10 октября 2014 г.

Researcher at the Human Rights Institute, National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan).


This article is an attempt to clarify some of the remaining riddles in the history of the Christian peoples of the Central Caucasus using scholarly publications of Eu­ropean students of the Caucasus of the 18th and 19th centuries as the starting point. The author concentrates on the Christian princely families and the ruling Turkic dynasties that figured prominently in medieval Azerbaijan and Armenia; he relies on the very critical comments of European historians of ancient Armenian sources on the history of the Cau­casus. According to European students of the Caucasus who spent much time studying certain medieval Armenian manuscripts that found their way to Europe, at least some of them cannot be treated as reliable historical sources. Today, much of what the European historians wrote at one time has been forgot­ten, giving way to numerous articles and books on the history of the Caucasus that cite historical sources of dubious provenance without taking the trouble to critically analyze them. The author attempts to remind the aca­demic community of what European students of the Caucasus wrote some 200 or even 300 years ago regarding the extremely unreliable Armenian manuscripts.

KEYWORDS: Christianity, Turks, the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, historical sources.


The Center for the History of the Caucasus at the Institute of Social and Political Studies AZER-GLOBE has produced a Russian translation of the second volume of Mémoires historiques et géographiques sur l’Arménie, suivis du texte Arménien de l’histoire des princes Orpélians written by prominent French historian Antoine-Jean Saint-Martin and published in Paris in 1819 [1]Jean Saint-Martin (1791-1832), who wrote extensively on the history of the Caucasus, Eastern Christianity, and medieval Armenian manuscripts, is a reliable and frequently quoted source. My care­ful studies of the two volumes of his Mémoires historiques revealed huge gaps between what the origi­nal said about the Armenian manuscripts and how Armenian authors interpret this today. The heritage of Christian Turks of the Central Caucasus is an exceptionally interesting yet little studied subject.

Lost Pages of the History of the Turkic Christian Clans of the Central Caucasus

Today, European, Russian, to say nothing of Armenian scholars, are using all sorts of tricks to pass over in silence the Turkic roots of many medieval clans and families. This is true of the prince­ly house of Orbeliani-Orbelianovs, the roots of which are commonly traced back to “China, from where they moved to Georgia.” The authors normally forget to say that “China” was Altai, the home­land of the Turks and an area populated by the tribes of Kara-Kitays (Kidan), rulers of the medieval powers in Central Asia.

The history of the Christian Turks (Nestorians, Paulicians, Gregorians, and others), their spiri­tual and historical heritage, and the huge role they played in the history of Eurasia from China to Europe, from India and Iran to Egypt, and from Asia Minor and the Caucasus to Russia remains little studied.

Today, the heritage of the Christian Turks in the Caucasus and Asia Minor has been Armenian­ized for the simple reason that most of the cathedrals and monasteries, along with valuable manu­scripts, holy texts, and monuments, were appropriated by the Armenian Church.

The History of the Princes of Orpélian makes it absolutely clear that the princes and the local people in general long followed Monothelitism rooted in Byzantium. It differed from Roman and Or­thodox Christianity, Gregorian Monophysitism, and other confessions [2]. Himself an active Monothelite, Étienne Orpélian, as the Archbishop of Siounie, strengthened his influence, thus fanning opposition of the Armenian top clergy members who disapproved of Monothelitism. In an effort to overcome their opposition, the Archbishop turned to Argun Khan, a powerful emperor of Mongolia and Persia for a document confirming his status in the Church; the emperor complied [3]. This confrontation is explained by the fact that most of Armenian clergy em­braced the postulates of the Roman Catholic Church, which was at dag­gers drawn with Byzantium, inclined toward Monothelitism [4]. Aggrieved, Étienne Orpélian wrote: “The Fall from grace that hit Armenia limited its contacts with the faith of their fathers” [5]. We know nothing about his life, however we know that “he died in 753 of the Armenian era or 1304 A.D. He was succeeded by his neph­ew Jean, son of Libarid, whom he also raised” [6]Étienne Orpélian wrote about the Ildighizes of Azerbaijan who lived in the “land of fires” (“pays aux flames”) and ruled vast territo­ries in the Caucasus and Asia Minor, including Armenia. He referred, in particular, to the time of atabek of Azerbaijan Schams-eddin Ildighiz [7].

