Armenians have had a longstanding tradition of serving for the powers that be of the Near East, being a people and land coveted in the conflicts of Sassanid Persia and the Eastern Romans, and later standing at the forefront of Christian Roman and Muslim conflicts. Yet the status quo of Armenia's position in the Near East was shattered with the arrival of the Seljuks and battle of Manzikert. In the loss of Greater Armenia to the Muslims and spread of the Turks within Anatolia Armenians were in a unique position to realize their ambitions, both in their own sovereingty with the Cilician Kingdom of Armenia and in offering their martial skills to the wealth of new customers./n/nMeaning "The one who has sworn", Aznvakan are feudal warriors of the mid to lower Armenian aristocracy, who like many of Hayastan before them have pledged themselves to the conquering powers. Wealthy enough to afford a solid warhorse, a light mail hauberk and cloth or leather vest, Aznvakan serve their new masters as nimble medium cavalry. Untouched by the contemporary influence of the Latin Knight, or even the earliest tides of lance-bearing shock cavalry from Sassanid and Eastern Roman times, Aznvakan hearken to the ranks of antiquity's Achaemenid horsemen who blended the practice of skirmishing with shock-warfare./n/nUnlike the sharpened rock that is a knightly or cataphract charge, Aznvakan move as nimbly as a prowling Caucasus wolf. Though such a agile fighting style may not have the jarring impact of a shock cavalrymen, it is by no means worthless, proving highly effective in the rugged domains the Armenians call home./n/nThough they may be a people used to remaining in the shadows of great empires, such buffeting winds from West and East have never squandered the fires of the Hayastani spirit. The vigor and skill they share with their conquerors should grow all the brighter if a kingdom of Hayastanis by Hayastanis would emerge and free them from their foreign yolk. Until such a deliverance, they are a valuable asset to any conquering power.