Ancient Mythology and Kurds. Ararat Or Judy?

Ancient Mythology and Kurds. Ararat Or Judy?




Latif Mammad



The Kurds, as the ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia, are directly related to the spiritual heritage that had been accumulating for thousands of years, enriched and subsequently flowed into the spiritual treasury of humanity. The Kurdish people,during a long human evolution, as a genetic guide and a living book, managed to preserve and transmit the practical experience accumulated by mankind and the powerful layers of the cultures of the past millennia that have survived, but could not take advantage of its benefits. The spiritual values of the Kurdish people are consciously and deliberately stealing, the desire to bury into oblivion the past and the present of this people, and wiped out of their existence is precisely explained by this.



One of the most ancient is the legend of Noah’s Ark and the Flood, which is directly related to the history of the Kurdish people. Some theologians and scientists directly associate this legend with the territory around Mount Ararat, where Kurds have lived for thousands of years. Therefore, the consideration of this issue may clarify the ethnic lining of this myth. According to ancient and medieval sources, the ancient inhabitants around Mount Ararat and the Nakhichevan region were maras (Medes), who played an important role in the formation of the Kurdish ethnic group. This article is the first to raise the issue of Mars (Medes) as a protokurds. The process of the formation of the Kurdish ethnos stretched for millennia, and for this reason the Kurds in history were known by different ethnic names. One of these groups, known in history as the “Mars”, was the ancient inhabitants of Nakhichevan and nearby territories. Nakhichevan, located between Azerbaijan and Armenia along the Araks River and the Turkish-Iranian border, belongs geographically to the Republic of Azerbaijan. In Nakhichevan, human life began a long time ago, as evidenced by the abundant cultural artefacts. Scientists related to the history of Southern Transcaucasia are absolutely unanimous in their view: the ancient inhabitants of Nakhichevan were Mars (Medes), but they did not want to see Kurds behind the Mars. It is also true that, arguing over Nakhichevan and the area around it, Armenian and Azerbaijani scientists keep silent about the ethnicity of the Mars (Medes) and stubbornly impose on everyone the idea of later assimilation of the Mars by the Armenian or Turkic ethnic group. Some of them even try to see Mars as proto-Turkic or proto-Armenians. Unfortunately, many scholars of the former Soviet Union, for ideological reasons or because of a sense of solidarity with their colleagues in Azerbaijan and Armenia, also ignored the ethnicity of the Mars in silence, at best recognizing their “Iranian language speaking”. To say that all these scholars were mistaken about the ethnic identity of the Mars as the Kurds would be a great injustice. The explanation is simple – otherwise the entire history of Southern Transcaucasia would have to be rewritten. And another reason – the historical truth did not meet the interests of the USSR, which, continuing the policy of the Russian empire, under the pretext of joining the “Azerbaijani” and “Armenian” lands, hatched plans for the further expansion of its borders. And in this question, the Kurds became a stumbling block, the silence about their ancient history corresponded to the interests of all the peoples inhabiting this region and countries, between which Kurdistan was divided. The Kurds in these lands are autochthonous, and a lot has been written about this. Referring to the history of Nakhichevan, I. Shopin wrote: “M. Khorensky mentions only the village of Marakert, founded by Artashes II and inhabited by the Medes; perhaps this is the village of Yaiji,  Daralagez makal in Sharursk“(1-279). He further writes that the city of Nakhichevan, with the surrounding it country, received the first population from the Armenian king Tigran I (565-520 BC) [1], who, having deposed the Median kingdom, together with Cyrus settled here all the Median captives with the family of the killed by him last Median king Astyages and entrusted them to his sister, Tigranui” (1-319). Shopin is of the opinion that exactly the Mars-Medes were the first inhabitants, and he draws this conclusion on the basis of the most authoritative source for Armenians – “The History of Armenia” by M. Khorensky. The well-known American historian Richard Fry, to designate the pre-Islamic period of Iran, offers the concept of “Greater Iran” only in its historical and cultural meaning. Greater Iran includes all the territories in which Iranian languages were spoken in historical times and whose culture can be considered Iranian. Geographically, it also includes the Transcaucasus (2-20). This means that R. Fry in the ancient inhabitants of South Transcaucasia, where Nakhichevan territorially enters, sees only Iranians. I. Shopin writes that “the inhabitants of the Armenian region, who beforetime live there, are divided into two roots: Armenians and Kurds” (1-525). But at the same time, he naturally gives a leadership in the matter of autochthonousness to the Kurds: “The Kurds (the ancient Kurduks) make up the primitive tribe found by Gayk in the newly occupied countries under the Araks; they are probably cognate to the ancient Parthians whom even the Romans themselves are not able to cope with!” He further writes that “… it’s impossible not to recognize the Kurds as the oldest autochthons in the country; these are the very Kurduks (Kardukhs – L.M.), about them Xenophon narrates in “Anabasis” (“The March of the Ten Thousand Greeks”), and there is no doubt that they belong to the common Sanskrit root” (1-526). And finally, referring to this topic, he writes: “Among indigenous, native dialects, the most ancient, primitive should be Kurdish, used by the tribes inhabiting the country entrusted from the Assyrian kings to rule by Hayk’s father Gaiq Torgom [2] in the present Arak valley and in the neighboring areas” ( 1-906). If I. Shopin also takes the Kurds as the autochthonous population of Nakhichevan and the surrounding territories, then by what name would they be known to ancient sources, if not by “Mars-Medes”?



We find the mention of the Mars in Herodotus (VII, 79), Xenophon (Anabasis, IV, 3, 4), Strabo (XI, 13), Tacitus (Annals, XIV, 23). In describing the events of the Arab invasion, sources mention the Kurds in the area of historic Adiabena and neighboring areas, where “Kurdish fortifications” are mentioned (3-77). The “History of Armenia” by M. Khorensky contains extensive information about the “unapproachable country of the Mars” (4-II, 63; III, 47). In F. Buzand we meet eponyms “fortified gavar Artsakh”, “fortified gavar Tmorik” and “fortified country Kordrik”, “fortified country of the Mars” (5-IV, L). Sebeos also reports on the “fortified country of the Mars” (6-I), about Paytakaran [3] in the “fortified country of the Mars” (6-II).



It is noteworthy, that the ancient Armenian authors drew a clear administrative and political border between the eponyms “mardpetakan”, “the country of the Mars” and “the fortified country of the Mars”. Those places where the Mars (Mards) lived, Armenian sources call Mar(d)astan, or Mardots-ek, i.e. Muratsan – the country of the Mards. Representatives of the princely clans of these mar(d)s were given the title “mar(d)pet”, that is, “The head of the Mards”. Thus, the clan of the Mar(d)s and their possessions began to be called mardpet-akan.



