The Great “Azerbaijani” Poet Nizami – On the origin of the false history of Azerbaijan

The Great “Azerbaijani” Poet NizamiIgor Mikhailovich Diakonoff is known as one of the authors of the theory of the existence of the state of Urartu on the Armenian Highlands, which was not related to modern or historical Armenian states.

After the discovery and decoding of the inscription of the Behistun Rock, it became clear that this theory was absurd due to one simple reason – if you wrapped your head around it, you would discover that were three states at the same time on the same territory simultaneously.

We should note that Diakonoff later pointed at the possibility of its erroneousness. From a fragment of a chapter from his book, it becomes clear where the false history of Azerbaijan and any falsification, in general, come from.

The last chapter “After the War” of the “The Book of Memories” of Diakonoff (1995):

Our department at the university, as I said, was eliminated “for Zionism”. I lost a bet to Lipin on the history of Ancient East. I didn’t know that he was a snitch and the one responsible for the life of the nice and kind Nicky Ershovich.

But with the modest Hermitage salary, I was unable to finance my family even with what Nina earned. By the advice of my brother Misha’s student, Lenya Brstanitsky, I contracted to write the “History of the Media” for Azerbaijan. Everyone searched for ancestors more knowledgeable and antiquated, and the Azerbaijanis hoped that the Medes were their ancient ancestors.

The staff of the Institute of History of Azerbaijan was a good showplace. Everyone’s social status and partisanship were spot on (at least, we thought so).

A characteristic feature: one day, when a banquet in my honor was held at the apartment of the director of the institute, I was struck by the fact that in this society consisting of members of the Communist Party only, there was not a single woman.

Even the hostess of the house visited us at about four o’clock in the morning and drank a toast to our health while standing in the doorway of the room.

With science, most of the institute’s employees had rather indirect relationships. Among my guests was my friend Lenya Bratanitsky (who, incidentally, worked in another institute), one kindly and wise old man who, according to rumors, was a red spy when the power in Azerbaijan was with the Musavatists; one hero of the Soviet Union, an Arabist, who became famous for the strictly scientific publication of an either Arab or Iranian medieval historical work, from which, however, all mentions about Armenians were carefully removed. In addition, there were one or two very minor archaeologists. The rest were party workers devoted to science. Exquisite oriental toasts continued until morning.

Shortly before that, a series of anniversaries of the poets of the great peoples of the USSR began. Before the war, the jubilee of the Armenian epic David of Sassoun was celebrated, which I briefly saw during an expedition to the excavation site of Karmir-Blur in 1939. Now, Azerbaijan was preparing for the anniversary of the great poet Nizami.

There were a couple of issues with Nizami. He was not an Azerbaijani but a Persian (Iranian) poet, although he lived in the now Azerbaijani city of Ganja, which, like most of the cities here, was populated by Iranians.

In addition, according to the plan, a portrait of the poet was supposed to be put in a prominent place. Besides, in one of the central districts of Baku, a whole building was allocated for a museum of paintings illustrating the poems of Nizami.

The problem was that Koran put a taboo on any images of animals or humans, so we didn’t have a single portrait or illustration of Nizami. So, the portraits and illustrations of his poems had to be made from scratch in three months.

A portrait was delivered to the house of Bagirov, the first secretary of the Central Committee of Azerbaijan Communist Party, local Stalin. He summoned the leading medievalist from the Institute of History, pulled the covers off the portrait, and asked:

“Is it him?”

“Who?” the expert mumbled timidly. Bagirov got red because of anger.


“You see, in the Middle Ages in the East, no portraits were allowed to be created.”

Nonetheless, the portrait was the main piece of the collection. You cannot imagine a larger assemblage of ugly daubs!

I was unable to prove the link between the Medes and Azerbaijanis because it was not true. But I wrote the “History of Media”, a large, thick, well-argued volume, nevertheless.

Meanwhile, in the country, there was a law prohibiting the combination of different positions, and I had to abandon the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences (without any regret), and, unfortunately, the Hermitage with its meager earnings.

For some time, I worked with the Leningrad branch of the Institute of History established on the ruins of the unique museum of the history of writing after N. Likhachev. For some reason, it was listed as a Moscow branch of the same Institute of History for some time.”

The end of the quote, but not the end of marasmus:

• The monument of Nizami, the great “Azerbaijani” poet, in Moscow. So impudent…
• The monument of Nizami in Baku.

7 thoughts on “The Great “Azerbaijani” Poet Nizami – On the origin of the false history of Azerbaijan

  1. Diakanoff never said that Urartu was not related to the Armenian state. His always maintained that the Armenians are a mix of a mass of Aborigines in the Armenian highlands (which are presumably descendants of the Urartians plus a an incoming wave of migrants the Phrygians as well as the Luwians. His just a firm believer that the Armenian language has no relation to Urartian which is true. Actually both his books and Robert Hewsens book summarize Diakanoffs above comment. So curious where your comment is from?

    1. Based on what you said, Diakonoff argued that there was no Armenian language and no Armenians in Urartu. So Diakonoff ignored Urartu’s direct connection with the ancient and modern Armenian states.

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