Battle of Varnakert

Battle of Vardanakert was fought between an Arab garrison and Armenians. The Armenian prince Smbat VI Bagratuni defeated the 5,000-strong Umayyad army from the garrison in Nakhichevan.[1] Struck by a surprise attack, the remaining Arabs fled to the river Araxes and either drowned or froze to death.[1] Smbat, chosen to rule by Byzantine commission, managed to re-conquer the majority of Armenia and drive the Arabs out of the country.[2]

Battle of Vardanakert
Datec. 702/703
Varnakert, North to the mountain Ararat, near the riverbanks of Araxes, Armenia
Result Armenian victory
Umayyad Caliphate Armenia
Commanders and leaders
Ostikan of Arminiya Smbat VI Bagratuni
5,000 2,000

Despite this success, the Umayyad generals Muhammad ibn Marwan and Maslamah ibn Abd al-Malik soon restored Armenia to subject status.[a] Muslim control was secured by organizing a large-scale massacre of the princely families (nakharar) within the cathedral of Nakhchivan, which was burned, in 704.[2]


  1. ^ Macler states it was the Arab commander Qasim that invaded and reconquered Armenia.[2]


  1. ^ a b Hoyland 2015, p. 155.
  2. ^ a b c Macler 1923, p. 156.


  • Hoyland, Robert G. (2015). In God's Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire. Oxford University Press.
  • Macler, Frederic (1923). "Armenia". The Cambridge Medieval History. Vol. IV:The eastern Roman empire (717-1453). Cambridge at the University Press.

Coordinates: 40°17′19″N 44°58′46″E / 40.2885°N 44.9795°E / 40.2885; 44.9795