Kingdom of Armenia (medieval)

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Kingdom of Armenia
Հայաստանի թագավորություն
Flag of
Coat of Arms[a] of
Coat of Arms[a]
Kingdom of Armenia under Gagik I, 1000 AD (including vassals)
Kingdom of Armenia under Gagik I, 1000 AD (including vassals)
CapitalBagaran (885–890)
Shirakavan (890–928)
Kars (928–961)[1]
Ani (961–1045)
Common languagesArmenian
Armenian Apostolic
King, King of Kings 
• 885–890
Ashot I
• 890–914
Smbat I
• 914–928
Ashot II
• 928–953
Abas I
• 953–977
Ashot III
• 977–989
Smbat II
• 989–1020
Gagik I
• 1020–1040
Hovhannes-Smbat III
Ashot IV (concurrently)
• 1042–1045
Gagik II
• Established
• Disestablished

The Kingdom of Armenia,[b] (Armenian: Հայաստանի թագավորություն, romanized: Hayastani t’agavorut’yun) was an independent Armenian state established by Ashot I of the Bagratuni dynasty in the early 880s[2] following nearly two centuries of foreign domination of Greater Armenia under Arab Umayyad and Abbasid rule.

History[change | change source]

Ashot I's prestige rose as both Byzantine and Arab leaders courted him. The Abbasid Caliphate recognized Ashot as "prince of princes" in 862 and, later on, as king. Several contemporary prominent Armenians, including Grigor-Derenik Vaspurakan, insisted on Ashot's coronation.[3] Ashot was crowned King of Armenia through the consent of Caliph al-Mu'tamid in 885 to prevent intrusion into Armenian territory by Basil I, a Byzantine emperor of Armenian origin.[4] The establishment of the Bagratuni kingdom later led to the founding of several other Armenian principalities and kingdoms: Taron, Vaspurakan, Kars, Khachen and Syunik.[5] During the reign of Ashot III (952/53–77), Ani became the kingdom's capital and grew into a thriving economic and cultural center.[6] The first half of the 11th century saw the decline and eventual collapse of the kingdom. The Byzantine emperor Basil II (r. 976–1025) won a string of victories and annexed 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 finally taken by Byzantine forces.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. Bloom & Blair 2009, p. 371.
  2. Grigoryan 2012, pp. 114–125.
  3. Grousset 2008, p. 394.
  4. Garsoïan 2007, p. 244.
  5. Ter-Ghevondyan; Aram, N (1976). «Բագրատունիների Թագավորություն» (Bagratuni Kingdom). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia. (in Armenian). Vol. 2. Yerevan: Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences. p. 202.
  6. Ghafadaryan 1984, pp. 407–412.
  7. Bournoutian 2006, p. 87.

Sources[change | change source]

  • Grigoryan, M. (2012). "Բագրատունյաց թագավորության սկզբնավորման թվագրության շուրջ [On Dating Bagratid Armenia]". Lraber Hasarakakan Gitutyunneri (in Armenian) (2–3): 114–125.
  • Ghafadaryan, Karo (1984). "Անի [Ani]". Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia (in Armenian). Vol. 1. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences. pp. 407–412.
  • Grousset, René (2008) [1947]. Histoire de l'Arménie des origines à 1071 [History of the Origins of Armenia until 1071]. Paris. p. 394. ISBN 978-2-228-88912-4.
  • Garsoïan, Nina (2007) [1982]. Indépendance retrouvée : royaume du Nord et royaume du Sud (IXe-XIe siècle) - Le royaume du Nord" [Independence Found: Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom (9th - 11th Century) - The Northern Kingdom]. Histoire du peuple arménien [History of the Armenian People]. Toulouse. p. 244. ISBN 978-2-7089-6874-5.
  • Bloom, Jonathan M.; Blair, Sheila, eds. (2009). The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture, Volume 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 371. ISBN 9780195309911.
  • Bournoutian, George A. (2006). A Concise History of the Armenian People: From Ancient Times to the Present. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-56859-141-4.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Attributed arms of the Bagratuni dynasty according western heraldry tradition.
  2. Also known as Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստանի Բագրատունյաց թագավորություն, romanized: Hayastani Bagratunyats’ t’agavorut’yun)