Book 2

Moses of Khoren’s History of the Armenians #

Translated from the Armenian by Robert Bedrosian


Book 2 #

Chapter 1 #

As a second book, I shall now describe for you the different events in our own land, beginning with the kingship of Alexander and continuing to the kingship of that blessed and brave man, Trdat the Great. [I shall describe] in order whatever deeds of valor, bravery, and wisdom were performed here, and also the arrangements of each one of those who descended from Arshak, king of Persia, and his brother Valarshak, whom he made king of our nation. The kings of our land who came after him were from his seed, the son receiving the lordship from his father, and they were called Arshakunik’ [Arsacids] from Arshak. The others [of the Arsacids] grew into a large clan and multiplied, with one of them in turn following [his] predecessor onto the throne. I shall write very briefly about what concerns us and omit the rest; for what has been said about other nations by many writers is sufficient.
Alexander of Macedon died after conquering the entire world. He was the son of Philip and Olympias, and the 24th from Achilles. [Before his death, Alexander] gave his empire to many [successors] by a will, with the condition that the empire of them all would be called that of the Macedonians. After him Seleucus ruled as king in Babylon, having seized the principalities of many others. Then [Seleuceus] subjected the Parthians with great warfare, and for this reason was called Nicanor [“Conqueror”]. He ruled for thirty-one years and left the kingdom to his son Antiochus, called Soter, [who reigned] for nineteen years. He was succeeded by Antiochus, called Theos, [who reigned] for ten years. In the eleventh [year] the Parthians rebelled from service to the Macedonians. It was then that Arshak the Brave ruled, who was of the descendants of Abraham [born] from K’etura. This was in fulfillment of what the Lord had said to Abraham: “Kings of nations will arise from you.”

Chapter 2 #

The reign of Arshak and his sons, war with the Macedonians, and friendship with the Romans.
As we said, it was sixty years after the death of Alexander that Arshak the Brave ruled as king over the Parthians, in the city called Bahgh Ar’awo’tin, in the country of the Kushans. Through waging extremely fierce warfare, he acquired for himself the entire East. Macedonian suzerainty over Babylon also was ended. [Arshak] heard that the Romans had grown mighty in all the West and on the sea, that they had confiscated from the Spaniards the mines from which gold and silver are extracted, and that they had placed the Galatians under taxation as well as the kingdom of Asia. Sending emissaries [Arshak] requested an alliance, so that [the Romans] would not give assistance to the Macedonians. He would not pay taxes but merely send yearly gifts of one hundred talents.
Այսպէս տիրեալ ամս երեսուն եւ մի, եւ յետ նորա Արտաշէս որդի նորա ամս քսան եւ վեց: Զսա պայազատէ նորին որդի Արշակ, որ կոչեցաւ Մեծ. պատերազմի ընդ Դեմետրեայ եւ որդւոյն Դեմետրեայ Անտիգոնեայ. քանզի ի վերայ նորա եկն ի Բաբելովն մոկեդոնական զաւրու, եւ պատերազմեալ՝ ի գերութիւն ըմբռնեցաւ. զոր կալեալ Արշակայ՝ տարաւ ի Պարթեւս հանդերձ երկաթեղէն կապանաւք, ուստի եւ Սիրիպինդէսն կոչեցաւ: Այլ իմացեալ եղբաւր նորին Սիդիացւոյ Անտիոքայ զգնալն Արշակայ՝ գայ ունի զԱսորիս: Իսկ Արշակայ երկոտասան բիւրու անդրէն դարձեալ, եւ Անտիոքոս ի սաստիկ ձմերայնւոյն հերքեալ՝ պատահի նմա պատերազմաւ յանձուկ տեղիս, եւ կորնչի հանդերձ զաւրաւքն. եւ Արշակ տիրէ երրորդ մասին աշխարհիս, որպէս յիրականացն պատմութեանց Հերոդոտեայ է ուսանել ի չորրորդէն, որ յաղագս բաժանելոյ զբոլոր երկիրս յերիս մասունս, եւ կոչել զոմն Եւրոպէ, եւ զոմն Լիբիէ, եւ զոմն Ասիայ, որում եւ տիրեաց Արշակ:
Thus did [Arshak] rule for 31 years, and after him, his son Artashe’s ruled for 26 years. [Artash’es] was succeeded by his own son Arshak, called “the Great.” He warred against Demetrius and Demetrius’ son, Antigones, because [Antigones] had attacked him in Babylon with a Macedonian army. However, in this battle he was seized and taken captive by Arshak, who bound him and led him to Parthia in iron fetters, on account of which he was called Siripindes. When [Antigones’] brother, Antiochus Sidetes, learned about Arshak’s departure, he came and occupied Assyria. Then Arshak returned with 120,000 men. Antiochus, bothered by the severe winter season, encountered him in a narrow spot and died along with his army. Arshak ruled over a third of this world, which we learn from the fourth book of Herodotus’ Histories of events, which deals with the division of the entire world into three parts, calling one Europe, another Libya, and another Asia—over which Arshak ruled.

Chapter 3 #

The enthronement of Vagharshak over the land of the Armenians.
In that period, [King Arshak of Parthia] enthroned his brother Vagharshak over the land of the Armenians. He gave him the northern and western areas for borders. [Vagharshak], as we wrote in our first book, was a valiant and prudent man. He extended his authority over his territories; and as far as he was able, established order in the way of life of the country. [He instituted] the lordships and their patriarchs, designating [for them] competent men from among the descendants of our ancestor Hayk and others.
[Vagharshak], the valiant Parthian, set about doing benevolent deeds after he had restrained the Macedonians and put an end to the wars. First and foremost, he rewarded for his good deeds Shambat Bagratuni, a powerful and wise man, who was Jewish. [Vagharshak] granted him the familial hereditary right to place the crown on [the heads of the] the Arsacids, and [also made it so that] the family that would arise from him would be called Bagratuni after his name. This [clan/family] is now a great lordship in our land. For this Bagarat had voluntarily offered his services to Vagharshak when he was at the royal court, before Arshak’s wars against the Macedonians. Then he was made lieutenant over the limits of the areas where Armenian is spoken in the west, and price of eleven thousand men. But let us turn back and tell about the war of Vagharshak with Pontus and with Phrygia, and about his victory.

Chapter 4 #

How Vagharshak united the Armenian braves into an organized military and advanced against the allies of the Macedonians.
After [Persian king] Arshak’s war with the Macedonians and his taking of Babylon and eastern and western Assyria, Vagharshak gathered together a great army from Atrpatakan and Armenia, from the middle [parts] of the land, men renowned and brave, including the aforementioned Bagarat, and the braves under him, the young men of the lake shore who descended from Gegham and the Canaanites, the offspring of Sharay and Gushar, and the neighboring [descendants] of Sisak and Cadmos and their relations—almost half of our land. He advanced to the center of the land, above the sources of Metsamo’r on the bank of the Araxes near the hill called Armawir. There he stayed many days, it must be admitted, for they did not know any kind of [military] order.
From there, having united [the troops] from all parts of the land, he advanced to the borders of Xaghtik’. This was because [some areas, such as] Lazica, Pontus, Phrygia, Mazhak’ [Caesarea], and others—not having heard the news about Arshak’s war—stubbornly held to the treaties they had with the government of the Macedonians. For this [resistance], a certain Morp’iwghik united these aforementioned areas and incited warfare against Vagharshak. They encountered one another near a high hill with a rocky summit, which is today called Coloneia. Approaching to within a few stadia of each other, both sides fortified their positions for many days.

Chapter 5 #

The battle of Morp’iwghik and his death from the blow of a spear.
Զկնի անցանելոյ բազում աւուրց ամրանալոյ կողմանցն երկոցունց, գրգռի պատերազմն, ի մերմէ կողմանէս դիմեալ. վասն որոյ յարդարէ կամաւ կամ ակամայ Մորփիւղիկեան զիւրոյ կողման ճակատն, հասանէ յանդուգն յարձակմամբ: Քանզի այր սրտեայ էր եւ անդամովք երկար եւ ընդ իրեարս պատշաճ, զոյգ մարմնոյն եւ ոյժ սաստիկ ունելով, ամրացեալ պղնձով եւ երկաթով, եւ այլովք ընտիր վառելովք, ոչ սաստիկ ինչ թուով՝ տապաստ յերկիր արկանէր արս ընտիրս եւ քաջս ի մանկանցն Վաղարշակայ. եւ ջանայր անցանել հասանել յարքայն Հայոց ի մէջ խմբի մեծի եւ զինու ամրացելոյ: Եւ մաւտ անցեալ՝ աջողեցաւ ձգել զսուինն. քանզի էր կորովի եւ երկայնաձիգ, հեռի զաշտէսն արձակեալ, որպէս ի թռիչս սրաթեւ հաւուց: Այլ ոչ ինչ կարի յամեցին ընդ մէջ անցանել արք քաջք եւ անուանիք ի զարմիցն Հայկայ եւ ասորեստանւոյն Սենեքերիմայ. եւ հարեալ աշտէիւք զքաջն՝ սատակէին եւ զզաւրսն առաջի արկեալ` ի փախուստ դարձուցանէին. բազում վտակս արեան հեղեալ զերկիրն ոռոգանէին իբրեւ հեղեղաւք անձրեւաց: Եւ յայնմ հետէ դադարեալ խաղաղէր երկիրն, նուաճեալ ընդ ձեռամբ Վաղարշակայ, եւ Մակեդոնացւոցն դադարէր գոռն:
After many days had passed, with both sides fortifying [their positions], the battle started, initiated by our side. As a result, willingly or unwillingly, Morp’iwghik put his own side’s battle line in order and made a fierce attack. For he was a fearless man, with large and proportionate limbs, and having incredible physical strength. Protected by bronze and iron [armor] and surrounded by a small but select detachment of warriors, [Morp’iwghik] threw to the ground the select and valiant of Vagharshak’s young men. He attempted to cut through to the king of the Armenians, there in the midst of his large and strongly armed host. He came close and succeeded in hurling his javelin; for he was powerful and a long thrower, and he cast his javelins a great distance like swift-winged birds. But the brave and renowned [combatants] from the line of Hayk and Senek’erim the Assyrian did not long delay to block his way. Striking him with their spears they slew the brave man and, attacking his army, they put them to flight. Streams of blood flowed, irrigating the ground like floods of rain. Thereafter the country was at peace, under the control of Vagharshak, and the Macedonians’ provocations ended.

Chapter 6 #

Having so acted, [Vagharshak] now put in order the areas of Mazhak’, Pontus, and Egeria. He turned northward to the foot of the Parkhar [Mountains] in Tayk’ to the wet and foggy regions of forests and moss, making [the area] more attractive. He leveled mountains and [emended] the hot climate, turning [the area] into the charming and also suitable delight of his kingdom. Here he created a cool abode for the summer, [for] when he would go north. He designated two flat and densely forested areas with their mountains as hunting areas. The Kogh area, with its warm [climate] he transformed into parks with vineyards and gardens. Here I have refrained from describing this beloved man in all the details and completeness [of the stories], limiting myself only to the precise indications of places, and omitting rhetorical embellishments to preserve the bonds of my admiration for this wonderful man.
Here [Vagharshak] summoned the savage foreign people which [was dwelling] in the northern plain by the foot of the great Caucasus Mountain as well as in the valleys or long deep gorges stretching from the mountain on the south to the vast mouth of the plain. He ordered them to stand clear of robbery and assassinations and to become subject to royal commands and taxes, so that when he saw them next time he might appoint leaders and princes with proper order. Then he dismissed them, [providing them] with wisemen and overseers of his own. After that, [Vagharshak] dismissed the Western host [of his army] and descended to the grassy places near the border of Sharay—an area which the ancients called “Wood-less” and Upper Basean, but which subsequently was called Vanand because of the colony of the Bulgar Vghe"ndur Vund, which dwelled in the area. And the names of the villages are called after his brothers and descendants to the present.
When it grew colder in the north and bitter winds blew, [Vagharshak] descended to a large plain and there set up camp on the banks of the Metsamo’r [Great Swamp], in the place where a large river [the Araxes], originating in the northern lake, merges with Metsamo’r. And having arranged the army of the land there and leaving his own overseers there, he himself, accompanied by all the chiefs, went to Nisibis.

