Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Southeast Armenia – Persian Armenia

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 28, 2015

Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Eastern Armenia (Armenian: Արևելյան Հայաստան Arevelyan Hayastan) is a term used by Armenians to refer to the eastern parts of the Armenian Highlands, the traditional homeland of the Armenian people.

Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստան, tr. Hayastan), officially the Republic of Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն, tr. Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun), is a mountainous country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia.

Located in Western Asia, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.

The native Armenian name for the country is Hayk, also known as Haik Nahapet (Հայկ Նահապետ, Hayk the Tribal Chief). The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk (Հայկ), the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, who, according to the 5th-century AD author Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region. The name in the Middle Ages was extended to Hayastan, by addition of the Persian suffix -stan (place).

Hayk would then be an aitiological founding figure, like e.g. Asshur for the Assyrians, etc. One of Hayk’s most famous scions, Aram, settled in Eastern Armenia from the Mitanni kingdom (Western Armenia), when Sargon II mentions a king of part of Armenia who bore the (Armenian-Indo-Iranian) name Bagatadi (“Theodore”).

Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa (Armenian: Հայասա) was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Armenian Highlands, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located north of the Euphrates and to the south of Hayasa. The Hayasa-Azzi confederation was in conflict with the Hittite Empire in the 14th century BC, leading up to the collapse of Hatti around 1190 BC.

The similarity of the name Hayasa to the endonym of the Armenians, Hayk or Hay and the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan has prompted the suggestion that the Hayasa-Azzi confereration was involved in the Armenian ethnogenesis. Thus, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia of 1962 posited that the Armenians derive from a migration of Hayasa into Shupria in the 12th century BC.

There have been further speculations as to the existence of a Bronze Age tribe of the Armens (Armans, Armani; Armenian: Արմեններ Armenner, Առամեններ Aṙamenner), either identical to or forming a subset of the Hayasa-Azzi. In this case, Armenia would be an ethnonym rather than a toponym.

Armenian tradition has an eponymous ancestor, Aram, a lineal descendent of Hayk (Հայկ), son of Harma and father of Ara the Beautiful (according to classical Armenian historian Moses of Chorene). Aram is sometimes equated with Arame of Urartu, the earliest known king of Urartu. The endonym Hayk’ (from Classical Armenian) in the same tradition is traced to Hayk himself.

The names Armen and Arman, feminine Arminé, are common given names by Armenians. Armin is also a Persian given name. The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc. Armin is a given name or surname, and is an ancient Zoroastrian given name, meaning Guardian of Aryan Land.

The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription (515 BC) as Armina (Old Persian a.png Old Persian ra.png Old Persian mi.png Old Persian i.png Old Persian na.png). The ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία (Armenía) and Ἀρμένιοι (Arménioi, “Armenians”) are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus (c. 550 BC – c. 476 BC). According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a lineal descendant of Hayk.

Urartu (Armenian: Ուրարտու – Urartu, Assyrian: māt Urarṭu; Babylonian: Urashtu), corresponding to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat (Armenian: Արարատյան Թագավորություն) or Kingdom of Van (Armenian: Վանի Թագավորություն, Urartian: Biai, Biainili) was an Iron Age kingdom centered on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands.

Scholars such as Carl Ferdinand Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt (1910) believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after their god Khaldi (Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk), one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). His shrine was at Ardini (likely from Armenian Artin, meaning “sun rising” or to “awake”, and it persists in Armenian names to this day), known as Muṣaṣir (Armenian: Մուծածիր, Assyrian KURMu-ṣa-ṣir and variants, including Mutsatsir), Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake.

Of all the gods of Ararat (Urartu) pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him. His wife was the goddess Arubani. He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, standing on a lion.

Scholars believe that Urartu is an Akkadian variation of Ararat of the Old Testament. Indeed, Mount Ararat is located in ancient Urartian territory, approximately 120 km north of its former capital. In addition to referring to the famous Biblical mountain, Ararat also appears as the name of a kingdom in Jeremiah 51:27, mentioned together with Minni and Ashkenaz.

