Category: Mythology

The Legend of the Pigeons and the Mystery of Hovhannavank – Armenia

Tamerlane’s troops repeatedly raided Armenia, as testified by many legends. One of them tells about what the Armenian people living at the foothills of Mount Aragats had to go through. We will talk about the monastery of Hovhannavank. This particular legend says that the abbot of the monastery, having learned about the approaching hordes of

The Birth of the Moon and Ancient Armenian Tradition

Once a young man named Lusin (Armenian: moon; Lusin symbolized the Moon) asked his mother for a bun (the mother symbolized the Earth). The angry mother slapped him, sending him flying to the heaven. There are still traces of dough (lunar craters) on Lusin’s face. This is a striking representation of cosmic life-giving in an

Mher – The Son of Aramazd – Armenian mythology

In the Armenian mythology, Mihr – Mher – Mitra is the god of the heavenly light and sun, the son of Aramazd. In Ancient Armenia, there were several temples dedicated to Mher: a temple in Bagharij (now in Turkey), the altar “Mheri dur” (Armenian: “the door of Mher”) in the mountains near the city of

Tamerlane and Geghard Monastery – The Legend of the Spear of Destiny

A 14th-century Turco-Mongol conqueror Tamerlane has achieved outstanding military success, conquering vast territories. However, he was yet to conquer Armenia. And thereby, he decided to invade this country of mountains. Upon arriving at the Garni Gorge, Tamerlane ordered to set up a camp and sent scouts to investigate the surroundings. In the morning, one of

Armenian Traces in Scandinavian Mythology

In 1222 – 1225, Icelandic historian, poet, and politician Snorri Sturluson wrote his book “Edda” consisting of Scandinavian myths and tales. This book has long been considered a fruit of the author’s mind, having no historical basis. However, in 1643, Icelandic bishop Sveinsson discovered an ancient manuscript with songs about deities and heroes that strongly

The Genealogy of the Love Legend of Vahagn and Astghik

Historian and linguist Nicholas Marr wrote about the genealogy of the legend of the love between Armenian pagan deities Vahagn and Astghik: “However, more ancient pearls of Japhetic poetic heritage reached us, including a story about a man and a woman in love who symbolized various conditions and impersonations of nature. This love story brings

Mythical King Lion Mher and Ancient Deity Mithra

Lion Mher (Aryutsadzev Mher, from Armenian “aryuts” (lion) and “dzev” (-like)) is a mythical king from the national Armenian folk epic “Daredevils of Sassoun”. King Mher slew a lion with his bare hands, which earned him the title “lion-like”. Lion Mher is the father of David of Sassoun, the hero of the epic. The king

The Legend of the Cold Spring of Parandzem

It has been the toughest period on the war against the Persians. When Persian troops invaded the Armenian kingdom, only King Arshkak, who had been abandoned by the majority of the noblemen, continued to bravely defend his country. Unfortunately, he was captured and imprisoned during negotiations with the Persians. Although Armenia had been conquered by

A Story of Tigran Yervanduni and His Wife Armenuhi

Armenians have always highly appreciated Armenian women, being ready to sacrifice anything for them. A vivid example of this deep respect is the story of Armenian King Tigran Yervanduni (reigned between 560 – 535 BC), son of Yervand (Orontes) I Sakavakyats, and his wife. Various historical accounts testify that Tigran was a close ally of

The Legend of the Anahit Lake on the Top of Mount Ararat

Legends say that the top of Mount Ararat is crowned by a lake of extraordinary beauty. We will speak about one of the oldest of those legends known to the inhabitants of the Ararat Valley. Once upon a time, the goddess of fertility and love, golden-haired Anahit walked past the floating clouds and fell in

The Legend Behind the Armenian Name of Watermelon

The homeland of watermelon has long been under discussion, and there is no data on where this delicious summer fruit came from. Some scientists believe that it originated in southern Africa while others point to another region on the continent, like Egypt. There is evidence that the Egyptians began to grow watermelons about 4000 years

Portakars – Gates to Another World – Legends of Armenia

“Umbilical stones” or portakars (պորտաքար) are ritual stones in Armenia, associated with the cult of the goddess of fertility and motherhood (most likely, Anahit). Probably, the well-known myth about the birth of Mithra (in the Armenian mythology – Mher) from stone also influenced the formation of traditions about the portakars. In this regard, the portakars

Mothers of Night – Gisheramayrer – Armenian Mythology

In Armenian mythology, the personifications of the night darkness are evil witches with snakes in their hands, haunting the sun from the day of the creation of the world. In the evening, Gisheramayrer rise up from within the mountains to the surface to catch the sun, but alas, it’s already sunset. Then, they all start

Kachi – Myths and Legends of Armenia

Kachi link the natural chain between the Armenian dragon and the Armenian devs. In fact, they are identical with the widely known (not theological) devs. They are none other than European elves, kobolds, etc. Their name means “brave”. The ancient euphemism (as the modern Armenian expression “our best” or the Scottish “good people”) was applied

The Legend of the Sacred Dizapayt Mount

“In the 17th century, the Katarovank monastery was founded on the top of the mountain Dizapayt. There, monks performed prayer rituals to clear the area of evil spirits,” Varsenik Mkhitaryan, a resident of the village of Tumi, said. The monastery of Katarovank is a high-altitude temple in Artsakh located at an altitude of 2480 meters

The Shaki Waterfall and Its Legend

The Shaki (Շաքի) River is a modest influx of the tempestuous Vorotan (Որոտան) river, which forms a waterfall with its own amazing beauty. According to a legend, the waterfall got its name in honor of the beautiful Shaki who jumped from a high cliff, not wanting to submit to the violence from one of the

Aralez, the Gods of Ancient Armenians

Aralez (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

The Mystery of Van’s Monster

Van is the largest drainage reservoir in the territory of Western Armenia. It was covered by several legends. The Assyrians called it “the sea of the Nairi country”. The Kurds avoided the site, telling horrible stories about the Van Monster. With the development of tourism in the region, rumors arose about the existence of a