Cuneiform Sources that Mention The Name Armani
Of the cuneiform inscriptions that mention the name Armani or a homonymous city and country, the following are known to us:
a) Naram-Sin's famous Akkadian inscriptions found on a separate perforated disk where the part that bears the word Ibla is broken ("nar Armanium u…")
b ) The known Hittite inscription called Naram-Sin and His Enemies that lists Naram-Sin's 17 enemy countries and the names of their kings, where the 11th entry reads: " Madakina LUGAL KUR Armani". ("Madakina, the king of the land of the city of Armani")
c) In a Neo-Assyrian copy of an Old Babylonian inscription that consists of a geographical description of Akkadian Sargon's empire, we find the statement "istu Eb-la adi [Bit-Na-ni-ib]? KUR Ar-ma-ni-I" which shows that Eble was in the land of Armani.
d) A certain inscription of the Ur III period contains the name Ar-ma-an. Although during this period and later this city was often called Arman, it was previously known as Alman and Halwan.
e) There is likewise a record from the time of Adad-Nirari I where mention is made of the city of Arman in the land of Ugar Sallim, located somewhere between Azeim and Diyala.
f) The same Arman is mentioned under Tiglath-Pileser I.
g) The city name Halman is mentioned in the inscription of Shalmaneser III.
h) In the inscriptions of Ugarit there is mention of Ha-ar-ma-na/Ha-ar-ma-ni.
i) Adad-Nirari II and other Assyrian kings mention the land of Arime, in the region of the headwaters of the Western Tigris and the Kashiari mountain.
j) Darius the Great mentions the land of Armina in the Behistun inscriptions. The same name is mentioned also in the form of Armni-ia.
Our investigations have revealed that apart from the great city-land of Armani mentioned by Naram-Sin, there have existed two other cities having names of close phonetic similarity. One was located somewhere between Nuzi and Diyala, east of the Tigris, mentioned in different inscriptions in different forms, such as Halmaniwa, Halmanie, Halman, Halwan, and after the Ur III, as Arman, Armani "of Semesi", Arman of Ugar Sallim, etc. There is also mention of another city by the name Halwa(Holwan) in upper Zagros.
In the known Hittite inscription that speaks about Naram-Sin's 17 enemy countries, we read the name Ar-ma-ni, the last syllable ni being represented by the cuneiform sing which is a variant utilized by the Hittites. In other to verify the transliteration of the syllable ni of the Hittite text, we have checked in the same inscription the cuneiform sign of three other names having the ni syllable ([x-i]n-ni-pa-i-la, Zi-pa-ni, Ni-ik-ki[…]) and have noticed that invariably in all instances the same sign is used for the syllable ni. This removes the probability of any error and confirms the accuracy of the transliteration of the last syllable of Armani as ni.
In Naram-Sin's Akkadian inscriptions the name Armani has also been rendered in the following forms: Armanu, Armanum, Armanim or Arman, in which we find, instead of the ending -ni, the Akkadian derivative forms -nu, -num, -nim, or the contracted form -n. All these variants, however, do not in any way negate the fact that the ending of Armani is -ni. In Assyro-Babelonian inscriptions the ending -I of nouns is often deleted when the Akkadian grammatical suffixes -u, -um, or -im are added. Thus, in the case of Armani, the derived ending -ni-u becomes -nu, -ni-um becomes -num, -ni-im becomes -nim, and sometimes -ni becomes –n simply by the deletion of the sound i. We cite the following examples for comparison: Mitanni/Mitannu, Mardamani/Mardaman, Mardabanum/Mardaban, Qattunanim/Qattunan, Halukkani/Halukkan, Harmana/Harmani, Harrani/Harranum/Harranim/Harran(passim).
All these examples support the fact that the correct and exact form of the name under study is Armani, and that it belongs to the SUBARIAN--HURRIAN—NAIRIAN group of names ending in ----ni.
The exact location of Armani mentioned by Naram-Sin is, undoubtedly, very important. In order to locate Armani accurately, it is necessary to find first the exact location of Eble, since the two are mentioned together in Naram-Sin's inscription.
Armani And Ebla
As it it known, Ebla has been discovered by the Italian archaeologist Prof. Paolo Matthiae. During 1974-1976, Matthiae brought to light more than 16,000 tablets of cuneiform inscriptions, the state archives of Ebla. On the basis of this great discovery he published his book, Ebla: An Empire Rediscovered, where he summarizes the results of his excavations up to 1977 and gives his observations and evaluations of the find.
In view of the importance that the location of Ebla and the date furnished by the archives bear upon the question of Armani, we would like to mention here some of the information and the viewpoints given by the author, adding our own remarks and evaluations.
Earlier, having in view the information given in the inscription of Gudea of Lagash regarding the location of Ebla (and that of "the city of Ursu of Mount Ebla" ), we had expressed some doubt about identifying the city discovered at Mardikh with the Ebla mentioned by Naram-Sin and Gudea. Also it was not explained how Ebla was named Mardikh, because it is not an Arabic name. If it were a later appellations of the same city, there would have certainly existed a record by a later chronicler to this effect. Unfortunately no such record is known. This problem could have been solved if a temple were to be found at Mardikh dedicated to the famous god Marduk of Babylon (as is the case of Bagharshapat which is also called Echmiadzin), but no such indication exist in the Mardikh writings. Even if such an important temple did exist after the time of the archives, it would be very difficult to prove it, because no archives nor any important inscriptions concerning a later period have been discovered as yet in Ebla.
In spite of all these, however, the overwhelming weight of the numerous writings, letters and contracts in existence, all written in the name of Ebla and her king, does not leave any doubt that Mardikh was indeed Ebla.
It is essential to resolve this problem correctly before discussing the question of Armani.
For this purpose, we would like first to make some references to certain information regarding Mardikh supplied by Paolo Matthiae. In his book the author divides the life of Mardikh-Ebla into a number of chronological periods with the following approximate dates:
3500-2900 B.C., traces of human presence (prehistoric period).
2900-2400 B.C., period of development into a settlement.
2400-2250 B.C., the first period of Ebla as a great urban and cultural center. The state archives consisting of more than 16,000 clay tablets of cuneiform inscriptions are assumed to belong to this period. They were discovered under the ruins of the citadel's palace which, according to the author, was burned and destroyed by Naram-Sin in 2250 B.C. after 150 years of prominence.
