P'awstos Buzand's

History of the Armenians

Translated from Classical Armenian
by Robert Bedrosian

This work is in the public domain. It may be copied and distributed freely.

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Translator's Preface


Book Three


Chapters 1-3.
1. What transpired in the land of Armenia after the preaching of the apostle T'addeos.
2. The first great chief-priest, Gregor [the Illuminator] and their tombs.
3. The reign of Xosrov, Trdat's son, and the chief-priest Vrt'anes, Grigor's son.

Chapters 4-5.
4. Concerning the two clans (tohms) the Manawazean and the Orduni in the land of Armenia.
5. The sons of the chief-priest Vrt'anes, the elder named Grigoris and the second Yusik.

Chapter 6.
6. Vrt'anes', son Grigoris, his death and place of burial.

Chapter 7.
7. The war which resulted from an invasion of the brigand king of the Mazk'ut'k' into the land under the sway of the king of Armenia. How [Sanesan] perished with his troops.
Chapter 8.
8. The planting of forests, the wars with the Iranians, and the extermination of the lordly (naxarar) House of the Bznunik'.
Chapter 9.
9. How the bdesh Babku rebelled against the king of Armenia, how he was killed by the Armenian troops, and how Vaghinak Siwni became bdesh in his stead.
Chapter 10.
10. Concerning Yakob (James) of Mcbin (Nisibis).
Chapter 11.
11. The great war the Iranians and the Armenians fought with each other, the fall of the great general Vach'e in that battle, the death of King Xosrov, and the translation from this world of the patriarch Vrt'anes.
Chapter 12.
12. The reign over the land of Armenia of Tiran after his father, how Yusik occupied the patriarchal throne after his father Vrt'anes, how he was slain by King Tiran for upbraiding him.
Chapter 13.
13. How the country of Armenia remained without a patriarch after the death of Yusik, and how Yusik's sons were unworthy of their father's [patriarchal] throne.
Chapter 14.
14. The life and deeds of that man of God, the great Daniel, how he upbraided King Tiran, and how he was murdered by him.
Chapter 15.
15. The sons of Yusik, and how they trampled [the dignity of] the great chief-priest of God.
Chapter 16.
16. How P'arhen occupied the patriarchal throne.
Chapter 17.
17. Shahak, son of Bishop Aghbianos, who succeeded on the patriarchal throne, and how the country of Armenia abandoned the Lord and His Commandments.
Chapter 18.
18. Hayr mardpet who gave over to destruction the lords (naxarars) of Armenia.
Chapter 19.
19. Yusik's sons Pap and At'angines and how they were killed in a blessed place because of their impiety.
Chapter 20.
20. Regarding King Tiran, and how he was betrayed by his chamberlain P'isak Siwnik'; how he was lost and how, in a period of peace, he was suddenly arrested by Varaz, the Iranian prince; how the entire country of the Armenians was lost and ruined along with him.
Chapter 21.
21. How all the lords of Armenian assembled in unity and sent to the emperor of Byzantium, pledging their loyalty; how King Nerseh of Iran came to Armenia with many troops but was defeated and escaped to Iran by a hairsbreadth.


