Sebeos' History



Chapter 35.

The Ishmaelites war with the Iranians and destroy their lordship. The death of Yazkert. The Medes and the Armenians enter the service of the Hagarenes. Constans comes to Armenia. The Ishmaelites prepare [to fight] with the Byzantines. Regarding Nerses, kat'oghikos of Armenia.

In the twentieth year of king Yazkert of Iran [A.D. 652], in the eleventh year of emperor Constans (who was called Constantine after his father), in the nineteenth year of the lordship of the Ishmaelites, the Ishmaelite army which was in the country of Iran and Xuzhastan went eastward to the area known as the Palhaw country (which is the land of the Parthians) against Yazkert, king of Iran. Yazkert fled from them, but was unable to escape, because [the Arabs] caught up with him close to the Kushans' borders, and destroyed all of his troops. [Yazkert] fled to the army of the T'etals who had come from different areas to help him. Then there was the Marats' prince, about whom I spoke earlier. He had gone to the east to their king, rebelled, fortifying himself in one place, requested an oath from the Ishmaelites, and went to the desert to serve the Ishmaelites. Now the T'etal troops seized Yazkert and killed him. He had reigned for twenty years. And so ended the lordship of the Iranians and [158] the House of Sasan, which had ruled for 642 years.

When the king of the Ishmaelites saw the success of these victories, and that he had done away with the kingdom of Iran, [he became confident], and when three years of the peace provision had passed, [the Arab caliph] no longer wanted to continue the peace with the Byzantine emperor. So he ordered his troops to commence warfare on land and sea, to do away with this kingdom as well, in the twelveth year of the reign of Constans [g137].

In the same year the Armenians rebelled, withdrawing from the Byzantine empire, and entering the service of the Ishmaelite king. T'eodoros, lord of Rshtunik' and all the princes of Armenia made an oath until death, and an agreement [lasting] until the grave to break the divine harmony [between Armenia and Byzantium]. The Ishmaelite prince spoke with them as follows: "Let this be an oath of peace between myself and you [lasting] as many years as you wish. I shall not take tribute [sak] from you for three years after which, by oath, you may pay what you wish. You may keep 15,000 cavalry in your land. Provide sustenance from your land and I shall include it in the royal tax. I shall [159] not demand that the [Armenian] cavalry be sent to Syria though let it be ready to go and fight wherever else I order it. I shall send no emirs to [your] fortresses, nor even a single Arab officer or cavalryman. Let no enemy enter Armenia, but should the Byzantines come against you, I shall dispatch as large an auxiliary force as you want. And I swear by God the Great that I shall not break this vow." Thus did the satellite of the anti-Christ pull [the Armenians] away from the Byzantines [This section, unlike the major portion of the book uses hrhomots' (Romans) instead of yunats' (Greeks) for the Byzantlne empire.]. For although the emperor wrote them many requests and entreaties and summoned them, they did not want to listen to him. Then [the emperor] said: "I shall come to the city of Karin and you should come to me. For I want to give you stipends in aid and plan together with you what we should do." Despite this [the Armenians] did not want to heed him.

All the Byzantine troops complained and grumbled about the lord of Rshtunik' and about the Armenians before their emperor about the blows [inflicted] at Mardots'ek'. They said: "[The Armenians] have allied with the Ishmaelites. They made us trust them, encouraged the troops to go raiding to Atrpatakan, then had [the Arabs] attack us unexpectedly [160] and defeat us. We left everything there. Now let us go to Armenia and get our things."

Then emperor Constans agreed to do the will of the troops. He took 100,000 of his troops and went to Armenia. As soon as he reached Derchan, Ishmaelites came before him [g138] and gave him a letter from their prince which said: "Armenia is mine, so do not go there. But should you go, I will deal with you in such a way that you will be unable to flee." Now emperor Constans said: "That land belongs to me, and I shall go there. Should you come against me, God will be the judge of what is just." And he went to the city of Karin in the twelveth year of his reign and in the twentieth year of the lordship of the Ishmaelites.

