THE STRUGGLE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
THE FAMOUS ENGRAVING OF ST. VARDAN MAMIKONEAN WEARING
THE RAM-HEADED HELMET AND THE RED CAPE -- BOTH SYMBOLS
OF ARMENIAN WARRIOR ARISTOCRACY OF THE MITHRAIC ERA
Written by Gevork Nazaryan
The Persians were also dissatisfied with the conversion of the Arsacids and the Kingdom's populace to Christianity. The rift, between the two states was widened and laid the groundwork for the coming epic Battle of Avarayr in 451. The Armenian army was led by Vardan Mamikonian -- known as Red Vardan by his soldiers, because of the distinguishable long red cape that he wore while leading the charge of the cavalry in the battlefield -- from the House of Mamikon, famed for their warrior princes. The Armenian warriors [numbering around 66,000 - mostly enlisted footmen with the main hardcore made up of the distinguished Armenian cavaliers of the naxarar regiments] fought heroically against the overwhelming odds of a nearly 300,000 strong Persian army, that included dozens of war elephants, as well as contingents of the client tribes. In a day long bloody battle Vardan Mamikonian and a great number of Armenian nobles and soldiers were martyred, the Persian side sustained a great number of casualties as well. Ełishē, the eyewitness historian of the battle wrote that the two great armies fought heroically and both sides did not want to give in and retreat so they fought on until there was virtually all of the field of Avarayr was mounted by heaps of dead corpses, horses and elephants.
The Armenians were completely encircled and Vardan Mamikonian fell surrounded by overwhelming number of Persian spears [this scene is immortalized by Grigor Xanjian's renowned painting 'Vardanank,'' later the painting was transformed into an enlarged mural [[forming the second installment of master's triptych -- The Alphabet -- Vardanank' -- Armenia Reborn]] gracing one of the halls of the Cascade in Yerevan].
'...DEATH WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE IS A DEATH,
BUT TO DIE KNOWINGLY IS TO LIVE...'
BUT A SMALL SECTION OF THE HUGE MAGNUM OPUS OF THE MASTER...EXQUISITE,
DETAILED CRAFT IN THE SCHOOL OF THE RENAISSANCE MASTERS...IN FACT
G. KHANJIAN WOULD DEVOTE A NUMBER OF HIS PAINTINGS SPECIFICALLY TO THE
THEME AND TO THE ARTISTS OF THE RENAISSANCE.. ALL OF KHANJIAN'S WORKS
HAVE A MULTILAYERED DIMENSION...ALWAYS CONTAINING DISCERNABLE
[PHYSICAL EYES] AND TRANSCENDENTAL [SPIRITUAL EYE] SYMBOLISM
THROUGHOUT HIS GREAT WORKS.
MOWSES OF XORĒN. THE FIFTH CENTURY FATHER OF
ARMENIAN HISTORY. PUPIL OF NO OTHER THAN SS.
MESROP MASHTOTS AND SAHAK PART‛EV. WROTE
HIS MAGNUM OPUS HISTORY OF ARMENIA UNDER
THE REQUEST AND PATRONAGE OF PRINCE
VTH CENTURY ERERUYK‛ BASILICA BASED ON MITHRĆVM.
Armenians retreated in an organized fashion and continued the resistance by means of guerilla warfare and that prevented the Persian advance deeper into Greater Armenia. The Sassanians, soon after were forced to abandon their plan to dethrone the Arsacids and turn Armenians back to the ancestral fire-sun worship. From the Vth century to the XVth century, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church unsuccessfully tried to convert and breach the schism with the Armenian Apostolic Church that remained true to Monophysitism [teaching that there were not two natures [divine and human] to Christ but one -- divine -- rejected by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the same year of the epic Battle of Avarayr].
BY FAR THE MOST PROMINENT FIFTH CENTURY FIGURE ALONG WITH
HUGE FIGURES LIKE GENERAL VARDAN MAMIKONEAN AND THE CATHOLICOS
SAHAK PART‛EV IS THAT OF M E S R O P M A Š T O C‛.
LIKE THE GREAT GENERAL WHO GAVE HIS LIFE FOR THE LIBERTY OF HIS PEOPLE,
MAŠTOC‛ WAS ALSO CANONIZED BY THE CHURCH FOR HIS TIRELESS
EFFORTS IN PRESERVING THE NATIONAL IDENTITY OF HIS PEOPLE IN THE FACE OF
LOOMING THREAT OF ASSIMILATION INTO BYZANTINE OR IRANIAN
"MAINSTREAM." THE TRIUMPHANT ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE HERCULEAN
TASK THAT THE GREAT TEACHER SET FORTH IN REVIVING THE USE OF THE
ARMENIAN ALPHABET WAS AN OVERWHELMING SUCCESS. THUS EARNING HIM
THE I M M O R T A L M E M O R Y OF A GRATEFUL PEOPLE FOR MILLENNIA TO COME.
C A T H O L I C O S S A H A K P A R T‛ E V WAS THE DRIVING FORCE IN THE
REVIVAL OF THE ARMENIAN ALPHABET. HE PERSONALLY COMMISSIONED
MAŠTOC‛ TO VENTURE INTO REMOTE AREAS OF THE LAND IN ORDER
TO OBTAIN ANY AND ALL ANCIENT TEXTS FOR THE R E N E W A L.
ANCIENT ENGRAVING OF THE BRILLIANT TENTH CENTURY VISIONARY
ST. GREGORY OF NAREK DURING MEDITATION -- RECEIVING THE
HEAVENLY RAY OF LIGHT AND INSPIRATION FROM ABOVE.
