CHAPTER 3 ARRAN IN THE PERIOD OF ARAB DOMINATION

The enormous Caliphate presented no serious power for the newly emerging states. It already couldn’t conquer, rule over or suppress any country. All the subject countries and states were independent and self-governed. Baghdad was turned into an arena of internal political struggle. The Hamadan Arabic inheritance was gradually centralizing the power in its hands. It had settled in Msul. Egypt and Syria appeared under the Farmayi inheritance(dynast). The southern shores of Caspian Sea, Tabassaran (the present day Masandaran) appeared under the originally Persian Ale-Bouye, whose boundries stretched to southern Iran, to the Persian gulf. They soon conquered Baghdad, toying with the Caliph all the time14. This period was a peace break for Transcaucasia. After Yusup was murdered, Atropateni also presented no importance or might and caused no danger to other states. The next super-power, Byzantium was awakening from a troubled slumber and gaining might. Three victorious emperors and gifted commanders emerged from the Armenian (Macedonian) dynast. Parallel to the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, the country was ruled by his father-in-law Romanos Lekabenos the Admiral (919-944) who was an Armenian himself. Hovhan Kurkuass(Gurgen) was the commander of the Byzantine army and the best general of the tenth century. He had an Armenian origin too.Kurkuass defeated the army of Russian prince Igor near Constantinople. The Russians intended to capture and pillage the city but were thrown back. It’s interesting to note that the historiographer of “The History of Albania” wrote about the Russians, “at this same period a dissident, strange tribe appeared from the north. They are called Rusik”. Probably the mentioned strangers were the soldiers of Prince Igor’s division, who penetrated to Transcaucasia through the Derbent gates. Before that the Russian mercenaries appeared with the Hunns and Khasars. Then the historiographer wrote that “moving for three hours like a wind they entered through the Caspian Sea enterance (the Derbent gates) and reached the Partav capital of Aghvank (Albania). The citizens were unable to resist and were put to the sword by them. Then they plundered the conquered town. The same Sasar (the head of the Atropateni Median Delmik tribe) surrounded them, but couldn’t do anything as they were powerful and invincible. The women of the city thought of a plan. They poisoned the Rusiks(Russians). The Rusiks found out the plot and the women were all slain with their children. They remained in Partav for six months, and leaving the empty city, went to their land”.15

After the death of Ashot II, his brother Abbas I (930-952) came to the throne in Armenia. He chose the Kars fortress of Vahand as his residence.

The Abkhaz tribe was beginning to liven up in the north of Armenia. Their king Ber invaded Armenia with an enormous army, trying to capture Kars and subjugate the whole country, as he noted himself, ” to possess the temple built by Abbas”.16

Ber’s army was defeated in the very first battle. The lofty king was enchained and carried to Kars, to have a look “on the temple built by Abbas”.

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