11 May 2003, 02:13

The Ani empire

The Armenian feudal state (60s of IX century - 1045) with the capital in the city of Ani (since 961) . Had arisen as a result of association of Armenia by Bagrateeds and overthrow of the authority of Arabian caliphate. The Ani empire was the most large and influential one among the feudal states of medieval Armenia: it united the most part of Armenia, in particular, east areas. Some areas of Southern Armenia also submitted to the first Bagrateeds (Ashot I, Smbat I, Ashot II Iron). The main part of the Ani empire was the Shirak area. In the Ani empire the feudal landed property was developing and the process of enslaving of peasants was amplifying. Development of craft and trade promoted the bloom of the cities. Strengthening of feudal operation caused powerful antifeudal national movement of Tondrakees (the end IX - 1st part of XI centuries). Economic rise of the Ani empire was accompanied by significant development of the Armenian culture. In the Ani empire the high level was achieved in historiography, philosophy, mathematics, medicine, and also literature and arts, architecture, an art stone and wood groove, painting (miniature), applied arts. Kings of Bagrateeds aspired to unite Armenia and to strengthen the central authority, but economic, social and political conditions for that purpose did not ripened yet. Feudal dissociation resulted in formation of the following empires: Vaspurakan (908), Karrs (963), Sjuni (970) and Tashir-Dzoraget (978), taking place in vassal attitudes with Bagrateeds. Sharp class struggle, deterioration foreign policy positions of the Ani empire, contentions between feudal lords and supreme clergy facilitated expansion of Byzantium. In 1045 of its army seized the city of Ani and the Shirak area. The Ani empire degenerated.

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