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Ashot III

This article is about the 10th-century Armenian king. For the 8th-century presiding prince of Armenia, see Ashot III Bagratuni.

Ashot III
Reign Armenia: 953–977
Died 977
Predecessor Abas I of Armenia
Successor Smbat II
Dynasty Bagratuni
Father Abas I of Armenia

Ashot III the Merciful (Armenian: Աշոտ Գ. Ողորմած) also known as Ashot the Gracious (952/953–977) was an Armenian king. He ruled from Armenia's capital city of Ani.


Armenia reached the height of its golden era during the reign of the Kings Abas I (928–951), Ashot III (952/953-977), and his sons Smbat II (X) (977–989) and Gagik I (990–1020), an era which according to Muyldermans “in regard to its brilliance and glory was unique.”

Ashot III won the favour of the caliphate by defeating one of the emirs in Azerbaijan who had revolted against Baghdad and attacked Armenia. During the war between the Byzantine emperor John Tzimiskes and the Arabs, Armenia did its best to remain neutral and forced the two battling parties to respect the boundaries of its country. The Byzantine army began to march across the plain of Moush, thinking to strike the decisive blow against the Arabs from Armenia, but when they met with the 30,000 strong army of Ashot III, they altered their plan and left Armenia.

He was the father of Prince Taros, fl. 1000, father of Ruben, Governor of Larisse in 1025, and grandfather of Prince John-Smbat, who was the father of Ruben I of Armenia.


  • J. Muyldermans, La Domination arabe en Arménie, Paris, 1927, p. 144
  • F. Macler, Armenia, The Kingdom of the Bagratides, The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. IV, p. 161.
Preceded by
Abas I
King of Armenia
(Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia)

Succeeded by
Smbat II
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