Book Four


Chapter 1.
1. How after many calamities in battle King Nerseh of Iran enthroned Tiran's son Arshak, returning him to the land of the Armenians with his father and all the captives
Chapter 2.
2. The restoration of the orders and customs in the land of the Armenians, the regulation and renewal of the kingdom.
Chapter 3.
3. Concerning Saint Nerses, where he was from and how he was elected kat'oghikos of Greater Armenia.
Chapter 4.
4. How Nerses was taken and brought to Caesarea, and about God's miracles.
Chapter 5.
5. Concerning Nerses, kat'oghikos of Armenia, how he was sent by king Arshak with lords to Valens, emperor of the Byzantines; how he was exiled; but how other lords were returned to the country of Armenia with gifts.
Chapters 6-10.
6-10. Omitted. Miracles and doctrinal matters.
Chapter 11.
11. The princes return to the country of Armenia and to king Arshak from the Byzantine emperor Vaghes. [They] had been sent previously along with the patriarch Nerses. And how the indignant king Arshak of Armenia conducted punishing raids into Byzantine territory.
Chapter 12.
12. About the bishop of Bagrawand, Xad, whom the patriarch Nerses had left in his place; what sort of man he was, the signs and miracles he wrought, how he stood up for truth, and ignored the great king Arshak of Armenia and how he reproved him for his impious deeds; how he loved the poor just as did the patriarch Nerses.
Chapter 13.
13. The return of the blessed kat'oghikos of the Armenians, Nerses, from Byzantium; how he reprimanded Arshak, the great king of the Armenians; the blow that God delivered to the awan called Arshakawan, and how the entire multitude of people gathered in that place perished suddenly.
Chapter 14.
14. Concerning the mardpet Hayr who came down from the district of Taron, went to the place of prayers iin Ashtishat, and departed thence condemned by the words of his own mouth; how since he deserved to die he was done away with by Sawasp Arcruni.
Chapter 15.
15. Concerning king Arshak, how he killed his brother's son Gnel because of the slander of Tirit'; how he was rebuked and upbraided by the man of God Nerses; how he killed that same Tirit'; how king Arshak took the wife of Gnel after killing him; how he later brought a wife named Oghimb, from Byzantium and how the court priest Mrjiwnik killed her with a fatal poison in the Eucharist, at the instigation of P'arhanjem.
Chapter 16.
16. How Arshak, king of Armenia, was summoned by Shapuh, king of Iranian, and how he was honored by him; how the sparapet of the Armenians Vasak Mamikonean killed the Iranian king's stable-master; how king Arshak swore an oath on the Gospels to the king of Iran; how he later broke his oath and fled; and how Shapuh slaughtered seventy of God's servitors.
Chapter 17.
17. How Shapuh, king of Iran, initiated a persecution against those of the Christian faith.
Chapter 18.
18. The death of Vardan which was caused by king Arshak, through the treachery of his own brother Vasak.
Chapter 19.
19. How Arshak, king of Armenia, senselessly and indisciminately moved to kill the naxarars.
Chapter 20.
20. How the war between Byzantium and Iran intensified; how the king of Armenia, Arshak, allied with the king of Iran and put the Byzantines to the sword; and how, through the treachery of Andovk Siwni, Arshak fled to Shapuh, king of Iran.
Chapter 21.
21. How warfare took place between king Shapuh of Iran and Arshak, king of the Armenians, and how Arshak triumphed.
Chapter 22.
22. How after this there was warfare with the Iranians in three parts of the country of the Armenians, at the very same time, on the same day of the same month, and how in these three cases as well, the Armenians were victorious.
Chapter 23.
23. Concerning how Meruzhan Arcruni rebelled against king Arshak of Armenia, fell in with the king of the Iranians, and further aggrevated the conflict; and how he apostasized God and thereafter became an obstacle for the country of Armenia.
Chapter 24.
24. How Meruzhan rebelled, provoked king Shapuh of Iran into further military actions; and how he became a leader for the Iranian king Shapuh, conducted bandit raids into the land of Armenia; and how he captured the bones of the Arsacid kings. How Vasak, the general of Armenia, freed what had been captured and defeated the enemy.
Chapter 25.
25. How king Arshak of Armenia invaded the country of Iran and ruined the Atrpatakan country; how he pulled apart, struck, and destroyed, and how he seized the camp of king Shapuh in T'awresh.
Chapters 26-28.
26. Concerning the Iranian Vin who came to do battle with 400,000 troops, but was conquered by the Armenian forces.

27. How the Iranian general Andikan came with 400,000 men to loot the country of the Armenians; and how the sparapet Vasak with 120,000 Armenian troops went in advance of him and destroyed the Iranian troops and their commander.

28. Concerning Hazaruxt, one of the Iranian naxarars who was sent by king Shapuh with 800,000 troops to attack the country of the Armenians; and how Vasak came before him with 11,000 men, struck and destroyed him and his troops in the boundaries of Aghjnik'.

