The city of Ani
Posted 27 January 2001 - 08:19 AM
This city, Ani, was filled with a multitutde of people and animals and surrounded by very strong walls. It had in it so many churches that among the oaths spoken one was: "By the thousand and one churches of Ani". It was a city rich in all goods, because of this, arrogance resulting from satiety struck it; and that arrogance led to destruction, as has been the case from the beginning until the present. Chormaghun sent ambassadors to the inhabitants for them to obediently come out to him. Those who were the heads of the city did not dare respond to the message without asking prince Shahnshah, since the city was under his authority.
 But the city mob and the commoners (rhamikk') killed [Chormaghun's] delegation. When the foreigners' troops learned of this, in rage they besieged Ani on all sides. They erected many catapults and, skillfully battling against the city, they took it. Some of the princes of the city surrendered to the enemy, thereby saving their lives. Many were called out of the city and promised that nothing evil would be done to them.
But as soon as these princes had emerged from the city and gone [to the Mongols] in all their multitude, the enemy divided them amongst themselves and put them to the sword, mercilessly cutting down one and all and sparing only a few women and children and some artisans whom they led into captivity. Then they entered the city, took all the goods and possessions, looted all the churches, ruined and destroyed the entire city and corrupted the glory of its beauty. [g258]
It was a pitiful sight there. Dead parents and their children were heaped on top of one another, like a pile of rough stones, priests and deacons and officials of the church, old, young, children, adolescents, and many virgins dealt with as it says in the holy Gospel: "You shall be betrayed to hunger and slavery". The same prescription fell upon the inhabitants of Ani, for [their corpses were] scattered here  and there, fallen across the face of the plains; the land drank in the blood and fat of the wounded. Tender bodies, once washed with soap, lay blackened and swollen. Those who had not gone out of the city were led away barefoot into captivity; and those who had communed in the holy blood and body of the Son of God now ate unclean, sickening meat and drank foul mare's milk. Modest and prudent women were deflowered by wanton, lewd men; blessed virgins who had vowed to God to keep their bodies and souls pure were fouled by various prostitutions and corrupted with indignities. This was the end of the affair. [g259]
From Kirakos Ganjakets'i's
History of the Armenians translated by R. G. Bedrosian
P.S. Steve, I hope this is a good start.
Posted 27 January 2001 - 09:24 AM
 The human race, subject to many delusions and illusions, because of lust and impropriety, has sought refuge in its deeds. The powerful, tall, giants who could not be withstood or competed against, styled themselves gods. Some, fortified with towers, regarding their height as impregnable, did not want to taste from the cup of the Lord's goodness--resembling the foolish builders of that first structure which was built with great difficulty but easily demolished; or like the residents oi Jericho, who, because of the fortification of towers, did not consider themselves Caananites and did not think that the right hand of the Lord ruled them too, or that the sword of the Omnipotent would near them. For it is the Lord who builds and destroys, makes strongholds tremble [g133] and lofty towers collapse. The tower on the mountains of Lebanon which David built and fortified with swords and shields against Damascus, did not withstand Solomon's adversary Eder, nor did it impede his attack, because the fortress is holiness, while the choice wall, is pious action.
Now let us return to our former narration. Let it not be considered few or insignificant the sins of those who will not repent or regret, or who fail to see the punishment  of people close to them and neighbors--punishment which occurs according to the crime[s committed]. The cypress must weep for the pine, the buck-thorn for the olive, because it is not that all upon whom the Tower collapsed, according to the Lord's command, were without distinction worthy of death, but rather that kin and others understand the sins, while those at a distance learn from them and take care. The calamitous events which took place regarding Arcn had not occurred long ago, nor had much time passed that they became clouded over (=corrupted). Many had witnessed them with their own eyes and had no need to listen, for many districts and cities had been saved from that raiding. However, they revolted and rebelled not against mankind, but against God Who levels to the ground those lofty towers and transforms secure cities into mounds of earth. [The people] did not understand or remember the Lord's dread and threats, nor the dregs of His rage and wrath, [Whose cup] He lowers for sinners to drink from. They considered [that cup] empty. [This was] especially so for the fortress of Ani and her daughters surrounding which had learned arrogance even more, and clapped their hands against Heaven; while God moved the king of Persia to come in His place [g134] and to see what was  going on there. There was warfare in the country of Armenia for [the Saljuqs wanted to] enlarge their holdings and rule the borders of the other (=Byzantine) kingdom. This transpired in 513 of our [Armenian] era (=A.D. 1063/64).
