Articles by Gevork Nazaryan
List of articles by Gevork Nazaryan.
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 First Genocide of The Twentieth Century
The First Genocide of The Twentieth Century Written by Gevork Nazaryan
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.
In the following decade, a secret society named the Union for Emancipation was formed, with the ultimate goal of liberating the Erkir [lit. the Land] and the Armenian people -- in Western and Cilician Armenias -- from the bonds of Turkish tyranny. The Turkish answer to the Armenian outcry for human decency and freedom -- Initiating one of the most horrendous and barbarous acts in human history -- the first genocide of the XXth century -- 1915 - 1923, the Armenian Genocide, which took the lives of nearly 1,500,000 men, women and children. Waiting for the "right time" to execute "the final solution" of the Armenian Question -- the cloak of the World War, served as the gruesome backdrop for the implementation of the pre-planned and systematically executed policy of the annihilation of the Armenian people throughout the Ottoman Empire and beyond. The criminal regime that ruled Turkey during the war years called itself the "Young Turks." One of the other euphemistic names that the criminals who masterminded the first genocide of modern history was -- "The Committee of Union and Progress" [CUP]. Adopting the racist policy of "Pan-Turkism" - a "Turan from Europe to Siberia" as the criminals dreamed of, the plan of "extermination of a whole race," and a "murder of a nation," [the word genocide was not coined yet -- as there was no such occurrence prior to the Armenian Genocide - when the government of a "modern state" implements such a program of an annihilation of a whole nation -- the word genocide was in fact invented by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish lawyer who noted that the best example of the genocide in modern history is the Armenian Genocide -- the first genocide of the twentieth century] as Henry Morgenthau Sr., the eyewitness U.S. Ambassador of the time [1913-16] had wrote when he alarmed the world that "the greatest crime in human history is taking place." The plan of complete annihilation consisted of two phases. The first period was planned to eradicate the Armenian population of Western Armenia [including Cilicia] and other parts of the Ottoman Empire, through the means of massacres, rapes, forced starvation, and long death marches of hundreds of miles through the scorching Syrian deserts to a certain death.
The second phase was launched in early 1918. Just as the criminal Turkish government had waited for the cover of WWI to carry out the horrific genocide in Western Armenia -- the collapse of the Russian front , after the turmoil that followed the Bolshevik October Revolution in 1917, presented itself as the right opportunity to "once and for all solve the Armenian Question" in Eastern Armenia, the last bastion of historic Armenia still populated by what had remained of the Armenian people. Talaat -- Enver -- Djemal -- the three CUP ringleaders that masterminded the Genocide wanted their Turan -- without Armenia -- without Armenians -- the most serious major obstacle in the realization of their racist dream. Already at the end of 1917, the Turkish death squads crossed the frontier and moved into Eastern Armenia. Special units called "The Special Organization" were in charge of rounding up Armenians, who were killed outright or put into concentration camps, only to be savagely killed en masse.
The First Christian Nation
The First Christian Nation Written by Gevork Nazaryan
King Trdat III, initially at the beginning of his reign had a very negative and hostile stance toward Christianity, viewing it as a weak religion of the masses and not the Armenian warrior aristocracy. Two of the prominent Christian virgin martyrs were St. Gayanē and St. Hripsimē who along with their dozens of maidens from their convent were martyred by the order of the King. But by the end of the third century a new underground movement was becoming more evident headed by Gregory. As we saw, the later Catholicos to be was the son of the accused assassin of King Xosrov Aršakuni, father of King Trdat III. St. Gregory after his preaching activity in Lesser Armenia, on the western side of the Euphrates river came to Vałaršapat, the capital of Greater Armenia. Upon his arrival in Vałaršapat, St. Gregory was promptly arrested by the royal guards on charges of undermining the authority and order of the King and the State. According to the account told by contemporary historian Agat'angełos, King Trdat imprisoned St. Gregory by placing him in a dungeon of Khor Virap (literary -- deep pit). Christianity in the late third century was viciously persecuted and put down by the monarchs throughout the ancient world who viewed it as a pacifist religion that rejected the here and now and promised redemption in the then and there. Trdat being a close friend and an ally of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, also pursued similar policy of suppressing the spread of Christianity. Gregory remained imprisoned for twelve long years in the dark chambers of Khor Virap. Things quickly began to change in the year 297. Trdat, having seen the true nature of his "best friend" Diocletian, who in 297 invaded Armenia and even behind Trdat's back and signed a treacherous treaty with the hated rivals the Sassanians, was furious. Another IVth century historian Faust Buzand IVth tells us that Trdat, soon after was sickened with "madness" turning into a "wild boar." As the story goes, in desperation he sought the help "of that wizard who is still alive in that pit" -- as one of court advisors told the King. Trdat ordered the release of St. Gregory who after a quick prayer cures Trdat who turns back into a human form. The story, written by Buzand shows the rapid change from persecution of Christianity, to toleration, acceptance and eventually advocacy.
In 301, St. Gregory officially baptized king Trdat III along with the members of royal court and upper class. Trdat issued a decree by which he granted the right to start the conversion of the entire heathen Armenia. Unfortunately, this process of converting Armenia had with the positive a negative impact on the cultural rich pre-Christian heritage of Armenia. Many temples, written mehian [Mihrian - named after Armenian Solar God Mithras] manuscripts, and other priceless cultural monuments were obliterated and destroyed by the fanaticism of the newly converted followers of St. Gregory. So the Word was spread with the Sword unfortunately. Often hunting down and killing pagan high priests, who at that time in the temples kept the ancient wisdom traditions of Armenia that went back to time immemorial - a lot of knowledge was forever lost. Many new churches, including the Mother Church of Holy Echmiadzin [completed in 303] were erected right on the remnants of destroyed fire and solar temples - whose very important locations on lay lines, vortexes and crisscrossing grids were specifically chosen by the ancient Armenian master builders.