Saint-Martin pointed to an interesting detail—some of the Armenians objected to or even re­jected the works of Étienne Orpélian and other Armenian authors. Their texts, adjusted to Armenian preferences, were published in Madras (India) in 1775 on the initiative of Catholicos of All Armenians Patriarch Simeon in the print shop of a rich merchant, Jacques Shamiryan, who was born in New Julfa not far from Isfahan. Earlier, in 1772, he published a small book by Armenian authors and called on them to join forces to publish a concise history and geography of Armenia. Real scholars preferred to ignore these “works” and never trusted those who had written them: it turned out that many events, facts, and life stories of prominent people were stolen from the history of Georgia and the Tatars (Azeris). In other words, Catholicos Simeon and his sponsor Shamiryan, as well as those who in­vented the history of Armenia and decorated it with bits and pieces of the history of Georgia and the Turks, were nothing but frauds in the eyes of true scholars.

Jean Saint-Martin pointed out that “despite their efforts, this edition is brimming with gaps and errors, which we correct (“cette édition contient un grand nombre de fautes que nous avons corri­gées”) before appraising its value or plausibility… We cannot see the manuscript in order to remove the blemishes (“les taches”) of the Madras edition” [8].The French historian believed that a copy of the History of Orpélian could be found in a library in Germany; at least one of them was found in 1717 in the cell of Jean Acoluthus, a professor from Breslau. He knew a little Armenian, which allowed him to collect several Armenian books, the History of Orpélian among them. “Its parts were later translated into Latin by a certain M.V. de La Croze and published with other bits from the same book related to the Tatars” [9]. In 1810, Excerpta ex libro Stephani, Synenis archiepiscopi, scripto sub finem saculi XIII, cui titules est: Badmuthiun Orbeleanzz, Historia Satraparum Orbelensium, inmajore Armenia, a patchwork of the Latin version was published in St. Petersburg [10]. The first and unique handbook (cahier) contained a certain amount of information related to the Orient, which M. Jules de Klaproth suggested to be published under the title Archiv für asiatische Litteratur, geschich­te und sprachkunde. [11].

This means that in the 1770s, Catholicos Simeon and merchant Shamiryan, when publishing works about Armenia, deliberately left out the chapters on the History of Orpélian translated by de La Croze and Théophile Bayer, which, according to Saint-Martin, “tied the narration together and were therefore of great importance for the publication of the History of Orpélian[12]. In this way, at the turn of the 19th century, the Armenians falsified the history of other nations to knock together “ancient Armenian” historical sources that today Armenian, European, and Russian authors consider authentic, which is highly regrettable.

On the Works of Movses Khorenatsi, “Father of Armenian History”

In his Mémoires historiques et géographiques sur l’Arménie, Jean Saint-Martin paid special attention to the personality and the works ascribed to “father of Armenian history” Movses Khore­natsi (Moyse de Khoren), who lived in the 5th century; Saint-Martin translated them and supplied commentaries. None of the Armenian translators gave a correct rendition, to say the least: they delib­erately mistranslated his works and even their titles; his Patmutyun Hayots (History of the Hayots) was offered to the reader as History of the Armenians. This was done to conceal the true history of the Armenians and their true self-name: indeed, even historians, to say nothing of trusting readers, are aware of how the Armenians differ from the Hayots.

The self-name of the contemporary Armenians is Hayot and their country is Hayastan, which has nothing in common with ancient Armenian culture, history, or geography. This explains why for many years Armenian authors have been skillfully falsifying and appropriating the cultural and his­torical heritage of various ancient (now extinct) peoples completely unrelated to the Hayots who, driven by historical circumstances, moved from the Balkans to Asia Minor and further on to the Caucasus.

The second volume of Mémoires historiques reveals a huge number of distortions, discrepancies, and falsifications in the works ascribed to Movses Khorenatsi. Here I have in mind his geographical composition called Ashkharatsuyts (Աշխարհացույց), literally translated from the Armenian as “Pic­ture of the World.” Its French translation can be found in the second volume of Saint-Martin’s Mé­moires historiques. [13]. In his introductory article (“Mémoire sur l’époque de la composition De la Géographie attribuée à Moyse de Khoren”), Jean Saint-Martin demonstrated that Movses Khorenatsi’s Geography [14] contained a vast body of information, geographical names, and words that could not be known to someone who lived and worked before the 10th century, which means that the book could not have been written in the 5th century.

