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one of the main nakhararq (feudal) clans of early medieval Armenia.
The Mamikonian family owned extensive territory in Taikh and Taron. From the fourth century A.D. they were the hereditary sparapets, or military commanders in chief, of Armenia. Their family produced a number of outstanding generals who headed the struggle of the Armenian people for independence. After the loss of Armenia’s political independence in the 420’s, the Mamikonian family was oriented toward Byzantium, where several representatives of the clan occupied major military and administrative posts.
Vardan Mamikonian was an outstanding Armenian general, who became sparapet of Armenia in 432. When summoned to the city of Ctesiphon (near modern Bagdad), he converted to Zoroastrianism, the dominant religion in Iran; but after his return to Armenia in 450-451, he headed a rebellion against Iranian rule. Vardan won a number of victories over the Iranian Army and was elected head of government by the insurgents. He perished in the Battle of Avarair of 451. As a result of the movement led by Vardan Mamikonian, domestic self-rule was largely restored in Armenia. The Mamikonian clan ceased to play a notable role in the political life of Armenia after the defeat of a rebellion against Arab rule in 774-775.
REFERENCEEremian, S. T. “Narodno-osvoboditel’naia voina armian protiv persov v 450-451 gg.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1951, no. 4.
K. N. IUZBASHIAN