Sargis G. Petrosyan
Keywords – the Armenian Highland, Sophene, Mesopotamia, Sumer, Armenian-Indo-European roots, Akkadian, Hittite inscriptions, legend, popular belief, the road along the Euphrates, mythological, theonym, heliolater, with eagle’s wings, with a lion’s head, Peacock, The Firebird.
In the Sophenic folk novel “Mokos” it is told how the 12 sons of the Mesopotamian King Bagh (Bal) came to Armenia and became independent kings in Sophene and adjoining territories. From this point of view it is noteworthy that in the present-day region of Keban there used to exist a settlement of migrants of the Sumeric Uruk IV civilization (3500-3100 BC). According to the “Mokos” some of thoe twelve “sons” were Armenians, and one of them, Sinam, was the founder of the city of Sinamut, later – Kharberd. The name Sinam is also found in the Shenaminda (<*Sinam-inda) and Sinamuna (<*Sinam-una) cuneiform toponyms which are all of Indoeuropean-Armenian origin.
In the epical image called Sinam the historical and mythological features of his prototypes are merged. His historical prototype (or prototypes) was a king (or kings) who reigned in ancient Sophene and whose kingdom included both the present-day Keban with its adjacent area and Kharberd with its surroundings. The imagination of the border-lines of Sinam’s kingdom is mentioned in the following record made by the king of Akkad. Akkadian king Naram-Sin (2236-2200 BC) “(that) year when Naram-Sin reached the springheads of the Euphrates and the Tigris he defeated the country of Shenaminda”. Here the Euphrates is the Western Euphrates, the Tigris is the Western Tigris and the area between their springheads is Sophene.
The mythological prototype of the epic King Sinam is, to our mind, the God of the Sun, called Sinam because of his bird symbol-eagle. The words of the same root with Sinam are the Armenian tsin “black kite”, Greek ỉκτĩνος, Old Indian (Sanscrit) śyēná “eagle, falcon”, Avestian saēna “a big bird of prey”. The two companions of the Sun, the two manifestations of Venus sometimes at dawn and sometimes at sanset, also had their bird symbols. In the Armenian mythology they were considered the birds of king Sinam and were called Sinamahavk (Sinam’s bird) or for short Sinam-havk.