Armenian Monarchs of Byzantium

As the historian P. Charanis (1959) says: “The important role played in the history of Byzantium by that talented minority, the Armenians, has been generally unrecognized.”

Even though Armenia was only in part a vessel of Byzantium, many Armenians became successful in the Byzantine Empire. From bishops, architects, important military figures and even Emperors, Armenians where represented in all walks of Byzantine life. In fact one out of five Byzantine emperors and empresses were ethnically full or in part Armenian.

Below is a list of over 20 Byzantine Emperors of Armenian origin in a chronological order.

1) Maurice (Latin: Flavius Mauricius Tiberius Augustus, Armenian: Morick Oshakanatsi),  reign:  (582 – 602 ) A.D. 

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2) Philippikos Bardanes (Armenian: Vardan Pikick), reign: (711– 713) A.D.

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3) Artavasdos, (Latin: Artabasdos, Armenian: Artavazd), reign: (741 – 743) A.D.

coin of Artabasdos

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4) Leo V the Armenian (Armenian: Levon Artsruni), reign: (813 – 820) A.D

 

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5) Theodora (wife of Theophilos, Empress and regent of her son Michael III), reign: (829 – 867) A.D. 

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6) Michael III (Armenian from the mothers side), reign: (842 – 876) A.D. 

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7)  Basil I (Armenian: Barseg Arsha), reign: (867 – 886) A.D.

 

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8 ) Leo VI the Philosopher (Armenian: Levon Arshakuni), reign: (886 – 912) A.D.

 

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9) Alexander, reign: (912 – 913) A.D. 

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10)  Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos (“the Purple-born”), reign: (913 – 959) A.D. 

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11) Romanos I Lekapenos (Armenian: Romanos Vashtakian), reign: (920 – 944) A.D. 

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12) Romanos II,  reign: (959 – 963) A.D. 

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13) Nikephoros II Phokas, reign: (963– 969) A.D. 

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14) John I Tzimiskes (Armenian: Hovhannes Chmushkik, born of the Kourkouas clan), reign: (969 – 976) A.D. 

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15) Basil II the Bulgar-slayer, reign: (976 – 1025) A.D. 

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16) Constantine VIII, reign: (1025 – 1028) A.D. 

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17) Romanos III Argyros, reign: (1028 – 1034) A.D. 

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18) Michael IV the Paphlagonian, reign: (1034 – 1041) A.D. 

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19) Michael V the Caulker, reign: (1041 – 1042) A.D. 

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20) Constantine IX Monomachos, reign: (1042 – 1055) A.D. 

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21) Theodora Porphyrogenita (Empress), reign: (1054 – 1056) A.D. 

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22) Michael VI Stratiotikos, reign: (1056 – 1057) A.D. 

 

source: http://peopleofar.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/armenians-of-byzantium-part-1/#more-109

 

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14 thoughts on “Armenian Monarchs of Byzantium”

  1. We may easily say that we are our own enemies when we discriminate those who somehow did not have any choice to be who they are and that goes for the ones who are also full blood Armenians but can’t speak Armenian.

  2. I read about this in a David Marshall Lang book about Armenia. It’s truly fascinating. I wish I could remember the name of the book because it’s a great introduction to Armenia and its culture and history. He also talked about the importance of the Armenians to the Crusades and the Crusaders. I ended up studying the history of the Crusades as a part of my history studies, and indeed, Cilician Armenia was key to the Crusades, particularly early on during the First Crusade. The first King of Jerusalem had taken an Armenian wife as well. It’s all fascinating stuff. One of the few classes I took where Armenia was an actual important topic. The other one was a class on Mongol history.

      1. Well, the Crusades certainly didn’t help Byzantium any. With Byzantium’s fall, we’d find ourselves to be a Christian island in a Muslim world.

      2. Yes, I love that Armenians recognize this generally (at least the ones I know). They do not blame Islam for the actions of the nationalist Turks. It’s like painting with a wide brush!

      3. yep! when it comes to religion, we have no real phobias 😛 we’re surprisingly rather accepting as long as it doesn’t affect our own… I know many who don’t consider Hamshens Armenians, because they are Muslim. That’s the only aspect which bothers me. Then again, we’ve had to keep a tight hold on the Christian religion to survive all these years so I can’t blame them much either

      4. I say we should be as welcoming as possible. I mean, the Irish suffered from genocidal policies, and like Armenia, they never recovered their former population. If you look at their immigration policy, last time I checked, they allowed you to immigrate there if you had a grandparent who was Irish, and that was enough. Since we are such a small nation, we can’t be too choosy perhaps, although I can understand why people might have some prejudices regarding this thing or that thing. I’m sure that a lot of people don’t consider me to be Armenian AT ALL, and I’ve heard a lot of remarks to this effect by people I know, Armenian and non-Armenian. On the other hand, I’ve come across people who say that if your father is Armenian (and mine is), you are Armenian. But I don’t speak the language very well, but I doubt I’d bother to learn about Armenia and its beautiful culture and language had I faced nothing but prejudice or rejection of one sort or another. I had an Armenian teacher for the Russian language, and he was one of those who didn’t consider me to be Armenian. In fact, I think he was quite prejudiced when it came to Armenian culture–for instance, he said that Atom Egoyan was a Canadian director, not Armenian. He also said that he didn’t like this “Turkish” music that was from Iranian Armenians, though he was forced to admit that they were speaking HIS dialect–Eastern Armenian. But he was not from Armenia proper, either. He was a former Soviet citizen though. I remember talking to this Russian lady who was working at a food court at the university, and she told me that the Russians really don’t like my teacher because he’s not Russian. I asked her if his language was somehow deficient, and she said no, but clearly he was rejected for not being Russian and yet being a Russian teacher, although clearly he knew the language. Sorry to make this so long, but your earlier comment about having more to be concerned about with fellow Christians–it made me think about Russia and the situation with the Armenians who live in Russia–the discrimination they face perhaps on a daily basis because they are from the Caucasus. We all get lumped into one category. I don’t know. It doesn’t make me want to visit Russia soon, even though they are an ally of Armenia.

      5. Nice! Did you see this article that talks about that? It was written by some Armenian here in the states. It mentions how Princess Diana was Armenian because she was 1/64! I had a good chuckle.

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