the Orontids continued to rule in Sophene and Commagene until the 1st century BC. In two inscriptions of king Antiochus I of Commagene on his monument at Mount Nemrut, Orontes I, is reckoned as an ancestor of the Orontids ruling over Commagene, who traced back their family to Darius the Great. Orontid Dynasty Urartu Achaemenid Empire Kingdom of Armenia
The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran. Under the Neo-Assyrian Empire, late 9th to early 7th centuries BC, the region of Media was bounded by the Zagros Mountains to its west, to its south by the Garrin Mountain in Lorestan Province, to its northwest by the Qaflankuh Mountains in Zanjan Province, to its east by the Dasht-e Kavir desert, its neighbors were the kingdoms of Gizilbunda and Mannea in the northwest, Ellipi and Elam in the south. In the 7th century BC, Media's tribes came together to form the Median Kingdom, which remained a Neo-Assyrian vassal. Between 616 and 609 BC, King Cyaxares, allied with King Nabopolassar of the Neo-Babylonian Empire against the Neo-Assyrian Empire, after which the Median Empire stretched across the Iranian Plateau as far as Anatolia, its precise geographical extent remains unknown. A few archaeological sites and textual sources provide a brief documentation of the history and culture of the Median state.
Apart from a few personal names, the language of the Medes is unknown. The Medes had an ancient Iranian religion with a priesthood named as "Magi". During the reigns of the last Median kings, the reforms of Zoroaster spread into western Iran. According to the Histories of Herodotus, there were six Median tribes: The six Median tribes resided in Media proper, the triangular area between Rhagae and Ecbatana. In present-day Iran, the area between Tehran and Hamadan, respectively. Of the Median tribes, the Magi resided in Rhaga, modern Tehran, they were of a sacred caste. The Paretaceni tribe resided in and around Aspadana, modern Isfahan, the Arizanti lived in and around Kashan, the Busae tribe lived in and around the future Median capital of Ecbatana, near modern Hamadan; the Struchates and the Budii lived in villages in the Median triangle. The original source for their name and homeland is a directly transmitted Old Iranian geographical name, attested as the Old Persian "Māda-"; the meaning of this word is not known.
However, the linguist W. Skalmowski proposes a relation with the proto-Indo European word "med-", meaning "central, suited in the middle", by referring to the Old Indic "madhya-" and Old Iranian "maidiia-" which both carry the same meaning; the Latin medium, Greek méso and German mittel are derived from it. Greek scholars during antiquity would base ethnological conclusions on Greek legends and the similarity of names. According to the Histories of Herodotus: In the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, Medea is the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis and a paternal granddaughter of the sun-god Helios. Following her failed marriage to Jason while in Corinth, for one of several reasons depending on the version, she marries King Aegeus of Athens and bears a son Medus. After failing to make Aegeus kill his older son Theseus and her son fled to Aria, where the Medes take their name from her, according to several Greek and Roman accounts, including in Pausanias' Description of Greece. According to other versions, such as in Strabo's Geographica and Justin's Epitoma Historiarum Philippicarum, she returned home to conquer neighboring lands with her husband Jason, one of, named after her.
The discoveries of Median sites in Iran happened only after the 1960s. For 1960 the search for Median archeological sources has focused in an area known as the “Median triangle,” defined as the region bounded by Hamadān and Malāyer and Kangāvar. Three major sites from central western Iran in the Iron Age III period are: Tepe Nush-i Jan,The site is located 14 km west of Malāyer in Hamadan province; the excavations started in 1967 with D. Stronach as the director; the remains of four main buildings in the site are "the central temple, the western temple, the fort, the columned hall" which according to Stronach were to have been built in the order named and predate the latter occupation of the first half of the 6th century BC. According to Stronach, the central temple, with its stark design, "provides a notable, if mute, expression of religious belief and practice". A number of ceramics from the Median levels at Tepe Nush-i Jan have been found which are associated with a period of power consolidation in the Hamadān areas.
These findings show four different wares known as “common ware” including jars in various size the largest of, a form of ribbed pithoi. Smaller and more elaborate vessels were in “grey ware”; the “cooking ware” and “crumbly ware” are recognized each in single handmade products. Godin Tepe,The site is located 13 km east of Kangāvar city on the left bank of the river Gamas Āb"; the excavations, started in 1965, were led by T. C. Young, Jr. which according to David Stronach, evidently shows an important Bronze Age construction th
The Kura–Araxes culture or the early trans-Caucasian culture was a civilization that existed from about 4000 BC until about 2000 BC, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain. Altogether, the early trans-Caucasian culture enveloped a vast area 1,000 km by 500 km, encompassed, on modern-day territories, the Southern Caucasus, northwestern Iran, the northeastern Caucasus, eastern Turkey, as far as Syria; the name of the culture is derived from the Araxes river valleys. Kura–Araxes culture is sometimes known as Shengavitian, Karaz and Yanik Tepe cultures, it gave rise to the Khirbet Kerak-ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire. The formative processes of the Kura-Araxes cultural complex, the date and circumstances of its rise, have been long debated. Shulaveri-Shomu culture preceded the Kura–Araxes culture in the area. There were many differences between these two cultures, so the connection was not clear.