Chapter 7 #

About the kingdom he created, how he arranged the lordships, and how and in what manner he ordered the way of life.
This is an important chapter, full of reliable history. It deserves a polished and detailed presentation. There is much said here about the ordering and organization of the Houses, clans, cities, villages, estates and, in general, the entire regulation of the kingdom and what relates to the kingdom—the army, military chiefs, lieutenants of the different areas, and similar matters.
First and foremost, the king put in order his own person and his House, beginning with himself and the crown. He rewarded the aforementioned Bagarat, who was of the Jews, for his previously rendered services to the king and his loyalty and bravery by granting to his clan the aforementioned rank of prince. [Vagharshak] also gave him the authority to place the crown on the king’s head, to be called coronant and also aspet, and to wear a hair ornament having three rows of pearls without gold or precious stones when he was in attendance at court and in the king’s house.
As his dresser, [Vagharshak] appointed Dzer’e’s, from the descendants of the Canaanites and called their clan Gnt’uni, though I do not know the reason. His armed body-guard [he appointed] from the descendants of Xor’ Haykazn, [choosing] select and valiant men, lancers and swordsmen. As head of their clan [(the Xor’xor’uni), he designated] a certain Maghxaz, a good and courageous man, though he kept the original name of the family. [Vagharshak placed] Dat, from the line of Gar’nik, descendant of Gegham, over the royal hunt. His son was Varzh, from whom the family received its name—but this was later, in the time of Artashes. Over the granaries [he appointed] a certain Gabagh, and [appointed] Abe’l as steward and arranger of seating. And as gifts, he gave them [some] localities which are called after their names. Similarly, these lordships are called Abegheank’ and Gabegheank'.
Furthermore, I consider the [derivation of the clan name] Artsruni not as [from] Artsruni but from “having an eagle”, since they carried the eagle [as a standard] before themselves. I will pass over the foolish fables which are told in Hadamakert about how the rain and sun were bothering a sleeping boy, and how the shadow of a bird [protected] the sleepy youth. I know that the Gnuni [name means] “having wine”—they prepared drink worthy of the king. There is a wonderful [fortuitous association] between their role and their name, since he who prepared the royal drink from select and delicious wines was [also] named Gin, and they say that Vagharshak was delighted by this and set him among the number of the lordly clans. And these two houses, the Artsrunik’ and the Gnunik’, are descended from Senek’erim [king of Assyria].
I will also state that the [clan of the] Spandunik’ [were appointed over] animals for sacrifice; the Hawunik’ were [set as] falconers and keepers of falcons because they lived in the forest. And if you will not regard me as a chatterbox, the Dziwnakan [clan became] guardians of the summer residences and suppliers of snow and by advancement as royal servants, they were transferred to the gentry estate.
[Vagharshak] established four brigades and guards for the royal court, each with 10,000 armed men from the same ancient line of kings which descended from our ancestor Hayk. [These are the folk] known as the genuine ostan, who from time to time received villages and estates as inheritance from their fathers.
I have heard that subsequently, under the Persian monarchy, other brigades were drawn up and called ostan. I do not know if this was because the former clan had died out or, because of some dispute, they were expelled and other brigades were appointed in their place with the royal name. But the first [group called ostan] surely descended from the first kings, just as now in Iberia those called se’p’e’tsul do. [Vagharshak] ordered that eunuchs should be taken from the same clan and he [designated] as the head of the clan Hayr, prince of the area from Atrpatakan as far as Chuash and Naxchawan. He enhanced the headship of his clan. However, how and where his deeds [took place], which have not been remembered, I do not know.

Chapter 8 #

The second in the kingdom was descended from the line of Azhdahak, king of the Medes.
After the king’s House had been set in order, the second [rank] of the kingdom was given to a descendant of Azhdahak [also] being the king of the Medes—now called Muratsean. The patriarchs of this clan are not called Lord of the Muratsean but Lord of the Marats’ik’ [Medes]. And he left him [control] over all the localities inhabited by the captives from Media. In the eastern areas, on the border of the [regions where] Armenian is spoken, he established as lieutenants of 10,000 [men apiece], two [princes] from the Houses of patriarchal clans: [descendants] of Sisakan, and [descendants] of Cadmus, whose names we set out in one of the previous chapters.
After this he established in the governorship of the great, renowned, and fertile northeastern area Ar’an, a man renowned and outstanding in every deed of wisdom and cleaverness. [This area, Aghuania] is near the great river called Kur, which cuts through the extensive plain. But know that in the first book we forgot to mention this great and renowned clan, the brigade which descended from Sisak, who inherited the plain of Aghuania and the mountainous region of the same plain from the Araxes River as far as the fortress called Hnarakert. And that country was called Aluank’ after the mildness of its nature; for they called it aghu [“sweet”]. Among his descendants was the renowned and valiant Ar’an whom the Parthian Vagharshak made lieutenant commanding 10,000 troops. From his offspring, they say, descend the families of the Ute’ats’ik’, Gardmanats’ik’, Tsowdeats’ik’ and Gargarats’ik’ principalities.
Իսկ Գուշարայ, որ յորդւոցն Շարայի, ժառանգեաց զլեառն Մթին, որ է Կանգարք, եւ զկէս մասինն Ջաւախաց, զԿողբ, զԾոբ, զՁոր, մինչեւ ցամուրն Հնարակերտ: Բայց զտէրութիւնն Աղոցայ, եւ զսեպհականութիւնն Տաշրաց կարգէ Վաղարշակ ի զաւակացն Գուշարայ Հայկազնոյ: Իսկ ընդդէմ լերինն Կաւկասայ կողմնակալ հիւսիսոյ կարգէ զմեծ եւ զհզաւր ազգն, եւ նահապետութեանն անուն կարդայ բդեաշխ Գուգարացւոց, որ էր լեալ ի զաւակէ Միհրդատայ, Դարեհի նախարարի. զոր ածեալ Աղեքսանդրի` թողու իշխան ի վերայ գերութեանն ի Վերիացւոց ազգացն, զոր էած Նաբուգոդոնոսոր, որպէս Աբիւդենոս պատմէ այսպէս ասելով. «Մեծազաւրն Նաբուգոդոնոսոր, որ ուժգնագոյն էր քան զՀերակլէս, ի Լիբիացւոց եւ ի Վերիացւոց աշխարհն զաւրաժողով լեալ հասանէր եւ վանեալ վկանդեալ ընդ ձեռամբ նուաճէր. եւ զմասն մի ի նոցանէ յաջակողմն Պոնտոս ծովու տարեալ բնակեցուցանէր: Եւ է Վերիայն յեզր երկրի յարեւմուտս: Իսկ ի հովտին մեծի Բասենոյ կարգէ նահապետութիւն զՈրդունին անուանեալ, որ ի զաւակացն Հայկայ:
As for Gushar, who descended from the sons of Sharay, he inherited the mountain Mt’in, that is, Kangark’, and half of Jawakh, Koghb, Tsob, and Dzor, as far as the fortress of Hnarakert. But the lordship of Ashots’ and the special appanage of Tashir, Vagharshak assigned to the descendants of Gushar Haykazn. Opposite the Caucasus mountain [range] as lieutenant of the North he appointed the [patriarch of the] great and powerful clan [of the Gugarats’ik’] and called the head of their patriarchy the bidaxš of the Gugarats’ik’. They descend from Mihrdat, the naxarar of Darius. Alexander [of Macedon] brought and left him as prince over the captives from among the Iverian [Hispanic] peoples that Nebuchadnezzar had brought. Abydenus narrates [the account] in these terms: “The powerful Nebuchadnezzar, who was mightier than Heracles, gathering an army, came and attacked the land of the Libyans and Ivers [Spaniards]. Breaking their resistance he subdued them. And part of them he led away and settled on the right-hand side of the Pontus sea.” Iveria is at the edge of the world in the West. In the great valley of Basean he established the patriarchate named Orduni; They are descended from Hayk.
Իսկ զայր խոժոռագեղ եւ բարձր եւ կոպտարանձն եւ տափակաքիթ, խորակն եւ դժնահայեաց, ի զաւակէ Պասքամայ, ի Հայկայ թոռնէ, Տուրք անուն կոչեցեալ, որ վասն առաւել ժահադիմութեանն ձայնէին Անգեղեայ, վիթխարի հասակաւ եւ ուժով, հաստատէ կուսակալ արեւմտից. եւ յերեսացն անպիտանութենէ կոչէ զանուն ազգին Անգեղ տուն: Բայց եթէ կամիս՝ ստեմ եւ ես յաղագս նորա անյաջ եւ փցուն, որպէս եւ Պարսիկք վասն Ռոստոմայ Սագճկի հարիւր եւ քսան փղոց ոյժ ասեն ունել: Քանզի կարի իմն անյարմար թուէին եւ նմա երգ բանից վասն ուժեղութեանն եւ սրտեայ լինելոյն. որք ոչ Սամսոնի եւ ոչ Հերակլեայ եւ ոչ Սագճկին յարմարին այս զրոյցք: Քանզի երգէին նմա բուռն հարկանել զորձաքար վիմաց ձեռաւք, ուր ոչ գոյր գեզութիւն, եւ ճեղքել ըստ կամաց մեծ եւ փոքր. եւ քերել եղնգամբքն եւ կազմել որպէս տախտակ, եւ գրել նոյնպէս եղնգամբք իւրովք արծուիս եւ այլս այսպիսիս: Եւ յեզեր ծովուն Պոնտոսի դիպեալ նաւաց թշնամեաց՝ դիմէ ի վերայ. եւ ի խաղալն նոցա ի խորն իբրեւ ասպարէզս ութ, եւ սա ոչ ժամանեալ նոցա` առնու, ասեն, վէմս բլրաձեւս, եւ ձգէ զկնի. եւ ի սաստիկ պատառմանէ ջուրցն ընկղմին նաւք ոչ սակաւք, եւ ամբարձումն ալեացն, որ ի պատառմանէ ջուրցն, վարէ զմնացեալ նաւսն բազում մղոնս: Ո՜հ, կարի է առասպելս, այլ եւ առասպելաց առասպել: Բայց քեզ զի՞ է. քանզի էր արդարեւ սաստիկ հզաւր եւ այսպիսեաց զրուցաց արժանի:
[Vagharshak] appointed a man named Turk’ as lieutenant of the West. [Turk’] was gruff-looking, tall, churlish, with a flattened nose, and a fierce gaze from deeply-sunken eyes. He was a descendant of Pask’am, Hayk’s grand-son, and they called him Anggh (“unattractive,” “not beautiful”) because of his great ugliness. [Turk’] was a man of gigantic size and strength. Because of the unsightliness of his face, [Vagharshak] called his clan the House of Anggh. But if you will, even I am telling inappropriate and implausibile tales about him, just as the Persians say that Rostom Sagdjik had the strength of 120 elephants. The songs about [Turk’s] strength and fearlessness seem quite inappropriate, since not even the tales of Samson or Heracles or Sagdjik could match them. They sang that he took in his hand granite boulders in which there were no cracks, and he would crush them into large and small pieces as he chose, polish them with his nails, and form them into tablet shapes, and also with his nails carve eagles and other such [designs] on them. When enemy ships would approach the shore of the Pontus Sea, he rushed upon them; and after they had withdrawn to a distance of about eight stadia and he could not reach them, they say that he took rocks the size of hills and hurled them at them. And not a few ships sank because of the splash, while the rise of the waves caused by the splash propelled the remaining ships many miles. O, this tale really is too much—it is the tale of all tales! But does this matter to you? For truly he was extremely powerful and worthy of such stories.
After this, [Vagharshak] established the great lordship of Tsop’k’ in what is called Fourth Armenia. Similarly [he established] the lordships of the Apahunik’, Manawazeans, and Bznunik’ [descended] from the same sons of Hayk. He selected the most illustrious of the inhabitants and established them as lords, naming them after [their] localities and districts.
But we have also forgotten the terrible man named Slak’ about whom I am unable to say for sure whether he descended from Hayk or from those who were in this country before him, of whose existence the ancient traditions tell. But he was a brave man. [Vagharshak] appointed [Slak’] with a few men to guard the mountain [located there] and to hunt the wild goats. These [guards] were called the Slkunik’. To the same work [he appointed] the relentless Miandak, from whom [are descended] the Mandakunik'.
Among the offspring of Vahagn were found some men who, of their own will, asked for the [position of] protecting the temples. He greatly exalted them, entrusting the priesthood to them. He also designated them among the foremost lordships, giving them the name of Vahuni. Similarly, he chose the Ar’aweneank’ and the Zarehawaneank’ [clans] from among the descendants of the first kings and established them in hamlets having the same names.
Sharashan, from the House of Sanasar, he appointed as great bidaxš and governor of the southwest, on the borders of Assyria on the bank of the Tigris River, granting him as districts Ardzn and the areas surrounding it, and the Taurus Mountain, which is Sim, and all the Kleisurae.
[Vagharshak], having found a man, a Mokats’i, from the district of the same name [Mokk’], who commanded many brigands, established him [as head of] that lordship. He did the same for the Korduats’ik’, the Andzewats’ik’, and the Akeats’ik’ from the districts of the same name. But as for the Rshtunik’ and the Goght’nets’ik’, I have found it said that they are truly branches of the Sisakan [clan]. I do not know whether the areas are named after the names of [these] men, or whether the men came to be known after the names of the districts [they ruled over].
After all this, he built a temple in Armawir and erected in it statues to the sun and the moon and to his own ancestors. He begged and earnestly pressed Shambat Bagarat—who was of the Jews and who was the coronant and aspet—to abandon the Jewish faith and to worship idols. But he refused, and King Vagharshak let him follow his own will.
He also ordered [Van,] the city of Semiramis, to be restored, and populous cities to be built in many other places, and in the principal localities and densely populated places.
[Vagharshak] established a certain order in the House of his kingship. He designated the hours for the coming and going [of court], for councils, feasts, and amusements. He established ranks for the military, distinguishing first, second, third, and further, in order. He appointed two secretaries, one to record the good [things], the other the bad [things] for which retribution was to be meted out. He gave an order to the recorder of good deeds that, when the king was angry and might make unjust commands, [the secretary] should remind him of what was just and compassionate. He appointed judges in the royal House and judges in the cities and hamlets. He ordered that the townspeople be more highly esteemed and honored than the peasants and that the peasants should respect the townspeople like princes. However, the townspeople were not to vaunt themselves too much over the peasants but to live on brotherly terms for the sake of harmony and life without rancor. These [principles] are the cause of prosperity and peace and similar [blessings].
Since Vagharshak had many sons, he considered it appropriate that not all of them should reside with him in Nisibis. Therefore, he sent them to dwell in the district of Hashteank’, and in the valley bordering it, which is outside Taro’n. He left them all the localities [there] together with a separate additional income, and stipends designated by the court. Now [Vagharshak] kept with him only his first son, called Arshak, for [affairs of] the kingdom. [He also kept] Arshak’s son, whom he named Artashes and really loved greatly, since [Arshak] was indeed a lively boy, [and] strong of body, so that people seeing him would feel that great deeds of bravery might come from him. From then on and in the future it became the rule among the Arshakunik’ that one son should reside with the king as heir to the throne, while the other sons and daughters should go the Hashteank’ areas, to the clan’s hereditary possessions there.
Vagharshak, after such deeds of bravery and such reforms, died in Nisibis after reigning for twenty-two years.

