UNIARTS
ARMENIAN CONTINUING HISTORY

 
The Period of Transition Until Pakradounis' Kingdom Event (690-855 A.D.)
 
In the last issue of this Directory (1990), a portion in connection with the history of the long period of transition until the Pakradounis' event in Armenia has been explicitly related, exposing in details all the historical events involving predominantly the invasion of our country by the Arab armies, the internal political instability, the social troubles and the dissension existing among the Armenian high ranked and ruling families (690 to 885 A.D.)
 
These families were:
  1. The Arzrounis, governing the region of Lake Van and the surrounding lands;
  2. The Mamigonians, ruling the Daron region;
  3. The Sunis, dominating the region of Lake Sevan and the lands in the region of Sunik (the modern Karabagh);
  4. The Pakradounis, lords of the region of Shirak, Pakrevant and Daron.
 
Daron was annexed later to Pakradounis' crown, when Krikor, the latest Mamigonian prince died in 862. Continuous internal discords between these families and other wealthy landlords created that political unrest, which cause their own ruin, every group trying to act separately. Particularly in bad conditions were the relations between the Mamigonian and the Pakradouni ministerial families, each of them thinking to prevail over parties and partisans.
 
Despite all the discords, Mooshegh Mamigonian and Sempad Pakradouni agreed temporarily to conduct the rebellion against the foreigners, when an Arab army strong with 30,000 soldiers invaded Armenia in 775 A.D., in order to bring down the Armenian initiative. In the city of Arjesh, after short battle, the rebels withdrew in the region of Pakrevant, ready for new combats. Nine days later, near the Artzen village took place the second assault, with 5000 men. Thousands of Armenian soldiers were killed in the conflict, with enormous losses. In that deadly meeting, were also killed Sempad and Sahag Pakradouni, Moushegh and Manuel Mamigonian.
 
In 848 A.D., Caliph El-Moutawakil designated a new vosdigan. His name was Abou Seth. He ordered new tax laws, and Armenians paid the taxes, but they didn't allow him to enter in the city of Dvin. The revengeful Abou Seth brutally retaliated. Ashod Arzrouni and Pakrad Pakradouni resisted valiantly. Abou Seth returned to Baghdad frustrated, and then sent his son Yusuf, who came and arrested insidiously Pakrad Pakradouni and exiled him to Baghdad with many other princes. With a new popular emphasis, the princes of Khout, accompanied by the highlanders of Moosh attacked fiercely the foreign soldiers, killing Yusuf during the battle.
 
In 852 A.D. came to Armenia the cruelest of the despots, a vosdigan named Bogha. It is said that 200,000 soldiers were backing him during the invasion of the Armenian country. Many regions, as Sassoon, Daron and Vasbouragan fell and a period of infernal and destructive occupation began all over the country. Bogha moved towards the city of Dvin, for which Sempad asked to be merciful. Despite the assurances, the rough invader has been merciless, spreading fire, destruction and plundering everywhere. Then he arrested many Armenian princes and exiled them with their families to Baghdad. Among that people was Sempad Pakradouni. (Below, please see the poem describing the situation in that period).
 
Here are some verses from the Armenian poet frig relating the afflicting and painful situation during the periods of occupation of our land by the foreigners.
 
No more fountain, no more waterfall
Where have not been our tears.
No more mountains, no more fields,
Where the killers have not trampled.
In winter, weeping we went to the winter-resorts,
In summer we boiled walking without rest.
We suffered pitilessly for twenty years
So that our bones and skin dissolved.
No intelligence nor sens we have in our heads,
We have only our breath that remains alive in us.
O god! Don't punish us
For our carelessness and bad acts.
You are only innocent and faultless.
An earth-made creature can he be infallible?…
Our days pass under the yoke on the killers,
We don't see any safe shore, nor a safe path,
The torment continues and penetrates into our bones,
We have no more means to be patient.
Hurry, o God, in the name of your divinity,
Hurry to save us.
Free us from these tribulations and distress,
And let's to see your merciful face…
 
