Abas I of Armenia

Abas I of Armenia
King of Armenia
Reign Armenia: 928–953
Predecessor Ashot II
Successor Ashot III
Dynasty Bagratuni
Father Smbat I

Abas I of Armenia (Armenian: Աբաս Ա.) was king of Armenia from 928 to 953. Abas was of the royal Bagratuni Dynasty. He was the son of Smbat I and the brother of Ashot "Yerkat" II. In contrast to the way his predecessors' ruled, Abas' reign was marked by years of peace, stability, and prosperity that Armenia had not enjoyed for decades.[1]


His capital was based at the fortress-city of Kars and Abas achieved numerous successes on both the foreign and domestic fronts. In the same year that he became king, Abas traveled to Dvin, where he was able to convince the Arab governor there to release several Armenian hostages and turn over control of the pontifical palace back to Armenia. Conflict between the Arabs were minimal too, with the exception of a military defeat Abas suffered near the holy city of Vagharshapat. He was far less conciliatory towards the Byzantines, who had repeatedly demonstrated their unreliability as allies by attacking and annexing Armenian territories. Fortunately for him, the Byzantine emperor Romanus I Lecapenus was more focused on fighting the Arab Hamdanids, leaving Abas virtually free to conduct his policies without foreign hindrance.[2] Also, Abas confronted an invasion by king Ber of Abkhazia in 943: a new church had been completed in Kars under Abas' orders and prior to its consecration, Ber had appeared with an army along the river of the Araxes, demanding that the new church be consecrated under Chalcedonian rite.[3] Abas refused to make any concessions and ambushed Ber's forces in a dawn assault. Several more skirmishes took place, wherein Ber was finally captured by Abas' men. Abas took the king to his new church and told him that he would never see it again, blinding him and sending him back to Abkhazia. Abas died in 953, leaving his kingdom to his two sons, Ashot III and Mushegh.


  1. Chamchyants, Mikhail (2005). History of Armenia from B.C. 2247 to the Year of Christ 1780, or 1229 of the Armenian Era: Volume 2. Boston: Adamant Media Corporation. pp. 74–75. ISBN 1-4021-4853-4.
  2. Runciman, Steven. Emperor Romanus Lecapenus and his reign; a study of tenth-century Byzantium, 1929, pp. 156–157.
  3. Chamchyants. History of Armenia, pp. 82–83.
Preceded by
Ashot II
King of Armenia
(Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia)

Succeeded by
Ashot III
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