Chapter 9 #

Arshak, Vagharshak’s son, ruled as king over the Armenians for thirteen years. A zealous follower of his father’s virtuous ways, [Arshak also] instituted many reforms. Fighting against the Pontics, he left his mark by the shore of the great sea. For it is said that [Arshak], standing there, had hurled a spear with a conical tip which had been hardened in the blood of reptiles and that [the spear] went deeply into a column of mill-stone which he had set up on the shore. For a long time, the Pontics revered this column as the creation of the gods. When Artashes attacked the Pontics a second time, the pillar is said to have been thrown into the sea.
In [Arshak’s] day, there was a great commotion in the chain of the great Caucasus Mountains in the land of the Bulgars. Many separated from them and came to our land and dwelled for a long time below Kogh, on fertile rich corn-producing lands.
[Arshak] harassed the sons of Bagarat about worshipping idols. Two of them died valiantly by the sword for their patrimonial faith. I am not abashed to call them followers of the companions of Anania and Eleazar. But the others [of Bagrat’s descendants] agreed to this much only: to ride out to hunt and to battle on the Sabbath, and to leave their children uncircumcised when they would be born—for they were unmarried. And it was commanded by Arshak that they should not be given wives from any of the princely houses unless they made an oath to abandon circumcision. They accepted only these two conditions, but not the worship of idols.
With this, the account of the old man Mar Abas Catina ends.

Chapter 10 #

After the writings of Mar Abas Catina, where information derives for this history.
Let us begin to narrate [history] to you from the fifth book of the chronicler Africanus, [information] which is confirmed by Josephus and Hippolytus and many other Greeks. For he transcribed everything relating to our kings from the scrolls of the archive of Edessa, that is, Urha—books which had been transported there from Nisibis and from the temple histories of Sinope in Pontus. Let no one doubt this, for we have seen that archive with our own eyes. There is also testimony in the Ecclesiastical [History] of Euseubius of Caesarea—[a manuscript of which] you may find closer to you in Geghark’unik’, in the district of Siwnik’—in the 13th chapter of Book One. This work was translated into Armenian by our blessed teacher Mashtots’. [That passage attests to] the [existence of the] Edessene archive, which contains accounts of [ancient times including] all the deeds of our first kings down to Abgar and from Abgar down to Eruand. I believe that these are preserved until today in the same city.

Chapter 11 #

Concerning our Artashe’s the First and how he seized primacy [of rule].
Artashe’s succeeded his father, Arshak, as king of the Armenians in the 24th year of Arshakan, king of the Persians. Going forward, he did not [want to] hold the second rank [in the Persian kingdom] but coveted the supreme position. Trusting in [Artashe’s], Arshakan agreed to give primacy to him. For [Artashe’s] was a proud and warlike man; he established his royal court in the land of the Persians and began to mint his own coins bearing his image. He established Arshakan under his own authority as king of the Persians, and likewise Tigran his own son [as king] of Armenia.
[Artashe’s] gave his son Tigran for instruction to a youth named Varazh, son of Dat, one of the sons of Gar’nik, a descendant of Gegham, for he was a youth famous for his prowess in archery. He made him superintendent of the royal hunt and granted him localities by the Hrazdan River. The clan of the Varazhnunik’ takes its name from him. [Artashe’s] gave his daughter Artasham in marriage to a certain Mithridates, great bidaxš of the Iberians/Georgians. He was the descendant of [another] Mithridates, satrap of [Persian king] Darius, whom Alexander had set over the prisoners from the land of Iberia [Spain], as we narrated earlier. And [Artashe’s] entrusted [Mithridates] with the governorship of the northern mountains and the Pontic Sea.

Chapter 12 #

How Artashe’s advanced to the West, arrested Croesus, and took his statues of idols as booty to the Armenians.
Then Artashe’s gave the order that a large army—so large that he did not know its size—should be raised from the east and north. [To count the soldiers, Artashe’s ordered that] on the roads and resting places each man should leave a stone to form a mound as an indication of their multitude. Thereafter he went west and captured Croesus, king of the Lydians.
Finding in [the western district named] Asia images of Artemis, Heracles, and Apollo, which had been cast in bronze and gilded, [Artashe’s] had them brought to our land to be erected in Armawir. The chief priests, who were from the Vahunik’ clan, took the statues of Apollo and Artemis and set them up in Armawir. However, as for the statue of Heracles—which had been made by Scyllas and Dipenes of Crete—[the Vahunik’ priests] supposed it to be their ancestor, Vahagn, and for that reason they erected it in Tarawn, in their own hereditary village of Ashtishat, after the death of Artashe’s.
But Artashe’s, having conquered the land between the two seas, filled the Ocean with the multitude of his ships, wanting to subjugate the entire West. No one strongly resisted him since, at the time, great disturbances were occurring in Rome. But—I cannot say from what cause—an awful turmoil arose [during which disturbance] innumerable troops destroyed one another. Now as for Artashe’s, he fled and was killed, as they say, by his own army. He had reigned for 25 years.
[During his campaign, Artashe’s] also had taken from Hellas images of Zeus, Artemis, Athena, Hephaistos, and Aphrodite, and had them brought to Armenia. But before they had arrived in our land the sad news of the death of Artashe’s was heard. [Those bringing the statues] fled leaving the images at the fortress of Ani [Ani Kamakh]. The pagan priests who had accompanied [the bearers], stayed there with [the images].

Chapter 13 #

Testimonies from other historians about the empire of Artashe’s and his taking Croesus prisoner.
Greek historians—not one or two but many of them—also speak of these [events]. Being doubtful about these same events, we made many investigations because we had heard from some histories that [it was] Cyrus [not Artashe’s] who had killed Croesus and had destroyed the Lydian kingdom. Also related [by some historians] is the rivalry of Croesus and Nectanebo. According to Manetho, this same Nectanebo is said to have been the last king of Egypt, while others have called him the father of Alexander. But we have found the period of Croesus to be two hundred years before that of Nectanebo, while Nectanebo’s period is more than another two hundred years before that of Artashe’s the First, king of the Armenians.
However, there are many who say that it was our Artashe’s who captured Croesus and narrate this convincingly, and I agree with them. Polycrates puts it this way: “To me, Artashe’s the Parthian is superior to Alexander the Macedonian, because while remaining in his own land he [was able] to rule over Thebes and Babylon; and without crossing the Halys River he destroyed the Lydian army and captured Croesus. Furthermore, [even] before arriving in Asia he was declared [the victor] in the fortress of Attica. Alas for his fate! If only he had died [ruling] in his lordship and not in flight!”
Evagaros, [who] is in agreement with him, says: “The war of Alexander and Darius is minor compared to that [fought by] Artashe’s. For in the first case, the light of day was obscured by the dust, but in the latter [Artashe’s himself] hid and darkened the sun by his volleys of arrows, turning mid-day into an artificial night. He did not allow the Lydians to flee and bring the news, but even their king, Croesus, he ordered to be placed in a cauldron. Because of him the streams did not fill up the river [they debouched into], since due to [the water] being consumed [by his soldiers] it lowered down to its winter level. Due to the multitude of his army, he rendered the use of numbers inadequate so that there was need for measurement rather than counting. At this [Artashe’s] was not boastful, but wept, saying: ‘Alas for my transitory glory.’”
Scamandros also wrote [about Artashe’s] as follows: “The prideful Croesus, king of the Lydians, was fooled by the response of the Pythian oracle [which said]: ‘Croesus, after crossing the Halys River, will destroy principalities.’ [Croesus,] thinking that this referred to others, ended up destroying himself. For Artashe’s the Parthian seized [Croesus] and ordered that he be thrown into an iron cauldron. Croesus, recalling the words of Solon of Athens, began to speak in his own language: “O Solon, Solon! Wisely you said that a person should not be adjudged happy until his death.” Those who were nearby heard this and told Artashe’s that Croesus was invoking some new deity. Artashe’s had mercy and ordered them to bring and interrogate him. When [Artashe’s] learned what [Croesus] had cried out, he ordered that he be spared torments.
[On the same topic], Phlegonius wrote: “The most powerful of all kings was the Parthian Artashe’s. Not only did he put the Lydians to flight and capture Croesus, but in the Hellespont and in Thrace he changed the nature of the elements. Travelling over land, he was taken along as if sailing on the sea; while [when travelling] over the sea, he marched as if on foot. He threatened the Thessalians and his renown astounded the Hellenes. [Artashe’s] destroyed the Lacedemonians, and put the Phocians to flight. The Locrians surrendered, the Bithynians were [made] a part of his forces; all Hellas feared him. And yet, a short time later his disasters surpassed everyone’s. [Compared with other kings in flight], Cyrus was not so unfortunate [when he fled after] warring against the Massagetae. Darius, fleeing from the Scythians, did not suffer so many misfortunes, nor did Cambyses [fleeing] from the Ethiopians. Less [devastating] was [the fate of] Xerxes, who went against Hellas with an army [but was defeated] and escaped alive by a hairsbreadth, leaving them his treasures and tents. But he [Artashe’s], prideful because of his very great victories, was killed by his own army.”
Now I regard these accounts as trustworthy. As for that Croesus, who is [said to have lived in] the time of Cyrus or Nectanebo, either he is a fictitious person, or else many kings bore the same name, as is often the case.