2250-2000 B.C., when the city was reconstructed (except the palace that housed the archives), and was destroyed again.
2000-1600 B.C., when the city reflourished and became a great urban center, and was finally destroyed, presumably, by the Hittites.
According to the information given, the period represented by the archives was Ebla's golden age of economic prosperity and political power. The more than 16,000 clay tablets contain mostly commercial and accounting records. Documents of military, political and historical content are very few and of little significance and in their vagueness do not represent the expected historiographic value.
The nature of the contents of the archives gives us the impression that Ebla was not a powerful military-political empire. All empires of great military strength, like the Assyrian, Hittite, and others, have left inscriptions that speak mostly of their invasions and conquests, the massacres and the destructions they have inflicted and the slaves they have carried away, whereas in the archival documents of Ebla we do not find any striking information about such events, not even about significant construction works. Perhaps the particular period depicted by the archives was too early for autocratic rulers to indulge in military exploits and political expansions, a practice that seems to have started in the Near East. It is true, nonetheless, that Ebla has had some incipient ventures, such as the victorious wars she had fought against Mari.
In her days of prosperity Ebla was a great and well-developed center noted for her textile and agricultural and furniture industry. There are indications that she had established commercial (not military or imperialistic) bases and colonies in countries far and near, from which, presumably, she received tax revenue and employed mercenary soldiers (rather than raising her own permanent army) for the protection of these colonies and possibly for the security of the caravan routes. In a letter given to the royal emissary of Hamazi by the governor of the palace of Ebla there seems to be an instance of demanding mercenaries in exchange of goods. All these indicate that if Ebla has ever been an "empire", it was a commercial empire that had international peaceful relations considered quite extensive for her time.
"A tablet from the Old Akkadian level of Nuzi (then called Gasur) represented a map of the region on which towns are marked with little circles; the only fully extant name reads mas-gan BAD-Eb-la, i.e. , masken (settlement of) Dur-Ebla." If this is really another Ebla, then we think it is quite possible for it to be one of the commercial colonies of the actual Mardikh-Ebla, called by the same name, since it was not unusual in those days to call the colonies by the name of the mother country or city.
We have made these introductory remarks about Ebla because, as we have said earlier, the discovery of its location and the data supplied by the archives are very important for resolving the question explanations in these archives.
In the Ebla inscriptions there is frequent mention of the term Ar-mi. Prof. G. Pettinato, the epigrapher of the Ebla expedition, deepening his research on the reading and interpretation of the inscriptions, had read and translated the word Arm-mi not as a proper noun but as a common noun meaning 'cities'. This it becomes evident that in the archival writings of Ebla, while the names of hundreds of cities, far and near, are mentioned by virtue of her extensive international commercial ties, the name Armani is conscpicuously absent.
At present we see two possible explanation for this puzzling situation.
The first is that the destruction of Ebla in the period of the archival inscriptions did not occur in the days of Naram-Sin ( WHO MENTIONS ARMANI AND EBLA TOGETHER), but much earlier. According to Matthiae, the period represented by the archival writings spans 150 years (70 years according to Pettinato), during which time five kings have occupied the throne of Ebla. The last king was Ibbi-Sipis in whose days the city was burned and destroyed together with the citadel's main palace, under the ruins of which the tablets have been discovered. If Ebla were destroyed by Naram-Sin, then, in his inscriptions, along with King Ris-Tesub (Red-Adad) of Armani, the name of King Ibbi-Sipis too should have been mentioned (or at least the name of one of the kings recorded in the archives). The fact that the name of the king of Ebla is absent from the inscription leads us to think that in the days of Naram-Sin as well Ebla was under the rule of the king of Armani. Therefore, the absence of Armani in the archives of Ebla and the omission of the name of the king of Ebla in Naram-Sin's inscription suggest that the destruction of Ebla did not take place in the time of Naram-Sin, but much earlier. Thus, Prof. Pettinato's conclusion of placing the date of the archives of Ebla at 2500 B.C. seems to us to be more accurate.
According to certain existing data, in the time of Akkadian Sargon, Ebla was in Armani's sphere of influence. It could be that in these earlier years of the archives period Armani was perhaps not powerful and large enough and not yet organized to constitute an important political and governmental center, much the same as Akkad, which, too, is absent from the archival records of Ebla.
Secondly, if we suppose that in those days Armani did exist as strong political center having Ebla in her sphere of influence, then the relationships between Armani and Ebla could not have had that particular nature under the circumstances of which many foreign cities, far and near, have been included in the archival records. In fact, no city situated beyond the Kanes-Harran-Assur-Hamazi line in the Armenian Highland has entered into the circle of business transactions of Ebla.
When Ebla was subject to Armani, her rulers could have had some sort of family relations with Armani's royal houses. It will be shown below that Armani was Subarian.
The name Sennam of the first king of the city of Ursu that had close ties with Ebla was a genuine Hurrian(or Subarian) name.
The torso of a statue has been unearthed in Ebla, which is dated by Prof. Matthiae 2000-1900 B.C. According to the Akkadian inscription on this torso, the father of Ibbit-Lim, king od Ebla, was called Irgis-Hepa, which, as seen clearly, consists of combination of two ethnically different, Amorite and Hurrian (or Subarian) names.
G. Pettinato, drawing our attention to this particular point, writes: "This would indicate that Ebla stood at the crossroad of two etnic components - Amorite and Hurrian - living peaceably in Ebla."
The inscriptions of Alalakh IV mention a certain man, by the name Ehli-Tesup, who came from Ebla. It is not difficult to see that the name Tesup is Subarian. Already in Ebla, in the time of the archives, there were in office a governor called Subur and a production boss or master called by the Subarian name Guzuzi (The name Guzuzi is found as Kuzuzu in Gelb's list of 29 Subarian names). Thre are also names Ar-Ennum and Irkab-Ar, about which we shall speak in the 4th section of this Chapter. Here we may also ask if it could not be possible that the following words in a letter written by Ibubu, the governor of the palace of Ebla, to the emissary of the king of Hamazi, would indicate the kinship between the rulers of Ebla and Hamazi: "You (are my) brother and I (am your) brother; (to you) man-brother … Irkab-Damu, king of Ebla (is) brother of Zizi, king of Hamazi; Zizi, king of Hamazi (is) brother of Irkab-Damu, king of Ebla."
