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Armenian kings of the Bagratid Dynasty.
Ashot I Bagratuni. Founded the Bagratid Dynasty. He became king in 886 and died in 891. He was a distinguished military figure and farsighted politician. Ashot I led the struggle for the independence and unification of Armenia. He placed the important feudal lords of Armenia under his command and obtained the support of the church. In the 880’s he defeated the Arab army. The Arab caliph and the Byzantine emperor, who had been mutual rivals, each sent a crown to Ashot I in 886, thus recognizing the independence of Armenia.
Ashot II the Iron. Began ruling in 914 and died in 928. He waged a stubborn resistance against the Arabs, who had sought to abolish Armenia’s independence. In 921 he defeated the Arab army on the shores of Lake Sevan and cleared the Arabs from most of Armenia. He was nicknamed The Iron because of his persistence and steadfastness in the struggle with the Arabs. In 922 the caliph was compelled to recognize Ashot II as the sovereign ruler of Armenia.
Ashot III the Merciful. Reigned from 953 to 977. Like his predecessors, he pursued a policy of strengthening centralized power and unifying the country and, for this purpose, created a powerful regular army. In 961, Ashot III transferred his residence from Kars to Ani, which became the capital of all Armenia and played an important role in its unification. Major construction projects were carried out during the reign of Ashot III, and the capital of Ani grew rapidly.
B. N. ARAKELIAN