The emperor Constans spent several days in the city of Karin/Erzerum. The princes and troops from so-called Fourth Armenia came before him, as did all the troops and princes from that area who had separated from [the followers of] Rshtunik'. [Among them] were the Sperats'ik', the Bagratid princes, the Managhayk', the Daranaghayk', those from the district of Ekegheats', all the troops from those places, and the Karnats'ik', Tayets'ik' and Basenats'ik'. Also coming into [Constans'] presence there were the princes of Vanand with their troops, [161] the Shirakats'ik', Xorxorhuni, men from the House of Dimak'sen; Mushegh Mamikonean with his people, certain other princes, troops from the Ayrarat area, the Arhawegheank', Arhaneank' Varazhnunik', Gnt'unik', Spandunik' and others. Kat'oghikos Nerses had come from Tayk' and visited [the emperor]. All the princes told the emperor about the plan and desire of rebellion of the lord of Rshtunik' and about the quick traffic of Ishmaelite emissaries going to see him. Then the emperor and all of his troops anathematized the lord of Rhshtunik', removed him from the dignity of authority and dispatched another man in his place accompanied by forty men. When they reached [T'eodoros] he had them seized and bound, sending some to the fortress of Baghesh and others to the islands in [Lake] Bznunik' [Lake Van]. Then he himself went to the island of Aght'amar commanding the troops of those areas to go and secure themselves in their own districts. United with him were the Iberians/Georgians, Aghbanians/Aghuanians and Siwnets'ik' who, in accordance with his order, went to their own lands and fortified themselves there. Now T'eodoros, lord of Vahewunik', seized Arp'a fortress. His son, Grigor, was the son-in-law of the lord of Rshtunik' [g139]. Varaz Nerseh Dashtkari secured himself out in the open and seized the treasury, since all the treasures [162] of the land, the Church, the princes, and merchants were there.

Now as soon as emperor Constans heard about this, he wanted to loot the multitude of the troops and to go and winter in Armenia, in order to destroy the country. But then the kat'oghikos Mushegh and all the princes prostrated themselves and with great and tearful entreaties asked for clemency so that [Constans] not become totally enraged because of their offenses and destroy the country. The emperor heeded their requests and released the multitude of troops. Then he himself went to Ayrarat with 20,000 troops and to Dwin where he resided in the home of the kat'oghikos. The emperor made Mushegh lord of the Mamikoneans, prince of the Armenian cavalry and dispatched him with 3,000 men to the area of the sep'hakan gund. Likewise, he sent some of his troops to Iberia, Aghbania, and Siwnik' to destroy their alliance. Other troops invested the area around the emperor, in the mountains and plains. While for some time they did not want to submit, later on they did go into [imperial] service. However, [those] in Aghbania, Siwnik', and the sep'hakan gund [area] did not submit. [Imperial troops] looted their country, taking whatever they found, and then returning to the king.


[163]

Regarding the Armenian kat'oghikos Nerses.

Now I shall relate a few things about Armenia's kat'oghikos Nerses. He was originally from the village of Ishxan in Tayk'. From childhood he was raised on Byzantine land, had learned the language of the Romans, and circulated about the land as a member of the military. He had accepted the Council of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo. He did not reveal [g140] his plans of impiety to anyone until he reached [the office of] the episcopacy of the land. Subsequently he was called to the kat'oghikosal throne. He was a man of virtuous behavior, of fasts and prayers. But within his heart was concealed the poison of bitterness: he planned to make the Armenians accept the Council of Chalcedon, but did not dare to do anything about it until emperor Constans came and stayed at the home of the kat'oghikos and on Sunday preached the Council of Chalcedon in the church of saint Gregory. The mass was offered in Latin by a Roman priest, and the emperor, the kat'oghikos, and all the bishops took communion—those who wanted to and those who did not. Thus did the kat'oghikos shake the true faith of saint Gregory which all [previous] kat'oghikoi had held firmly in the holy Church, from [the time of] [164] saint Gregory to this day. And [Nerses] fouled the limpid, clear waters of the fountains [a plan] which he had in mind for a long time, but which he dared not to reveal until that day. But when the time was right, he worked his will, betraying the bishops one by one, and disheartening them with terror. [He threatened them] to the point that all of them carried out the command to commune under fear of death. [They communed] even more so because [their mentors], the venerable and most fundamental [bishops] had died. But a certain bishop silenced and countered the emperor in his presence. Earlier all the bishops had subscribed with him and he had cursed the Council of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo and rejected communion with Byzantium. This was sealed with the ring of the kat'oghikos, and the rings of all the bishops and grandee princes. They gave it to him to keep in the church. Now when mass was offered and all the bishops communed, the bishop whom I mentioned earlier, did not commune. Rather he descended from the bema and was hidden in the crowd.

