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#1 Arpa

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 10:49 AM

Above we have spoken about various deities. It is time we see who the GRAND DADDY of them all is.
Author unknown.
====
ԱՐԱՄԱԶԴ ARAMAZD

The Armenians' remotest ancestors immigrated to Anatolia in the mid-second millennium BCE. Related to speakers of the Thraco-Phrygian languages of the Indo-European family, they probably brought with them a religion akin to that of the proto-Greeks, adopting also elements of the cultures of Asianic peoples such as the Hittites, from whose name the Armenian word hay ("Armenian") may be derived. Thus, the Armenian divinity Torkʿ is the Hittite Tarḫundas, and the Armenian word now used for "God," Astuac, may have been the name of an Asianic deity, although its etymology remains hypothetical. The Armenian word di-kʿ ("god[s]") is an Indo-European cognate to the Latin deus.

The Armenians were at first concentrated in the area of Van (Urartean Biaina), a city on the southeastern shore of Lake Van, in eastern Anatolia, and in the Sasun region, a mountainous district to the west of the lake. The Armenian god Vahagn (Av., Verethraghna; cf. Sogdian Vashaghn), whose cult centered in the area of present-day Muş, appears to have assimilated the dragon-slaying exploits of the Urartean Teisheba, a weather god. An Urartean "gate of God" in the rock of Van was consecrated to Mher (Av., Mithra) and is still known in the living epic of Sasun as Mheri duṛn ("gate of Mher"), preserving the Urartean usage.

Although Herodotos in the fifth century BCE still recalled the Armenians as Phrygian colonists of Phrygian-like speech, they had been conquered twice—first by the Medes about 583 BCE, then by the Persians under Cyrus II the Great—and had assimilated elements of the conquering cultures. After the conquest of Cyrus, the faith of the Iranian prophet Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) was to exercise the primary influence upon the Armenian religion; indeed, Zoroaster was believed by Clement of Alexandria and other classical writers to have been identical with Err, the son of Armenios of the Republic of Plato. Strabo (Geography 11.13.9, 11.14.6) declared that the Armenians and the Medes performed the same religious rites, those "of the Persians," the Medes having been also the source of the way of life (ethē) of the Persians themselves. Like the Armenian language, which retains its ancient and distinct character while preserving a preponderance of Northwestern Iranian loanwords of the pre-Sasanid period, the ancient religion of the Armenians apparently retained distinct local features, although the great majority of its religious terms and practices belong to the Zoroastrianism of Arsacid Iran and earlier periods.

Ahura Mazdā (OPers., Ahuramazda), creator god of Zoroastrianism, was worshiped by the Armenians as Aramazd, the Parthian form of his name. The principal cult center of Aramazd, the "father of all" (Agathangelos, para. 785), was a temple in Ani, Daranaghi, where the necropolis of the Armenian Arsacids was also located. (Later, the center of the cult shifted to the royal capital at Bagawan, to the east.) The shrine of Barshamin (Sem., Baʿal Shamin, "the lord of heaven") was established at Tʿordan, a village near Ani, probably to indicate that the Semitic god was seen to resemble the Iranian creator god. A similar reformist trend toward monotheism based on an Iranian model is seen in the inscriptions of Arebsun in nearby Cappadocia, probably of the late Achaemenid period, in which is described in Aramaic the marriage to Bel (Baal) of the "religion of Mazdā-worship" (OPers., dainâ mazdayasnďsh).

According to Movsēs Khorenatsʿi, Mazhan, the brother of King Artashēs I (Gr., Artaxias; early second century BCE), served as the priest of Aramazd, while the noble families (nakharars) served the lesser divinities of whom Aramazd was regarded as the maker; the Vah(n)unis, for instance, may even derive their name from Vahagn, whom they served. According to foreign writers, the most popular of these lesser divinities was Anahit (Gr., Anaitis; OIran., Anāhitā), and it is she who seems to be shown in the mass-produced terra-cotta votive figurines found at Artaxata and other ancient Armenian sites, with one or several male children clinging to her matronly robes, like the scenes of Cybele and the infant Attis. The Armenian Nanē (Pth., *Nanai; Gr., Nanaia) seems to have been a goddess of almost identical character, except that Anahit, as in Iran, was also a goddess of the waters, which Nanē probably was not. Another Armenian goddess, Astghik ("little star"), consort of Vahagn, seems to be identical with Astarte.

