Part One: Issues on Ethnic History
Babken H. Harutyunyan
In the present article an attempt is being made to investigate a number of issues concerning the ethnic and political history of Ałuank‘ or the Caucasian country called Albania.
According to the results of the investigation, the place name Albania from GrecoRoman sources and the place name Ałuank‘ from Armenian sources have merely Armełuank‘ from Armenian sources have merely Armeuank‘ from Armenian sources have merely Armenian origin and mean “a country of a fruitful field”, i.e. they do not have an ethnic origin. The names originate from the proto-initial form “Alobank‘” which emerges from the instumental case of the word “ał” (salt), which in ancient times was pronounced as “alob,” then it was changed into “alov”, and later into “alu” and “ału”.
The Armenians called “Alobank,” “Alovank,” and “Ałuank” the fruitful field on the right shore of the Kura River, and later the state, finding on the left shore of the Kura River, was called by the same name, as “a country of a fruitful field,”and the people were called the “Albanians” or “Ałuans,” as “people of a fruitful field”, as it was the continuation of the Armenian fruitful field. The people living on the left shore of the Kura River never called themselves that way, the testification of which is the fact that after the decline of the Albanian Kingdom, no tribe preserved this name.
Most likely, this state was initially called after the name of the Mazkuts or Massagets, and afterwards after the names of the Gargarians and again Mazkuts who successively invaded from the Nothern Caucasus in the Transcaucasus. It is not by chance that Faustus Byzand identifies the Kingdom of Mazkuts with the Kingdom of Ałuank‘ or Albania.
It is being shown that in the recordings of the Greek geographer Strabo, among the union of the 26 Albanian tribes there were neither the Gargarians, nor the Udins nor a number of other tribes which, notwithstanding the viewpoints of investigators, during the times of Strabo were in the Northern Caucasus.
It is also shown that the Caspians entered into the union of the Albanian tribes, but are not identified with the Albanians.
In connection with the Caspians it is revealed that the XI and XV satrapies of Achaemenid Persia were not in the region of the Transcaucasus, and the XVIII was in the region of Eastern Georgia and in the so-called Albania region, consequently the Matieni, Saspiri and Alarodii do not belong to the tribes of the Armenian Highland.