Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic
The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is a landlocked exclave of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The region covers 5,500 km2 with a population of 414,900, bordering Armenia to the east and north, Iran to the south and west, Turkey to the northwest; the area, now Nakhchivan became part of the Safavid dynasty of Iran in the 16th century. In 1828, after the last Russo-Persian War and the Treaty of Turkmenchay, the Nakhchivan Khanate passed from Iranian into Imperial Russian possession. After the 1917 February Revolution and its surrounding region were under the authority of the Special Transcaucasian Committee of the Russian Provisional Government and subsequently of the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic; when the TDFR was dissolved in May 1918, Nagorno-Karabakh and Qazakh were contested between the newly formed and short-lived states of the Democratic Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. In June 1918, the region came under Ottoman occupation. Under the terms of the Armistice of Mudros, the Ottomans agreed to pull their troops out of the Transcaucasus to make way for British occupation at the close of the First World War.
In July 1920, the Bolsheviks occupied the region and on July 28, declared the Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic with "close ties" to the Azerbaijan SSR, beginning seventy years of Soviet rule. In January 1990 Nakhchivan declared independence from the USSR to protest against the suppression of the national movement in Azerbaijan, became the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic within the newly independent Republic of Azerbaijan a year later; the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is an autonomous area of Azerbaijan, governed by its own elected legislature. The region continues to suffer from the effects of the Armenia-Azerbaijan War, its Karki exclave has been under Armenian occupation since; the administrative capital city is Nakhchivan. Vasif Talibov has been the leader since 1995. Variations of the name Nakhchivan include Nakhichevan, Naxçivan, Nakhijevan, Nakhitchevan and Nakhdjevan. Nakhchivan is mentioned in Ptolemy's Geography and by other classical writers as "Naxuana"; the 19th-century language scholar Johann Heinrich Hübschmann wrote that the name "Nakhichavan" in Armenian means "the place of descent", a Biblical reference to the descent of Noah's Ark on the adjacent Mount Ararat.
Armenian tradition says. First century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote about Nakhichevan, saying that its original name "Αποβατηριον, or Place of Descent, is the proper rendering of the Armenian name of this city". Hübschmann noted, that it was not known by that name in antiquity, that the present-day name evolved to "Nakhchivan" from "Naxčawan"; the prefix "Naxč" derives from Naxič or Naxuč and "awan" is Armenian for "place, town". The oldest material culture artifacts found in the region date back to the Neolithic Age. On the other hand, Azerbaijani archaeologists have found that the history of Nakhchivan dates back to the Stone Age; as a result of archaeological diggings, archaeologists discovered a great number of Stone-Age materials in different regions of Nakhchivan. These materials were useful to study the Paleolithic age in Azerbaijan. Pollen analysis conducted in Gazma Cave suggests that humans in the Middle Palaeolithic lived not only in the mountain forests but in the dry woodlands found in Nakhchivan.
Several archeological sites from the dating from the Neolithic have been found in Nakhchivan, including the ancient town of Ovchular Tepesi, which includes some of the oldest salt mines in the world. The region was part of the state of Urartu and of Media, it became part of the Satrapy of Armenia under Achaemenid Persia c. 521 BC. After Alexander the Great's death in 323 BC, various Macedonian generals such as Neoptolemus tried to take control of the region, but failed and a native Armenian dynasty of Orontids flourished until Armenia was conquered by Antiochus III the Great. In 189 BC, Nakhchivan became part of the new Kingdom of Armenia established by Artaxias I. Within the kingdom, the region of present-day Nakhchivan was part of the Ayrarat and Syunik provinces. According to the early medieval Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi, from the 3rd to 2nd centuries, the region belonged to the Muratsyan nakharar family but after disputes with central power, King Artavazd I massacred the family and seized the lands and formally attached it to the kingdom.
