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The largest khachkar cemetary in the world was located in Jugha (located today in Nakhichevan, Azerbaijan). The numbers were vastly reduced from the approximately 20,000 that once stood during Soviet times to a mere few thousand, and after independence, Azerbaijan began to systematically destroy them. After an international outcry, the destruction was halted a few years, until 2005 when the entire cemetary was bulldozed completely clear.
This information all comes from Argam Aivazian's book, "Djugha". Published in Yerevan in 1990.
Brief Historical Survey
File:Jugha khachkar ejmiatsin3.JPG Jugha is located in the historical province of Yerndjak, which was one of the famous settlements of old Armenia. It continued to exist intermittently until 1848. This settlement, which had acquired fame as a village in the early Middle Ages, grew into a town in the 10th through 13th centuries, while in the 15th for 17th centuries it was an outstanding trade center in Armenia.
Jugha was an eyewitness to all the historical events which took place on the territory between Nakhichevan and Vaspurakan. In the Middle Ages, this densely populated, prosperous town was often subjected to invasions by foreign forces and was devastated, plundered and set on fire. It was in 1605 that Jugha finally lay in ruins and its population was forced to migrate.
The name "Jugha" has not as yet been etymologically studied. Chronologically, the oldest Armenian names of this site from the fifth through 17th centuries were Jughah, Chojha, Jugha. To differentiate it from Nor (new) Jugha in the 17th through 20th centuries, it was called Hin (old) Jugha (it is pronounced "khin" in local dialect). Historians and travelers have called it Djoulfa, Ciulfa, Iulfa, Zulfa, Usulfa, Sulfa, Diulfa, Tulfa, Iula, Chiulfa, and Zugha1.
In the seventeenth century Catholicos Ghazar Tjahketsi noted that after the devastation of the town of Ani, its population " half of it left for Jugha... "2. This information serves as a basis for the opinion that Jugha as a settlement was founded after the destruction of Ani and that it was an Ani branch ("branch a"). This incorrect interpretation was passed on traditionally to the Djughaites. However, many names of ancient Nakhichevan provinces such as Goghtn, Trounik, Ramik, Yerndjak, Tsghnayk, Abrakounis, Shahapounik or Shahaponk, Babonk, Sharour, etc are geographical names plural in form and give the concept of collectivity as well as site. It may be supposed that the names Djughayk or Djughay are ethnic in origin and signify a settlement in collective sense. This geographical name is probably pre-Armenian in origin and received its name from Armenian tribes of the same name will live there.
The earliest information about Jugha given in Armenian chronicles refers to the first century, B.C. Movses Khorenatsi, the fifth century historian, describing the brave feats of Tigran II (who ruled from 95-55, B.C. a), wrote that after winning the victory over Azhdahak, he "settled" his first wife Anouysh "and many girls of Azhdahak's family with young lads and a multitude of slaves more than a thousand in all on the the eastern side of the great mountain, reaching the limits of Goghtn; they are Tambat, Voskiogha, Dazhgouynk and other orchards along the Bank of river, one of them in being Vrandjounik, face-to-face with the fortress of Nakhichevan. He also left them three settlements: Khram, Jugha and Kho(r)shakounik on the other side of other river, the entire field ... "3.
Jugha was founded on an important crossroad of the well known trade and military transit routes of the Old World, through which, routes from the far East passed on their way to the shores of the Mediterranean. It is later found in records of the seventh century, connected with Arab invasions of Armenia. Ghevond, the historian, wrote that the Arabs, attacking the lands of the Armenians, occupied Goghtn and its surrounding provinces "... many men were put to the sword, and others with their wives and children were enslaved, taken over the Yeraskh to the roots of Jugha..."4. Then the Arabs again attacking the lands of the Armenian in 688 "...performed many unlawful acts in Marats, and Khram, in Khoshakunes and in Jugha"5.
Jugha is next mentioned in the 10th century when in 962 after the destruction of the town of Khram, St. Karapet's relics were brought to Jugha. Arakel Davrizhetsi, the 12th century historian, wrote that after the mass deportation from Jugha, a Moslem found a box in the high altar of the Amenasourb Yerordoutiun (Holy Trinity) or Upper Kathan church of Jugha. In that box there were sacred relics and piece of parchment, which were handed over sometime later to Bishop Shmavon of St. Stepanos the Martyr Monastery in Darashamb, not far from Jugha. The the parchment read thus: " this is a piece of the holy bread of St. Hovhannes Karapet, which Grigor Lousavorich brought to Armenia and placed in the town of Khram in the year 927 of the Armenian calendar, while after the devastation of Khram, it was brought to Jugha"6.
Jugha of the 10th century, with its famous Amenaprkich (Holy Savior) monastery is again mentioned in the document in which Catholicos Khachik testified to the presentation of lands St. Stepanos the Martyr Monastery in Darashamb by King Ashot in a 9767. This was also referred to in Catholicos Sargis' circular letter to the dioceses of Syunik, dated 10108 and in other source materials. After that Jugha was often spoken of in the seventh to 12th centuries in the works of historians, in travel notes and other written sources9. Thus, references about Jugha, beginning from sources of the early Middle Ages, are in themselves proof of the fact that in location and population, Jugha played a vital role in the historical-cultural life of Medieval Armenia and achieved fame as a habitation.
The historical town of Jugha was situated in present-day Nakhichevan A.S.S.R., in the environs of the village of Jugha, District of Djulfa, on the left bank of the Arax river more than 2 km in length from east to west and 400-500 m in width from the Arax to the foot of the nearest mountains. The Jugha residential sections, founded among the rocky mountain ranges, spread out and also included the flat lands on the right (now Iranian) bank of the Arax, where even today the ruins and remains of town structures, the bridge, caravanserai, the Andreordi church, the cemetery and other erections may be seen. This site near the Arax where Jugha was founded is rather a deep, long and narrow gorge, which the Jughaites used to call Dsakouta valley or Dsakouta. The Magharda and Jugha mountain ranges bordering both sides of the Arax River seem to come closer at this point and the Arax, flowing through their rocky bare base is a swift and frothy in places, noisily beating against the banks, while in other places it is gentle and strutting. A bit to the west of the Dsakouta gorge, on the opposite side, the historical Karmir or Tghmout River flows into the Arax.
The Magharda mountain range, east of Jugha, extends southward; while the Jugha mountain range, whose peaks Mount Tapi and the Hazaran and Dsorout mountains, extends angularly and then goes northward up the Yerndjak River. Owing to this geographical position, a not very large valley-like flat land developed in the Dsakouta ravine with small hills and mountains. It was here that the historical town of Jugha spread out and achieved fame. In the south it is protected by the Arax River and the Magharda, and in the north, by the Jugha mountain ranges. The near of approaches to the town from the east and the west are well fortified. It is due to this favorable geographic position that the town was protected, to a certain extent, from sudden enemy attacks.
Being 700 meters above sea level in altitude, Jugha had a sunny and dry, arid climate. The mountains which border the town on both sides are bare, like carriers and cut off summits. These numerous, majestic mountains are, in places, like high towers and strongholds, in other words, stone columns. On these summits, sun-parched, bright red, brownish, or pitch black, there are many crevices and cracks and almost impassable caves and recesses. These mountain tops are lacking in plant life; yet in spring, handfuls of green sprouting out here and there, lend it an unusual charm.
Judging from the area archaeologically and evidence found historical sources, the town of Jugha consisting of more than ten large districts, was inhabited only by Armenians, had seven famous churches, a few chapels, sacred places and a few secular buildings. According to European travellers passing by this area before it was destroyed and the forced deportation of the people, Jugha, in the middle of the XVI century, consisted of some 2000-4000 houses with an Armenian population reaching from 15-20,000-40,00010. A Portugese traveller, Pelshior by name, who was in Jugha during the summer of 1604, a few weeks before the forced deportation, wrote thus: "Jugha is one of the largest towns of Armenians where there is not a single Moslem"11. Although the terrain wasnot so favorable building of the town proceded along certain principles. The on-two storeyed stone and brick houses were plastered and the walls mostly painted from within. The main streets and those connecting districts, mostly paved or filled with grit-stones, were 1.5-2 meters wide. As the houses, so too, Jugha memorials were bunched together like eagle's nests on mountain tops or on foothills.
In 1673, 63 years after its destruction, Chardin, the famous traveller passing by Jugha, noted that "the approaches to the town, which were naturally strong and impassable, had been preserved as well as many fortresses... most of the houses are slits or underground dwellings, caves in the mountains.."12 H. Arakelian, who studied the ruins of Jugha in 1884, remarked, "Houses are two-storyed, very simple, of crude construction, not only on flatlands but also on cliffs and mountain slopes; the churches, too, are very small, the doors being so small that one had to crawl in. Some houses were built on such high cliffs where only chamois can walk about"13. Jugha was governed by a town council of patriarchs or princes, led by the town chief. Jugha or Darvazr, although well reenforced on all sides, had a tower on the rampart of the main fortress, protecting the main approaches to the town; there always was a guard there. And "any newcomer had to give his name to the guard and was allowed to enter only with the permission of the town chief"14.
Contrary to its present state, till the end of the XVII century, Jugha had many orchards, gardens, vineyards and quite a bit of tillable land along the valley of St. Sargis, in the eastern part of town, in the small fields of Vardout. Even today traces of former waterways and wells, fences remnants of gardens and vineyards with an occasional tree here and there, may be seen in that valley. Since Jugha did not have sufficient arable land, the people were compelled to turn to trade, handicrafts, crafts and arts. Therefore, from the earliest times, agriculture was never of prime significance.
Historical sources speak of the fact that beginning from the X - XII centuries, trade grew equally rapidly with crafts in Jugha. In the XI century it had its center and in rank and fame Jugha was placed along with Nakhichevan. Being located on an important trade route, called the :royal" or merchant route, Jugha became outstanding within a short period of time, as a storehouse and trade exchange center of transit goods in the Arax (Yeraskh) valley. Beginning from the XV century, it achieved unprecedented prosperity. Therefore, the people of Jugha considered being a merchant the main, prime, hereditary occupation - a profession. Thus in the XV - XVII centuries there were many Jugha merchants in Armenian economical life, who called themselves "khojas". They were famous for the tremendous wealth and resources they had accumulated and also as organizers of printing and publishing among Armenians. They were devoted patriots. It was during those centuries, a period of considerable downfall for Armenia politically, economically, and culturally, that Jugha attained great fame: its wealth was known everywhere. The riches of Jughaites were fabulous: decorations and furnishings in the homes and mansions of "khojas" were mostly gold and silver. It was for these reasons that in 1541 Catholicos Grigor XI in his pastoral letter spoke about Jugha as a "divine village"15. In the XV - XVI centuries, Hakob Jughayetsi, the famous miniature painter, when copying the colophon of a Gospel in 1587 called the town a "great religious capital"16. Khachatur Khizanetsi, the merited scribe, in the colophon of the Menology he copied in 1594 wrote that he had copied it in "the capital Jugha, the shelter and pride of the Haigazian family; we beseech the Creator to always keep it prosperous"17.