Vaspurakan’s historian [4] Thomas Artsruni reports on the division of land between two brothers Gagik and Gurgen. Giving a list of Vaspurakan areas, he breaks them into two groups: the north-west and south-east. Regarding the first group, the northwestern one, the historian notes that those famous cantons were once the possessions of the so-called Prince Mardpet (7-318), i.e. since ancient times, these lands have been inhabited by the Mars-Medes. The title “Prince Mardpet” in Armenian sources was anonymous, which indicates their lack of awareness about the Mars (Median) dynasties.



Thus, a part of Vaspurakan had in ancient times the name Mardpet – “regardless of whether it coincided with Gagik’s area, the result of a random division in the 9th century or not; this is the country Mardptetakan. In the case of Armenian authors, the latter name sometimes alternates with the term Sepakan, as its equivalent geographical concept” (7-337).



Academician V.A. Gordolevsky writes that in the 9th century, possession of the Vaspurakan princes extended from Dzhulamerk (Chelamerik) in the south to Salmas in the East and Araks in the north [5] (8-125).



In the ancient Armenian sources, the word mar is found in the form of mar’k, murk, and in the sources translated into Russian – marskiy. M. Khorensky explains the phrase “mur’atsan ter [6]” through “mar’atsots ter”, i.e. “The ruler of the Mar-s” – Medes. In Armenian Geography of the 7th Century, Media is also indicated as “Mark”. “Ancient Armenian mar, as academician I. M. Dyakonov writes, is a regular transfer of the Parthian mâδ, which, in turn, naturally corresponds to the ancient mâda; on the other hand, med-aci is the Armenian translation of the Greek term medoi, which is a logical correspondence in the literary Ionian dialect to the form mâdoi, which conveys the same term mâda. The Russian “midyane” goes back to the late Greek pronunciation of mêdoi, like midi ”(9-44, note 1).



On the pages (142 “a”, “b”) of the ancient Armenian manuscript No. 1495, stored in the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (“Matenadaran”) of Armenia, the Armenian geographer emphasizes that the Medes are the same Kurds. According to the source, “the inhabitants of that country are Kurds (who) are called the Medes” (13–20). Another Armenian source reports about the Kurds visiting the church Tspn at May 19, 1426: “the people of the Medes, who are called Kurds, came at the dawn…” (13-21). Armenian sources in the XIII-XIX centuries continued to report on Kurdistan as the “Country of tha Mars,” and by the tribes of mars were meant Kurds (14, 46-49, prim.3-4). Arakel Davrizhetsi (17th century) reports on “a certain Gazi Khan from the Kurdish tribe, the grand prince and ruler of the country of the Mars oppressed by the Ottomans, because the Ottomans wanted to kill him and take his principality…” and about another prince from the Mar tribe named Ulama-Ogly Gaybad Bek… “(14-46).



