Part I: Earthquake

Arsen E. Harutyunyan
The epigraphic inscriptions of medieval Armenia are of various content. The building, donative inscriptions approving the legal norms and epigraphic texts created on other events provide reliable evidence on the celestial and geological phenomena, in particular about earthquakes, solar eclipse, draught, sea storm and other similar cases. With the given study we have made an attempt for the first time to explain the mentions about natural disasters and celestial phenomena, evidenced in Armenian epigraphs, in the first turn – the earthquakes. The memorial inscriptions of the 10th-19th centuries in the monasteries of Karkop, Haghpat, Sanahin, the khachkar of Kosh (cross-stone) embedded into the wall, inscriptions from the villages of Areni, Vardenik, Lichk, Arinj, Mayakovski and other settlements and monuments shed light on the chronology of earthquakes, the topographical features and the cause-sequential manifestations of natural disasters that took place in the Armenian Highland.

Significantly, similar cases were also documented and were traditionally evidenced within the epigraphic context compiled in different occasions of memorial inscriptions (building ones, erection of a monument, epitaph, etc.). The epigraphic inscriptions enable us to definitely state that the celestial phenomena, in particular solar eclipse was often preceded by earthquakes, which was not once evidenced also in the works of chroniclers.