For many centuries, enterprising Jugha merchants entered all trade towns and sites in the East and West and founded their trade firms and affiliations in those places. Caravans belonging to Jugha merchants could freely enter Persia, India (chiefly Madras, Calcutta), Italy (Venice), Austria (Vienna), Holland (Amsterdam), Egypt, Russia (Moscow, Petersburg, Crimea, Astrakhan), Turkey and even the Isle of Java, Burma, the Philippines (Manila) and elsewhere. In the XVI century alone, of the 250 Armenian merchants who had ties with the trade centers in Venice and its environs, some sixty were from Jugha18; they controlled the export of certain goods, silk in particular. The role of Jugha merchants in Venice was so great that one of the city streets was called "the street of Jughaites".
A researcher studying the history of Armenian trade was only right in remarking that "in the 1500s the Jughaites, controlled trade in spices, garlic, and especially raw silk in the markets of Egypt and of the Mediterranean regions of Europe"19. A number of documents referring to the middle of the XVI century give evidence of Jugha merchants exporting to numerous European markets 500 to 1000 mule loads20 of silk annually and from those markets imported the same amount of European woolen and other goods as well to Jugha21. In addition to having connections with the more famous trading countries of that time, Jugha merchants went to distant countries and islands (Philippines, Java) where they enjoyed the confidence of the people; they founded churches, chapels and settlements there. For instance, in a study of Armenian cemeteries and chapels in three outstanding cities of distant Burma, it noted that "the migration of Armenians to Birmania is not a question of one or two centuries: it is probably as old as the Indian (community) if not more. Intelligent Jughaites occupied in trading and coming from the back of Yeraskh and even from Hin Jugha, five centuries ago, were able to win favor of old Birmania sovereigns and achieve good positions in the economic and administrative life of this distant land close to the Far East"22. Jugha merchants also had business relations with Aleppo. According to the famous Venetian merchant, Fredrich, the first merchants he met in the Aleppo market in 1563 were from Jugha: they were called "Armenian Merchants". Of the fourteen tombstones preserved in the Armenian cemetery of Aleppo in the XVI century, thirteen were of people from Hin Jugha23. Azaria Jughayetsi, who was Catholicos of Sis in 1584-1601, is also buried in Aleppo24.
Its continuous growth and the widening of its scope, its crafts and trade classes and its ancient culture turned Jugha, especially in the XVI - XVII centuries, into not only one of the most famous cities of Armenia, but also into an outstanding center of goldsmithery, cloth printing, needlework, sculpture, processing of precious stones, pottery, folk architecture, painting and miniature painting, the art of writing, and stone-carving. Along with a variety of goods, Jugha merchants brought many specimens of classic art and the art of that time in European countries to their native town, bringing talented and skillful Jugha masters new inspiration and creative ardor. However, Jugha, this constantly developing town with its prolific cultural life was interrupted for a few decades at the beginning of the XVII century, when the multitude of cultural values created during the centuries were subjected to irretrievable loss because of destruction of the town and the forced deportation of the population.
History teaches us that for ages, in the Armenian Highlands, like enraged, impetuous whirlwinds, like wrathful storms, destructive annihilating enemies, bloody foes made the life of Armenians and the history of their native land difficult and full of combat. Many small and large, prosperous and joyful villages and town in the land of Armenians, frequently subjected to fire and sabers were converted under the crushing heel of the enemy, to mounds of ashes, and went through clouds of obscurity, deep into the ages. Armenians, however again and again, repaired and restored their native hearth near those mounds of ashes. And thus, continuously, in their eternal land, Armenia existed and the native piece of land belonging to Armenians existed and was strengthened. In the unrelenting past it often happened that besides unforeseen natural disasters (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods) the land of Armenians was subjected to a thousand and one other misfortunes; their settlements lay waste due to the tremendous force and brutality imposed upon them. Jugha was likewise subjected to just such a brutal force organized and carried out by Shah Abas I of Persia in 1605.
As a result of continuous wars between Persia and Turkey in the XV - XVII centuries, the territory of Armenia was actually converted to a scene of combat. According to the Treaty of Amasia concluded between those two brutal states in 1555, Armenia, (today's) Azerbaijan, and eastern Georgia came under Persian rule. This treaty was unfavorable for Turkey. Therefore, Turkey in 1570-1590, recaptured by means of war, all of Transcaucasia and Atrpatakan. Since such conditions were humiliating for the Persians, they tried in every way possible to get their "hereditary lands" back from Turkey. To execute this plan, a number of radical changes were carried out in the internal and external life of Shah Abas I (1587-1629). Under such conditions, Armenia was, on the one hand, suppressed and weakened by Turkey, and on the other hand, subjected to Persian invasions. In order to win the victory over Turkey, the Shah tried cunningly to gain the sympathies of the Armenian, Georgian, Kurdish, and Azerbaijanian upper classes and use their influence and power in favor of his interests against Turkey.
And so, Shah Abas began his planned attacks in 1603, recaptured the entire province of Nakhichevan and later Yerevan with practically no opposition. The Shah had a special plan for Jugha and he spent three days there, enjoying the generous hospitality of the wealthy khojas. Arakel Davrizhetsi, XVII century historian and eye-witness to those events, described the reception given the Shah in detail: "The elder princes and the younger ones, golden-haired and brave in appearance, adorned with ornaments and weapons moved forwards. And newly-blossoming young lads served sweet pure wine in golden cups. Clergymen went forwards with candles, incense and frankincense, singing and accompanying themselves. And the path the king was to pass from the river to khoja Khachik's mansion was decorated worthy of a king, honorably and elegantly spread out with velvet, upon which the king would walk to khoja Khachik's house. And in his house, khoja Khachik handed his son a gold tray filled with gold pieces to present to the king. Other Jugha leaders likewise presented him with gifts... The serpent emerged in Shah Abas, who as it was had the nature of a snake implanted in him even from the very beginning against Christianity, was burning within him as to what reasons and what occasion to use, to do them evil... But at present, covering up the poison within, he pretended to be sympatheric"25. Information concerning this reception was also given by G. Tektander, a traveler in Persia in 1602-160326. In honor of the Shah, 50,000 lamps were lighted for three nights in the homes and balconies of Jugha. In spite of this, the Jughaites were terrorized at heart, they seemed to sense the evil intentions and deceit of the cunning Shah.
After a temporary cessation of military activities which followed the capture of Yerevan at the end of 1604, the Turkish army began new counterattacks. Realizing the enemy's superior force, Shah Abas decided to retreat. But it was not simply a retreat of military forces. It was a monstrous plan to expose while settlements, fields and monuments on the left bank of of the Arax to fire and sword, to turn them into ruins, to lay them to waste, to deport the population to Persia by force. It was a fiendish plan of retreat, and in Armenian history, that cruel page is remembered as the year of the "great deportation". According to A. Davrizhetsi, Shah Abas had decided "that the Ottomans coming there should find the land unpopulated"27, and by means of deporting the Armenians wanted to boost trade and crafts in his backwards land and thus secure prosperity.
In this retreat, the deportation from Jugha was carried out with special attention. From the very beginning of his reign, the Shah had paid much importance to attracting Jugha princes and merchants in every possible way, to make the capital acquired from their trade, the property of the Persian kingdom. Arakel Davrizhetsi devoted a whole chapter (V) of his history to the deportations from Jugha: "Of how the rich, prosperous village-town Jugha was deported to Persia by force"28. According to the historian, "the village-town Jugha was at that time a large and outstandingly populated site in the Orient"29. The information given by Davrizhetsi says that "the deportation was assigned to Tahmazghuli bek. "The Shah called this Tahmazghuli to appear before him, wrote an edict and ordered him to go to Jugha and force them all out, without leaving a single inhabitant. And Tahmazghuli took leave of the king, swiftly went on to Jugha, called together the elders and in great wrath, threatened to massacre them with a horrible, brutal death if they did not immediately carry out the king's orders. The king's edict was also read to all the people, wherein it said that it was the royal decree to the Jughaites to leave their places and go to the land of the Persians"30".
Thereafter Tahmazghuli bek had the order of the deportation from Jugha read, which also said that the residents were to be given three days to leave the town. Great crowds of Moslem mobs from neighboring villages, wandering in the Jugha streets compelled the people to desert their native land, their birthplace. According to the historian, that mob and Tahmazghuli's army plundered the town, "by gathering Mohammedans, tens, twenties, even thirties of them, went into the houses of the Christians, compelled them to get up and leave; they (Moslems) sacked whatever they could... and in this way the belongings of the Christians were plundered and thus perished"31.
Encircled and caught unaware by the enemy the Jughaites were alarmed and had no alternative but to leave their native town. The elders of Jugha, the clergymen, in other words, the entire population came out of the Jugha gates, approached the St. Astvadsadsin Church and "in plaintive voices and with mourning hearts, with tears in their eyes, cried and wept, and moaning before the Virgin, cried out. Oh! Holy Virgin, we leave you the keys of our sacred churches and our houses, for you to bring us back home from the foreign lands they are taking us to. Saying this they threw their keys into the river and cried long and loud in anguish and then went away..."32. According to Davrizhetsi, the deportation from Jugha took place in October 1605. While crossing the Arax in Autumn "those who were weak fell into the water and were carried along the surface of the water; many were drowned and thus died. And along both banks of the river, human bodies, dead bodies of the drowned were scattered. With such tortures, the people crossed the Yeraskh..."33.
After the migration from Jugha, when more than three thousand families had been forcibly deported, Tahmazghuli bek, again on the Shah's order, "arrived at Jugha with untold bandits and taking up reed and kerosene lamps began to set everything afire, broke down the housetops, crumbled the walls. They left nothing intact; they left only ruins..."34. In addition there are a number of other written sources on the burning of Jugha. For instance, Hakob Yerets, deported from Jugha, wrote in the colophon of the Gospel he scribed in 1607 at the St. Sargis Church of Not Jugha and bitterly recalled: After the fire, at a distance of one day, one was stopped by the smell of fire and was caught breathless. The thick smoke rising from the ruins, covered the sun..."35.