Chapters 29-34.
29. Concerning Dmayund Vsemakan who, sent by the king of Iran, came with 900,000 axe-bearers against king Arshak of Armenia; how Vasak, sparapet of the Armenians, arose, reached them, and slew [Dmayund] and his troops.

30. How Vahrich, son of Vahrich, came from the king of Iran with 4,000,000 troops and battled with the king of Armenia; and how he and his entire army fell into the hands of sparapet Vasak and his troops.

31. About Gumand Shapuh, who boasted greatly in the presence of the Iranian king Shapuh. He came to Armenia with 100,000 troops, but departed the country of the Armenians defeated.

32. Concerning the nahapet Dehkan, who was sent by king Shapuh of Iran with many troops against king Arshak of Armenia; and how Vasak, the general of Armenia, struck and killed him and his troops.

33. How Suren pahlaw came against Armenia and how he, like his predecessors, was defeated.

34. About Apakan Vsemakan who came to the country of Armenia to fight with his innumerable troops; and how he failed like his predecessors.

Chapters 35-39.
35. About the Iranian nuirakapet Zik, who was sent with many troops to make war against Armenia by the impious Iraranian king Shapuh, and who failed like his predecessors.

36. Concerning the Iranian Suren, who came after Zik to wage war; and how sparapet Vasak defeated and killed him together with his forces.

37. How Hrewshoghom was sent by the Iranian king against the Armenians with 900,000 men, and how the Armenians again triumphed and raised the standard of victory.

38. About Alanozan who came to do battle with the Armenian king with 4,000,000 troops, sent by the king of Iran; and how he too was defeated by Vasak.

39. Concerning Boyakan and his 400,000 troops who were defeated and destroyed by sparapet Vasak.

Chapters 40-49.
40. How the Iranian Vach'akan came to Armenia with 80,000 troops wanting to loot the country; and how the sparapet of the Armenians Vasak completely destroyed him and his army.

41. About Mshkan who invaded the country of the Armenians with 350,000 men and how Vasak and the army destroyed them.

42. Concerning Maruchan and his 600,000 troops; how they came against king Arshak from the country of Iran, and how general Vasak destroyed them.

43. How the zndakapet who came to the country of the Armenians with 900,000 was killed by Vasak and the army.

44. About king Arshak's son who was named Pap; how he had been filled with demons since his birth, how they manifested themselves in him, and how, through them, he performed abominations.

45. Regarding the handerjapet Sakstan who was sent by Shapuh the Iranian king with 400,000 men; and how he too was put to flight by general Vasak and his army.

46. How the Iranian takarhapet Shapstan, who came against the land of Armenia with 5,000,000 soldiers; and how the Armenian army killed them.

47. About the Mages' handerjapet who came with 180,000 men to fight with the king of the Armenians, and how he was destroyed like his predecessors.

48. Concerning the Iranian hambarakapet who came with 900,000 men to do battle with the troops of the Armenian kingdom, and was slain at Saghamas by Armenian soldiers in Vasak's brigade.

49. How Mrhikan came from Iran with 400,000 men to fight with the Armenian king, and how he and his troops were killed in Maxazan by general Vasak and the Armenian brigade.

Chapter 50.
50. The decline and collapse of the Armenian kingdom; how many Armenian naxarars rebelled from the king of Armenia and went over to the Iranian king Shapuh; how they quickly scattered here and there and how the Armenian kingdom was greatly diminished.
Chapter 51.
51. Those [lords] remaining in the land assemble in complete unanimity before their patriarch Nerses and complain to him; and how they withdrew from and abandoned their king Arshak.
Chapters 52-53.
52. The Iranian king for a time suspended warfare against Arshak the king of the Armenians while he treacherously summoned him to make peace.

