Hayk – the First Eponym of Armenians

Hayk – the First Eponym of ArmeniansMovses Khorenatsi, referring to his sources in the book of Mara Abas Katin and the Armenian folklore, described the ancestor and the eponym of the Armenians Hayk in the following fashion:

“This Hayk”, he wrote, “handsome and gracious, rich-haired and mighty, was known among the giants for his courage and spoke out against anyone who aspired to have authority over all the giants and noble heroes.

He proudly rose against the tyranny of Bel at a time when the human race was spreading across the whole of the earth, and among them were clusters of incredibly stupid, strong men-giants.

After the destruction of the Tower of Babel, he refused to obey the Babylonian tyrant Titanid Bel, who identified with Nibrod.

…After the birth of his son Aramayak in Babylon, having joined with his sons, daughters, sons of his sons, mighty men of about three hundred and other household members and aliens who adhered to them and all the people and belongings, he went to the land of Ararat located in the northern regions.

Bel Babylonian “with an indomitable and monstrously huge horde” attacked Hayk. Opponents face each other in the south of Armenia.

…Hayk put Aramayak with two brothers on the right and Kadmos (son of Aramayak) and two other sons on the left. He himself was in front and put the rest behind him. Having built this semblance of a triangle, he began to slowly move forward.

Hayk, armed with a bow, rushed forward, approached the king, tightly pulled the bowstring of his gigantic bow and launched an arrow into Bel’s breastplate. The arrow, passing right through him, pierced the ground. The Titanid tumbled down to the ground, dead. Seeing such an incredible feat of courage, Bel’s hordes fled to where their eyes looked.

Hayk built a dastakert, a “settlement”, and in honor of the victory gave it the name “Hayk” (one of the names of ancient Armenia). For this reason, the canyon is now called Hayots dzor (“Canyon of Armenians”). The constellation Orion (Haykn) and the planet Mars were also named after Hayk.

 Arman Petrosyan, Painter: Robert Pashayan

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