The passing of Armenian King Trdat III (reigned 298 – 330) was followed by clashes between several nakharar (an Armenian hereditary title of the highest order) families, in the scopes of which, groups of rebellious feudal lords intruded state lands.
King Khosrov Kotak (Khosrov III the Small), the successor of Trdat III, followed the policy of his father aimed at the strengthening and centralization of the government. Khosrov was an austere ruler, much more so than his predecessors.
By his order, the royal army under the command of Vache Mamikonyan marched against the rebellious lords. All the male members of those families were killed, while their lands were confiscated and transferred to the church.
City building continued under the reign of Khosrov. In particular, Khosrov initiated the construction of the new capital of Armenia Dvin, the reason for which were the significant swamp buildups near the former capital Artashat.
In the years of Khosrov’s reign, tribes of Massagetae invaded Armenia, passing the banks of the Kura River. The tribes even conquered Vagharshapat, the capital of Ayrarat Province.
King Khosrov sheltered in one of the secure fortresses and began to gather troops. Shortly, the Armenian army proceeded to a counterattack. Freeing Vagharshapat, Armenians smashed the Massagetae and killed their king Sanesan.
Meanwhile, the escalation of the tension between the Romans and the Sassanians grew into a new Roman-Persian war. Armenia was also dragged into the conflict. King of the Sassanian Empire Shapur II the Great (reigned 309 – 379) besieged Nisibis in 337 in spite of the 40-year Nisibis Treaty that was to end a year later. Simultaneously, his troops invaded Armenia.
Nakharar Databen Bznuni was ordered to stop the advancement of the Sassanians. However, due to his and the Aldznik borderline province’s head Bakur’s treachery, the Sassanian army didn’t meet significant resistance on their way into the country.
Nonetheless, Armenians managed to defeat the Sassanian army in a battle near Lake Van. And the traitors got what they deserved: Bakur was killed in the battle, while Databen Bznuni was stoned before the king. The families of the traitors were wiped out, and their lands were expropriated and transferred to the Armenian Church.
Khosrov III Kotak