It was suggested that the Sioni culture of eastern Georgia represented a transition from the Shulaveri to the Kura-Arax cultural complex. At many sites, the Sioni culture layers can be seen as intermediary between Shulaver-Shomu-Tepe layers and the Kura-Araxes layers; this kind of stratigraphy warrants a chronological place of the Sioni culture at around 4000 BCE. Nowadays scholars consider the Kartli area, as well as the Kakheti area as key to forming the earliest phase of the Kura–Araxes culture. To a large extent, this appears as an indigenous culture of Caucasus, formed over a long period, at the same time incorporating foreign influences. There are some indications of the overlapping in time of the Uruk cultures; some scholars have suggested that the earliest manifestation of the Kura-Araxes phenomenon should be dated at least to the last quarter of the 5th millennium BC. This is based on the recent data from Ovçular Tepesi, a Late Chalcolithic settlement located in Nakhchivan by the Arpaçay river.
Rather elements of Kura–Araxes culture started to proceed westward to the Erzurum plain, southwest to Cilicia, to the southeast into the area of Lake Van, below the Urmia basin in Iran, such as to Godin Tepe. It proceeded into the present-day Syria, as far as Palestine, its territory corresponds to large parts of modern Armenia, Chechnya, Georgia, North Ossetia, parts of Iran and Turkey. At Sos Hoyuk, in Erzurum Province, early forms of Kura-Araxes pottery were found in association with local ceramics as early as 3500-3300 BC. During the Early Bronze Age in 3000-2200 BC, this settlement was part of the Kura-Araxes phenomenon. At Arslantepe, around 3000 BCE, there was widespread burning and destruction, after which Kura-Araxes pottery appeared in the area. According to Geoffrey Summers, the movement of Kura-Araxes peoples into Iran and the Van region, which he interprets as quite sudden, started shortly before 3000 BC, may have been prompted by the'Late Uruk Collapse', taking place at the end of Uruk IV phase c. 3100 BC.
Archaeological evidence of inhabitants of the Kura–Araxes culture showed that ancient settlements were found along the Hrazdan river, as shown by drawings at a mountainous area in a cave nearby. Structures in settlements have not revealed much differentiation, nor was there much difference in size or character between settlements, facts that suggest they had a poorly developed social hierarchy for a significant stretch of their history. Some, but not all, settlements were surrounded by stone walls, they built mud-brick houses round, but developing into subrectangular designs with structures of just one or two rooms, multiple rooms centered around an open space, or rectilinear designs. At some point the culture's settlements and burial grounds expanded out of lowland river valleys and into highland areas. Although some scholars have suggested that this expansion demonstrates a switch from agriculture to pastoralism and that it serves as possible proof of a large-scale arrival of Indo-Europeans, facts such as that settlement in the lowlands remained more or less continuous suggest that the people of this culture were diversifying their economy to encompass crop and livestock agriculture.
Shengavit Settlement is a prominent Kura-Araxes site in present-day Yerevan area in Armenia. It was inhabited from 3200 BC cal to 2500 BC cal. On, in the Middle Bronze Age, it was used irregularly until 2200 BC cal; the town occupied an area of six hectares, large for Kura-Araxes sites. In the 3rd millennium B. C. one particular group of mounds of the Kura–Araxes culture is remarkable for their wealth. This was the final stage of culture's development; these burial mounds are known as the Martqopi period mounds. Those on the left bank of the river Alazani are 20-25 meter high and 200-300 meter in diameter, they contain rich artefacts, such as gold and silver jewelry. The economy was based on livestock-raising, they grew grain and orchard crops, are known to have used implements to make flour. They raised cattle, goats, in phases, horses. Before the Kura-Araxes period, horse bones were not found in Transcaucasia. Beginning about 3300 BCE, they became widespread, w
Battle of Manzikert
The Battle of Manzikert was fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Empire on 26 August 1071 near Manzikert, theme of Iberia. The decisive defeat of the Byzantine army and the capture of the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes played an important role in undermining Byzantine authority in Anatolia and Armenia, allowed for the gradual Turkification of Anatolia. Many of the Turks, who had been, during the 11th century, travelling westward, saw the victory at Manzikert as an entrance to Asia Minor; the brunt of the battle was borne by the professional soldiers from the eastern and western tagmata, as large numbers of mercenaries and Anatolian levies fled early and survived the battle. The fallout from Manzikert was disastrous for the Byzantines, resulting in civil conflicts and an economic crisis that weakened the Byzantine Empire's ability to adequately defend its borders; this led to the mass movement of Turks into central Anatolia—by 1080, an area of 78,000 square kilometres had been gained by the Seljuk Turks.
