08 April 2003, 00:47
Several Armenian czars from the Bagratide dynasty bore the name of Ashot:
Ashot the First Bagratuni(died in 891), founder of the Bagratide dynasty, czar since 886. prominent military man and far-seeing politician, Ashot the First headed the struggle for independence and unification of Armenia. He subjected major feudal lords of Armenia to his rule and received the Church's support. In 880s, defeated Arab troops. In 886, the Arab Caliph and the Byzantine Emperor, competing with each other, each sent Ashot the First a crown, thus acknowledging Armenia's independence.
Ashot the Second the Iron (died in 928), ruled since 914. Led resilient struggle against the Arabs, who tried to eliminate Armenia's independence. In 921, defeated the Arab army at the Lake Sevan and cleaned most part of Armenia getting rid of the Arabs. For persistence and endurance in struggle with the Arabs received the nickname of the Iron. In 922, the Caliph was forced to acknowledge Ashot the Second the King of Armenia.
Ashot the Third the Gracious(953-977), like his predecessors, led the politics of strengthening the centralized power and country unification, wherefore he created a strong permanent army. In 961, Ashot the Third transferred his residence from Kars to Ani, which became the capital of all Armenia and played an important role in its unification. During Ashot the Third's Rule, extensive construction works took place, and the capital Ani grew fast.