Perhaps the most ignored Armenian deity .
Not according to Daniel Varouzhan who opens his poem Vanatur with a quote by Acathangelos;
“Ամենաբեր նորոց պտղոց տօնից հիւրընկալ դիցն Վանատուր”
Then he proceeds;
Նըստած պապարտ եզիդ վրա, ո~վ Վանատուր,
Մէկ ծագէն միւսը կ’անցնիս
Մեռա~ն բոլոր մեր աստուածները, իրենց
Բագիններուն վըրայ մամուռը կ’աճի:
According to the above , Vanatur may have been the only deity alive when all others have died.
Vanatur is known as the god of plenty, coming close to the Roman Bacchus but not quite as lavishly wasteful and orgiastic. He is assigned a day in the Armenian calendar, yet he is best known as the god of hospitality. His day was celebrated as the first day of ancient Armenian New Year, on Auust 11 when plentiful harvest was gathered, Many temples were dedicated to him, among which the most famous at the region of Bagrevand, at the bottom of Npat Mountain. The region was famous for its inns and havens expressly built for the weary travelers, hence his claim to fame of god of hospitality.
I wonder if anyone has ever considered what his name really means. I had not. I had always taken it to be a variant of “atur/fire”. It turns out that “van” , beside all the other meanins, not the least of them the name of an ancestral Armenian metropolis, also means “house/abode”. Consider words like “otevan/օթեւան/Ijevanիճեվան”. Putting the two together, I.e van and tur we get Վան and տուր to mean giver of shelter, haven. Perhaps that is what Misak Metsarents had in mind when he wrote the followingfollowing poem. Or he may have thought he was Vanatur hiself.
Edited by Arpa, 22 October 2005 - 02:11 PM.