In the early 6th century BC, the Urartian Kingdom was replaced by the Armenian Orontid dynasty. In the trilingual Behistun inscription, carved in 521 or 520 BC by the order of Darius the Great of Persia, the country referred to as Urartu in Assyrian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in Elamite.

It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî.

There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources. The earliest is from an inscription which mentions Armânum together with Ibla (Ebla) as territories conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad in ca. 2250 BC.

Another mention by pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt in the 33rd year of his reign (1446 BC) as the people of Ermenen, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”.

Mitanni (Hittite cuneiform KUR URU.Mi-ta-an-ni; Mittani Mi-it-ta-ni), also called Hanigalbat (Hanigalbat, Khanigalbat cuneiform Ḫa-ni-gal-bat) in Assyrian or Naharin in Egyptian texts was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia from ca. 1500 BC–1300 BC.

The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably, according to Michael C. Astour.

Founded by an Indo-Aryan ruling class governing a predominantly Hurrian population, Mitanni came to be a regional power after the Hittite destruction of Amorite Babylon and a series of ineffectual Assyrian kings created a power vacuum in Mesopotamia.

At the beginning of its history, Mitanni’s major rival was Egypt under the Thutmosids. However, with the ascent of the Hittite empire, Mitanni and Egypt made an alliance to protect their mutual interests from the threat of Hittite domination.

The ethnicity of the people of Mitanni is difficult to ascertain. A treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses.[9] Kammenhuber (1968) suggested that this vocabulary was derived from the still undivided Indo-Iranian language, but Mayrhofer (1974) has shown that specifically Indo-Aryan features are present.

Hurrian is related to Urartian, the language of Urartu, both belonging to the Hurro-Urartian language family. It had been held that nothing more can be deduced from current evidence. A Hurrian passage in the Amarna letters – usually composed in Akkadian, the lingua franca of the day – indicates that the royal family of Mitanni was by then speaking Hurrian as well.

The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenians. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia and the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It has historically been spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands and today is widely spoken in the Armenian diaspora.

The loans from Iranian languages initially led linguists to erroneously classify Armenian as an Iranian language. The distinctness of Armenian was only recognized when Hübschmann (1875) used the comparative method to distinguish two layers of Iranian loans from the older Armenian vocabulary.

W. M. Austin (1942) concluded that there was an early contact between Armenian and Anatolian languages, based on what he considered common archaisms, such as the lack of a feminine and the absence of inherited long vowels.

However, unlike shared innovations (or synapomorphies), the common retention of archaisms (or symplesiomorphy) is not necessarily considered evidence of a period of common isolated development.

Soviet linguist Igor Diakonov (1985) noted the presence in Old Armenian of what he calls a Caucasian substratum, identified by earlier scholars, consisting of loans from the Kartvelian and Northeast Caucasian languages.

Noting that the Hurro-Urartian peoples inhabited the Armenian homeland in the second millennium b.c., Diakonov identifies in Armenian a Hurro-Urartian substratum of social, cultural, and animal and plant terms.

Some of the terms he gives admittedly have an Akkadian or Sumerian provenance, but he suggests they were borrowed through Hurrian or Urartian.

Given that these borrowings do not undergo sound changes characteristic of the development of Armenian from Proto-Indo-European, he dates their borrowing to a time before the written record but after the Proto-Armenian language stage.

In 1981, Hopper proposed to divide all Indo-European languages into Decem and Taihun groups, according to the pronunciation of the numeral ’10’, by analogy with the Centum-Satem isogloss, which is based on the pronunciation of the numeral ‘100’.

The Armenian, Germanic, Anatolian, and Tocharian subfamilies belong to the Taihun group because the numeral ’10’ begins with a voiceless t there. All other Indo-European languages belong to the Decem group because the numeral 10 begins with a voiced d in them. The question then can be framed as which, if either, of these groups reflects the original state of things, and which is an innovation.