The area's status as a major trade center allowed it to prosper. According to the Armenian historian Faustus of Byzantium, when the Sassanid Persians invaded Armenia, Sassanid King Shapur II removed 2,000 Armenian and 16,000 Jewish families in 360-370. In 428, the Armenian Arshakuni monarchy was abolished and Nakhchivan was annexed by Sassanid Persia. In 623, possession of the region was soon left to its own rule. Sebeos referred to the area as Tachkastan. Nakhchivan is said by his pupil, Koriun Vardapet, to be the place where the Armenian scholar and theologian Mesrob Mashtots finished the creation of the Armenian Alphabet and opened the first Armenian schools, it happened in the province of Gokhtan. From 640 on, the Arabs invaded Nakhchivan an
Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, located in the city of Vagharshapat, Armenia. According to scholars it was the first cathedral built in ancient Armenia, is considered the oldest cathedral in the world; the original church was built in the early fourth century—between 301 and 303 according to tradition—by Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator, following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III. It was built over a pagan temple; the core of the current building was built in 483/4 by Vahan Mamikonian after the cathedral was damaged in a Persian invasion. From its foundation until the second half of the fifth century, Etchmiadzin was the seat of the Catholicos, the supreme head of the Armenian Church. Although never losing its significance, the cathedral subsequently suffered centuries of virtual neglect. In 1441 it remains as such to this day. Since the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin has been the administrative headquarters of the Armenian Church.
Etchmiadzin was plundered by the Safavids in 1604, when relics and stones were taken out of the cathedral to New Julfa in an effort to undermine Armenians' attachment to their land. Since the cathedral has undergone a number of renovations. Belfries were added in the latter half of the seventeenth century and in 1868 a sacristy was constructed at the cathedral's east end. Today, it incorporates styles of different periods of Armenian architecture. Diminished during the early Soviet period, Etchmiadzin revived again in the second half of the twentieth century, under independent Armenia; as the main shrine of Armenian Christians worldwide, Etchmiadzin has been an important location in Armenia not only religiously, but politically and culturally. A major pilgrimage site visited places in the country. Along with several important early medieval churches located nearby, the cathedral was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. According to Armenian church tradition, the cathedral was built between 301 and 303, near the royal palace in Armenian capital city of Vagharshapat, on the location of a pagan temple.
The Kingdom of Armenia, under Tiridates III, became the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301. Agathangelos narrates in his History of the Armenians the legend of the origin of the cathedral, he writes that Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator had a vision of Jesus Christ descending from heaven and striking the earth with a golden hammer to show where the cathedral should be built. Hence, the patriarch gave the church the name of Etchmiadzin, which translates to "the Descent of the Only-Begotten." However, the name Etchmiadzin did not come into use until the 15th century, while earlier sources call it "Cathedral of Vagharshapat." The Feast of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin is celebrated by the Armenian Church 64 days after Easter, during which "a special hymn is sung, written by the 8th century Catholicos Sahak III of Dzorapor, telling of St. Gregory's vision and the Cathedral's construction." During archaeological excavations at the cathedral in 1955–56 and 1959, led by architectural historian Alexander Sahinian, remains of the original 4th-century building were discovered—including two levels of pillar bases below the current ones and a narrower altar apse under the present one.
Based on these findings, Sahinian asserted that the original church had been a three-naved vaulted basilica, similar to the basilicas of Tekor and Aparan. However, other scholars, have rejected Sahinian's view. Among them, Suren Yeremian and Armen Khatchatrian held that the original church had been in the form of a rectangle with a dome supported by four pillars. Stepan Mnatsakanian suggested that the original building had been a "canopy erected on a cross," while architecture researcher Vahagn Grigoryan suggests what Mnatsakanian describes as an "extreme view," according to which the cathedral has been in the same form as it is today. According to Faustus of Byzantium, the cathedral and the city of Vagharshapat were completely destroyed during the invasion of Persian King Shapur II in the 360s. Due to Armenia's unfavorable economic conditions, the cathedral was renovated only by Catholicoi Nerses the Great and Sahak Parthev. In 387, Armenia was partitioned between the Sasanian Empire; the eastern part of Armenia where Etchmiadzin was located remained under the rule of Armenian vassal kings subject to Persia until 428, when the Armenian Kingdom was dissolved.
