Armenians and Kiev

In the 1970s, during the restoration works in the Sophia Cathedral of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, numerous inscriptions were found beneath ancient layers of lime and alabaster.

The restoration work was carried out by Gosstroy of the Ukrainian SSR. The Soviet Union was thriving, and the unity among the nations was strong, so the uncovered wall fragments were photographed and the pictures were sent to the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR.

The inscriptions indeed turned out to be Armenian, so the colleagues from Kiev sent an invitation, and two researchers from the institute, G. Grigoryan and S. Sagumyan, were assigned to the expert group to study and decode the findings.

One of them later wrote a scientific article, which was published in the “Historical-Philological Journal of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR” in 1979. He wrote what was considered acceptable for publication at the time. However, the editor ruthlessly noted in the footnote: “Some of the decodings are doubtful.” For example, here is a deciphered inscription from the wall of the Sophia Cathedral, listed in the catalog under number 5:

Ես, Խաչատուր, Փիհթային որդին, հար Ուսէբին, ծառայ Քր[իստոսի] Հ[իսուսի] , որ անուն կոչի Քաֆացի, թվ. ՌԻԶ եկայ Մանքրման: Ամէն: Then, the author of the article provides his translation: “I, Khachatur, nicknamed Kafatsi (i.e. Kafian), son of Pitaya, father of Useba, servant of Jesus Christ, arrived in Mankerman in 1026 (1577).”

Not quite. Or rather, not at all. If we are careful with the translation and scientifically accurate, the following is written: “I, Khachatur, son of Pikhaya, father of Useba, servant of J[esus] Chr[ist], known as Kafatsi, arrived in Mankrman in 1206. Amen.”

In the original, the unknown Khachatur positions himself first and foremost as a father, then a son, then a Christian, and only after that talks about his own authority. And agree, that notoriety and “nickname” are far from identical concepts. But this permutation and humiliation of a long-deceased Armenian seem not so important.

And it’s not so important whether he “came” or “arrived” from the Crimean Kaffa by another means. These are still just details, demonstrating the author’s ability and readiness for scrupulousness and scientific research. And it would be nothing, if it weren’t for the half thousand years casually added in the translation.

That’s how the Soviet historical time machine worked, and the Armenian guest from Kaffa of the 11th century became a guest from the future. But let’s not judge the author of the article yet, who could have been right under one condition, and here it is.

In the 6th century, when Constantinople was dealing with numerous issues, fighting Monophysitism and Arianism one moment, and legitimizing their representatives the next, the Church of indigenous Armenia took several steps to ensure its own independence and extraterritoriality.

Among other things, in 584, retrospectively, during the reign of Catholicos Moses II, they accepted a new calendar proposed at the Dvin Synod starting from 552 AD.

From then on, the dating in the country of the first state Christianity was supposed to differ from the entire Christian world by 551 years, shortening the biography of their own people and state.

Just as the Arabs did a few decades later – but they established a new religion! We, however, deprived ourselves like infidels, even though we were the first apologists and disseminators of Christianity.

But there is an important detail here: in making such a decision, the Armenian Apostolic Church obliged anyone “writing or embodying” the strictly local church dating to mandatorily append the following after the mentioned date:

“According to the Armenian (Our; Armenian; Aram’s; Abet’s, etc., there are many variants) calendar”. The same clarification was allowed to be mentioned in short, by putting the letters “A” (Armenian; Aram’s; Abet’s) “N” (մեր; ours) or “h” (հայոց; հայկազեան; Armenian) after the date.

That is, in some form, the dating system had to be clarified. In Armenian, it looked like this, for example: ՌԻԶ թՀ (ՌԻԶ թՄ or ՌԻԶ թԱ). And in translation 1206 h. (1206 N. or 1206 A.). Of course, the practice of cutting the age of the people was stopped later, and it was used haphazardly.

But I want to emphasize that in each text the calendar system was definitely and absolutely determined by this letter. Moreover, the new system was not universally Armenian, but was applied to the texts of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

So an Armenian – a resident of other countries and scales – didn’t bother himself with interfaith disputes, but wrote, like the whole baptized world, which began exactly with his people.

But how eagerly historical competitors of the Armenians, claiming the status of “the lords of the rings”, clung to it! To this day, they continue to subtract five centuries from the age of any discovered Armenian ruins and artifacts. And the examples are numerous.

