Vaspurakan Kingdom

Vaspurakan Kingdom

 

Armenian feudal state of the Artsrunid dynasty. Arose in the Vaspurakan region in 908.

The Vaspurakan Kingdom included the eastern basin of Lake Van; to the east its boundaries reached to Lake Urmia (Rezaie), and to the north, up to the Araks River. It was a vassalage of the Armenian Bagratid kingdom. Under Senekerim (968-1021), the Vaspurakan kingdom had about ten cities, 4,000 villages, 72 fortresses, and 115 monasteries; the country was very thickly settled. The southern branch of an important caravan trade route passed through the kingdom. Handicraft production and commerce reached a high level of development in Vaspurakan. During the reign of Gagik Artsruni (908-43), there were large construction projects in the cities of Vostan, Akhtamar, and Van. Culture developed considerably: its greatest representatives were the architect Manuel and the poet Grigor Narekatsi. With the development of large-scale feudal landholding, the process of enserfment of the peasants gained force, and the class struggle was exacerbated. The kingdom was enveloped by the antifeudal, antireligious movement of the Tondrakiitsy. At the beginning of the 11th century, the kingdom became the object of attacks by Turkic tribes coming from the east. It was annexed to Byzantium in 1021, and its independent existence came to an end.

REFERENCE

Istoriia armianskogo naroda, part 1. Yerevan, 1951.

B. N. ARAKELIAN

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