Mkhitar Gosh was an Armenian scholar, public figure and priest. He was one of the representatives of the Armenian Renaissance, he was born in the city of Gandzak. He got his early education from public institutions; when he reached his adolescence he decided to dedicate his life to the church. In order to learn theology more Gosh traveled to Cilicia, to the Black Mountains and studied orthodox theology under the local priests. Upon his return, he, with Zackareh and Ivaneh Zakarian princes' financial help, builds the Ghetik church, he wrote a code of laws including civil and Canon law, used in both Greater Armenia and Cilicia. It was used in Poland, by order of king Sigismund the Old, as the law under which the Armenians of Lviv and Kamianets-Podilskyi lived from 1519 until the region fell under Austrian rule in 1772, he wrote a number of popular fables. He founded the monastery of Nor-Getik which he was buried. Since his death it has become better known as Goshavank; the works of Mkhitar Gosh were adapted into a Datastanagirk' codex in Middle Armenian, prepared by Sempad the Constable, an Armenian noble, military commander, judge in the 13th century.
Robert W. Thomson; the Lawcode of Mxit'ar Goš. — Rodopi, 2000 English translations of Gosh's Fables and his Colophon are available at: http://rbedrosian.com/hsrces.html English translations of the Fables and Colophon - mirror if main site unavailable Grave of Mkhitar Gosh
Ghazar Parpetsi was a 5th to 6th century Armenian chronicler and historian. He had close ties with the powerful Mamikonian noble family and is most prominent for writing a history of Armenia, History of Armenia, sometime in the early sixth century. Ghazar was born in the village of Parpi, was raised by a princess of the Mamikonian family. Owing to the close ties he held with the Mamikonian family, following the defeat of the Armenians at the battle of Avarayr in 451, Ghazar moved to the Mamikonian Prince Ashusah's castle in Gugark, where he received his primary education. Studying under the auspices of Aghan Artstruni, he befriended Vahan Mamikonian. Returning to Armenia, Ghazar busied himself with educational and spiritual activities in the town of Shirak part of the domains of the Kamsarakan family. From 484 to 486, he lived in Syunik until Vahan Mamikonian, appointed the head of marzpan Armenia, invited him to oversee the reconstruction of a monastery being built in Vagharshapat. Vahan appointed Ghazar an abbot at the monastery, although the education that Ghazar had received as well as his educational and spiritual policies did not suit well with the more conservative elements of the church.
Accusing him of heresy, he was forced out of the monastery in 490, taking up residence in the city of Amida in Byzantium. According to Armenian tradition, it is said that Ghazar was buried near the ruins of an Armenian church in Parpi Canyon, south of a village named Lazrev in Armenia. Ghazar is best known for writing the History of Armenia. After returning from Amida in 493, Vahan Mamikonian asked his friend to write a new history of Armenia, starting from where historian Faustus of Byzantium left off. History is composed of three parts: the first is about Armenian history from the mid-fourth century and life in Armenia under Sasanian rule until the deaths of Sahak Partev and Mesrop Mashtots in the mid-fifth century; the main sources he uses in History are the primary works of other historians, Agathangelos and Faustus, although he made use of other historians' works, including Eusebius of Caesarea's Historia Ecclesiastica. Muradyan, Gohar. "ŁAZAR PʿARPECʿI". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Translator's Preface to the English translation of History of the Armenians English translation of the History of the Armenians – mirror if main site unavailable
The Arab–Byzantine wars were a series of wars between the Arab Muslims and the Byzantine Empire between the 7th and 11th centuries AD, started during the initial Muslim conquests under the expansionist Rashidun and Umayyad caliphs in the 7th century and continued by their successors until the mid-11th century. The emergence of Muslim Arabs from Arabia in the 630s resulted in the rapid loss of Byzantium's southern provinces to the Arab Caliphate. Over the next fifty years, under the Umayyad caliphs, the Arabs would launch repeated raids into still-Byzantine Asia Minor, twice threaten the Byzantine capital, with conquest, outright conquer the Byzantine Exarchate of Africa; the situation did not stabilize until after the failure of the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople in 718, when the Taurus Mountains on the eastern rim of Asia Minor became established as the mutual fortified and depopulated frontier. Under the Abbasid Empire, relations became more normal, with embassies exchanged and periods of truce, but conflict remained the norm, with annual raids and counter-raids, sponsored either by the Abbasid government or by local rulers, well into the 10th century.