Chapter 14 #

About the reign of Tigran the Middle, his resistance to the Greek armies, his building of the temples, and his campaigns into Palestine.
After Artashe’s the First, there ruled his son Tigran, in the 49th year of Arshakan, king of the Persians. Gathering up the Armenian forces, he went against the troops of the Greeks, which—after the death of his father, Artashe’s, and the dispersal of his troops—had attacked and invaded our land. Tigran went against them, stopped them, and forced them to retreat. [Tigran] returned to our own land after entrusting Mazhak [Caesarea] and the care of Asia Minor to Mithridates, his sister’s husband, and leaving a large army with him.
First, [Tigran] wanted to construct the temples. But the priests, who had come from Greece, and had decided that they did not want to be taken into the deepest parts of Armenia turned to sorcery, supposedly expressing the desire of the gods to reside right where they were. Tigran agreed to this. He erected the statue of Olympian Zeus in the fortress of Ani; of Athena in T’il; the other statue of Artemis in Erez, and that of Hephaistos in Bagayar’inj. But the statue of Aphrodite, as the beloved of Heracles, [Tigran] ordered to be erected next to the statue of the same Heracles in Ashtishat. Enraged at the Vahunik’—since they had dared to set up on their private lands the statue of Heracles sent by his father—he removed them from the priesthood and confiscated for the crown the village in which the statues had been erected.
And thus, having built temples and erected altars before them, he ordered all the lords to offer sacrifices and worship. The men of the Bagratuni clan did not agree to this, and [Tigran] cut off the tongue of one of them, named Asud, for disrespecting the images. However, he did not torment [them] in any other way, for they agreed to eat from the king’s sacrifices and also pork, although they themselves did not sacrifice or worship. Therefore, he deprived them of the command of the army, though he did not remove from them the office of aspet with the right of crowning [the king]. [Tigran] himself descended into Mesopotamia and, finding there the statue of Barshamin, made of ivory, crystal, and silver, he ordered that it should be brought and set up in the hamlet of T’ordan.
Immediately after this, he attacked Palestine to demand vengeance from Cleopatra [daughter] of Ptolemy for the crimes of her son Dionysius committed against his own father. Taking many captives from among the Jews, [Tigran] besieged the city of Ptolemais. But the queen of the Jews, Alexandra—also known as Messalina—who had been the wife of [the late king] Alexander [Jannaeus, 103-76 B.C.], son of John, son of Simon the brother of Judas Maccabaeus, and who at that time ruled the kingdom of the Jews, turned [Tigran] back by giving him many gifts. In addition, it was being noised about that some robber, named Vaykun, having fortified himself on an impregnable mountain, was disturbing the country of the Armenians. This mountain is still called Vaykunik’ after the name of the robber.

Chapter 15 #

The Roman general, Pompey, comes against us; the capture of Mazhak, and the death of Mithridates.
In that period the Roman general, Pompey, arrived in Asia Minor with a large army and sent the commander of his army, Scaurus, to Syria to wage war against Tigran. He arrived there but did not encounter Tigran, since the latter had returned to his own land—because of the alarm caused by the robber [Vaykun]. For that reason, Scaurus passed on to Damascus. Seeing that the city had [already] been taken by Metellus and Lullus, he drove them out. Then he hastened to Judaea against Aristobulus—to help his elder brother Hyrcanus, the chief priest, son of Alexander.
Now Pompey, when battling with Mithridates, met with fierce resistance and frightful battles, and experienced great danger. Yet Mithridates, defeated by [Pompey’s superior] numbers, fled to the Pontus areas. Pompey, now unexpectedly freed from him, captured Mazhak, seized his son Mithridates, and placed troops in the city. He himself did not pursue Mithridates but hastened through Syria to Judaea. [Pompey] had Mithridates poisoned to death through the intermediary of Pontius Pilate’s father. Josephus attests to this in the passage where he speaks about balsam, putting it this way: “The glad tidings of the death of Mithridates reached Pompey near Jericho.”

Chapter 16 #

Regarding Tigran’s attack on the Roman troops, how Gabianus evaded [him], and the release of the young Mithridates.
Tigran, king of the Armenians, settled the Jewish captives in Armawir and in the hamlet of Vardge’s, which is on the river K’asagh. [Then, after he had] eliminated the robbers from the [Vaykunik’] mountain, and mourned the death of Mithridates, he marched to Syria against the Roman troops to seek vengeance. Gabianus, the commander-in-chief of the Roman troops, whom Pompey had left behind when he returned to Rome, came against him. But Gabianus did not dare to oppose Tigran and returned from the Euphrates to Egypt, claiming Ptolemy as an excuse. He made a secret accord with Tigran and gave up to him his sister’s son, the young Mithridates, son of Mithridates, whom Pompey had captured in Mazhak, though [Gabianus] said that [Mithridates] had escaped.

Chapter 17 #

The war of Crassus, and how he perished at Tigran’s hands.
The Romans, having become suspicious of Gabianus, replaced him with Crassus whom they sent out [to the East]. [Crassus] came, took all the treasures found in the Temple of God in Jerusalem, and then advanced against Tigran. Having crossed the Euphrates, he and all his troops perished fighting against Tigran. Gathering up the treasure, Tigran returned to Armenia.

Chapter 18 #

The angered Romans sent Cassius, with countless troops. [Cassius] arrived and resisted [Tigran], not allowing the Armenian troops to cross the Euphrates and raid Assyria.
Around this time Tigran—having became suspicious of the young Mithridates, and no longer regarding him as his nephew—did not give him any share in his rule or even his own land in Iberia/Georgia. Mithridates, having endured such humiliation from his uncle Tigran, rebelled and went over to Caesar. [Mithridates] received from [Caesar] as a principality the city of Perge, and on Caesar’s orders was a useful ally to Antipater, Herod’s father. He built up Mazhak to be a larger [city] with beautiful constructions and named it Caesarea in honor of Caesar. From then on Armenian rule over the city ceased.

