Ruslan A. Tsakanyan
Key words – Assyria, Babylon, Urartu, Armenian Highland, Movses Khorenatsi, Sebeos, Sophena, Ałdznik, Nebuchadnezzar II
n this article an attempt is made (on the basis of the “Babylonian Chronicles” and Armenian medieval historians Movses Khorenatsi and Sebeos) to restore political situation in the Armenian Highland at the end of VII century B.C. In his monumental work M. Khorenatsi mainly preferred Greek sources. Hence originates the “Median” version of the fall of the Assyrian state. But M. Khorenatsi obviously possesses with other sources also, according to which the fall of Assyria was considered from the point of view of Babylon. Moreover, M. Khorenatsi himself does not deny the existence of this fact – “For the deeds of the father Nabuchadnezzar were written down by the supervisors of their annals …”. Here the conclusions are more than clear: under the hand of M. Khorenatsi there were two versions according to which the first Armenian king was crowned not by Nabopalassar or Nebuchadnezzar, but by the Midian king “Varbakes”-Cyaxares. And in the study of Sebeos we meet only the “Babylonian” version, where the above mentioned events are bound to Babylonia. The records of Sebeos are similar to the “Babylonian Chronicles”. Of the latter, we know that during the Assyrian-Babylonian conflict (626-605 B.C.), the Babylonian army, led by King Nabopalassar and Nebuchadnezzar, the heir to the throne, appeared at least three times on the borders of the Armenian Highland. Perhaps they moved further into the highlands – in 609 B.C. in the Izalla area, in 608 B.C. in Bet-Hanuniya and in 607 B.C. “to the district of Uraš/rtu” or “to the district of Sea (in the basin of Lake Van or Lake Hazar (?))”.