Category Archives: HISTORY



Sargis G. Petrosyan

Key words – mythology, cult, Sevan, frog, Mother goddess, Thunder god, “vishap” (“dragon”), trout, bull, toponym, ethnonym.

The cult of the Lake Sevan is closely in touch with the worship of Water because in mythological imagines of the Armenians’ ancestor sliving in the regions surrounding Sevan, this lake was perceived as a mythical a quatic creature having the form of a huge creature. At the same time the river Hrazdan, that starts from the Lake Sevan, is perceived as that mythical creature’s long tongue. Accordingly river’s popular name Zangumeans ‘’tongue’’: compared with arm. zangik’’epiglottis, clapper’’ (<I.-E. *dņģhū). In Sevan’s basin Urartian there are cuneiform records certifyingtoponymsof Indo-European etymology as Arquqiu(ni),Ištikuniu, Kamaniu, Adaḫu(ni), Liqiu, Lueru(ḫi), Gurqumeli, Tuliḫu. In the Lake Sevan’s basin there are ‘’vishap’’ obelisks some of which are fishlike and some are bull like. The first ones arerelated to the mythological ‘’Trout’’ worship and the second ones – to the worship of God of Thunder. Gelam, that was the eponym of the ancient Sevan basin’s tribes was also the personification of the mouth Gel (Գեղ. ‘’big, large’’<I.-E. *ṷel-). His mythological prototype was the local tribes’God of Thunder (compare with Urart. Teišeba).


Nshan T. Kesecker
The XV inscription is located on the steep southern side of the Urartian fortress of Tushpa (modern Van Kalesi) on a precarious area of the cliffs. The inscription is trilingual containing texts in Old Persian (OP), Achaemenid Elamite (AE) and Akkadian (AA) from left to right, respectively.1 Each version of the text is 27 lines, with the OP taking up significantly more space than the AE and AA (the latter being the smallest). Editions of the text are Weissbach 1911, 116-119 (OP, AE, and AA); Kent 1953, 152-153; Vallat 1977, 217-221; Lecoq 1997, 263-264; Schweiger 1998; Schmitt 2009, 180-182. A legible photo comes from the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative labeled as “Xerxes Cliff Relief.”



Vahan A. Ter-Ghevondian

Key words – Levon I, Al-Malik al-Adil, Kingdom of Cilician Armenia, Ayyubid sultanate of Egypt, Antioch, County of Tripoli, Seldjuk sultanate of Iconium, Ayyubid sultanate of Aleppo, Ibn al-Adim, Ibn Wasil.

Immediately after the proclamation of the kingdom of Cilician Armenia (1198), Levon I (1198-1219) made his main goal to support Ruben-Raymond, his brother’s grandson, to become Prince of Antioch, as he was the heir at law according to the agreement signed between the two states. But the claims of Cilician Armenia on Antioch contradicted to the political interests of the neighboring countries – County of Tripoli, Seldjuk sultanate of Iconium and the Ayyubid sultanate of Aleppo. In 1201-1203 a tripartite alliance was formed against Cilicia lasting up to 1216.

King Levon was not going to give up his plans. From the other side Cilicia found itself in a hostile encirclement. It was impossible to come out from it only with military means. That is why Levon I initiated a very active foreign policy towards both Christian and Moslem states. One of the important lines of such an activity was the relation with the Ayyubid sultanate of Egypt. Levon I with the help of correspondence established friendly relations with the sultan of Egypt al-Malik al-Adil. These relations played important role in 1208 and 1216 in the struggle for control over Antioch. Some Arab and Syrian sources, first of all historians of XIII c. Ibn al-Adim and Ibn Wasil have valuable reports on that issue.



G. M. Badalyan

Key words – Tayk, Gurjistan vilayet, Sergi Jikia, Banak Nahiyah, Karshim Nahiyah, Liva of Panaskert, toponyms, personal names, indigenous Armenian characteristics, chalcedony, Islam.