In the case under consideration, the visiting Khachatur, who didn’t forget to mention his father, his son, his own fame in Kaffa, and his arrival point, just needed to add the letter Ա (A) or others accordingly after the date “1206” for the researcher to be entitled to make conclusions spanning 551 additional years.

But such detail-oriented Khachatur Pikhtaevich did not do this! And what does this mean? It means that the Armenian well-known in Kaffa really arrived in Kiev in 1206, and not a single turn of the time machine’s wheel later. The same applies to most of the 24 saved inscriptions.

According to Grigoryan’s presentation, the Southern Sacristy had images of St. Gregory the Illuminator and St. Ripsime, which was confirmed by Kiev experts. However, during the cathedral’s restoration period, it was already marked as the sacristy of St. Anthony and St. Theodosius.

Inscriptions on the walls were not located exclusively in the Southern Sacristy, where Armenians were supposedly “allowed” to pray, but were also located on the Northern vault and in the choirs. But what do prayers have to do with it?

Would a devout person spoil the walls of God’s temple? Look at the finish: it is clear that the writings were made by builders and plasterers, confident that their writings would remain under a layer of finishing and decorative works.

The debate about the date of the construction of St. Sophia’s Cathedral went on for almost 200 years when certain forces, for no apparent reason, suddenly set out to prove that it was built in 1037, and not earlier. The first “Rusich” from the Kiev Metropolitans, Illarion, who replaced the Armenian patriarchs, testified that the construction of the cathedral was begun by Vladimir Svyatoslavovich, and Yaroslav the Wise completed the construction and decoration in 1017.

Even the German chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg also mentioned the already functioning St. Sophia’s Monastery in 1017-1018 (and, presumably, partially built) as the residence of the Kiev Metropolitan. And he could not have lied, because he himself died in 1018. Is this another time machine?

It should be said that Grigoryan arrived in Kiev at the height of the dispute about the date of the birth of St. Sophia’s Cathedral, and the dominating date was 1037, or even 1054, when Yaroslav the Wise died.

In these circumstances, an employee of the Armenian Academic Institute risked being ridiculed with his year 1026 and all twenty-four dates, some of which were even earlier.

Not only ridiculed, but also condemned along party lines, since “history science” was a beloved obedient child of the CPSU.

According to this science, Armenians could not participate in the construction of the Kyiv Cathedral, which they themselves sponsored in their time, but merely came to the plot fenced off for them, like in a ghetto, to vandalize the walls.

So, did Khachatur pray to Saint Gregory – or Saint Anthony? – the reader will ask. Was it in 1206 – or in 1757? Did he have a nickname like our oligarchs – or was he a respected man in Crimea?

Can such trifles really shed light on the history of Kievan Rus? Its Christianization? Or on the history of Armenians? And how could it affect our present day? Why stir up the past unnecessarily? You’d better look at the present day!

And indeed – what is the point of all these petty lies? Most likely, it is to lay the groundwork for a larger lie, for a huge sacrilege.

In the Sophia Cathedral, there is a white marble sarcophagus in which the remains of the ruler of Rus, Yaroslav the Wise (978 – 1054), were laid to rest. In the carved ornament of amazing beauty, Armenian letters Ա Դ Պ Կ Թ Մ are interwoven.

The official version is the hooligan initiative of craftsmen, who inscribed, or rather – engraved, their initials. What rights they had, indeed! It turns out that where the talk should be about the craftsmen-builders, the song about the praying ones is being played.

But when Armenian letters testify to the Armenian content of the sarcophagus – this is already the craftsmen who have done the damage. 1936, 1939, 1964, 2009 – these are the years when the sarcophagus was mercilessly opened, and only every now and then – officially.

When in 1939 the sarcophagus was opened with the aim of reconstructing the skull of the ruler of Ancient Rus according to the method developed by sculptor M. Gerasimov, the fraud was already established, but they did not raise a fuss, and announced that servants were buried with the ruler.

Well, like in Egypt. And Gerasimov sculpted something average. When the sarcophagus was opened for genetic testing in 2009, besides the mockingly inserted newspaper numbers of “Pravda” and “Izvestia” from 1964, a skeleton was found inside, composed of the remains of two women from absolutely different historical periods: Ancient Rus and Scythian settlements.

