The theme is multi-level – uniting the history of several civilizations. However, the author of the publication did a very large, competent, and high-quality work in this direction. The work is voluminous but very easy to read – edition Art-A-Tsolum
Armenians, on the one hand, are also pre-biblical people, and linking their history only with the Bible means shortening their history by a couple of millennia.
Moreover, the Armenians, are the only living people whose language has preserved the meanings and meanings of the past cultures of Sumer, Mesopotamia, Egypt and can serve as a bridge to understanding the historical experience and values of these ancient cultures.
Only this language, as modern as it is ancient (which is its value!), allows us to link the development of human culture into a single continuous chain and show its continuity and unity, despite the devastating destruction.
On the other hand, as the authoritative sources cited below testify, a significant part of the content of the Bible was borrowed by the ancient Jews (Armenoids by genetic type) from the proto-Armenians who lived in the vast areas of Asia Minor and even Palestine, before the arrival of the ancient Jews there. Let’s explore these theses in more detail.
Before the biblical texts were formed, the Armenians already had a rich and glorious history, had their religion and political organizations, and were influential people throughout the area from Egypt to Afghanistan.
Let’s try to plunge into the thickness of the pre-biblical history of Armenians, relying only on excerpts from two books (1. Karpichechi A.K. Art and History of Egypt. Florence, 2000; 2. Roebuck K. The World in Antiquity. New York, 1966).
There are many publications about the history of the ancient Armenian kingdom of Mitanni, including in Russian. There are much fewer references to the foreign policy relations of this state.
According to the first of the cited books, “the intensive ties of the state of Mitanni with Ancient Egypt in the 16th century BC. revolutionized the culture of the Egyptians.
The wars against the Hyksos by Amenophis I (1546-26) and Thutmose I (1526-12) led to the first clashes with the Mitannians. The victories of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III (1505-1450) in battles with the Mitannians, and in 1483 BC.
Thutmose III breaks them on the very territory of Mitanni – they turned into a triumph of Mitannian culture in Egypt itself.
The most famous pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, Thutmose III, was distinguished by the fact that he was generous, forgiving rebels and preserving the customs and religious traditions of the conquered territories.
The son of Thutmose IV, already an Armenian by mother (in Ancient Egypt, the lineage and inheritance were determined by the maternal line), Amenophis III (1408-1372) maintains peace with neighboring states by marrying their princesses – Tiu (Tuya), daughter of the Mitannian king Sutarn, and on the daughter of the Babylonian king Kalimasin.
“Tiu has the strongest influence on the pharaoh” (1, p.11). “Under Amenophis III, Egypt reaches the peak of its power and prosperity.
Especially cordial were the relations of Amonofis III with Tushratta, the king of Mitanni” (2, p. 82). The son of Amenophis and Tiu, “that indomitable main wife of the pharaoh”, a 3/4 Armenian, Amenophis IV (1372-1354), who went down in history under the name of the revolutionary pharaoh, the “heretic pharaoh” Akhenaten, also marries the Mitannian princess.
After a short marriage (4 years) and the death of the princess, he marries her sister Nefertiti, “the fairest of women”.
Nefertiti has an exceptional impact on the religious life of the Egyptians: she erects a new God, Aten, who symbolized the solar disk.
Akhenaten not only changes his name but also replaces the traditional Egyptian religion of Amun with the Mitannian, monotheistic and deeply mystical religion of Aten, according to which all people are equal in love for the one God, whose prophet is the pharaoh.
The new God was deprived of the zoomorphic and anthropomorphic features inherent in the Egyptian gods. New was also the emphasis on the role of the Aten as the creator and benefactor of the universe. Apart from the Aten, only Akhenaten existed among the gods.
The pharaoh shared the divinity of the Aten and spoke of himself as the son of the Aten and co-ruler. In the center of Egypt, he creates a new capital – the city of Akhetaten, the “horizon of the Aten”, where he also moves the religious power from Thebes.
(In fact, the service to the Aten began in the previous generation, with the advent of Tiu, and was based on the deep roots that connected these cultures in the common worship of the Sun God Ra, in whose honor the city of Heliopolis was built in Egypt).
Akhenaten dies in 1354 BC. The throne is inherited by the legendary pharaoh Tutankhamen (1354-1345), who marries one of Akhenaten’s six daughters, rules Egypt for seven years under the regency of Nefertiti, and then mysteriously dies at the age of 18.
His young wife, in desperation, turns to the powerful Hittite king Shapilalyumash (1380-35), whose wife was one of Nefertiti’s sisters, for help, asking him to send her one of his sons as a husband, apparently trying to maintain his rule in an alliance with the Hittites.
