The Info List - Varazdat

(Armenian: Վարազդատ, Latinized: Varasdates; Greek: Βαρασδάτης; flourished 4th century) was a king of Arsacid Armenia from 374 until 378.[1] Derived from Middle Persian
Middle Persian
warāz meaning "boar" combined with Middle Persian dātan "to give", the name Varazdat
(Persian: ورازداد‎) roughly means "given by boars" or "giver of boars,"[2] a boar being a symbol for valor and fierceness.


1 Family & early life 2 Olympic honor 3 Appointment to the Arsacid throne 4 Decline & banishment 5 Family & issue 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Family & early life[edit] Varazdat
was the nephew and successor of the previous Arsacid Armenian king Papas (Pap)[3] who reigned from 370 until 374. According to Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the priest and historiographer of the Catholicos Nerses the Great, names the father of Varazdat
as Anob, while the identity of the mother of Varazdat
is unknown. The father of Varazdat, Anob who was an Arsacid prince was the older paternal half-brother of Papas. Also, according to Faustus of Byzantium
Faustus of Byzantium
(Book IV, Chapter 37), Varazdat
proclaims himself as the nephew of Papas and the historian reveals Varazdat’s relations to the Armenian Arsacids. Hence the paternal grandfather of Varazdat
was the Arsacid monarch Arsaces II (Arshak II), who ruled as Roman client king of Armenia from 350 until 368 as his paternal grandmother was an unnamed woman whom Arsaces II married prior to his Armenian kingship, who died before the year 358. Little is known of his early life. Sometime before his Armenian kingship, Varazdat
participated in the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in Greece. He is often regarded as one of the last competitors in the Ancient Olympic Games.[4] Varazdat's victory in the bare-knuckle boxing event (pugilat) is recorded in Moses of Chorene's History of Armenia (3.40). Since he reigned from 374 until 378, conjecture places his victory in the 360s.[5] Varazdat
is the second recorded Armenian to participate in the Olympic Games, while the first was his ancestor Tiridates III of Armenia, before he served in his Armenian kingship.[6] Varazdat’s victory is also known from a surviving memorandum which is now kept at the Olympic Museum in Olympia, Greece.[6] Olympic honor[edit] An initiative from the Armenian National Olympic Committee on May 8, 1998 a statue bust of Varazdat
was installed at the International Olympic Academy in Olympia, Greece.[7] The sculptor of Varazdat’s statue bust was Levon Tokmajyan.[7] Appointment to the Arsacid throne[edit] Following the assassination of his uncle Papa, Roman emperor
Roman emperor
Valens sent Varazdat, who as a young man was highly reputed for his mental and physical gifts, to occupy the Armenian throne. At that time, Varazdat
had been living in Rome for an unknown period of time. Varazdat
began to rule under the regency of Mušeł I Mamikonian, whose family were pro-Roman. The Persian King Shapur II, having failed on the battlefield, now proposed to Valens
in 375 that Armenia which he called the perpetual source of trouble, be evacuated or that Roman forces be withdrawn from the western part of Caucasian Iberia
Caucasian Iberia
ruled by Sauromaces.[8] The emperor rejected the proposal but sent two legates, the magister equitum Victor Magistrianus and Urbicius the dux of Mesopotamia to the Persian king to discuss the question. Shapur II
Shapur II
was told that his demands were unjust because the inhabitants of Armenia had been granted the right to live according to their decisions.[9] Shapur II
Shapur II
was also told that unless Roman troops assigned to protect the Iberian king in the west were allowed to pass unhindered, Shapur II would be forced into war with Rome. Valens
was confident of this threat because he was counting on filling the ranks of his army with auxiliaries from the Goths
that he had permitted to settle in Thrace. The two legates made a blunder during their return trip by accepting two regions (Asthianene and Belabitene) under Roman rule without proper authorization. This gave Shapur II
Shapur II
a new bargaining chip to revive negotiations and in late 376 he sent Suren with an embassy offering Valens
these two regions illegally accepted by the legates in exchange for Roman concessions. Suren was sent back with the message that Rome was unwilling to negotiate and would launch a tripartite invasion of Persia the following spring in 377.[8] Shapur II
Shapur II
responded by seizing back Asthianene and Belabitene and harassed the Roman troops in western Iberia. Fortunately for Shapur II, the Goths revolted in early 377 and Valens
was forced to negotiate, eventually withdrawing Roman forces from Armenia in order to use them against the Goths. Valens
himself died fighting the Goths
in August 378 during the Battle of Adrianople. Varazdat
like his uncle, aggressively promoted Arian
Christianity.[10] Decline & banishment[edit] The situation in Armenia deteriorated even further. Sometime after the withdrawal of the Roman forces, Varazdat
killed the regent Mušeł Mamikonian. The vacant position of sparapet was quickly filled by Manuel Mamikonian who had served under Shapur II
Shapur II
in the most recent Kusham war. Manuel took up arms against Varazdat
and forced him to flee from Armenia in 378, after four years of reign. Varazdat
sought refuge in Rome.[8] Together with Papas' widow Zarmandukht, and their first son Arsaces III (Arshak III), Manuel formed a new provisional government allied with Persia. Shapur II
Shapur II
garrisoned a 10,000 man army in Armenia under Suren, much like Valens
in 377. Eventually Manuel revolted against Persia and defended Armenian sovereignty against both Rome and Persia throughout the 380s until his death.[8] Valens
sent Varazdat
to the British Isles.[11] Varazdat
most probably died in exile and the date of his death is unknown. Family & issue[edit] Archaeological evidence and the ancient Armenian and Roman historical sources of the period do not indicate that Varazdat
had a wife or any children. However, modern genealogies present Varazdat
as being the father of Khosrov IV[12][13] and Vramshapuh.[12] See also[edit]

