Following the murder of King Papes, Valens sent Varazdat, a nephew of Pap, a young man highly reputed for his mental and physical gifts, to hold the Armenian throne. Shapur II, having failed on the battlefield, now proposed to Valens in 375 that Armenia be divided between the two powers. The Emperor rejected the proposal, but sent Victor Magistrianus to the Persian King to discuss the question. This emissary was cozened into exceeding the bounds of his authority and agreeing to the Persian proposal. In the meantime, the internal condition of Armenia was imperiled through friction between King Varazdat and the nakharars, culminating in the assassination of Musel Mamikonian, the leader of the latters' party. Manuel, the son of Musel, took up arms against the King and compelled him to flee from Armenia in 378, after four years of reign. Varazdat's life was saved, but the country was thrown into confusion. The Persians took advantage of the turmoil and invaded Armenia; but their occupation was a short-lived one. Shapur II died in 379, and the Persians evacuated in haste. Manuel, the dynamic Mamikonian, had rallied a formidable national force for action.
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