However, at the northern borders of Caucasus, the Aghvans defeated Bogha. In 861 A.D. the Caliph El-Mostayin designated another vosdigan named Ali Armen, a strange personality, who is said to have Armenian origin. A prince, also name Ashod Pakradouni, was reigning in that time in Armenia as a sovereign. The new vosdigan liked him too much, so that he recommended him to the Caliph to be Armenia's king. Ashod was a clever man, peaceful and constructive. In 863, it was by his intervention that all princes deported to Baghdad by the Arab forces have been liberated, rending his name very popular and respectful. Abbas, the brother of Ashod, was nominated commander of the Armenian army. Abbas resisted against a Persian-origin Arab general named Jahab who intended to overthrow the Caliph El-Motamed of Baghdad, and with his 40,000 soldiers he subdued Jahab, compelling him to escape. The Caliph very grateful to Ashod, called him Prince of Princes.
 
By successive marriages of his daughters to Mamigonian and Arzrouni young princes, Ashod gained their sympathy. And in 885, Armenian ministers and the Catholicos Kevork II asked the Caliph to crown Ashod as king of Armenians. And so has been done. The reign of Pakradounis begins here, which constitutes one of the most important section of the Armenian History.
 
THE PAKRADOUNIS' DYNASTY
 
It is said that Armenian Pakradounis were of indo-European origin. The name Pakradouni is related with the word Pakin, which means Temple. This reveals also that Pakradounis' ancestors could have some relation with the clerical class (coming from pagan periods).
 
According to a very old tradition, it is confirmed that Pakradounis could have a Jewish origin consequently Semitic, for that reason many historians admit that when the Arabs (also Semitic) extended their domination into Armenia, among all other Armenian families they preferred to deal with the Pakradounis, agreeing to grant them the highest nominations and promotions in the political life, even selecting a member of this family to create the Armenian Kingdom.
 
However, such an idea is considered as an unrealistic legend, and all the specialists have rejected it as an imaginative pretension. The Pakradounis possessed considerable wealth and huge properties all around the Ayrarad, Dourouperan and Dayk regions. Especially they extended enormously their domination, when the Mamigonian dynasty lost its importance, yielding everything before the increasing power of Pakradounis.
 
The Mamigonians had decided to immigrate towards the Western regions of Armenia, under Byzantine occupation. They cooperated with the Byzantines, contributing enormously for the growth of cultural and political life of Byzance.
 
KING ASHOD I
 
Ashod was the son of Sempad the Martys, (Khosdovanogh), who died in jail in Baghdad, after his capture in 855 by Bogha, the cruel foreign vosdigan. That year, the Caliph El-Motamed, in order to gain the sympathy of Armenians for Arabs and avoid eventually a Byzantine alliance, soon he sent to Ashod a golden royal crown, a purple mantle and a lot of trained horses.
 
A vosdigan named Issa came to Armenia bringing all these treasures, and wished to be present at the coronation ceremonies, which took place in the city of Pakaran. There has been cheer, joy and popular festivities. Meanwhile, the emperor of Byzance, Vassil makedonatzi, (Armenian origin), rewarded also Ashod with a magnificent crown, heavy jewels and other royal gifts. In a letter to Ashod, in lovely terms, "My dear son".
 
Under the reign of king Ashod the great restoration period began everywhere; cities, villages, monasteries in ruins and devastated buildings were all reconstructed, and the agriculture flourished with prosperous results. This brought a rise of a new era of happiness for everyone. The Arab emirs reigning in the Armenian cities Dvin and Manazkert were subdued to the central authority of Ashod. Ashod designated his brother Abbas as governor of Kars and Koukark on the northern borders of Georgia (Vrasdan).
 
Later, Abbas violating the allegiance, tried to conduct a rebellion against his brother the king Ashod, but was defeated soon by Sempad, Ashod's son. Ashod died when he was 71 years old. Huge funeral services were held in the city of Pakaran. At the cemetery, the good king was buried wearing all his own royal dresses, among the mourning and sorrow of his people, who loved him so much…
 

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