It is known that in later periods foreign kings have sometimes called each other "brother" alluding to their divine origin, but any proof or example showing the existence of this practice in a period as early as this is unknown to us. The kings of Ebla were elected or appointed, hence their kingship was neither hereditary nor of divine origin. Furthermore, there it is the governor of the palace that calls Hamazi's emissary "man-brother". In my case, this particular point is worth our attention.
,,,The fact that Armani is not mentioned in the archives of Ebla can also be explained by the fact that the Armenian Highland did not need the products of Ebla. Being itself rich in precious metals and with forests that provided the necessary materials for the production of furniture and other items, the Armenian Highland had, even before Ebla, developed an industry and commercial ties with Southern Mesopotamia. We shall speak about this in connection with Medzamor in the Chapter Aratta and Erech. There was no room, therefore, in the Armenian Highland for Ebla's commercial expansions.
…Examination show that the Ebla mentioned in the inscription of Akkadian Sargon, Gudea, and Alalakh is none other than Mardikh-Ebla. Here I quote from Sargon's inscription the portion that is directly related to our problem under study: "…King Sargon worshiped Dagan at Tatuli, in the upper land… He have Mari, Yarmuti, and Ebla, up to the Cedar Forest and the Silver Mountains, to Sargon…"
It is obvious that in order to get to these countries, Sargon must have moved (from Akkad) upward along the Euphrates. Of the upper lands, he has reached first Mari, and then Yarmuti(he also been at Tattul, at the temple of Dagan). Then he has moved toward Ebla and from there to the Cedar Forest and the Silver Mountains in the region of Cilicia. As it is already seen, Mardikh is on the routh from Mari to Cilicia. Therefore, the Ebla mentioned by Sargon cannot be other than Mardikh.
It becomes important now to determine whether the Ebla mentioned by Naram-Sin is also that at Mardikh or is it the other Ebla, supposedly placed in the east of Tigris. Here is a copy of the three columns, and important portion of the fourth, of Naram-Sin's famous Akkadian inscription, with its translation, which has
Column I. Never since the creation of mankind has any king among kings taken Arman(um) and Ebla. Nergal opened the road for Naram-Sin, the strong, and gave him Armanum and Ebla: he bestowed on him also Amanus, the Mountains of Cedars, and the Upper Sea. Thanks to the might of Dagan, who exalts his majesty.
Column II. Naram-Sin the strong conquered Arman(um) and Ebla and, from the bank of the Euphrates to Ulisum, struck down the peoples whom Dagan delivered into his hands and they bore the basket of (became liable to do service to) Aba, his god, and he had in his power the Amanus, the Cedar Mountain. When Dagan judged the judgment in favour of Naram-Sin the mighty.
Column III delivered Rid-Adad (Ris-Tesub), the king of Arman(um), into his hands; and he had bound him… he made his statue of diorite, and dedicated it to Sin, (saying) thus "Naram-Sin the mighty, king of the four regions, when Dagan gave Arman(um) and Ebla into my hands, and I bound Ris-Tesub, the king of Arman(um), at that time I made my likeness.
Column IV. And he ( ! ) dedicated it to Sin. Whosoever damages my name, having smashed my statue before Sin, and whoever …
Here, too, it is clearly seen that for his invasion Naram-Sin has moved up (from Akkad) along the Euphrates and has reached the Mediterranean and Amanus. It is obvious, therefore, that it was Mardikh-Ebla that was on his invasion route and certainly not the one "located in the east of the Tigris."
We see a second clear and direct indication in Naram-Sin's words, particularly where he says: "From the banks of the Euphrates to Ulisum, struck down the peoples whom Dagan delivered into his hands." In Gadd and Legrain's work (p. 80) Ulisu(m) is placed at the shores of the Mediterranean. This means that Naram-Sin's main invasion route was from the banks of the Euphrates (near Mari and Tattul where was the famous temple of Dagan, seeing that he was coming from Akkad) to Ulisu (at the shores of the Mediterranean) and Amanus. The conclusion is that the city of Ebla mentioned by Naram-Sin could not have been located in the east of the Tigris. It could only correspond to Mardikh-Ebla.
The Location Of Armani
We must now address the question: Where was the Armani mentioned by Naram-Sin?
First of all it is clear that the city of Halwan/Halman>Arman, located in the region of Diyala, east of the Tigris, was very far from and out of Naram-Sin's route from the Euphrates to Ulisu (at the Mediteranean shore), Amanus, and Cilicia. It follows tha the Armani mentioned by Naram-Sin could not be the Halman which is placed in the east of the Tigris. Where, or, on which side of the Euphrates was, then, Armani?
Our studies have shown that the central regions of the land of the city-land of Armani was located upwards of Tuttul and not on the west, but on the immediate east of the Euphrates.
We have seen before that Sargon, prior to invading Ebla, "worshiped the god Dagan in the city of Tuttul" located on the bank of the Euphrates, about 70 km below Raqqah. There is evidence that Dagan of Tuttul (his temple at Tuttul) was so famous and venerated that even Ebla, though counting Dagan among her own main deities, still used to send valuable gifts to the Dagan of Tuttul. (Matthiae quotes "Nine minas and thirty-six shekels of silver for a chariot with two wheels for Dagan of Tuttul", or "an unspecified quantity of gold for the decoration of a table and for a gold vase, gifts of Ibrium, for Dagan of Tuttul.") Naram-Sin also writes that "thanks to Dagan" or "when Dagan judged the judgment in favour of Naram-Sin", he conquered Armani and the others were delivered into his hands. Because of their great importance for determining the location of Armani, I would like to quote once again Naram-Sins's words to focus our attention:
Thanks to the might of Dagan…Naram-Sin the strong conquered Arman(um) and Ebla and, from the bank of the Euphrates to Ulisum, struck down the peoples whom Dagan delivered into his hands… and he had in his power the Amanus, the Cedar Mountain. When Dagan judged the judgment in favour of Naram-Sin the mighty, delivered Rid-Adad (Ris-Tesub), the king of Arman(um), into his hands;…
This statement clearly shows that Naram-Sin was able to conquer Armani thanks to "Dagan judging the judgment in his favour." What we understand from these words is that Naram-Sin, like his grandfather Sargon, was at the city of Tuttul worshiping at the famous temple of Dagan: in other words, he asked Dagan for assistance before invading the mighty Armani, and Dagan, through his oracle pronounced by the priests, judged the judgment in his favour. Thereupon, he invaded Armani that was nearby, before moving on to the lands extending from the Euphrates of Ulisu(m) up to the Mediterranean, shore, i.e. Eble, Amanus, and the Cedar Mountain.