After the deportation from Jugha, a very insignificant part of the population, which had been able to avoid being deported, agian settled in its native town. However only a few months had passed when, in the spring of 1606, Hamdan agha went to Jugha with the edict of the Shah to deport the rest of the population, still remaining in Jugha. "And Hamdan agha came to Jugha with his forces, called the remaining people before him and reproaching them and using force said to them: obey the royal order and with your family and taking whatever you have, come with us; if you don't want to come, we shall kill the male population and those who are strong and we shall take your property and your family prisoners. They found those who had fled to the mountains and gorges and had hidden there, and then on the Monday after the second Sunday they left Jugha for Tavriz..."36.
And thus, the last soul was evacuated from Jugha, the town set on fire and destroyed to its very foundation. The longing and hope of the Jughaites that they would some day return was never realized; it always remained a hope and yearning. Later on there was much plundering among the Jugha ruins where the wealth was hidden of those who had hoped to return some day to their homes, "in high places, in deep places, in crevices and other suitable places, thus they left them and withdrew"37. All this was searched for and often discovered by treasure seekers.
Beside material written by A. Davrizhetsi, there are many manuscripts of the XVII-XVIII centuries which describe the deportation from Jugha and the crossing of the Arax with great sorrow and grief. In a collection copied in 1608, for example, we read: "The inhabitants of Jugha left their beautifully-built, expensive houses with great grief, woeing and lamenting. One should have seen their sorrow and tears, how suddenly they became homeless, without a roof over them, without shelter; they became fewer in number, they turned emigrants... All the more since they saw with their own eyes how the mansions they had built and decorated at such an expense, were set on fire and burned away... Part of the people and the clerical class went moaning to the churches where they bade farewell with tearful eyes... thus they wailed, their voices rose and resounded up to the mountain crevices. The soldiers gathered them all at the bank of the Yeraskh and since means of crossing, by boat, were scarece, the multitude was pushed into the river and the water became their grave, their burial place"38.
Augustus Badjetsi, a native of Yerndjak and bishop of Nakhichevan, who was eye-witness of the deportation, wrote about the migrations from Jugha and Nakhichevan and noted Shah Abas' forces entered the Armenian villages like "thunder from the sky" and compelled the population to migrate immediately. They didn't allow them to bring the crops in from the fields or take whatever they needed with them. "We left houses full of goods, the herd in the fields, fathers renounced their sons; mothers, their daughters... the entire population was turned out of their land like a flock... how many were pushed out at the point of swords and spears... their moans and groans reached the skies"39.
Hovhannes Makvetsi, poet of the XVII century, witnessed the deportation from Jugha and in his well-known "Lamentation of Jugha" compares Jugha with Paris, considering it even greater.
Another poet of the XVII century, Davit Geghametsi, in his lamentation (according to Gh. Alishan's "Lamentation of Jugha") described the ruins of this flourishing town. He remembers with tremendous pity the rich khojas, the well-to-do families and their mansions, monuments, memorials of the once active cultural life of Jugha.
The great poet Hovhannes Tumanian very impressively described the deportation from Jugha:
Swords from behind, water in front,
Mourning, wailing, confusion,
Both the old bellowed and the young;
Holding each other, filled the river"40.
Thus the furious Shah Abas deported the Jughaites with fire and sword in his own country's economic interests, founded a new town which was called Nor Jugha. Instead of historical Jugha, now Armenian chronologists began to mention Nor Jugha in their works, while the old town, its memories and wounds has gone down into history, remaining only in the minds and hearts of the people, like the copper-colored slopes of the surrounding mountains. Near Spahan, south of the Zandarout River, part of the territory was given the Jughaites as a royal grant; another part, according to the terms set up, the Armenians had to buy themselves. The Jughaites drew up a main layout for the construction of the new town. "They drew a long straight street from east to west, with a length of 3246 steps and a width of 16 steps"41. Around this main street south of the river, there were ten wide smaller streets, each of which was a large section of the town, where at the beginning of the XVIII century some thirty thousand inhabitants made their dwellings.42
Within a few years, the building, creating and trade-loving Jughaites helped to sprout up this new settlement and continued the age-old culture and art, the life and demeanor of Hin Jugha and the traditions which had been taught them for ages. Here in the new town some thirty prominent families of Hin Jugha such as the Lazarians, Safrazians, Shahrimanians, Eminians, Khaltarians, Velidjanians, Sahratians and others, through their successors and later generations and the immediate leadership of Jughaites commemorated the memorials of their birthplace Jugha and founded the Amenaprkich majestic monastery and seventeen other churches, opened schools, erected many palatial mansions, created thousands of fine khachkars, and many, many other monuments. In 1647 Hovhannes vardapet founded a printing press there, where numerous books were published.
As in Hin Jugha, trade, building, love for its native land and culture occupied a prime place in the life of the Jughaites. Jughaites were well aware of the great significance of printing and printed material. They established in Nor Jugha and in other important communities, especially Madras and Calcutta, printing houses where they put out numerous books and finally, in 1794, the first Armenian periodical "Azdarar" was published in Madras.
In the XVII - XVIII centuries the Jughaites controlled the external trade of Persia and like their forefathers, had extensive trade tied with a number of European countries. During that same period, they had even closer relations with Russia. The Nor Jugha merchants concluded some favorable pacts and enjoyed privileges in Russia, particularly in the export of silk. To win his favor (and for his support of Christians) the Armenian merchants of Jugha presented Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, in 1660 through khoja Zakaria Sahratian, a diamond throne which "was of pure gold with 897 small and large diamonds and 1298 rubles and three rows of cultivated pearls"43. This throne, now in the Kremlin Palace of Armors and one of its permanent artifacts, was evaluated at 24,442 rubles at that time. The throne with its gems and gold, rubies and pearls, contains 28 pounds of gold and 18 pounds of silver. The upper corners of the back of the throne end with golden statuettes of the Apostle Peter and St. Nicholas. The ornamentation of the throne consists of complex compositions of geometric, plant-animal and human pictorial designs.
After its destruction by Shah Abas, Jugha lay in ruins and was desolate for quite some time. Some Jughaites who were able to escape the forced deportation, thus saving themselves, and a few other families who fled from No Jugha, came and settled on the mounds of ashes of their native town. They first found shelter among the partly preserved walls of the covered market: later they repaired some houses, churches and monasteries. And thus Jugha returned to life: The repatriated families were seven in number: the families of Ter-Poghosian, paron (sir) Panosian, khoja Nazarian, deputy Toumoyan, landowner Frangoulian, paron Atanesian and khoja Dsatour.
Thus Jugha lost its former glory and power. As far as its later period of existence and the activities there are concerned, information may be obtained from the brief inscriptions on tombstones of the XVII - XIX centuries near the churches as well as a number of manuscripts copied there at the beginning of the 1620's. The colophon of the manuscripts "Questions and Answers Against the Koran", copied in 1620 says: "written in the year [rgt] (1620) by scribe Aristakes in the village of Jugha at the church of St. Hakob and St. Sargis..."44. In 1641 Dilakents Dsatur bought a Gospel in Erzerum, which had been taken loot there, and presented it to the Jugha St. Gevorg Church; the colophon of the Gospel testifies to this fact: "This holy Gospel in memory of Mkrtich of Jugha, his son Dilak and Dsatur, his mother Oumtian, Dsatur's mate Mertatik, Merspash, in the year [vogh] (1641) bought by me in Erzerum and given to Dilakents Dsatur in memory of the St. Gevorg church of Hin Jugha"45. In a manuscript copied here in 1645, scribe Markar wrote: "The holy Gospel of Hovhannes written in the year [rght] (1645) of the Armenian calendar by scribe Markar, in the village of Jugha on the request of Melik Aghe's son Aghe, a faithful Christian, and which he has received..."46. (The manuscript is now in Europe).
In 1848 the inhabitants of Jugha founded the village of Jugha in the district of Julfa, at the foot of the Dsorout mountain peak, a bit to the east of the historical town, where the Yerndjak River flows into the Arax and is surrounded on both sides by mountains. According to the 1912-1913 data, the village had a population of 1080. After the 1826 Treaty of Turkmenchai, the village of Jugha became the official border town between Persia and Russia. Owing to its geographical position and its ancient significance, it was considered an important site for the exchange of goods between the two states. In 1851 a new church, bearing the name of the St. Gevorg Church of Hin Jugha, was built in the northern district of the new village. It was of simple construction with a wooden roof. On a decision of the Echmiadzin synod, in 1860 a school was added to the church. In 1890 the Jugha reading-room-library was opened, parallel to the school. The main occupations of the people of Jugha were stone-mining and sailing on the Arax River (till 1920). The economic and political spheres of Jugha were limited by these occupations.
In the middle of the XIX century, with the erection of state customs services, garrisons, post office, etc., three kilometers east of Jugha, a new settlement arose on the bank of the Arax which was call Julfa. It is now the center of the district. (The name the Jughaites used to give Julfa was Kraktin.) During wars between neighboring peoples in 1918 - 1818, the Jugha battalion, consisting of Jughaites, heroically opposed and fought to save its native village from destruction. However, in July 1919, to prevent the entry of an army consisting of more than 500 regularly armed fighters into Jugha, a group of 32 brave Jughaites fought self-sacrificingly; after that the whole population was compelled to migrate to Tabriz. In July 1920, when Soviet power was established in Nakhichevan, those Jughaites who had migrated to Tabriz returned to live in their native village.
The Jugha Dialect
The Jugha dialect belongs to the "oum" branch; in vocabulary, syntax, phonetics, morphology in spite of certain differences, it is similar in system to the Ararat and Gharabagh dialects; in intonation it is similar in system to the Van and Mush dialects. It was understood by residents of certain villages near Jugha and in Nakhichevan.
While teaching at the Teheran school in 1918-1919, H. Acharian, the great linguist, wrote down a few specimens of the Jugha dialect, which he included in later studies on that dialect.
1 Gh. Alishan, Sisakan, Venice, 1893, p. 410 (in Arm.).
2 Gh. Tjahketsi, Girk Astvadsabanakan vor kotchi drakht tsankali, Constantinople, 1735, p. 633 (in Arm.).
3 M. Khorenatsi, Armenian History, trans., introduction and commentaries by acad. S. Malkhasian, Yerevan, 1961, pp. 132-133 (in Arm.).
