In 1041 – 42, the Romans attacked Armenia twice. The second time, the Armenian troops had no commander. Left unprotected, many Armenian regions were conquered by the Romans. Great devastation fell upon Armenia.
The Roman troops approached the royal city of Ani and set up a camp in front of its gates. The remnants of the Armenian troops gathered around the great sparapet Vahram Pahlavuni and begged him to join the battle against the Roman army because the forces of the Romans had initiated a battle, in every way vilifying and insulting the Armenians.
Filled with anger, 30 thousand soldiers and horsemen, furious like wild animals, went to face the Romans near the gate called “Tsagik” (“flower” in Armenian). Like lightning, they rushed to the Roman army and put their extremely arrogant forces to flight, mercilessly smiting them with their sharp swords.
The waters of the nearby Akhurian River got filled with blood. Frightened of the enraged Armenians, the Romans stood in a daze and were left at the mercy of Armenian swords. It was a terrible day for the Roman troops because out of the 20 thousand soldiers, only a hundred survived.
Then, the holy and glorified commander-in-chief Vahram Pahlavuni intervened and, through ambassadors, sent numerous requests to the Armenian army to allow the Roman troops to leave unarmed.
So, the remains of the Roman army were saved from death. The forces of the Romans no longer attempted to seize the city of Ani: on the contrary, humiliated, they turned around and went back to Constantinople to Emperor Michael.
An excerpt from a story written by Matthew, a famous priest from Edessa, describing the kings of Bagratuni and many others.