The above suggests that the book allegedly written by Movses Khorenatsi was a joint product of several generations of Armenian hoaxers [15]; the Mechitarists (the members of an order founded by Abbot Mekhitar of Sebaste in 1701; in 1717 they migrated to Venice and the island of San Lazzaro; at a later date, the order split into two parts, one of them moving to Vienna where it still functions today) made their contribution to the common effort. The order, engaged in publishing, never hesi­tated to distort historical facts to create a history of Armenia out of numerous compilations, falsifica­tions, and quotations from authors of antiquity adjusted to look like old Armenian compositions. They served the Vatican and helped to promote its influence in the Near East. [16]

The Mechitarists retreated under the pressure of Jean Saint-Martin’s revelations. In 1843, they issued another version of Movses Khorenatsi’s Geography free from a larger part of previous falsifi­cations. This book, however, still left much room for doubts about its authenticity: the author, who lived in the 5th century, could not have referred to Cosmas Indicopleustes, who lived in the 6th cen­tury, and could not have mentioned events that took place even later. The arguments supplied by Jean Saint-Martin were accepted (partially) by Armenian researcher Kerope Patkanov in the Introduction to his translation of Ashkharatsuyts. [17] Patkanov agreed with the French scholar on many points; from that time on the works of Movses Khorenatsi were no longer regarded as a serious historical source. To become finally convinced that those who used his name to write Patmutyun Hayots distorted the initial version, it is enough to read the first Russian translation of Movses Khorenatsi’s work by Armenian Archdeacon Iosif Ioannes in 1809. [18]

Here is what Saint-Martin wrote in the second volume of his Mémoires historiques about the personalities and works of Armenian public figures and chroniclers, including Movses Khorenatsi. He insisted, in particular, that after studying Khorenatsi’s work in detail he concluded that it had ap­peared much later than the 5th century [19]. In fact, the French historian ascribed the work to a translator from the Armenian (le translateur Arménien); he doubted that it had been written by Movses Khore­natsi himself because he discovered in his book several chapters borrowed from different ancient books: much was taken from Ptolemy’s Geography [20]. What is more, they were borrowed not from the original, but from other sources that merely referred to them. Jean Saint-Martin presupposed that the work ascribed to Movses Khorenatsi had been written by an Armenian translator born in Gaul, who was a local Frank. “The Armenian translator placed the Franks with the Gaulles. If we presuppose that the translator was Movses Khorenatsi himself we can say that he wrote about Franks as living in Gaulle while the Gaulles had not been powerful enough to be known in Armenia in 460” (“Le traducteur Arménier place les Francs dans les Gaules. En sup­posant que ce traducteur soit Moyse de Khoren, il se pourroit à la rigueur qu’il eût parle des Francs comme habitans de la Gaule, quoiqu’ils n’y fussent pas encore bien puissans en l’an 460; ce qui rend difficile de croire qu’on ait pu les connoître alors en Arménie”). [21]

The French historian pointed out that Movses Khorenatsi, who lived in the 5th century, could have hardly known a lot about Gaul (the old name of western and southern part of Europe) and the Franks who lived there. In the same way, the later translator (or author of Khorenatsi’s work) could have hardly known anything about far-away Armenia (“un pays très-eloigné de la Gaule”). This brought Saint-Martin to the inevitable conclusion that this had been added later to the work ascribed to Movses Khorenatsi—one more confirmation that this book (at least, all of it) is neither authentic, nor ancient. The term “Russians” used in the book stirred up even more doubts about the authorship and authenticity. There were no Russians in the 5th century. And living in the 5th century Movses Khorenatsi could not have known either Franks or Russians. Medieval sources wrote about the Rus. The term “Rus” (but not “Russian”) first appeared in the 10th century in the stories about their attacks on Constantinople, the Black Sea and Caspian coasts, and the Caucasus. For obvious reasons, Movses Khorenatsi could not have written about something that took place five centuries after his death.