4 Patmoutioun Ghevondia medsi vardapeti hayots, St. Petersburg, 1887, p. 7 (in Arm.).
5 Ghevond, op. cit., p. 18 (in Arm.).
6 "History by Arakel Vardapet Davrizhetsi", Vagharshapat, 1896, p. 524 (in Arm.).
7 Archive documents on estates and other economic transactions, book I, compiled by H. Abrahamian, Yerevan, 1941, p. 6 (in Arm.).
8 "Stepanos Syunyats yepiskoposi Patmoutoun tann Sisakani", publ. by Mkrtich Emin, Moscow, 1861, p. 227 (in Arm.).
9 For facts on the historical past of Jugha, XIII - XVIII cc see Gh. Alishan, Sisakan, Venice, 1893, pp. 410-415 (in Arm.).
10 Gh. Alishan, Sisakan, pp. 410, 413 H. Hakobian, Travels, XIII-XVI cc (1253-1582). vol. I. Yerevan, 1932, p. 454 (in Arm.).
11 R. V. Kulpenkian, Armenian-Portugese Relations. Yerevan, 1986, p. 139 (in Arm.).
12 H. Arakelian, Armenians of Persia: their past, present and future, part I, Vienna, 1911, p. 30 (in Arm.).
13 H. Arakelian, op. cit., p. 30.
14 Ibid., pp. 28--29.
15 Gh. Alishan, Sisakan. p. 411 (in Arm.).
16 Main list of Armenian manuscripts in private collection in Europe, vol. I, compiled by Archbishop Artavazd Surmelian, Paris, 1950, p. 83 (in Arm.).
17 Yerevan Matenadaran, Mesrop Ter-Movsessian Magistros, Main list of Manuscripts, Menologies, p, 123 (in Arm.).
18 Gh. Alishan, Hay-Venet or relations between Armenians and Venetians, Venice, 1896, pp. 368--380 (in Arm.).
19 H. Kiurtian, Material on the History of Armenian Trade, no mention of date and place of publication, p. 6 (in Arm.).
20 One mule load = 180--200 kilograms.
21 H. Kiurtian, op. cit., p. 11.
22 M. Grigorian, Haik in Southern Indis, "Bazmavep", 1927, p. 239; T. Goushakian, Indian-Armenian community, Jerusalem, 1941, pp. 86-87 (in Arm.).
23 A. Surmeian, History of Armenian Cemetery of Aleppo and Armenian Tombstone Inscriptions, Aleppo, 1935, pp. 12--13, 25 (in Arm.).
24 H. Acharian, Dictionary of Armenian Names vol. I, Yerevan, 1942, p. 56 (in Arm.).
'25 A. Davrizhetsi, op. cit. pp. 24--25 (in Arm.).
26 Readings at Imperial Society of History and Antiquities of Russia, 1896, pp. 33, 239 (in Russ.).
27 A. Davrizhetsi, op. cit. p. 38 (in Arm.).
28 Ibid, pp. 57--70.
29 Ibid, p. 12.
30 Ibid, p. 58.
31 Ibid, p. 59.
32 Ibid, p. 60.
33 Ibid, p. 61.
34 Ibid, pp. 61--62.
35 S. Ter-Avetisian, The Town of Jugha, Tiflis, 1937, p. 77 (in Russ.).
36 A. Davrizhetsi, op. cit. p. 63 (in Arm.).
'37 Ibid, p. 522.
38 Colophons of Armenian Manuscripts of XVIIc (1601-1620), vol I, compiled by V. Hakobian, A. Hovhannesian, Yerevan, 1974, p, 286 (in Arm.).
39 K. Patkanian, Choice Selections from Armenian Chronicles, St. Petersburg, 1884, p. 6 (in Arm.).
40 Hovhannes Toumanian, Choice Works, Yerevan, 1978, p. 142 (in Arm.).
41 H. Ter-Hovnanian, History of Nor Jugha vol. I, Nor Jugha, 1880, p. 39 (in Arm.).
42 H. Hakobian, Travels, vol. VI, Yerevan, 1934, p. 80 (in Arm.).
43 H. Ter-Hovnanian, op. cit., p. 167. H. Arakelian, On the Past Life of Armenians in Persia, "Geghouni", Venice, 1904, N. 1-10, p. 18 (in Arm.). "Armenian-Russian Relations in XVIIc.", vol. I, Yerevan, 1953, p. 26-28 (in Russ.).
44 M. Smbatian, Description of the Yernjak St. Karapet Monastery and its Environs, Tiflis, 1904, p. 145 (in Arm.).
45 S. Ter-Avetisian, op. cit., pp. 80--81 (in Arm.).
46 Main list of Armenian manuscripts in private collection in Europe, vol. I, compiled by Archbishop Artavazd Surmelian, Paris, 1950, p. 14, 33 (in Arm.).
Past Studies on Jugha
Unfortunately the history and culture of Jugha has not yet been studied in all its details. The main source materials concerning its past and its monuments are concise descriptions in the works of A. Sedrakian1 and Gh. Alishan2, the article "Jugha: by A. Vruyr3, and "(Old Jugha)" by S. Ter-Avetisian4; the latter three include photographs of monuments. S. Ter-Avedisian's monograph must be considered separately from the others. Here, together with a rather detailed examination of Jugha trade relations and a description of the locality, an important place is devoted to Jugha monuments and the cemetery; 52 photographs and 230 epigraphs have been appended to that work5.
In studying Jugha monuments, tremendous work was also accomplished by Aram Vruyr, a patron of Armenian culture. It was in 1912 after having been in Jugha to make investigations that, on April 4th of the same year, he wrote a letter from Baku to N. Marr, in which he regretfully said, "Jugha is so interesting, a little Ani: it seems to be a rich storehouse of XIV-XV century articles... Special attention must be devoted to that place since excavations there are almost always incidental. The findings there, whether complete or ornamented are multitude"6.
Later, in September 1915, on assignment by N. Marr and the magazine (Christian East), A Vruyr began the work of photographing khachkars in the Jugha cemetery and collecting material on the forced deportation and destruction of Jugha. The (Christian East) monthly printed a brief note on the work to be done and noted: Vruyr began to work on September 9 and in a letter dated September 11, he informed us that he had completed developing wonderful pictures of the first group. On September 23, we received the first photograph; it was the upper detail of a khachkar"7. By giving Aram Vruyr this assignment the (Christian East) monthly had intended to begin the study of Jugha and its monuments; unfortunately, it remained a mere desire.
Aram Vruyr and his son, Artashes, photographed selectively some one hundred choice khachkars in the Jugha cemetery and in 1915 summarized their impressions in an article entitled "Jugha". Aram Vruyr did not hand the article over for printing in his lifetime, the reason being that he hoped to find a researcher interested in Jugha, who would study and present a complete detailed study of Jugha. Vruyr, himself, mentioned that idea in the first few lines of his article "Jugha"; "I wanted very much to have a more qualified person write a brief report on Jugha generally and its khachkars, in particular, but, in spite of my appeals to date, no one has agreed to undertake such a task. As for me, it is most desirable that this "city" As the Jughaites called themselves, so famous at one time for its riches, not remain all alone with its beautifully carved khachkars; and that those fragments of traditional material material dispersed over its area, which for ages have been talked about and have decreased with hardly a few legendary instances remaining in our days, be written down"8.
In 1928 a small scientific expedition went to Jugha to study the ruins there and the art of the khachkars found in the cemetery. This expedition was led by Yurgis Kazmirovich Baltrusaitus, the Latvian, art critic, social and political figure, a propagandist of Armenian literature. The latter lived in Paris in 1939 where he intended to publish the material of his expedition. Recently Baltrysaites together with Dickran Kouymjian published a study about Jugha khachkars9. Leo has also touched upon certain events of Jugha in the past10, while the writer of these lines has also studied the Jugha monuments in the past decade11.
1 A. Sedrakian, Hnutiunk hayrenyants gavarin Yerndjaku, Vagharshapat, 1872, pp. 151-167 (in Arm.).
2 Gh. Alishan, Sisakan, Venice, 1893, pp. 409-428 (in Arm.).
3 A. Vriuyr, Djugha, "Patma-banastrakan handes", N. 2, 1967, pp. 170-180, (in Arm.). This article was printed in 1915, after Vruyr's death.
4 S. Ter-Averisian, (Old Jugha), Tiflis/Tblisi, 1937 (in Russ.).
5 Recently S. Saghoumian and V. Harutiunian, have correct Jugha epigraphs and published 80 of them (see "Lraber", N. 12, 1983, pp. 42-60) (in Arm.).
6 R. Pashayan, A. Vruyr's unpublished letters, "Garoun", N. 2, 1975, pp. 75-76 (in Arm.).
7 ("Christian East"), Petrograd, issue 11, vol. LV, 1915, p. 198 (in Russ.).
8 "Patma-danasirakan handes", No. 2, 1967, p. 170 (in Arm. Part of Aram Vruyr's photographs have been used in this work: 10, 18, 20, 22, 34, 37, 47, 55, 57, 58, 63, 67, 74, 80, 95, 98, 101--107, 110, 122, 132, 134, 138--141, 158, 208). Slides: 48, 52, 56, 89, 91, 93, 97, 100, 109, 126, 133, 135, 142, 177, 213 were kindly offered to us by Zaven Sarkissian. to who I wish to express my gratitude. Photos: 3, 11, 15, 16, 21, 23, 31a, 44-45 are reproductions. The rest of the slides and black-and-white photos were made by us from 1978 to 1986.
9 Jurgis Baltrysaitus and Dickran Kouymjian, Julfa on the Arax and its funerary Monuments, Armenian studies emudes Armeniennes in memoriam Haig Berberian, Lesboa, 1986, pp. 9-54.
10 Leo, Collected Works, vol. 3, Yerevan, 1969, pp. 234--248 (in Arm.).
11 A. Ayvazian, Jugha and its Historical Monuments, "Hayastani bnutiun", issue II, 1976, pp. 34-37 (in Arm.).
A. Ayvazian, Historical-architectural Monuments of Nakhidjevan, Yerevan, 1978, pp 38-42, 86-87 (in Arm.).
A. Ayvazian, Monuments of Armenian Architecture in the Nakhidjevan ASSR, Yerevan, 1981, pp. 69-75, 155-156 (in Russ.).
A. Ayvazian, Memorial monuments and relief's of Nakhidjevan, Yerevan, 1987, pp. 79-85.
A. Ayvazian, DJugha (in Arm.), Yerevan, 1984.
In recent years some Azerbaijani scholars (Z. Buniatov, F. Mamedova, D. Ahhoundov.) tried to "azerize or azerbaijanize" the monuments of other nations situated on the territory of the Azerbaijanian SSR. This concerns to the Jugha khachkars as well. But their facts are groundless, have nothing to do with scientific and historical truth and thus there is no necessity to revert to such publications.