It took three decades of internal strife before Alexius I restored stability to Byzantium. Historian Thomas Asbridge says: "In 1071, the Seljuqs crushed an imperial army at the Battle of Manzikert, though historians no longer consider this to have been an utterly cataclysmic reversal for the Greeks, it still was a stinging setback." It was the first time in history. Although the Byzantine Empire had remained strong and powerful in the Middle Ages, it began to decline under the reign of the militarily incompetent Constantine IX and again under Constantine X—a brief two-year period of reform under Isaac I delayed the decay of the Byzantine army. About 1053 Constantine IX disbanded what the historian John Skylitzes calls the "Iberian Army", which consisted of 50,000 men and it was turned as a contemporary Droungarios of the Watch. Twoother knowledgeable contemporaries, the former officials Michael Attaleiates and Kekaumenos, agree with Skylitzes that by demobilizing these soldiers Constantine did catastrophic harm to the Empire's eastern defenses.
Constantine made a truce with the Seljuks that lasted until 1064, but a large Seljuk army under Alp Arslan attacked the theme of Iberia and took Ani. In 1068 Romanos IV took power, after some speedy military reforms entrusted Manuel Comnenus to lead an expedition against the Seljuks. Manuel captured Hierapolis Bambyce in Syria, next thwarted a Turkish attack against Iconium with a counter-attack, but was defeated and captured by the Seljuks under the Sultan Alp Arslan. Despite his success Alp Arslan was quick to seek a peace treaty with the Byzantines, signed in 1069. In February 1071, Romanos sent envoys to Alp Arslan to renew the 1069 treaty, keen to secure his northern flank against attack, Alp Arslan agreed. Abandoning the siege of Edessa, he led his army to attack Fatimid-held Aleppo. However, the peace treaty had been a deliberate distraction: Romanos now led a large army into Armenia to recover the lost fortresses before the Seljuks had time to respond. Accompanying Romanos was son of his rival, John Ducas.
The army consisted of about 5,000 professional Byzantine troops from the western provinces and about the same number from the eastern provinces. This included 500 Frankish and Norman mercenaries under Roussel de Bailleul, some Turkic and Bulgarian mercenaries, infantry under the duke of Antioch, a contingent of Georgian and Armenian troops and some of the Varangian Guard to total around 40,000 men; the quantity of the provincial troops had declined in the years prior to Romanos, as the government diverted funding to mercenaries who were judged less to be involved in politics and could be disbanded after use to save money. The march across Asia Minor was long and difficult and Romanos did not endear himself to his troops by bringing a luxurious baggage train along with him; the local population suffered some plundering by his Frankish mercenaries, whom he was obliged to dismiss. The expedition rested at Sebasteia on the river Halys, reaching Theodosiopolis in June 1071. There, some of his generals suggested continuing the march into Seljuk territory and catching Alp Arslan before he was ready.
Others, including Nicephorus Bryennius, suggested they fortify their position. It was decided to continue the march. Thinking that Alp Arslan was either further away or not coming at all, Romanos marched towards Lake Van, expecting to retake Manzikert rather and the nearby fortress of Khliat if possible. Alp Arslan was in the area, with allies and 30,000 cavalry from Aleppo and Mosul. Alp Arslan's scouts knew where Romanos was, while Romanos was unaware of his opponent's movements. Romanos ordered his general Joseph Tarchaniotes to take some of the regular troops and the Varangians and accompany the Pechenegs and Franks to Khliat, while Romanos and the rest of the army marched to Manzikert; this split the forces into halves of about 20,000 men each. It is unknown what happened to the army sent off with Tarchaniotes — according to Islamic sources, Alp Arslan smashed this army, yet Roman sources make no mention of any such encounter and Attaliates suggests that Tarchaniotes fled at the sight of the Seljuk Sultan — an unlikely event considering the reputation of the Roman general.
Either way, Romanos' army was reduced to less than half his planned 40,000 men. Alp Arslan summoned his army and del