Chapter 19 #

Յետ այսր ամենայնի ի հիւանդութեան եղեալ Տիգրան՝ աղերսէ ի սէր զԱրտաշէզ արքայ Պարսից, յաղագս հպարտութեան հաւրն՝ հանելով ի նոցանէ զնախագահութիւնն: Իսկ սա իւրովք կամաւք զերկրորդականն ունելով ըստ իրաւանց՝ դարձուցանէ ի նա զնախագահութիւնն. եւ ի հաշտութիւն ածեալ զԱրտաշէզ՝ առնու ի նմանէ զաւր յաւգնականութիւն ինքեան: Յայնմ ժամանակի ժամանակի առեալ Տիգրանայ զԲարզափրան նահապետ Ռըշտունեաց նախարարութեանն՝ սպարապետ կացուցանէ զաւրացն Հայոց եւ Պարսից եւ առաքէ ի վերայ զաւրացն Հռոմայեցւոց, հրաման տուեալ զբնակիչս աշխարհին Ասորւոց եւ Պաղեստինացւոց ի հաշտութիւն հաւանութեան խաւսել: Նմա ընդ առաջ լինի ոմն Պակարոս անուն, որոյ հայրն թագաւոր լեալ Ասորւոց, եւ ինքն խնամի Անտիգոնեայ Արիստաբուղեանց: Եւ եկեալ առ Բարզափրան նահապետ Ռըշտունեաց եւ սպարապետ Հայոց եւ Պարսից՝ խոստանայ հինգ հարիւր կին գեղեցիկ եւ հազար քանքար ոսկւոյ, զի աւգնեսցէ նոցա` ընկենլով ի թագաւորութենէ Հրէից զՀիւրկանոս, եւ թագաւորեցուցանել զԱնտիգոնոս:
Now after all this, Tigran fell ill and sought friendship with the king of the Persians, Artashe’s. It was due to his father’s pride that they [the Persians] had been deprived of primacy [of rule in Armenia]. Now he [Tigran] willingly returned to the second rank, as was lawful, restoring primacy to [Artashe’s]. Thus, becoming reconciled with Artashe’s, [Tigran] received an army for his support from him. Then Tigran took Barzap’ran, the patriarch of the R’shtunik’ lordship, and appointed him commander-in-chief of the Armenian and Persian troops. He sent him against the Roman troops with orders to discuss peace with the residents of the land of the Assyrians and Palestinians, and bring them to an agreement. Then there came before him a certain Pacorus, whose father had been king of the Assyrians, while he himself was a relative of Antigonus from Aristobulos’ family. He came to Barzap’ran, patriarch of the Rshtunik’ and commander-in-chief of the Armenians and Persians, and promised him five hundred beautiful women and a thousand talents of gold if he would help them depose Hyrcanus from the kingship of the Jews and make Antigonus king.
Իբրեւ ետես Հիւրկանոս Հրէից քահանայապետ եւ թագաւոր, եւ Փասայեղոս եղբայր Հերովդի, եթէ զզաւրս Հռոմայեցւոց փախստական արարեալ, զոմանս ի ծով, զոմանս ի քաղաքս, խաղաղութեամբ ընդ երկիրն անցանէր Բարզափրան՝ խաւսին եւ ինքեանք զխաղաղութիւն առ Բարզափրան: Եւ նա զԳնէլ ոմն, որ էր տակառապետ արքային Հայոց, յազգէն Գնունեաց, առաքէ յԵրուսաղէմ հանդերձ հեծելազաւրու, իբր թէ ի պատճառս խաղաղութեան, բայց ի գաղտնիս՝ աւգնել Անտիգոնեայ: Եւ Հիւրկանոս զտակառապետն ամենայն զաւրաւքն ոչ ընդունէր յԵրուսաղէմ, այլ միայն հինգ հարիւր հեծելով: Եւ տակառապետին դաւով խրատ տուեալ Հիւրկանու՝ զի առ Բարզափրան երթիցէ վասն աւերածոյ աշխարհին. եւ ինքն խոստանայր լինել բարեխաւս: Եւ Հիւրկանու երդումն խնդրեալ ի Բարզափրանայ՝ երդնու նմա յարեգակն եւ ի լուսին եւ յամենայն պաշտամունս իւրեանց երկնայնիս եւ երկրայինս, եւ յարեւ Արտաշէզի եւ Տիգրանայ: Ընդ որ վստահացեալ Հիւրկանոս՝ թողու զՀերովդէս ի վերայ Երուսաղեմի, եւ զՓասայելոս զերէց եղբայր Հերովդի առեալ ընդ իւր` գայ առ Բարզափրան ի ծովեզրն, ի գեաւղն որ կոչի Եքտիպոն:
When Hyrcanus, high priest and king of the Jews, and P’asayelos, Herod’s brother, saw that Barzap’ran had put the Roman troops to flight, [chasing] some into the sea and others into cities, they themselves made proposals of peace to Barzap’ran. The latter sent a certain Gnel—who was the cup bearer of the king of the Armenians and from the Gnuni clan—to Jerusalem with cavalry, supposedly seeking peace, but secretly to help Antigonus. In Jerusalem, Hyrcanus did not receive the cup bearer with all his forces but only with five hundred cavalry. And the cup bearer treacherously advised Hyrcanus to go to Barzap’ran to discuss the ruin of the land. He himself promised to act as intercessor. When Hyrcanus sought an oath from Barzap’ran, he swore to him by the sun and moon and all their cults in heaven and earth and by the sun of Artashe’s and Tigran. Assured by this, Hyrcanus left Herod [ruling] over Jerusalem. He went to Barzap’ran to the village called Ek’tipon, [located] at the shore, taking with him P’asayelos, Herod’s elder brother.
Barzap’ran deceitfully honored them. However, he himself suddenly quit the place, ordering the soldiers remaining there to seize them and hand them over to Antigonus. Then Antigonus fell on Hyrcanus and, with his teeth, bit off his ears so that should circumstances change, it would be impossible for him to hold the chief priesthood, since the laws command that [only] those whole of limb may be appointed priests. And P’asayel, Herod’s brother, of his own accord struck his head against a stone. A doctor was sent by Antigonus as if to heal him, but he filled his wound with poisonous drugs and killed him.
Եւ Բարզափրանայ հրաման տուեալ Գնէլոյ տակառապետին արքայի Հայոց յԵրուսաղէմ զՀերովդէս որսալ. իսկ Գնէլ զՀերովդէս արտաքս քան զպարիսպն ելանել պատրէր. զոր չառեալ յանձն Հերովդի, այլ եւ ոչ եւս կալ ի քաղաքին իշխեաց, երկուցեալ ի պատառմանէ Անտիգոնեանցն, ի գիշերի ի ծածուկ ընտանեաւքն հանդերձ առ Եդոմայեցիս փախչէր. ի Մասադան յամուրն թողեալ զընտանիսն՝ ինքն ի Հռոմ փութայր հասանել: Բայց զաւրքն Հայոց ձեռնտուութեամբ Անտիգոնեանցն յԵրուսաղէմ մտանէին՝ ոչ ինչ ումեք վնասեալ, բայց միայն զՀիւրկանու զինչսն առնուին աւելի քան զերեքարիւր քանքար: Եւ ընդ գաւառն ասպատակեալ՝ զհիւրկանեանսն առեալ աւերէին. զՄարիսացւոց քաղաքն գերի առեալ, թագաւոր կացուցանէին զԱնտիգոնոս: Եւ կապեալ զՀիւրկանոս ածեն Տիգրանայ հանդերձ գերութեամբն. եւ Տիգրան հրաման տայ Բարզափրանայ նստուցանել զգերին Հրէից որ ի Մարիսացւոց՝ ի քաղաքն Շամիրամայ: Եւ Տիգրանայ ոչ աւելի բաւեալ քան զերեամ յետ այնորիկ` վախճանի, թագաւորեալ ամս երեսուն եւ երիս:
Barzap’ran ordered Gnel, cup bearer to the king of the Armenians, to seek Herod in Jerusalem. Gnel tried to deceive Herod into emerging from behind the wall, but Herod did not agree to this. However, [Herod] was no longer able to remain in the city because he feared the faction of Antigonus’ supporters. By night he secretly fled with his family to the Idumaeans. [There], he left his family in the fortress of Masada and himself hastened to Rome. But the troops of the Armenians, with the help of the supporters of Antigonus, entered Jerusalem without harming anyone. They merely took Hyrcanus’ possessions, worth more than three hundred talents. And then they raided the district, plundered the supporters of Hyrcanus, captured the city of Marisa, and enthroned Antigonus as king. They led Hyrcanus in bonds to Tigran. along with the captives. Tigran ordered Barzap’ran to settle the captive Jews from Marisa in the city of Semiramis [Van]. Tigran did not live more than three years after this before he died, having reigned for 33 years.

Chapter 20 #

Another war of the Armenians against the forces of the Romans, and the defeat of Silon and Bendidius.
Herod, having gone to Rome, spoke of his loyalty to the Romans in the presence of Antony, Caesar, and the Senate. Antony made him king of Judaea. As military aid, he received the commander-in-chief, Bendidius, with a force of Romans. They were to fight against the troops of the Armenians and destroy Antigonus. When he reached Syria, he put to flight the troops of the Armenians. Leaving Silon to oppose the Armenians near the Euphrates, he killed Pacorus and returned to Jerusalem against Antigonus. But the Armenians, having again obtained help from the Persians, attacked Silon and made him flee back to Bendidius, shedding infinite torrents of blood.

Chapter 21 #

How Antony himself went against the troops of the Armenians and took Samosata.
Antony, angered, arrived in person with all the Roman troops. When he reached Samosata he heard about Tigran’s death. Then he took the city and, leaving Sosius to help Herod in the attack on Antigonus for Jerusalem, he himself went to pass the winter in Egypt. He hurried to get there with the desperation of a womanizer [since he was] lusting for Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt. This Cleopatra—the daughter of Ptolemy Dionysius, who was the grandson of Ptolemy Cleopater—was very loved by Herod. For that reason, especially, Antony had entrusted Herod to Sosius. [Sosius], after fighting bravely, took Jerusalem, killed Antigonus, and made Herod king over all Judaea and Galilee.

Chapter 22 #

Artavazd, son of Tigran, reigned over the Armenians. He gave as inheritance to his brothers and sisters the districts of Aghiovit and Ar’beran, leaving them a portion of the royal lands in the localities of those districts, with their separate incomes and stipends—according to the example of his clanmates in the areas of Hashteank’. [This was done] so that they would be more honored and have a higher position within the royal family than these other Arsacids. He only stipulated that they could not live in Ayrarat, the royal residence.
But [Artavazd] displayed no other [noteworthy] deed of valor or bravery and spent his time eating and drinking. He roamed around in the marshes, in reedy and rocky places, looking after wild asses and swine [to hunt]. Having no concern for wisdom, bravery, or a good reputation, [Artavazd] truly was a servant and slave to his stomach, and only increased impurities. He became furious—after being blamed by his own troops for his excessive idleness and extreme gluttony, and especially because Antony had removed him from Mesopotamia—and commanded that tens of thousands of troops be assembled from the state of Atrpatakan, [and] from the inhabitants of the Caucasus Mountain along with the Aghuans and Iberians/Georgians. Then he descended into Mesopotamia and expelled the Roman forces.

Chapter 23 #

Roaring like a wild lion, Antony was especially angered by Cleopatra because she held a grudge for the ill treatment inflicted on her grandmother by Tigran. She posed a mortal danger not only for the Armenian [king], but also for many other kings, as she tried to rule over their dominions. Antony, for this purpose having killed many kings, handed over their kingdoms to Cleopatra—with the exception of Tyre and Sidon and those that are located near the Azat [Eleutheros] River. Taking the mass of his army, he went against Artavazd. Passing through Mesopotamia, he killed an uncountable number of Armenian troops and captured their king. On returning to Egypt, [Antony] gave Artavazd, Tigran’s son, as a gift to Cleopatra with much riches from the war booty.

Chapter 24 #

Concerning the reign of Arsham, the first submission of part of Armenia to Roman tribute, the freeing of Hyrcanus, and the danger to the Bagratid clan because of him.
In the 20th year of Arshe’z, when the days of his reign were approaching their end, the troops of the Armenians assembled and, at his order, proclaimed as king over themselves Arjam, who is [also] Arsham. He was the son of Artashe’s, brother of Tigran, and father of Abgar. Some Assyrians call him Manov, according to the custom of many to have a double name, such as Herod Agrippa, or Titus Antony or Titus Justus. However [at the time] there was no one to help Arsham resist the Romans, since in that same year Arshe’z had died, leaving the kingdom of the Persians to his son Arshawir, who was a very small boy. [Consequently, Arsham] spoke with them about a peace treaty, giving tribute from Mesopotamia and the regions of Caesarea through Herod. This was the beginning for Armenia becoming partially tributary to the Romans.
In this period Arsham became enraged at a certain Enanos, who was an aspet and coronant. [This was] because [Enanos] had freed Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews whom Barzap’ran R’shtuni had captured in the days of Tigran. But Enanos excused himself to the king, saying that he [Hyrcanus] had promised a ransom of a hundred talents; and since [Enanos] expected to receive this from him, he undertook to give it [to Arsham]. Therefore, Arsham set a [fixed] term for him [to produce the money]. [Enanos] sent one of his brothers, whose name was Senek’ia, to Judaea to Hyrcanus so that the latter might give him the money for his ransom. When Enanos’ messenger arrived, he found that Herod had put Hyrcanus to death to prevent any plot against his kingdom. Now when the appointed time arrived and Enanos did not pay the money for Hyrcanus’ ransom, Arsham became angry with him. Depriving him of his rank, he ordered him to be put into prison.
Յայնմ ժամանակի քսութիւն զնմանէ մատուցանէ արքայի Զաւրայ նահապետ ազգին Գնթունեաց, ասելով. «Գիտեա՛, արքայ, զի ապստամբել ի քէն կամեցաւ Ենանոս, խորհուրդ ընդ իս բերելով, զի երդումն խնդրեսցուք ի Հերովդէէ թագաւորէ Հրէաստանի, իբր ընդունել զմեզ եւ տալ ժառանգութիւն ի բնակ երկրի մերում. քանզի նորակտուտ ծանակեցաք յաշխարհիս յայսմիկ: Եւ իմ ոչ առնլով յանձն՝ ասեմ ցնա. Ընդէ՞ր պատրիմք զրուցաւք վաղընջուց եւ պառաւեալ առասպելաւք, պաղեստինացիս զմեզ վարկանելով: Եւ նորա անյուսացեալ յինէն՝ նմին իրի առաքեաց զքահանայապետն Հիւրկանոս, եւ առաւել եւս ի Հերովդէէ անյուսացաւ. այլ ոչ մեկնի ի դրժողութեան բարուցն՝ եթէ ոչ արքայդ աճապարեսցես նմա: Այսմ քսութեան հաւատացեալ արքային Արշամայ՝ հրամայեաց տանջանս պէսպէս ի վերայ Ենանոսի կուտել. եւ վախճան գործոյն կա՛մ թողուլ ի սպառ զաւրէնս հրէութեան, եւ երկիրպագանել արեգական, եւ պաշտել զկուռս արքայի, ընդ որ վստահացեալ արքայի տացէ նմա զնոյն իշխանութիւն, կամ կախել զփայտէ եւ բնաջինջ լինել ազգի նորա: Եւ սպանեալ զմի յազգականացն առաջի նորա, որում անուն էր Սարիայ, եւ առ ընթեր զորդիսն մատուցեալ ի տեղի սպանմանն, որոց անուանքն Սափատիայ եւ Ազարիայ` յերկիւղէ մահուան որդւոցն եւ ի թախանձելոյ կանանցն կատարէ զկամս արքայի հանդերձ ամենայն ազգատոհմիւն, եւ յառաջին պատիւն իւր հաստատի: Սակայն ոչ ամենեւին վստահանայ ի նա արքայ. այլ առաքէ ի Հայս, հաւատալով նմա զաշխարհն, զի ի Միջագետաց միայն հեռացուսցէ զնա:
At that time Zo’ra, patriarch of the clan of the Gnt’unik’, slandered him before the king, saying: “Know, O king, that Enanos wanted to rebel against you, and he proposed to me that we should seek an oath from Herod, king of Judaea, that he would receive us and give us hereditary [possessions] in our own native country, because we experience constant ridicule in this land. And I did not agree to this, but said to him: ‘Why do we deceive ourselves with ancient tales and old wives’ fables, presenting ourselves as Palestinians?’ [Enanos], losing hope in [help from] me, sent the high priest Hyrcanus [to Herod] for the same purpose, but he was even more disappointed by Herod. But, O king, he will not abandon his treacherous behavior unless you stop him.” King Arsham believed this slander and ordered that all kinds of torments should be inflicted on Enanos. The aim of this was either that he completely abandon the Jewish faith and worship the sun and revere the king’s idols—in which case the king assured him that he would receive back his previous authority—or he would be hung on a tree and his clan would be exterminated. One of [Enanos’] relations, whose name was Saria, [King Arsham] put to death in front of him, and he brought along with him to the place of execution his sons, whose names were Sap’atia and Azaria. Fearing the death of his sons, and at the pleading of his wives, [Enanos] and all his clan fulfilled the king’s wishes, and his former honor was confirmed. But the king, not fully trusting him, sent him to Armenia, entrusting the land to him if only to remove him from Mesopotamia.