File:Jugha khachkar ejmiatsin1.JPGJugha has gone down in Armenian History for its many medieval historical and architectural monuments: its thousands of beautifully-carved magnificent khachkars, its splendid bridge, fortress, numerous caravanserai and trade centers, covered market, and public bath, its churches and many other monuments which have reached us either completely ruined or partially destroyed. In time there were many churches there: the Amenaprkich Monastery, the churches of St. Astvadzadzin, St. Gevorg, St. Minas, St. Hovhannes, St. Hakob, Amenasurb, Yerordutiun (Holy Trinity) or Upper Kattan, Andreordi, Pombloz, and others, some of which still exist though partially destroyed.
These monuments are silent, mute yet expressive evidences of Jugha's glorious past. Very little has remained in Jugha; time and historical events have done their damage. A greater part of the ruins have deteriorated with time, while with the XVII century treasure hunters destroyed even more as did cave-ins of nearby mountains. A study of those limestone-mixed rosy mountains have shown that in the last 300-500 years mountain cave-ins have destroyed parts of the historical town; some of the remains still exist. A substantial part of the Jugha ruins, its monuments and khachkars in the cemetery were destroyed by the laying of the Ouloukhanlu-Djulfa railway line at the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX centuries, which passed through the town. S. Ter-Avetisian, doctor of history and eye-witness of that construction, wrote in his "The Town of Jugha": "To build (the railway line--A. A.) part of the cemetery was demolished (more than one-third) and the better half of the central part of the town. In 1903, on the way to the Nakhavka (Martyr) Monastery, I witnessed how those old monuments were destroyed to lay the railway lines. Thousands of monuments were used in the construction of the railway line and all along the line, they were fundamentally demolished. Only not-so-large ruins on the high cliffs have remained. All the rest within a twenty meter distance on both sides of the railway line have been completely destroyed"1.
Another witness, Gegham Ter-Gaistian (Gnouni) in an article entitled "Jugha Excavations" sent to the newspaper "Mshak" on November 2, 1904 wrote thus about those construction works: "Hundreds of workers, like diligent ants, demolished the scattered remains of the ruins of the old town and took that earth to fill in the path for the railway. And what came out of the earth! Mostly coal. Every blow of the axe brought out pieces of coal; it is firmer, harder, more shiny, almost petrified. During the fire of Hin Jugha, wooden ceiling boards, partly burn, fell down.
"Most interesting of all was the uncovering of the granary. The storehouse had burned together with the wheat in it and the roof fell in... I very greedily gathered ten pounds of that 300-year-old grain and put it into two jugs that had also come out from under the earth... Rusty, rotted copper coins were found... clay and porcelain vessels, long-necked lamps, in great quantity. Ancient finds could be seen in practically every Jugha house. I took for myself a broken porcelain vessel with a picture of a nightingale singing enthusiastically on a rose bush. With the help of Russian engineers, the workers succeeding in finding a chalice from a church, small silver plates, etc."2.
After the destruction of Jugha, many travelers both Armenian and foreign visited its ruins and described bitterly the pitiful remains of the former well-populated, beautiful towns. In the 20-30's of the XIX century, for example, traveler Ter-Baghdasar Gasparian Sushetsi wrote in his "Ashkharatsouyts" (geographical notes): "Oh, praiseworthy city, Hin Jugha, my eyes hurt to see you in ruins. How noble you were at one time, that you attracted honorable wise persons and had splendid churches, while today you lie ruined and deserted"3. At the end of the XIX century, an Englishwoman Shanter by name, visited Jugha and wrote in her travel notes, "For many versts the land is everywhere covered with ruins. The building material was multi-colored stone mixed with sand combined with red clay, and did not see anything of architectural significance. Only the ruins of churches may be seen here and there... Important constructions having been burnt and walls having been scraped, it is difficult to form an opinion now of the former appearance of the town"4. Truly, this memorable town is presented today mostly in the works of our chronologists; it remains in the memory of the people for its thousands of monuments and the events which took place there and have now become legend.
They say that the mountains and cliffs of Jugha, witnesses of the enormous devastation throughout the ages, have, from sorrow and anguish, attired themselves in fire-red, have collapsed and turned hazy rose. Here and there along the mountains, thin veins of greenery are the tear drops shed by these sorrowful mountains. This, of course, is folklore! Yet when remembering or visiting the pitiful ruins of the once fine Armenian town of Jugha, which existed on the banks of the sad river, 'mother' Arax at the foot of these mountains, a silent boring idea hardens deep in your heart like the deep-burnt hazy mountains. At the banks of the Arax, on the slopes of surrounding mountains and under a star-filled sky hasn't a dreadful silence spread over the thousands of khachkars standing and crumpled, the churches adulterated, the mounds of once impregnable structures of Jugha, now completely devastated. Nevertheless, in this silence, pieces saved from the numerous monuments created by the people of Jugha accompany, like a voiced melody of stone, the harmonious songs of crickets and other little birds flying from khachkar to khachkar and among the summits of the mountains and the undulating waves of the Arax beating against the rocks at the bank. This melody, coming from the mountains and stones, from the walls of churches and khachkars, is gradually transformed into exquisite delightful music, which penetrating to the heart of the stones and mountains, arouses the hope and faith with which these reliefs were created and the history and spirit of times long past, their sorrow and dreams, words and worship, the resplendent and the majestic entrusted to letters created by Mesrop.
File:Jugha-amenaprkich mon1.jpg There is a rather deep gorge northwest of the Jugha cemetery. This gorge, surrounded by bare mountains extending north to south, was called "Kamu" (windy) gorge, for the continuous winds blowing there. The path extending three kilometers from the Jugha cemetery to this gorge, continues to the high mountain slope; the famous Amenaprkich or Prkich (Holy Savior) Monastery is located at the very summit of this gorge.
The Monastery is all the more outstanding and mysterious for its being in harmony with its surrounding mountainous territory as a result of which this area is unique. South of the Monastery, at the foot of the Magharda mountain range runs the soft-flowing, bright, yet deafening Arax River. The Jugha cemetery and the ruins of the town lie to the east of the foot of the monastery mountain; while to the north and west, bare, sun-burnt, rosy-hued mountains, the blue sky, and patches of clouds may be seen.
The Amenaprkich Monastery complex consists of a small church, a gavit, a refectory, one and two-storied annexes and other auxiliary structures which are all enclosed within a rampart. The church in the southeastern corner of the complex with its main apse and a pair of vestries, its entrance on the eastern facade is a central-domed monument. It is built of cracked and partly smooth stone stone and also smooth stone and whitewashed. The rather large circular dome is covered with a pyramid hood. The church lacks architectural ornaments. Its rather monotonous exterior is given a certain feeling of activity by the few XVI century sculptured khachkars near the entrance and other parts of the walls. The quite wide entrance has a slightly pointed arch, extensively used in Armenian architecture of the XII-XIII centuries.
According to M. Smbatiants5, Amenaprkich was founded in 1271 by a "paron" (sir) Vahram. However there are written evidences that this monastery was older than 1271. Thus, the Amenaprkich is referred to by Catholicos Khachik who testified in a document that in 976, Ashot, the king of kings, gave lands to the St. Stepanos monastery in Darashamb6. Therefore, by also taking into consideration the architectural-compositional features of this monument, it may be concluded that the initial building of the Amenaprkich was begun no later than in the IX-X centuries.
File:Jugha-amenaprkich mon2.jpg To the western facade of the Amenaprkich Monastery church a small vaulted gavit with a two-columned composition has been appended whose covering wand the upper part of the column are now in ruins. The room-cells of the monastery, the dining-hall, the bakery-kitchen, the storehouse, and other auxiliary structures are attached to the northern and southern walls of the church. Crude cracked stones and limestone mixture was used as building material for these structures which are today in ruins. They had a cross-shaped vaulted covering. The strong high ramparts of monastery complex, rectangular in shape, are still intact at a height of 2.5 meters. That, too, was built of crude stone and limestone mixture and gives an impression of a fortress-rampart whose only small entrance is on the southern facade.
South of the Amenaprkich Monastery is the monastery cemetery where ashes of monks and bishops are interred. The greater part of the khachkars in this cemetery belong to the XV-XVI centuries and have remarkable reliefs and ornaments; most of these khachkars have fallen down, are broken, and partly covered with earth. There are ruins of a few chapel-sepulchers in different corners of the cemetery. West of them is the once rapid but now shallow stream of the monastery. At one time there were thick trees and a small orchard there, which Jughaites used to call the monastery "baghtcha" (orchard). This stream was used to irrigate the gardens belonging to the monastery, at the bank of the Arax and was called Dsakouta bagh. It is said that the trees and beds of greens in the monastery baghcha had magic powers. Anyone who dared to even secretly cut off a bush or a branch from that garden was instantly punished. That belief has its evidence in the stone heap, the "hunch-back" old woman, found to the left of the trail from the Monastery to the town. It was said that it was punished for having stolen scallions from the Monastery garden, by being turned into stone then and there.7
Caves and Caverns
Among the slits of "Kamu" gorge and the mountains near Jugha there are a number of crevices, natural caves and caverns of which the more well known are the "Jgnavor" (hermit) and the "Krekatjatun" (place where lime was produced). They are located north of the Amenaprkich Monastery in the "Kamu" gorge. During the II-I milleniums, B.C., these caverns were used for shelter, while in the period up to the deportation from Jugha, they were secure hiding-places. The cave "Krekatjatun" was also used in the Middle Ages as a workshop to prepare lime, from which it received its name.
This monument, whose ruins may not even be seen today, was situated between the town cemetery, and the area near the Arax.. It was completely demolished during the laying of the railway line. It was described by Kajberuni, who was in Jugha in 1875 and also gave a picture of the composition of the bath. According to his description, "between the cemetery and the Arax the traveler will see a splendid domed bath of limestone mixture whose broad foyer with its three doors looks out upon the Arax. Through the only arched door of the foyer, you enter the long hall, vaulted on the right and left with small rooms at the ends; they were evidently for undressing and dressing. From that hall you enter the great vaulted room of the bath the dome of which is partly broken, although the small central windows are intact. At each corner of the bath there is a small vaulted room, while on the other side of the back wall, within the vaulted structure is the water reservoir, furnace, etc"8. The bath was probably built in the XVI Century, since it is traditionally connected with Khoja Khachik, mayor of Jugha.