In 450, in an attempt to impose Zoroastrianism on Armenians, Sasanian King Yazdegerd II built a fire temple inside the cathedral. The pyre of the fire temple was unearthed under the altar of the east apse during the excavations in the 1950s. By the last quarter of the 5th century the cathedral was dilapidated. According to Ghazar Parpetsi, it was rebuilt from the foundations by marzban of Persian Armenia Vahan Mamikonian in 483/4, when the country was stable, following the struggle for religious freedom against Persia. Most researchers have concluded that, the church was converted into cruciform church and took its current form; the new church was different from the original one and "consisted of quadric-apsidal hall built of dull, grey stone containing four free-standing cross-shaped pillars disdained to support a stone cupola." The new cathedral was "in the form of a square enclosing a Gre
Armenian literature begins around AD 400 with the invention of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots. Only a handful of fragments have survived from the most ancient Armenian literary tradition preceding the Christianization of Armenia in the early 4th century due to centuries of concerted effort by the Armenian Church to eradicate the "pagan tradition". Christian Armenian literature begins about 406 with the invention of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop for the purpose of translating Biblical books into Armenian. Isaac, the Catholicos of Armenia, formed a school of translators who were sent to Edessa, Constantinople, Antioch, Caesarea in Cappadocia, elsewhere, to procure codices both in Syriac and Greek and translate them. From Syriac were made the first version of the New Testament, the version of Eusebius' History and his Life of Constantine, the homilies of Aphraates, the Acts of Gurias and Samuna, the works of Ephrem Syrus. In these first years of the 5th century were composed some of the apocryphal works which, like the Discourses attributed to St. Gregory and the History of Armenia said to have come from Agathangelus, are asserted to be the works of these and other well-known men.
This early period of Armenian literature produced many original compositions. Eznik of Kolb wrote a "Refutation of the Sects", Koryun the "History of the Life of St. Mesrop and of the Beginnings of Armenian Literature"; these men, both of whom were disciples of Mesrop, bring to an end what may be called the Golden Age of Armenian literature. The Golden Age was to large extent a commentary and exegesis of Hebrew and Christian literary tradition and the history of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenia is known to have been a nation occupied by nearby powers, such as the Sassanid Empire; the beginning of the Medieval era was marked by the Arab conquest of Armenia. The people started to talk of a great hero who would be able to liberate them and reestablish Armenian sovereignty. David of Sasun, known as Sasuntsi Davit', is the medieval Armenian equivalent of Hercules. For over a thousand years the legend of David was passed from grandfathers to their grandsons thanks to the Armenian oral tradition, it is difficult to classify his stories as ancient or medieval.
In 1873, the story was first written down by Archbishop Karekin Servantzdiants, who copied word for word the tale as told by a peasant storyteller from Moush named Grbo. Other versions of the tale from various regions of Armenia were copied down in the ensuing years, during the early Soviet era in Armenia, the stories were collated into a "unified version". One of the most famous treatments of the story was the verse rendition made by Hovhannes Toumanian in 1902, his poem only covers the story of David, only one of 4 parts of the story, although the central portion. The four portions of the story are named after their heroes: Sanasar & Balthazar, Lion-Mher, David of Sassoun, Mher the Younger. Sanasar is the father of Lion-Mher, the father of David, the father of Mher the Younger. Mher the younger is cursed to never bear progeny and his superhuman powers are too much for the world to handle, so he is enclosed in a mountain cave where he waits until the end of the world to come out and restore order.
Despite the Christian flavor of the epic, numerous fantastic creatures and evil, influence the action. One of the ancestors of the legendary David is the Lady Dzovinar, who agrees to marry the 90-year-old King of Baghdad in order to save her people. Sanasar and Balthasar were their two sons. Sanasar moves to Sassoun, the fortress-town of Armenia, now located in Turkey, he has the eldest of them being the Great Mher of Sassoun, with superhuman powers. Mher's veritable son is David of Sassoun. However, he gets another son from the Arabic queen of Egypt, he is known as Misra Melik, which means "The sovereign of Egypt". He is the figure of all of what the Armenians resented. Throughout the years the half-brothers fought, David chops his nemesis in half; the medieval period opens with comparative sterility. It was important in the 8th century, that of John Otznetzi, surnamed the "Philosopher". A "Discourse against the Paulicians", a "Synodal Discourse", a collection of the canons of the councils and the Fathers anterior to his day, are the principal works of his now extant.