The fact that Movses Khorenatsi used fragments from the works of medieval Arab historians who lived some five to seven centuries later is even more baffling. The French author pointed out that Khore­natsi borrowed Arab quotes together with (misspelt) names of rivers and settlements; this means that Khorenatsi knew Turkic toponyms which appeared, according to Saint Martin, many years after his death. “I think,” wrote Saint-Martin, “that this geographic name could have been used by the indigenous population of the south of Russia and could have been borrowed by the Tatars. Nothing suggests, how­ever, that it was not used by the Rus at the time when the Geography, of which I write here, had been already written” (Je crois donc que ce nom peut avoir été autrefois en usage chez les indigènes de la Russie méridionale, qui l’auront peut-être reçu des Tartares. Rien ne s’oppose reaisonnablement à ce qu’il fût en usage chez le Russes au temps où la géographie qui nous occupé a été composée). [22]

Indeed, Movses Khorenatsi called Tauric Chersonese “Khrim” or Crimea (Crimée), a geo­graphic name unknown in the 5th century. “There is no doubt that this name, derived from ancient Cimmeria, was borrowed at a later period.” [23]

The French researcher pointed to another later addition to the work ascribed to Movses Khore­natsi: he wrote about the Christians converted by Rome in Sarmatia (the ancient name of Eastern Europe and the Black Sea coastal area). Jean Saint-Martin pointed out that during Movses Khore­natsi’s lifetime neither Sarmatia nor Taurida (as its part) belonged to the Roman Empire. “This makes their conversion to Christianity doubtful,” wrote the French author, “this could have happened later… The Russians had not converted to Christianity by 986: before that date Taurida was the only Christian region in the north. This means that the book was written in 950” [24]. Even this date cannot be ac­cepted since by the 10th century there was no Gaulle.

Movses Khorenatsi wrote about the peoples of Asian Sarmatia and mentioned Shirvan when writing about those who lived in the Caucasian mountains. Jean Saint-Martin found it strange that when writing about Shirvan, the author, who allegedly lived in the 5th century, supplied information that appeared much later: “The name Shirvan, currently applied to ancient Albania, came into use only at the time of Persian King Khosrau Anushirvan, that is, in the mid-6th century.” Saint-Martin further wrote that “so-called Moyse de Khoren” had lost his bearings in geographical names and used those unknown in the 5th century.

Jean Saint-Martin pointed to one more blunder of the Armenian author: when writing about the locality in Armenia (today not far from Erzincan in Turkey), he had called it Sadakkh (in Armenian territory). In fact, there was no Armenia there in the 5th century, while the locality was called Ardsh­kkh (Artash). According to the History of Daron by Jean, Bishop of Mamigoneans, [25] this place got its name several centuries later. Born in Daron (Taron), Movses Khorenatsi should have had known better what his homeland was called.

When writing about the locality named Arabic Petreya (it called itself Hijjaz: the environs of Mecca, Medina, and other Arabian areas), the Armenian author said that it was the place where the Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) had lived and even cited certain facts. Jean Saint-Martin commented, with good reason, that in the 5th century or even much later, the peoples living nearby (let alone the Christian world) knew nothing about the life and deeds of the Prophet Abraham. This all became known only when the local peoples acquired the Koran in the 7th century. Before that, only the local people knew about the Prophet Abraham living in Mecca and its environs. The Christian world learned about this much later, when the Koran was translated into other languages. This means that those Armenian authors who wrote under the name of Movses Khorenatsi had borrowed facts related to the Prophet Abraham from medieval Muslim authors and ascribed them to Movses Khorenatsi, who lived several centuries before Islam.

The French author detected another absurdity: “When writing about Babylon, so-called Movses Khorenatsi mentioned Basra (a city in Iraq.—R.H.), which could not have appeared before Islam” [26]. This means that Movses Khorenatsi wrote about Basra two hundred years before the city was set up when Islam spread far and wide and the Arabian Caliphate appeared.