As soon as the ceremony of communion was finished, and the emperor entered [his] room, the kat'oghikos and the Byzantine priest betrayed [the bishop] and made a complaint about him, saying: "He did not sit on [his] throne and did [165] not commune with us, regarding us and you unworthy. He left the bema and concealed himself in the crowd." The [g141] emperor became angry and ordered two men to go seize him and bring him to him in the room. [When this was done] the emperor asked: "Are you a priest?" The bishop replied: "If God and your glory so will it." The emperor said: "And who are you that you regard neither me, your king, nor your kat'oghikos and our father as worthy of communing with you?" The bishop replied: "I am a sinful, worthless man, and unworthy of communing with you; however, should God make me worthy of [communing with] you I would consider that I enjoyed [communion] with Christ at [His] Table and from His Hands." The emperor retorted: "Enough of that. Now tell me, is that the kat'oghikos of Armenia, or not?" The bishop answered: "Indeed, just as saint Gregory was." The emperor asked: "Do you have that [respect] for the kat'oghikos?" "Yes," he said. "Will you take communion with him?" [The bishop answered:] "Just as with saint Gregory." The emperor asked: "Then why is it that you did not commune today?" The bishop replied: "Benevolent king, when we had but seen your image painted on the wall we were seized with trembling. Behold [how much more frightening it is] now, to see you face to face and to speak with you directly. We are ignorant benighted people who know [166] neither [your] language nor [your] literature. But if we study first, we shall then master it. May your benevolent command rule by healing. He [the kat'oghikos] has gone beyond all the [religious] commands of this land. Four years ago he convened an assembly and all the bishops assembled here. He had a document regarding the faith made. Then he, I, and all the princes sealed this with our rings. That document is now with him. Order that it be sought and examined." And he was silent. The emperor realized his treachery and reprimanded him a great deal in his own language. The emperor then ordered [the bishop] to go and commune with the kat'oghikos. As soon as the bishop fulfilled the emperor's order, he said: "May God bless your benevolent and pious rule forever, and may you rule over all the seas and lands with much triumph". The emperor likewise blessed the bishop [g142], saying: "May God bless you. You did what befits your wisdom, and I am thankful."

The emperor hastened to Constantinople with great urgency, to reach it quickly. He departed in haste. He made a certain Morianos the prince of Armenia [and gave him] [167] an Armenian force which was from the area.

Now when emperor Constans left Dwin, the kat'oghikos went with him. [The kat'oghikos] went and stopped in Tayk' and did not return to his place, for the prince of Rshtunik' and the other princes with him directed incredible rage at him. Now T'eodoros, lord of Rshtunik', and his son-in-law, Hamazasp, lord of the Mamikoneans, were lying in ambush at the island of Aght'amar. He requested troops from the Ishmaelites and 7,000 men came to his aid. He stationed them at Aghiovit and Bznunik', then he came and remained with them.

When winter had passed and it was close to great Easter, the Byzantines fled and went to Tayk', but were expelled. They were unable to station themselves anywhere, but rather fled to the shores of the [Black] sea, destroying the entire country. They captured the city of Trapizon amassing a great deal of loot, booty, and captives.