About the same time appeared the translations of the works of several of the Fathers of St. Gregory of Nyssa and Cyril of Alexandria, from the pen of Stephen, Bishop of Syunik, it was two centuries that the celebrated "History of Armenia" by the Catholicos John V the Historian came forth, covering the period from the origin of the nation to the year A. D. 925. A contemporary of his, Annine of Mok, an abbot and the most celebrated theologian of the time, composed a treatise against the Tondrakians, a sect imbued with Manicheism; the name of Chosrov, Bishop of Andzevatsentz, is honoured because of his interesting commentaries on the Breviary and Mass-Prayers. Gregory of Narek, his son, is the Armenian Pindar from whose pen came elegies, odes and homilies. Stephen Asoghtk, whose "Universal History" reaches down to A. D. 1004, Gregory Magistros, whose long poem on the Old and New Testaments displays much application, are the last writers worthy of mention in this period. The modern period of Armenian literature
David the Invincible
David the Invincible is the name given to a Neoplatonist Armenian philosopher of the 6th century. His works survive in medieval Armenian translation, he was given the byname of "invincible" in Armenian tradition; this byname had earlier been was transferred to the philosopher. Due to confusion with other authors called David and due to an abundant body of medieval legend nothing is known with certainty about the historical David. Armenian tradition makes him a native of Taron, but this is not substantiated in contemporary sources and may be due to conflation with another person, he was active in Alexandria in Byzantine Egypt, known as an expert in Aristotle's Physics. He received the byname "invincible" for his exceptional oratory and argumentative skills. David is said to have returned to his native Armenia in life, where he was active as a teacher, but he was persecuted by the church and died in exile in Haghbat. Of the number of works attributed to him, many are doubtful; the works which can be attributed to him with certainty or at least with some plausibility are not scholarly treatises but propedeutic handbooks for use in teaching beginners.
They survive only in Armenian translation. Philologically, these translations are important representatives of the "hellenizing" tradition in Armenian literature of the 6th to 8th centuries; the David Anhaght Medal, the highest-ranking medal granted by the Armenian Academy of Philosophy, is named after him. David the Invincible is a 1978 film by Levon Mkrtchyan. David
Khojivank Pantheon of Tbilisi
The Armenian Pantheon of Tbilisi known as Khojivank or Khojavank, is an Armenian architectural complex in north-eastern part of Avlabari district of Tbilisi, Georgia. Many notable Armenian writers and public figures are buried there, it consisted of a huge memorial cemetery and the Holy Mother of God Armenian Church. The church and most part of the cemetery was destroyed in 1937, most of the remaining part of the cemetery was destroyed between 1995 and 2004 during the construction of the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi Cathedral; the tiny part that remains, together with some relocated gravestones, is preserved as the Armenian Pantheon of Tbilisi. The area was given to Armenian Bebut-Bek of Bebutov family in 1612 by Shah Abbas by appropriate diploma, his son Aslan Meliq-Bebut, treasurer of Georgian king Rostom of Kartli enlarged the original cemetery, built pipes for bringing water here, planted a number of trees and in 1655 built St. Astvatsatin church, called Khojivank as a name of the founded, called by Georgian king Rostom - Khoja Bebut.
The cemetery was called Khojivank too. The building sign preserved and is kept in Historical-Ethnographic Museum of Tbilisi, which says: "In summer of Armenian year of 1104 with the wish of God I, Khoja Bebut and my brother Khatin and my wife Lali built this church of humble Aslan". St. Astvatsatsin church was dedicated to Saint Purple Mother of God, was circled in fence, had beautiful walls and had a blossoming garden beside; the diploma of Bebutovs was renewed by Teimuraz II and Erekle II. In 1899 a massive boundary wall was built around the cemetery, which by that time had enlarged immensely to become the largest Armenian cemetery in Tbilisi; the number of graves in the period before its destruction reached more than 90,000. By the 1920s burials in Khojivank had ceased. In 1934, on Lavrentiy Beria's order, the church and cemetery started to be destroyed; the St. Astvatsatin church with surrounding church buildings was destroyed, all the chapels and crypts were crushed together with most of graves, whose gravestones and khachkars of rare marble and other stones were reused as building materials in other structures.