File:Jugha-caravanserai.jpg The remnants of what is believed to have been the main caravanserai of the town are situated on the level site between the Arax and the railway line. The layout of the structure repeats the plan of closed markets of commercial buildings. It is a rectangular building and occupies a rather wide area (37 meters in length), the greater part of which is now in ruins. This building with vaulted roofing, is of partially-smooth stone, brick, and limestone mixture, the interior is plastered. The main entrances are on the southern facade. Inside along the walls, there are many rooms both large and small for travelers, their goods and their animals. This caravanserai was probably built in the XII-XIII centuries. It is believed that its restoration is connected with Mayor Khachik *XVI c.).
A similar caravanserai, situated on the other bank of the river, just opposite the main caravanserai has been preserved as a complete complex. A bridge spanned the Arax between the two caravanserai, ruins of which may be seen at present. After the destruction of that bridge, there was a ferry boat connection between those two caravanserai from the XIX century till 1910-1915.
File:Jugha-bridge.jpg The remains of the ruined abutment ends of this splendid bridge over the Arax River may still be seen on the Persian bank. It is east of the residential section at the point where the Yerndjak River flows into the Arax. This four-spanned bridge on the royal trade route was built with great care of smooth stones and limestone mixtures. The arches of the bridge are 37 meters high and 3 meters in width.
In the XVI century, a Kurdish historian, Sharif Bek, described the bridge thus: "It is founded secure and firm on a smooth cliff; the upper part is remarkably smooth. The stones are put together so regularly and firmly that it would amaze the most capable architect. The spans are so high and long that one of the piers is 60 and the other is 50 Persian arm lengths. In the lower part of the span there is a caravanserai while the doors at the two ends are remarkably beautiful"9.
According to historical sources, this famous bridge which was probably built in the early middle ages "...was intact till 1400 or 1500, since it lay in ruins at the time of the Jugha deportation". Travelers who passed through Jugha (in 1655--Tavernier; in 1673--Chardin; in 1700--Tournefort) commenting on the bridge, said that it lay in ruins"10. According to Gh. Alishan the bridge destroyed in the XVI century "...had been intact and was destroyed by Shah Abas..."11.
It is located in the eastern part of the ancient town, on the mountain between the Arax River and its nearby mountain chain. This fortress, with its inaccessible high ramparts, has for centuries been called the Jugha or Darvazr Fortress. The latter name came from the high-towered gate of the main rampart protecting the town from the east.
This fortress was built in the X-XII centuries. Historical sources give very disconnected information: it was built in an inaccessible site, mostly of cracked and partially-smooth stone. At present the fortress strongholds and its towers, as well as the greater part of its auxiliary structures are in ruins.
This church is about 300 meters northwest of the main caravanserai of the town. The church, small-scaled, internally cross shaped and externally, almost square in layout, with one entrance, is a central-domed monument. It is built of local reddish stone and thanks to its location, has become one with the surrounding mountains. From inscriptions on khachkars placed in the internal and external masonry of its structure, it may be supposed that it was reconstructed in the XVI century. At present some of the stones of the facade and khachkars, roofing slabs and stones from other parts have fallen and are crushed. The church is enclosed on practically all sides by XVI-XVII century tombstones and khachkars partly shattered, the inscriptions quite defaced. A bit south of the church, there is another cemetery on the mountain slope with a number of finely carved khachkars and ram-shaped tombstones.
St. Astvadsadsin Church
Founded in the eastern part of the city, it is quite close to the rampart surrounding the town, on a high hill-like rock. The church, rectangular in layout with an eastern apse and a pair of small vestries, is a vaulted monument. The northern and eastern walls of the structure are laid out on natural rocks. It is built mostly of cracked stone; the interior is plastered.
St. Astvadsadsin, whose initial edifice was built in the XII-XIII centuries, was probably restored at the end of the XVI century. There are khachkars in memory of Shak, Minas, Kheran, and other Jughaites in the interior of the church, in the masonry of the vestries and the raised chancel. A number of khachkars which were on the western and southwestern sides of the church, have been removed. St. Astvadsadsin is surrounded on all sides by a rather high secure wall, probably built at the same time as the church, which gives this monument the appearance of a small fortress. A cemetery spreads out not too far southwest of the church on the western slope of a small hill, where there are some sixty khachkars and other tombstones. These khachkars, broken down or partially covered with earth, are from the XVI-XVII centuries; they give interesting information on the past history of Jugha.
The village is located about 1.5 kilometers east of Jugha along the bank of the river Arax, on the level land near the bridge. This middle sized village is called "Dasht" or the village of Dasht (fields) because it is situated on a flatland. Its population was likewise subjected to the forced deportation of 1605. The area was well-cultivated, covered with greenery and roses, for which it received the name "Vardut" or the village of Vardut (roses). In the middle of the XIX century, that name was translated into "Gulistan". In 1881, during ploughing of the land, remains of the Dasht church and other structures were found12. Stepanos Dashtetsi, a XVII century writer, was born here; he wrote many historical and religious works, poems and riddles. In one of his poems, Dashtetsi speaks to his native land:
"My name is Stepanos,
I come from Dasht.
Although my family, deported,
Was taken to Spahan13.
This historical town was leveled with the ground; now there are only insignificant traces left.
File:Jugha-cemetary2.jpg This town cemetery, the most important and valuable monumental complex of Jugha is now a partially-destroyed forest of khachkars. It is the only one in the world in scope, variety and of the creative art of its khachkars. It is indeed a really magnificent museum of historical, architectural and sculptural art, a splendid site. It is under this multitude of silent witnesses: tombstones, khachkars and ram-shaped tombstones that the town of Jugha rests, that the remains of Jughaites who brought it glory and fame, are interred.
The Jugha cemetery, torn to shreds and scattered about by disasters caused by time and nature, by destructions of brought about by men's cruel hand, extends along the western side of the town, on three hills separated by small ravines and the land about; it occupies an area of 1600 square meters. To protect this shoehorn shaped cemetery extending from north to south and down to the Arax, with its khachkars and tombstones from floods and cave-ins of nearby mountains, high wall ramparts were built to serve as dams. The ruins of this ancient town in between the Arax and stronghold mountains, its cemetery with beautifully carved khachkars and ram- shaped tombstones, its churches and chapels parched upon the mountains- all this is like a melody, like heart- rendering music, broken off and hardened. These numberless khatchkars and ram- shaped tombstones, whether erect or slanting, fallen to the ground and, scattered everywhere, broken into pieces or turned into heaps, are the still pages of our history and culture; they tell such a great deal about the past history and the art of Jugha. One cannot help but recall the words of M. Taghiadian: "The graves of Jughaites stand like an artillery ... the tombstone on each grave is it a green granite slab with mighty, as above and decorated with amazing, masterfully carved relief. The deceased can tell of their ancestors glorious life better than the Jughaites who are living"14. Archbishop Abel Atrpatakantsi, being there in the middle of the XIX century, described the cemetery thus: "... it is indeed a forest of trees, hundreds erect, thousands of fallen, one tumbled down, another crumpled, one worn out by the rains, many lying face down ... "15. In Aram Vruyr's words, " How even more mysterious is that deep stony silence! Thousands of marble specters having existed for ages, standing in rows as if ready to attack. The battle has already taken place, since how many of these giants have fallen right and left. Their rows extend far, very far ... "16. Robert Ker Porter, a European traveler-archaeologist, was in Jugha at the beginning of the XIX century and wrote, " ... I would not be exaggerating if I say that thousands of tombstones stand out in this final resting place of old Armenians. Truly in this particular area of the Orient, the various memorials which come to mind, suggest that one is walking a vast cemetery ... "17.
File:Jugha-cemetary1.jpg This Jugha cemetery is the largest Armenian cemetery known. After the deportation of Jugha, a traveler Alexander Rhodes by name, passing thereabouts recorded the fact that there were about 10,000 khachkars there, all in good condition18. This fact completely coincided with the truth. In 1903 - 1904, after the construction of the railway line, when untold numbers of khachkars were hopelessly destroyed, there were about 5000 khachkars intact or fallen down. Later in 1915, A. Vruyr19 and S. Ter-Avetisian20 in 1928 - 1929 counted up to 3000 khachkars and a few thousand gabled, smooth and ram- shaped tombstones. According to our 1971 -1973 calculations of the Jugha cemetery, there were 462 khachkars on the first hill as we called it, either intact, fallen or broken; on the second hill there were 1672; while on the third hill, there were 573 khachkars, intact or fallen. This makes a total of 2707. In addition to khachkars there were more than a thousand ram shaped as well as a gabled, smooth the tombstones with ornamental reliefs in this main cemetery. More than 250 khachkars have been counted in the Amenaprkich monastery cemetery and those of the town church and elsewhere. Besides all this, the number of khachkars and ram-shaped tombstones buried in the earth, broken or shattered to pieces in the main cemeteries and all the others, is approximately estimated at more than and 1400.
It is clear from the estimates given above on memorials of the Jugha cemetery, that the greatest loss of those monuments occurred at the end of the 19th century and the initial decades of the XX century, when along with other ruins in Jugha, some five to 6000 khachkars of the cemetery were destroyed beyond repair. Gegham Ter-Galstian (Gnouni) eyewitness of the construction of a railway line passing over the territory of Jugha expressed bitter regrets in his article entitled "Excavations in Hin Jugha", sent to the paper "Mshak" on November 2, 1904: "after a repose of three centuries, Hin Jugha appears before us today with all that was interesting in its past. There are excavation is going on in Hin Jugha now; however, they are not the same kind of excavations that were taking place in Ani for the past three months under the eminent scientist Marr... these excavations are accidental, accomplished at great speed, without foresight ... the Ouloukhanlu-Jugha railway line is passing through the ruins of Hin Jugha, tearing the splendid murals of its renowned cemetery to pieces.
"Today that railway, in its destructive tempo, passes through the Jugha cemetery like a serpent, devastating everything that is sacred and consecrated. The engineers, as if intriguing and without regret, barbarously broke down the fine, artistically carved khachkars of the cemetery and like a ruthless enemy, scattered them right and left to make way for themselves ...
"Some of the khachkars taken from their places are scattered all over the Jugha streets ... after the fall of Hin Jugha (1605), its famous cemetery still stands today, proud and immaculate as witness of its past prosperity and unlimited riches. But fortune was not satisfied with that much; today three centuries after Shah Abas, another merciless hand has come to also destroy the cemetery. And ... the deafening explosion of dynamite gives the spectator the impression that a second holocaust is breaking out over Hin Jugha "21.