A remarkable document from Ottoman period composed in the end of 16th century, which is known as “A Spacious List of Taxes of Gyurjistan Vilâyet”has a great importance for the study the historical demography of Tayk. This unique document was kept in the Eastern manuscripts department of the State Museum of Georgia. The context of the manuscript was published in 1947 by prominent Georgian turkologist Sergi Jikia (a propose, the same author has published the Georgian version of the same document in 1941). Needless to say, that the above mentioned manuscript contains many materials on the historical issues of Armenians and Georgians from this period. As we know, in the second half of 16th century the Ottoman Empire gradually subdued the north-western parts of Armenia and Samtskhe Princedome that contains the south-western parts of Georgia (in Georgian საათაბაგო- saatabago). In this region has been created the GyurdjistanVilâyet. The southern part of the last one contains many districts (with their main centers) of Great Armenia’s Tayk Province, such as Olti-Ughtiq, Mamrvan (Nariman), Kamkhis-Kaghamakhik, Panaskert, Banak (Panak, in Georgianბანა-Bana), which were located in Olti (historical Boghkha) brook’s whole pond of the river Tchorokh. Immediately after the Ottoman conquest, a detailed inventory was made here, such as the registration of the number of residents and the economic situation. “The spacious list of taxes of Gyurjistan Vilâyet” is particularly important because it contains almost all the important statistical information as on populated, as well on depopulated areas of the territory. In fact, in each area are noticed the detailed names of the male gender, which were paying the ispenj (25 akche). In the end of 16th century in the area that we are interested has been existed two liva ( districts) – Banak and Olti, which in turn were divided into nahiyah-cantons. The Banak Liva was consist of three small districts: the formal Banak (in Turkish Nısf-ı Penek), Kamkhis (in Turkish Kâmhis) and Panaskert, which had 109 settlements (14 of which were inhabited and the data are missing about 12 of them). The examination of names shows that in the above mentioned three districts have been registered 1974 people, which were representing the whole family, and 1850 (93.7 percent) of them were Armenians. In fact, the names often indicate a presence of Orthodox (Chalcedonian, in source “gürcü”, that is – Georgian) Armenians, which is quite a common phenomenon in Tayk and Upper Armenia. “A Spacious List of Taxes of Gyurjistan Vilâyet ” is also valuable in another point: it fully reveals the unitive policy of Ottoman Empire. If in the mentioned period the new created GyurjistanVilâyet’s population was almost consist of Christians (Armenians and Georgians) in 100 percent, and then only two centuries later, most of them were forcibly converted to Islam and lost their national identity.



Samvel A. Poghosyan

Key words – Alexandretta, Cilicia, Entente troops landing, Dardanelles, Gallipoli.

Immediately after the outbreak of World War I, the British authorities discussed the issue of landing the troops in Alexandretta. It was an important port in Cilicia, in the northeastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. The landing would entail the destruction of the Ottoman Empire. For this reason the Turks and Germans were worried, because Britain would need only 30,000 soldiers to organize this military action. Cilicia was populated mostly by Armenians, who were ready to help the British troops. The British Intelligence Service examined the area in detail and gave a positive conclusion on the landing. In January 1915, the British authorities decided to attack the Dardanelles by the forces of the navy and at the same time land at Alexandretta. Nobody in the British elite doubted the success of landing in Alexandretta, but some did not believe in success in the Dardanelles. However, the military operation in Alexandretta was eventually rejected by the British authorities. There were some reasons for this: the French authorities opposed this because they wanted to colonize Cilicia after the war. They were worried that if Cilicia was occupied by British troops, later they would not be able to get it back. The British recognized the rights of France in Cilicia and Syria, but at the same time they wanted to get Alexandretta. The latter was the most important port in the East of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus, Britain and France prevented each other from landing at Alexandretta. In the end, the Allies decided to land at Gallipoli, which was a great catastrophe for them. Thus, imperialism won, and the allies lost an important chance to overcome the Ottoman Empire. The refusal to land at Alexandretta and the failure in the Dardanelles gave the Turkish government a chance to organize the Armenian Genocide. This is one of the episodes of the story, when an almost real operation was revised at the last moment and this led to negative consequences.



Yervand H. Grekyan

Key words – C.F. Lehmann-Haupt, Biainili-Urartu, chronology, king list, Rusa Sarduriḫi, Rusa Erimenaḫi, Rusa Argištiḫi, Toprakkale, Keşiş-Göl, Gövelek (Ermanc‘).

Among the pioneers of Urartian studies C.F. Lehmann-Haupt was the first scholar who compiled and presented the chronology of the Urartian kings on a scientific basis. In his study published in 1894 he considered Rusa, the son of Erimena as the first king who bore that name.

Like C.F. Lehmann-Haupt, another prominent Assyriologist of that period – François Thureau-Dangin, presumed that Ursa of Urartu, the adversary of Sargon II of Assyria in 714 B.C., was Rusa, the son of Ermiena, whom he considered to be the founder of a new dynasty.

Later on, C.F. Lehmann-Haupt, whom already became known the existence of another king named Rusa, the son of Sarduri, considered him to be the king of Urartu during the Sargon II’s campaign to Urartu in 714 B.C. In contrast to his previous opinion, he positioned Rusa, the son of Erimena at the end of the Urartian king list, after Rusa, the son of Sarduri, and Rusa, the son of Argišti, naming him “Rusa III”.