Shapilalyumash, suspecting a trap at first, then becomes convinced of the sincerity of the request and sends the young prince to marry the princess.
However, the prince disappears along the way, most likely killed by one of the agents of Ey, an influential priest who did not want to lose power. Nefertiti, who married the old priest Ey, manages to retain power for another 4 years.
But with her death, the city of Akhetaton is destroyed, and with it the memory of the beautiful queen, and even the place of her burial. Egypt falls into anarchy and poverty.
Considering that the princess’s move was usually accompanied by a magnificent procession consisting of hundreds or even thousands of courtiers, servants, priests, warriors, and interpreters, the influence of Mitannian culture on Egypt lasted for almost a hundred years.
However, the concepts associated with the Aten were too abstract, complex, and incomprehensible for the perception of ordinary Egyptians, who preferred to return to their familiar gods. It must be said that ties with the Hittites were no less close.
For example, the pantheon of gods and dignitaries buried in the Yazilkaya tomb (Turkey), a sacred place for the Hittites, is entirely represented by proto-Armenians (possibly Mitannians) and their gods, and not by the Hittites.
It is assumed that this assembly of foreign gods was initiated by Queen Padahepa, an Armenian princess who became the wife of the Hittite king Hatushilish III. It is also known that she was in correspondence with her sister, another queen of Egypt of Armenian origin, wife of Ramses II (1298-1235) regarding a peace treaty between the Hittites and Egypt (2, p. 96).
As the author of the second monograph further points out, the Hittites borrowed most of their mythology from the Armenians and even passed some of these stories to the ancient Greeks.
For example, the cycle of stories about Kumarbi, the father of the gods, who conquered his kingdom in the fight against competitors, from where the stories about Zeus are drawn, set out in Theogony, a work by the Greek poet Hesiod, who lived in the seventh century BC.
Another story about the wars of Kumarbi is the “History of Allikam”, which contains elements similar to the ancient Greek myth of Typhon, who fought with Zeus. The early art of Ancient Greece also experienced the direct influence of the Armenians of Urartu, thanks to which oriental flavor entered it.
Concerning the connections between the ancient Jews and the ancient Armenians, this author (2) points out that contacts with Mesopotamia explain the parallels between the laws of the patriarchs among the Jews and the laws of Hammurabi (Babylon), and flood stories were part of the traditions of this region.
However, “these Jews could borrow laws and stories from the Armenian population of Palestine, who lived there before the advent of the Jews” (2, p. 127). In this brief historical information, one can feel the tension of the ancient Armenian foreign policy, its active ideological influence on neighboring countries.
What was the content of this proto-Armenian, now extinct pre-biblical culture? It would be interesting to follow the ancient Armenian in his search for truth, full of doubt and torment, but illumined by the ecstasy of faith, since the man himself tried to find the meaning of reality, to understand why and for what his own life and the whole surrounding universe was given.
It is precisely the fact that the truth was found independently, and not borrowed from neighboring peoples, that can explain the strength of faith and its inalienability from the actions of the ancient Armenians, which manifested itself even in the intensity of their influence on other peoples.
Each nation, leaving its source in prehistoric times, then moves like a river: there may be turns, rapids, the speed of the current slows down or speeds up, but this is a necessary and unidirectional movement – rivers do not flow backward.
Will we not discover that the spiritual problems of the ancient Armenians were very close to ours? Or, on the contrary, that we have nothing in common with our ancient culture? Let’s try to restore some elements of their culture in its Egyptian traces.
The basis of the whole system of religious thought and strict morality of the Egyptian peoples is in the myth of Osiris, which not only reflects historical events but is also a highly spiritual concept.
Over the centuries, it was gradually obscured and obscured by a mass of accumulating details and contradictory episodes, but despite this, its great ethical and religious significance is still obvious even to our modern mentality, petrified over millennia of civilization.
The great myth of Osiris can be summed up in a few words, plain and simple. After the three divine kingdoms, during which the gods Shu, Ra, and Geb, one replacing the other, took care of mankind in paradise, the time has come for Osiris and his mission.
The Absolute Spirit incarnated into a human to reach humanity lost outside Paradise, and as a human, he suffered and died with other people. He became a man to lead his kind along the difficult path to understanding his purpose, to make people the creators of their own lives,
He became a man to die like the last of men, a victim of the most grievous injustices. Dismembered by his brother and resurrected, he gives confidence in the rebirth to eternal life, thanks to the boundless love that unites creation with the Creator.
