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Vaspurakan is a mountainous region that lies between the Videssian westlands and Makuran and southeast of Erzerum. Vaspurakan is rich in gold and iron ore and is said to have some of the best horses in the world of Videssos. It has been coveted and fought over by both Makuran and Videssos, prompting the Vaspurakaners to unite with each other if they are ever invaded by outsiders, despite the occasional internal feud.[1] At its height, Videssos ruled Vaspurakan but lost it not long after the Khamorth invasion. The constant state of war caused many Vaspurakaners to leave their country and try their luck elsewhere.
Vaspurakan map.

The location of Vaspurakan.

The Vaspurakaners were bushy-bearded with large fleshy noses and swarthy. They believe that their eponymous ancestor Vaspur was the firstborn man, the first created by Phos and Vaspurakan the first land made by Phos. Thus everyone Vaspurakaner is a Prince and Vaspurakan is called the Princes' Land. It is unknown if the belief of Vaspur the Firstborn originates with the Khamorth invasion and fragmentation of the Videssian Empire (as was the case with the Balancer and Phos' Wager).

Vaspurakaners are also known for a certain pastry used for long journey, which are jokingly called "princes' balls".[2] The people wore distintive three-cornered hats with three streamers and broad neckflaps.[3] Their language caused them to speak Videssian with a throaty, guttural accent. The country is ruled by many nakharar (warrior-princes)[4] from heavily fortified cities and towns.

Many Vaspurakaners leave their homeland to seek their fortunes in Videssos or the Videssian westlands, often serving a number of crucial roles in the military and bureaucracy, despite the average Videssians' ignorance of their importance. There is a lot of Vaspurakaner influences in Videssos including a Vaspurakaner emperor. Yet there is a lot of anti-Vaspurakan feelings, as shown by the pogroms instituted by the virulent Zemarkhos, who regarded the Vaspurakaners as heathens and even named his dog Vaspur[5].

The Vaspurakaners customarily fight as cataphracts, with rider and horse armored with mail. When the Romans arrived in Videssos one unit of Vaspurakaners unhorsed at the Battle of Maragha join the Roman unit, becoming a century under the Nakharar Gagik Bagratouni. The Vaspurakaners are depicted as fast friends of the Romans.

Literary NoteEdit

The name Vaspurakan itself is the old name for Armenia, and the world "nakharar" is Armenian as well. Like Armenia, Vaspurakan was situated between two great, squabbling powers as Armenia was stuck between the Byzantines and the Persians. Also, the hat Senpat Sviodo wore is similar to the traditional headgear worn by Armenians.

ReferencesEdit

  1. pg.249, The Misplaced Legion
  2. pg.256, Ibid.
  3. pg.245, Ibid.
  4. pg.255, Ibid.
  5. pg.252, Ibid.

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