According to the results of the genetic research published in Kyiv, the ancient Russian bones belong to a heavily laboring woman, not from the ruling class. The remains of Yaroslav the Wise have not been found.

At the same time, a number of experts believe that the ancient icon depicting Yaroslav, which was taken out by the clergy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church along with the retreating fascists in the autumn of 1943, could have been in the company of the ruler’s bones. And it was recently found in the Holy Trinity Church of Brooklyn. And this was the work not just of grave desecrators, but also of robbers of the Past.

But let’s return from New York to Kyiv, and from the unpleasant to the interesting. And remember that the first crown-bearing Armenian in Rus was Anna – the only daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Roman of the Macedonian dynasty.

In his time, Anna’s grandfather, Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, wrote a treatise “On the Administration of the Empire” for his son Roman, whose name sounded in Armenian as [h]Raman and always meant “Command”.

Introducing the heir to the subtleties of ruling the state, Constantine, among other things, established: “If ever any nation from these infidel northern tribes asks for kinship through marriage with the [h]Raman basileus, that is, either to receive his daughter as a wife, or to give their own daughter, either to the basileus or to the son of the basileus as a wife, you must reject their foolish request.”

Since each nation has different customs, different laws and decrees, it should stick to its own ways, and alliances for the mixing of lives should be made and created within the same nation.”

However, Anna Romanovna was born just two days before her father’s death, her older brothers Basil II the Bulgar Slayer and co-ruler Constantine VIII ascended the throne with a large family interval, after the reign of two other emperors, and either they didn’t read their grandfather’s book, or, like any youth, they considered it outdated.

And they gave their sister in marriage to the Kyivan prince Vladimir. But they set the condition of baptism. The Arab historian of the 11th century Abu Haja ar-Rudraweri writes: “The woman resisted giving herself to someone who disagrees with her in faith. Negotiations began about this, which ended with the king of the Rus entering Christianity.”

This was the first Christian wedding in Rus, and the first Russian queen and her husband headed for Kyiv, where they began to baptize the entire nation. The Syrian historian of the 11th century, Yahya of Antioch, emphasized that Anna actively participated in the spread of Orthodoxy in Rus, “building many churches.”

In Vladimir’s church charter, it is said that the prince consulted with his wife on church matters: “I remembered with my princess Anna.”

All this is true, but here is – and there can’t but be – a question of tradition. Even the most ferocious scrutineers of the Armenian factor in world civilization call the Macedonian dynasty of Byzantium Armenian.

Yes, there is nowhere to escape, as there is a lot of confirmation, including that Basil “professed the Armenian faith”, was baptized “by the Father of the Armenian people” and bequeathed “to guard Armenia and the Armenian people”. His ancestors were not such fervent patriots, but they were definitely Armenians.

And we are talking exactly about Basil and Constantine, one of whom – a warrior, ascetic and statesman to the bone, and the other – a cunning, spendthrift, and womanizer. That is, both are typical Armenians, each in his own way.

Both – emperors of a huge empire, one of whom got the nickname Bulgar Slayer not for his quiet temperament, but for the brutal subjugation of a neighboring country for inappropriate aggressiveness, and who extended his power to the Apennines and much further north.

And here they are, these Armenian brothers-co-rulers, marrying off their youngest orphan sister abroad. And just like that, they send her off to the North – and for good? Really?

Can you imagine how thorough preparations must be in such a case? After all, the Armenians are sending their only little sister to a country where people speak the great and powerful language, and she, a young Armenian girl, only knows Greek among foreign languages, because other European languages have not yet formed, if we do not count the branched-off dialect as a “Latin” mockery of the native Armenian with its 25 letters.

And this means that interpreters and teachers were sent with her on the long journey by sea and land – for easy communication and quick learning of a foreign language. And of course, doctors and midwives were sent with Anna – she will become a mother in the future.

And spinners, weavers, seamstresses, embroiderers, knitters, and shoemakers, who are unparalleled in the world, except for Dvin – the capital of native Armenia. Also – bath attendants and soap makers. Of course, cooks, dishwashers.

And also glass blowers and metal workers – who knows, foreigners, what if they ruin all the precious porcelain sets, scratch the silver and gold from the dowry, spoil the utensils? And of course, scribes, artists, and librarians.

And certainly – musicians with their string and wind instruments. Absolutely necessary – their own spiritual mentor and a serious team of clergy, who should contribute to the fulfillment of the agreement with the Prince of Kyiv.

