Khosrov II ARŠAKUNI, King of Western Armenia
Ashkhadar, Leader of the Alani
(Est 240-)
Trdat III "the Great" ARŠAKUNI, King of Armenia
(Est 270-331)
Ashken, Queen of Armenia
(Est 280-)
Khosrov "Kotak/the Small" ARŠAKUNI, King of Armenia
(Abt 295-338)


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Khosrov "Kotak/the Small" ARŠAKUNI, King of Armenia

  • Born: Abt 295
  • Married:
  • Died: 338/9

  Orthographic variations: Chrosroe / Khusraw / Khosrau ARSHAKUNI / ARSACID

  Research Notes:

Information about the successors of Tiridates, namely his son Khosrov Kotak (Ḵosrow the Lesser) and his grandson Tiran, is available only from the Armenian sources. Khosrov chose a site north of Artaxata on which to build a new capital, Dvin, and an aparankʿ (Parthian apadān) or royal palace (Pʿawstos 3.8 = Langlois, I, pp. 216-18; Movsēs Xorenacʿi 3.8 = Langlois, II, pp. 136-37). The statement of Movsēs Xorenacʿi that dvin was a Persian word meaning “hill” was generally doubted until V. Minorsky (“Transcaucasica,” JA, 1930, pp. 41f.) drew attention to the use of dovīn with the sense of “hill” in Persian place names. Khosrov Kotak had to contend with an invasion by the Massagetae of Balāsagān, whose king, named Sanesan or Sanatruk is said to have been related to him (Pʿawstos 3.7 = Langlois, I, pp. 215-16; Movsēs Xorenacʿi, 3.9 = Langlois, II, pp. 137-38). Another problem is said to have been the defection of the vitaxes (bdeašx) of Arzanene, who sought to become a vassal of the Persian king (Pʿawstos 3.9 = Langlois, p. 216; Movsēs Xorenacʿi 3.4 = Langlois, II, p. 135); but this defection, the date of which is unclear, cannot really have affected the king of Armenia because Arzanene had not been Armenian for many years, having been annexed to the Roman empire under the treaty of Nisibis... 1


Dvin (aka Duin), located 40 km south of modern Yerevan, was the capital of early medieval Armenia for four centuries....

Dvin was founded by the Armenian king Khosrov III Kotak (r. c. 330 - 338 CE) who converted what was already a small settlement and royal hunting park into a new city. Situated by the Azat (aka Garni) River on a natural promontory, the site was also easily defended with fortification walls built as an additional deterrent. The son of Khosrov, King Tiran, moved the royal residence to Dvin, and by the 5th century CE, it was a thriving city... 2


Artashat retained its role as capital until the reign of Khosrov III (AD 330-38) when it was moved to Dvin because the Arax River had changed its course, leaving Artashat without its former defense... 3


Khosrov was the son and successor of King Tiridates III and Queen Ashkhen. His paternal aunt was the Princess Khosrovidukht; his sister was Princess Salome and had an unnamed sister who married St. Husik I, one of the earlier Catholicoi of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Khosrov received the epithet Kotak because he was a man of short stature. He was the namesake of his paternal grandfather Khosrov II of Armenia, and the Parthian and Armenian monarchs of this name...

Khosrov lacked the moral and physical vigour of his father, yet he was very tactful, diplomatic and was backed by St. Vrtanes I. Armenia under his rule enjoyed a period of prosperity. He founded a hunting ground (which was named after him) and the city of Dvin, which later became the Armenian capital.

During Khosrov's reign, two generals, Vache Mamikonian and Vahan Amatuni, distinguished themselves for their valor in battle, often coming to help the king. During these years, pro-Sassanid and anti-Mamikonian sentiment grew in Armenia and so did anti-Roman sentiment. Pro-Sassanid groups gained popularity so much so that they were successful in assassinating Catholicos St. Aristaces I, second son of Gregory the Illuminator. The Sassanid King Shapur II of the Persians invaded Armenia twice and did gain some territory. Vache Mamikonian was killed in those battles and was later named a saint by the Armenian Apostolic Church for his sacrifice. Khosrov died in 339 and was succeeded by his son Tigranes VII (Tiran). 4

  Marriage Information:

Khosrov married . . . . . . .


1 Encyclopædia Iranica, ARMENIA AND IRAN ii. The pre-Islamic period.

2 Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient Dvin.

3 Armenia: with Nagorno Karabagh, Deidre Holding, Bradt Travel Guides, 2014, p. 180.

4 Wikipedia article, Khosrov III the Small, citing C. Toumanoff, Manuel de généalogie et de chronologie pour le Caucase chrétien (Arménie, Géorgie, Albanie) [détail des éditions], p. 74; R. Grousset, Histoire de l’Arménie des origines à 1071, Paris, Payot, 1947 (réimpr. 1973, 1984, 1995, 2008), 644, pp. 127-130; V.M. Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, Indo-European Publishing, 2008, p. 102; Movses Khorenatsi. History of Armenia, 5th Century, Annotated translation and commentary by Stepan Malkhasyants. Gagik Sargsyan (ed.) Yerevan: Hayastan Publishing, 1997, 3.8, p. 216.

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