Tiran, King of Armenia – Son of Khosrov III the Small

Tiran, King of ArmeniaAfter the death of Khosrov Kotak (Khosrov III the Small, reigned 330 – 339 AD), Roman Emperor Constantine II recognized Khosrov’s son Tiran as the ruler of Armenia. However, the son of Tiran Trdat and grandsons Gnel and Tirith still remained in Rome. Their life was under threat.

Tiran made all the effort to maintain Armenia’s independence, attempting to avoid being involved in the ongoing Roman-Sassanid conflict. He tried to balance his relations with the Sassanid Empire, but the Sassanids continued their hostile actions.

After the death of Catholicos Vrtanes in 341 AD, his son Husik went to Mazhak-Caesarea to be ordained the new Catholicos of All Armenians. Tiran met the newly ordained Catholicos Saint Husik on his way back from Caesarea near the bridge called Taper. The King of Armenia and the Catholicos solemnly entered Artashat, but after a while, the relationship between Husik and Tiran became aggravated because the Catholicos disapproved of the King’s antagonism towards the clergy.

Husik attempted to ban the king and his associates from the church. In the fortress of Bnabeg in Sophene in 347 AD, Husik blocked the way of Tiran into a church and was clubbed to death. The new Catholicos became Pharen I of Armenia.

The relations between Tiran and the Nakharars of Armenian (feudal lords) were also complex. As a result of an internal strife, the princely Rshtunyats and Artsrunyats dynasties suffered great losses. The commanders of the Armenian troops Artavazd and Vasak Mamikonyans decided to leave for their ancestral lands in Taik.

Having arrived in Armenia, the ruler of Atropatene Varaz, taking advantage of the country’s internal situation, conspiratorially arrested Tiran, blinded him, and sent him to the Sassanid King Shapur II. In the ongoing confrontation with the Roman Empire, the Sassanid king sought to eliminate Tiran who had been supporting the Roman Empire.

Nakharars of Armenia tried to free Tiran on his way to Shapur but did not succeed. Then, the Armenian council sent a delegation to Emperor Constantine II with a proposal to conclude a military alliance against the Sassanians.

Learning about this, Shapur freed Tiran. However, Tiran left politics and settled on the slopes of Mount Aragats in Kuash (Kosh). His son Arshak II (reigned 350 – 368 AD) would accede to the throne of Armenia.

by Danielyan E.

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