After the fall of Greater Armenia, the Armenian principality of Khachen was established in Artsakh in the 9th century. At least for 4 centuries after its foundation, the principality has been completely autonomous from the Mongols, Turkomans, and Safavids.
“The Artsakh Armenians, as the inhabitants of the wildest and most inaccessible heights, have morals preserved in primitive purity from extremely ancient times along with a worldview that is very weakly influenced by the European civilization.
Artsakh Armenians are self-confident and stubborn, but they also are far-sighted, dexterous, and subtle politicians, have strict morals along with a harsh look, freedom, sobriety, and self-esteem.
To this day, among Karabakh commoners who have never known serfdom nor foreign enslavement, one’s dignity is assessed only by how proficient they are with weapons, trick riding on a horse, and how effectively they reckon with their adversary.
The Karabakh Armenians are generally tall, stately, and beautiful people, with a calm but somewhat stern expression on their faces. They do not have playfulness and cheating in their eyes. On the contrary, their look is open, direct, and bold. They are very energetic, enterprising, and prudent. “
Magda Neumann, “Armenians”, 1898
“Wildlife, tall mountains covered with centuries-old dense forests, and the gloom of bottomless gorges contributed to the formation of a people here that has a strong chest, like the rocks surrounding it, and a fearless heart, like in the tigers living in its forests.
These people lived in the caves of their beloved mountains, in clefts of rocks, fed on the gifts of the forest, were engaged in cattle breeding, and, like a beast from an ambush, came out of their shelter when the enemy dared to disturb their peace.”
An excerpt from Raffi’s “Melikdoms of Khamsa”, Artsakh
“There are no people anywhere in the country of the Kyzylbashs [that is, in Safavid Persia] as battle-worthy as the people of these lands [Karabakh] – today [in Karabakh], all 12,000 horsemen are armed with flintlock rifles and sabers. And there are so many infantrymen that only God knows [their number], and they all have guns. [In Karabakh] 10 rifles and flintlock mechanisms are made every day.”
From the Report of V. Levashov to the Russian royal court, 1726
Arsen Ghazaryan, HAYASA