Delving into the annals of ancient history and mythology, one often encounters deities who were multifaceted in their attributes, reflecting various aspects of life, nature, and the cosmos. The pre-Christian Armenian anthology offers a treasure trove of such divine figures, though the full spectrum of their names and stories has been somewhat obscured over time due to the loss of many medieval records.
One of the most captivating figures from this anthology is Astghik Ditsuhi. Revered as the goddess of love, beauty, and water, Astghik held a special place in the Armenian pantheon. She was the celestial consort of Vahagn, the god of fire and war. Interestingly, Vahagn was not just a deity; he was revered as the progenitor of the Armenian people.
The intertwining of myth and astronomy was a common practice in the ancient world. The luminous planet Venus, which dazzled in the sky with its brilliance, was believed to be an embodiment of Astghik. Armenians lovingly named this celestial body Arus or Aruseak, drawing a direct connection between the planet and the goddess.
Historical excavations and studies have provided insights into how Astghik was venerated in regions beyond Armenia. In the ancient monasteries of Khuris, Ugarit, and among the Hittites, she was worshiped under a different epithet. The cuneiform inscriptions from these regions have identified her as Shaushka. However, recent scholarly work suggests that this name, when deciphered correctly, reads as “Aruseak.”
This revelation dovetails intriguingly with the findings presented in the work “Armenian Alphabets.” According to this research, Armenians, in the 2nd millennium BCE, resided in Ugarit, located in what is now known as Cilicia. They are credited with crafting the “Ugaritian” cuneiform script, a unique alphabet consisting of 36 characters.
The tale of Aruseak Ditsuhi, or Astghik, is not just a story of a goddess. It is a testament to the rich tapestry of Armenian culture, mythology, and history, interwoven with the cosmos, ancient scripts, and the indomitable spirit of a people. This narrative underscores the importance of preserving and studying ancient texts and inscriptions, as they often hold keys to understanding civilizations, their beliefs, and their contributions to the collective human legacy.
Reference link: Արուսեակ -Shaushka
Based on Status: Levan Tonaganyan Հայաստան Armenia Армения