The Armenian Dynasties of Byzantine Rulers

The Armenian Dynasties of Byzantine RulersThe Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire was marked on the political map as the successor of the Roman Empire in 395, when the sons of Emperor Theodosius I Arcadius and Honorius divided Rome between themselves.

The name “Byzantine” received by the eastern part of the former empire was first used by German historian Hieronymus Wolf in his collection on Byzantine history published in 1557.

From 395 to 610, the state language of the Byzantine Empire was Latin. Since 610, by the order of Emperor Heraclius I – an Emperor of Armenian descent – the Byzantine Empire’s official language became Greek.

From 6th to 11th centuries, the Byzantine emperors of Armenian origin did not differ from the Greek emperors by their domestic and foreign policy, and their actions towards Armenia were, to put it mildly, unfriendly.

In the 9th-11th centuries, the Macedonian or Armenian dynasty which had originated from the Armenian Arsacids has ruled over Byzantium. At that time, the Armenian language was also used in the Byzantine court.

There is information that at the same time (9th-11th centuries) in the center of the empire, that is, in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey), Armenians outnumbered all other nations. Moreover, the Armenians were a majority not only in the government of the empire but also in its guard service and the army.

It should be noted that since 966 until 1045, the Armenian kingdom of Bagratids (Bagratuni) was attacked by Byzantium ruled by the representatives of the Macedonian or Armenian dynasty (867-1057). It was them who put an end to the kingdom of Bagratids, seizing first Taron (966), then the Tayk principality (1001), then Vaspurakan ruled by Artsruni princes (1021), and, finally, Ani (1045). The fall of Ani marked the fall of Bagratid Armenia.

Arshaluis Zurabyan


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