File:Jugha khachkar ejmiatsin4.JPGThe art of khachkars, tombstones and ram-shaped sculptures of the Jugha cemetery in their perfection of composition and mastery, maybe chronologically divided into three basic periods . Monuments of the earliest , mostly demolished from the first hill of the cemetery, were from the IX-XV centuries. The khachkars of this group are small in size without many ornamental reliefs or inscriptions. The next group of khachkars which may be considered monuments of the intermediate period , belong to the middle of XV to the middle of the XVI century. These memorials, in composition and decoration, in inscriptions and reliefs, are outstanding specimens of this art. The third and largest group of khachkars in the Jugha cemetery, which are from the middle of the 16th century till 1605, flourished briefly in perfection and variety of composition, in real and imaginary ornamental motifs, in complexity of reliefs and composition, are unique monuments of the art of Armenian khachkars. Attaining a level of creative fineness with lacy and numerous other ornamental reliefs, with expressive dynamic bas-and high-reliefs, with epigraphs in boloragir (medieval Armenian letter-type), attaining a high artistic level in the treatment of stone, it is quite obvious that the Jugha khachkars have a special place not only in Armenian but also in world sculpture. They are the final stage in the development of khachkars, the monopoly of Armenian art. In 1914, the great painter, Martiros Saryan, when traveling in Goghtn and going to see the cemetery, wrote, "In Djulfa we examined the Jugha khachkars, works of great talent ... the railway passes through that forest of khachkars ... these khachkars amazed me with very unique artistic value, remarkable variety and rhythm of motifs. At the same time, I was shocked of that so much of them had been demolished during the construction of the railway line "22.
It must be noted that from the end of the XV century on, there was a kind of competition among Jughaites to erect better, more beautiful, and unusual khachkars to perpetuate the memory, to record for posterity, worthy, typical features concerning the deceased. Great gifted stonemasons and masters of stone decorating in Jugha, (of which unfortunately only a few names are known- the two Grigors, Israel and Hayrapet in the XVI-XVII centuries) added certain changes in the traditional elements in the composition of khachkars, thus giving their works a unique stamp. Jugha masters of extraordinary skill and artistic standards, by creatively adopting the traditions inherent in Armenian culture, stone masonry and miniature painting, sought for and added their own conceptions, bringing about a new so called Jugha style, which was, in fact, a new period, a new school in the art of Armenian khachkars. It is also interesting that this style developed, was limited mainly to Jugha (later also Nor Jugha) and did not penetrate or take root in even such centers of sculptural art as Agoulis, Shorot, Abroakunis and other localities in the environs of Jugha.
In Jugha, the custom was to prepare khachkars without pedestals, placing them directly on the ground (in cemeteries, as tombstones). All khachkars made of pinkish or yellowish stone have, without exception, the same width from top to bottom, with an average height of 2-2.5 meters, thus giving the khachkar the effect of square and polygonal Armenian monuments of the Urartian and post-Urartian period on the territory of historical Armenia. In the composition of khachkars, the central space occupied by the large cross is more bas-relief; where not only one but often two to four crosses are placed with khorans, two-layered reliefs, which in their peculiar way, create a splendid play of light and shade. As regards the variety of themes, there are portrayals of Christ and the Evangelists, the Virgin and Child, sphinxes, Golgotha, three-layered pictures and other reliefs of grains, circles and different highly embellished compositions on eaves and other parts of numerous ornamented khachkars. Traditionally the lower part of the khachkar includes inscriptions, a high relief of St. George, the patron saint of freedom and justice on horseback and even a portrait relief of the deceased. These miniature-like presentations of the Gospel, traditional and other reproductions, with their fine work and other characteristic features, imbue the sculptural art of Jugha khachkars with charm and specific value.
Another characteristic feature of the Jugha cemetery is that in addition to khachkars, ram-shaped tombstones are widely used with large or small, beautiful variety of reliefs presenting everyday scenes. Worthy of special attention are the hundreds of sides and other parts of ram statues covered with various pictures and ornamental relief done with great mastery.
File:Jugha khachkar ejmiatsin2.JPGBesides numerous pictorial reliefs of personages, there are, among the themes used on khachkars and ram-shaped tombstones, motifs depicting animals, the bird and plant life of the Armenian Highlands, articles of daily use, musical instruments, tools, weapons, untold numbers of geometrical, plant and other ornamental motifs widely used in reliefs. There is a special approach and mastery in presenting details of the face and attire when portraying figures in reliefs. The animals most frequently presented in reliefs include horses, rams, lions, while the birds are peacocks, nightingales, doves, etc.; and plant life, trees with generous foliage, the tree of life, roses, vines and various flowers and bushes and may be seen. The art of epigraphy received particular attention. In the 16th to 17th centuries, inscriptions on khachkars were usually carved in ouroutsik and boloragir Armenian letter types, slightly raised and often placed within ornamental reliefs. The origin of this style is connected with the art of writing and miniature painting in Medieval Armenian.
Besides boloragir yerkatagir, sheghagir and notrgir letter-types were often used. the unique feature of Jugha lithography is the special writing of the letter to . This helps to save time and space. Following the example of Jugha, in the XVI-XVIII centuries, this writing of the letter was likewise used in the lithographic art of Tsghna, Gagh near Jugha and also in Nor Jugha.
The Jugha art of khachkars with the entire range of themes they cover, are expressive pictorial documents of the cultural life of the Armenian people in the Middle Ages, especially of the 16th through 17th centuries. These treasures, reproduced with highly aesthetic skill and carved realistically in their perfection and the historically exact presentation of the past, offer important indispensable material not only for sculpture but also for the study of the political and social life of Medieval Armenia. A European scholar appropriately noted at the beginning of this century: "There are thousands of khachkars here. Each khachkar could very easily become a rare exponent of any of the most famous European museums. The Europeans appreciate every single museum piece. If all European millionaires were to enter the Hin Jugha forest of khachkars and come out bankrupt, the forest would not be endangered in any way"23.
The Jugha khachkars are unique permanent values and memorials in the treasure house of sculpture created by mankind. They have originated from the sources of this age-old art of the Armenian people24.
1 S. Ter-Avetisian, op. cit., p. 118 (in Rus.).
2 State Central Historical Archives of Arm. SSR editorial collection of newspaper "Mshak", Case N. 180, pp. 38-39 (in Arm.).
3 "Bamber Matenadarani", N. 0, 1969, p. 300 (in Arm.).
4 "Bazmavep", pub, Venice, 1894, p. 23 (in Arm.).
5 M. Smbatiants, op. cit., p. 484 (in Arm.).
6 Archive documents on estates and other economic transactions, issue I, compiled by H. Abrahamian, Yerevan, 1941, p. 6 (in Arm.).
7 A. Ghanalanian, Traditions, Yerevan, 1969, p. 53 (in Arm.).
8 Khadjberouni, Travel Notes, "Pordz", N.2, Tiflis/Tblisi 1877-1878, p. 354 (in Arm.).
'9 "Handes amsoria", Vienna, 1899, p. 66 (in Arm.).
10 H. Arakelian, Armenians in Persia; their past, present, and future, part I, Vienna, 1911, pp. 35-36 (in Arm.).
11 Gh. Alishan, op, cit., p.413 (in Arm.).
12 M. Smbatian, Description of Diocese of Shamakhlu, Tipkhis, 1896, p. 148; "Krunk Hayots Ashkhari", Tiflis, April, 1863, p.322 (in Arm.).
13 R. Abrahamian, Stepanos Dashtetsi, "Teghakakir hasarakakan getutiunneri", N. 12, 1956, p.102 (in Arm.).
14 M. Taghiadian, Travels in Armenia, vol.1, Calcutta, 1847, pp. 246-247 (in Arm.).
15 Archbishop Abel Atrpatakantsi, Travels in Tabriz, "Krunk hayots ashkhari", Tiflis, 1861, pp. 651-65? (in Arm.).
16 A. Vruyr, op. cit., p.173 (in Arm.).
17 A. Hakobian, Travels, vol. (1800-1820), Yerevan 1934, p. 798 (in Arm.).
18 Gh. Alishan, op. cit., p.424 (in Arm.).
19 A. Vruyr, Djugha, "Patma-banasirakan handes", 1967, No 2, p. 180 (the author noted 2100-2150 khachkars, according to calculations by G. Aghamalian, a Djugha student.
20 S. Ter-Avetisian, op. cit., p.118 (in Russ.).
21 Arm. SSR State Central Historical Archives, Editorial collection of "Mshak" newspaper, N. 180, pp. 36-38 (in Arm.)
22 M. Sarian, Notes from my life, book I, Yerevan, 1966, p. 140 (in Arm.).
23 "Hayreniki Dzayn", September 18: N. 38/60, 1966, (in Arm.).
24 A. Yacobson, On Armenian Khachkars, "Historical-Philosophical Journal", N. 1, 1978, p. 222 (in Russ.) A. Yacobson, Armenian Khachkars, Yerevan, 1986, pp. 81-88 (in Russ.).
The Jugha Scriptoria
Jugha is also known in the history of Armenian culture and the art of writing as a famous center of manuscript writing. According to data offered by manuscripts themselves, many manuscripts were copied and illuminated at the spiritual centers of the town: at Amenaprkich Monastery, at the churches of St. Sargis, St. Astvadsadsin, St. Gevorg, and St. Hovhannes. Judging from the art of copying, it may be supposed that the art of writing and the teaching of that art began in Jugha no later than the XII - XIII centuries. Its scriptoria functioned, in the main, till the forced deportation to Persia, where after a short interruption, it was resumed parallel with the active cultural life of the Nor Jughaites.