List of Armenian Olympic medalists


^ Hovannisian, R.G. (2004). The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 94.  ^ Behind the name, accessed February 2014. ^ Kurkjian, V.M. (2008). A History of Armenia. Indo-European Publishing. p. 107.  ^ Wilson, Nigel (2006). Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, Routledge (UK) ^ Young, David C. (July 23, 2004). A Brief History of the Olympic Games. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 135. ISBN 1-4051-1130-5.  ^ a b [Armenian Olympic Games
Olympic Games
Information] ^ a b Khanjyan, N., Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia – Specially Protected Nature Areas of Armenia, Yerevan – 2004, p.8 ^ a b c d Lenski, Noel (March 3, 2003). Failure of Empire: Valens
and the Roman State in the Fourth Century A.D. University of California Press. pp. 181–85. ISBN 0-520-23332-8.  ^ Ammianus Marcellinus, 30.2.4 - "ad arbitrium suum vivere coltoribus eius permissis." ^ Terian, Abraham (2005). Patriotism And Piety In Armenian Christianity: The Early Panegyrics On Saint Gregory. St Vladimir’s Seminary Press. p. 18.  ^ Lang, David Marshall. Armenia: Cradle of Civilization. (Boston: George Allen & Unwin, 1970) p. 162 ^ a b Toumanoff, Cyril (1976). Manual genealogy and chronology for the Christian Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Albania). ED. Aquila, Rome. p. 76.  ^ Settipani, Christian (2006). Continuities elites in Byzantium during the Dark Ages. Caucasian and princes of the Empire VIe the IXth century. de Boccard, Paris. p. 108. ISBN 978-2-7018-0226-8. 

External links[edit]

Photo of Varazdat’s statue bust on p.8 at Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia – Specially Protected Nature Areas of Armenia

v t e

Arsacid (Arshakuni) Kings of Armenia (66–428)

Tiridates I Tigranes VI Tiridates I Sanatruces (Sanatruk) Axidares (Ashkhadar) Parthamasiris (Partamasir) Roman Province Vologases I (Vagharsh I) Sohaemus Bakur Sohaemus Vologases II (Vagharsh II) Khosrov I Tiridates II Khosrov II Hormizd I
Hormizd I
(Sasanian Kingship) Narseh
(Sasanian Kingship) Tiridates III Khosrov III Tigranes VII (Tiran) Arsaces II (Arshak II) Sasanian Kingship Papas (Pap) Varasdates (Varazdat) Arsaces III (Arshak III) with Vologases III (Vagharsh III) Khosrov IV Vramshapuh Shapur IV (Sasanian Kingship) Artaxias IV (Artashir IV)

v t e

Ancient Olympic Games


Foot races

Diaulos Dolichos Hoplitodromos Stadion

Horse races

Apene Chariot of polos Decapolon Kalpe Keles Perfect chariot Polos Synoris Synoris
of polos Tethrippon Tethrippon
of polos


Boxing Pankration Wrestling


Herald and Trumpet contest Pentathlon


Acanthus of Sparta Agasias of Arcadia Agesarchus of Tritaea Alcibiades
of Athens Alexander I of Macedon Anaxilas
of Messenia Aratus of Sicyon Archelaus I of Macedon Arrhichion
of Phigalia Arsinoe II Astylos of Croton Berenice I of Egypt Bilistiche Chaeron of Pellene Chilon of Patras Chionis of Sparta Cimon Coalemos Coroebus of Elis Cylon of Athens Cynisca
of Sparta Damarchus Demaratus
of Sparta Desmon of Corinth Diagoras of Rhodes Diocles of Corinth Ergoteles of Himera Euryleonis Herodorus of Megara Hiero I of Syracuse Hypenus of Elis Hysmon
of Elis Iccus of Taranto Leonidas of Rhodes Leophron Milo of Croton Nero
Caesar Augustus Oebotas of Dyme Onomastus of Smyrna Orsippus
of Megara Peisistratos
of Athens Phanas of Pellene Philinus of Cos Philip II of Macedon Philippus of Croton Phrynon
of Athens Polydamas of Skotoussa Pythagoras of Laconia Pythagoras of Samos Sostratus of Pellene Theagenes of Thasos Theron of Acragas Tiberius
Caesar Augustus Timasitheus of Delphi Troilus of Elis Varazdat
of Armenia Xenophon of Aegium Xenophon of Corinth

Lists of winners

Ancient Olympic victors Stadion race Archaic period Classical period Hellenistic period Roman period

Olympia Archaeological Museum of Olympia Statue of Zeus at Olympia Temple of Zeus at Olympia Modern Olympic Games Ancient Greek Olymp