The Armenian hypothesis of the Proto-Indo-European Urheimat, based on the Glottalic theory, suggests that the Proto-Indo-European language was spoken during the 4th millennium BC in the Armenian Highland.

It is an Indo-Hittite model and does not include the Anatolian languages in its scenario. The phonological peculiarities proposed in the Glottalic theory would be best preserved in the Armenian language and the Germanic languages, the former assuming the role of the dialect which remained in situ, implied to be particularly archaic in spite of its late attestation.

The Proto-Greek language would be practically equivalent to Mycenaean Greek and date to the 17th century BC, closely associating Greek migration to Greece with the Indo-Aryan migration to India at about the same time (viz., Indo-European expansion at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, including the possibility of Indo-European Kassites).

The Armenian hypothesis was proposed by Russian linguists T. V. Gamkrelidze and V. V. Ivanov in 1985, presenting it first in two articles in Vestnik drevnej istorii and then in a much larger work.

Gamkrelidze and Ivanov argue that IE spread out from Armenia into the Pontic steppe, from which it expanded – as per the Kurgan hypothesis – into Western Europe. The Hittite, Indo-Iranian, Greek and Armenian branches split from the Armenian homeland.

The Armenian hypothesis argues for the latest possible date of Proto-Indo-European (sans Anatolian), roughly a millennium later than the mainstream Kurgan hypothesis. In this, it figures as an opposite to the Anatolian hypothesis, in spite of the geographical proximity of the respective suggested Urheimaten, diverging from the timeframe suggested there by as much as three millennia.

Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list.

Aratta is in Sumerian literature mentioned as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach. It is home to the goddess Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk. It is conquered by Enmerkar of Uruk.

Inanna was the most prominent female deity in ancient Mesopotamia.[1] As early as the Uruk period (ca. 4000–3100 BC), Inanna was associated with the city of Uruk.

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.

The Satrapy of Armenia was established in the 6th century BC, after the fall of Urartu. In the 1st century BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great.

After the fall of the Median empire In 550 BC. Cyrus the Great, King of the Persians, took control of the Median empire and conquered Asia Minor and Mesopotamia. Cyrus’ son continued his father’s campaign in Egypt. Eventually, Armenia became a dependency of Persia.

The Armenian contingents, cavalry and infantry, had taken part in Cyrus the Great’s conquest of Lydia in 546 BC and of Babylonia in 539 BC. A rebellion of ten subject nations — one of them Armenia — broke out against Persia during the reign of Darius the Great (522–486 BC).

Persian Armenia or Persarmenia (Middle Persia: Armin, Armenian: Պարսկահայաստան Parskahayastan), corresponds to the Persian territory in which Armenians have lived until the Muslim conquest of Persia.

Between the 4th and the 20th centuries, Armenia was partitioned several times and the terms Eastern and Western Armenia have been used to refer to its respective parts under foreign occupation or control. Although there has not been a defined line between the two.

The size of Persian Armenia varied over time. It sometimes simply referred to as Eastern Armenia. According to George A. Bournoutian, professor of Armenian history, “prior to the third century A.D., Iran had more influence on Armenia’s culture than any of its other neighbours. Intermarriage among the Iranian and Armenian nobility was common.”

Armenia was divided between Sassanian Persia and the Roman Empire. As conflict between the Romans and Sassanids escalated about three centuries after the birth of Jesus, Yazdegerd II began to view Christianity in the Northern lands as a political threat to the cohesiveness of the Persian empire.

The dispute appears to be based on Persian military considerations of the time given that according to Acts 2:9 in the Acts of the Apostles there were Persians, Parthians and Medes (all Iranian tribes) among the very first new Christian converts at Pentecost and Christianity has had a long history in Iran as a minority religion, dating back to the very early years of the faith.

Ultimately the disputing parties were able to come to terms making Armenians the first people to adopt Christianity as their national faith. The Armenians chose Christianity as their state religion in 301. As a result, previously predominant Zoroastrianism and paganism in Armenia gradually declined.

Sassanian Persia established control in Eastern Armenia after the fall of the Arshakuni Armenian kingdom in 428. the conversion to Christianity by Armenians in the North was of particular concern to Yazdegerd II.