The Marxism-Leninism Institute building used a great deal of marble from the destruction of Khojivank, as did the Baratashvili ascent, the walkway in front of the Pioneer's Palace, the Institute of the Party halls and Lavrentiy Beria's house at 11 Machabeli. The wall bordering School #68 and a water tower built in 1961 was built of those gravestones; some stones were used in a stairway in a park on Madaten island, many other buildings. Special brigades of the People's Commissariat for State Security were seeking for precious items around the cemetery; this continued until 1938, by which time most of the cemetery had been destroyed, a little part of the graves were saved and were moved to Petropavlovskoe cemetery. The gravestones of Hovhannes Tumanyan and Raffi were saved; the area was rebuilt as a park with the preliminary name "26 Commissars Park of Culture and Leisure", but its final name was "Friendship Park", where the walls were built of Armenian gravestones. On 17 March 1962 the Armenian Pantheon was opened containing about 30 saved gravestones - most of which did not have any human remains beneath them.
In 1994 construction of Holy Trinity Cathedral started inside the park area. At first it was announced to occupy area beside Khojivank, but the size of the new church was huge and it covered a significant part of Khojivank, including the site of the St. Astvatsatsin Armenian Church. During foundation work for the church and excavators dug up the remains of thousands of those, interred in the cemetery, around the future church mounds of skulls and bones were formed; these human remains, mixed with broken tombstones and other debris, were taken away in trucks to an unknown destination.. Most of the remaining graves were removed, most gravestones were removed. Grigoriy Dolukhanov's gravestone was thrown in front of the Armenian theater and left for several years; as a response to Armenian protests the construction temporarily stopped. In June 1997 construction started again. On December 25th, 2002 the first church service was held. On November 23rd, 2004 the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi was opened.
The graves in the cemetery had a great number of epigrams and gravestones with short notes, which revealed much about the Armenian population of Tbilisi, various heritages and different sides of social life. Among the more famous epigrams were Sayat-Nova's wife's gravestone epigram, which said "456. In this grave I am - wife of Sayat-Nova Marmar. Bless". Another example was epigram: "Here I am - wife of Ter-David, Archpriest of Mughni church. Who reads remember. Summer 420". Grigor Artsruni's gravestone, created like a cliff, is lost. Ghazaros Aghayan gravestone with the epigram: "Friend of children Ghazaros Aghayan" is lost too; some epigrams are preserved thanks to A. Yeremyan, who rewrote and published in Vienna the epigraphs of Khojivank of 19th century end - 20th century start, some single examples are preserved in the Historical-Ethnographic museum in Tbilisi. Yeremyan wrote, "there were thousands of granite, marble sculptures and stelea, thousands of short and exciting notes, sad poems and quatrains".
Here are some of the famous Armenians burials: Among famous Armenian families buried in Khojivank were Bebutov family Karaganov family Sarajev family Kalantarov family Kuzanov family Amirov family Sharoev family Agajanov family Ter-Davidov family Beriev family Muradov family Ter-Ghevondyan famil
Tork Angegh was an ancient Armenian masculine deity of strength, courage, of manufacturing and the arts called Torq and Durq/Turq. A creature of unnatural strength and power, Tork was considered one of Hayk's great-grandsons and represented as an unattractive male figure, he is mentioned by Armenian 4th Century historian Movses Khorenatsi and considered one of the significant deities of the Armenian pantheon prior to the time when it came under influence by Iranian and Hellenic religion and mythology. Taken in the context of Proto-Indo-European religions, it is conceivable that an etymological connection with Norse god Thor/Tyr is more than a simple coincidence. An analogy is made with the Middle-Eastern god Nergal represented as an unattractive male. 2. "Hay Joghovrdi Patmutyun", H. G. Jamgocian, 1975
Gregory of Tatev
Gregory of Tatev, or Grigor Tatevatsi was an Armenian philosopher, theologian and a saint in the Armenian Apostolic Church. He was born in Tmkaberd. A monument to Tatevatsi was unveiled on October 16, 2010 in Goris, Armenia