Varaztirots II Bagratuni (Armenian: Վարազ-Տիրոց Բ Բագրատունի; c. 590 – 645) was an Armenian nakharar from the Bagratuni family, the son of Smbat IV Bagratuni. He was marzpan of Armenia c. 628, fled to the Byzantine Empire soon thereafter and was exiled for several years to Africa for his participation in a plot against Heraclius. On his return c. 645/6, he was named curopalates and presiding prince of Armenia, but died before being formally invested.
|Varaztirots II Bagratuni|
|Died||645 or 646|
|House||House of Bagratuni|
|Father||Smbat IV Bagratuni|
Varaztirots was the eldest son of Smbat IV Bagratuni. Along with his brother Garikhpet, he grew up in the Sassanid Persian court of Khosrow II (r. 590–628). Following the defeat of the rebellion of Vistahm, in which his father was instrumental, Varaztirots was named a royal cupbearer. At that point, or after Smbat's victory over the Hephthalites in 608, he also received the honorific name Javitean Khosrow ("Eternal Khosrow").
In 628, Khosrow II was overthrown after a conspiracy in which several aristocratic houses, including Varaztirots, took part. As a reward, the new Persian shah, Kavad II, appointed Varaztirots as marzpan of Armenia, with the rank of aspet. He soon quarrelled with the Persian governor of neighbouring Azerbaijan, however, and fled with his family to the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, who, following the end of the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, resided with his court in northern Mesopotamia. According to the Armenian chronicler Sebeos, Heraclius welcomed him with great honours, gave him valuable gifts and "exalted him above all the patricians of his kingdom". In 635 or 637, however, Varaztirots became involved in a conspiracy by several Armenian magnates to overthrow and murder Heraclius and replace him with his son, John Athalarichos. The conspiracy was uncovered, and Varaztirots was exiled to Africa; the treatment he received was more merciful than that of his co-conspirators as he had opposed the murder of the emperor.
On his death-bed in 641, Heraclius pardoned Varaztrots and made his successor, Constantine III, swear that he would recall him and his family from exile and restore their honours. In the event, Varaztirots was recalled only in 645/6, by Constans II at the urging of Theodore Rshtuni. Varaztirots quickly fled from Constantinople to Armenia, but after assurances of loyalty, Constans then appointed him governor of Armenia with the high rank of curopalates. Before he could be formally invested, however, he fell ill and died. He was buried next to his father at Dariwnk, in Kogovit.
- ^ a b c d e Martindale, Jones & Morris 1992, pp. 1363–1364.
- ^ Pourshariati 2008, pp. 153–154.
- ^ Pourshariati 2008, pp. 153–154, 173–174.
- Martindale, John R.; Jones, A.H.M.; Morris, John (1992). "Varaztiroch". The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire: Volume III, AD 527–641. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1363–1364. ISBN 0-521-20160-8.
- Pourshariati, Parvaneh (2008). Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-645-3.
- Andrews, Tara (2018). "Varaztirots' Bagratuni". In Nicholson, Oliver (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 1551. ISBN 978-0-19-866277-8.
- Greenwood, Tim (2022). "Negotiating the North: Armenian Perspectives on the Conquest Era". The Historian of Islam at Work: Essays in Honor of Hugh N. Kennedy. Leiden: Brill. pp. 591–613. ISBN 978-90-04-52523-8.