NAREKATSI WROTE SOME OF THE MOST SUBLIME AND MOVING
COSMIC HYMNS DEDICATED TO THE TRANSCENDENCE OF THE
HUMAN BEING FROM THE EVERYDAY MUNDANE
'POKR KENTSAGH' AND MAN'S COMMUNION WITH THE DIVINE
ĒUTIWN [ESSENCE] OF ALL THAT IS SYMBOLIZED BY THE
SEVENTH SACRED LETTER OF ALPHABET.
THE COSMIC HYMNS OF NAREKATSI OFTEN BEGINNING WITH
I KHOROTS SRTI -- OR -- FROM THE BOTTOM OF
MY HEART -- ARE SOME OF THE MOST MOVING
AND INSPIRING WORDS EVER WRITTEN.
THE GLORIFICATION OF THE ETERNAL FEMALE PRINCIPLE AND WISDOM OF A Y A
OR PISTIS SOPHIA IS A QUINTESSENTIAL UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE
IN THE SACRED HYMNS OF THE CLAIRVOYANT VISIONARY.
THE CLASSIC FRENCH EDITION ON THE LIFE AND WORK OF NAREKATSI WITH
THE SYMBOL OF DIVINE HARMONY AND WHOLENESS. IT WAS SAID DURING
HIS LIFETIME THAT G.N.'s INSPIRATION WAS DERIVED FROM THE SACRED TEACHINGS
LEGENDARY ARMENIAN T‛ONDRAKETSI KATAREALS OR KATARS/CATHARS
[PERFECTED SPIRITS ALSO KNOWN AS GOOD OR PURE MEN] WHO ALONG
WITH AR-MAN -- AREVORDIS [CHILDREN OF THE SUN] HAD PRESERVED
THE ANCIENT HERMETIC-MITHRAIC DOCTRINES OF THEIR
FOREFATHERS [G.NAREKATSI WAS THOUGHT TO HAD LIVED MANY YEARS IN
THE TONDRAKETSI COMMUNES OF FREE MEN]
AND WOULD LATER REINTRODUCE THEM [AS DID
THE ARMENIAN ARISTOCRATS IN THE ROMAN AND LATER BYZANTINE EMPIRES]
ALL OVER EUROPE...TO THE BALKANS, ITALY, SOUTHERN FRANCE,
GERMANY, ENGLAND AND BEYOND.
THE HERMIT [HERMES] BY ALBRECHT DÜRER. NÜRNBERG, 1519. NOTE THE
MONASTIC ROBE INCLUDING THE ARMENIAN PRIESTLY CONICAL/PYRAMIDAL
HEADDRESS [SPHERE + TRIANGLE] SYMBOL OF THE COSMIC HIERARCHY. THE SHAPE
OF THE HEADDRESS HARNESSED THE COSMIC ENERGY IN THE HEAD/CORONA
SEAT OF SACRED SPIRITUAL PSYCHE/ELECTRICAL FORCE.
NOTE THE PATRIARCHAL CROSS AND THE BELL CAPPING THE STAFF.
THE CHURCH FATHERS ESTABLISHED COUNTLESS NEW SCHOOLS THAT
SERVED AN ALL-IMPORTANT ROLE IN PROMOTING EDUCATION
THROUGHOUT THE NATION. OLD ENGRAVING FROM THE
ARMENIAN NATIONAL ACADEMY OF THE ESTEEMED MEKHITARIST FATHERS.
PORTION OF THE BEAUTIFUL VITH CENTURY ARMENIAN MOSAIC IN THE FUNERARY
CHAPEL OF ST. POLYEUCTOS, MUSARA QUARTER, DAMASCUS GATE, JERUSALEM.
BIRDS WITHIN WINE SCROLL ALONG WITH ARMENIAN INSCRIPTIONS.
THE ARMENIAN QUARTER OF JERUSALEM IS THE OLDEST CONTINUOUSLY
INHABITED QUARTER OF THE OLD CITY GOING BACK TO ANTIQUITY.
ARMENISCH ALPHABET. ENGRAVING OF THE ARMENIAN ALPHABET BY
ANONYMOUS XVIITH CENTURY ENGRAVER ALSO DEPICTING MOUNT
ARARAT [IN THE BACKGROUND] THE MITHRAIC BULL AND MOTHER
ARMENIA SEATED [WEARING MITHRAIC CAP] WITH BOW AND ARROW
[COPIED FROM ANTIQUE ROMAN COINS AS DEPICTION OF ARMENIA].
KING TIRIDATES I [RIGHT] IS A REPRODUCTION OF THE [STILL PRESERVED]
ROMAN STATUE OF THE ARMENIAN MITHRAIC KING. MITHRAIC [MEHIAN]
SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC [THAT LIKE THE TAROT ORIGINATED IN ARMENIA]
ABOVE. AMSTERDAM, 1690.
SAINT MESROP MASHTOTS AND THE ARMENIAN ALPHABET. FROM A 1783
TIEPOLO FRESCO ENTITLED WORLD'S FOUR CARDINAL POINTS IN
THE DIOCESES OF WÜRZBERG, GERMANY.
Many tribes such as Huns of Caucasus, who helped the Armenians in their fight against the Persians, as well as the Caucasian Albanians and Iberians (Georgian tribes) and peoples where converted to Christianity by the Armenian missionaries. These zealot missionaries were impassioned by the faith and evidence of the Armenian monk colonies have been popping up all over Asia, Africa and Europe - from Ethiopia to Scandinavia. For example most scholars agree that Iceland was converted to Christianity by the Armenian missionaries who became the first bishops of that country.
THE ZVARTNOTS CATHEDRAL ACCORDING TO ARCHITECT
STEPAN MNATSAKANIAN'S RECONSTRUCTION