The Forgotten “Great Prince” of 11th Century


Karen A. Matevossian

Key words – Gregory VI Apirat, Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni, Hovhannes-Smbat, Kecharis, a double name, Grand Duke, protocol, emperor, Catholicos, son, daughter.

During the Bagratuni period the history of many of the princely houses in Armenia has not been studied in detail and are therefore artificially identified with better known Pahlavunis. Historians treated other noble houses of the 11th century Hasanyan the same way, identifying them with the Pahlavunis. The most well known representative of this family is mentioned in some sources as Gregory Magistros, in others, as Apirat.Comparative evidence shows that originally he was called by the dual name of Gregory Apirat. And the researchers often confused him with Gregory Magistros Pahlavuni.

Hassan’s son Gregory from the Bagratuni family was an eminent prince and was called by historians the “Great Prince”. The first time he is referred to as Magistros is in 1001 in Arzakan records. In 1003 he built St. Gregory Church of the Kecharis Monastery and also set up a canal in Yerevan. The prince’s brother, George who was the owner of the Keghi castle, built the church for the Havuts Tar Monastery in 1002. At a time Gregory Apirat saved the life of HovhannesSmbat, King of Ani, and afterwards was killed in Dvin in 1021. Despite the availability of this data, Gregory Apirat Magistros’s name is not mentioned in Armenian Academy’s 1976 and 2014 editions of history volumes, nor is it mentioned in the encyclopedias.

After his death, the prince’s children have gone under the care of the King Hovhannes-Smbat, who later married Gregory Apirat’s daughter to a famous prince named Vest Sargis. His sons, Apljahap and Vassak married the daughters of Gregory Magistros Pahlavuni. These families gave birth to prominent clans, such as Hasanyan-Pahlavuni, whose descendants have long used the name Gregory and Apirat separately and as a dual name, Gregory Apirat

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