The Fall of the Bagratid Kingdom – A Great Disaster for Armenia

The Fall of the Bagratid Kingdom

The course of the history of Armenia has a rather interesting trajectory. In fact, there have been quite a few losses in our history, though this isn’t unique only for us. However, there is one period whose disastrous consequences we are still feeling.

While it has been possible to restore the Armenian statehood after the fall of the royal dynasties in the Kingdom of Van, restoration became almost impossible after the fall of the Ani kingdom of the Bagratuni dynasty in 1045.

Thus, the Armenian people in the Armenian Highlands found themselves in a disastrous 800-year cycle which practically destroyed their internal resistance. What was the reason?

When the Armenian statehood collapsed in the past, the enemies didn’t manage to completely erase the representatives of the Armenian military-political elite and Nakharar (princely) dynasties from the historical arena. It was the relative preservation of the elite that made it possible to fight for the restoration of statehood after every fall.

However, in the case of the Byzantine occupation, the Byzantines introduced a mechanism of assimilation and destruction of the Armenian military-political elite, which would prove to be fruitful in a short time.

Byzantium gave Armenian Nakharars vast possessions in the depths of the country far from Armenia. In addition, the destruction of the Armenian military-political elite was fostered by Armenian military forces fighting in different regions of the empire as part of the Byzantine army.

All this had disastrous consequences on the thinking of Armenians. Without a stable and strong military and political elite, the idea of working together to seek an independent state was replaced with a policy of searching for saviors from outside.

This disastrous policy is still inherent in the thinking of a significant part of the Armenian public. The fall of the Bagratuni Kingdom of Ani and the consequent disappearance of the last representatives of the Armenian powerful military-political elite from the historical arena were disastrous for us.

David Fidanyan

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