During the first centuries, the Byzantines were on the defensive, avoided open field battles, preferring to retreat to their fortified strongholds. Only after 740 did they begin to launch counterstrikes of their own, but still the Abbasid Empire was able to retaliate with massive and destructive invasions of Asia Minor. With the decline and fragmentation of the Abbasid state after 861 and the concurrent strengthening of the Byzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty, the tide turned. Over a period of fifty years from ca. 920 to 976, the Byzantines broke through the Muslim defences and restored their control over northern Syria and Greater Armenia. The last century of the Arab–Byzantine wars was dominated by frontier conflicts with the Fatimids in Syria, but the border remained stable until the appearance of a new people, the Seljuk Turks, after 1060; the Arabs took to the sea, from the 650s on, the entire Mediterranean Sea became a battleground, with raids and counter-raids being launched against islands and the coastal settlements.
Arab raids reached a peak in the 9th and early 10th centuries, after the conquests of Crete and Sicily, with their fleets reaching the coasts of France and Dalmatia and the suburbs of Constantinople. The prolonged and escalating Byzantine–Sassanid wars of the 6th and 7th centuries and the recurring outbreaks of bubonic plague left both empires exhausted and vulnerable in the face of the sudden emergence and expansion of the Arabs; the last of these wars ended with victory for the Byzantines: Emperor Heraclius regained all lost territories, restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in 629. Neither empire was given any chance to recover, as within a few years they found themselves in conflict with the Arabs, according to Howard-Johnston, "can only be likened to a human tsunami". According to George Liska, the "unnecessarily prolonged Byzantine–Persian conflict opened the way for Islam". In late 620s Muhammad had managed to conquer and unify much of Arabia under Muslim rule, it was under his leadership that the first Muslim-Byzantine skirmishes took place.
Just a few months after Emperor Heraclius and the Persian general Shahrbaraz agreed on terms for the withdrawal of Persian troops from occupied Byzantine eastern provinces in 629, Arab and Byzantine troops confronted each other at the Mu'tah in response to the death of Muhammad's ambassador by a Byzantine vassal kingdom. Muhammad died in 632 and was succeeded by Abu Bakr, the first Caliph with undisputed control of the entire Arabian Peninsula after the successful Ridda Wars, which resulted in the consolidation of a powerful Muslim state throughout the peninsula. According to Muslim biographies, having received intelligence that Byzantine forces were concentrating in northern Arabia with alleged intentions of invading Arabia, led a Muslim army north to Tabouk in present-day northwestern Saudi Arabia, with the intention of pre-emptively engaging the Byzantine army. Though it was not a battle in the typical sense the event represented the first Arab attack on the Byzantines, it did not, lead to a military confrontation.
However, there is no contemporary Byzantine account of the Tabuk expedition, many of the details come from much Muslim sources. It has been argued that there is in one Byzantine source referencing the Battle of Mu´tah traditionally dated 629, but this is not certain; the first engagements may have started as conflicts with the Arab client states of the Byzantine and Sassanid empires: the Ghassanids and the Lakhmids of Al-Hirah. In any case, Muslim Arabs after 634 pursued a full-blown invasion of both empires, resulting in the conquest of the Levant and Persia for Islam; the most successful generals were Khalid ibn al-Walid and'Amr ibn al-'As. In the Levant, the invading Rashidun army were engaged by a Byzantine army composed of imperial troops as well as local levies. According to Islamic historians and Jews throughout Syria welcomed the Arabs as liberators, as they were discontented with the rule of the Byzantines.. The Roman Emperor Heraclius had fallen ill and was unable to lead his armies to resist the Arab conquests of Syria and Roman Paelestina in 634.