Apart from the succession of the Urartian kings, many other ideas of Lehmann-Haupt were refused by almost all following researchers. On the other hand, the Keşiş-Göl inscription ascribed by Lehmann-Haupt to Rusa, the son of Sarduri, was connected with the foundation of the new city Rusaḫinili named after the Urartian king. It was considered as a new political center of the Urartian kingdom after the devastation of the old capital city Ṭušpa by Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria during his campaign to Urartu in 735 B.C. Thus, Rusa, the son of Sarduri became Rusa I, the son of Sarduri II.

Publication of the inscription on a preserved upper part of a stele discovered not far from the modern city Van in 2002, near the ancient Armenian village Ermanc‘ (Ermanis, nowadays, Gövelek), opened a new page in these discussions, as soon as it became clear that it was the missing upper part of the well-known Keşiş-Göl inscription. In 2006 another inscribed stele, the duplicate of that inscription was also discovered at Hefšesorik (nowadays, Savacık). Thus, there was no doubt that both stelae were left by Rusa, the son of Erimena. This discovery made to review the chronology of the Urartian kings in the 8th7th centuries B.C.

The article discuss the arguments, which allow to consider Rusa, the son of Erimena as “Rusa I” (variant A), “Rusa II” (variant B) and “Rusa III” (variant C) and offers succession of the Urartian kings of the 8th-7th centuries B.C. with different variations. The “variant B” seems more convincing. Moreover, it seems possible to date the period of his reign between 713- 708 B.C. The possible short-term reign of Rusa, the son of Erimena, could explain the small number of monumental stone inscriptions left by him, informing us only about the king’s building activity, and the fact, that one of these inscriptions remained unfinished.


And the Challenges of the Industrial Era


Smbat Kh. Hovhannisyan

Key words – Armenian merchants, Armenian Trade Capital, New Julfa, Fernand Braudel, Global History, Time’s Rhythms, World-Economy, Civilization Challenges.

This article discusses issues of Armenian trade capital in the context of Fernand Braudel’s theory of civilizations. While this topic was subject to a great deal of research, most researchers have primarily discussed political and economic aspects of trade capital. New approaches provide the opportunity to discuss the topic from the point of view of theory of civilizations. The comparative method is one of these methods aiming at studying issues of Armenian history in the context of global history.

On the bases of works of French Annales School and particularly of Fernand Braudel’s theory, one can discuss activities of Armenian merchants in global dimensions. The same applies to Armenian international commerce, which flourished in the 16th-18th centuries.

In this paper, I discuss the problem in a broad context of the industrial civilization and rely on Braudel’s theory of global history, which is based on three fundamental (temporal and axiological) algorithms of history: political, economic, and civilizational. They set up the essence and rhythm of global history. For this purpose, I suggest consider the network of Armenian merchants as a “world-economy,” which was characterized by the following components: a/ A definite geographic space and boundaries of communication, that transform even if slowly; b/ Existence of a center such as a leading city (or cities); c/ Hierarchical structure.

The emerging system also served the purpose of recovering Armenian statehood by facilitating the move from a pre-Industrial society to an Industrial one. However, the successful completion of this mission was possible only through a adequate response to the civilizational challenges of the time. Among these, the three most important responses were: 1) moving from caravan and land commerce to an “oceanic” environment in accordance with the most up to date technologies of trade and economy; b) learning to use he newest banking technologies and discovery of new means of capital development; c) efforts of restoring national statehood on solid grounds in order to instigate the formation of the modern national state for the Armenians.

As further developments showed, Armenian merchants neither managed to drop the burden of tradition nor make sufficient radical transformations to their activities to adapt to new environment. Efforts to restore statehood did not bring about the anticipated result and no Armenian state was established.



Ruben L. Manasserian

Key words – Rome, Armenia, Artaxias I, Pharnaces I, Hannibal, Titus Livius, Pontus.

The works of Polibius and of Liny don’t contain any data regarding contacts between Artaxias that had proclamed himself king of Great Armenia in 189 and Rome.

Titus Livius, pointing out the eastern peoples and cities which recognised roman Imperium in the years 184-188, emphaisizes that they all had inhabited the territories laying to the West of Taurus (cis Taurum montem incolunt – Tit. Liv. XXXVIII, 3, 7, 1). According to the Greek geographs (Strabo, XI, 14, 2), Taurus beginning into the north of Armenia (near the upper Euphrates) went down to the south up tu Mesopotamia, thus serving the natural bondary between Asia Minor and Armenia. The conclusion, therefore, may be drawn from these testimonies: unlike the kings of Asia Minor Artaxias avoided to establish relations with Rome and did not aspire to be recognized as a roman friend and ally.

