The Battle Between Hayk and Bel

The Battle Between Hayk and Bel

On August 11, 2492 BC, on the eastern shore of Lake Van, Vayots dzor, the battle between Hayk and Bel took place. The tyrant of Mesopotamia and Elam Mesilim Bel demanded from the priests of the state of Armenia (Aratta) to accept his dominion. He received a refusal.

The combined army of Mesopotamia and Elam, which had an unprecedentedly powerful infantry at the time (about 60,000 soldiers), invaded Armenia. Self-confident Bel decided to enter the battle with one army, which he himself commanded.

The leader of the Armenian army, Hayk, received intelligence information from his grandson Kadmos that the enemy had invaded the country with two armies. The forefather decided to battle the main forces of the enemy so that they would not have time to unite.

In addition, he decided to direct the battle to a location that would provide Armenians with a positional advantage. For this reason, he deployed his 15,000 strong army on the plain located between two high mountains. Thus, the Armenian army occupied fortified positions, blocking the path of the approaching enemy.

On August 11, the enemy came near the Armenian positions. Relying on his numerical superiority, Bel decided to launch an attack without any special combat order. Hayk organized the battle structure of his army at an acute angle that was directed towards the center of the enemy forces. In addition, he strengthened the left wing of his army, sending select soldiers there.

Before the beginning of the battle, Hayk addressed the Armenians: “I pass on my country to you. You are the masters of this country, and let your calling be your only master.” (Ավանդում եմ երկիրս ձեզ, դուք եք տերը այս երկրի, և թող միակ կոչումը ձեր — տերը լինի:)

The battle chronology

1st stage of the battle. The enemy began to advance. The Armenian army attacked the center of the enemy’s battle formation. The stubborn and bloody battle was ignited.

2nd stage of the battle. Seeing the unpromising nature of the battle and the uncertainty of its outcome, Bel gave the command to retreat to the side of the hill in the rear to wait for the second army and then again attack.

3rd stage of the battle. Having noticed these maneuvers of the enemy and understood their meaning, Hayk took his guard and with a lightning strike split the battle formation of the enemy troops and approached Bel.

“He tightly tightens the wide-as-a-lake bow and launches a three-feather arrow into Bel’s chest plate. The arrow, piercing the chest, jabbed into the ground. The puffed-up Titanid, falling onto the ground, gives up the spirit.” Seeing such an incredible feat of courage, his hordes began to flee.

4th stage of the battle. The enemy began to flee in panic. Armenians pursued them until the very borders of Armenia.

Armenians had 5,000 casualties, while the enemy had 40,000.

It was the first battle on Earth for Freedom.

Armenia maintained its complete freedom and independence. Hayk was proclaimed a high priest and king, having 18 provinces of Armenia in his dominion. After this battle, for another 185 years, no one infringed on the freedom of the Armenians. We are the children of these freedom-loving people.

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