In a battle fought near Ajnadayn in the summer of 634, the Rashidun Caliphate army achieved a decisive victory. After their victory at the Fahl, Muslim forces conquered Damascus in 634 under the command of Khalid ibn al-Walid; the Byzanti
Armenians are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the de facto independent Artsakh. There is a wide-ranging diaspora of around 5 million people of full or partial Armenian ancestry living outside modern Armenia; the largest Armenian populations today exist in Russia, the United States, Georgia, Germany, Lebanon and Syria. With the exceptions of Iran and the former Soviet states, the present-day Armenian diaspora was formed as a result of the Armenian Genocide. Most Armenians adhere to the Armenian Apostolic Church, a non-Chalcedonian church, the world's oldest national church. Christianity began to spread in Armenia soon after Jesus' death, due to the efforts of two of his apostles, St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew. In the early 4th century, the Kingdom of Armenia became the first state to adopt Christianity as a state religion. Armenian is an Indo-European language, it has two mutually intelligible and written forms: Eastern Armenian, today spoken in Armenia, Artsakh and the former Soviet republics.
The unique Armenian alphabet was invented in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots. The name Armenian has come to internationally designate this group of people, it was first used by neighbouring countries of ancient Armenia. The earliest attestations of the exonym Armenia date around the 6th century BC. In his trilingual Behistun Inscription dated to 517 BC, Darius I the Great of Persia refers to Urashtu as Armina (in Old Persian. In Greek, Αρμένιοι "Armenians" is attested from about the same time the earliest reference being a fragment attributed to Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC, he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. Armenians call themselves Hay; the name has traditionally been derived from Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, according to Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region.
It is further postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. Movses Khorenatsi, the important early medieval Armenian historian, wrote that the word Armenian originated from the name Armenak or Aram; the Armenian Highland is the area surrounding the highest peak of the region. A controversial hypothesis put forward by some scholars, such as T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov, has proposed that the Indo-European homeland was around the Armenian Highland; the modern Armenian language is grouped with Greek and Ancient Macedonian in the Pontic Indo-European subgroup of Indo-European languages by Eric P. Hamp in his 2012 Indo-European family tree, groups. There are two possible explanations, not mutually exclusive, for a common origin of the Armenian and Greek languages. Ancient Greek scholars, such as Herodotus, suggest that the Phrygians of western Anatolia, who spoke an Indo-European language, had made a contribution to the ethnogenesis of the Armenians: "the Armenians were equipped like Phrygians, being Phrygian colonists".
This appears to imply that some Phrygians migrated eastward to Armenia following the destruction of Phrygia by a Cimmerian invasion in the late 7th century BC. Greek scholars believed that the Phrygians had originated in the Balkans, in an area adjoining Macedonia, from where they had emigrated to Anatolia many centuries earlier. In Hamp's view the homeland of the proposed Greco-Armenian subgroup is the northeast coast of the Black Sea and its hinterlands, he assumes that they migrated from there southeast through the Caucasus with the Armenians remaining after Batumi while the pre-Greeks proceeded westwards along the southern coast of the Black Sea. Some genetics studies explain Armenian diversity by several mixtures of Eurasian populations that occurred between ~3,000 and ~2,000 BC, but genetic signals of population mixture cease after ~1,200 BC when Bronze Age civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean world and violently collapsed. Armenians have since remained isolated and genetic structure within the population developed ~500 years ago when Armenia was divided between the Ottomans and the Safavid Empire in Iran.
In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittite Empire and Hayasa-Azzi. Soon after Hayasa-Azzi came Arme-Shupria, the Nairi and the Kingdom of Urartu, who successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highland; each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people. Under Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian empire reached the Caucasus Mountains. Yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, was founded in 782 BC by king Argishti I; the first geographical entity, called Armenia by neighboring peoples was established in the late 6th century BC u
Movses Khorenatsi was a prominent Armenian historian from the period of Late Antiquity and the author of the History of Armenia. Khorenatsi is credited with the earliest known historiographical work on the history of Armenia written in Armenian, but was a poet, or hymn writer, a grammarian; the History of Armenia was written at the behest of Prince Sahak of the Bagratuni dynasty and has had an enormous impact on Armenian historiography. It was used and quoted extensively by medieval Armenian authors. Although other Armenians such as Agathangelos had written histories on Armenia, Movses' work holds particular significance because it contains unique material on the old oral traditions in Armenia before its conversion to Christianity and, more traces Armenian history from Movses' day back to its origins. Khorenatsi is considered to be the "father of Armenian history", is sometimes referred to as the "Armenian Herodotus." Khorenatsi's work became the first attempt of a universal history of Armenia.