It becomes clear now, that Armani must have been located upwards of Tuttul (past Tuttul traveling upstream where the river bends west) and to the east of the Euphrates.
We have already seen that when Sargon began his invasion upward the Euphrates proceeding through the Mari-Yarmuti-Ebla-Amanus route, obviously he did not come across Armani, since he makes no mention of it. If Armani were located in the west of the Euphrates, on Sargon's route from Mari and Amanus, he certainly would not have missed it and would not have failed to mention it, particularly that it was a well-known city-land at that time, such as that " never since the creation of mankind had any king among kings taken [it] before Naram-Sin." But Armani could not have been too far either, because, as it was pointed out, according to one inscription, we know that in the time of Sargon Ebla was within the sphere of Armani.
It is clear, therefore, that the city-center of Armani was located east of the Euphrates. It was here that Naram-Sin defeated the king of Armani, after which he proceeded to acquire the territories between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean, that is, Ebla, Amanus, and the Cedar Mountain.
We find that only after defeating the mighty king of Armani immediately to the east of the Euphrates and north of Tuttul did Naram-Sin feel himself secure enough to invade west of the Euphrates, to Ebla and Amanus. There are indications that in those days as well Ebla was under the rule of the king of Armani, ( This same opinion is expressed in the work of Gadd and Legrain (URI, 78), where it says: "Note that the wording of the present text, especially of 11.23-28, suggests that Rid-Adad[Ris-Tesub] was not only king of Armani but also ruled Ebla.") , because, while on the one hand Naram-Sin proudly and repeatedly states that he has defeated King Ris-Tesub of Armani, on the other hand he does not make any references to the king of Ebla, as if implying that by defeating the king od Armani, Ebla (and Amanus as well) has easily fallen into his hands. This confirms that Armani was not far from the Euphrates. We think, therefore, that Armani was located in the area of the sources of the Khabur river, in the region of Armenian Mesopotamia and Aghtznik. N.Adontz had already asserted in his time that the Armani mentioned by Naram-Sin is other than Halman, placed east of the Tigris, in the region of Diyala, north of Khanakin. He had pointed out that the location of Armani must be in the north of Syria. It is interesting to note here that the region of the sources of the Khabur river was called Hark'(Harki) by Adad-Nirari II.
The question arises now as to why is it that Sargon also did not find it necessary to invade Armani before invading Ebla, since we have date indicated that in his time as well Ebla was within the country or the sphere of influence of Armani. There could be different reasons for this: It is possible that in those days Armani was in a difficult situation: or, perhaps Sargon was maintaining friendly relations with Armani and that the main purpose of his Ebla-Amanus invasion was not so much to conquer Ebla as to obtain lumber for his construction projects from the forests of cedar trees of Amanus.
The reason for having friendly or traditional ties with Armani could be attributed to the fact that the city of Azubirani, Sargon's home and birthplace, was probably in the land of Armani-Subari.
We find that Armani was, if not the capital, at least one of the royal cities of Subartu, a large country of the epoch, whose boundaries at the time must have extended to the approaches of Tuttul in the south, to Nuzi-Lullubi in the east, and to the Ebla-Ugarit-Alalakh region in the west. The Armani-Subari equivalence will be shown further in the third section of Chapter Two, wher we shall speak about the names Armarili and Surili.
In a later Ur copy of one of his inscriptions, Naram-Sin calls himself the ruler "of all Elam up to Barahsum and of Subartum up to the Cedar Forest." (Mat Elamtin ga-li-sa-ma a-ti-ma Ba-ra-ah-sim u mat SUBUR(su-bar-timK) a-ti-ma kisti erinim.) I. Gelb, in writing about this Subartu, states that it extended from Barabsum (east of Diyala) to the Cedar Forest of Amanus. (This shows that Ebla was also included in Subartu). These borders fo Subartu coincided later with the borders of Mitanni. It is known in fact that in the times of Saussatar-Sutarna, Mitanni comprised Nuzi in the east and Alalakh in the west.
In the known Hittite inscription that speaks about Naram-Sin's 17 enemies, the location of Armani coincides exactly with the location of this Subartu. In the text the land of Parasi( =Barahsum) is found in the 9th place of the listing of the 17 enemies. The name of the country and her king occupying the 10th place of the listing are on a damaged portion of the inscription and cannot be read (indicated by dots in brackets in the transliteration). Armani is in the 11th place and the land of the Cedar Forest the 12th. This particular order shows that geographically Armani was located between the land of Parasi(Marhasi) and the land of the Cedar Forest (Amanus-Cilicia), but close to the latter, since there was another country between Parsi and Armani. This evidence also puts Armani in the region of Subari, in the area of the basin of the sources of the Khabur and the Western Tigris, in Armenian Mesopotamia and around Aghtznik. The victory monument of Naram-Sin has been in this particular area (Aghtznik) of the Armenian Highland and has fought against its forces.
A specific indication to the supremacy of Armani over Ebla may also be found in the boastful words of Naram-Sin that "never since the creation of mankind has any king among kings taken Armani and Ebla." In fact, we know (and Naram-Sin should nave known too) that Sargon had "TAKEN" Ebla. It seems, therefore, that Naram-Sin's main emphasis here is essentially on mighty Armani and not so much on Ebla.
This interpretation makes it clearer now why Naram-Sin mentions twice and with considerable pride his victory over the king of Armani, but does not mention the king of Ebla, and why in the Hittite text Armani and her king are mentioned and Ebla is totally absent.
Reference was made above to statement found in a Neo-Assyrian copy of an inscription that speaks abbou the regions of the empire of Sargon of Akkad. The statement reads as follows: "istu Eb-la adi Bi-Na-ni-ib KUR Ar-ma-ni-I" ("From Ebla to Bitnanib [in] the land of Armani.) If we understand these words, as all authors do, meaning that the area from Ebla to Bitnanib was within the land of Armani, then we can consider it as another concrete proof for the extensiveness of Armani and her supremacy over Ebla in the times of Sargon.
