Hayk the Great, Armenian pronunciation:, or The Great Hayk known as Hayk Nahapet, is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation. His story is told in the History of Armenia attributed to the Armenian historian Moses of Chorene; the name of the patriarch, Հայկ Hayk is not homophonous with the name for "Armenia", Հայք Hayk’. Հայք Hayk’ is the nominative plural in Classical Armenian of հայ, the Armenian term for "Armenian." Some claim that the etymology of Hayk' from Hayk is impossible and that the origin of the term Hay is verifiable. Hayk and Haig are connected to hay and hayer, the self-designation of the Armenians. Armen Petroyan believes that the name Hayk can "very plausibly" be derived from the Indo-European *poti- ‘master, master of the house, husband’. Hayk would be an etiological founding figure, like e.g. Asshur for the Assyrians, etc. One of Hayk's most famous scions, settled in Eastern Armenia from the Mitanni kingdom, when Sargon II mentions a king of part of Armenia who bore the name Bagatadi.
Some sources claim. Armenian historiography of the Soviet era connected Hayk with Hayasa, mentioned in Hittite inscriptions; the Armenian word Haykakan or Haigagan finds its stem in this progenitor. Additionally, the poetic names for Armenians, Haykazun or Haykazn derives from Hayk. Moses of Chorene gave Hayk's genealogy as Japhet and Tiras, Torgom. Hayk's descendants are given as Amasya, Aram, Armanak and Harma. Hayk was said to be the founder of the Haykazuni Dynasty. According to Juansher, Hayk "was prince of the seven brothers and stood in service to the giant Nimrod who first ruled the entire world as king." According to Moses of Chorene, the Armenian noble family, the Haykazunis, which included a number of legendary kings, descended from Hayk. According to the accounts of Moses of Chorene and Sextus Julius Africanus, the battle occurred between the dynasty of Hayk and a Chaldean Dynasty in its third generation that had control of Babylon and the remaining territory of Akkadia under King Belus, a symbolic Babylonian/Akkadian God of War, or founder of Babylon depending on mythological tradition.
The conflict is said to of happened in 2107BC or earlier, as Babylon existed since 2300BC, this is plausible therefore. Bel may symbolize the Gutian dynasty of Sumer, which ruled remants of Akkadia as a tyrannical power during a Mesopotamian Dark Age after the Akkadian Empire broke up in 2154BC. Gutia is overlapping with Chaldeas territory. In Moses of Chorene's account, Hayk son of Torgom had a child named Armanak while he was living in Babylon. After the arrogant Titanid Bel made himself king over all, Hayk emigrated to the region near Mount Ararat. Hayk relocated near Mount Ararat with an extended household of at least 300 and settled there, founding a village he named Haykashen. On the way he had left a detachment in another settlement with his grandson Kadmos. Bel was refused. Bel decided to march against him with a massive force, but Hayk was warned ahead of time by Kadmos of his pending approach, he assembled his own army along the shore of Lake Van and told them that they must defeat and kill Bel, or die trying to do so, rather than become his slaves.
In his writings Moses states that: Hayk and his men soon discovered Bel's army positioned in a mountain pass, with the king in the vanguard. At Dyutsaznamart, near Julamerk southeast of Lake Van, on August 11, 2492 BC or 2107 BC, Hayk slew Bel with a nearly impossible shot using a long bow, sending the king's forces into disarray; the hill where Bel with his warriors fell, Hayk named Gerezmank meaning "tombs". He embalmed the corpse of Bel and ordered it to be taken to Hark where it was to be buried in a high place in the view of the wives and sons of the king. Soon after, Hayk established the fortress of Haykaberd at the battle site and the town of Haykashen in the Armenian province of Vaspurakan, he named the region of the battle Hayk, the site of the battle Hayots Dzor. The figure slain by Hayk's arrow is variously given as Nimrod. Hayk is the name of the Orion constellation in the Armenian translation of the Bible. Hayk's flight from Babylon and his eventual defeat of Bel, was compared to Zeus's escape to the Caucasus and eventual defeat of the Titans.