“M. de Sainte-Croix (another French author.—R.H.) detected the same fault and pointed out that the fact that Basra was mentioned in this ‘Geography of Armenia’ suggested that it was not written by Movses Khorenatsi. Neither Sainte-Croix, nor any other author pointed out that the same paragraph mentioned another city also founded when the Muslim faith appeared. This was Kufa built after the capture of Madain, the capital of the Persian Empire in 17 AH (A.D. 638)” [27]. This means that Movses Khorenatsi mentioned Basra and Kufa, both founded at the time of the Arabian Caliphate, that is, several centuries after his death.

Irevan and Azerbaijan in the Works of Movses Khorenatsi

Much of what the Armenian geographer wrote in his book did not happen or appear on the map of the world until at least the 10th or 11th centuries, which means that he could not have known about them and, therefore, could not have written the book. In fact, Jean Saint-Martin doubted even this later date because the Geography mentions events and geographical names related to an even later period. For example, Movses Khorenatsi, who lived in the 5th century, described the city of Revan (Rhovan) built by Azeri potentates in the 16th century.

Amazed by this obvious blunder, the French researcher wrote: “I have also noted in Khorenatsi’s Geography that he mentioned Rhovan, one of the regions of Azerbaijan, which was probably Revan. This is the Muslim name of that part of Armenia of which Erivan was the capital and which, at all times, was part of Azerbaijan ruled by Muslims[28]. This means that Jean Saint-Martin and his con­temporaries knew that the fortress-city of Revan (Irevan) had been built by Muslim Turks and that “at all times, it was part of Azerbaijan” (“fit toujours partie de l’Aderbaïdjan”). These authors never mentioned the old Armenian city of Erebuni-Erevan for the simple reason that it belongs to an Arme­nian myth invented in the mid-20th century.

In the Middle Ages, the territory of what is now Armenia was called Chukhursaad, one of the four dominions of the Safavides, an Azeri dynasty. In 1504, Shah Ismail I ordered his military leader Revangulu Khan to build a fortress in this territory. Seven years later, the fortress built on the high rocky bank in the southeast part of the Zanga River (which the Armenians now call Hrazdan) was named Revan in honor of Revangulu Khan; after a while the pronunciation slipped to Irevan (due to the phonetic specifics of the Turkic languages, which often use the vowel “i” before the consonant “r”). In the course of time, the fortress became widely known across the Orient as a city of minarets: there were 8 mosques in the city and 800 houses; its population was exclusively Azeri.

The Erivan fortress was the administrative and political center of the Erivan Khanate and a symbol of its power for 300 years until czarist Russia started moving into the Caucasus; this triggered several bloody wars between the Russian, Ottoman, and Persian empires, each seeking domination in the region. For twenty-three years, Russian troops tried in vain to capture the strategically important Erivan fortress on the border of the Ottoman and Persian empires. In October 1827, it took several bloody battles for a 12-thousand-strong Russian army under General Paskevich to capture the fortress, but they did not destroy it. Even after the khanate was abolished, the fortress remained the heart and main attraction of the Armenian Region and, later, of the Erivan Gubernia, and was partly damaged by the earthquake of 1864.

In the 1920s, the Armenian authorities, resolved to demolish what remained after the earthquake, removed the sardar palace, mosques, bathhouses, and everything that testified to the city’s Muslim past. The walls, which looked very much like the walls of the Baku Fortress, were gradually razed to the ground, the cemeteries disappeared, and the names of the city’s quarters were changed. The Ar­menian Soviet Socialist Republic set up on Azeri lands completed the destruction of the fortress and the monuments of medieval Azeri architecture. In 1936, when the last traces of the city’s Muslim past had been removed, the city acquired its new name, Erevan. This destroyed the memory of those who had built the city and who lived in this jewel of Azeri and Muslim culture. The Armenians did not think twice about removing the unique and amazingly beautiful palace of the Erivan khans (sardars) where, in 1827, the exiled Decembrists first performed Gore ot Uma (Woe from Wit), a play written by Alexander Griboyedov (Russian Ambassador to Persia), before the author. [29]