…In Sargon's inscription (The Sargonian inscription shows that at the time Ebla was within the land of Armani. According to the information given by Matthiae, in the writings of Mardikh-Ebla, the ruler of Ebla is not called Lugal(king), but en (lord). In the time of the archives of Ebla there still existed a Community(Elders') Council that elected the Lugal or the en, positons that have not always been hereditary.) the name is written clearly as Armani and not as Halman or Halwan, which only in a much later period began to be called Alman>Arman.
Accepting that both the Armani in the Armani and Ebla pair of Naram-Sin's inscription and the Armani in the Armani and Ebla pair of Sargon's inscription represent the same great Armani, we do not think it improbable that the Eblas may have been different, one being Mardikh-Ebla and the other maskan Dur-Ebla, because as it was noted, Armani included also the Eastern Khabur in central Subartu. Nevertheless, in view of all the above considerations regarding the probability of Mardikh-Ebla being subservient to the mighty Armani, it seems more likely to us that the Armani and Ebla pair mentioned by Sargon corresponds to the one mentioned by Naram-Sin.
The Arma mentioned in the inscriptions of Alalakh IV must be the same as the nearby city-land of Arma-ni referred to by Naram-Sin, or the name of one of it's regions or cities, without the toponymic suffix -ni, similar to the form Arme. Just as we have, as an eponym, the personal or ethnic name Armen derived from the place (or ethnic) name Armani, and the personal name Armaneak (<Armani + ak, Armeneak<Armani + ak) derived from Armani, similarly we have the personal name Harma, (as preserved by Khorenatsi) derived from the form Arma, where the initial h sound is added for intensification (cf. aganil>hangil, ect.).
In conclusion, we can say that ll known data show that the southern part of the great country of Armani which included the city of Armani mentioned by Naram-Sin, was located around the regions of the sources of the Khabur and the Western Tigris and that it constituted the important part of Subartu including the Armenian Mesopotamia and Aghtznik. Some 12-13 centuries after Naran-Sin, at the end of the second and at the beginning of the first millennium B.C. the kings of Assyria have recorded the name of this region of Armani in the form of Arime.
Arime (Armani) And Subartu
In a lengthy inscription that speaks about some of his invasions, Adad-Nirari II (911-891 B.C.) gives direct and concrete explanations about the geographical locations of a number of cities in the land of Armani making it possible for us to form an accurate picture about the geographical regions that were part of that great country. Here is his exact testimony (I quote only those sections that interest us):
…in that year, and in the month Kislimu,… from above the river Habur, the land Harki(?), as far as the city of Carchemish, which is in Hatte, he raided … . …in that year and in the month Airu, during an expedition against the land Arime, (in) the city of Pausa, which lies at the foot of Mount Kasiari (?), he fought (a battle). In that year, and in the same month, during an expedition against the land Arime, at the entrance (lit., head) of the city of Nabula …, he fought (a battle) … . In the same year, and in the same month, during an expedition against the land of Arime, in the city … Tibua (?), which is on the Tigris, he fought a battle… . In that year, and in the month Ululu, during an expedition against the land Arime, in the city of Murarir (?), which is in th eland of Supre, he fought a battle.
As we see clearly, Adad-Nirari explicitly states that one of the regions of the land of Arime which he invaded was at the foot of the Kashiari mountain, another was on the Tigris and still another was in the land of Supre(Subre). In other words, the land of Arime included a portion of the Tigris (certainly the region of its headwaters), the Kashiari mountain, and Subre. This direct testimony by Adad-Nirari links the land of Arime unquestionably with that of Subartu-Subre.
It would be appropriate here to clear a misunderstanding in connection with the name Arma and Arime that causes some confusion in historiography. In the early stages of critical historiography in 19th century, the idea was advanced that the terms Arma or Aram, and Arime or Arme are Semitic and pertain to the Semites. I. Diakonoff, makes the supposition tha the name Armina ( Armini-Armeni) is given to Armenian and the Armenians because of their neighborhood to the Aramaeans in the southern region of Hayk.
The idea of seeing a Semitic origin in the names Arma, Aram, Arim, Arime, Arme, Armani, Armina, Armeni, and the like, had become such an obsession with some authors that it prevents them from seeing the essence of the interrelationships between the Armenian Highland and Northern Mesopotamia, and creates added difficulties for the clarification of certain obscure problems related to them.
The fact is that the very name Aram has no connection of origin with those Semites who were later called Aramaeans. A careful study of the cuneiform documents of the Near East shows that the Semitic nomadic tribes that were later called Aramaeans, were previously known by the names Sutu and Ahlame. They had come to Northern Mesopotamia and settled in the territories of Mitanni ( Naharina) which was either destroyed or about to be destroyed at that time, and they were called Aramaeans after the ancient name Arma or Aram of the land on which they settled. A similar example is the case of the Egyptians; the name Egypt did not belong to the Arabs, but they have come and settled in the land of Egypt, and by this ancient name of the land they were (and still are) called Egyptians.
J. Myers had written earlier that the Aramaeans* seem to have started to come out of Northeastern Arabia around 1350 B.C. when nomadic marauders whom the Babylonian kings called “SUTI AND ACHLAME” were spreading, looting and devastating along the entire Euphratian border.
R. O’Callaghan has the following to say about the appearance of these Semitic tribes: “The Sutu and the Akhlamu are first mentioned in Assyrian sources as appearing in the time of Arik-den-ili (1316-1305) of Assyria. The former name is connected with the Egyptian Sttyw, meaning “Asiatics”. Thus as a matter of fact they do service as Egyptian mercenaries…”
We see an indication to the recent appearance of these tribes in Northern Mesopotamia in the following statement of Adad-Nirari I (cir. 1310-1280 B.C.): “…conqueror of the lands of Turuki and Nigimhi in their totality, together with all their kings, mountains, and highlands, the territory of widespreading Kuti (v. adds, conqueror of Kutmuhi and all of its allies), the hordes of the Ahlami and Suti, the Iauri and their lands, who enlarged boundary and frontier…”
As we see, according to Adad_Nirari’s assertion, at the beginning of the 13th century these Semitic tribes were still in the process of enlarging their borders by moving forth and occupying new territories that did not belong to them. And the kings of Assyria still calls them by their original names. Suti and Ahlame; in other words, they were not yet called Arims or Arams. This period must correspond to the days of Mitanni’s downfall, because, obviously, these tribes could not have occupied these Mitannian lands in the Kashiari-Kutmukhi regions in her days of power (there must have been though some Assyro-Babylonian elements in the land, but their numbers and role must have been no decisive significance). Alfred Haldar assesses correctly the situation of those days when he writes: “It is a fact that there was a general decline of civilization in the Near East about 1200 B.C. and the following centuries.”