Armenian and pre-Sasanid Iranian temples often contained cult statues—such shrines were called in Armenian bagins ("places of the god")—but it seems that, with or without images, all Armenian temples had fire altars, called atrushans (like bagīn, a Middle Iranian loanword), so that the major Zoroastrian rites might be consecrated there. A place for fire, and its light, was a focal point of worship and cultic life.

The chief shrine of Vahagn stood at Ashtishat ("rich in yashts" ["acts of worship"]), the place later consecrated to Saint John the Baptist by Gregory the Illuminator as the earliest see of the Armenian church. Vahagn is described in a fragment of a hymn preserved by Khorenatsʿi (1.31) as "sun-eyed" and "fiery-haired," attributes found in the Avesta and later applied in Christian Armenia to Mary and to seraphs. From various sources it appears that Vahagn was regarded as a sun god, perhaps acquiring this feature from Mihr (Mithra), who is closely associated with the sun in Zoroastrianism. There is oblique evidence of a conflict between devotees of the two gods in Armenia. Nonetheless, the Armenian word for a pagan temple, mehean, containing the name of Mithra, indicates the god's great importance, and it is noteworthy that this term for a Zoroastrian place of rites is very similar to, but much earlier than, the Persian dar-i Mihr (with which the Armenian Mheri duṛn, mentioned above, is indeed identical).

Among the other gods, the Armenians worshiped Tir (MIran., Tīr), chief of the scribal art and keeper of celestial records, including, some believed, those of human destiny. He survives in modern Armenian folklore as the Grogh ("writer"); a clairvoyant is called Groghi gzir ("deputy of the Grogh"). Spandaramet (MIran., Spandārmad; Av., Spenta Ārmaiti), goddess of the earth, was also venerated. (Her name is rendered as "Dionysos" in the fifth-century Armenian translation of the biblical books of the Maccabees.) Another form of the same name, sandaramet, sometimes pluralized with –kʿ or shortened to sandarkʿ (cf. Cappadocian Sondara), is Southwestern Iranian and may reflect pre-Zoroastrian beliefs, for it is a common noun used in Armenian texts to refer simply to the underworld. Torkʿ of Anggh (Ingila), treated by Khorenatsʿi as a legendary and fearsome hero, is an Asianic divinity equated with Nergal in the Armenian translation of the Bible. There was an Armenian royal necropolis at Anggh, so it seems that Torkʿ was regarded as a divinity of the underworld. Two of the Zoroastrian Amesha Spentas, Haurvatāt ("health") and Ameretat ("long life"), often paired, gave their name to a flower (see Agathangelos, para. 643), which Armenian maidens pluck in silence on Ascension Eve (talking at meals is believed by Zoroastrians to offend the two divinities).

Ancient Armenians celebrated the Iranian New Year, Nawasard (OPers., *Navasarda), which was consecrated to Aramazd. A midwinter feast of fire, Ahekan (OPers., *Athrākana), still survives with its rituals intact in Christianity as Tearnendaṛaj, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple. The old month-name of Mehekan preserves the memory of Mihragān, the feast of Mithra, and Anahit seems to have received special reverence on Vardavaṛ, a feast of roses and of the waters. At year's end, Hrotitsʿ (from Avestan Fravashayō) commemorated the holy spirits of the departed, leading Agathangelos (para. 16) to accuse the Armenians of being uruapashtkʿ ("worshipers of souls").

Although monotheistic in its regard for Ahura Mazdā as the creator of all that is good in heaven and earth, Zoroastrianism postulates a cosmic dualism in which the Lord Wisdom (Av., Ahura Mazdā; Pahl., Ōhrmazd) strives against an inferior but independent adversary, the Hostile Spirit (Av., Angra Mainyu; Pahl., Ahriman). The name of the latter is found in two forms in Armenian, Arhmn and Haramani, and Armenian words for evil people and noxious creatures (e.g., druzhan, "betrayer"; kakhard, "witch"; gazan, "beast") are often of Iranian origin and reflect a dualistic attitude. The Zoroastrian ethical habits of cleanliness, reverence for fire and light, and steadfast cheer in the battle against evil seem to have been fully integrated into Armenian Christianity, which reveres God as hrashapʿar in some hymns, an epithet combining the two characteristically Mazdean features of frasha- ("visibly miraculous") and khvarenah ("divine glory") in loanwords from Middle Iranian.