It was in the 1960s, when the last traces of the Erivan Fortress had finally disappeared, that the Armenians put the myth of Erebuni-Erevan allegedly founded in 782 B.C. into circulation. The idea was born in the 1950s when Soviet archeologists discovered (at a more or less great distance from Erevan) remnants of an Urartu fortress and a clay tablet with a cuneiform inscription deciphered as RBN. Enthusiastic Armenians went even further: RBN was interpreted as Erebuni (Erevan), which invited a lot of criticism from prominent Soviet and foreign historians, including those who had taken part in the diggings. In 1968, the leaders of the Armenian S.S.R., having pushed aside all the objections and the fact that until the early 16th century the Erivan Fortress was not mentioned in historical and archival sources, celebrated the 2750th anniversary of Erevan. [30]

The fortress and the buildings inside it looked very much like Icheri Shekher in Baku, the khan palaces in Sheki and Shusha (now occupied by the Armenians, who have practically destroyed the Shusha palace). These and a multitude of other architectural monuments, including the Erivan Fortress, bear witness to the territorial scope of the Azeri Medieval culture, something which the Armenians can­not accept. This explains why they completely destroyed the historical center of their capital. Today, unlike many other ancient cities that have preserved their architectural heritage and are justly proud of it (Moscow, Tbilisi, and Baku can serve as pertinent examples), Erevan has nothing to show off.

Jean Saint-Martin rightly noted that the world learned about Movses Khorenatsi and his works as late as the 17th century, when bits and pieces of his writings appeared in Armenian in Livre de Géographie et de Fables, ou Livre du Renard published in 1683 in Marseille (France). [31]

This means that the work allegedly written in the 5th century became widely known in the 17th century, a fact that raises doubts about its date and authenticity. It seems that the scholarly commu­nity of Europe did not have much trust in Khorenatsi’s information—otherwise it would not have appeared in the “livre de fables” (collection of myths). It was much later that so-called Armenian scholars distorted and twisted Movses Khorenatsi’s original texts to raise them to the rank of “reliable historical sources” and elevate the author to the rank of “father of Armenian history.”

Jean Saint-Martin had the following to say about the Marseille edition: “The translation was very careless and based on a bad manuscript; it abounds in misspelt geographical names. In 1736, the Whiston brothers reprinted the book in London together with its Latin version to complement the ‘History’ of Movses Khorenatsi. It was abridged and largely followed the Marseille version without corrections (“sans y fair le moindre correction”). It is very hard to understand, especially at the beginning where the Armenian language could not clarify the astronomical and mathematical details: it seems that the Armenian translator himself was very vague about them ... the errors are numerous and gross (nombreuses et grossières) so there is not much sense in trying to correct them… (“que se seroit perdre son temps que de les remarquer”). We know nothing about the manuscript except the fact that it was written by an Armenian” (“Nous n’en connoissons aucun manuscript: seulment, dans le manuscript Arménien”). [32]

From this it follows that the manuscript ascribed to Movses Khorenatsi was not an original. It was either an illiterate fake or a later translation from the Armenian done by who knows who and who knows when. Jean Saint-Martin wrote further: “The Geography ascribed to Movses Khorenatsi pub­lished in Marseille (pp. 61-71) contains information about the routes to Tovin (Dvin.—R.H.)... It seems that the work ascribed to Movses Khorenatsi was compiled in the 9th or 10th century when Tovin was the capital of Armenia. These fragments are even more careless and are brimming with errors.” [33]

Movses Khorenatsi on the Localization of Azerbaijan and “Geographic Armenias”

Movses Khorenatsi outlined the geographical area of Azerbaijan and localized several Armenian provinces, including Greater Armenia. Here is what the author wrote about the geographic location of Armenia. He divided it into several parts: “The third Armenia is found to the east of Cilicia close to the Taurus Mountain; there are three mountains and four rivers there and two passes to Syria.
“The first Armenia is found to the east of the first Cappadocia and next to the third Armenia; it is bound by the Euphrates in the east; Mount Argeus, the River Halys, and several small rivulets are also found here.
“The second Armenia is situated to the east of Cappadocia and stretches to the Euphrates; there are two other rivers and many (more than twenty-two) very high mountains.” [34]

