DAVID BEK (date of birth is unknown-1728), one of the most prominent military figures of the Armenian liberation movement, commander. He served in the Army of Georgian King Vakhtang VI. 

Monument of Davit Bek in KapanAccording to the decision of Syunik’s meliks Davit Bek with his troops came to Kapan at the end of 1722 and headed the liberation movement against the foreign invaders. He quickly gathered the Armenian troops, restored the old fortresses and fortifications, created a stable military bases, restrained the nomadic tribes that were in Syunik. He gave a counterblow to islamized Armenian meliks Baghr (in Tatev), Frangyul (in Artsvanik) and the number of heads of Turkish and Tatar tribes, occupied their territories and handed them to his military commanders. 

At the beginning of 1724 with the help of the troops of Karabakh headed by Avan Yuzbashi (two thousand soldiers) Davit Bek fought in Ordubad, Nakhijevan, Bargushat, against the khans of Gharadagh, liberated Shinuhayr, Halidzor, Zeiva, Vorotan and established Armenian Independent administrative region in Syunik the centre of which was Halidzor. He organized a permanent Army that controlled the most important military bases. In 1724-25 David Bek and his commanders Toros, Mkhitar Sparapet, Stepan Shahumyan, Ter-Avetis fought against the enemies and drove the Muslim tribes out of Syunik. In 1725-27 when Turkey occupied Transcaucasia, Davit Bek’s forces were temporarily separated. He was in Halidzor fortress (March, 1727) and fought against overwhelming Turkish troops that besieged the fortress. With an unexpected counterattack Davit Bek defeated the Turkish troops and completely destroyed their forces in Meghri, Bargushat and Bekh.  

In 1727 the shah of Persia Tahmaz II recognized the authority of Davit Bek in Syunik and  let him coin money. However, in political unfavorable conditions the small forces of Davit Bek weren’t able to resist the overwhelming forces of Muslim enemies any more.  

In spring of 1728 The Turkish troops occupied Syunik and Artsakh once more. At that time Davit Bek suddenly died and Mkhitar Sparapet replaced him. 

In 1882 Raffi wrote the historical novel “Davit Bek”, A. Tigranyan composed opera “Davit Bek”  and a district in Kapan are named after him. 


Source- Who is Who Armenians (Biographical Encyclopedia), Volume-1.

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