And a whole squadron of unmarried aunts and cousins, who will prepare the beloved tasty things, whisper to her about all kinds of women’s affairs, give advice, empathize and watch from the side what is really going on around these persistent Rus. And of course, a couple of thousand bodyguards – how can you be without them?

This is what the Court is as a system of ensuring the cultural, full-fledged, and safe life of kings and queens, not the idly wandering Casanovas with courtesans, as it is presented in historical novels by politicians and shown in TV series for the same purposes.

At the same time, does Anna, who, together with her fair-haired husband, is constructing the first stone church in Rus, modeled after the eponymous Constantinopolitan one, not import from Byzantium or Armenia engineers, stone cutters, artists-designers, tilers, blacksmiths, bell casters, gilders, plasterers and other builders?

And does the Armenian team that arrived with her not import their own relatives, now that there is a demand for skilled hands? I will never believe it. And you – neither.

And the point here is not so much in Armenian consolidation, but in the gigantic experience of the people in the field of construction and architecture.

Let’s not forget that by the time of the construction of the Kyiv Sophia Cathedral, such masterpieces of world Christian architecture as the domed churches and basilicas of the Armenian churches of Talin, Ripsime, Bagavan, Zvartnots (all – 7th century) in native Armenia and thousands of others around the world – later, were built. Including in Byzantium, which was mentioned by all Arab chroniclers without exception as “Al-Doula Al-Azima al-Armaniya”, or the Great Armenian Power.

Grigoryan quotes the “Patericon” of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra: “At that time, there was a certain doctor in the city of Kyiv, an Armenian by birth and faith,” invited to the sick Vladimir Monomakh in Chernihiv (1113 – 125).

It is further recorded that in Kyiv there lived “co-believers of this doctor”. I.Troitsky in his Historical-dogmatic study “Exposition of the faith of the Armenian Church”. (St. Petersburg, 1875) mentions a certain Kiev monk, who around the same period went to the Armenian quarter, “to argue with the Armenians on issues of faith”.

And why not? Isn’t it an intellectual and fun activity for both sides? And judging by the regularity, – safe. The 17th-century Catholic monk Alois Pidou claimed that “in ancient times, Kyiv was the spiritual center of the Armenians of Russia”.

There are two most common, and actively supported, myths about the genesis of the overseas Armenian diaspora:

  1. In the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks penetrated into Asia Minor, and the Armenians scattered around.
  2. In the second half of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century, the Turks committed a bloody Genocide, and the surviving Armenians created overseas Armenian communities.

Both historical – and tragic for our people – facts did indeed take place. However, the creation of Armenian colonies has a different historical motivation. The Turks simply brutally exterminated the Armenians according to someone else’s order, and few survived.

Yes, the few survivors settled in neighboring countries. But they replenished, not created, Armenian colonies. Armenian colonies around the world are eternal, because Armenians throughout their history are drawn to where markets for skilled labor arise – or they create them themselves.

Unable to withstand competition in their homeland with similar workaholics, with relentless thought and a passion for creativity in any field of activity, or dreaming of the exoticism of distant countries, they leave. They leave, settle down, prosper through their own labor, not through theft or loan interest.

And they dream of their abandoned homeland. And they create its likenesses, copying it across all continents, naming the fortresses, cities, streets, and country roads they build with Armenian names like Van, Ararat, Armenian, Aik, and so on, in all possible modifications. Or they aptly name someone else’s, catching the idea.

And so, let’s return to the question that couldn’t but interest you at the beginning of the article: why is it that in Hachatur Kaffsky’s record, Kyiv is mentioned as Mankrman? And not just Hachatur, but all the authors of the other inscriptions mention Mankrman, if the point of arrival has been preserved by the restorers in the course of clearing layers.

Moreover, in 1384, the Catholicos of All Armenians, Theodoros II (1382 – 1392), describing in his special message the diocese of the newly appointed Archbishop Ovannes, mentions Mankrman among its cities, which also appears in the messages of later Catholicos. What is this German-Jewish surname in the Armenian note?

Of course, as always in such cases, when it is necessary to cover up the Armenian trail, some phantom appears, in this case – the Kipchaks. They are generally members of a group on the bench next to the mysterious Hittites, Etruscans, Medes, Phoenicians, and other tempting ancestors of all peoples – for installations on historical topics that do not commit to anything.