Now the [Saljuq] king came with many myriads of armed troops and entered our land, spreading dread and terror among those far and near. He trampled on and overturned many lands until he reached the city [of Ani] which had reached the limit of sinfullness. He pitched his tent opposite the city of Ani and spread his army throughout the breadth of the country. He tried and devised stragems to dest:roy that [city] gate of iron and the locks of copper which opposed his kingdom, but because he grew disheartened because of the fortification [of the place], although the battle was growing more intense, he wanted to depart. He did not know that the Lord had implanted discord, disunity and chaos between the guards and the princes. Just then, [the guards] leaving off fighting, took to flight; and, confused by fear, no one looked with concern upon his relatives or important friends. Rather, each was seized with fright. When the armed [Saljuq] troops which were fighting outside saw this, they made way over  the wall, and poured into the city like the foaming billows of the sea. Putting the Persian sword to work, they spared no one. Now the multitude of men and women applied to the kings' palace (yaparans t'agaworac'n) as if they could save themselves there, while others fled to the stronghold called Nerk'i (=Inner) fortress. As for those who were holed up within the city, when the enemy saw that they were unprepared, lacking fighting men, food or drink, [the Saljuqs] surrounded them and terrified them so much that unwillingly they came forth. [g135]
One could see there the grief and calamity of every age of humankind. For children were ravished from the embraces of their mothers and mercilessly hurled against rocks, while the mothers drenched them with tears and blood. Father and son were slain by the same sword. The elderly, the young, priests and deacons also died by the same sword. The city became filled from one end to the other with bodies of the slain, and [the bodies of the slain] became a road. From the countless multitude of the slain, and from the corpses, that great stream which passed by the city became dyed with blood. Wild and domesticated beasts became the cemetaries  of those corpses, for there was no one to cover over the bodies of the slain with the needed earth, no one to bury them. The lofty and beautiful palace was burned because of the injustices committed within it, while all [other] structures were transformed into mounds of earth. The usury and treachery there ended.
This is the fate of unjust cities which are built with the blood of others (areamb otarac'), are made luxurious by the sweat of the bankrupt, and which fortify their homes with usury and injustice, having no pity for the poor and indigent, They expect only pleasure and comfort and do not withdraw from foul activities. Rather, they are drunk from the desire which has seized hold of them. What becomes of such when the anger of the Lord strikes? They wither and are destroyed, like wax in fire, be they kings or be they princes, as we have seen from what has been narrated. But the king of Persia, having ruled over numerous districts, returned to his own land with inestimable booty. [g136]
Posted 28 January 2001 - 12:11 AM
Ani is now a ghost city, uninhabited for some four centuries and marooned since 1921 in a Turkish military zone right on the border with modern Armenia. Today's visitors toAni must explore the ruins under the supervision of armed soldiers and most of the extensive site is now off-limits. Enter this website for a building by building description of Ani, plus some ofthe medieval Armenian churches, monasteries and castles that arein the vicinity of thecity and that arenow within Turkish controlled territory. Click inside the entrance arch of the city gate at http://www.virtualani.freeserve.co.uk/ to enter.
Posted 29 January 2001 - 05:20 PM
(But I'm not that sure about Robert Bedrossians translations though - the English seems rather too modern, not poetic enough!)
Posted 29 January 2001 - 05:28 PM
Befrossian is a contemporary historian, I think. Actually, I liked some of his translations. Especially the Introduction from Arsitakes Lastivertsi's History.
Posted 02 February 2001 - 04:49 PM
Posted 02 February 2001 - 05:04 PM
Posted 02 February 2001 - 07:37 PM
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Posted 02 February 2001 - 08:42 PM
Posted 02 February 2001 - 09:53 PM
Posted 08 February 2001 - 12:41 AM
- From Thursday; 15th February until 15th May, at the Pavillon des Arts, Paris.
Posted 10 February 2001 - 10:02 PM
At that time Ani had a population of at least 100,000 and its wealth and renown was such that it was known as the "city of a thousand and one churches". Built on a spectacular site - a plateau almost encircled by deep ravines - Ani's many churches, palaces and fortifications were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced
buildings in Europe at that time. Ani is now a ghost city, uninhabited for some four centuries and marooned since 1921 in a Turkish military zone right on the border with modern Armenia. Today's visitors to
Ani must explore the ruins under the supervision of armed soldiers and most of the extensive site is now off-limits. Enter this website for a building by building description of Ani, plus some of the medieval Armenian churches, monasteries and castles that are in the vicinity of the
city and that are now within Turkish controlled territory. Click inside the entrance arch of the city gate to enter.
[This message has been edited by MJ (edited February 10, 2001).]
Posted 11 February 2001 - 12:14 PM
Posted 11 February 2001 - 04:51 PM
But where is the identification?
Posted 11 February 2001 - 10:09 PM
Originally posted by MJ:
But where is the identification?
I don't think it's there, that's why he says he does not like to boast period.
Steve, are you saying that's your site??? Amazing. What do you do for a living?
Are you familiar with Julian Cope's Modern Antiquarian work in the UK???
Posted 12 February 2001 - 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Pilafhead:
Steve, are you saying that's your site???
Are you familiar with Julian Cope's Modern Antiquarian work in the UK???
No. Who is he?
Posted 12 February 2001 - 08:05 PM
Again, your site is amazing.
[This message has been edited by Pilafhead (edited February 12, 2001).]
Posted 13 February 2001 - 06:07 PM
Are you associated with the Georgetown University? No need to reply, if you don't want to.
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