Movses Khorenatsi continued his narration with a description of so-called Greater Armenia, which during its very short life (several decades in the 1st century B.C.) captured bits and pieces of Caucasian territory before being routed by the Roman Empire. It continued as a vassal of its own neighbors and disappeared from the stage. In this context the author mentioned Azerbaijan: “Greater Armenia is found to the east of Cap­padocia and Lesser Armenia on the banks of the Euphrates, next to the Taurus Mountain, which di­vides Mesopotamia. It borders on Assyria in the south and stretches from Aderbadagan toward Media, reaching the place where the Arax flows into the Caspian. In the north it is bound by Albania, Iberian, and Colchis, or Eger, up to the place where the Euphrates turns to the south.” [35]. When writing about the lands captured by Greater Armenia, Khorenatsi mentioned Azerbaijan situated to the north of Media, that is, in the CAUCASUS, which means that the “father of Armenian history” (who lived in the 5th century), or an unknown author registered that Azerbaijan was situated in the Caucasus in the Early Middle Ages or even later.

He further confirmed this date by placing Vasbouragan “to the east of Persian Armenia and close to Gordjaikh in Georgia” and mentioned Aderbadouni (Azerbaijan) as situated in the Caucasus [36]. The name Aderbadagan reappears in the story about ancient Paytakaran (Beylagan) in the Azerbaijan Republic: “Paidagaran to the east of Oudia near the Arax: it consists of twelve provinces which belong to contemporary Aderbadagan.” When writing about the lands of Budins, the author localized them as follows: “Oudia close to the Arax, between Artsakh and the Kura River, consists of seven prov­inces ruled by the Albanians.”

When writing about Artsakh, Movses Khorenatsi pointed out that these lands were populated by the Caucasian Albanis and that the Kara-Koyunlu also lived there: “Artsakh, which borders on Siounie, consists of twelve provinces ruled by Albanians and others—Khapant, Vaguni, Pertadzor, greater Iran, greater Govan, Hardjlan, Mukan (Mugan), Bian, Baydzgan, Sisagan, Kerdag, Kasdim, Farnes, and Gokt populated by kara-koyuns[37]. The “father of Armenian history” who, according to Armenian academics lived in the 5th century, wrote about the Azeri tribe of Kara-Koyunlu, which became known in the 13th-14th centuries.

When Movses Khorenatsi mentioned Azerbaijan as one of the Median provinces, he also wrote about Rovan-Irevan: “Media, also known as Kusdi Kabgokh, neighbors on Armenia and the Caspian. It includes the provinces of Aderbadagan, Rey, Kilan, Mugan, Tilum, Ahmadan, Tampvar, Sbarasdan, Aml, Kshosh, and Rovan (Irevan.—R.H.)” [38]. In his Geography, the same author wrote about the Turks who lived in a huge territory stretching from the European part of Russia to China: “Scythia is popu­lated by Abakdars (Bactrians.—R.H.), who call themselves Turks. Their country stretches from the River Itil (Volga) to Mount Imaus (in Altai.—R.H.) and Djenasdan (China.—R.H.).” [39]

This means that Movses Khorenatsi, who allegedly lived in the 5th century, knew about Azer­baijan in the Caucasus, about the Turks, their territories, and their occupations. This undermines the position of the present ideologists of Armenian nationalism who insist that “all Turks are nomads” and Azerbaijan has nothing to do with ancient history and the Caucasus.


The above allows us to conclude that, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Armenians acquired the habit of falsifying and appropriating historical facts and even whole periods in the histories of other peoples. This was when the European powers and the Roman Catholic Church became resolved to conquer Asia Minor and the Caucasus. Later, the flow of lies took on mass proportions: in the 19th and 20th centuries, Armenian historical works inundated the world. By that time, Armenian authors had learned to refer to “ancient primary sources” similar to the works written by the “father of Arme­nian history” that had suddenly resurfaced in Europe some 100-150 years earlier. Prominent and re­spected scholars reminded the world that the Armenian sources could not be trusted.

The works of Movses Khorenatsi, the “father of Armenian history,” used by Armenian and partly world historical science as one of the main historical sources, are nothing more than a patchwork of borrowed facts or fake information. It should be said in all justice, however, that many of the bor­rowed facts are genuine; they found their way into his works from ancient sources and supply detailed information about the geographic location and geographic names of places in medieval Azerbaijan, as well as about the local peoples.