2) Strabon’s and Plutarch’s data of the refuge given to Hannibal by Artaxias at his court (189-186) reflects the true fact. Having admitted that Hannibal Artaxias asserted his independent attitude towards Rome.

3) In 179 Artaxias took part in the conclusion of the peace treaty which put an end to the war between roman allies – Pergamus, Bythania and Cappadocia on the one hand and Pontus and Armenia Minor on the other. The latter were defeated. Artaxias is mentioned the first in the list of the neutral international subjects – participants of this peace treaty (Polyb., XXV, 2). As it is shown in article, the king of Great Armenia played the role of the principal guarantor of the piece treaty, i.e. he pledged to come out against each disturber of the piece. By such Artaxias resolved his strategical aims. He could prevent the threat of transgression of forces’s correlation by stronger site – roman clients’s coalition and could ensure the security of Pontus and Armenia Minor.


Under the light of historical and critical revaluations


Ararat M. Hakobyan

Key words – ARF Dashnaktsutyun, congress, elimination, A. Bakunts, Soviet Armenia, stenographic protocol, Armenian Communist Party, social origin, A. Mravyan, decision, resolution, 2nd International.

After the Sovietization of Armenia, ARF Dashnaktsutyun became the main target of the Communist Party on the way of the establishment of a one-party regime in Armenia. To this end, on behalf of the government party bodies a convention was prepared and conducted by the “former members of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun” in Armenia on November 24, 1923 to discuss the elimination of the Armenian organizations and members of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun. Critical study of the convention’s materials shows that, although the ordinary members of ARF Dashnaktsutyn announced the rejection of their membership in the ARF under the fear of losing their jobs, and under state duress, but some of them did not make a statement, and some even remained faithful to the ideology of ARF Dashnaktsutyun. Despite the fact that the reports and speeches were read following a pre-planned scenario, in consequence of which it was decided to eliminate the organizations of ARF in Armenia, a letter-application was addressed to the 2nd International Bureau, but even then, the groups and the organizations of ARF Dashnaktsutyun continued their underground activities in Soviet Armenia. We can say that the so-called “self-destruction convention of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun” did not reached its goal completely.

According to the data of Joint State Political Administration of the Soviet Union on January 1, 1930, there were 70 ARF groups with 538 members in the USSR, which consisted of 6 organizations and had a control center. Facts also show that the allied groups and individuals were operating in Armenia until the end of sovietization in the second half of the 1930s. In the end, due to the repressive policies of the communist government, ARF Dashnaktsutyun was forced to exile. The center of gravity of the party moved to the diaspora. Despite this, the party was still in the spiritual connection with the homeland until the collapse of the USSR, and after the destruction of communist totalitarianism, ARF Dashnaktsutyun returned home. In August 1990, the party was fully present in Armenia and played an important role in the liberation of Artsakh and in the creation of the modern independent Republic of Armenia.



Arman S. Yeghiazaryan

Key words – Abas Bagratuni, reign, “Shahnshah/king of kings of Armenia and Kartli”, Gagik Artsruni, Anania Mokatsi, Kapan, Khachen princedom, Marzuban ibn Muhammad, Kars, Argina.

In the second period (943-953) of reign of Armenian king Abas, Bagratunies’ dominance in Armenia and neighboring countries was restored. At first, after the death of Gagik Artsruni – the second king of Armenia, Abas became the supreme ruler in Armenia. Initially he reunited the south areas of Ayrarat region which have been occupied by Gagik Artsruni to Bagratids’ main possessions. Then Grigor Derenik – successor of Gagik Artsruni recognized his supremacy.

In 943 Abkhazian forces attacked Armenian kingdom. In the battle near Kur River Armenian army defeated the Abkhazians. By that time the Abkhazian kingdom was the main actor in chalcedonian regions of Transcaucasia. The victory against the Abkhazian kingdom expanded the influence of Abas in these regions.

In the second half of 940s Abas and Catholicos of Armenians Anania Mokatsi could resolve the confessional problems in the Armenian Eastern provinces.

The facts show that Abas also got the title of “Shahnshah/king of kings of Armenia and Kartli” at last. Thus the Power of Bagratunies in Armenia and Christian Transcaucasia was restored. As a result of such successes in Armenian sources Abas is known as a victorious king.