In the time of Shalmaneser I (1266-1243 B.C.) these Semitic tribes, as the allies of the Hittites, had already penetrated into the lands of Hanigalbat, bu they were still called by their original name, Ahlamu, and were not considered Aramaeans. Here is what Shalmaneser says:
…When with the behest of the great gods, I advanced against the land of Hanigalbar with the mighty hosts of my lord Assur, I forced my way over difficult roads and narrow passes. Shattuara, king of Hani (v. has, Hanigalbat), the army of Hittites and Ahlami with him, I surrendered … and I fought a battle and I accomplished their defeat … The army of Hittites and Ahlami, his allies, I slaughtered …
As we can see, these nomadic newcomers called Ahlami have already become Hittites’ allies, but still they are called by their original name, Ahlami, that is, they are not yet called Aramaeans.
Bit-Zamani( Diyarbekir region) represents the farthest penetration to the north of these Semites.
About one century and a half after Shalmeneser I, in the time of Tiglath-Pileser I (1115-1077 B.C.), many of the Ahlami incomers have already become the inhabitants of Arma, that is, men of Arma, Tiglath-Pileser writes: “… a-na libbi ah-la-mi-I Ar-ma-a-ia nakrut A-sur beli-ia al-lik is-tu tar-si Su-hi a-di Kar-ga mis as Ha-at-te i-na isten u-me ah-bu-ut…”
(“…[into] the midst of the Ahlami, the men of Arma, who were enemies of Ashur my lord, I marched. From Sukhi to the city of Carchemist, in the land of Hatte, in one day I raided…”)
Here it is clearly seen that Arma, with its determinative Kur, is a land-name, and not an ethnic designation; Ahlami is the name of the tribe that became the inhabitants of Arma.
We see the same picture in the time of Adad-Nirari II (911-891 B.C.) when these Semitic tribes, having already settled in the land, have now added the term Aramaean to their tribal name Ahlami. Furthermore, the term Ahlami Aramaeans shows that at that time there were also non-Ahlami Aramaeans.
As we have seen above, the information we obtain from the inscription of Adad-Nirari II speaking about a few of his invasions to the land of Arime shows that in his time the name Arime was a geographical term designating large expanses of land. Under this name were grouped the mountainous regions of the North as well as the plains of the South, all belonging to the land of Subari and the state of Mitanni. The main central regions of the state of Mitanni were in the mountain belt in the North, and this region was known earlier by the name Arma ( Arma-ni ) . The names Arma and Aram are derived from the same root with which are connected the later forms: Arim, Arime, Arme, Urme, and others.
R.O’Callaghan, as a conclusion to his investigation of the topic, writes: “Semantically, why any people should be called Aramaeans we are not in a position to say. It is most reasonable to think that the word was first a place name, possibly a mountain city Arma, mentioned by Shalmanesar I”
This city must have existed even in the time of Naram-Sin in the region of Armani. In one of Naram-Sion’s inscription s it is written: “Naram-Sin, king of the four regions, when he warred against Harshamadki, lord of A-ra-am and Am: in Ti-ha-ar, the mountain, he overcome him” It seems that the city Ar-am (or Ara-am) was one of the cities in the region of Armani possibly in the region of the Armenian Taurus mountains. The mountain name Tihar is reminiscent of the name Taur(us) and the city name Am is reminiscent of the name of the city Amedu or Amida (Diyarbekir), where the -du or –da endings must be considered toponymic suffixes (cf. Ayadu (land), Arsidu (mountain), Tayad and Irida (fortresses), also Kuda, Baruata [=Bit-Barua], etc). We already know that Naram-Sin’s victory monument was founded near Amida.
A city called Arramu (ar-ra-mu) is mentioned together with the city of Muraru (mu-ra-ru) in the Ebla inscriptions. Arramu (or Aramu) is the city of Aram (a-ra-am) mentioned with Muraru by Naram-Sin. Muraru was in Arme-Subria or in its vicinity, because, according to the inscription of Adad-Nirari II mentioned above, Murarir was in the land of Subre.
In our earlier works, talking about the etymology of the national names Ar-ma-ni/Ar-me-ni of Armenians, we have shown that it originates from the name of their national sun-god Ar (or Ara ) and means sons of Ar (the component ma or me meaning ‘to beget, offspring, or son’, hence Ar-me-ni literally meaning ‘ar-son-s’) and that they have called themselves simply Ar. (See – The Land and People of Ar.)
We have already mentioned above that the name Aram does not belong to the Semites; on the contrary, it belongs to the people of the Armenian Highland who were called Ar or Armani/Armen. The name Ar-am, like Ar-ma, is constructed on the root ar. The ending –am is substitution for –ma, or they are variants. Gelb, in speaking about the names Hupitam, Pusam and Sehlam, which he has included in his list of Hurrian personal names, pays particular attention to this suffix –am and writes the following: “Interesting is the suffix –am (later –a) found in the Old Akkadian name Hapiram, in the UR III names Hupitam, Sehlam, and Pusam, and in several later Chagar Bazar names: Apsam, Hupitam, Seham, Sennam and Zipsam” Compare also with the names: Bagam, from the house of Vahuni; Arsam, king od Dzopk’ – Kommagene; Argam, etc. These examples prove beyond doubt that in the name Ar-am –am is a suffix and that the root Ar belongs to that series of place and tribal names original to the Armenian Highland, all of which contain the component Ar (Ara) as their initial element.
