How Proud The Words of An Ancient Armenian Are – Garegin Nzhdeh

How Proud The Words of An Ancient Armenian Are

While the majestic ruins of Ani tell us about the architectural genius and the high artistic taste of Armenians, the preserved fragments of our pagan epic testify to the unsurpassed humanity and the high knightly spirit of pre-Christian Armenians.

In Armenia of the times of Vahagn and Anahit, I see spiritual traits and virtues which one could only dream of in our epoch that is as much spiritually poor and inhuman as it is arrogant.

Which great nation’s folklore wouldn’t want to have the following lines filled with deep meaning:

I’ll tell you, brave husband Artashes
Who has defeated the brave Alan tribe,
Return the youngster
Because it does not pertain to heroes
To take the life of the descendants of another heroic genus
Or to force them to serve you as a slave,
And to sow eternal hostility between the two brave nations.

Do you hear it, reader, it does not pertain to heroes, says the pagan Armenian, to, first of all, kill the heroes of another tribe, secondly, to enslave them, and thirdly, to sow eternal enmity between the brave nations.

How humanly proudly these words of the ancient Armenian sound in our shameful time, a time where persecutions on the grounds of ideological intolerance are ubiquitous!

An Armenian is against the extermination, the humiliation of brave tribes, their enslavement. And, being brave himself, an Armenian treats even his fearless enemies with respect.

This is the spiritual image of a pagan Armenian, whose humanizing ideals have to leaven the bread of the East. It is a pity that other nations are not aware of us. But it’s worse and more threatening that modern Armenians do not know themselves.

Back in the first half of the 19th century, French architect Teksis who had visited Ani struggled to find parallels between the builders of the once grandiose city and modern Armenians. He, by the way, said:

“In these monuments personifying the Greek taste and softness, with great difficulty can you see the product of the creative thought of a nation, which in our days has lost all its sense of beauty and which doesn’t remember at all what its ancestors had been like.”

Modern Armenians do not know themselves as well, and this is what their fault is before their own future and before humanity. Each nation is obliged to provide humanity with the best of their possessions from their spiritual leaven.

The reincarnation and propaganda of the best Armenian ideas, including the high ideas of deeply humane Gokhtan songs, is not only a patriotic duty: it is universal for all mankind.

But the East hasn’t ingested the high humanity of pagan Armenians. It remained inhumane and lived and continues to live by the laws of the jungles. And in this lies the reason for the extermination of the majority of Armenians during WWI, to the shame of both the East and West.

Acharian in his “History of Armenian language”, talking about the preserved fragments of our verbal national oeuvre, with an invulnerable scientific precision specified their vocabulary, brought them together with their root forms, and, finally, pinpointed their origins, be they Armenian or non-Armenian.

Our unexcelled linguist, who such meticulously studied the fragmented language of the preserved Gokhtan songs, didn’t consider it necessary to dedicate a few words to the explanation of their ideological meaning or their cultural substance.

It should be admitted that this downside is characteristic of almost all Armenian philologists. How could you explain this? By the weakness of the Armenian philosophical thought, or the defeatist psychology of a modern Armenian intellectual?

Those who are endowed with it are overall humble and instinctively avoid everything that reminds them of their ancestors who with honor and bravely had lived an exuberant life.

Our ancestors obligate us – let’s listen to them in order to show ourselves as a nation. Let’s realize our national and universal vocation of an intellectual and follow it.

Garegin Nzhdeh

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