The Armenian-Torq Angegh, Basque-Torq, Tocharian-Torqu, Sumerian-Tor

The Armenian-Torq Angegh, Basque-Torq, Tocharian-Torqu, Sumerian-TorIn Armenian, “tor” has two meanings – grandchild (with “torq” being the plural form), and rain. In Artsakh dialect, “tora kyalis (galis)” means “it is raining”. Interestingly, “tu(o)r” in Sumerian also means “rain”.

The cuneiform symbol for “tor (tur)” is used to denote either its syllabic usage or the sign’s Sumerograms. It is used in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in the 14th-century BC Amarna letters. The symbol is based on the “i” cuneiform symbol, differing in one added vertical stroke.

Besides “tur”, the symbol is used for the “bán” and “dumu” Sumerograms. They were used in the Epic of Gilgamesh 11, 3, and 25 times respectively. Wider use of “dumu” in the epic could be connected with the Sumerogram being the equivalent of the word “son”.

According to the Armenian legend of Torq Angegh, Torq Angegh was a deity, the son of Angegh and the grandson of Hayk. In historical Armenia, there is an area called “Angegh”, probably after the father of Torq. Their symbol was ang’(e)gh (Armenian: Անգ(ե)ղ, a vulture), and they were called “Ang’(e)gh tohmi zharangnere” (Անգ(ե)ղ տոհմի ժառանգները), meaning “the heirs of the house of vultures”.

Torq Angegh was connected with rain and storm and was described as an Armenian deity living in Armenia. This is how he was depicted in Ghazaros Aghayan’s poem.

Շատ դարեր առաջ հին Հայաստանում
ՏորքԱնգեղ անվամբ մի մարդ էր կենում:
Տորքը չէր նման հասարակ մարդու,
Այլ մի աժդահա եւ շատ ահարկու.
Աչքերը կարծես մի մի կապույտ ծով,
Ճաճանչավորված արեվի լուսով,
Սեւսեւ ունքերը մութ ամպի նման
Բարդբարդ կուտակված աչքերի վրան
Քիթը կորընթարթ, իբրեւ մի բլուր,
Ատամներն ուրագ, եղունքները թուր.
Կուրծքը կասենաս մի լանջ է լեռան,
Մեջքը սարաժայռ, կռները գերան:

 Many centuries ago in ancient Armenia
Dwelled a man named Torq Angegh.
Not like regular people,
He was a horrifying giant,
With eyes like two blue seas
Enlightened by sunlight,
Eyebrows like dark clouds
Densely assembled above his eyes,
Crooked nose like a hill,
Teeth like adze, nails like swords,
His chest like a slope of a mount,
His back like a rock, and arms like logs.

After the adoption of Christianity, Torq Angegh’s name received a negative meaning and began to be associated with ugliness. However, old traditions rarely get forgotten, so some Armenians attribute the name Torq Angegh to those of large size or/and those who have exaggerated features.

Torq Angegh was worshiped in an Armenian territory known as Tegarama or Togorma. People believed that he was throwing huge stones into the sea to drown the ships of enemies. Interestingly, Armenians have an expression “potorik anel”, meaning to “cast (make) storms”, which is mostly used figuratively. Sourse: narinnamkn


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