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Location of Hayasa-Azzi.

Hittite inscriptions (Hayasa-Azzi, or in Armenian: Հայասա) deciphered by E. Forrer testify to the existence of a mountain country, the Hayasa, lying around the Lake of Van. Hayasa or Khayasa identified with Haik, Hayk or Hark, was inhabited before the coming of Armens. The suffix sa of Hayasa corresponds to the stan, derivative of Hayasatan (Armenia). Greeks knew about this country (Hayasa) and their writers wrote about armenians or hayers. The cuneiform tablets of Boghaz Keuy have preserved the names of four succesive kings who ruled in Hayasa. They were Karannish, Mariyash, Hukkanash and Anniyash, the four covering a period of 55 years, from 1390 to 1335 B.C.

The first-named of this kings made incursions into the Hatti or Hittite empire, which were checked by the Emperor Dudhaliyash and hid successor, Subbiluliuma. Mariyash, the next king of Hayasa, who had married a Hittite princess, was punished with death because of his breach of matrimonial contract. Hukkanash, the third in the line, also married a Hittite princess, the sister of the Emperor Subbiluliuma.

The marriage treaty of this couple contained some interesting stipulations peculiar to the time. “My sister, whom I gave you in marriage,” says the Hatti rular, “ has sisters; through your marriage, they now become your relatives. Well, there is a law in the land of the Hatti. Do not approach sisters-in-law or your cousins; that is not permitted. In Hatti Land, whosoever commits such an act does not live; he dies. . . In your country, you do not hesitate to marry your own sister-in-law or cousin, because you are not civilized. Such an act cannot be permitted in Hatti.”

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