Hayko Aram Belus Nimrod List of Armenian patriarchs Armenian mythology Hayasa Armens Sisak P. Kretschmer. "Der nationale Name der Armenier Haik" Vahan Kurkjian, "History of Armenia", Michigan, 1968 Tacentral.com: Armenian History The Union of Armenian Noblemen: About Dynasties and Kings of Armenia The Union of Armenian Noblemen: Rulers and kings of the Haykazuni Dynasty
The Achaemenid Empire called the First Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, the development of civil services and a large professional army; the empire's successes inspired similar systems in empires. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the south-western portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis, which came to be their heartland. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, establishing the Achaemenid Empire.
Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 BC. Upon Alexander's death, most of the empire's former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time; the Iranian elites of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire. The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon; the historical mark of the empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social and religious influences as well. Despite the lasting conflict between the two states, many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange, some being employed by or allied to the Persian kings; the impact of Cyrus's edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, the empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far east as China.
The empire set the tone for the politics and history of Iran. The term Achaemenid means "of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes". Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, a vassal of Assyria. Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here....: the Pasargadae and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the remainder -the Dai, Dropici, being nomadic; the Achaemenid Empire was created by nomadic Persians. The name "Persia" is a Greek and Latin pronunciation of the native word referring to the country of the people originating from Persis; the Persians were an Iranian people who arrived in what is today Iran c. 1000 BC and settled a region including north-western Iran, the Zagros Mountains and Persis alongside the native Elamites.
For a number of centuries they fell under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia. The Persians were nomadic pastoralists in the western Iranian Plateau and by 850 BC were calling themselves the Parsa and their shifting territory Parsua, for the most part localized around Persis; the Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as the Medes, another group of Iranian peoples, established a short-lived empire and played a major role in the overthrow of the Assyrian. The Achaemenids were rulers of the Elamite city of Anshan near the modern city of Marvdasht. There are conflicting accounts of the identities of the earliest Kings of Anshan. According to the Cyrus Cylinder the kings of Anshan were Teispes, Cyrus I, Cambyses I and Cyrus II known as Cyrus the Great, who created the empire. In Herodotus' Histories, he writes that Cyrus the Great was the son of Cambyses I and Mandane of Media, the daughter of Astyages, the king of the Median Empire. Cyrus revolted against the Median Empire in 553 BC, in 550 BC succeeded in defeating the Medes, capturing Astyages and taking the Median capital city of Ecbatana.
Once in control of Ecbatana, Cyrus styled himself as the successor to Astyages and assumed control of the entire empire. By inheriting Astyages' empire, he inherited the territorial conflicts the Medes had had with both Lydia and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. King Croesus of Lydia sought to take advantage of the new international situation by advancing into what had been Median territory in Asia Minor. Cyrus led a counterattack which not only fought off Croesus' armies, but led to the capture of Sardis and the fall of the Lydian Kingdom in 546 BC. Cyrus placed Pactyes in charge of collecting tribute in Lydia and left, but once Cyrus had left Pactyes instigated a rebellion against Cyrus. Cyrus sent the Median general Mazares to deal with the rebellion, Pactyes was captured. Mazares, aft
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 Scythians known as Scyth, Sakae, Iskuzai, or Askuzai, were Eurasian nomads mostly using Eastern Iranian languages, who were mentioned by the literate peoples to their south as inhabiting large areas of the western and central Eurasian Steppe from about the 9th century BC up until the 4th century AD. The "classical Scythians" known to ancient Greek historians, agreed to be Iranian in origin, were located in the northern Black Sea and fore-Caucasus region. Other Scythian groups documented by Assyrian and Chinese sources show that they existed in Central Asia, where they were referred to as the Iskuzai/Askuzai and Sai, respectively; the relationships between the peoples living in these separated regions remains unclear, the term is used in both a broad and narrow sense. The term "Scythian" is used by modern scholars in an archaeological context for finds perceived to display attributes of the wider "Scytho-Siberian" culture without implying an ethnic or linguistic connotation; the term Scythic may be used in a similar way, "to describe a special phase that followed the widespread diffusion of mounted nomadism, characterized by the presence of special weapons, horse gear, animal art in the form of metal plaques".