After this, T'eodoros, lord of Rshtunik', went to the Ishmaelite prince Mu'awiya in Damascus and saw him with very great gifts. And the Ishmaelite prince gave him clothing made with gold and silver threads and a veil [or: banner], after their fashion. [Mu'awiya] gave [T'eodoros] authority over Armenia, [168] Iberia, Aghbania/Aghuania, Siwnik', as far as Kapkoh and the Chora Gate, and released him with honor. [Mu'awiya] stipulated that he should bring that country into service. The breaking of the peace which had existed between Constans and Mu'awiya the Ishmaelite prince, took place in the eleventh year of Constans' reign. The king of the Ishmaelites ordered that all his troops should assemble in the West and make war on the Byzantine empire, to take Constantinople and to eliminate yet another kingdom [g143].


Chapter 36.

The letter of the Ishmaelite king to the Byzantine emperor Constans. The Ishmaelite prince Mu'awiya comes to Chalcedon and is vanquished by the Lord.
"If you want to spend your life in peace," he wrote, "abandon that foolish faith which you learned from childhood. Deny that Jesus and turn to the great God whom I worship, the God of our father Abraham.

"Send the multitude of your troops away from you, back to their own places. I shall make you a great prince in that region. I shall send ostikans to your city, examine all the treasures, and order them divided into four parts. [169] Three parts will go to me, one part to you. I will give you as many troops as you need, and take as tribute as much as you are able to give. Otherwise, how can that Jesus whom you call Christ—who was unable to save himself from the Jews—possibly save you from me?"

All the troops in the east, in Iran, and Xuzhastan, in the Indian area, from Aruastan and Egypt assembled by Mu'awiya, prince of the army, who resided in Damascus. They readied military vessels at Alexandria and all the coastal cities and filled the boats with soldiers and [war] machinery. They had three hundred very large vessels with 1,000 very select cavalrymen in each boat. [Mu'awiya] also ordered that 5,000 light boats be made. Because of their light weight, he placed few men in them, 100 men per ship, so that they swiftly glide over the waves of the sea surrounding the very large boats. Then [Mu'awiya] dispatched them across the sea. He took the troops which were with him and went to Chalcedon. As he approached, all the inhabitants of every land submitted to him, the shore-dwellers, mountain-dwellers, and plains-dwellers. Now the multitude of the [g144] Byzantine troops went and entered Constantinople to guard the city. Meanwhile the corrupter [Mu'awiya] entered Chalcedon in the 13th year of Constans. At the shore he had organized many light ships so that when the heavier boats reached Chalcedon he would quickly go to their aid. [The Arabs] [170] had a letter from their king taken to Constans in the city.

The emperor took the letter and entered the House of God. He prostrated himself and said:

"See, Lord, how these Hagarenes insult You. Have mercy upon us, Lord, as we place our hopes in You. Shower them with contempt and avenge Your Name, Lord. Let them be kept in embarrassed confusion forever and be destroyed in shame. Let them learn that Your Name is Lord and You alone are high above every country."
[Constans] removed his crown and his purple robes and donned a hair shirt. He sat upon ashes and ordered that a fast be proclaimed in Constantinople after the fashion of Nineveh.

Then behold, the large ships arrived at Chalcedon from the Alexandria area together with all the small ships and all their equipment. For they had equipped the boats with engines of war, shooting machines, rock-hurling machines, archers and slingers. [They were designed] so that when they reached the city wall they would easily be able to go over the wall into the city, from the summits of the towers. When [the Arabs] were about two asparez distant from land, the dreadful power of the Lord was revealed. For the Lord [171] made a sign and caused a violent wind to blow from Heaven. The wind arose, [turned into] a great storm, stirred the sea from the depths and rose to the surface creating waves as tall as the crests of lofty mountains. The wind which howled at them crashed and thundered like a storm cloud. The abyss gurgled and the towers fell, the machinery was destroyed, the ships were demolished, and the multitude of [g145] troops sank into the depths of the sea. The survivors were dispersed on planks, and, tossed about by the rising and falling of the waves, were killed. For the sea opened its mouth and swallowed them, and not a single one survived. That day, God with His arm raised, spared the city because of the prayers of the pious emperor Constantine. The violence of the wind and the churning of the sea did not end for six days.