Another historian of the XVII century Zakariy Kanakertsi wrote that “the Mars, i.e. the Kurds (living) on the other side of Mount Masis, united and decided to move to the Sharur valley…” (15-82). Armenian anonymous chronicle of 1712-1736 also reports that Abdullah Pasha, before the beginning of the assault (by the Ottomans) of the Yerevan Fortress, “sent for help to the Mars (Kurds), who … sent 35 thousand soldiers…” (16-11). Albanian (Caucasian – L. M.) sources also meant by the Mars only Kurds. Esai Hassan Jalalyan, a hereditary Albanian prince, wrote about the borders of the Iranian state, which passed “… along the borders of the Mars (Kurds)” (17-13). Armenian historian of the XIX century K. Khachaturov under the Mars directly means the Kurds. According to him, “Mar” is the ancient persian form of the name of the Medes. Although the Armenians also have the name “Medean”, but more common is  the mentioned above form mar or otherwise “maratsi”. Further, the author, based on the “History of Armenia” by M. Khorensky, writes that “the King of Armenia, having defeated Astyage (Ajdahak), the king of the Kurds, resettled them in his state and populated with them mountainous areas of Armenia, mainly the Ararat Upland” (18-65 ). From these reports, it is clear that the Armenian tradition, by the name Ajdahak, unambiguously means only the last Median king, Astyages. But what is the connection between the words Azhdahak and Astyages and why, through this, the ancient sources called the Kurds also the Mars — Vishaps — Draconians? Is there a direct connection between them? It turns out that there is a direct one. In ancient Sumer Kuti mythology one of the names of the underworld is “Kur” [7] (19-299), where is hidden the mythical ajdahak – the dragon Asaga, the devil of the disease. In written sources, the name Astyages is written as Istumegu. Apparently, Asaga-Astyages (Ishtumegu) have a common root and in meaning Ajdahak (Dragon). For this reason, the ancient sources the Kurds, as descendants of the Medean king Astiages, who was called Ajdahak, later began to name the Mars. From history it is known that in 2109 BC as a result of the conspiracy, which was headed by the ensi (ruler) of the city of Uruk Utuhegal, an end was put to the rule of the Gutian king Trigan [8] in Sumer. Inspired by luck, Utuhegal wrote a poem where he calls the Gutins “the stinging snake of the mountains, the rapist (against) the gods who took Sumer’s kingdom to the mountains, filled Sumer with enmity, took a wife from her husband, took a child from his parents, aroused enmity and violence in the country” 9-110,111). The echo of Tirigan’s defeat long lived in history. In a document compiled during the Seleucid period (312-64 BC), the Tirigan’s defeat is explained by an unsuccessful natural phenomenon – the solar eclipse. There are numerous cases of influence on the course of historical events and the fate of people of this phenomenon, for example, on the fate of the Egyptian pharaoh of the twentieth dynasty Ramses XII, on the outcome of the war between Media and Lydia on May 28, 585 BC, when the Median king Astyages and the Lydian king Aliatt took the solar eclipse for a sign and, having stopped the fighting, signed a peace treaty, having sealed it with a dynastic marriage between Astyages and Arienia, Aliatt’s daughter. But in the case of Tirigan, it is noteworthy that the information about the solar eclipse, in what languages, reached the Seleucid period and later, including the Utuhegal’s inscription-poem, where Iranian-speaking Gutians, the ancestors of the Medes, and modern Kurds he calls “the stinging snake of the mountains.” This can be explained by the fact that the Utuhegal’s poem was translated into Akkadian-Assyrian, Babylonian-Chaldean, and later the Median-Persian languages, where the “snake” in the Median and Persian will sound like “mar.” It is not accidental that Colonel Henry Kresvik Rawlinson [9] in his book “Notes on the Early History of Babylonia” explains the word Ajdahak through “biting Snake”, i.e. “Stinging snake”, taking “aj” (compare to russian “uzh”) for “snakes” and dahak – for “stinging” (20-Appendix 5, item 1). Thus, the obviousness of the fact that the ancient written sources by “mars” imply the ancestors of modern Kurds should not cause doubts: there is no difference between the expressions of Utuhegal’s “the stinging snake of the mountains” regarding the Gutians and G. Rowlinson’s “the stinging snake” relatively to Ajdahak. In the Middle Persian essay of the 6th century it speaks about the Ajdahak’s (Astyages’) seven mountain masters (clans) (21-59, 88). About “the mountain rulers of the settlements” – Midian leaders Assyrian sources  began to report quite early (9-261, 175, 380). The eponym “sovereign princes” in all ancient sources belonged exclusively to the Medes-Mars-Kurds [10]. The most detailed information about the Mars in ancient Armenian sources is contained in the “History” by M. Khorensky, where a list of the “first marian kings: Varbakis, Modakis, Artikis, Deovkis, P’ravortis, Kvaks, Azhdahak [11]” is given (4-I, 23). In these names, though highly distorted, it is not difficult to guess the names of the Medes’ kings – Varbak, Mandak, Artik, Deyok, Fravartish (Fraot), Kiaksar and Astyages (Azhdahak [12]). The author explains his awareness with information from the “ancient archives of the Chaldean (Babylonian – L.M.), Assyrian and Parsan where the royal charters are kept…” (4-1, 21). E. Weidenbaum wrote that “the Kurds are known since ancient times as inhabitants of the Medes – present-day Kurdistan” (23.76-77). It is clear that the ancient and modern Armenian sources under the Medes-Mars mean the Kurds. But in this regard, do not maintain any criticism M. Khorensky’s report about the murder of the King of the Medes (Mars) Azhdahak (Astyages) by the Armenian king Tigran I and the settlement “more than ten thousand prisoners of the Mars” together with Astyages’ wife Anuysh “behind the eastern ridge of the Great Mountain [13] towards Gohtna [14], i.e. in Tambat [15], in Oskioha, Dazhguynk and in other settlements standing along the bank of the river (Araks), one of which is called Vranjunik [16], opposite the Nakhchivan fortress. He also assigns three suburbs to them: Hram, Juhu (Julfa) and Hoshakunik; and on the other side of the river – the whole plain, starting from Azhdanakan to the very fortress of Nakhichevan. Tigran settled the above-mentioned (Azhdahak’s) wife Anuysh with his sons in a safe place, from where (starting) the remnants of the Great Mountain collapse (what happened, they say, because of the terrible earthquake [17]”(4, I-30). The author also mentions the chronological songs sung by the inhabitants of Goghtn, where “the Azhdahak’s descendants, called vishapazunkians, are mentioned allegorically, as azhdahak means dragon in our language” (4, I -30). It is well known that the last Median king, Astyages, was removed from power by his grandson Cyrus in 550 BC as a result of palace nobility treason. The king of Armenia Tigran (140-55 BC) rules in 95-56 BC. As we can see, the distance between life and activity of these two historical figures is over 400 years. In the “History of Armenia”, M. Khorensky the Mars in the Nakhichevan area are mentioned in connection with the alleged personality of Tigran I, who allegedly resettled the Mars in these areas during his reign (in 565-520 BC). But despite the chronological confusion in this message, the fact that the Armenian tradition “accommodates” Kurds in these areas since the 6th century BC is valuable. The fate of the wife of the king of the Medes, Astyages-Ajdahak, is not entirely clear. According to the legend of Xenophon, “the wife of the king of the Medes, when the Persians seized power from the Medes,” fled to the fortress-city Mespil, which was once “inhabited by the Medes” (Anabasis, III, ch. IV, 10-11-12). The Persians, who were besieging the city, could not take it either by force or by a long siege, but “Zeus struck the inhabitants with lightning, and thus the city was taken.” Apparently, the resistance was stubborn and only the spread of the epidemic led to the death of most of the residents – the defenders of the fortress city – caused theirs death. Scientists identify Mespila with the current Mosul, the old Nineveh, which seems to be true. Xenophon found the city already in ruins. Apparently, the bitter fate of the besieged befell Astyages’ wife – she died from the disease. Reporting about the future fate of Astyages, the sources absolutely do not mention his wife. According to Ctesias, Astyages “was sent to an honorary exile as governor of Barkanias”, and according to Justin, Hyrcania. According to Academician Dyakonov, “two different transmissions of the names of the inhabitants of the Uarkana region – “Gyrkania”. But Quintus Curtius Rufus in his history of Alexander of Macedon distinguishes barcanias and hyrcanias (9-423). Apparently, Quintus Curtius Rufus is right because during the Persian-Median wars of 553-550 Hyrcanians went over to the Persians, and although for this reason Astyages could not be an “honored” guest of his traitors. But betrayal in the East is never gets forgiven and is considered as one of the most inexcusable offenses. Sources report that Astyages, under the pretext of a trip to his daughter, was led into the desert by eunuch Petesak under the conspiracy of Oybayr and there he was thrown into starvation. Ctesias says that after this Petesak was referred by Astyage’s daughter Amitida to a painful execution, and Oybayr committed suicide. There is evidence that the historic Ugbar (Oiybayr) died in 538 in Babylon” (“The Chronicle of Nabonidus”, III, 22).



