From the 7th to the 11th century, in addition to many military leaders and diplomats, Armenians provided three powerful imperial dynasties: the Heraclians, the Isaurians, and the Macedonians.
Heraclius, founder of the Heraclian dynasty (610-717), Leo III (the Isaurian), founder of the Isaurian dynasty (717-867), and Basil I (the Macedonian), founder of the Macedonian dynasty (867-1081), were all Armenians.
Even the usurpers of this period—Romanus I Lecapenus (919-944), Nicephorus Phocas (963-969), and John Tzimisces (969-976)—were Armenians.
The so-called Macedonian dynasty—also known as the Sword dynasty, because generals instead of emperors mostly ruled—was in point of fact Armenian. Basil I (the Macedonian), founder of the dynasty, was the descendent of an Armenian family whose home was in Macedonia.
Basil’s many achievements have been praised by the two “most cultivated and learned of all Emperors” (Gregoire), his son and successor Leo VI (the Wise) and his grandson Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, in a famous biography.
We read here that Basil was a man of herculean strength with a talent for taming unruly horses and that he could trace his descent to the first great Armenian royal dynasty, the Arsacids or Arshakunis—which may explain why, upon ascending the imperial throne Basil adopted the Arshakuni emblem, the double-headed eagle that was later adopted by the Russian czars and a number of other European dynasties.
by Ara Baliozian in Armenians And Armenia