This is evidence of love and resurrection, as the main essence of everything created; evidence given directly by the act of creation itself: by the Sun disappearing and reborn every day again, always; a seed that dies in the dark bowels of the earth and is reborn, flourishing under the rays of the sun and giving new life every year, always.
This certainty is the same force that, many centuries later, will lead Socrates to a conscious suicide, the same force that, combined with morality and spirituality, penetrated Greek myths and Roman cults.
The deep love that permeated the myth of Osiris surrounded with mercy and tenderness the figure of Isis, the goddess closest to the Egyptian people, the most human and passionate creature that ever appeared in the ancient world.
We will find temples and statues dedicated to her throughout the Roman Empire, and today the ruins of a small temple of Isis in Pompeii, built in the first century AD, are still visible.
If Osiris perceives the meaning and experience of the resurrection inherent in the forces of nature, then Isis is confidence, a guarantee of rebirth, the final victory over evil and death.
In the third millennium, the crystal and clear essence of the myth of love and resurrection became clouded, because. he became an instrument of power in the hands of a caste of more or less enlightened priests, but then a miracle happened in the second half of the third millennium.
It did not last long but left a deep mark in human thought. This miracle was expressed in the attempt of Akhenaten (1372-1354 BC) to transform the occult religion into a religion for all, with a clear image of the one and absolute god.
In an atmosphere of confusion and uncertainty, a short period of Akhenaten begins, with his religion of equality, love, and direct connection with God, bringing all people faith in universal salvation.
The Universe is synthesized in a single act of love, connecting the Creator and Creation, because “You are the only one, only You create thousands and thousands of creatures… You are the stream of life, and no one can live without You…
You live in every baby from its birth in the womb, You dry its tears, You open its mouth and guide it until it needs it… You are the God of all, You are the one who cares for everyone.
You, who create the life of all peoples, placed the Nile in Heaven so that he descended to us and washed our fields with his waters and fertilized them.
This love, which creates and elevates the entire Universe, manifests itself continuously among us, because it is like a ray of the Sun, from which heat comes, giving life, it is like an endless hand full of gifts.
The pharaoh himself, the prophet of the absolute God, and his whole family generously transfer divine gifts to people.
The rite of thanksgiving and the offering of gifts to the pharaoh Aton-Ra takes place openly, in the rays of the Sun, on many altars, where all people perform worship, surrounding the altar of Akhenaten.
This image of the pharaoh and his family lived only during his life. Despite the enthusiasm and support of his friends, with the death of this Great Man, the old caste of priests regained power, cursing the “heretic pharaoh”.
The temples of the Aten were destroyed, the followers of the pharaoh were now persecuted for their overthrown religion, and Akhetaten, the holy city, was abandoned in the desert.
Amun returns with all his host of gods, art takes a traditional direction, but Aton’s brief experiment was not in vain.
The great mystical discovery left deep traces, giving birth to a spark that flared up in the life and religions of other peoples, purifying even the traditional faith.
Indeed, in recent centuries, despite various invasions and foreign dominance, Amon-Ra has become one who “cannot be represented by something, for he is a pure spirit”, and in the daily rite of “offerings by the hands of a priest” the offerings have become, mainly spiritual, reduced to the symbolic statuette of Maat: “flesh, soul, food, a breath of life” of the Creator.
The religious experiences of Akhenaten and his burning pantheism of love have penetrated everywhere, even into such completely different worldviews as Greek and Jewish.
Six centuries later, in the Sais era (666-524 BC), the high spirituality of the Egyptians will again rise in individual consciousness, in the equality of people before God, and a renewed faith in divine Providence.
These will be the last echoes of the ancient religious force, the instigator of the strongest and brightest reflections in the worldview of the peoples that are being formed around Egypt – in Greece and Palestine.
The influence of the Mitannian culture and religion, which Akhenaten and the previous generations of his relatives were the conductors of, is equivalent in its socio-cultural meaning to the spirit of Protestantism that swept Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
As three thousand years earlier, bringing man closer to God, European Protestantism proclaimed his communion with God without the mediation of the church.
Of course, given that the purpose of the influence of the Mitannian rulers was a foreign policy action, usually aimed at establishing control over the adjacent territory, it certainly had to be directed against a layer of priests – the theocratic rulers of Egypt.
But, despite the pragmatic side of this cultural action, the wisdom of the ancient peoples remains everlastingly relevant today.
As we can see, the cornerstones of human virtue are an integral part of the same ideals that three thousand years later became the basis of Christ’s preaching about the Kingdom of Heaven. Where, by the way, much later, in the Kandahar region, Tamerlane resettled 10,000 Karabakh Armenians.