At least since the 3rd millennium BC, the peoples of Mesopotamia knew about a large tree with a branching crown growing in Armenia, the flowers of which were located on very short pedicels and blossomed before the leaves.
Approximately 50 centuries ago, the population of Ancient Akkad (and later Babylon) already referred to this tree as Armenian armannu. However, for a long time, the glory of the apricot gardens of the Ararat valley did not travel beyond the limits of the Near East.
Europe got acquainted with apricot through the Romano-Armenian wars, which have been going for quite some time by the 1st century BC. The Roman Senate intended to subordinate the overly strengthened Armenia and in different decades, delegated the best and most ambitious of its generals to the East, including Lucius Lucullus, Gnaeus Pompey, and Mark Crassus.
The fate of the latter was tragic. His head became a stage decoration at the capital Artashat Theater during the presentation of Euripides’ tragedy “Bacchante”.
The “eastern odyssey” of one of the richest Romans Lucullus was also dramatic. During his invasion of Armenia in 68 BC, he was forced to visit the tents of all his legionaries and address each of them separately. According to Plutarch, “he shed tears before them, implored them, even kissed their hands, but all decidedly refused to oppose Tigranes.”
The proconsul was soon recalled, but before admitting his fiasco before the Senate, he managed to acquaint the people of Rome with apricot or prunus armeniaca.