Movses identified himself as a young disciple of Mesrop Mashtots, inventor of the Armenian alphabet, is recognized by the Armenian Apostolic Church as one of the Holy Translators. Movses' biographical details are given at the end of the History of the Armenians but additional information provided by medieval Armenian historians have allowed modern scholars to piece together additional information on him. Movses was believed to have been born in the village of Khorni in the Armenian province of Taron or Turuberan sometime in 410. However, some scholars contend that if he was born here, he would have been known as Movses of Khorneh or Khoron, they instead move the location of his birth from Taron to the Armenian province of Syunik, in the village of Khorena in the region of Harband. He received his education in Syunik' and was sent to be taught under the auspices of Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet, Catholicos Sahak Partev. In having considerable difficulty translating the Bible from Greek to Armenian and Sahak felt the need to send Movses and several of their other students to Alexandria, Egypt, at that time the center of education and learning, so that they themselves learn the Greek and Syriac languages, as well as grammar, oratory and philosophy.
The students left Armenia sometime between 432 and 435. First they went to Edessa, they moved towards Jerusalem and Alexandria. After studying in Alexandria for five to six years and his classmates returned to Armenia, only to find that Mesrop and Sahak had died. Movses expressed his grief in a lament at the end of History of the Armenians: While they awaited our return to celebrate their student’s accomplishments, we hastened from Byzantium, expecting that we would be dancing and singing at a wedding...and instead, I found myself grieving at the foot of our teachers' graves... I did not arrive in time to see their eyes close nor hear them speak their final words. To further complicate their problems, the atmosphere in Armenia that Movses and the other students had returned to was one, hostile and they were viewed at with contempt by the native population. While Armenian historians blamed this on an ignorant populace, Persian ideology and policy lay at fault, since its rulers "could not tolerate educated young scholars fresh from Greek centers of learning."
Given this atmosphere and persecution by the Persians, Movses went into hiding in a village near Vagharshapat and lived in relative seclusion for several decades. Gyut, Catholicos of All Armenians, one day met Movses while traveling through the area and, unaware of his true identity, invited him to supper with several of his students. Movses was silent, but after Gyut's students encouraged him to speak, Movses made a marvelous speech at the dinner table. One of the Catholicos' students was able to identify Movses. Gyut embraced Movses and, being either a Chalcedonian Christian, or, at least, tolerant of them, brought his friend back from seclusion and appointed him to be a bishop in Bagrevan. Serving as a bishop, Movses was approached by Prince Sahak Bagratuni, having heard of Movses' reputation, asked him to write a history of the Armenians the biographies of Armenian kings and the origins of the Armenian nakharar families. Armenian historian Artashes Matevosyan placed Movses' completion of History to the year 474 CE based on his research on the Chronicle by the sixth century Armenian historian Atanas Taronatsi.
One of his primary reasons for taking up Sahak Bagratuni's request is given in the first part of Patmutyun Hayots, or History of the Armenians: "For though we are small and limited in numbers and have been conquered many times by foreign kingdoms, yet too, many acts of bravery have been performed in our land, worthy of being written and remembered, but of which no one has bothered to write down." His work is a first historical record that covered the whole history of Armenia from a ancient period until the death of the historian. His History served as a textbook to study the history of Armenia until the eighteenth century. Movses' history gives a rich description of the oral traditions that were popular among the Armenians of the time, such as the roma
Koryun was the earliest Armenian-language historian. Writing in the fifth century, his "Life of Mashtots" contains many details about the evangelization of Armenia and the invention of the Armenian alphabet; some Armenian and European scholars, such as G. Alishan, O. Torosyan, G. Fintigliyan, A. Sarukhan, G. Ter-Mkrtchyan, S. Weber and others, have speculated that Koryun could have been an ethnic Georgian or Georgian-Armenian. Having received his early education under Mesrob Mashtots, Koryun went to Byzantium for higher studies, returning to Armenia with other students in 432, he was a close friend of Eznik Ghevond. He was appointed Bishop of Georgia, he has been listed among the junior translators. His style is somewhat obscure due to grammatical irregularities. To him have been attributed the translations of the three apocryphal books of the Maccabees. Koryun was the origin of the claim. After the death of Mashtots, Koryun was tasked by Hovsep Hoghotsmetsi, one of the spiritual leaders at that time, to start writing Mesrop's biography.