Most likely, Astyages, defeated by fate and forgotten by all Median king in an “honorable” exile, died of sadness, grief and old age, and his death,as it usually happens with the greats of the world, was shrouded in speculation and legends. History has preserved the name of the wife of Astyages – Anuysh [18] in Armenian sources. As for the “killing of Astyages by Tigran” and his “second wife Tigranui, Tigran’s sister ” – this is an artificially created legend and has nothing to do with historical reality. The ancestors of the Kurds in these lands lived long before the arrival of Armenian immigrants. M. Khorensky reports that when Artashat was founded, the son of the Armenian king Artashes Artavazd “did not find a place for his palace, went and built Marakert between the Mars in a glade called Sharur” (4-I, 30). Marakert, i.e. “The city of the Mars” (and we already know that the Mars means Kurds) was located in a glade with the Kurdish name Sharur [19]. The fact that Artashat was founded during the reign of the king of Armenia, Artaxia (Artashes) (189-161 BC), is a valuable evidence that the ancient inhabitants of Nakhchivan and to the southern slopes of Ararat and Aragats (Alagyaz) were the Kurds. According to the testimony of Armenian sources, the Mars-Kurds played an important military-political role at the royal court. The second state dignitary was appointed from the descendants of the former Marian king Ajdahak, now called muratsan’ians. For the ancestor of this kind is not called muratsan-ter, but muratsotster. Vakharshak leaves behind him all the villages that (belonged) to the captive Mars” (4-II, 8). Valarshak, a.k.a. the king of Parthia Vologhez I (Valarsh) from the Arshakids dynasty, who reigned in the 60s. AD, who appointed his brother Tiridates I (64-82) to the Armenian throne. It was said above that the title “ter” is an appeal to the representatives of the clergy and exists among Armenians, starting from the 7th century AD. Even if we take Arshakids for the “Parthians” in the ethnic sense, even without this we see the Mars-Kurds in the role of the first state dignitaries in Armenia. M. Khorensky calls the first vassal in the state Argam “the master of the house of the Muratsan tribe from the Azhdahak’s descendants” (4-I, XI-44), “a brave man, a ruler of numerous spearmen” (4-I, XI, 46). “The master of the house of a tribe” should be understood as “the leader of a tribe (confederation of tribes)”. It is noteworthy that M. Khorensky called Azhdahak as a “Marian-Parsian” (4-I, 29), puts into this notion precisely the ethnic meaning and thereby emphasizes the ethnic community of the Mars and tha Parthians [20]. Even despite the chronological confusion from the “History” of Moses Khorensky, the fighting for the throne emerges precisely among individual Kurdish tribal leaders, but not Armenian feudal lords, as Armenian scholars are trying to present. According to the historian, after the death of King Abgar, the Armenian kingdom falls into two halves: Ananun, his son, having placed on himself a crown, reigns in Edessa [21], and his nephew (from his sister), Sanatruk [22] – in Armenia (4-XI, 34 ). Sanatruk, in order to take possession of the whole kingdom, begins a war against the Abgar’s sons, i.e. against his maternal uncles (4-xi, 35). According to legend, Sanatruk got its name for the following reason: Abgar’s sister, Ode, went to Armenia and was caught in a snowstorm in the Korduk (Kurdistan – L.M.) mountains. Sanatruk’s nurse, Sano [23], sister of Burat Bagratuni, wife of Horsen Artsruni, holding baby tight against her breast, remained under the snowfall for three days and three nights. Hence his name is Sanatruk, which means, according to the historian, “Sanot’s gift” 24 (4-XI, 36). Further, M. Khorensky reports that Yeruand [25], having become a king, began to fear the Sanatruk’s children and decided to exterminate his entire clan. However, one young man named Artashes escaped: the nurse, taking him, hid in the “Her countries” – in one of the regions adjacent to Atropaten — in the “Malkhazan [26] shepherd’s shelters” (4-XI, 37), which are located in the “Mar’s Land” (4-xi, 38). This Yeruand (Oront) “with hatred in his soul, turning the thought in his mind – what evil for his state is being fed in the Country of Mars (italics mine – L.M.)” … through ambassadors and through gifts trying to persuade “the Parsian king to give him Artashes, saying: “You are a kinsman to me, the same blood flows in our veins, why do you feed against me and against my state the Marian Artashes, bowing the ear to the speeches of the robber Smbat, who says that Artashes is the son of Sanatruk. He tries to introduce the shepherd’s son and herderman for Arshakuni … no, he is not the son of Sanatruk, he is some kind of young Mar”(italics mine – L.M.) (4-XI, 38). The comparison of Artashes with Arshakuni (Arshakids) and the appeal of King Eruand to the “Parissian king” reminding him of their kinship testifies to the fact that the struggle for the royal throne in Armenia was between individual kings amongst those, who resort the support from the Kurds and the Romans [27] and other Iranian-speaking feudal lords. After receiving information about the joint actions of the allied forces, including the “Parisians”, operating under the general command of Smbat in order to enthrone Artashes, Yeruand from the region of Uti headed to his city, “tightens the troops of the Armenian, Iberian, Mesopotamian and Caesarean countries – promising gifts with one, inclining to others with requests” [28] (4-XI, 44). “Argam, the master of the house of the Muratsan tribe from the Azhdahak’s descendants, with numerous infantry” also arrives to Yeruand, because Yeruand had already returned to him the second place, which Tigran took from his clan, gave to his son-in-law Mithridates. After the death of Mithridates, the Argam’s clan was restored to its former rights (3-XI, 44). Smbat at the head of the allied forces is moving in the direction of the Yeruand’s camp, which was located on the Ahurian River. The allies — Smbat and Artashes — were not afraid of the superior number of the Yeruand’s troops, but “they feared only the Muratsan’ian Argam, the brave man, the lord of numerous spearmen” (4-XI, 46). After oath promises and persuasion, Artashes manages to win Argam to his side, and this alliance determines the outcome of the battle, while Yeruand manages to flee. By the order of Artashes, at the palace of Yeruand, his soldiers unanimously shout: “Mar Amed”, which in Persian means “Mar, i.e. the Mede came ”(ibid.). Artashes, generously awarding the troops – “Marian and Parsian”, releases them to their lands. “He also grants to Argam, the brave and famous man, the promised second place, also the crown covered with rubies, a pair of earrings for the ears, red shoes for one foot, the right to eat with a golden spoon and drink from golden bowls” (4-II, 47). These regalia were honored only the first persons after the king. So, we see allies in the face of Kurds (Mars and Parsians – Argam’s spearmen and Parsian troops) at the head with Smbat-Artashes-Argam, who oppose the Persian Oront’s (Yeruand’s) army, consisting of Armenians, Iberians (Georgians), Mesopotamian (perhaps, Adiabian, Syrians) and Caesarean (i.e. Romans). In the end, the victory for the Marian-Kurdish Artashes. The commander of the Artashes’ troops Smbat, voluntarily resigning his duties, with the permission of Artashes, “settled in Tmorik [29]” (4-II, 53). N. Adonts admits that Kordrik-Kortchay owes its ethnic name to the Kurds living there since ancient times. According to N. Adonts, “… the origin of the outlying regions is … Kortchei … they are very ancient, many of them are of Armenian origin” (7-230). According to the legend set forth in the “History” of Khorensky, the fate of Argam was much more tragic. Artashes’ Wife Satenik falls in love with Argam, the brave man and of wondrous beauty. Artavazd, the king’s son, unleashes a war against Argam and in the “two-year war” exterminates all children together with their father (Argam) and the most distinguished of the Muratsan family, captures all the villages and their possessions, and also takes away “Nakhichevan and all villages lying in the north from Yeraskh (Araks)”. This is the Argam, which in the legend is also called Argavan [30] (4-II, 51). Khorensky emphasizes that these acts are mostly known from vipasans‘ (italics is mine – L.M.) (songs) [31]. By “vipasans” he means the Vishaps-Mars, i.e. Kurds who sing in Goghtn (4-II, 49). As mentioned above, Goghtn corresponds to the modern Ordubad district with the city of the same name in Nakhichevan. Sources have information that the Byzantine emperor Domitian, unhappy that Artashes “lay down from the Romans and refused to pay tribute to them, sends an army of to Artashes [32]… which begins to strongly pursue Tiran [33]… to the vast Basean valley” (4-XI, 54). The Roman emperor from 81 Domitian (AD 51-96) was killed as a result of a palace plot. This allows us to attribute the date of the death of Argam (Argavan) to the end of I c. AD. The Mars-Kurds and in V c. were the main inhabitants of the territories adjacent to Nakhichevan – Agri/Ararat and Alagyaz/Aragats. Koryun – the author of the book “The Life of Mashtots” (V c.) announces the beginning of the missionary activity of Mesrop Mashtots, who “received the urgent king’s order to start (training) the (inhabitants) of wild lands the Mars, who were difficult to access not only because of the devilish-satanic monstrous temper, but also because of a very broken and coarse language” (30-9). Mashtots began his educational activities among Kurds in the “sixth year (reign) of Vramshapukh (389-414), the king of the Greater Armenia, i.e. in the year 395. As Koryun writes, “having taken up the education of many generations, they (Mashtots and his employees) made them clearly speaking, eloquent, educated, acquainted them with the wisdom bestowed by God. So, they (residents) have deeply penetrated into the laws and (God’s) covenants that even completely got rid of their (coarse) naturalness” (30-10). Before that, Mashtots, “taking with him the persons entrusted to him (the students), went and arrived at the homeless and erratic and incorrigible places of Goghtn” (30-5).