53. King Shapuh summoned the Armenian king Arshak a second time; how [Arshak] went to him and was lost for good.

Chapter 54.
54. How once again Shapuh consulted sorcerers, astrologers, and magicians to reveal the intentions of Arshak; how [Arshak] was imprisoned in Anyush fortress as punishment, and how [king Shapuh]ordered that the sparapet of Armenia be put to a wicked death.
Chapter 55.
55. About the enslavement and devastation of the land of the Armenians; the taking into Iranian captivity of queen P'arhandzem; the ruin of Armenian cities, and the complete overturning of the land to its foundations.
Chapters 56-57.
56. The martyrdom of the priest Zuit', from the city of Artashat, in the country of the Iranians.

57. Omitted. Zuit's prayer at execution.

Chapter 58.
58. The coming of the Iranian king Shapuh to the country of Armenia and the complete destruction of the remnants left alive.
Chapter 59.
59. How Meruzhan and Vahan remained in the land of the Armenians and what great evils they wrought there; how Vahan and his wife were slain slain by their own son.

Book Five


Chapter 1.
1. Pap is enthroned in the country of Byzantium; how he came to Armenia, took the land, and what he did and how he succeeded.
Chapter 2.
2. About Mushegh, the general of Armenia, how he fell upon the army of the Iranian king Shapuh, inflicting unbelievable blows to the point that Shapuh escaped on a horse by a hairsbreadth.
Chapter 3.
3. Concerning the mardpet Hayr and how king Pap ordered his execution.
Chapter 4.
4. The second battle which occurred in the district of Bagrawand in the awan of Bagawan between the Armenian king Pap and the Iranian forces.
Chapter 5.
5. The second battle between Armenians and Iranians at Gandzak in Atrpayakan [Atrpatakan] and Urhnayr's warning and the victory which the Armenians enjoyed because of it.
Chapter 6.
6. Regarding the mardpet Dghak who was appointed border-guard, how he became an adviser to the Iranian king, and how he promised to betray the Armenian king; and how he was slain by King Pap.
Chapter 7.
7. Regarding the death of Arshak, king of the Armenians, how he died by his own hand at Anyush fortress in the country of Xuzhastan, and how Drastamat became the cause of his death.
Chapter 8.
8. How the war ended on the Iranian side, and how sparapet Mushegh began fighting against those who had rebelled against the king of the Armenians, waging great warfare against various regions; and how he started at the House of the Armenian king in Atrpayakan.
Chapter 9.
9. Regarding Noshirakan.
Chapter 10.
10. Regarding Korduk', Kordik', and Tmorik'.
Chapter 11.
11. Concerning the Mark'.
Chapter 12.
12. About Artsakh.
Chapter 13.
13. Concerning Aghuania.
Chapter 14.
14. Concerning Kasp.
Chapter 15.
15. Concerning Iberia/Georgia.
Chapter 16.
16. Regarding the district of Aghjnik'.
Chapter 17.
17. About Greater Cop'k'.
Chapter 18.
18. Regarding Angegh tun.
Chapter 19.
19. Concerning the district of Anjit.
Chapter 20.
20. About Mushegh, sparapet of Armenia.
Chapter 21.
21. About Nerses, chief-bishop of Armenia, the kind of man he was and about the great marvels he performed.
Chapter 22.
22. Regarding King Pap, and how he was filled with demons and was unrighteous.
Chapter 23.
23. Concerning the rebukes of saint Nerses who was ever an enemy of king Pap because of his sins.
Chapter 24.
24. Regarding the death of the great chief archbishop Nerses [caused by] king Pap, how and why he was killed by him.
Chapter 25.
25. Concerning the vision which appeared to the saintly men Shaghitay and Epip'an while they lived in the mountains.
Chapter 26.
26. About the blessed Shaghitay
Chapters 27-28.
27-28. About the blessed Epip'an.
Chapter 29.
29. Regarding Yusik, who was of the clan of bishop Aghbianos, and was appointed by king Pap as he willed and without [permission] from the great chief bishop of Caesarea; and how as a result of that, the authority of the Armenian patriarchs to ordain bishops was ended.
Chapter 30.
30. How they mourned the patriarch Nerses, and how they longed for him.
Chapter 31.
31. How king Pap, following the death of the patriarch Nerses, destroyed out of jealousy all the canonical rules which he had established.
Chapter 32.
32. How king Pap turned from the emperor of the Byzantines and was slain by Byzantine military commanders.
Chapter 33.
33. What the Armenian princes conferred about, and how they kept silent.
Chapter 34.
34. The enthronement of Varazdat over the country of Armenia after Pap.
Chapter 35.
35. How the Armenian king Varazdat heeded the words of malicious and senseless men and killed Mushegh, the general of Armenia.
Chapter 36.
36. About the foolish opinions held by Mushegh's family and other folk.
Chapter 37.
37. Regarding the retun of Manuel from Iranian captivity and his avenging of Mushegh, and his expulsion of king Varazdat from the country of Armenia.
Chapter 38.
38. How Mushegh, the sparapet of Armenia, together with the entire land gave his hand to the Iranian king, and brought Suren as the first marzpan and governor of the land of Armenia from the Iranian king; and how he was exalted by him with great gifts; and how, because of the duplicity of Meruzhan Arcruni, a rebellion broke out followed by war.
Chapter 39.
39. Regarding Gumand Shapuh, who was sent by the Iranian king to war against Armenia, and how he perished with his troops, [defeated] by Manuel.
Chapter 40.
40. Concerning Varaz, who was sent by the Iranian king, and who perished at Manuel's hands, just as his predecessor did.
Chapter 41.
41. About Mrhkan who also was sent against the country of Armenia by the Iranian king with numerous troops, and who perished at Manuel's hand, as had his predecessors.
Chapter 42.
42. Regarding the seven years of peace in Armenia.
Chapter 43.
43. How Meruzhan Arcruni came against Manuel with many Iranian troops and was killed by him.
Chapter 44.
44. How the great sparapet Manuel enthroned the lad Arshak, and how Manuel then died.