When the Ishmaelites saw the dreadful power of the Lord, their hearts broke. Quitting Chalcedon at night, they returned to their own place. The other army which was stationed in the Cappadocia area made war on the Byzantine troops. The Byzantines struck them and they fled to Aruastan, subjecting Fourth Armenia to looting. When fall had passed and winter was near, the Ishmaelite army came and [172] encamped at Dwin. It planned to go and put Iberia/Georgia to the sword. [The Ishmaelite commander] communicated [with Iberia] by means of a threatening message which said: "Either you enter our service, or you leave the country and depart." But [the Iberians] did not accept this. Rather, they prepared to resist them in war. The Ishmaelites went against them to make war and to extirpate them completely.

Now when they were on the road, cold and the snow of winter fell on them. As a result, they hastily departed for Asorestan, and did not work injustice in Armenia.

Then the princes of Armenia who were in the Byzantine and the Arab sections, Hamazasp and Mushegh and all the others, came together in one place and united, making peace with each other so that the sword and bloodshed not appear in their midst, so that they pass the winter in peace, and spare the shinakans [peasants]. For the lord of Rshtunik' had fallen ill and had gone to the island of Aght'amar, and was unable to go out or to think of anything. [The princes] divided [g146] the country on the basis of the number of cavalrymen each [prince had], and established taxes in gold and silver.

One could observe there the misfortunes of doubt similar [173] to the [reactions] of a sick person when the pain grows severe and he cannot speak. Such things occurred. For there was nowhere for a man to flee to and hide, nor was he protected from within. Rather, he resembled someone who had fallen into the sea and was unable to find a way out.

Now when the lord of Rshtunik' saw this, he requested troops from the Ishmaelites to strike and persecute Armenia and to put Iberia to the sword.


Chapter 37.

The Medes rebell from the Ishmaelites.

In that year the Medes rebelled from Ishmaelite service and killed the Ishmaelite king's prince [in charge] of taxation. They took refuge in the strongholds of the land of Medes, the deep forests, the chasms, rocky places, the troublesome deep valleys which are by the Gaz river and Marats' mountain; and [they took refuge] in the might of the vigorous and brave peoples dwelling in them, Deln and Delumn [Abgaryan, p. 360 n.653 emends this to Geghn and Delamn and takes it as a reference to the peoples of Gilan and Daylam, by the southern shores of the Caspian Sea.].

[174] For they were unable to bear the bitter and harsh service and the weight of the tax which had been imposed on them. Each year 365 sacks of money were taken from them. From those who could not pay they took a man for each dram and eliminated the cavalry and the principality of the land. For such reasons they placed their lives in the balance and one out of two thought it better either to die, or to be freed from that wicked service. They started [g147] to assemble the remaining people into an army and to organize by brigades so that perhaps they might escape the dragon's teeth and the bitter breath of the beast.

Now the multitude of the Ishmaelite troops saw that their work was not succeeding in the region of the secure Marats' mountains. For they had not even been able to subjugate the Ket'rus and Skiwt'eay with all the multitude [staying] in secure places. Many [Arabs] lost their lives at the strongholds, falling headlong into the deep valleys. Many were pierced by arrows in the rough thorn patches, [arrows] shot by brave, manly warriors. [The Arabs] fled the place heading north toward the people who dwell by the Caspian Gates. They reached the Chora pass, crossed it, and destroyed all parts of the land by the foot of the mountain. A small force resisted them [175] [at a place] called the Gate of the Huns and struck at them, for they were the defenders of the place.