Gregory the Illuminator, son of an Armenian Arsacid nakharar named Sūrēn Pahlav, converted King Tiridates to Christianity in the second decade of the fourth century. Armies were sent to destroy the old temples, and churches were built over the ruins. The kʿrmapets, or high priests, resisted with main force this military imposition of a new creed, and many Armenian nakharars joined the fifth-century Sasanid king Yazdegerd II in his campaign to reconvert the Armenians to Zoroastrianism. But the iconoclastic state church of southwestern Iran differed too greatly from the old faith to appeal to many Armenians, and the translation of scripture into Armenian with the newly invented alphabet of Mesrop Mashtots' made the patriarchs and the saints "Armenian-speaking" (hayerēnakhaws), as Koriwn wrote. Christianity triumphed over all but a small sect, the Arewordikʿ ("children of the sun"), who were said by medieval writers to follow the teachings of "the magus Zoroaster," worshiping the sun and exposing rather than burying the dead. A very few adherents of the sect may have been alive at the time of the 1915 holocaust, when traditional Armenian society was obliterated.

#2 neko

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 03:12 PM

QUOTE(Arpa @ Jan 23 2007, 04:49 PM) View Post


Author unknown.


Did it drop from the sky? Did you find it under your pillow one morning? huh.gif

It's a very interesting article, but you have to say something about its origin for us to be able to assess its credibility! smile.gif

Edited by neko, 23 January 2007 - 03:13 PM.


#3 MosJan

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 03:19 PM

http://www.bookrags....ligion-eorl-01/

#4 neko

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 06:10 PM

QUOTE(MosJan @ Jan 23 2007, 09:19 PM) View Post

Thanks. smile.gif

#5 Zartonk

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:21 AM

I don't know, but I can't seem to come to terms with the migration theory. It just seems so Helleno-centric. I mean we know it is evident that as far as metallurgy is concerned, the movement was vice-versa, but I guess I need to tighten up my reading on the topic.

EDIT: I'm sorry, let's keep our focus on our Father god.

Edited by Zartonk, 24 January 2007 - 08:22 AM.


#6 Eurocentric

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 01:01 PM

QUOTE(Zartonk @ Jan 24 2007, 09:21 AM) View Post

I don't know, but I can't seem to come to terms with the migration theory. It just seems so Helleno-centric. I mean we know it is evident that as far as metallurgy is concerned, the movement was vice-versa, but I guess I need to tighten up my reading on the topic.

EDIT: I'm sorry, let's keep our focus on our Father god.


If you think of it in the context of language replacement it all makes perfect sense.

#7 neko

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 02:36 PM

QUOTE(Eurocentric @ Jan 25 2007, 07:01 PM) View Post

If you think of it in the context of language replacement it all makes perfect sense.

One language can be replaced by another without the actual population being replaced.

#8 Eurocentric

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 03:04 PM

QUOTE(neko @ Jan 25 2007, 03:36 PM) View Post

One language can be replaced by another without the actual population being replaced.


My point exactly.

#9 Zartonk

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 05:58 PM

QUOTE
My point exactly.


My point as well, actually. If anything, it was the Language that was replaced, not the populace. Armenians are not "Jasonian".

#10 neko

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 06:45 PM

QUOTE(Eurocentric @ Jan 25 2007, 09:04 PM) View Post

My point exactly.

Sorry, I thought that you were trying to make exactly the opposite point (that language change proves a population change). oops.gif

Edited by neko, 25 January 2007 - 06:46 PM.


#11 Johannes

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 01:39 AM

Bar Shamin = son of Shamin

Բար Շամին = Շամինի որդին

Բար Շամաշ = Արեւի որդին

Բար Ելիաս = son of Elias



#12 Arpa

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 06:04 PM

QUOTE(Johannes @ Jan 26 2007, 07:39 AM) View Post

Bar Shamin = son of Shamin

Բար Շամին = Շամինի որդին

Բար Շամաշ = Արեւի որդին

Բար Ելիաս = son of Elias

Of course we know that the Aramaic SH becomes S in Arabic and Armenian, just as Shalom becomes Salam. So. Is Barsham(in) the basis of Barsam/Barsamian? How about Barsoum/Barsoumian?
It brings to mind another Aramaic word- Mar as in MarElias which means saint as in Mar Maroon/St. Maron , the patron saint of the Maronites.
Not to forget that fictitious MarAbas Katinna who is fabled to have furnished the “Hayots Patmutyun” to Khorenatsi..
Finally, does BarShamash/Barshamas/Barsam mean Arevordi/Արեւորդի?