1 See: J. Saint-Martin, Mémoires historiques et géographiques sur l’Arménie, suivis du texte Arménien de l’histoire des princes Orpélians, Vol. 2, Imprimerie Royale, Paris, 1819.
2 Monothelitism (from Greek μόνος—the only one and θέλημα, meaning will) is a Christological doctrine which for­mulated in the 7th century in Byzantium to unite, on a common faith, the parties of Miaphysites (anti-Chalcedonites) and Dyothelites (Chalcedonites) which opposed each other in the Universal Church. Monothelitism professed one will and two natures in the person of Jesus. Emperor of Byzantium Heraclius invited the Armenian Apostolic Church to embrace Monothe­litism which it did in 633.
3 See: J. Saint-Martin, op. cit., p. 5.
4 See:Ibidem.
5 Ibid., p. 6.
6 Ibid., p. 8.
7 See:Ibid., p. 10.
8 Ibid., p. 12.
9 “Thesaurus epistolicus Lacrozianus,” Vol. III, pp. 5, 6 and 11-14,” in: J. Saint-Martin, op. cit., p. 13.
10 See: Excerpta ex libro Stephani, Synenis archiepiscopi, scripto sub finem saculi XIII, cui titules est: Badmuthiun Orbeleanzz, Historia Satraparum Orbelensium, in majore Armenia; a M.V. LACROZIO, BAERO Transmissa, Archiv für asi­atische Litteratur, geschichte und sprachkunde, erster band, in-4°, 1810, pp. 114-119 (Bavarian State Library).
11 See: Ibid., pp. 114-118.
12 J. Saint-Martin, op. cit., p. 13.
13 See: Ibid., pp. 301-394.
14 See: Ibidem.
15 See: “Supplement to the Home Setting of A. Arzumanian on the history of Erevan, Armenia, and Christianity in the Southern Caucasus,” Regnum.ru, 31 December, 2011, available in Russian at [www.regnum.ru/news/fd-abroad/azeri/analit­ics/1485569.html].
16 See: Sovetskaia istoricheskaia entsiklopedia, ed. by E.M. Zhukov, Sovetskaia entsiklopedia, Moscow, 1973-1982.
17 See: Armianskaia geografia VII veka po R.Ch. (Pripisyvavshayasia Moiseiu Khorenskomu), Transl. by K.P. Patkanov, Print shop of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, V.O., St. Petersburg, 9 sheets, No. 12, 1877.
18 See: Armenskaia istoria, sochinennaia Moiseem Khorenskim s kratkim geograficheskim opisaniem drevney Armenii, perevedennaia na russkiy iazyk arkhidiakonom Iosifom Ioannesom, St. Petersburg, 1809.
19 See: J. Saint-Martin, op. cit., p. 302.
20 See: Ibid., pp. 304-305.
21 Ibid., p. 305.
22 Ibid., p. 308.
23 Ibid., p. 309.
24 Ibid., p. 310 (here and hereafter italics in the quotations are mine.—R.H.).
25 Jean, évêque des Mamigonéans, Historie de Daron, Ch. VII, pag. 10, suppl. édition de Constantinopole, 1719 (see: J. Saint-Martin, op. cit., p. 311, footnote).
26 J. Saint-Martin, op. cit., p. 312.
27 Journal des Savans, 1789, Avril, pag. 217 eisuiv (see: J. Saint-Martin, op. cit., p. 313).
28 J. Saint-Martin, op. cit., pp. 314-315 (footnote).
29 See: “Rizvan Huseynov: V pomoshch stroiteliam Erevana,” IA Regnum, 20 February, 2012.
30 See: “V Azerbaidzhane ubezhdeny, chto Erevan osnovan azerbaidzhanskimi khanami—FOTO,” Regnum.ru, 24 De­cember, 2011.
31 See: Livre de Géographie et de Fables, ou Livre du Renard (see: J. Saint-Martin, op. cit., pp. 315-316).
32 J. Saint-Martin, op. cit., p. 316.
33 Ibid., p. 317.
34 Ibid., p. 355.
35 Ibid., pp. 359-361.
36 Ibid., pp. 363-364.
37 Ibid., p. 365.
38 Ibid., p. 371.

39 Ibid., p. 373.