Sargis G. Petrosyan
The epithets of the Armenian ethnarch Hayk Abetatsin “born in the flame” and Abetayn “fiery”, in fact, was his mythological prototype of the homonymous god. This is explained by the fact that the historical prototype of the epic Hayk bore not only the name, but also the epithets of the god Hayk, his divine patron. It is also noteworthy that in this way the opponent of the historical Hayk – Bel also bore the name of his divine patron, the main god of the Akkadian pantheon – Bel (in Semitic “Bel” – lord, – the original epithet of the supreme god of the Sumerian- Akkadian pantheon Enlil).
The historical Hayk was the head of one of the southern Armenian tribes and the king of the dual country Armi-Armana, and the historical Bel is the famous king of Akkad and at the same time the despot of all Mesopotamia Sargon. They lived around the middle of the III millennium BC. Haik’s ancestral domain was located in the north of the Western Tigris River basin, and the patrimony of his relative Kadmos Arman (Armanum) was south of the river. Kadmos was not really a grandson, but the nephew (his sister’s son) of Hayk. Therefore, his ancestral possession of Arman was also referred to as the “house of Kadmos” (Armenian “tun Kadmeai”, cuneiform “Kadmukhi”). Before confronting the Akkadian despot, Hayk and his family moved to Hark, to the north of Lake Van. Having settled there, he turned Hark into the center of the “Haykazants tribal union”. Toponym Hark does not mean “fathers”, but it means “opposing”, “overcoming”, “casting out”.
According to ancient legends, Hayk killed Bel in battle, but this is folklore. However, no doubt, quite a few enemy soldiers fell from the well-aimed arrows of Hayk and his archers, since the place of their burial-ground was called Gerezmank, that is, “Graves” (later Gerezmanakk). After the victory over Bel, in order to strengthen the state system and his own monarchical power, Hayk began to carry out various reforms. The head of the social estate of farmers (and producers in general) became the eldest son of Hayk Aramanyak, the head of the military estate became his second son Khor, and the head of the priestly estate became the third son Manawaz. Hayk also changed the custom of succession to the throne. The former was through the female line, which he replaced with inheritance through the male line. Hayk proclaimed his eldest son Aramanyak his heir. The institution of two army commanders, due to the dual system of the structure of the ancient tribes, was abolished, and instead of Aramanyak and Kadmos, he entrusted the leadership of the army to his second son Khor. He declared his patron god Hayk the Supreme God, into whose cult the cults of the main deities of other tribes of the union joined. Thanks to this, after the death of Hayk, the cult of him, as a deified ancestor, also became the part of this soldered, renewed cult.