|History of Armenia|
The Marzpanate period (Armenian: Մարզպանական Հայաստան) refers to the period in Armenian history after the fall of the Arshakuni Dynasty of Armenia in 428, when Marzpans (governors-general of the boundaries), nominated by the Sassanid Persian King, governed the eastern part of Armenia. At that time, Byzantine Armenia was ruled by several princes under Byzantine control, and was finally organized into four provinces under governors by the emperor Justinian in 536. The Marzpanate period ended with the Arab conquest of Armenia in the 7th century, when the Principality of Armenia was established. An estimated three million Armenians fell under the sway of the Persian marzpans during this period.
The Marzpan was invested with supreme power, even imposing death sentences; but he could not interfere with the age-long privileges of the Armenian nakharars. The country as a whole enjoyed considerable autonomy. The office of Hazarapet, corresponding to that of Minister of the Interior, public works and finance, was entrusted to an Armenian, as was the post of Sparapet, commander-in-chief. Each nakharar had his own army, according to the extent of his domain. The "National Cavalry" or "Royal force" was under the Commander-in-chief. The tax collectors were all Armenians. The courts of justice and the schools were directed by the Armenian clergy. Several times, an Armenian nakharar became Marzpan, as did Vahan Mamikonian in 485 after a period of rebellion against the Persians.
Three times during the Marzpanic period, Persian kings launched persecutions against Christianity in Armenia. The Persians had tolerated the invention of the Armenian alphabet and the founding of schools, thinking these would encourage the spiritual separation of Armenia from the Byzantines, but on the contrary, the new cultural movement among the Armenians proved to be conducive to closer relations with Byzantium.
Marzpans of Armenia 
|428-442||Veh Mihr Shapur||Persian grandee, nominated by Bahram V.|
|442-451||Vasak, prince of Syunik||Armenian nobleman, nominated by Yazdgerd II.|
|451-465||Adhur Hordmizd (in Armenian sources: Adrormizd)||Persian grandee, nominated by Yazdgerd II.|
|465-481||Adhur Gushnasp (in Armenian sources: Arderveshnasp)||Persian grandee, nominated by Peroz I.|
|481-482||Sahak II Bagratuni||Armenian nobleman, elected by the rebellious Armenian nobles. Killed at the Battle of Akesga.|
|482-482||Shahpuhr Mihran||Persian military occupation.|
|482-483||Vahan I Mamikonian||Head of provisional government.|
|483-483||Zarmihr Karen||Persian military occupation.|
|483-484||Shahpuhr of Reyy||Persian grandee, nominated by Peroz I.
Cyril Toumanoff suggests a marzpan named Andigan for the same period.
|484-505/510||Vahan I Mamikonian (2nd term)||Armenian nobleman, nominated by Peroz I.|
|505-509 or 510-514||Vard Mamikonian ("Vard the Patrician")||Brother of Vahan I, recognized as marzpan by Kavadh I.|
|11 years||Several Persian marzpans perses||According to Samuel of Ani : "After the patrician Vard, brother of Vahan, Persian marzpans governed Armenia for 11 years ... The government of Armenia passed then to Mjej of the Gnuni family, who exercised it for 30 years".|
|518-548||Mjej I Gnuni||Mentioned by Cyril Toumanoff and Gérard Dédéyan, but not included by René Grousset.|
|548-552 or 552-554||Gushnasp Bahram|
|552-560 or 554-560||Tan-Shahpuhr|
|572-573||Vardan III Mamikonian||Leader of anti-Persian rebellion.|
|572||Mihran Mihrevandak||Persian general tasked by Khosrau I with subduing the revolt. Cyril Toumanoff substitutes him and Vardan with Vardan-Gushnasp.|
|573-577||Vardan III Mamikonian||Under Byzantine protectorate.
For the same period, Krikor Jacob Basmadjian a Cyril Toumanoff have Philip, prince of Syunik.
|577-580||Tamkhosrau||Persian grandee, nominated by Khosrau I.|
|580-581||Varaz Vzur||Persian grandee, nominated by Hormizd IV|
|581-582/588||Pahlav||Persian grandee, nominated by Hormizd IV.|
|582/588-588/589||Frahat||Persian grandee, nominated by Hormizd IV.|
|588/589-590||Hrartin (Fravardin)||Persian grandee, nominated by Hormizd IV.|
|590-591||Mushegh II Mamikonian||Installed by the Byzantines.|
|592-605||Vindatakan||These five marzpans are mentioned by Cyril Toumanoff.|
|604-611 or 616||Smbat IV Bagratuni||Christian Settipani records him as marzpan from 599 to 607. He is not mentioned as marzpan by Toumanoff. René Grousset holds that Khosrau II named him marzpan following his victories in Hyrcania, ca. 604, and adds that he possibly continued in office until his death in 616-617. However, he also mentions three other marzpans over the same period (see following).|
|611-613||Shahrayeanpet||Marzpan at Dvin, in eastern Armenia, along with Shahin Vahmanzadegan as pahghospan in western (former Byzantine) Armenia|
|613-613||Parshenazdat||Persian grandee, nominated by Khosrau II.|
|616-619||Namdar-Gushnasp||Persian grandee, nominated by Khosrau II.|
|619-624||Shahraplakan (Sarablagas)||Persian grandee, nominated by Khosrau II.|
|624-627||Rotshvehan||Persian grandee, nominated by Khosrau II.|
|627-628||A large part of Armenia reverted to Byzantine control.|
|628-634||Varaz-Tirots II Bagratuni||Armenian nobleman, named marzpan by Kavadh II for the portions of Armenia remaining under Persian rule. Following the onset of the Muslim conquest of Persia, Varaz-Tirots aligned himself with the Byzantines.|
|630-635||Mjej II Gnuni||Armenian nobleman, named governor of Armenia by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius.|
|635-638||David Saharuni||Armenian nobleman, he murdered Mjej and proclaimed himself governor. He was recognized by Heraclius, who named him kouropalates and ishkhan of Armenia.|
|638-643||No central authority.|
|645-646||Varaz-Tirots II Bagratuni||Following the complete collapse of Persia, he became Prince of Armenia|
- Yeremyan, Suren. «Մարզպանական Հայաստան» (Marzpan Armenia). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia. vol. vii. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1981, pp. 313-315.
- (Toumanoff 1990, p. 506-507).
- (Settipani 2006, p. 133, n.4).
- (Dédéyan 2007, p. 195).
- (Grousset 1947, p. 242-247).
- (Settipani 2006, p. 330-334).
- (Grousset 1947, p. 264).
- (Grousset 1947, p. 272).
- Basmadjian, Krikor Jacob (1914). "Chronologie de l’histoire d’Arménie". Revue de l’Orient chrétien (in French) IX (XIX): 293–294.
- Grousset, René (1947). Histoire de l’Arménie des origines à 1071 (in French). Paris: Payot.
- Toumanoff, Cyrille (1990). "Vice-rois iraniens (Marzpans) d'Arménie". Les dynasties de la Caucasie chrétienne de l'Antiquité jusqu'au xixe siècle : Tables généalogiques et chronologiques (in French). Rome. pp. 506–507.
- Settipani, Christian (2006). Continuité des élites à Byzance durant les siècles obscurs. Les princes caucasiens et l'Empire du vie au ixe siècle (in French). Paris: de Boccard. ISBN 978-2-7018-0226-8.
- Dédéyan, Gérard (2007). Histoire du peuple arménien (in French). Toulouse: Éd. Privat. ISBN ISBN 978-2-7089-6874-5.
- This article incorporates text from History of Armenia by Vahan M. Kurkjian, a publication in the public domain.