Chapter 25 #

Arsham’s quarrel with Herod, and the unwilling submission [of Arsham].
After this, a conflict arose between Herod, king of Judaea, and our King Arsham. This was because Herod, after [performing] many valiant deeds, [now] devoted himself to deeds of benevolence, constructing many structures in many cities from Rome to Damascus. He asked Arsham for a multitude of unskilled workers to fill in the public squares of Antioch in Syria, which were impassable and inaccessible because of the mud and mire. But Arsham did not agree to this and gathered his troops to oppose Herod. Through messengers he sent word to the emperor in Rome not to place him under Herod’s authority. But the emperor not only did not free Arsham from Herod’s authority but he also entrusted to the latter all of Asia Minor.
Then Herod appointed as king of Asia Minor, under his supreme authority, the father-in-law of his son Alexander, who on his father’s side descended from Timon, on his mother’s side from the kingdom of the Medes, from the descendants of Darius, the son of Hystaspes. [Herod] also took into his service brigades from the Galatians and the Pontians. When Arsham saw this, he bowed before Herod as a sovereign master and provided him with the requested workers. He, having filled with their help the squares of Antioch at a distance of twenty stades, paved them with white marble paving stones, so that the torrents freely flowed along the pavement, without causing harm to the city. Arsham died, having reigned for 20 years.

Chapter 26 #

The reign of Abgar, Armenia becomes fully subject to Roman taxes, the war with Herod’s troops and the murder of his brother’s son, Joseph.
Arsham’s son, Abgar, came to the throne in the 20th year of Arshawir, king of the Persians. This Abgar was called “the senior man [awag ayr]” because of his very great modesty and wisdom, and later also because of his age. Unable to pronounce [awag ayr] correctly, the Greeks and Assyrians called him “Abgaros.” In the second year of his reign, all parts of Armenia had become fully subject to Roman taxes. For an order had been issued by Augustus Caesar so that, as it says in the Gospel of Luke, a census should be made throughout the entire world. To accomplish this, Roman officials also were sent to Armenia, bringing the image of Augustus Caesar, which they set up in every temple. In this period our Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born.
Զսմին աւուրբք լինի խռովութիւն ի մէջ Աբգարու եւ Հերովդի: Քանզի Հերովդի հրամայեալ զիւր պատկերն հուպ ի կայսերական պատկերն կանգնել ի մեհեանս Հայոց. զոր չառեալ յանձն Աբգարու՝ պատճառս ի վերայ նորա յուզէ Հերովդէս: Առաքէ զզաւրս Թրակացւոց եւ Գերմանացւոց ասպատակաւ հինից յերկիրն Պարսից, հրաման տուեալ ընդ աշխարհն Աբգարու անցանել: Իսկ Աբգարու ոչ հաւանեալ՝ ընդդիմանայ ասելով, եթէ ընդ անապատ է հրաման կայսեր անցանել զաւրացդ ի յերկիրն Պարսից: Ընդ որ դառնացեալ Հերովդէս՝ անձամբ ինչ ոչ կարէր վճարել, պէսպէս ցաւոց զնա ըմբռնեալ, վասն զի ի Քրիստոս համարձակեցաւ՝ որդանցի նմա եռացեալ որպէս պատմէ Յովսեպոս. առաքէ զեղբաւրորդի իւր զՅովսէփ, որում տուեալ էր զդուստր իւր, որ էր յառաջ կին Փերուրի եղբաւր իւրոյ: Եւ նորա առեալ զբազմութիւն զաւրացն՝ գայ հասանէ յաշխարհն Միջագետաց, պատահէ Աբգարու ի զաւրանիստ գաւառին Բուգնան. եւ մարտուցեալ մեռանի, եւ զաւրքն փախստական լինի: Նոյնհետայն վախճանի եւ Հերովդէս, եւ Հրէից ազգապետ` զԱրքեղայոս նորին որդի Աւգոստոս կացուցանէ:
In those same days a quarrel arose between Abgar and Herod, since Herod commanded that his own image should be set up next to that of the emperor in the temples of Armenia. Abgar did not accept this and, as a result, Herod sought a pretext [for war] against him. [Herod] sent a force of Thracians and Germans to raid the country of the Persians ordering it to cross over Abgar’s land. But Abgar did not submit to this and opposed them, saying that it had been the emperor’s command that this force should cross into the country of the Persians via the desert. Herod became embittered by this, but he was unable to do anything in person since he had to endure all sorts of [physical] pain—worms grew inside him because of his presumption against Christ, as Josephus relates. [Herod] sent his brother’s son, Joseph, to whom he had given in marriage his sister, who previously was the wife of his brother, P’erur. He took a great army, marched to Mesopotamia, and encountered Abgar in the district of Bugnan which was a military camp. In the battle [P’erur] was killed and his army fled. Immediately afterwards Herod also died, and Augustus made his son, Archelaus, ethnarch of the Jews.

Chapter 27 #

The building of the city of Edessa and a brief reference to the clan of our Illuminator.
Augustus died not many days later, and in his stead Tiberius ruled as king over the Romans. Germanicus, having become caesar, led in triumph the princes Arshawir and Abgar who had been sent to Rome because of their war in which they had killed Herod’s nephew. Abgar became furious, thought to rebel, and prepared for war. It was then that he built a city on the site of the Armenian army’s camp, where earlier they had protected the Euphrates from Cassius. This place was called Edessa, and [Abgar] transferred there his court, which had been at Nisibis, and all his idols, Nabog and Bel and Bat’nik’agh and T’arat’a, the books of the temple schools, and also the royal archives.
After this, Arshawir died and and Artashe’s, his son, ruled over the Persians. Now even though [what follows] is not in the chronological order of our history or in the sequence of order that we have adopted for our account, as it concerns the descendants of King Arshawir and the family of his son, Artashe’s, who were the cause of the conversion of our Armenian nation, we shall set them in this book next to Artashe’s for the sake of honoring these men. In that way, those who read [this account] may understand that they are of the same clan as that valiant man. Subsequently we shall indicate the time of the arrival of their fathers in Armenia, that is, [the arrival in Armenia] of the Karen and Suren [clans] from whom are descended Saint Gregory and the Kamsarakank’ [clan], when in the course of our narrative we reach the period of the king who received them.
However, Abgar did not succeed in his plans for a rebellion. This was because discord arose among his relations in the Persian kingdom. As a result, [Abgar] assembled troops and went there to convince them to stop [the disputes].

Chapter 28 #

Concerning Abgar’s going to the East and enthroning Artashe’s as king of the Persians, how he brought order to his brothers, from whom are descended our Illuminator and his kin.
Now Abgar went East and found Artashe’s, son of Arshawir, ruling over the Persians, [but] opposed by his brothers. [The opposition was] because [Artashe’s] thought to [hereditarily] rule over them with his own clan, and they did not accept this. Artashe’s besieged them and put the fear of death into them which caused much dissension and disunity among the troops and the other relations. For King Arshawir had fathered three sons and a daughter: the first was this very king Artashe’s, the second was Karen, and the third Suren. Their sister, who was called Koshm, was the wife of the general of all the Aryans who had been appointed by her father.
Abgar convinced them to make peace and established the following conditions on them all: Artashe’s would reign [hereditarily] with his descendants, as he had intended. His brothers would be called Pahlav after the name of their [indigenous] city and great and fertile land [Balkh], so that they, as truly royal offspring, would be the most revered and have primacy among all the lordships of the Persians. [Abgar] also established pacts and oaths among them so that in the event of the termination of the line of Artashe’s on the male side, they [his brothers] would ascend to the throne. Beyond [their membership in] his reigning clan, he designated them as three [distinct] clans with the following names: Karen Pahlaw, Suren Pahlaw, and their sister, Aspahapet Pahlaw, whose name derived from the [office of the] lordship of her husband [that is, commander-in-chief of the army].
They say that Saint Gregory was descended from [the line of] Suren Pahlaw and the Kamsarakans from Karen Pahlaw. We shall narrate the circumstances of their arrival [in Armenia] in its place and merely mention them now next to Artashe’s, so that you may know that this great family is indeed [descended] from the blood of Vagharshak, that is, from the line of Arshak the Great, brother of Vagharshak.
Having made these arrangements and taking the text of the oath with him, Abgar returned. However, he was not physically well, but afflicted with a disease that caused terrible pains.

Chapter 29 #

Abgar’s return from the East, and how he gave assistance to Aretas in the struggle against the Tetrarch Herod.
Իբրեւ դարձաւ Աբգար յարեւելից՝ լուաւ նա զՀռոմայեցւոց, թէ ի կասկածանս անկեալ են վասն նորա, որպէս թէ զկնի զաւրու գնաց յարեւելս: Վասն որոյ գրեաց առ գործակալս Հռոմայեցւոց զպատճառս երթալոյն իւրոյ ի Պարսս, միանգամայն եւ զգիր ուխտին, որ ընդ Արտաշէս եւ ընդ եղբարս նորա՝ տայ տանել: Եւ նոքա ոչ հաւատացին նմա. վասն զի եւ թշնամիք չարախաւսէին զնմանէ, Պիղատոս եւ Հերովդէս չորրորդապետ Լիւսանիա եւ Փիլիպպոս: Իսկ Աբգարու եկեալ ի քաղաքն իւր յԵդեսիայ՝ միաբանեաց ընդ Արետայ արքայի Պատրիացւոց, սատարս տալով նմա նմա ի ձեռն Խոսրանայ ուրումն Արծրունւոյ՝ մարտնչել ընդ Հերովդի: Քանզի նախ զդուստրն Արետայ արքայի կին առեալ Հերովդի, եւ ապա անարգեալ ի բաց եթող, եւ զՀերովդիադայ մեկնեալ յառնէ իւրմէ եհան կենդանւոյն, յաղագս որոյ ստէպ յանդիմանեալ ի Յովհաննէ Մկրտչէ` այնր աղագաւ եսպան զՅովհաննէս Մկրտիչ: Եւ եղեւ պատերազմ ընդ նա եւ ընդ Արետ վասն անարգանաց դստերն. յորում սաստկապէս հարեալ սատակեցան զաւրքն Հերովդի յաւգնականութենէ քաջացն Հայոց, որպէս յաստուածային իմն տեսչութենէ, վրէժս հատուցանել ընդ մահուանն Յովհաննու Մկրտչին:
When Abgar returned from the East, he heard that the Romans had doubts about him, [suspecting] that he had gone to the East to seek troops. Therefore, he wrote to the Roman officals [explaining] the reasons for his going to Persia. At the same time he sent to them the text of the covenant between Artashe’s and his brothers. However, [the Romans] did not believe him because enemies—[namely] Pilate and the Tetrarch Herod and Lysanias and Philip—were slandering him. As a result, Abgar went to his city Edessa and joined forces with Aretas, king of Petra, to battle against Herod—giving [Aretas] support through a certain Xosran Artsruni. For Herod had first taken King Aretas’ daughter to wife. Then, having then dishonored and rejected her, he took to wife Herodias, while her husband was still alive. For this he was constantly condemned by John the Baptist, and therefore [Herod] put John the Baptist to death. And so there was warfare between him and Aretas over the disrespect shown to his daughter. In [this war] Herod’s army was severely beaten and destroyed through the help of the Armenian braves—as though through divine providence—to avenge the death of John the Baptist.

