Artaxias IV

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Artaxias IV or Artashir IV who is also known as Artaxias,[1] Artashes,[2] Artashes IV,[3] Artashir,[4] Ardases,[5] Ardasir[6] and Artases[7] (Armenian: Արտաշես, flourished 5th century) was a Prince who served as a Sassanid Client King of Arsacid Armenia from 422 until 428.[8] Artaxias IV was the last Arsacid King of Armenia and the last person to hold the crown of the ancient Armenian Kingdom.[9]

Family Background, Early Life & Rise to the Throne[edit]

Artaxias IV was the son of Vramshapuh[10] who was the previous ruling Sassanid Client King of Arsacid Armenia from 389 until 417[11] and his uncle was another previous ruling Sassanid Client King of Arsacid Armenia, Khosrov IV.[12] According to modern genealogies, Artaxias IV is presented in being the grandson of Varasdates (Varazdat).[13] Artaxias IV was born in 405, as he was seventeen years old when he was promoted to the Arsacid Kingship.[14] The identity of his mother is unknown. She may have been the wife of Vramshapuh or a woman from Vramshapuh’s harem, as it was known that Vramshapuh in his kingship had a harem.[15] Artaxias IV was born and raised in Armenia and little is known on his life, prior to his kingship. Artaxias IV was named in honor of the ruling kings and monarchs of Armenia and Caucasian Iberia who had this name.

Vramshapuh died in 417 as he was too young to succeed his father as King.[16] After his father died, the Armenian Catholicos (Patriarch) who was Artaxias IV’s distant relative Sahak, visited the court of the Sassanid King Yazdegerd I in releasing Khosrov IV from political exile. Yazdegerd I consented with Sahak in releasing Khosrov IV from imprisonment.[17] When Khosrov IV was released from political exile, there is a possibility he may had served again as King of Armenia from 417 til about 418.[18] The possible second reign of Khosrov IV, may have only lasted up to a year, as he died in 418.[19] Little is known on Artaxias IV’s relationship with his father and uncle.

From 417 til 422, Armenia was under direct rule of the Nakharars and the Sassanid dynasty. Artaxias IV in 422,[20] was appointed as King of Armenia by the Sassanid dynasty. Artaxias IV was enthroned by the Sassanid dynasty from the request of the Nakharars that they be given an Armenian king from the Arsacid line.[21]

Kingship[edit]

Upon his elevation to the throne, Artaxias IV called himself Artashir[22] in complimenting to the rule of the Sassanid King Bahram V. After his uncle and father, Artaxias IV served as the third Sassanid Client King of Arsacid Armenia. As he was ruling over Eastern Armenia, Artaxias IV was a Christian Client Monarch governing under a Zoroastrian state.

Artaxias IV as in Kingship had the support of the reigning Catholicos, Sahak. Although Artaxias IV, was recognised by the Nakharars as their King, the centrifugal tendencies of the nobles, however were beyond his control.[23] The leading members of the nobility soon resumed their intrigues under pretence of disgust at the youthful King’s vices.[24] Due to his youth and weakness in character, Artaxias IV was unable to cope with the perverse of the intractable aristocracy.[25] Sahak appealed various times to the Nakharars to respect the authority of the King as the supreme head, to cooperate with him and be his ally, but these appeals with disregarded.[26]

With the complicity of the Nakharars,[27] the Nakharar Lords, whose confidence in both the king and monarchy were reduced to the point at which they preferred to govern in their own right than under the suzerainty of a Great King.[28] Artaxias IV from the request of the Nakharars, was dethroned by Bahram V in 428.[29] Armenia was annexed and became a satrapy of the Persian Empire.[30] A Persian Marzban was installed in Armenia.[31] After his dethronement, the fate of Artaxias IV is unknown. Through the dethronement of Artaxias IV, the Armenian Arsacid Kingship ended through as a vassal of the Sassanians.[32] The departure of his kingship, signalled the end of a royal dynasty and the abolition of the ancient Armenian monarchy which in Armenian tradition had been in existence for nearly a thousand years.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, p.142
  2. ^ Ghazar Parpetsi, History of Armenia, 5th to 6th century
  3. ^ Adalian, Historical Dictionary of Armenia
  4. ^ Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, p.108
  5. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.93
  6. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.93
  7. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.85
  8. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.93
  9. ^ Adalian, Historical Dictionary of Armenia, p.xxxiii
  10. ^ Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, p.142
  11. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.85
  12. ^ Ghazar Parpetsi, History of Armenia, 5th to 6th century
  13. ^ Toumanoff, Manual genealogy and chronology for the Christian Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Albania)
  14. ^ Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, p.112
  15. ^ Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, p.108
  16. ^ Faustus of Byzantium, History of the Armenians, Book III
  17. ^ Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, p.112
  18. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.85
  19. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.85
  20. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.85
  21. ^ Ghazar Parpetsi, History of Armenia, 5th to 6th century
  22. ^ Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, p.108
  23. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.93
  24. ^ Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, p.112
  25. ^ Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, p.113
  26. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.93
  27. ^ Ouzounian, The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the Oral Tradition to the Golden Age, p.84
  28. ^ Adalian, Historical Dictionary of Armenia, p. 177
  29. ^ Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, p.142
  30. ^ Ouzounian, The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the Oral Tradition to the Golden Age, p.84
  31. ^ Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, p.142
  32. ^ Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, p.142
  33. ^ Adalian, Historical Dictionary of Armenia, p. 177

Sources[edit]

  • Faustus of Byzantium, History of the Armenians, 5th century
  • Ghazar Parpetsi, History of Armenia, 5th to 6th century
  • C. Toumanoff, Manual genealogy and chronology for the Christian Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Albania), ED. Aquila, Rome, 1976
  • E. Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, Cambridge University Press, 1983
  • N. Ouzounian, The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the Oral Tradition to the Golden Age, Wayne State University Press, 2000
  • R.G. Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004
  • V.M. Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, Indo-European Publishing, 2008
  • R.P. Adalian, Historical Dictionary of Armenia, Scarecrow Press, 2010