Their westernmost territories during the Iron Age were known to classical Greek sources as Scythia, in the more narrow sense "Scythian" is restricted to these areas, where the Scythian languages were spoken. Different definitions of "Scythian" have been used; the Scythians were among the earliest peoples to master mounted warfare. They kept herds of horses and sheep, lived in tent-covered wagons and fought with bows and arrows on horseback, they developed a rich culture characterised by opulent tombs, fine metalwork and a brilliant art style. In the 8th century BC, they raided Zhou China. Soon after, they dislodged the Cimmerians from power on the Pontic Steppe. At their peak, Scythians came to dominate the entire steppe zone, stretching from the Carpathian Mountains in the west to central China and the south Siberia in the east, creating what has been called the first Central Asian nomadic empire, although there was little that could be called an organised state. Based in what is modern-day Ukraine, Southern European Russia and Crimea, the western Scythians were ruled by a wealthy class known as the Royal Scyths.
The Scythians established and controlled the Silk Road, a vast trade network connecting Greece, Persia and China contributing to the contemporary flourishing of those civilisations. Settled metalworkers made portable decorative objects for the Scythians; these objects survive in metal, forming a distinctive Scythian art. In the 7th century BC, the Scythians crossed the Caucasus and raided the Middle East along with the Cimmerians, playing an important role in the political developments of the region. Around 650–630 BC, Scythians dominated the Medes of the western Iranian Plateau, stretching their power to the borders of Egypt. After losing control over Media, the Scythians continued intervening in Middle Eastern affairs, playing a leading role in the destruction of the Assyrian Empire in the Sack of Nineveh in 612 BC; the Scythians subsequently engaged in frequent conflicts with the Achaemenid Empire. The western Scythians suffered a major defeat against Macedonia in the 4th century BC and were subsequently conquered by the Sarmatians, a related Iranian people from Central Asia.
The Eastern Scythians of the Asian Steppe were attacked by the Yuezhi and Xiongnu in the 2nd century BC, prompting many of them to migrate into South Asia, where they became known as Indo-Scythians. At some point as late as the 3rd century AD after the demise of the Han dynasty and the Xiongnu, Eastern Scythians crossed the Pamir Mountains and settled in the western Tarim Basin, where the Scythian Khotanese and Tumshuqese languages are attested in Brahmi scripture from the 10th and 11th centuries AD; the Kingdom of Khotan, at least Saka, was conquered by the Kara-Khanid Khanate, which led to the Islamisation and Turkification of Northwest China. In Eastern Europe, by the early Medieval Ages, the Scythians and their related Sarmatians were assimilated and absorbed by the Proto-Slavic population of the region. In the strict sense'Scythian' refers to the nomads north of the Black Sea and is distinguished from the similar Sarmatians who lived north of the Caspian and replaced the Scythians proper.
The Persian term Saka is used for the Scythians in Central Asia. The Chinese used the term Sai, for Sakas who once inhabited the valleys of the Ili River and Chu River and moved into the Tarim Basin. Herodotus said. Iskuzai or Askuzai is an Assyrian term for raiders south of the Caucasus who were Scythian. A group of Scythians/Sakas gave their name to Sakastan. They, or a related group, became the Indo-Scythians. Near the end of this article is a list of peoples that have been called Scythians. Oswald Szemerényi studied the various words for Scythian and gave the following: Skuthes Σκύθης, Skudra and Saka; the first three descend from the Indo-European root *kewd-, meaning "propel, shoot". *skud- is the zero-grade form of the same root. Szemerényi restores the Scythians' self-name; this yields the ancient Greek Skuthēs Σκύ
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
The Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia known as Bagratid Armenia, was an independent state established by Ashot I Bagratuni in the early 880s following nearly two centuries of foreign domination of Greater Armenia under Arab Umayyad and Abbasid rule. With the two contemporary powers in the region, the Abbasids and Byzantines, too preoccupied to concentrate their forces in subjugating the people of the region and the dissipation of several of the Armenian nakharar noble families, Ashot was able to assert himself as the leading figure of a movement to dislodge the Arabs from Armenia. Ashot's prestige rose as he was courted by both Byzantine and Arab leaders eager to maintain a buffer state near their frontiers; the Caliphate recognized Ashot as "prince of princes" in 862 and on, king in 884 or 885. The establishment of the Bagratuni kingdom led to the founding of several other Armenian principalities and kingdoms: Taron, Kars and Syunik. Unity among all these states was sometimes difficult to maintain while the Byzantines and Arabs lost no time in exploiting the kingdom's situation to their own gains.