In this case, they are mentioned by a couple of authors, as they are reserved on this bench as a Jewish Khaganate of Crimea with the Armenian script. A sort of Crimean keru-meru, which ate plywood instead of waffles, and recorded its language in Armenian letters. At the same time, the “Jewish language” is not Yiddish and not even Hebrew, but a Pontic dialect of Armenian.

And the “Jews” are parishioners of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Baptized and uncircumcised. Singing not “avanagilu”, but “Yaris boya”. That is, it meows, washes its face with its paws, catches mice, but it is not a cat, no. It’s a bull terrier, but with special quirks. So let’s get back to the Armenian language with its grammatical rules.

In the Armenian language, there are forms of the genitive case when the ending does not change, but there is an internal inflection. For example, tun – tan (house – home) or shun – shan (dog – dogs).

And there is an even more complex internal inflection coming from Grabar – and in the case of the church, of course, we are talking about him, – when from the collective concepts “turm” (infusion), “kurm” (priesthood) on the question “whose? what?” we get “trman” and “krman”.

That’s it! However, since the complex name contains a noun in the genitive case, or a determiner, there should also be a determined one, right? So the question “what” – “priesthood” is appropriate?

And the word “man” gives us the answer: it is a ring (Explanatory Dictionary by Gr. Acharyan, vol. 3, p. 249). It turns out that Kiev, or Mankrman, was baptized by the Armenians even earlier than they baptized him to Christianity in an attempt to lead him to the light, and they called him the Priesthood Ring, or Ring of Priesthood. As a Tolkien fan, I was taken aback.

I shuddered because throughout the Soviet period, historians, quoting authors, engaged in rough but profitable forgery, mentioning the relevant “brotherly republics” instead of historical lands – since the territory at the time of citation was so named.

The same has been noticed repeatedly with our historian G. Grigoryan, who was simply obedient to the “mandate of the time”, and quoting medieval authors, he slightly deceived and wrote “brotherly Ukraine” instead of Russia.

So linguist Diakonov was twisting his soul and writing the “History of Media” on the order of “brotherly Azerbaijan”. So did Ivanov and Gamkrelidze, cutting off our historical segments for “brotherly Georgia”.

The same is happening now everywhere, when Wikivralia names the territories of Armenia on ancient maps as Turkey. On ancient maps – and Turkey, which by historical measures and political consciousness is still a junior high school student in a special school for particularly aggressive ones!

Sacred ruins of the Greek Ephesus and photos of its library with the inscription “Turkey” are scattered over the Internet resources. And what did they do there, in the libraries – the Turks? But Wikivralia is not shy, no.

And it spoils, spoils people’s minds, spoils the very energy of the world, because lies – they always have a negative charge. It’s like Darkness, spreading from Mordor. It gives birth to black riders, capable of stealing bones of great rulers from sarcophagi and mocking the remains.

It envelops innocent ignoramuses, who are ready to climb any barricades, as they are confident in the truth of false, but “scientific” publications and textbooks. And the more innocent victims, the stronger the lords of the rings, these geopolitical vampires.

But historical lies – they are like a scarecrow. Here they painted it, put on someone else’s clothes, stuck a pole in the middle of the people’s field – and it scared for a while, became familiar, became an integral part of the landscape.

But time passes – and the wind of history strips off its rotten clothes, the rains of truth wash off the painted face, and an empty cushion remains in the leaks. And the flood of information approaching undermines and knocks down the monster.

And suddenly it turns out that the landscape without it, the scarecrow, is much cleaner! And the birds – whether with him or without him, – peck out as much as God has laid down their ration, not a grain more or less.

And why did they endure this monster, which loomed and creaked, like an unclean force? It will be so, believe me. Because without any sherlockholms, a lie carries in itself a hidden bacillus of self-disclosure. Well, holms are needed, of course: to bring the Day of Truth closer.

In the last issue, I promised you, dear readers, that we would cross into Europe – and so we did, popping into Byzantium for a minute and heading from there to Kievan Rus, where we met Khachatur Kaffsky.

We will head to him in Crimea, not forgetting to visit Van, Great Armenians and Little Armenians nearby, who were not part of historical Armenia. What are they called today? You will find out about this in the next issue.

by Lia Avetisyan

Translated by Vigen Avetisyan

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