11 May 2003, 02:08


The influential Armenian princely family known since IV century A.D. Patrimonial possession of Artsruneeds was in the district of Albak the Great with the centre in Adamakert (modern Bashkale). At the end of VII century Artsruneeds got a possession of princely family Rshtuni at southern and east coasts of the Vansky lake; Van became a political centre of Artsruneeds. After that Artsruneeds subordinated the whole area of Vaspurakan. In IX century Artsruneeds competed with Armenian Bagrateeds. Under Gagik Artsruni (908-943) the possession was proclaimed as empire which existed till 1021. Invasion of seldzhuks and approach of Byzantium armies compelled Senekerim Artsruni to transfer the empire to Byzantium. Artsruneeds received the grounds in Small Armenia with the centre in the city of Sebastia (modern Sivas in Turkey). On the native land descendants of Artsruneeds lived in the area of Van (nowadays in Turkey) where a post of Akhtamar Catholicos became their hereditary privilege.

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