Under the reign of Ashot III, Ani became the kingdom's capital and grew into a thriving economic and cultural center. The first half of the 11th century saw the decline and eventual collapse of the kingdom. With emperor Basil II's string of victories in annexing parts of southwestern Armenia, King Hovhannes-Smbat felt forced to cede his lands and in 1022 promised to "will" his kingdom to the Byzantines following his death. However, after Hovhannes-Smbat's death in 1041, his successor, Gagik II, refused to hand over Ani and continued resistance until 1045, when his kingdom, plagued with internal and external threats, was taken by Byzantine forces; the weakening of the Sassanian Empire during the 7th century led to the rise of another regional power, the Muslim Arabs. The Umayyad Arabs had conquered vast swaths of territory in the Middle East and, turning north, began to periodically launch raids into Armenia territory in 640. Theodore Rshtuni, the Armenian Curopalates, signed a peace treaty with the Caliphate although the continuing war with the Arabs and Byzantines soon lead to further destruction throughout Armenia.
In 661, Armenian leaders agreed to submit under Muslim rule while the latter conceded to recognize Grigor Mamikonian from the powerful Mamikonian nakharar family as ishkhan of Armenia. Known as "al-Arminiya" with its capital at Dvin, the province was headed by governor. However, Umayyad rule in Armenia grew in cruelty in the early 8th century. Revolts against the Arabs spread throughout Armenia until 705, when under the pretext of meeting for negotiations, the Arab ostikan of Nakhichevan massacred all of the Armenian nobility; the Arabs attempted to conciliate with the Armenians but the levying of higher taxes, impoverishment of the country due to a lack of regional trade, the Umayyads' preference of the Bagratuni family over the Mamikonians made this difficult to accomplish. Taking advantage of the overthrow of the Umayyads by the'Abbasids, a second rebellion was conceived although it too was met with failure because of the frictional relationship between the Bagratuni and Mamikonian families.
The rebellion's failure resulted in the near disintegration of the Mamikonian house which lost most of the land it controlled. A third and final rebellion, stemming from similar grievances as the second, was launched in 774 under the leadership of Mushegh Mamikonian and with the support of other nakharars; the Abbasid Arabs, marched into Armenia with an army of 30,000 men and decisively crushed the rebellion and its instigators at the battle of Bagrevand on April 24, 775, leaving a void for the sole intact family, the Bagratunis, to fill. The Bagratuni family had done its best to improve its relations with the Abbasid caliphs since they took power in 750; the Abbasids always treated the family's overtures with suspicion but by the early 770s, the Bagratunis had won them over and the relationship between the two drastically improved: the Bagratuni family members were soon viewed as leaders of the Armenians in the region. Following the end of the third rebellion, which the Bagratunis had wisely chosen not to participate in, the dispersal of several of the princely houses, the family was left without any formidable rivals.
Any immediate opportunities to take full control of the region was complicated by Arab immigration to Armenia and the caliph's appointment of emirs to rule in newly created administrative districts. But the number of Arabs residing in Armenia never grew in number to form a majority nor were the emirates subordinate to the Caliph; as historian George Bournoutian observes, "this fragmentation of Arab authority provided the opportunity for the resurgence" of the Bagratuni family headed by Ashot Msaker. Ashot began to annex the lands that belonged to the Mamikonians and campaigned against the emirs as a sign of his allegiance to the Caliphate, who in 804 bestowed upon him the title of ishkhan. Upon his death in 826, Ashot bequeathed his land to two of his sons: the eldest, Bagrat Bagratuni received Taron and Sasun and inherited the prestigious title of ishkhanats ishkhan, or prince of princes, whereas his brother, Smbat the Confessor, became the sparapet of Sper and Tayk; the brothers, were unable to resolve their differences with one another nor able to form a unified front against the Muslims.