Monthly archives: September, 2021

Artashat is the capital of Ancient Armenia

Artashat (aka Artaxata) was the capital of Ancient Armenia from 176 BCE and remained so for over 300 years of the kingdom’s history. Located just south of Armenia’s modern capital Yerevan, according to the ancient historian Plutarch, the city‘s original fortifications were planned by the Carthaginian general Hannibal. The city would need all the defences it could muster as it was …

Portraits By Sarkis Diranian – Gallery

We all know the great Armenian painters like Ivan (Hovhannes Aivazian) Aivazovsky, Martiros Saryan and Arshile Gorky. But there are many amazing artists of the past and present who tend to be looked over. So every now and then I’ll write an article to bring these forgotten artists to the forefront and hopefully the public can appreciate their …

Raphael Lemkin: The Word Genocide (Video)

Raphael Lemkin: The Word Genocide (Video)

The term Genocide didn’t exist until 1943, when Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin coined it — pairing the Greek “genos,” meaning race or family, with the Latin “-cidere,” for killing. Raphael Lemkin, as a teenager, paid close attention to the massacre of the Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and spent his life campaigning …

Was Iron Age Armenia Haunted By A Plague?

Was Iron Age Armenia Haunted By A Plague?

In a 2015 publication, researchers did an analysis of teeth from the remains of 101 individuals that were collected from a variety of museums and archaeological excavations.  They found DNA of the bacterium that causes plague, called Yersinia pestis, in seven of these people. The earliest sample that had plague DNA was from Bronze Age …

Was “Mimar Sinan Agha The Grand Architect” An Armenian?

Was “Mimar Sinan Agha The Grand Architect” An Armenian?

Armenians have a rich tradition of being royal architects of the Ottoman empire. Take for example the Balyan family, a prominent Armenian family of Ottoman court architects in the service of sultans for two centuries. However, the ethnic background of the empire’s most outstanding architect “Mimar Sinan” is disputed. There are multiple claims regarding Sinan’s …

The Legend Of The Jermuk Deer

The Legend Of The Jermuk Deer

On top of a mountain in Jermuk, you can spot a majestic statue of a deer, looking over the landscape. It’s a spectacular view, especially during sunset or sundown. The story behind the statue is basically a legend, regarding the once full of deer populated region of Jermuk and the healing powers of the Jermuk …

Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts

Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts

The Armenian tradition of illuminating and illustrating hand written manuscripts dates as far back as the seventh century and continued to flourish under royal patronage in the kingdom of Cilicia in the tenth and eleventh centuries. In this video, Professor Christina Maranci explores the range of functions that these manuscripts served—from modest personal devotion to …

Yarkhushta – Armenian Ceremonial War Dance

Yarkhushta – Armenian Ceremonial War Dance

The “Yarkhushta” is traditionally known as a ceremonial war dance that originated in Western Armenia, specifically in Sassoun. It belongs to a wider category of Armenian ‘clap dances’ or also known as tsap parer – ծափ-պարեր. Armenian soldiers traditionally dance Yarkhushta before combat engagements, for ritualistic purposes and partly to cast off fear and boost …

Mamikonian Dynasty

Mamikonian Dynasty

The Mamikonians were a powerful clan group who were influential in Armenian political and military affairs from the 1st century BCE onwards. They rose to particular prominence from c. 428 CE to 652 CE in the half of Armenia ruled by the Sasanian Empire when marzpan viceroys represented the Persian king. One of the dynasty’s most famous figures is Vardan Mamikonian …

How Armenia’s Winemaking Heritage Is Being Rejuvenated

How Armenia’s Winemaking Heritage Is Being Rejuvenated

Henry Jeffreys visits a country rediscovering its viticultural riches. Every 100 metres or so on the main road to Iran that runs through the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia there is a stall selling tomatoes, watermelons and Coca-Cola. I was with an Italian-Armenian businessman Zorik Gharibian and his wife Yeraz, and they suggested we stop …

Historiography of the military history of Bagratid Armenia

Historiography of the military history of Bagratid Armenia

The strengthening of the Byzantine Empire and the weakening of the Arab Caliphate led to a change in the geopolitical situation in the Caucasus in the late ninth century, which in turn allowed the Armenian state to gain independence from Muslim rule. The newly created state was headed by representatives of the Bagratid family (The Bagratids are an aristocratic noble family whose roots go back to the …

Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia

Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia

The Arsacid (Arshakuni) dynasty of Armenia ruled that kingdom from 12 CE to 428 CE. A branch of the Arsacid dynasty of Parthia, the Armenian princes also played out a prolonged balancing act by remaining friendly to the other great power of the period and region: Rome. As so often before, Armenia continued to be a hotly disputed territory …

Military organization of Bagratid Armenia in the IX-XI centuries

Military organization of Bagratid Armenia in the IX-XI centuries

Published with permission of the author. The original article was published in the collection Days of Science of the Faculty of History: Proceedings of the VIII International Scientific Conference of Young Scientists. Editor-in-Chief: Corresponding Member NASU, prof. V. Kolesnyk (chairman), O. Magdych (ed.). Vip. VIII Part 6. (Kyiv 2015): 17-23. Reference to the article: www.academia.edu Weakening of the Arab Caliphate in the late ninth …