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Updated:Tuesday 14th October 2014

Javanshir Definition

Male Iranian first name meaning "long lion"Javanshir was the name of the 30th king of the Sassanid Dynasty. (Wikipedia) - Javanshir "Juansher" redirects here. For the Georgian chronicler, see Juansher Juansheriani. Javanshir Reign Coronation Predecessor Successor Issue Dynasty Father Mother Born Died Burial Religion
King of Caucasian Albania
637 — 680
Varaz Grigor
Varaz Trdat
Varaz Trdat
Varaz Grigor
(616-09-28)September 28, 616
January 1, 680(680-01-01) (aged 63)
Gardman castle

Javanshir (Armenian: Ջուանշեր, Middle Persian: Jūvānšīr, New Persian: جوان شیر, meaning young lion), was the prince of Caucasian Albania from 637 to 680, hailing from the region of Gardman. His deeds are the subject of legends and epic. He was either of Parthian or Persian origin, as the Mihranid family claimed descent from the Sasanian Persians.

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Reign
  • 3 Depiction in Armenian Poetry and Historical Texts
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Sources

Early life

Javanshir was the second son of Varaz Grigor, a prince of Gardman belonging to the Armenianized Mihranid family, and an Iberian princess named Goridouxt. In 637 Varaz Grigor was baptised and declared Christianity as the official religion of Caucasian Albania, thus making his son, Javanshir, convert too. However, Varaz was deposed by the Sasanian king who didn''t acknowledge his conversion to Christianity. Thus Javanshir became the king of Caucasian Albania.


Javanshir was known for his bravery and intelligence; he fought against the Arabs during the Muslim conquest of Persia on the side of the Sasanian Empire, and was rewarded by the Sasanian king Yazdegerd III himself two golden spears, two golden shields and a flag, probably the Derafsh Kaviani. In 636, he led an Albanian army, which alongside the Armenian prince Musel III Mamikonian and Grigor of Syunik, took part in the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah between the Persian and Arab armies. However, the Sasanians were defeated, which made Javanshir lose hope. He then made a mutiny against his overlords and retreated to Caucasian Albania. Where he wrote a letter to Constans II and became ally with the Byzantine Empire. He was then awarded with the title of patrikios, and recognized as king of the East. He also married to a noble from a princely family of Syunik.

After his alliance with the Byzantines, he joined his forces with the Iberian king Adarnase I in an attack on Sasanian garrisons in Albania. He later expanded his dominion from Derbent to Aras river.

Facing the threat of the Arab invasion on the south and the Khazar offensive on the north, Javanshir had to recognize the Caliph’s suzerainty, a move, which would prove to be a turning point in the country''s history.

Javanshir was assassinated, in 680, by the rival nobles, whose power he had tried to restrict. He was succeeded by Varaz Trdat.

Depiction in Armenian Poetry and Historical Texts

The only historical source about the life and deeds of Javanshir comes from the Armenian text by Movses Kaghankatvatsi, known as History of the Land of Aghvank. Movses Kaghankatvatsi''s text includes a poem dedicated to Javanshir Elegy on the Death of the Great Prince Jevansher by Davtak Kertogh (Davtak the Poet), a 7th-century Armenian poet and the first secular writer in Armenian literature.

The only surviving poem by Kertogh is written in Armenian, in alphabetical acrostic verse.

Tags:Albania, Arab, Aras, Armenian, Battle of al-Qādisiyyah, Byzantine, Byzantine Empire, Caucasian, Christianity, Derafsh Kaviani, Derbent, Dynasty, Iberian, Iranian, Javanshir, Kaviani, Khazar, Muslim, Parthian, Persia, Persian, Sassanid, Sassanid Dynasty, Wikipedia, Yazdegerd, Yazdegerd III

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