||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Marzpanate Armenia. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2013.|
Persian Armenia during the Sassanid Empire, AD 428–646
|Languages||Armenian (native language)
|-||442–51||Vasak of Syunik|
|-||482–83||Sahak II Bagratuni|
|-||518–48||Mjej I Gnuni|
|-||591||Mushegh II Mamikonian|
|-||628||Varaz-Tirots II Bagratuni|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2008)|
|History of Armenia|
Persian Armenia or Persarmenia (Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭫𐭬𐭭𐭩 Armin, Armenian: Պարսկահայաստան Parskahayastan), corresponds to the Persian territory in which Armenians have lived until the Arab conquest of Persia. The size of Persian Armenia varied over time. It sometimes simply referred to as Eastern Armenia. According to George A. Bournoutian, professor of Armenian history, "prior to the third century A.D., Iran had more influence on Armenia's culture than any of its other neighbours. Intermarriage among the Iranian and Armenian nobility was common."
Armenians and the Achaemenid Empire
After the fall of the Median empire In 550 B.C. Cyrus the Great, King of the Persians, took control of the Median empire and conquered Asia Minor and Mesopotamia. Cyrus' son continued his father's campaign in Egypt. Eventually, Armenia became a dependency of Persia.
The Armenian contingents, cavalry and infantry, had taken part in Cyrus the Great's conquest of Lydia in 546 and of Babylonia in 539. A rebellion of ten subject nations — one of them Armenia — broke out against Persia during the reign of Darius the Great (522–486)
In the Behistun inscriptions, Darius I talks of his multiple victories. The inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian. The name Armenia had been used for the first time, when Darius wanted to describe his conquests in the Armenian Highlands. The shahanshah speaks of bloody battles against the Armenians, and cites the names of three important battles.
The Armenians thus stayed under Persian rule from 519 to 330 B.C. Those years are considered to be relatively peaceful; trade flourished. Herodotus claimed that the Armenians had to pay 50 'talents' and thousands of horses per year to the Persians. When he speaks of Xerxes the Great' invasions to Greek land, he mentions that the Armenian forces rallied with Xerxes, and that they resembled and spoke like the Persians.
Armenians and the Sassanian Empire
The Armenians chose Christianity as state religion in 301. Armenia was divided between Sassanian Persia and the Roman Empire. The former established control in Eastern Armenia after the fall of the Arsacid Armenian kingdom in 428.
As conflict between the Romans and Sassanids escalated about three centuries after the birth of Jesus, Yazdegerd II began to view Christianity in the Northern lands as a political threat to the cohesiveness of the Persian empire. The dispute appears to be based on Persian military considerations of the time given that according to Acts 2:9 in the Acts of the Apostles there were Persians, Parthians and Medes (all Iranian tribes) among the very first new Christian converts at Pentecost and Christianity has had a long history in Iran as a minority religion, dating back to the very early years of the faith. Nevertheless, the conversion to Christianity by Armenians in the North was of particular concern to Yazdegerd II. After a successful invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire, Yazdegerd began summoning Armenian nobles to Ctesiphon and reconverted them to Zoroastrianism (a faith many Armenians shared with Persians prior to Christianity). This upset the Armenian population, and under the leadership of Vardan Mamikonian an army of 66,000 Armenians rebelled against the Sassanian empire. Yazdegerd quickly subdued the rebellion at the Battle of Avarayr.
The military success of the Persians ensured that Armenia would remain part of the Sassanian empire for centuries to come. However, Armenian objections did not end until the Nvarsak Treaty, which guaranteed Armenia more freedom and freedom of religion (Christianity)[clarification needed] under Sassanid rule. Ultimately the disputing parties were able to come to terms making Armenians the first people to adopt Christianity as their national faith.
- Kurdoghlian, Mihran; Hayots, Badmoutioun; Hador, A (1994), Armenian History (in Armenian) I, Athens, Greece, pp. 56–57, 61–62.
- Babayan, Yuri, Historical province of the Greater Armenia.
- Bournoutian, George A, A History of the Armenian People II, p. 1, "Prior to the third century AD, Iran had more influence on Armenia's culture than any of its other neighbours. Intermarriage among the Iranian and Armenian nobility was common".
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