Very little has reached us today as a result of the destruction and burning of libraries at Jugha scriptoria during the deportation. Manuscripts which are know and which have been preserved are of the XIII-XVII centuries, some of which are now at the Mashtots Matenadaran in Yerevan. The oldest known Jugha manuscript is the "Interpretation and limitation of Prayers and Services" copied by scribe Sargis in 12861 and then later the N. 6235 lectionary at the Yerevan Matenadaran "...the final letter [H] being completed by the humble clergyman Khachatur in the year (ZHT) (1325) of the Armenian calendar written under the caliphate of Pousait, khan of Kharbandi, during the kingdom of Levon, king of Cilicia, during the years of Catholicos Konstantine and our father Bishop Vartan. Now our sacred book is being completed in Jugha..."2. In 1388 a large Gospel was written and illuminated at the Amenaprkich Monastery.3
The manuscript "written in the year (ZE) (1456) of the Armenian calendar, in the Book of Sermons by Grigor Tatevatsi" by the artist Mariam is worthy of special attention. On another page of that same manuscript, Mariam has noted, "...and I, Mariam, a sinful and confused soul, beseech you who come across my writing to pray for forgiveness for me before Christ's mighty power"4. This manuscript, consisting of 977 full pages which is a choice specimen of the Jugha school of miniature painting and the art of writing in the middle of the XV century, was destined to wander from place to place. Narrowly escaping destruction in the Jugha deportation, the manuscript finally reached the state of Spahan in Iran, being taken from one to another of the villages with Armenian populations such as Frindigan, Geghnigan, Shahbulagh, Mamouran in the province of Zarmahal, as a result of which a number of pages were lost. Finally the manuscript found shelter in the home of M. Ter-Soukiasian, a resident of Mamouran, from where it was taken to the Echmiadzin depository in the 1940s. Hundreds of miniatures, diverse in style and motif, bird-letters, and headings presented with great mastery and fineness on the many pages of this manuscript and in the marginal drawings are brilliant proof of the great natural talent of Mariam, the miniature painter.
Mariam was the first Armenian woman painter in XV century Armenian painting; her art of miniature painting, illuminating and art of writing are closely based on traditions of the Hin Jugha school of miniature painting. Elements of Mariam's painting as well as numerous motifs of the Jugha school of painting in general, and their parallels may be found in the art, composition, and ornamental reliefs found on khachkars of its famous cemetery. Of the manuscripts written and illustrated by Mariam, the above mentioned "...whose beauty lies in the miniatures, each differing from the other in style and content, of which especially noteworthy is the khoran (canon tables) on page 16. It is a magnificent piece of painting which attracts you for its fineness, delicacy, and lyric presentation. Marginal illustrations, exquisite ornaments in rich shades, pictures of birds, and superb lettering must be stressed, which in their unique style, harmony of color, and certain artistic features, makes the manuscript particularly attractive, and at the same time, clarifies the essence of the XV century school of painting of Hin Jugha"5.
Of the manuscripts written in Jugha in the XVI-XVII centuries, those written and illustrated by Hakob Jughayetsi, Khachatur Khizanetsi, Barsegh Vardapet, Hovhan Dargamargetsi, Hovhannes the Scribe, and Hakob the Priest are particularly worthy of attention. Considering painters of the Nakhidjevan province in the period mentioned, including the famous Hovnatanians, Hakob Jughayetsi occupies a special place in the history of Armenian painting. The aesthetic language and the art of the manuscripts illustrated by the latter are firmly interwoven with the traditions of the Armenian medieval and miniature painting. At the same time, nevertheless, it is saturated with styles and art concepts of their contemporaries. Lively, active presentation of pictures and images, colorfulness, saturation and rhythm, unique application of many decorative motifs confer a peculiar charm and individuality to Jughayetsi's art.
After studying with Archbishop Zakariah, the famous rabbi (headmaster) at the Van Lim desert at the end of the XVI century, Hakob Jughaetsi began his creative work in the environs of Van, then in his native Jugha and in 1605, after the mass deportation, together with his compatriots, he continued his work in Spahan. Of the manuscripts copied by H. Jughayetsi in Jugha, as of today, two are known: one copied in 1587 and the other in 1603. The Gospel copied in 1587, besides its numerous marginal illustrations and decorative letters, has four beautiful khorans (canon tables) and forty other paintings. In 1588 that manuscript was bought by Rayis Aghakhangs and donated to the St. Stepanos Church in Arak, a village in the province of Aghbak. In the colophon of themanuscript, Jughayetsi recorded "...Thus ended the Holy Gospel by the most humble and simple scribe Hakob Sarkavag (Deacon)... in the great capitol called Jugha, at the St. Astvadsadsin and St. Archangel, at the Amenaprkich and St. Hakob and many other saints gathered here. In the year of our brave rabbi (headmaster) Avaria Archbishop... and also during the period of the office of our holy priest... in the year [RL and Z] (1587)... of the Armenian Calendar..."
Thereafter Jughayetsi notes the difficulties and long hours of work connected with the copying and illuminating of the manuscript "...Remember the tremendous work connected with obtaining gold, unseen as a new bride, who put much effort into getting gold, who washed the gold separately, reduced marble to dust until it was perfect... Then remember our senior deacon who prepared the paper... Then remember in Christ, Khoja Atrbek who received the Holy Gospel from him who had first written it, repaired it, and decorated it and gave it to the holy churches... Remembering Khoja Tsatur who donated a piece of satin as large as the Holy Gospel... Almir and his son, Khojajan, who gave the Holy Gospel a covering... and a button"6.
In 1595 at the end of the XVI century, Khachatur Khizanetsi, speaking of the dame of the town of Jugha and its notable people, wrote in the colophon of the manuscript he had written: "...and thus was completed and ended this Godly writing in the capital Jugha, the pride of the Haykazian family. We beseech the Creator always to keep this town prosperous... even more so the noble people of this Godly town, among them paron Mahtsesi Stepanos, who brought this unworthy scribe Khachatur Khirza from the town to this Godly structure... led by the holy St. Martyr, during the years of office of Archbishop Shmavon and Archbishop Mattheos servants of the holy faith, called Amenaprkich, and during the rule of the Jugha melik, paron, Sultanvale..."7.
Among the manuscripts copied in Jugha, which have reached us, the greater part were written in the years 1601-1605. One of the Gospels of that period which has a number of golden illustrations and canon tables, marginal illustrations, portraits of the evangelists Mark and Matthew, was written by scribe Mkrtich in 1603. "Our holy Gospel was written in the village-town of Jugha, at the St. Gevorg Church in the year RChP (1603) and on May the fourth, being a worthy memorial of paron Khachik and his parents, his father Petros and son, Stepan, and me, the unworthy scribe of Ter Mkrtich and my father Araytegh..."8.
The colophon of another manuscript (Mashtots Matenadaran, cod. No. 8243) written by scribe Barsegh vardapet, also in 1603, says: "...I, the simple vardapet Barsegh... thanks to the grace of Gad, wrote my interpretation of the holy Gospel in the village-town of Jugha at the St. Hovhannes desert... Remember my pure prayers... and my don and pupil Hovannes who was helpful to me in preparing this paper and lining the pages..."9.
The last manuscript to be copied and illustrated in the scriptoria of Jugha before the mass deportation and which is among those manuscripts known to us, is the 1605 Menology of Rstakes, the abbot, in the colophon of which it says: "Thus, I, Tstakes, the abbot... wrote my menology... which I began to write... in the village-town Jugha, at the St. Hovannes Mkrtich Church and from there to the end, completed in the village of Shosh in Spahan"10.
As noted above, the development of the cultural life of Jugha and the art of manuscript writing there was interrupted for a short time due to the 1605 deportations, after which it was resumed in Nor Jugha. Based on the traditional development of the old schools of painting in Hin Jugha, Nakhidjevan, Agoulis and Shorot such talented painters as Minas, Hovhannes Merkouz, Bogdan Saltanov and others settled here and achieved fame, whose spheres of creative efforts reached the Moscow palaces and workshops. Parallel with the development of cultural life in Nor Jugha, the so highly respected and honored art of manuscript writing and creation of written works did not die out among the Jughaites, even after the devastation and the burning of Jugha in 1605. A handful of Jughaites, who sought shelter in the ruins of the once densely populated town, began to rekindle their native hearths which had turned to ashes, gave new life to the writing of books and manuscripts and the art of illumination, with great love and enthusiasm. After the deportation one of the manuscripts to be copied was "...in the year (1620) by scribe Aristakes in the village of Jugha at St. Hakon and St. Sargis..."11. In 1641 Dsatur of Dilikents bought a manuscript in Erzerum which had been "taken captive" there and presented it to the St. Gevorg Church12. In 1645 scribe Margar wrote in the colophon of the Gospel he had copied: "This Gospel of St. Hovhannes was written in the year [RGhT] (1645) of the Armenian calendar by scribe Margar in the village of Jughaon the request of Melik Aghe's son, Aghe, a faitful Christian, to whom it was given...". This manuscript with its 770 pages, four khorans, and portraits of evangelists with marginal illustrations and various other miniatures was later received by the "kind and God-loving" Saprikhan, wife of the former owner of the Gospel. Scribe priest Hakob noted in the manuscript colophon, "...This was written in the year [RJLE] (1683)"13. According to this colophon, it is with the year 1683 that information available to us at present on manuscripts of Jugha scriptorium end.
Thus Jugha scriptoria, functioning from the XII-XVII centuries, the numerous manuscripts created there, through the efforts of hundreds of devout, diligent scribes and miniature painters, illuminators, gave its modest, patriotic contribution to the preservation and development of Armenian letters, manuscript writing, miniature painting, history, and culture generally.
1 M. Smbatian, Description of St. Karapet Monastery of Yerndjak and its Environs, Tpkhis, 1904, p. 140 (in Arm.).
2 Colophons of Armenian Manuscripts of [JT] (XIV) century, compiled by L. Khachikian, Yerevan, 1950 p. 199 (in Arm.).
3 M. Smbatian, op. cit., p. 140 (in Arm.).
4 S. Yeremian, An Unknown Paintress of the XVc., "Echmiadzin", July, 1952, pp. 48-49 (in Arm.).
5 S. Yeremian, op.cit., p. 50 (in Arm.).
6 Main list of Armenian Manuscripts in private collections in Europe, vol. I, compiled by Archbishop Artavazd Surmelian, Paris, 1950, pp.83-84 (in Arm.).
7 Yerevan Matenadaran, Mesrop Ter-Movsesian Magistros, Main list of Armenian Manuscripts, Menologies, p. 123 (in Arm.).
8 Matenadaran, Magistros, op. cit., Gospels, 2nd folio, p. 667, Colophons of Armenian Manuscripts of [JE] (XVII) century, vol I. compiled by V. Hakobian, A. Hovhannesian, Yerevan, 1974, p. 104 (in Arm.).
9 [JE] (XVII) century, vol. I, Yerevan, 1974, p. 99 (in Arm.).
10 [JE] (XVII) century, vol. I, Yerevan, 1974, p. 184 (in Arm.).
11 M. Smbatiants, op. cit., p. 145 (in Arm.).
12 S. Ter-Avetisian, op. cit., p. 80 (in Rus.).
13 Archbishop Artavazd Surmelian, op. cit., pp. 14, 33 (in Arm.).