The expressions “the homeless and erratic and incorrigible places of Goghtn” could mean that the Kurdish tribes living there were distinguished by their sharp temper, were independent from the king or were nominally dependent on the central government and were mostly nomadic. Further, the author reports that “… and when he sat down among them the word of life, great signs appeared to the inhabitants of the gavar: the devils in all sorts of images fled (from there), rushed to the territory of the Mars” (meaning Big Media – L.M.) (30-5). Here we are talking about the missionary and educational activities of the Armenian enlightener and creator of the alphabet Mesrop Mashtots (361-440) among the Kurds. In the book of Koryun it is written that “the Mars, territory or area of the Mars – “Mark”- this name should not be understood as“ Small or Big Media, but the territory from the north-east of Mount Ararat along the banks of the Araks River, from Sharur to Nakhichevan, Hram and Jugha, etc. In ancient times, the Medes lived on this territory, which is why it was called “Mark” – literally – “Medes”, since the Armenian suffix “k” means tribal affiliation ”(30, note 64). Koryun’s book “The Life of Mashtots” was published in Yerevan in 1962. The translators and commentators are Armenian scholars. This means that they recognize that “the territory from the northeast of Mount Ararat along the banks of the Araks River, from Sharur to Nakhichevan, Hram and Jugha, etc.” is the historical place of residence of the Mars (Kurds-Medes)! But contrary to their assertions, these territories, which in Armenian sources are designated as “the territory or the area of the Mars”, were part of the territory of the Minor (Atropaten) Media. Based on the fact that by the beginning of the missionary activity of M. Mashtots in the “Country of the Mars” in 394 and at the end of the 4th – beginning of the 5th c. the Kurds also lived on these lands, we do not see convincing arguments in favor of their Armenian subordination. On the contrary, in the Country of the Mars, the military-political leadership was exercised by the Kurds-Mars. This again proves the fact that the main inhabitants of the territories adjacent to the borders of Atropatena to Nakhichevan, Ararat Mountains, Aragats (Alagyaz), Lake Sevan and to the place of confluence of the Araks and Kura rivers in the 4th-5th centuries there were the Mars (Medes). They were headed by the tribal leader –  “mardpet” Khayra [34], whom Valarshak (Vologes I, 51–78), the king of Parthia from the Arshakids dynasty, affirmed “the owner, the head of all lands stretching from Atropatena to Nakhichevan” (4-II, 7). This means that in these areas from IV to VI AD the composition of the population remained unchanged, i.e. here continued to live the Mars-Kurds [35]. And in the VII century. Kurds remained the main inhabitants of the region. Armenian historian of the 8th century Ghevond Wardpet reports that in “(685) during the Ashot-Patricia rule … on the fourth year of the administration (689), the Ismailin detachment attacked Armenia and carried out lawlessness in the villages of the Medes in Dzhug and Khoshakunyk …” (31-11) [36] These same lands in the VII — VIII centuries were owned by the Kurdish Christian state of the Mihranid dynasty. In the X-XII centuries we see these territories as part of another Kurdish state of the Sheddadid dynasty. In the thirteenth century in the same territories, the descendant of Jafansher from the Mihranid dynasty Hasan Yesai Jalal, the founder of the Christian Cathedral of Gansasar, ruled. From the XVI to the XIX century (1813) Nakhichevan was part of the Khoy Khanate, which was ruled by the princes from the Kurdish tribe Dumbuli. In the XVII-XVIII centuries in these lands ruled the Panahid dynasty, dating back to the Mihranid dynasty. In the first half of the twentieth century Red Kurdistan was formed here.






Nakhchivan (“city” or “fortress”) even before our era was part of the “Country of the Mas”, i.e. Median power. There are many versions about the date of foundation and the name of the city. The earliest mention of it as a city scientists find in the writings of the ancient author of the II century Claudius Ptolemy. Also, some sources mention the settlement near the mountain in Armenia – “The Landing Place of Noah” – by the Hebrew historian Flavius Josephus (37 – 100 AD) in the work “ Antiquities of the Jews” are indirectly attributed to the city Nakhchivan. This gave researchers – I. Shopin, S. Zelinsky, G. Alishan, K. Nikitin and others a reason, based on religious legends, to attribute the foundation of the fortress city “to the times of Noah”, which is, in our opinion, an exaggeration. In this regard, we are forced to dwell on the Kurdish version of the flood legend and Noah. But one thing is indisputable – the city originated before our era. There is an opinion about the later period of the city founding – in the early Middle Ages. Arab authors Ahmad al-Balazuri, Ibn al-Faqih, Ahmad ibn Wadih al-Ya’kubi, Yakut al-Rumi al-Hamawi associate the construction of the city with the name of the Sasanian king Khosrow Anushirvan I (531-579), but Persian  chronicles Hamdallah Qazwini and Majdi Mohammed al-Hosseini – with the name of another Sassanian king, Bahram Chobin (590-591). The name of the city of Nakhichevan is found in various transcriptions: in ancient Greek – Naksuana, Pahlavi – Nahch, Arabic – Nashava or Nakdjuan, Persian and Turkish – Nahjuan or Naksh-e Jahan, Azeri – Nakhchyvan. Armenian sources, the name of Nakhichevan, producing from “Nak-chuan”, translated “from Armenian” as “the first place of resettlement” [37] and is associated with the name of the mythical Noah and his ark. The Azerbaijani scientist R. A. Mamedov, by comparing more materials, comes to the assumption that the name “Nakhchivan” is associated either with the name of one of the Caucasian tribes, or derived from the ethno-toponymic combinations of the words of the Caucasian-Median (italics is mine – L. M) origin “Nah-chu-wan” (32-9.30). All ancient sources in these areas mention only Iranian-speaking Medes-Mars-Kurds, as inhabitants. We don’t find any mention of any Caucasian tribes in the period of interest in the Nakhchivan region. Iranian scientist Ahmed Kesravi believes that the word “van” in translation meant “city”, “village”, “dwelling”. In the article “On the meaning of the word “van” in the name “Nakhchivan”, the Russian scientist Z.I. Yampolsky expressed the opinion that the word “van” was used in the languages of the Caspian type of the Atropatenian Mars and the meaning was “habitation” and “dwelling” (32-9). German scientist, professor Egon von Elchktedt, the language of the Kurds attributes to the japhet-caspian group (33-98). Academician G. R. Kapantsian based on hieroglyphic Hittite inscriptions, which contain a fair amount of words with the determinant “city” or “country”, toponymic formations with finite elements wanni (more rarely – wanna), states that “clarification of the meaning of this Asia Minor wa(n)ni gives the Armenian language, where the word wan (often in the plural) with the ancient meaning “place of residence, place of peace”, then “monastery, orphanage”, and later “temple, monastery” (34-454 ), and by that, thus indirectly, represent Armenians as Hittite successor. It is well known that the Hittites appeared in Eastern Anatolia at the end of the second to the beginning of the first millennium BC. Before them, the Hurrians lived there, who are one of the main ethnic elements that make up the modern Kurdish ethnic group. W – Hurrian affiliation suffix. Therefore, the Hittites could well take toponymic names from the Hurrians. According to G. R. Kapantsian, over time, “van” in Armenian language instead of the meaning “dwelling, monastery” acquired the meaning “dwelling of the dead”, since in ancient times it was often written on gravestones: “This is a peace of such and such.” G. R. Kapantsian explains the narrowing of the meaning of the word “van” to the cause of the religious and ideological order (34, 456-457). As an example, he cites one Armenian word – wan-kh “temple, monastery” as the abode of God, “where mortals themselves find shelter” (34-457). This is another evidence of the prejudice towards the Kurds and the history of the Kurdish people. After all, Iranian Kurdish scholars need to know that there are several thousand words in the Kurdish language that contain the “van” suffix! For example, Lake Sevan in Armenia and Van in Kurdistan, cities and regions of Shirvan and Nakhchivan in Azerbaijan, Revanduz in the south and Silvan, Tatvan, Matnavan, Rodovan, Mervani, Sivan – in the northern part of Kurdistan. In order not to be unfounded, we cite a couple of dozens of such words, and for those who have doubts, please open any dictionary of the Kurdish language and look for the words with the ending “van” and make sure that there are several thousand such words in each dictionary of Kurdish and more than in any other language. Here are some of them: ashwan (miller), berivan (sheep milkmaid and female name Berivan), blurvan (man playing the pipe), bagvan (gardener), barhvan (lambs shepherd), garvan (goatlings shepherd), glivan (master of artistic word), gargavan (doorman, person responsible for meeting guests), gavan (cattle herder), divan (conversation; state, government; poetry collection; high place), dlovan (soulful), daravan (liar), zozanvan (mountaineer), ke’van (udder), mevan (guest), tir u kavan (arrow and bow), cavan(i) (hostess; female maid servant), malivan (master of the house, family member), narvan (wedge connecting both halves of pants, fly), palavan (hero, fighter), pivan (measure, to measure), havan (leather bag), shervan (fighter, warrior), shvan (shepherd of small cattle) and other words. Among the Kurds there are more than a thousand names, female and male, with the suffix “van”.