Another army arrived from the T'etal area and the two armies clashed with great violence. The Ishmaelite army was defeated by the T'etal army which struck at them and put them to the sword. Now the survivors were not able to flee through the pass since another T'etal army had come to assist the first army. So [the Arabs] headed for the great and rugged mount Caucasus. Barely going over a side of the mountain, a few [Arabs] escaped by a hairbreadth, naked, barefoot, on foot, and wounded. Thus did they go to the Ctesiphon area, to the country of their habitation [g148].


Chapter 38.

Mushegh rebells from the Byzantines and enters the Ishmaelites' service. The battle of the Ishmaelites with the Byzantines at Naxchawan, the destruction of the Byzantines and the destruction of Armenia. Once more the Armenians quit Ishmaelite service and submit to the Byzantines. Hamazasp, lord of the Mamikonean, becomes Curopalate, as a result of which the Ishmaelites kill the hostages. Discord breaks out among the Ishmaelite army and they separate from each other. Their prince Mu'awiya conquers all of them, becomes king, and makes peace among them.

Now Mushegh, lord of the Mamikoneans, rebelled in the [176] Byzantine area and entered Ishmaelite service. And in that same year the Ishmaelite army which was in the land of Armenia seized the entire country from end to end. T'eodoros, lord of Rshtunik', and all the princes of the land united and entered [Arab] service, hastening to do their bidding in every way, for fear of a terrible death hung over them.

In that year the venerable and pious man Artawazd Dimaksean was betrayed by a jealous brother and delivered up to the merciless executioner named general Habib, who resided at Ashnak, Aruch. He put [Artawazd] to a very cruel death.

Now it was extremely cold winter and the Byzantines were harassing them. But because of the cold, [the Arabs] were unable to engage them in war. Instead, they arose unexpectedly, crossed the river, and went and fortified themselves at Zarehawan. When the Byzantines saw this, they did not concern themselves about them, but rather destroyed the fortress of Dwin, went to Naxchawan and fought with the fortress so that they might destroy it too. The general of the Byzantine army was a certain Mawrianos who was said to be a trustworthy man.

[177] When spring arrived, [the army] was organized and readied to war with the Ishmaelite army. But Mawrianos, becoming stubborn, thought that he himself would accomplish the work. The Arabs campaigned against the Byzantines who [g149] were fighting with the fortress of Naxchawan. They struck and put them to the sword and put the survivors to flight. Mawrianos fled to Iberia. The Ishmaelite army turned back and besieged the city of Karin, battling with it. Since [the inhabitants] were unable to resist them in war, they opened the city gates and submitted. [The Arabs] entered the city, gathered up the gold, silver and entire multitude of the city's goods, robbed the entire country of Armenia, Aghbania/Aghuania, and Siwnik', and denuded all the churches. As hostages they took the chief princes of the land, their women, and many sons and daughters.

T'eodoros, lord of the Rshtunik', and his relatives went along with them and took them to Asorestan. T'eodoros, lord of Rshtunik', died there. His body was brought to his own district, and he was buried in the tomb of his fathers.

Hamazasp, lord of the Mamikoneans, son of Dawit', held authority in the land of Armenia. He was a man regarded as [178] virtuous by everyone. But he was delicate, a reader and a scholar, not—like his patrimonial family—skilled and adept at military exercises. He did not enter battle and did not see the enemy's face. But he began to strive for the bravery native to his ancestral House, fervently striving to accomplish an act of bravery as was the wont of his ancestors. He entreated Heaven to give leadership and triumph to him and to make him brave.

As I said earlier, Nerses, the kat'oghikos of Armenia, departed with the emperor and went with him to Constantinople. He was received there with honor. They gave him goods and released him to his place. He went and remained in Tayk' until the lord of Rshtunik' died and the Arab raids stopped. After six years of persecution, he returned to his place and was established on the throne of the kat'oghikosate [g150]. He hastened to complete the construction of the church which he had built on the avenue of the city of Vagharshapat.

