Are Pre-Christian Armenian Books Lost Without A Trace?

Are Pre-Christian Armenian Books Lost

The postulate has become quite strong in Armenia that priestly and generally pre-Christian books have been lost completely and irrevocably. Of course, the struggle of Christianity and paganism was accompanied by the demolition of pagan temples and led to the fact that the last pagan krmapet (high priest), Arzan, actually declared war on Grigor Lusavorich and gathered an army to fight against him. The result was his death and the eventual collapse of pre-Christian cults.

Much of this would be rehabilitated later. The Arevordik Armenian community of pagans existed before the Genocide until it was exterminated along with the rest of the Armenians in spite of their religion.

It would seem that priceless works were also destroyed. Many authors of Christian Armenia referred to them – for example, Khorenatsi, Shirakatsi, and others – realizing their value.

And at the beginning of the 20th century, Hovsep Orbeli made a landmark discovery which, due to the atrocities of the Turks, remained unnoticed.

A few centuries back, a church had been built on the site of the Aramazd temple in Western Armenia. Near it, Orbeli discovered a sealed secret passage. The passage had been built before the construction of the church and had been part of the demolished temple to the thunder god Aramazd.

Orbeli urgently demanded to excavate the area and unblock the door of the passage.

On the basis of simple logic and comparison of the Armenian underground structures, Orbeli concluded that a huge library of priestly texts was walled under the temple – Armenians had carefully hidden these texts so that they would not be burned like others. Such a library had been plain necessary given that we are talking about the main temple of Aramazd.

The discovery wouldn’t happen, however – the Turks blew up this church, and it finally buried the entire basement under it.

With that said, it would be strange to think that only this temple possessed such a library. Most likely, there is a huge number of other secret passages and cellars that the Armenians have erected later in Armenian cities.

Yekeghyats is the location of the most important temples of Armenia where one could discover the remains of ancient manuscripts and solve the question of whether the Armenian language had existed before Mashtots once and for all (some sources indicate that the alphabet of Mashtots had originally been priestly writing).

However, now that Yekeghyats is no longer Yekeghyats, it is impossible to do this, as well as to carry out excavations in the region due to the policy of the Turkish authorities. It remains only to wait for the liberation of these lands so that an opportunity for not only finding ancient relics but also preserving the found ones presents itself. More recently, the current residents of Western Armenia have broken several Urartian plates, which will be difficult to assemble back.

As the saying goes: “do not throw shrines to the dogs.”

Arthur Hakobyan, Antitopor

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1 thought on “Are Pre-Christian Armenian Books Lost Without A Trace?”

  1. I don’t think you mean “whether the Armenian language had existed before Mashtots. Obviously the language did. You mean alphabet and should say alphabet. Also, why point out new places for the turks to destroy?

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