Gelb quotes alos the following personal names (which are related to Ar/Ara): “Published tablets from this [Humarabi] period mention persons with such names as A-ri-a and A-ra-am-mu-su.ni, known to be Hirrian from parallels at Nuzi.” Gelb sees in these words the roots ar and mus, and, with reason, he does not consider them Semitic. Though he calls them Hurrian, we are inclined to call them Subarian. In the compound name A-ra-am-mu-su-ni, it is possible to see two different structures or modes of compounding: one is Aram-musu-ni, where the second component is mus or mush, as accepted by Gelb, and the other is Aramu-su-ni, where the second component is su( = supari: we shall talk about this in the next section). Compare this with Da-su-uk and Ha-su-uk, the names of Subarian man and a man of Nuzi, respectively. In our opinion, regardless of which of the mush or su of the Subarian region of the Armenian Highland, with which, as it is obvious, is directly related the first component Aram of this name.
The southern (particularly the southwestern) regions of the Armenian Highland, being in direct contact with Sumero-Akkadians, have also been called Ar-me (= Ara-me) with the Sumerian suffix me ( ‘to beget, offspring, son, work’ ) meaning ‘the offspring or the work of Ar’. We also think it is probable that these Ar people might have been called Ar-im (the Ars’) with -im, the Semitic suffix for plural, and their country Ar-im-e (the land of Ars’), thus causing a confusion with the form Arma and Arme/Arame that carry the Sumero-Armenian suffixes ma and me (“to beget, offspring, con, work’), because of the incidental phonetic similarity of the endings. Cf. Heb. Eloah (‘God’) Eloh-im (‘Gods’), similarly Khor-im (‘Khors’ or ‘Horites’) as mentioned in the Bible, Gen. XIV, 6; XXXVI, 20-29.
In historiography the idea has taken root that only the southwestern region of the Armenian Highland was called Arme (or by a name of similar form). The reason for this view is that the Assyro-Babylonian world has come into contact with the Armenian Highland mainly through this neighboring region. The fact is, however, that there were many other regions in the Armenian Highland, including the central regions, that had names formed with the component Ar or Ara , such as Aramali/Arma[ri[li (= Armani, because li = ni for plural), Arberani, Arhi, Eriahi, Aragadz, etc. These will be discussed in detail in the next chapter.
It is also necessary to relate to these names all the proper nouns occurring in the inscriptions of the third and second milleniums B.C. that are formed by the components Ar and Ara or by their variants Ari and Aru. Such names are: Ari-a, Ari-kumme, Ari-sen, Ari-dupuk, Ari-huha, Ara-ha, etc., and such place-names are Ari-nu, Aru-ra, Aru-be, Aru-ni, Ara-zu, Ar-na, Ar-bu, etc.
Certain remarks were made above to the effect that in the times of Sargon and Narm-Sin, Ebla was either in the land of Armani or within her sphere of influence, and some date were mentioned indicating the presence of Subarians ( Hurrians ) in Ebla who lived worked with the Amorites. Reference was made also to a family tie between Armani’s royal house and Ebla’s rulers and attention was drawn to the name Igris-Hepa, the father of one of Ebla’s kings, Subur, a governor in Ebla, Ehli-Tesup, a man of Ebla, and Guzuzi, a production master in Ebla. We had also quoted the words of a letter given to Hamazi’s emissary in Ebla, saying: “…king od Ebla (is) brother of Zizi, king od Hamazi…” Here in connection with our observations about Ar and the Ars, the name Ar-Ennum of one of the kings of Ebla, who, like Subur, was one time a governor, becomes so much more interesting and comprehensible.
The first component of the royal name Ar-Ennum is none other than the known divine name Ar. It seems that the same divine name is also found in Irkab-Ar, the name of one of the governors of Ebla. Compare it with the Eblaite royal name Irkab-Damu where the second component Damu is, likewise, a divine name.
It is interesting to note that in the time of the archives of Ebla there exists a city called Ara, one of whose inhabitants, by the name Ippihir, had received supplies from Ebla.
Long before the arrival fo the Semites (who were later called Aramaeans), the Ars of the Armenian Highland were spread out in the neighboring south, in the plains of Northern Syria and Northern Mesopotamia, certain parts of which were known as “Armenian Mesopotamia”. This is how, as we have seen, in the time of Adad-Nirari II, Arime become to include, other than the southwestern regions of the Armenian Highland, these flatlands as well, which, in ancient times, were part of the southern regions of the Indo-European (Aryan) homeland. It was during the decline and downfall of Mitanni that the Semitic nomadic tribes, Suti and Ahlami, came and settled in certain areas of this region and were called Aramaeans after the name Aram (Arma) of the country. It must be accepted, therefore, that the Armens did not receive their name from the Aramaeans; on the contrary, these nomadic tribes who came to inhabit the land of Arma or Aram (derived from the name Ar or Ara of the Armens) were called Aramaeans after the name of the land in which they settled.
These southern regions of the Armenian Highland and the northern regions of Syria and Mesopotamia were better known to Sumero-Akkadians by the name Subir/Subartu. It was much later and only long after the fall of the powerful state of Mitanni that the large country of Subari began to shrink and maintained her existence confined just to the Aghtznik’-Sasun region under the name of Subria, which continued to be called also by the names Arme and Urme (Urmeuhi) in the inscriptions of the Assyrian kings.
In addition to the cuneiform inscriptions mentioned above, the ancient Armenian literature also contains a number of references pointing out that Arme-Subria (certain regions of which have been called Supani>Dzopk’ and others Alzinini>Aghznik’) has been one of the oldest and most important centers of the homeland of the Armen people.
One may ask, was it coincidental that Argisti(Argishti) I settled the 6600 warriors brought from Hate and Supani in Erebuni? We know that the natives of Aghtznik’ (Alzi) and Dzopk’ (Supani) have often entered into the so-called Hittite alliance and were also called the Hate warriors. It follows that the relocation of these 6600 warriors by Argisti in his newly constructed Erebuni fortress was incidental.
Argisti built a strong fortress of Erebuni (“for the glory of the land of Biaina and to the horror of his enemies”) for the purpose of defending the eastern regions of his country against the intrusions of enemies and also to use it as a military base for his future expansions. It would have been logical for him, therefore, to station there, as his garrison, troops who would be more faithful and reliable. Thus, we see him moving there men from “Hate” and Dzopk’, whom he calls warriors, and not slaves, because they were co-tribal Nairian Armens.