After a successful invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire, Yazdegerd began summoning Armenian nobles to Ctesiphon and reconverted them to Zoroastrianism (a faith many Armenians shared with Persians prior to Christianity).

This upset the Armenian population, and under the leadership of Vardan Mamikonian an army of 66,000 Armenians rebelled against the Sassanian empire. Yazdegerd quickly subdued the rebellion at the Battle of Avarayr. The military success of the Persians ensured that Armenia would remain part of the Sassanian empire for centuries to come.

However, Armenian objections did not end until the Nvarsak Treaty, signed between the Armenian general Vahan Mamikonian and the representatives of the Persian Great King Balash at Nvarsak in 484, which guaranteed Armenia more freedom and freedom of religion (Christianity) under Sassanid rule.

Persian Armenia (a vassal state of the Persian Empire from 387, fully annexed in 428) after the country’s partition between the Byzantine and Sassanian empires and lasted until the Arab conquest of Armenia in the mid-600s.

It is also used (more commonly) for the period of Persian-controlled parts of Armenia after the 1555 Peace of Amasya until the area was ceded to Russia in 1828 following the Treaty of Turkmenchay.

Between the 16th century and first half of the 19th century, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under rule of the rivaling Ottoman and successive Iranian Empires, passing between the two over the centuries.

Russian Armenia (1828 to 1917) and Soviet Armenia (1917 to 1991), which covered the Armenian populated areas under the control of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, respectively.

For hundreds of years, the inhabitants of Eastern Armenia lived under the rule of successive Iranian empires. Starting from the early 16th century, up to 1828, Eastern Armenia was ruled by the Iranian Safavid (1501–1736), Afsharid (1736–1796), and Qajar (1789–1925) dynasties.

Subsequent wars between the Ottoman and Safavid empires led to the destruction of many of the Armenian towns, and made Armenian life difficult. Added to this, the Christian Armenians were dhimmi subjects (forming a millet) under Muslim rulers, whether Ottomans and Persians.

In 1678, the Armenian leadership secretly conducted a congress in Echmiadzin, and decided that Armenia had to be liberated from foreign domination.

At this stage, the Armenians were unable to fight against two empires at once, so they searched for help from abroad. Israel Ori, an Armenian native of Karabagh, son of an Armenian melik or prince, searched for help in many of the European capitals. Israel Ori died in 1711, without seeing the Armenian Dream realized.[dubious – discuss]

In 1722, the Tsar of Russia, Peter the Great, declared war against the Safavid Iranians, who were at that time in heavy decline. Georgians and Karabagh’s Armenians helped the Russians by rebelling against Safavid rule. David Bek commanded the rebellion for six years, until he died in the battlefield.

The Treaty of Turkmenchay was an agreement between Persia (modern day Iran) and the Russian Empire, which concluded the Russo-Persian War (1826–28). It was signed on 10 February 1828 in Torkamanchay, Iran.

By the treaty, Persia ceded to Russia control of several areas in the South Caucasus: the Erivan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh Khanate.

The boundary between Russian and Persia was set at the Aras River. These territories comprise modern-day Armenia, the southern parts of the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan, as well as Iğdır Province (nowadays part of Turkey).

The treaty was signed for Persia by Crown Prince Abbas Mirza and Allah-Yar Khan Asaf al-Daula, chancellor to Shah Fath Ali (of the Qajar Dynasty), and for Russia by General Ivan Paskievich. Like the 1813 Treaty of Gulistan, this treaty was imposed by Russia, following military victory over Persia. Paskievich threatened to occupy Tehran in five days unless the treaty was signed.

By this final treaty of 1828 and the 1813 Gulistan treaty, Russia had finalised conquering all Caucasian territories from Iran, comprising modern-day Dagestan, eastern Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, which had formed part of its concept for three centuries.

The area to the North of the river Aras, amongst which the territory of the contemporary nations of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the North Caucasian Republic of Dagestan were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia in the course of the 19th century.

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