|Gagik I, Brother
of Sempad II The Conqueror, on the Throne of Pakradounis.
He was The Right Man Who Reigned For Thirty Years (A.D. 990-1020)
|For more convenience, let's remember what we said, last year in
the closing remarks of our report concerning the Pakradouni king Sempad
II, the son of Ashod Voghormadz: "Sempad and his brother Gagik
never knew the advantages of mutual reconciliation, so they anxiously
lived in political dissension since the crowning days. Gagik could
never appreciate his brother's system "of buying the peace by
money" instead of facing the enemy valorously. "Many suspicious
and pessimistic writers assert Gagik could have killed his brother
Sempad by poisoning him in his eatings or drinkings
|"Sempad had no children".
|During the first months of Gagik's reign, a certain mentally insane
woman having asserted that she dreamed king Sempad telling her that
he is laying alive in his tomb, created bitter disturbances among
the population because of her awful and subversive talks, so that
Gagik, in order to avoid further and other unexpected troubles, was
obliged to exhume his brother's corpse and put it in common display.
Very easily Gagik acceded to the vacant throne of his brother, (A.D.
990) in good conditions. Certainly being a man of vigorous character,
very instructed, clever and valiant, he sought the adequate means
to restore peace and welfare all around the country.
|As his predecessors, Gagik I intensively dedicated himself to adorn
the Ani City with new buildings and magnificent churches. He has been,
on the other side, very fortunate man to have as his wife the young
lady called Gadramideh, daughter of prince Vasak of Sunik. She has
been, shortly after, the right helping hand for her husband in his
constructive opportunities. By her own expenses she ordered the construction
of St. Mary's church and then supervised the completion of that beautiful
temple. Very soon, she ordered also an enormous cross to be erected
on the sky-scraping dome and an exceptionally precious chandelier
brought from India to be hung from the ceiling of the basilica, and
illuminate abundantly the whole area of the church.
|Being insured about internal quietness, Gagik I showed conveniently
also strength of mind and tactical ability everywhere and every time
it was necessary. With perseverance and some innate dexterity he snatched
off many fortresses and annexed them to his kingdom. He later concluded
an alliance with David Gurabaghad, a king of neighboring regions of
Van Lake, to fight against the Arab forces in Aderbadagan. The city
of Manazgerd was an "apple of discord" between Arabs and
other Christian nations. The armed forces of Gagik and David, fighting
strenuously, surrounded the city in order to capture it and get all
the foreigners out. The same thing happened for the city of Khlat.
|Mamloon, an Arab emir reigning in Aderbadagan, refused accepting
such arrangements, and insisted for the prompt return of the former
Arab people to their residences. There was no any possible compromise
for David and Gagik, consequently a new war broke out between Christians
and Arabs. Then, furious Mamloon, gathering many other ethnics confessing
his religion, came later to the region called Zaghgodn; but there
he met all the wealth of the united forces of Gagik, David, king Abbas
of Kars and king Pakarad of Vrasdan, marching victoriously on the
war front, waving their national and military flags. At the presence
of such a gathering of Christian forces, Mamloon avoided having any
imprudent confrontation with them and escaped nightly with all his
soldiers, leaving behind him immense regions terribly devastated by
fire and desolation.
|But, again, this stubborn scoundrel refusing to admit any possibility
for a mutual or convenient understating about the acts or facts to
do, returned back on the Armenian territories with more growing and
huge armies of hundred thousands men, entering from the upper valley
of Arazani, at the north of Vaspouragan region. All Armenian and other
auxiliary forces took refuge on the high mountain Sugaved.
|A valorous man called VahramBahlavouni commanded Armenian forces.
But soon discrepancies appeared and prevailed among the allied forces.