According to a number of Caucasian scholars, the name of the city is Nakhichek is from name “Nakhich” (32). Unfortunately, the ancient Kurdish sources were consciously and deliberately destroyed, rewritten or hidden in caches, but, fortunately, the Kurdish people themselves retain a part of their history, which is their own, female and male, names. For example, regarding the issues of our concern, we can cite as an example women’s names — Nachchyvan (Nevchyvan), Nehshevan, Navchan (“beautiful girl” – 29-199, 201) and men’s – Navchyvan, Nazchyvan (“handsome”, “daring” – 29 -339). The word Nakhshevan translates as “decoration of the (lake) Van”. In Kurdish, nawçe also means district, region, region; and “avan” is the Median-Kurdish word, really meaning “settlement”, “house”, “structure”. These words are found in the Median form – awahana (awa – structure, hana (i) – house) (9-183), and in modern Kurdish as aw|v|a – structure, well-equipped (12-42). Iranian scholars Mohammed Pasha Behshad and Mohammed Hossein Tabrizi, associating the origin of Nakhchivan with the word “nahizhir”, meaning “hunter”, note that the city was founded by Sasanid Bahram Chubin, known by the nickname “Nahjir”. The German ethnographer Jacob Eduard Polak adheres to the same opinion in the book “Iran. The country and its population “(32-8). If so, then the full name of the city should be: Nahjir-van; in Kurdish, the word “hunter” is “nejirvan” (nejirevan). Often a clan, a tribe got its name by the name of the ancestor, and therefore it seems to us that the name of Nakhchivan is associated with the tribal name. The medieval Armenian geographer among the Caucasian tribes he listed,  also calls the tribe “Nakhjemasen” or “Nakhche”. The history of the Nakhche tribe is also mentioned by the Caucasus historians A. M. Dyrr and K. F. Gan. Arabic author of the tenth century Al-Masoudi among the Kurdish tribes mentions “the An-Nashavira” tribe (2-79). Arab travelers, geographers of the IX-XI centuries called the city “Nashava”. Yakut (I-624) writes that “Bosphoradjan [38] is a region in Arran and its capital Nashava, it is called Nakhchivan as well”. Another Arab historian in the 9th century Ahmad al-Baladzori in the “Book of the Conquest of the Countries” also mentions the city “Nashawa, (main) city in the Bosphorajan region” (37-6, 11). It is necessary to take into account the fact that before the Arab conquest and naturally before the spread of the Arabic language in the Nakhchivan area, the city bore its old name. From the first half of the VI century until the first half of VII century in Nakhchivan there was a mint, where silver dirhems with the inscription “Nakhch” were minted according to the all-Sasanid types. The first coins are made on behalf of the Sasanian kings, whose Kurdish dynasty has already been proven. With the spread of the Arabic language even on some coins of the XIV century, minted in Nakhchivan, the name of the city was still preserved in the Arabic transcription – “Nashava”. Therefore, it is quite possible that the name of the Kurdish tribe “An-Nashavira” also came to us in a distorted form. All the above allows us to conclude that the Mars were Kurds and that the Kurdish etymology is the basis of the name “Nakhchivan”.




Judy or Ararat?


