To the Greeks the Caucasus was the end of the world on the east just as the Mediterranean was in the west. Understanbadly the Armenians at times called the mountains "erknaqer lerner", the "skyscraping mountains". The name Caucasus is from the Greek "Kavxasos" believed to be the hellenized form of the Iranian "kap koh" (big mountain).
The paragraph below is from this site; http://rbedrosian.com/Gmyth.htm
"Myths Concerning the Caucasus and the "Land of the Arimi"
Eastern Asia Minor and the Caucasus appear in the myths of two related deities, Prometheus and Hephaestus, who are primarily gods of metallurgy. The story of Prometheus is one of few Greek myths to mention the Caucasus directly: Prometheus was chained to a cliff on a mountain in the Caucasus, sometimes identified with Mt. Elburz. Sources for this myth are Hesiod (8th-7th century B.C.) and later authors, especially the drama Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (ca. B.C. 525-456). According to these accounts, Prometheus was a son of the Titan Iapetus. All the Titans had been defeated by Zeus except for Prometheus who had been neutral in the battle Zeus fought against the pre-Olympian deities. As the new law-giver and ruler of the universe, Zeus resolved to destroy humanity and create a better race."
"All Caucasia, which embraces not only the Great Mountains of Caucasus proper but also the country to the north and to the south of the Great Caucasian Range, is being designated by the common term "Caucasus". This is a Latinized form of the ancient Greek name for this region "Kaukasos". The Greek term may in turn be traced back to Old Iranian "kap kah" which means 'Big Mountain'. The ancient nomenclature reflects the historical importance of the area where Europe and Asia converge. Ancient Greeks made the Great Mountain Range the scene of the mythical sufferings of Prometheus, and the Argonauts sought the Golden Fleece in the mysterious land of Colchis on the Black Sea coast, south of the Range."
The Armenian parallel Prometheus is the myth of Artavazd.
The folklore about the mythical king has come down to us from the gousans of Goghtn via Khorenatsi.
You be the judge. Who learned it from whom? Did the Greeks modeled their Prometheus base on our myth or visa versa?
At the death of his father, King Artashes I, many pagan rites and festivities were performed which dsiturbed the heir Artavazd who expressed his dissatisfaction saying; "When you departed you took the entire world with you. Who shall I reign over in these ruins?" For this impertinence the dead king cursed his son with these words; "When you go hunting riding your horse up the Azat Mountain Masis, may the Qajk(qajer)** capture you and imprison you at the summite of the mountain where you may not see light again". The curse is realized and Artavazd is captured, chained and kept in a cave where two dogs constantly licked and chewed the chains trying to free him, but for every chewing of the dogs the ironsmiths' hit of the mallet would reenforce the chains again. Even on Sundays, the day of rest the ironworkers would still hit their anvil a few times.
It is also believed that those are the same dogs that we know as "haralez" or "aralez" that Shamiram employed to lick her beloved Ara back to life.
**I may write about the "qajk" as well some day. Even if we use the word "qaj" to mean brave in fact the origin is not so noble.
Edited by Arpa, 24 January 2004 - 09:03 PM.