Now his work is known as "Varq Mashtotsi". He finished his work before new political developments in the region. In the modern period it was translated into Russian, English and German. Koryun, The Life of Mashtots
The Umayyad Caliphate spelt Omayyad, was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty; the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, was a member of the Umayyad clan. The family established dynastic, hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, who became the sixth Caliph after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661. After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflicts over the succession resulted in a Second Civil War and power fell into the hands of Marwan I from another branch of the clan. Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, Damascus was their capital; the Umayyads continued the Muslim conquests, incorporating the Transoxiana, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 11,100,000 km2 and 33 million people, making it one of the largest empires in history in both area and proportion of the world's population.
The dynasty was overthrown by a rebellion led by the Abbasids in 750. Survivors of the dynasty established themselves in Cordoba in the form of an Emirate and a Caliphate, lasting until 1031; the Umayyad Caliphs were considered too secular by some of their Muslim subjects. Christians, who still constituted a majority of the Caliphate's population, Jews were allowed to practice their own religion but had to pay a head tax from which Muslims were exempt. There was, the Muslim-only zakat tax, earmarked explicitly for various welfare progammes. Muawiya's wife Maysum was a Christian. Relations between the caliphate's Muslim and Christian subjects were stable in this time; the Umayyads were involved in frequent battles with the Christian Byzantines without being concerned with protecting themselves in Syria, which had remained Christian like many other parts of the empire. Prominent positions were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in Byzantine governments; the employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious accommodation, necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, as in Syria.
This policy boosted Muawiya's popularity and solidified Syria as his power base. According to tradition, the Umayyad family and Muhammad both descended from a common ancestor, Abd Manaf ibn Qusai, they came from the city of Mecca in the Hijaz. Muhammad descended from Abd Manāf via his son Hashim, while the Umayyads descended from Abd Manaf via a different son, Abd-Shams, whose son was Umayya; the two families are therefore considered to be different clans of the same tribe. While the Umayyads felt deep animosity towards the Hashimites before Muhammad, their animosity deepened after the Battle of Badr of 624; the battle saw. This fueled the opposition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, the grandson of Umayya, to Muhammad, his family, Islam as a whole. Abu Sufyan sought to exterminate the adherents of the new religion by waging another battle against the Medina-based Muslims only a year after the Battle of Badr, he did this to avenge the defeat at Badr. Scholars regard the Battle of Uhud as the first defeat for the Muslims, since they incurred greater losses than the Meccans.
After the battle, Abu Sufyan's wife Hind, the daughter of Utba ibn Rabi'ah, is reported to have cut open the corpse of Hamza, taking out his liver which she attempted to eat. In 629, within five years of the defeat in the Battle of Uhud, Muhammad took control of Mecca and announced a general amnesty for all. Abu Sufyan and his wife Hind embraced Islam on the eve of the conquest of Mecca; the Umayyad's ascendancy began when Uthman ibn Affan, an early companion, second cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad became the third Caliph. Uthman placed some members of his clan at positions of power. Most notably, he appointed his first cousin, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, as his top advisor, which created a stir among the Hashimite companions of Muhammad, as Marwan had been permanently exiled from Medina by Muhammad. Uthman appointed his half-brother, Walid ibn Uqba, whom Hashimites accused of leading prayer while under the influence of alcohol, governor of Kufa and appointed his foster-brother Abdullah ibn Saad as the Governor of Egypt, replacing Amr ibn al-As.
Most notably, Uthman consolidated Muawiyah's governorship of Syria by granting him control over a larger area. Muawiyah proved a successful governor, he built up a loyal and disciplined army composed of Syrian Arabs and befriended Amr ibn al-As, the ousted governor of Egypt. In 639 Muawiyah was appointed as the governor of Syria after the previous governor Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah died in a plague along with 25,000 other people. In 649 Muawiyah set up a navy manned by Monophysite Christian and Jacobite Syrian Christian sailors and Muslim troops, who defeated the Byzantine navy at the Battle of the Masts in 655, opening up the Mediterranean. Uthman's rule saw the relaxing of restrictions instituted by the second Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khatt