On the Origins of the Prehistoric Armenian Epic “Tsovinar”

In the course of research aimed at restoring the pre-Christian, or more precisely, prehistoric, not pagan, as it is usually characterized, era of the Armenian epic “Tsovinar,” questions inevitably arise, the roots of which go back to mythology, since science cannot answer them, and at most, it offers only theories that are as reliable as the myths themselves, and whether to believe them or not is just a matter of perception.

At the same time, it is known that any hypothesis has the right to exist until science has proven its invalidity. I will say right away that my task is not at all to confirm or refute any given hypothesis or to express doubt in the life-giving power of God the Creator, for I unconditionally believe in the life-giving force and omnipotence of the Creator.

The question lies in a somewhat different dimension, in another plane: the narrative of the cosmogonic myth, with which the Sacred Scripture begins, leaves an impression as if it started from some empty place, as if something was left unsaid.

Those who recorded this history did not mention what darkness reigned over the abyss, what those waters were, over which hovered the only Light at that time, which was the Spirit of God or His Eye, and what exactly it was seeking.

It is absolutely clear that there was a peculiar prehistory that the compilers of the Bible either skipped or ignored, deciding to present the beginning of a new life as a creation from scratch, as an original creation. That is why there is a spontaneous desire to extract some kind of logical original reality from the myth.

Here it is. And what if that was the very first Great Flood, which God was forced to send in order to eradicate all that life which had indeed become unbearable, just like the one associated with the story of Noah?

I consider it quite possible that there existed on Earth some other, more ancient, so to speak, civilization that developed along the path of “self-devouring,” and scientists, now discovering its real traces and finding no reliable explanations, are forced to build various hypotheses, placing all this in the realm of the unexplained and unknown, and myths and legends associated with them are driven deeper into the subconscious.

Yet, if we admit that this was the first Great Flood, then the stones falling from the sky, the rising clouds of dust, pillars of fire, and monstrous waves become a completely credible depiction of that very “darkness over the abyss” described in the Sacred Scripture.

If we agree with this, then again, we will clearly understand that once the world was also inhabited by various flying, crawling, and walking creatures created by God the Creator – different dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs, cyclopes, and all sorts of others…

These huge and monstrous creatures were endowed with incredible strength—perhaps to be able to withstand natural elements. However, the battles and wars that eventually arose between them led to their self-destruction.

Here a question may arise: did their creator endow them with intelligence? Cyclopean structures scattered in all corners of the world testify: yes, they possessed some sort of intelligence, since brainless creatures would not be capable of building such structures.

Observing the efforts of modern countries and people of the world to achieve military, material, and power hegemony over all others, as well as remembering the ignominious end of those monsters, I allow myself to assume that they were driven not so much by thought, as by physical force far exceeding that thought.

It was this force that prevented the mind from growing into reason. On the path to solving numerous problems in terms of a reliable future, this understanding can open not just new doors for modern science, but entire gates!

So, after that very first Great Flood, the earth was formless and empty, and over the water hovered and sought something the Spirit of God, also known as the Eye of God. So what was he looking for? And God said: let there be light. And there was light. And all the dark waters were illuminated, and first of all, God saw the goddess of the waters Tsovinar, who conceived from the water and gave birth to two sons into the divine light.

Here lies the beginning of the ancient Armenian epic, precisely here—at the origins of new life and the creation of the world.

And when the Lord saw Tsovinar and her sons, He rejoiced, and His Spirit exulted and proclaimed: this time the Beginning of life will be Water! And Tsovinar named her sons: she called one Sanasar and the other Bagdasar.

After God had put the firmament of the earth in order, He did everything that we know. And when the Creator began to create man, Tsovinar asked the Almighty that this time He would not populate the earth with hideous, aggressive monsters and cyclopes, but would create man in His own image, for there is no more beautiful and perfect being in the world than He.

She also asked Him to imbue people with a spark of divine light and soul and to awaken in them a thought that would initially and eternally serve the immortal and perfect harmony created by Him. The goddess of the waters’ request touched the Creator’s heart, and He created earthly man, making Water—the primal element of Tsovinar—the core foundation of his essence…

After this, He clothed Sanasar and Bagdasar in flesh and placed them in the very center of the Ararat plain, affectionately naming them Sis and Masis. And He said to Tsovinar: O queen of the waters, since Sanasar by his name is already Surb Sar—the Holy Mountain—my throne on earth will rest upon his shoulders, and the people I create will inhabit the entire country at his feet and spread throughout the whole world!

Razmik DAVOYAN, “Voice of Armenia”

Translated by Vigen Avetisyan

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