In a similar vein, we think that the choice of Aghtznik’ by Tigran the Great as the location to build his new capital Tigranakert was not incidental. A certain motive and, very likely, national traditions must have guided him in making this choice. It is true that he abandoned the old capital Artashat mainly because the westward expansion of his empire left the capital almost at the eastern extremity of the country; also in order to facilitate the administrative links with the various regions of the empire it was necessary to move the capital to a more central location and particularly close to the contemporary centers of Hellenistic civilization. He could have certainly chosen a more suitable site of stronger strategic position. There is no doubt that his choice of Aghtznik’ was dictated by nationalistic feelings and national traditions, assuring him that as part of the sacred Armenian fatherland, it provided a more genuine and reliable environment.
We would like here to draw our readers’ attention to an important point which has been generally overlooked by those who specialize in the ancient history of the Armenian people. A careful study of the map will show that the vast expanses of land in the south which Tigran the Great annexed to his kingdom are almost the same as those territories that formally comprised the countries of Subartu and Mitanni. The same can be said for his western expansions: they, too, coincide with those regions which were inhabited by Armenians and which in the second and first milleniums B.C. were called Hayasa, Pahhuwa, Suhmu, Tegarama, Isuwa, Anzitene, Alzi, Dzopk’, Kommagene etc.; in other words, Bartzr Hayk’ (Higher Hayk’), Pokr Hayk’ (Lesser Hayk’), Third Hayk’, and Fourth Hayk’. The conclusion is, therefore, that Tigran the Great was not an aggressor occupying foreign lands, but a great national hero who reunited the traditional Subarian-Mitannian-Armenian lands into his kingdom.
In this connection we wold like to present here, for comparison, some of the characteristic features of the seal of Saussatar, king of Mitanni (1450 B.C.), and those of Tigran the Creat’s crown.
On the seal of the king of Mitanni we see the winged solar disk with an eagle and a lion on each side, which symbolize in mythology the deity of the sun and fire. The same features appear on Tigran’s crown, with the same solar disk and the two eagles, one on each side, and the crown itself shaped at the top lie spikes representing the rays of the sun. The similarities are too obvious to be explained away by mere coincidence.
It is known that the city of Urfa (Edessa; Orrhoe for Greek, Urhoi for Syrians), located in the south of Arme-Subria and short distance north of Harran, was, at a certain time in history, an important Hurrian center, maybe even a capital, and that the name Orrhoe (called Urba by Khorentatsi) has originated from the name Hurri.
Furthermore, Faustus Buzand has preserved the following valuable record about the city of Arha of the Hurrians: “King Pap [of Armenians]… has sent messengers to the king of the Greek saying: ‘Caesarea and the other ten cities have belonged to us; Give them back. The city of Urha also was built by our ancesters, therefore, if you do not desire that troubles arise, give it back, otherwise we shall fight a great war.” This shows that in the time of Faustus Buzand it was still remembered that the city of Urha was built by the ancestors of the Armens.
We already know that Urha was in that part of Subart which coincided in the past with the southwestern regions of the land of Armani.
These main regions of Subartu included the basins of the headstreams of the Tigris and the two Khaburs that descend from the Armenian Highland. It must be noted that in Sumero-Akkadian writings (especially in the syllabaries) the names Subari and Khubur are given as synonymous terms.
Since the past the Khabur river and its name have been closely connected with the lives of the Armen people in the region of Armani, it would be expected that this name should have been preserved in their language in one form or another. In fact, the word AGHBIUR (‘source, fountain’) in Armenian retains the memory of the Kahbur river and its sources.
H. Adjarian in his Armatakan Bararan (Armenian Etymological Dictionary), following Hubschmann, supposes that the word aghbiur comes from the Indo-European(Aryan) brevr, and makes the following comparison:
Gr, (‘well, cistern’): Homeric Gr. – derived from the Gr. – protoform and supposed IE Bhrevr, bhrevntos in genitive. Our word comes from this IE form bhrevr(nom.) and bhrevros(gen.) which has changed in our language first to brevr then to bghever by dissimilation, to ghbevr, by transposition, to aghbevr by the addition of –a. The intermediate form bghevr is akin to the Cappadocian Gr. (‘fountain’) which, according to Karolides, is borrowed from the Armenian.
Then Adjarian adds: “From the weak grad of Indo-European(Aryan) protoforms have originated the Gothic brunna, the Old High German brunno, the Anglo-Saxon burna, the German Brunnen (‘fountain’). All these are derived from the simple Indo-European(Aryan) root-word bhreu (‘to boil, to bubble, to ferment’)” Following this Adjarian cites all the European “heirs” of this Indo-European(Aryan) roots.
As we see it clearly, they had to invent first an Indo-European(Aryan) protoform (supposedly bhrever), they had to go through a tortuous and labyrinthine way of “dissimilation, transposition, and addition” in order to arrive, from the artificial form bhrevr at the Armenian word aghbhevr-aghbiur.
…The tribes speaking the Proto-Armenian language (at the time of the formation of the word aghbur-aghbiur in their language) have spread also to the south of the Armenian Highland, to the regions of the sources of the Khabur river. It was through these regions that they have come in contact with the Sumero-Akkadians. And as we have noted, these very regions were called Hark’ (Harki) by Adad-Nirari II, as was the region above Lake Van. Furthermore, those European peoples who have in their language the form brunna, brunno, brunnen (=Buranum) and (= Furat-Euphrates) meaning ‘spring’ or ‘fountain’, must have lived in the neighborhood of the Armenian Highland in Asia Minor (toward west from the Euphrates).
In the days of Naram-Sin, Armani have spread out to the main indicated regions of Subari and established there a city-center by the name Armani. In late times, the southern region of this land of Armani have been called Arime, “land of Ars”, by Adad Nirari II. The name Armani is the earliest known form and record of the Armen people and their land, called variously Arime, Arme, Urme ( Urmeukhi ), Armina, Armeni or Armen.
In the course of our recent investigations we have come across a number of concrete and important data which tend to establish the link between Subari and Armani. Before presenting these, however, we think it is essential to give our etymology of the name Subari.
Edited by Aratta-Kingdom, 29 February 2008 - 03:18 PM.