Because, even if the 100,000-men army of Mamloon was disorganized,
it was evident that all this crowd of looters and killers were there
causing great fear and anxiety among the Christians. The incorrigible
Mamloon sent many delegates to ask the adverse side to take a decision
for the beginning of the war, but the Christian leaders remaining
continuously indecisive, Mamloon ordered his men to blow the horns
and initiate the assault.
|By a bright moonlight, Vahram Bahlavouni's mounted soldiers of the
cavalry forwarded for a fiery and violent attack obliging the left
wing of the Arab army to leave the battleground. Thus, encouraged
by this satisfying victory, the soldiers of David and the vratzi divisional
units began to disperse the remaining right and central wings of the
enemy. Shameful, and intensely humiliated, Mamloon preferred to leave
|Vasil II, Emperor of Byzance (Constantinople)
|After the decisive battles of Manazgerd and Sugaved Mountain, the
Byzantine emperor Vasil II initiated his trip with all his military
powers towards the Asian borders. Surreptitiously he aimed to subjugate
the little kings of Armenia and of the whole area of Caucasus, wishing
to appropriate their territories. That was time just to be prepared
to face the approaching first millenary (A.D. 1000), so that everywhere
everyone was living fearful to meet with dignity the Last Day of Judgment,
meanwhile endeavoring to make good acts and charity acts in order
to earn the heaven. It was during this dreadful period, that Vail
II of Byzance decided to strengthen and extend the eastern confines
of the empire. Passing over the City of Karin, he came to the region
of Dayk, pertaining to David Gurabaghad, but this time burdened with
heavy and precious presents. Then the emperor required, in an opportune
moment, from David to let by legal promise and testament all these
territories to the throne of Byzantium. Having no children who could
inherit his properties, David was pressed to yield and write the legacy.
Consequently all the kings of Vrasdan and Abkhazia presented their
submission to the emperor. Then continuing his way down from Dayk,
Vasil II reached the region where Senekerim king of Vasbouragan and
Abbas I king of Kars presented themselves to the emperor with wealthy
gifts. Vasil mutually transmitted his graceful gifts to them accepting
their submission and considering them as his vassals. In the region
of Pakrevant, Basil II hoped to find Gagik I, the king of Armenians,
and oblige him to the same conditions as the over mentioned kings.
Basil had not even the idea what kind of man could be the king of
Pakradounis, a proud and self-confident man, who never could think
any kind of submission. Despite all accusations and bad intrigues
against Gagik, the emperor was unable to impose his will anyway, so
he returned to Constantinople before terminating his trip.
|David Gurabaghad Murdered
|Witnesses about the person of David Gurabaghad are very laudatory
and praiseful. For example, the Armenian historian Stepanos Asoghik
affirms: "He (David) was a quiet and affable man, and being victorious
on many fronts, he installed peace in Armenia and Vrasdan, processing
to many constructions." In the year 1000 A.D., David was a very
old man. A conspiracy was prepared in order to kill him, by the nobles
of Dayk, with the collaboration of a clergyman. The clergyman - a
bishop named Hilarion - poisoned David receiving the Holy Communion,
but David survived miraculously. It was after that impious attempt,
that the dishonest churchman tried a second time to kill the king,
nightly entering the room where David was sleeping, and quickly putting
a pillow on the mouth of David, and sitting on it he murdered him
|Learning about the death of David, Basil of Byzantium sent troops
and delegates to Armenia, and according to the previous agreements,
he annexed all the territories pertaining to David, from Karin to
Passen, Olti and Dayk.
|Gagik and David Named "Unearthly"
|A man like Gagik I, could never be satisfied with the simple title
of King of Kings, so he wished to demonstrate that he was meritoriously
also the supreme guide of the little kings, who ought respect and
submission to him. A serious affair rising between Gagik and the vassal
kingdom of Kurikian, created the discordance about the domination
of lands and other properties with another man named also David, just
Gagik's nephew. David was a clever man, and a select diplomat. By
a delightful jock, people called him "Anhogh" (that is with
no land, or unearthly). He extended the confines of his lands, occupied
the region of Udik, (a little portion from Artzakh), reached Tblissi
(Capital of Vrasdan) and kicking the Arab emir out, declared himself
governor of that country.
|Then feeling himself free to act and completely sure, he tried to
emancipate from the oppressive yoke of his uncle, Gagik I. The consequence
has been very useful for both sides. The two men remained cooperative,
collaborating together for their own interests. David ordered the
construction of many fortresses in the region of Kukark, fortifying
also the northern frontiers of Armenia. Gagik I reigned gloriously
for thirty years and died in advanced age (A.D. 1020). He was buried
in the monastery of Horomos.
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