Chapter 30 #

How Abgar sent princes to Marinus, on which occasion they saw our Savior Christ, which proved the beginning of Abgar’s conversion.
At that time, the emperor designated Marinus, son of Storgius, to the work of the chiliarchate over Phoenicia and Palestine, Assyria, and Mesopotamia. Abgar sent to him in the city of Bet’-Kubin two of his senior people—Mar Ihab, the bidaxš of Aldznik’, and Shamshagram, patriarch of the Apahunik’ clan, and with them Anan, his confidant, to explain to him the reason for his going to the East, to show him the text of the agreement between Artashe’s and his brothers, and to enlist his support. When [the envoys] arrived, they found him in Eleutheropolis. [Marinus] received them with joy and honor. He made this reply to Abgar: “Have no fear of the emperor about this matter, as long as you hasten to pay the tribute in full.”
When [Abgar’s envoys] were returning [to Edessa from Eleutheropolis], they went to Jerusalem to see our Savior Christ because of the news of His miracles. They saw Him in person and informed Abgar [about what they had seen]. Abgar was astonished at this and truly believed in Him as the Son of God, saying: “Those [miraculous] powers are not a man’s but God’s. For there is no man who can raise the dead but only God.” Now it happened that [Abgar’s] body had become afflicted with very wicked pains, [an affliction] which he had contracted in Persia seven years earlier, and which no man had been able to cure. Therefore, [Abgar] had a letter of supplication taken to Him, asking Him to come and cure him of his pains. It had this content:

Chapter 31 #

The letter of Abgar to the Savior.
[From] Abgar [son] of Arsham, prince of the land, to Jesus, Savior and Benefactor, who has appeared in the land of the Jerusalemites, greetings.
I have heard about you and about the healing you do with your own hands, without drugs or roots [of plants]. It is related that you give sight to the blind and make the lame walk, that you cleanse lepers, cast out evil spirits, and heal those tormented by long illnesses, that you even resurrect the dead. And when I heard all this about you, I considered that one of these two [explanations] must apply: either you are God who has come down from the sky and so are able to work these [miraculous] things, or you are the son of God and therefore are able to do these things. Now, it is for this reason that I have written to you to ask you to take the trouble to come to me and heal this sickness which I have. Also, I have heard that the Jews murmur against you and want to torment you. I have a small and beautiful city, and it is sufficient for us both."
They took the letter and met Him in Jerusalem. To this bears witness the saying of the Gospel: “There were some of the pagans who had come to him.” Therefore, those who heard what they [the pagans] had to say did not dare tell Jesus [directly] but they told Philip and Andrew, and they told Jesus. However, our Savior himself did not accept Abgar’s invitation at that time but honored him with a letter, which had this content:

Chapter 32 #

The reply to Abgar’s letter, which Thomas the apostle wrote at the command of the Savior.
“Blessed is he who believes in me without having seen me. For thus it is written concerning me: ‘Those who see me will not believe in me, and those who do not see me will believe and live.’ Now regarding what you wrote to me, that I should come to you: I must fulfill everything that I was sent to do here. And when I have completed this, then I shall ascend to Him who sent me. When I have ascended I shall send one of my disciples to cure your pains and grant life to you and those with you.”
Anan, Abgar’s messenger, brought this letter with the Savior’s living portrait, which has remained in the city of Edessa up to the present day.

Chapter 33 #

The preaching of Apostle Thaddeus in Edessa and copies of five letters.
Բայց յետ համբառնալոյ Փրկչին մերոյ՝ Թովմաս առաքեալ, մի յերկոտասանիցն, առաքեաց զմի յեաւթանասնից անտի զԹադէոս ի քաղաքն Եդեսիայ՝ բժշկել զԱբգար եւ աւետարանել ըստ բանին Տեառն: Որոյ եկեալ եմուտ ի տուն Տուբիայ իշխանի հրէի, զոր ասեն լինել յազգէն Բագրատունեաց. որոյ խուսեալ յԱրշամայ՝ ոչ ուրացաւ զհրէութիւնն ընդ այլ ազգականս իւր, այլ նովին աւրինաւք եկաց մինչեւ հաւատալ ի Քրիստոս: Եւ ել համբաւ նորա ընդ ամենայն քաղաքն: Լուեալ Աբգարու ասէ. «Նա է վասն որոյ գրեացն Յիսուս», եւ իսկոյն կոչեաց զնա: Եւ եղեւ ի մտանելն Թադէի` տեսիլ սքանչելի երեւեցաւ Աբգարու յերեսսն Թադէի. եւ յարուցեալ ի գահոյիցն անկաւ ի վերայ երեսաց իւրոց եւ երկիր եպագ նմա. եւ զարմացան ամենայն իշխանքն որ շուրջն կային, զի ոչ գիտացին զտեսիլն: Եւ ասէ ցնա Աբգար, եթէ «Դո՞ւ իցես արդարեւ աշակերտ աւրհնելոյն Յիսուսի, զոր ասաց առաքել ինձ այսր, եւ կարո՞ղ իցես բժշկել զցաւս իմ: Պատասխանի ետ նմա Թադէ. «Եթէ հաւատասցես ի Քրիստոս Յիսուս յորդին Աստուծոյ՝ տացին խնդրուածք սրտի քոյ: Ասէ ցնա Աբգար. «Ես հաւատացի ի նա եւ ի հայր նորա. վասն որոյ կամեցայ առնուլ զզաւրս իմ եւ գալ կոտորել զՀրեայսն, որ խաչեցին զնա, եթէ ոչ էր իմ արգելեալ վասն թագաւորութեանն Հռոմայեցւոց:
Now after the ascension of our Savior, Thomas, who was one of the twelve [apostles], sent Thaddeus, one of the seventy [disciples], to the city of Edessa to cure Abgar and to preach the gospel according to the word of the Lord. When he arrived he entered the house of Tobias, the prince of the Jews who, they say, was of the Bagratid clan. He had eluded Arsham [and fled to Judaea] and had not apostasized Judaism like his other kinfolk, but lived under that same faith until he came to believe in Christ. And news of [Thaddeus’ arrival] spread throughout the entire city. When Abgar heard it he said: “He is the one that Jesus wrote about.” And he immediately summoned him. Now it came about that when Thaddeus entered, a marvelous vision appeared to Abgar on Thaddeus’ face, and rising from his throne he fell on his face and revered him. All the princes who were standing around him were astonished, for they had not seen the vision. Abgar said to him: “Are you truly the disciple of the blessed Jesus whom he said he would send to me here, and are you able to cure my pains?” Thaddeus answered him: “If you believe in Christ Jesus the Son of God, what your heart requests will be given to you.” Abgar said to him: “I have believed in Him and in His Father. For that reason I wished to take my troops and go to destroy the Jews who crucified Him. [And I would have done this] had I not been prevented by the kingdom of the Romans.”
With these words Thaddeus began to preach the gospel to [Abgar] and his city. Placing his hand [on Abgar] he cured him and also [cured] the gout of Abdiu, a prince of the city and the most honorable man in all the house of the king. He also healed all the sick and afflicted in the city. And all of them believed. Abgar himself and the whole city were baptized. They closed the doors of the temples of the idols, and they covered up with reeds the images that were on the altars and columns. [Thaddeus] did not bring anyone to the faith forcibly; however, day by day, the number of the faithful increased.
Apostle Thaddeus baptized a certain maker of silken headdresses named Adde, and ordained him [as bishop] over Edessa, and left him with the king in place of himself. Then [Thaddeus], after receiving an edict from Abgar [commanding] that all should hear the gospel of Christ, went to Sanatruk, Abgar’s sister’s son, whom [Abgar] had set over our land and troops. Abgar hastened to write a letter to Emperor Tiberius with the following content:
Abgar’s letter to Tiberius
“Abgar, king of Armenia, wishes joy to my lord Tiberius, emperor of the Romans.
Գիտելով իմ, եթէ ոչ ինչ ծածկի ի քումմէ թագաւորութենէդ, այլ իբրեւ զմտերիմ քո՝ աւելի եւս իմացուցանեմ ի ձեռն գրոյ: Զի Հրեայք, որ բնակեալ են ի գաւառս Պաղեստինացւոց՝ ժողովեալ խաչեցին զՔրիստոս առանց իրիք յանցանաց, ի վերայ մեծամեծ երախտեացն, զոր արար առ նոսա, նշանս եւ սքանչելիս, մինչեւ զմեռեալս անգամ յարուցանել: Եւ գիտեա՛, զի զաւրութիւնքս այս ոչ են սոսկ մարդոյ, այլ Աստուծոյ: Զի եւ ի ժամանակին յորում խաչեցինն զնա՝ արեգակն խաւարեցաւ, եւ երկիր շարժեալ տատանեցաւ. եւ ինքն յետ երից աւուրց յարեաւ ի մեռելոց եւ երեւեցաւ բազմաց: Եւ այժմ յամենայն տեղիս անուն նորա ի ձեռն աշակերտաց նորա սքանչելիս մեծամեծս կատարէ. որ եւ առ իս ինքեան եցոյց յայտնապէս: Եւ արդ՝ այսուհետեւ տէրութիւնդ քո գիտէ, որ ինչ արժան է հրամայել ի վերայ ժողովրդեանն Հրէից, որք զայն գործեցին, եւ գրել ընդ ամենայն տիեզերս, զի երկրպագեսցեն Քրիստոսի` իբրեւ ճշմարիտ Աստուծոյ: Ողջ լեր:
“Even though I know that nothing is hidden from your majesty, yet as your intimate friend I am informing you about something more in writing. For the Jews who live in the districts of Palestine gathered together and crucified Christ without any fault on His part and despite the great benefits that He had worked among them—signs and wonders, even on occasion resurrecting the dead. Understand that these powers are not [those of] a mere man but of God. For at the time when they crucified Him, the sun was eclipsed and the ground shook from an earthquake. After three days, He himself rose from the dead and appeared to many. And now in every place His name accomplishes very great miracles through his disciples. He showed this to me [in my healing] very clearly. Consequently, your majesty knows whatever is right to command concerning the Jewish people who did this, and what to write to the whole world so that they worship Christ as the true God. Be well”.
The reply to Abgar’s letter from Tiberius
“Tiberias, emperor of the Romans wishes joy to Abgar, king of the Armenians.
Զթուղթ մտերմութեանդ քոյ ընթերցան առաջի իմ, վասն որոյ շնորհակալութիւն ի մէնջ քեզ հասցէ: Թէպէտ եւ ի բազմաց մեք լուեալ զայդ յառաջագոյն, եցոյց եւ Պիղատոս ստուգապէս վասն նշանաց նորա, եւ եթէ յետ յարութեանն ի մեռելոց հաւատարիմ եղեւ բազմաց, թէ Աստուած է: Վասն որոյ եւ ես կամեցայ առնել զայդ, զոր եւ դուդ խորհեցար: Այլ քանզի սովորութիւն է Հռոմայեցւոց՝ աստուած ի հրամանէ թագաւորի միայնոյ ոչ նստուցանել, մինչեւ ոչ փորձեալ քննեսցի նա ի սինկղիտոսէ, վասն որոյ եւ իմ յայտնեալ զբանս զայս սինկղիտոսին՝ արհամարհեաց սինկղիտոսն, զի ոչ քննեցաւ նա յառաջագոյն ի սմանէ: Այլ մեր տուաք հրաման ամենայն ումեք, որում եւ հաճոյ թուեսցի Յիսուս՝ ընկալցին զնա ընդ աստուածս. եւ մահ այնոցիկ սպառնացեալ, որ չարախաւս կայցեն զքրիստոնէից: Եւ վասն ժողովրդեանն Հրէից, որք յանդգնեցան խաչել զնա, զորմէ լսեմ, եթէ ոչ արժանի խաչի էր նա եւ մահու, այլ պատուի եւ երկրպագութեան, յորժամ առից պարապումն ի պատերազմէն Սպանիացւոց ապստամբողաց յինէն` քննեալ հատուցից նոցա զարժանն:
“Your friendly letter, for which we express gratitude, was read in our presence. Even though we had previously heard this [news about Jesus] from many people, Pilate informed us accurately about his miracles and that after his resurrection from the dead many were persuaded that he was God. For that reason, I also wanted to do as you intended. Now because the Romans have a custom that they do not certify a deity based solely on the emperor’s decree until it has been examined and investigated by the senate, I therefore proposed this matter to the senate. But the senate rejected it since the matter had not been [properly] investigated by it previously. But we commanded everyone to whom Jesus seemed pleasing that they should accept him among the gods. And we threatened with death those who slandered the Christians. And as for the people of the Jews who dared to crucify him—and I hear that he was worthy neither of the cross nor of death but rather of honor and worship—when I have a rest from the war with the Spaniards who revolted against me, I shall examine the matter and repay them in a worthy fashion.”
“Abgar, king of the Armenians, wishes joy to my lord Tiberius, emperor of the Romans.
“I have seen the letter written by your worthy majesty and I have rejoiced at your intended command. But if you will not be angry at me, the action of your senate is most foolish. For according to them it is through investigation by humans that divinity is granted. Consequently, if God does not please [these] people, He cannot be God; and by this reasoning people are worthy to intercede with God. But if it seems pleasing to you, my lord, send someone else to Jerusalem in place of Pilate, so that the latter may be removed in disgrace from the authority to which you appointed him. [This is] because he did the will of the Jews and crucified Christ without reason and without your permission. I wish for your good health.”
Having written this [letter] Abgar placed a copy of it in his archive, along with the others. He also wrote to the young Nerseh, king of Assyria, in Babylon.
The letter of Abgar to Nerseh
“Abgar, king of the Armenians, wishes joy to my son, Nerseh.
“I have seen your letter of greeting and have loosed Peroz from his fetters and have forgiven him his fault. If it is your will, designate him to the superintendency of Nineveh, as you choose. Now as regards what you wrote to me ‘send me that doctor who works miracles and preaches another god who is superior to fire and water so that I may see and hear him,’ [understand that] he was not a doctor with human skill but a disciple of the son of God, creator of fire and water. [This disciple] has been sent to the Armenian areas, having drawn that [territory as his] lot. But one of his principal comrades, named Simon, has been sent to the Persian areas, there [where you are]. Search for him and then hear him, you and also your father, Artashe’s. And he will cure all illnesses and show you the path of life.”
[Abgar] also wrote a letter with this content to Artashe’s, king of the Persians:
Abgar’s letter to Artashe’s
Abgar, king of the Armenians, wishes joy to my brother Artashe’s, king of the Persians.
“I know that by now you have heard about Jesus Christ, the son of God, whom the Jews crucified, who rose from the dead, and sent His disciples throughout the entire world to teach everywhere. One of His principal disciples, named Simon, is in some part of your realm. Now if you search for and find him, he will heal all the illnesses and diseases among you and show you the path of life. You should believe his words, you and your brothers and all who voluntarily submit to you. For it is pleasing to me that you, who physically are my kin, should also spiritually be my intimate relatives.”
But before he had received replies to these letters, Abgar died, after reigning for 38 years.

