Arran – Caucasian Albania

Arran, also known as Aran, Ardhan, Al-Ran, Aghvank and Alvank, რანი-Ran-i or Caucasian Albania, was a geographical name used in ancient and medieval times to signify the territory which lies within the triangle of land, lowland in the east and mountainous in the west, formed by the junction of Kura and Aras rivers, including the highland and lowland Karabakh, Mil plain and parts of the Mughan plain, and in the pre-Islamic times, corresponded roughly to the territory of modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan. The term is the Middle Persian equivalent to the Greco-Roman Albania. It was known as AghvaniaAlvan-k in Armenian, and Al-ran in Arabic.

Today, the term Aran is mainly used in Azerbaijan to indicate territories consisting of Mil and Mughan plains (mostly, Beylaqan, Imishli, Saatli, Sabirabad provinces of the Republic of Azerbaijan). It has also been used by Iranian historian Enayatollah Reza to refer to the country of Azerbaijan, freeing the name “Azerbaijan” to refer to a region within Iran.

The Arsacid dynasty ruled the kingdom of Caucasian Albania from the 1st to the 5th century AD. They were a branch of the Parthian Arsacid dynasty and together with the Arsacid rulers of the neighboring Armenia and Iberia formed a pan-Arsacid family federation. The Arsacids were succeeded by the Mihranid dynasty. The historian Movses Kaghankatvatsi provided a list of the last ten Arsacid kings of Albania from Vachagan I the Brave in the 2nd half of the third century to Vachagan III the Pious at the end of the fifth. It included the following rulers:

  • Vachagan the Brave
  • Vache I
  • Urnayr
  • Vachagan II
  • Mirhavan
  • Satoy
  • Asay
  • Aswagen
  • Vache II
  • Vachagan III the Pious


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