Book Six


Chapter 1.
1. How the land of Armenia was divided in two, with half the Armenian people being ruled by Arshak at the order of the Byzantine emperor, and half the people being ruled by Xosrov at the order of the Iranian king. And how, after the land of Armenia was divided into two parts, they set a boundary between them; how other lands and districts were separated and their territories diminished on all sides by the two [foreign powers].
Chapter 2.
2. Concerning the bishops who were noteworthy in that period in the portion of the country of the Armenians ruled by Xosrov; first, about the behavior of Zawen.
Chapters 3-5.
3. Regarding Shahak of Korchek' who became head of the bishops after Zawen.
4. Regarding Aspurak of Manazkert, who became head of the bishops after Shahak.
5. Concerning the bishops P'awstos and Zort'.
Chapters 6-7.
6. Concerning Arhostom, brother of bishop P'awstos.
7. About Artit', bishop of Basen.
Chapter 8.
8. Regarding bishop Yohan and his deportment, greed, stupidity, senseless words and deeds; and how, in return for wealth, he took on himself [responsibility] for the sins they had committed.
Chapter 9.
9. More about this same Yohan.
Chapter 10.
10. More about Yohan.
Chapters 11-13.
11. Regarding bishop Kirakos.
12. Concerning Zort'uaz, bishop of the district of Vanand.
13. About Tirik and Movses, bishops of the district of Basen.
Chapters 14-15.
14. About the bishop of Arsharunik'.
15. Concerning Aspurak, chief of the bishops.
Chapter 16.
16. About the blessed and virtuous Gind who in that period was head of the Armenian monks, cenobites, and solitary [religious] communities.

Note: because of its large size, the translation has been divided into multiple files (of about 30k each) for fast display. Use the Continue link at the end of each page to advance.

The following chronological tables may be useful as accompaniments to the translation. The tables open in separate windows, for persistence. Additional tables are available on another page of this site: Chronological Tables. Maps are available on our Maps Page.

Rulers of Armenia and of Eastern and Western Empires
Kat'oghikoi and Corresponding Secular Rulers of the Armenians
Rulers of Armenia and Iberia/Georgia


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