The origin of the Mamigonian clan

The origin of the Mamigonian clan has intrigued Armenian historians. According to historian Movses Khorenatsi, in the third or fourth century two Chinese noblemen—Mamik and Konak, rose against their half-brother, Chenbakur, the Emperor of China.

Defeated, they fled west to Parthia who sent them to Armenia despite the emperor’s demand that the two be returned. Mamik became the progenitor of the Mamigonians.

Another historian (Pavstos Puzant) said the brothers descended from the Han dynasty. The Chinese origins are not unusual… The Pakradounis claimed Jewish descent and the Ardzruni’s Assyrian origins. British historian Edward Gibbon believed the Mamigonians had Scythian origins.

Some historians believe the Mamigonians were descended from Tzans chieftains (Chanik or Tzannoi in Greek) a people who lived south of Trebizond. They postulate that the tradition of Chinese origin arose out of the similarity of the name Chanik to the Armenian word for China (Chen-k).

By Jirair Tutunjian

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