Edited by Arpa, 26 January 2007 - 06:11 PM.


#13 Armenak

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 07:43 PM

Doesn't Elias = Yeghia in Armenian?

#14 Johannes

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:22 AM

Ayo

#15 Johannes

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:27 AM

Եթէ յիշողութիւնս զիս չի դաւաճաներ, ըստ արմատական բառարանի Բարսում կը նշանակէ՝ ատրուշանի կրակը խառնելիք ձող:

#16 Eurocentric

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 12:34 PM

QUOTE(neko @ Jan 25 2007, 07:45 PM) View Post

Sorry, I thought that you were trying to make exactly the opposite point (that language change proves a population change). oops.gif


It does in some cases, US, Canada, Argentina are prime examples.

It doesn't in other cases such as Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Lebanon etc. Most Turks for example are natives of the region who speak the language of the invading Seljuks.

#17 Arpa

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE(Johannes @ Jan 27 2007, 07:22 AM) View Post

Ayo

Maybe. ??
Elias, diminutive/endearing- Ellous * is an Hellenized variant, note the obligatory Greek S ending.
Yeghia is a direct transliteration of Elijah, whatever the H it may mean.*
E as in Ե (Ե/E as in Epsilon, please, not YE) L as in Ղ , I as in Ի , J as in Յ, A as in Ա and, we don’t see is the Յ at the end that was dropped in time. Therefor;
ԵՂԻՅԱՅ. That in time was condensed to ԵՂԻԱ.
* Doess it matter that it may mean El as in Elohim/Ellah/Allah/God and Jah as in Jahweh/Yahweh/Jehovah?
If we only knew the true original meanings of these names we would stop subjecting our children to these indignities.
* You see Nairi, drop the hellenizing S ending, we are not the only ones using the O/Ou ending in enderament.

Edited by Arpa, 27 January 2007 - 01:35 PM.


#18 Johannes

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 01:17 AM

I guess the arabic Ali علي is the same name.

Ալի կը նշանակէ՝ վեհ, բարձեալ եւայլն:
As for Elijah, pronounce it Eliyah, is from Eliyahou.
Երկու անուն կայ՝ Elia եւ Eliahou կը կարծեմ:
Elias is the hellenized form of Eliah, i guess in greek there is no H.
This is the reason i guess Hellas > Ellada.
Hovhannes > Ohannes, Hagop > Agop
Յունարէնի մէջ Հ տառը բացակա՞յ է:
Յոյն նոտարներու պատճառա՞ւ մեր անունները այս պէս եղան:
Ամբողջովին համաձայն եմ քեզ հետ. ազատինք այս օտար անուններէն:


Աղբիւր, Արեւ, Արեգ, Իշխան, Թաթուլ, Կտրիճ, Արարատ եւայլն:


Edited by Johannes, 29 January 2007 - 01:23 AM.


#19 AVO

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 02:01 PM

ԱՐԱՄԱԶԴ

Հին հայերի գերագույն աստվածն էր Արամազդը, երկնքի և երկրի արարիչը, բոլոր աստվածների հայրը։ Նա կոչվում էր «Մեծ և արի Արամազդ», որի գլխավոր սրբավայրը գտնվում էր Հին Հայաստանի պաշտամունքային կենտրոններից մեկում՝ Անի Կամախում։ Այնտեղ էին գտնվում հայոց Արշակունի թագավորների տոհմական դամբարաններն ու գանձերը։

Սարգիս Հարությունյան
ՀԱՅ ՀԻՆ ՎԻՊԱՇԽԱՐՀԸ
ԵՐԿՐՈՐԴ ՄԱՍ
ԱՍՏՎԱԾՆԵՐ ԵՎ ՀԵՐՈՍՆԵՐ

http://armenianhouse.../04-gods.html#1




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