“Karabakh (Artsakh) is a country lying between the left bank of the Araks and the right bank of the Kura Rivers, above the Mugan field, in the mountains. Its main inhabitants are Armenians, who are hereditarily governed by 5 meliks or natural princes.
Each of them can provide up to 1 thousand soldiers. On the directive of Nadir (shah), these meliks are directly dependent on the Shah. The strongest village in Karabakh is Shusha.
It belonged to the melik Shahnazar Varandinsky, who, after quarreling with another two meliks, Adam Cherapersky and Yusup Igermidortsky, entered into an alliance with Pena Khan, the ruler of the Chevanshir Tatar people who roamed near Karabakh.
After Nadir’s death, he passed Shusha to Pena Khan and waged a war against the two enemy meliks for 20 years.”
Academician A. Butkov, “Materials on the New History of the Caucasus”, St. Petersburg, 1869. Academy of Sciences of Russia, vol. 1, p. 385-386.