GAGIK II. In 1041 AD, almost at the same time, both Ashot VI and Hovhannes-Smbat died (perhaps, as a result of conspiracy headed by the Byzantine Empire). Taking advantage of the situation, the Byzantine army invaded Shirak and besieged capital Ani in the same year. The population of Ani and Armenian troops led by Vahram Pahlavuni defeated the invaders. On the initiative of Vahram Pahlavuni, Gagik II, the 18-year-old son of Ashot IV, was proclaimed Armenian King in 1042. In 1044, Armenians successfully won two more battles against the Byzantine armies and preserved the independence of the kingdom.

Trying to avoid new losses, the Roman Emperor Constantine Monomachos invited Gagik II (1042-1045 AD) to Constantinople in 1045 AD to conclude a peace treaty. Upon the arrival, Gagik II was taken captive. During  the same year, the Byzantine troops with persistent fights occupied  Ani and the central territories of Bagratid Kingdom. Pisa and and Calonpalat fortresses, situated on the top of border of Cappadocia and Cilicia, were given to Gagik II where he ruled until 1079 AD.

After 1045 AD the largest part of the Armenian territory passed to the Byzantine Empire. In the short period, the Empire pursued a policy of forcing Armenians to mass emigration, weakening their political and military powers and subjecting them to the Chalcedonian Church. This had serious consequences not only for Armenia, but also for the Empire. After the destruction of the powerful Armenian defensive barrier, the advancement of Turkic nomadic tribes, i.e. Seljuk Turks both in Armenia and Byzantine Asia Minor territories became easier.

Katvalyan M.

Source — Armenian History. From Ancient Times to Our Days. Yerevan 2012.


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