Undoubtedly, one of the famous myths that occupy the minds of theologians and ordinary people is the myth of the flood. Its popularity is further supported by the fact that this myth is reflected in the theological system of three of the four world religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All religions, taking on a real basis the Flood and Noah saving all mankind and all living creatures from the death, agreeing that the Ark stopped somewhere in Mesopotamia, cannot decide one thing: where exactly did it happen? The myth itself, as science proves, is based on real facts. An English archaeologist, Leonard Woolley, during excavations at the site of the ruins of the city Ur between the lower and upper cultural layers, discovered a soil and river stones 2.5 m thick with characteristic signs of mudflow traces. In some places, this layer reached up to 3.5 m. It was found that in the era of Ubeidah in southern Mesopotamia there was a strong flood, which caused the death of many people. Scientists conclude that this was the cause of the myth of the flood. Then the question arises: in what ethnic environment did this myth first arise, although theologians confirm its divine origin? The holy  Christian book Bible tells about the Flood and the miraculous Noah salvation through the intercession of God (Genesis, VI-VIII). It says: “And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of month [39], on the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis, VIII, 4). Christian theologians and some scholars, in spite of the fact that in the biblical flood myth there is a mention of the “Ararat mountains” (Genesis, VIII, 4) and the “kingdom of Ararat” (Jeremiah. LI, 27), placed Noah’s Ark on top of a particular Mount Ararat. The area where the Ararat mountains are located (there are two of them, Big and Small) is called Urarti in the Assyrian inscriptions. Therefore, by “Ararat mountains” one can safely mean the vast historical country Urartu. The Arab tradition places Noah’s Ark in a completely different place. The Muslim holy book Koran also contains a story about the Flood and the Noah’s Ark, located “on the mountain of al-Judi” (Quran, 11 Surah, “Hud”, verse 46 (44)). Although the compilers of the Koran  could certainly place the Noah’s Ark in some mountain in the territory of Arabia, for example, on the same mountain Arafat, but they preferred the national tradition to national ambitions. The Iranian tradition also adheres to the Arab, despite the fact that the Iranian plateau abounds in high mountains and Zoroastrian traditions were strong among Iranians. As the Iranian writer Sadraddin Balagi writes, “Judy is the mountain near Mosul. Near the mountain live the Kurds. The Kurds call Mount Kardu or Jardu. The Greeks distorted it in the form of Jurdi. After the transition of the word from Greek to Arabic and its Arabization in Arabic is pronounced as Judy” (38-270). According to the Syrian legend, the ark stopped on the ridge of Jebel Chudi (in Syriac – Kardu, near Lake Van). According to the Syrian historical tradition in the ancient Armenian retelling, “after the water began to decrease, the ark reached the top of Mount Soh’on, which the Syrians called Sararad; then a saw-fish met it and stopped it” (4-225, approx. 45). The Armenian tradition, with the exception of some Armenian scientists (11-191), erroneously under Sararad implying the Big Ararat, Noah’s ark is “stopped” unequivocally at its top. Armenians call Mount Ararat in its Kurdish way “Masis” [40]. In this article, we have a specific goal: to clarify the ethnic basis of this myth, to determine which peoples and ethnic groups became its original bearers. The earliest mentions of the flood are contained in the Sumerian-Guttian Epic of Gilgamesh [41]. The Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in his capital Nineveh created a library of clay tablets. It was collected from all corners of Mesopotamia by royal decree and dispersed in time and distant from each other – from Ashur and Harran in the north to Babylonia, Nippur, Ur and Borsippa in the south. Ashurbanipal wrote to one of the local officials: “The word of the King to Shadum: I am fine, be happy. When you receive this letter, take these three people (he provides thiers names) and scholars from the city of Borsippa and look at all the tablets that they have at home, as well as those that are stored in the temple of Ezid. Search for valuable tablets that are in your archives and which are not in Assyria, and send them to me. I wrote to officials and custodians, and no one will hide any tablets from you. If you find out about a tablet or a series of tablets which I did not write to you about, but which you find useful for my court, find it, take it and send it to me” (39-13). Thus, all the most valuable tablets were shipped to the Assyrian capital Nineveh to the library. Apparently, the Guttian-Kassite “Epic of Gilgamesh” turned out to be in the same way in the Ashurbanipal library. The subsequent Assyrian kings not only collected and copied the works found in ancient libraries, they did more. After the texts written by the Sumerians were copied, all this huge material was translated into a lively spoken language. The ancient Sumerian and not only Sumerian, but the materials (narrations) translated earlier into the Sumerian language were “published” in their original form and supplied with a line-by-line translation into Assyrian.



It is authentically known that the epos “On the Creation of the World” was a kind of sacred book, which was read at the New Year holiday (March 21) in Kassite Babylonia. In the pompous style of hymns of the Kassite time, it tells about the origin of the gods and the sequence of their generations (40-203).



Sources claim that there is no evidence in cuneiform texts that the “Epic of Gilgamesh” occupied a special place in Mesopotamian literature. According to A. Oppenheim, “it should refuted a widespread opinion of it as such a significant work of literature that it can be called “national epic”. On the contrary, there is an indication that all this epic was little known in Mesopotamia itself” (40–203). This confirms our idea that the “Epic of Gilgamesh”, created on Iranian ethnic soil, which was carried by the Gutti and the Kassites, was not widely spread among Aramaeans and Amorians, and for this reason “was little known in Mesopotamia”. Scientists have no doubt that the Aryans influenced the early mythology of Babylon. E. P. Blavatskaya writes that “finding such syllables as JahıYah, for example, Jahnavi “Ganges” and Jagan – natha, “Lord of the World” in Sanskrit, it becomes clear why Rawlinson expresses such conviction about Aryan or Vedic influences on the early mythology of Babylon” (41.3-167). In the Shumer-Gutian version, the ark stops on the mountain Nitsir (Nizir, Nisir), which the Lullubi called Mount Kinippa. Thanks to the Assyrian inscriptions, it has been reliably established that Mount Nitcir (Nizir) is Mount Judy, as the annals of the Assyrian kings Ashurnasirpal II 884/3-859 BC (35-286) and Sennacherib (705-681 BC) (36,212-213) mention the mountain “Nibur”. King Sennacherib left his inscription on the Mount Nebur – a triumphant report that was discovered on the Mount Judy. This mountain, located in the northern part of Kurdistan, was specifically associated with the Guti (9-156), who played a key role in the ethnogenesis of the Kurdish people. The myth of the flood was also reflected in the “Avesta” – the legend of Yima (“Videvdad”, “Vendidad”. 2), which indicates its Iranian-Kurdish roots. The main content of the first part of the fargard  (verses 1–20) goes back to the ancient Iranian legends about Yima, the king of the “golden age,” when people were immortal and lived in abundance and well-being. Yima’s father was considered Vivahvant, the embodiment of the sun. According to the ideas of Iranians, Yima is a solar (Latin solaris – “solar”) god and the supreme deity of the pantheon, the supreme god of the afterlife, the king of the “golden age”, a civilizer hero. Together with his twin sister Yimak, he makes up the first couple of people on earth. He is the first deceased on earth, who made the way to the afterlife and became the supreme god of the other world. With his name are also associated ideas about the afterlife bliss of the righteous people in the abode of the god of the dead and the myth of the end of the world and the Flood. Despite the positive qualities and divine status, Yima cannot escape the fall (“Yashts” 19.33-34). He is blamed for refusing to accept religion (“Videvdat” 2,3). He is accused of having taught people to slaughter livestock and eat meat, and this was one of the reasons for the fall of mankind and the loss of the “golden age” (“Yasna” 32.8). After the fall of Yima, Evil penetrates the world, the highest creation of Ahura-Mazda – the human race becomes imperfect spiritually and physically: people not only lose their bodily immortality, but also acquire physical disabilities (which, along with curable diseases, were considered “the seal of Anhra Manyu” (“Videvdat” 2.29)). Yima, along with his sister Yimak, making up the first human couple on earth, naturally could not allow incest [42] and, according to legend, “when the mind left him, out of fear of the daevas, he took the female daeva as wife, [43], and Yimak (in“Avesta” – Arnavak), who was his sister, married daeva; and from them went tailed monkey people (great apes – chimpanzees and gorillas), and a bear [44], (and) other all sorts of deformities” (“Bundahishn” 23.1). Some translators of the Avesta in the relationship of Yima and his sister Yimak see incestuous connections allegedly permitted by orthodox Zoroastrianism. Yima, on the advice of the supreme Zoroastrian god Ahura-Mazda, who warned him about the impending flood,  as a result of the melting of mountain snow (“Videvdat” 2. 21-31), builds “Var” [45] (the ark) and places there in pairs, all terrestrial species and seeds of the whole plant world and supplies (“Videvdat” 2.32-38).  After the completion of all repairs, “he drove them into Var with a golden horn [46] and secured Var with a window-door illuminated from inside [47]” and thereby saved humanity from the flood. The Kurdish tradition steadily puts the Ark on Mount Judy and this is reflected even in the name of the mountain: “Ji – di”: Ci — mountain, place; di – saw, found: “I saw (found) a mountain (place)”. Chaldean priest Beross (Beroz), who lived in the III BC and wrote a book on the history of Babylonia, also referring to this mountain. Speaking about the flood, in his essay, Beross writes that “They say that the remnant of this ark is still preserved on Korduy [48] mountain and that some take tar from it, [49] using it in most cases as a remedy for diseases” (42-I, 6). Nikolay Damassky [50], speaking about the flood in the 96th book, reports the following: “Above the region of Miniad [51] is a high mountain in Armenia called Baris [52], where, according to legend, many people sought refuge and found salvation during the flood. It is also reported that someone in the ark stopped at its apex and that for a long time the remains of this vessel were preserved (here). Perhaps this is the man about whom Moses, the Jewish legislator, also wrote” (42-I, 6). Ancient authors began to report about Corduene (Gordien) rather early. The ancient Greek sources localize Corduen in the upper course of the Tigris (Ptolemy. Geography V, 13,22; Plutarch.1,130). According to Strabo, Gordien was located in the west of Babylonia (XVI, 1, 8); “Against the Gordien, to the east, over Mount Masiyah [53], Mount Nifat [54] rises” (XI, 14, 2); (mountains) “southern, on the other side of the Euphrates, extending from the Cappadocia [55] and Kommagens [56], are first called the Taurus … some call these mountains the Gordian Mountains. Among the latter is Masiy, a mountain towering above Nisibiya [57] and Tigranokerts [58]” (XI, 12, 4). Further, Strabo reports that “Near the Tigris there are areas of the Gordiens, who the ancients called Kardukhs; their cities were Sarisa, Satalka and Pinak [59]… “(XVI, 1, 24). The name of the country of the Kardukhs was Gordien, later it was known to the ancient Syriac authors as “Jezire de Cardu”, covering the upper part of Mesopotamia (Mosul, Harran, Nisibin, Mardin, Botan, and other areas).



