Siunia dynasty

The Siunia also known as the Siak or Syunik were a family of ancient Armenian nobles[1][2][3] who were the first dynasty to govern as Nakharars[4] in the Syunik Province in Armenia from the 1st century. The Nakharars were descendants of Sisak.[1]

The first known ruler was Valinak Siak (c.330) and his successor was his brother Andok or Andovk (Antiochus, c.340). In 379 Babik (Bagben) the son of Andok, was re-established as a Nakharar by the Mamikonian family. Babik had a sister called Pharantzem who had married the Arsacid Prince Gnel, nephew of the Armenian King Arsaces II (Arshak II) and later married Arsaces II as her second husband. Babik's rule lasted for less than ten years and by about 386 or 387, Dara was deposed by the Sassanid Empire.

Valinak (c.400-409) was followed by Vasak (409-452). Vasak had two sons: Babik (Bagben), Bakur and a daughter who married Vasak’s successor, Varazvahan (452-472). Varazvahan’s son Gelehon ruled from 470-477, who died in 483. Babik (Bagben) who was the brother of Varazvahan became the new Nakharar in 477. Hadz the brother of Gelehon died on September 25 482. The Syunik Province was later governed by Vahan (c.570), Philip (Philipo, c.580), Stephen (Stephanos, c.590-597), Sahak (Issac, c.597) and Grigor (Gregory, until 640).

Inscriptions found in the region around Lake Sevan attributed to King Artaxias I confirm that in the 2nd century BC the District of Syunik constituted part of the Ancient Armenia.[5][6][7]

A cadet branch of the dynasty came to rule the Kingdom of Artsakh as of the 11th century.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b V. Minorsky. Caucasia IV // Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. — University of London, 1953. —vol. 15. — № 3. — p. 505 "In the west stretched the country called Siunia (in Armenian Siunik') whose rulers belonged to a special Armenian family of descendents of Sisak"
  2. ^ Cyril Toumanoff. Studies in Christian Caucasian History. — Georgetown University Press, 1963. — p. 132:"In Vaspurakan, reigned the Houses of Artsruni, Rshtuni, Andzevats'i, and--again--Gnuni. Finally, Siunia and Moxoene were ruled by their own, homonymous, dynasties. Of the remaining princes, many were in their day as important, but none perhaps as historically significant, as these; and of these, four dynasties stand out exceeding all the rest in historical importance: the Bagratids, the Mamikonids, the Artsrunis, and the Siunis."
  3. ^ Michael E. Stone. Sinai Armenian Inscriptions // The Biblical Archaeologist. — 1982. — vol. 45. — p. 31. "Certain of the names can be identified on other grounds as most at home in Armenian noble houses, particularly the house of Siwnik'."
  4. ^ Faustus of Byzantium, History of the Armenians, Book IV, Chapter 15
  5. ^ Borisov “Inscriptions of Artaxia (Artashes), King of Armenia, 1946, No 2
  6. ^ Historical-Philological Magazine, 1965, No 4
  7. ^ A.G. Perikhanyan, “Aramian Inscription from Zangezur”