Aralez, the Gods of Ancient Armenians

Aralez, the Gods of Ancient ArmeniansAralez (Արալեզ) or Aralezner (Արալեզներ) (plural) were among the oldest gods of the Armenian pantheon. Aralez is a canine creature with the ability to resurrect fallen warriors by licking their wounds. They were the invisible spirits of dogs.

Ara the Beautiful (according to a legend recorded by historian Movses Khorenatsi)

Ancient Armenians believed that if a brave warrior fell in battle or at the hands of a traitor, the spirits called “Aralez” would come down to resurrect him.

In the days of Ara the Beautiful, these spirits were called the gods of Semiramis (Armenian: Շամիրամ, Shamiram). It is known that the Armenian king Ara the Beautiful was killed during a battle between the Armenian army and the army of the Assyrian Queen Semiramis.

The Assyrian queen sent her faithful people to the battlefield so that they could find the body of her beloved among the dead. They found Ara’s body among the fallen braves, and the queen ordered them to take him to the upper chamber in her palace.

But when the rulers of Armenia rose against the queen Semiramis to avenge the death of Ara, she said:

“I ordered the gods to lick his wounds, and he will live again.”

Mushegh Mamikonyan

In the notes on the real case of the murder of Mushegh Mamikonyan, the commander (sparapet) of the Armenian army, these ancient gods are also spoken of. The notes say:

“His family (Mushegh’s) could not believe that he had died… Others expected him to rise from his bed, so they took him to the tower, saying, “Since he was a brave man, Aralez will come down and pick him up.”

• The body of Ara Geghetsik (Ara the Beautiful) brought to Queen Semiramis. By artist Giuliano Zasso.
• Aralez, the Guardian of Order.
• Aralez.
• Aralez.


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