Articles by Gevork Nazaryan

Revision as of 07:38, 6 August 2007 by Nareklm (talk | contribs) (THE FIRST GENOCIDE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Capital of Ararat

The Capital of Ararat Written by Gevork Nazaryan

VAN -- the Capital of the Kingdom of Ararat. Van is the evolved name of the original name of Biayna [ B-V phonetic shift]. Another name for Van is Tu�pa or Tosp. Van was established as an important center in the second millennium BC on an earlier settlement. The city began to grow after a number of important constructions were made by King Sardur I [835 - 825 BC]. During the reign of King Menua [810 � 786 BC] a massive water canal of more than 80 kilometers long -- from the river of Xosap to the city of Van -- was built to overcome the water shortages. Armenians of Ararat were master builders and innovators. Huge canals were often drilled through blocking cliffs. Parts of the Araratian canal are still in use by the local inhabitants. Mowsēs Xorēnac‛i -- the Father of Armenian History -- tells us that during the successive reigns of successors of King Menua -- Argi�ti I [Ara I] and Sardur II, a number of innovations were erected throughout the city.

In 735, the Assyrian King Tiglathpalaser, launched an incursion into north -- into the domain of Ararat. The rapid expansion of Ararat and particularly its dominance of Northern Mesopotamia, Syria and Eastern Anatolia, were successfully blocking the Assyrian advances further north and northwest. The Assyrians with heavy losses managed to make a breakthrough into the heart of Ararat and reached the Mother City. The Assyrians laid a lengthy siege of Capital Van -- charging the walls numerous times only to be repelled by the heroic defenders. The defensive positions were manned by the military garrison of the city, armed militia and the royal guards led by Sardur II. In the VIth century BC, the ancient Aramian Royal House of Ararat was succeeded by the Orontids [Oriontids]. The Orontids or the Er-uandunis had blood ties to the previous dynasty and followed in a natural succession to the Kingdom. close blood ties -- after the expiration of the last male heir to the throne, Ru�a IV, Eruand I became the new reigning monarch.


The revival of Van was cut short by the nomadic invasions of Seljuk Turks, in the second part of the XIth century. From there onwards, Van was under the rule of the Turks -- remaining backward. The inhabitants of the city had to flee the persecution and the heavy taxation that was imposed by the Turks. In 1862, after centuries of oppression and massacres the free spirited Armenian highlanders of Van rose up against the tyrannical rule of the Turkish sultan. Armenian fighters managed to decimate and destroy the Turkish garrison stationed in the city and capture the fortress of Van. The semi-autonomy lasted for months and it was not until the Armenian population of the city was promised protection by the sultan from marauding Kurdish and Turkish bands who raided and pillaged Armenian farms and markets, that the Armenians opened the gates and once again Turkish officials were reinstated in Van.