Part II: Political-Historical Issues in the Context of Ethnic Belonging


Babken H. Harutyunyan

The historical geography of all the Eastern part of the kingdom of Great Armenia is discussed in the article, it illustrates that Colthene (Konqhnhv) Claudii mentioned by Ptolemy corresponds to the region of Great Armenia’s Kaspk’(Կասպք) or Caspiene (Kasphnhv).

The information given by Movses Khorenatsi about the governorships of Utik’, Gardmanatsik’ and Tsavdeatsik’ and about the principality of the Gargaratsik’(Gargarians) is elucidated through the source study examination. It is clearly illustrated that the rule of the Gardmanatsik’ was to be found on the left bank of the river Kura, the name Utik’ in Armenian simply means Ovits (Ովիտք), something which due to the development of the language became Utik’ (Ուտիք) and the name Tsavdek’ originated from the name of the Southern Armenia’s region called Tsavdek’ ( Ծաղդեք).

It was also examined the issue of how many names of 26 tribes of so-called Albanians mentioned by Strabo were preserved. Comprehensive research has shown that only the name of the Caspians was preserved, and the purely Albanian declared Gargarians (գարգարացիք), Udins (ուդիններ) in those days lived in the Northern Caucasus, outside of the borders of Albania. It is illustrated also that Ouitioi (ուիտիները/վիտիները) were not found in Armenia and have no connection with the region of Utik’. The Greeks knew it very well; if the Uitis were called [Ouitioi, then Utik’ was called [Wthnh. Rich factual material shows that the name of muvkoi has absolutely nothing to do with Mukan (Մուղան), whose old Armenian form Movkan is preserved in Georgian as a loan.

Through the comparative study of the dates by Curtius Rufus and Arrianus it becomes clear that these so-called Albanians did not participate and could not have taken part in the famous Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. Their name is simply confused with the Massagets – Mazkuts who had invaded the left bank of the river Kura and who had taken over the Albanian kingdom, whose fellow Mid-Asian tribsmen had participated indeed in the Battle of Gaugamela. The article shows that the Albanian – Massaget confusion also was to be found in the works by Plinius Secundus and Solinus.

It is proved that ’Alarodioi are not Albanians, they belong to the Iranian-speaking Saspeir tribes, which have taken the way to the georgianisation. It is also shown very clearly and objectively that only the Achaemenid Persia’s XIII satrapy was situated in the territory of Armenia, and the XVIII satrapy occupied the territory of the Eastern Georgia and the left bank of the river Kura, and included Matiens, Saspeirs and Alarodis.

The basic conclusion of the article is that the name Albania given by Greek and Roman authors and the name Aghuank’ given by Armenian historiographs has a purely Armenian origin and means “Country of fertile field”. And as the left bank of the river Kura was the continuation of the Armenian fertile | eld, the state formed there was called by the Armenians Alobank’ (Ալոբանք), which through the development of the Armenian language became Aluank (Aghuank’), and in the Greek – Roman world the Armenian “Alobank’” was associated with the Celtic toponym of Albania, and thus was transformed to Albania.

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