I have futilely strung together words into a history, following the uninspired counsel of my own mind, and not the worthy blessing of knowledge. But I did examine the order of scholars and confirmed [my account] with the words of the prophets uttered at the command of the Lord. For although [179] the former is quickly fulfilled, the latter is fulfilled for eternity as the Lord said: "Heaven and earth may pass, but My words will not pass" [Matthew 24. 35]. "For from My anger fire will be roused, will burn, and descend to the depths of hell" [Jeremiah 15. 14]. What [the Lord] said about these people is clear: "They will be burned with fire, and the bases of their mountains will be disturbed"; speaking about the tyranny of the grandee princes: "I shall pour out all types of evil upon them, and exhaust them with my arrows." For just as arrows fly from the well-curved bow of a strong man toward the target, so do [the Arabs] who come from the Sinai desert to destroy the entire world with hunger, the sword, and great terror. The fact that the fire blazed out in the desert area was clearly indicated [by the Lord] when He said: "I shall set incurable snares upon them, the beasts of the desert who will drag [their prey] here and there across the earth." As the prophet Daniel thundered: "The fourth beast is frightful and awesome and very strong. Its teeth are iron, its claws are copper; it eats then spits out and stomps on the food" [Daniel 7. 7] and so forth. The final words are: "The day of [180] their destruction is at hand, and the Lord has come upon them in His preparation" [Jeremiah 46. 21]. This too will be fulfilled in its own time.

That same year the Armenians stopped serving the Ishmaelites and submitted to the Byzantines. Emperor Constans made Hamazasp, lord of the Mamikoneans, Curopalate, giving [g151] him a silver throne and authority over the land of Armenia. He gave honors to the other princes and treasures to the troops.

When the king of the Ishmaelites saw that the Armenians had withdrawn from him, he had all of the hostages who had been taken from the country—some 1775 souls—put to the sword. Some twenty two [hostages] who were not in the place were the sole survivors.

Now Mushegh, lord of the Mamikoneans, was unable to quit Ishmaelite service because four of his sons were hostages kept by them. The three sons of Hamazasp and one brother were hostages. However, they sought him and other princes together with their women, to bring them to Syria. For this reason [the princes] preferred death to life, withdrew from [181] [Arab] service and, using speedy travel, submitted to the Byzantine emperor. United with them were the princes and troops of Aghbania/Aghuania and the princes of Siwnik' together with their land. Previously they had been attached to the geographical unit of Atrpatakan [yashxaragirn Atrpatakani "to the census of Atrpatakan"] until the Iranian kingdom was ended. When the Ishmaelites ruled, they were conquered and united with Armenia. [The Arabs] arrested Mushegh and the other princes who were with him.

The [Arab] king ordered that the other princes who had been arrested should be set free; however, he demanded that Mushegh remain with him.

Then God sent discord into the army of the sons of Ishmael. Their unity dissolved, they clashed with each other and divided into four parts. One part was in the Indian area. Another was that army which held Asorestan and the northern areas. Another was the one in Egypt and in the T'etal region. Another was in the Tachik area and at the place called Askarawn. They began fighting with each other and destroyed each other with endless killings. Now the troops who were in Egypt united with those in the [182] Tachik area and they killed their king and took the multitude of treasures as loot [g152]. They enthroned another king and returned to their places.

Now when their prince Mu'awiya, who was in Asorestan and was second to their king, saw what had happened, he united his troops and he too went to the desert. He killed the king whom they enthroned, battling with and severely destroying the troops in the Tachik area. He then returned to Asorestan in triumph. Now the army which was in Egypt united with the Byzantine emperor, made peace and was incorporated. The multitude of the troops, some 15,000 people, believed in Christ and were baptized. But the bloodshed of countless multitudes increased and intensified among the Ishmaelite armies. They engaged in frantic battles and killed each other. Nor were they able to stop even somewhat from wielding swords, taking captives and intense battles on land and sea, until Mu'awiya grew strong and conquered all of them. He subdued them, ruled as king over the property of the sons of Ishmael and made peace with everyone [g153].

Amen


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