Chapter 34 #

Regarding the martyrdom of our apostles.
Յետ մահուանն Աբգարու բաժանի թագաւորութիւնն Հայոց յերկուս. քանզի Անանուն որդի նորա կապեաց թագ՝ թագաւորել յԵդեսիայ, եւ քեռորդի նորա Սանատրուկ ի Հայս: Գտանի որ ինչ առ սոցա ժամանակաւ՝ յառաջագոյն գրեալ յայլոց, զգալուստ առաքելոյն Թադէի ի Հայս, եւ հաւատալ Սանատրկոյ. եւ թողուլ զհաւատսն յերկիւղէ նախարարացն Հայոց, եւ կատարումն առաքելոյն եւ որք ընդ նմա՝ ի գաւառին Շաւարշան, որ այժմ կոչի Արտազ, եւ պատառումն քարին եւ յիրեարս գալ եւ ընդունել զմարմին Առաքելոյն, եւ առնուլ անտի աշակերտացն եւ թաղել ի դաշտին. եւ մարտիրոսանալ դստերն արքայի Սանդխտոյ հուպ ի ճանապարհն. եւ աստ ուրեմն յայտնել նշխարաց երկոցունց, եւ փոխել յառապարն: Այս ամենայն, որպէս ասացաք, յայլոց պատմեալ յառաջագոյն քան զմեզ՝ ոչ ինչ կարեւորագոյն համարեցաք ոճով երկրորդել: Դոյնպէս եւ որ ինչ վասն կատարմանն Ադդէի աշակերտի առաքելոյն յԵդեսիայ յորդւոյն Աբգարու՝ գտանի յայլոց պատմեալ յառաջագոյն քան զմեզ:

After the death of Abgar, the kingdom of the Armenians was divided into two parts. This happened because Ananun,[^1] [Abgar’s] son donned a crown in Edessa and his nephew (sister’s son), Sanatruk, in Armenia. Events of his time have been previously described by others: the coming of the apostle Thaddeus to Armenia, Sanatruk’s acceptance of the [Christian] faith, his apostasy for fear of the Armenian lords, the martyrdom of the apostle and those with him in the district of Shavarshan, which is now called Artaz, the opening and closing of the rock and its reception of the apostle’s body, the removal [of the body] by his disciples and burial in the plain, the martyrdom of the king’s daughter Sandukht near the road, the [subsequent] discovery there of the relics of the two [martyrs] and their removal to a rocky place [for burial]. All this, as we have said, others have related before us, so we did not consider it at all important to repeat it in full. Similarly, whatever concerns the death of Adde’, the disciple of the apostle, at the hands of Abgar’s son in Edessa has been described by others before us.

[^1] “Nameless”.

When [“Ananun,” Abgar’s son] came to the throne after his father’s death, he did not inherit his father’s virtue. Instead, he opened the idol temples and adhered to pagan worship. He sent to Adde’ [with a demand] that he make for him a tiara of silk embroidered with gold, as he previously had made for his father. And he received in reply: “My hands will not make a tiara for an unworthy head that does not worship Christ the living God.” [“Ananun”] immediately ordered one of his soldiers to cut off [Adde’s] feet with a sword. When the soldier came and saw him sitting on his chair of instruction, he drew his sword and cut off [Adde’s] legs. Straightway he gave up the ghost. We have recorded this very briefly as it has been related by others before us.
The apostle Bartholomew also drew Armenia as his lot. He was martyred among us in the city of Arebanus. But as for the Simon who drew Persia as his lot, I can say nothing certain about what he did or where he was martyred. Some relate that a certain apostle Simon was martyred in Veriosp’or. However, whether this is true and what the reason for his going there was, I do not know. I have merely noted this so that you may realize that I have spared no efforts in telling you everything that is appropriate.

Chapter 35 #

Concerning the reign as king of Sanatruk, the killing of Abgar’s descendants, and about Queen Helen.
When Sanatruk began to rule as king, he gathered forces under the command of his dayeaks (foster-parents, guardians) the Bagratid and Artsrunid braves, to descend and wage war against Abgar’s sons so that he might rule over the whole kingdom. While he was occupied with this, by divine province the murder of Adde’ by Abgar’s son was avenged. For [Abgar’s son] was having a marble pillar erected on the roof of his palace in Edessa, and he himself was standing below giving orders as to how it should be done. But [the column] slipped from the grasp of those holding it and fell on him, crushing his feet and killing him.
Immediately a message came to Sanatruk from the residents of the city, asking for a pact [stating] that [if] he would not disturb them in their Christian faith, [in return] they would hand over the city and the king’s treasures. [Sanatruk] agreed to this, but subsequently violated [the agreement]. All the male children of the House of Abgar he put to the sword. The girls, however, he removed from the city to settle [them] in the Hashteank’ areas. Similarly, the chief of Abgar’s wives, whose name was Heghine’, he sent to reside in his own city of Harran, leaving her the queenship of all Mesopotamia in return for the benefits that he had received from Abgar through her.
This Helen, adorned with the faith like her husband Abgar, could not stand living among idolaters. And so she went to Jerusalem in the days of Claudius, during the famine that Agabus had predicted. Spending all her treasures in Egypt, she bought a great quantity of wheat and distributed it to all the needy. Josephus attests to this. Her noteworthy tomb stands before the gate to Jerusalem to this very day.

Chapter 36 #

Concerning the renovation of the city of Nisibis, the naming of Sanatruk, and his death.
Of the deeds wrought by Sanatruk we have considered nothing worthy of recording except the [re]building of the city of Nisibis. Since it had been destroyed by an earthquake, [Sanatruk] demolished it and rebuilt it [even] more splendidly, fortifying it with double walls and outwork. In the middle [of the city] he set up a statue of himself holding a coin in his hand, to indicate that in the construction of this city all his treasures had been spent and only this [one coin] remained.
However, now we must say why he was called Sanatruk. It happened that Abgar’s sister, Awde, was traveling to Armenia in winter when she encountered a snowstorm in the mountains of Korduk’. The storm scattered all of them to the point that they could not see their comrades. Now his dayeak Sanota, sister of Biwrat Bagratuni and wife of Xosren Artsruni, took the child–for he was a small child–and put him against her bosom, remaining under the snow for three days and three nights. About this [incident] they speak as though it were a fable, to the effect that a marvelous white animal was sent by the gods and protected the child. But as far as we understand the matter, it happened like this: a white dog, sent out to search for them, found the child and nurse. Thus, he was called Sanatruk, which derives from the nurse’s name, with the meaning “gift of Sanota.”
He came to the throne in the 12th year of Artashe’s, king of the Persians. After living for thirty years, he died during a hunt, hit in the stomach by an arrow—as though in revenge for the torments he inflicted on his saintly daughter. Gherubna, son of Ap’shadar the scribe, wrote an account of all the things that occurred in the days of Abgar and Sanatruk and placed it in the archive in Edessa.
(Շարայարելի)
(To be continued)