Arshakunian Dynasty

Arshakunian dynasty, Second Armenian Kingdom

In the middle of the I century AD a new royal dynasty - the Arshakuni (the Arsacids) - was established in Armenia. This dynasty was related to the royal family of Persia, which bared the same family name. At this period Armenia and Persia enjoyed a long period of peace and cooperation, until in 251 AD the Sassanid dynasty came to power in Persia.

Regarding Armenia as the ally of the overthrown dynasty, the Sassanids adopted anti-Armenian policy, trying to eliminate the Armenian state and to assimilate the Armenian nation. Since the Armenian religion of that period bared similarities to both Zoroastrianism and Greco-Roman polytheism, in the realization of their anti-Armenian policy the Sassanids were trying to capitalize on the religious closeness.

In order to deprive the Persians of this advantage, the Armenian king Trdat III in 301 AD declared Christianity the state religion of Armenia, thus making Armenia the first Christian state in the world, with Gregory the Illuminator as the first head (Catholicos) of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Christianity was officially legalized in the Roman Empire 12 years after Armenia became officially Christian.


Armenian History

Table of contents

  1. Armenians
  2. Artashisian Dynasty
  3. Arshakunian Dynasty
  4. The Armenian Alphabet
  5. Arab Invasion and Byzantine Empire
  6. Bagratunian Dynasty
  7. Rubinian Dynasty
  8. Armenia Under Turkish Rule
  9. Armenian Question
  10. Armenian Genocide
  11. Armenian Soviet Republic
  12. Nagorno-Karabakh movement
  13. Armenia Today
  14. Coat Of Arms
  15. The Flag
  16. Timeline
  17. Mer Hayrenik
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