Bohti tribes have been recorded in these territories since ancient times (Herodotus VII, 67.68). Claudius Ptolemy in his “Geographical Guide” in Greater Armenia to the north of the Euphrates points to the tribe of Bohians who lived there, who are also mentioned by Stephen of Byzantine (Ptolemy.V, 12,9, note 3). Higher, i.e. to the north of them, the geographer locates Kotarsena, a region of Greater Armenia (Ptolemy.V, 12.9). If we take into account the fact that Kotarzena is a part of Catonia’s Cappadocia and a part of the Arzanen region – the area of modern Amed – Diarbakır and Mush, then the land of the Bohs will correspond to the area of modern Jezire. Armenian historian of the XIX century N. Adonts also asserts that “the name of the Paktians preserved the current Bohtan in the Eastern Tigris; there is also a Kurdish tribe ’’bohtu ’ (7-394). He also considers the tribe of the Mikians related to the Paktians, which “partly moved northward and settled between the Kur and Araxes; from them comes … (mhang), canton in Artsakh, and Mugan, the name of a famous steppe “(7,394-395).



The Bokhtan region (west of Hakkaria) in the north spread from the city Jezire (Jezire Botan) on the Tigris to Mount Judy and the Moks region (25-71). Sources note that even long before the Arab conquest of Northern Mesopotamia (642), the Kurds lived in the north of the Bokhtan River. Western European scientists (A. Haupt), the eastern tributary of the Tigris call the river Bokhtan and associate with the name of the Bohti Kurds, who live here from time immemorial. According to Martin Hartman, the headwaters of the Bokhtan River are located in the Sinor [60] mountains 75 km south of Lake Van. The Bokhtan River flows first to the north to the Hohoz temple, then to the west and from the south 38 ° north latitude approaching Siirt and from here it continues to the south-west and 15 km below Siirt merges with the Bitlis river. Under Tilla, both streams merge with the Tigris. Ancient sources call this area Moks (Moksenoy) (43-19). Sh.H. Bidlisi wrote that “among the (tribes of all) Kurdistan, Ashirat Bohti is distinguished by courage and valor, famous for its belligerence and the art of horse riding” (44-175). Jezire in Arabic means “island”. This city got its name due to the fact that the fortress and the city Botan are located on the bank of the Tigris and during the flood the river divided into two branches, and now it flows, surrounding the fortress and the city from all sides (44-176). 14 “remarkable fortresses and districts” (44-176) belonged to Jazire, among which is Gurgil district, where the legendary Mount Judy is located, which rises on the left bank of the Tigris, east of Jazire Botan. Mount Judy is also called Mount Kurd (Kurd-Dag). Agathias of Myrina (VI century), reporting on the Roman-Iranian wars during the rule of Justinian I (527-565) and Khosrow I Anushiruwan (531-579), writes that “at that time (556 – L.M.) Khosrov was located near the Karduh Mountains and moved to the village Tamanu because of the hot time and the moderate climate there” (45-IV, 29). In the source of the XVIII century there is a mention of the village at the foot of Mount Judy with the characteristic Kurdish name “Kariye Tzemanin”: “… the Kurds had their homes aside, stretched from Urmia to Malatya and Merage, and their land border to the north to Mosul and to the south Iraq with Arabs. This area is all mountainous, and for this sake and strong with nature.



The highest mountain is Kiare, which is covered with snow all the time, and Mount Chudi is a part of it. This last one lies almost two hours east of Jeziray ibn Umer, and is also called the Chud and the Chuda. As for its condition, it is all stony, full of saltpetre, there are no trees on it below the bushes, and only wormwood and several other fragrant herbs grow. The deep places of the midnight side are always filled with snow; and at the top, which Mosul can be seen, and on which, as in this land they think, Noah’s Ark stopped, a temple was built, at the foot lies the village, Kariye Tzemanin, that is, “Village of Attention” (but not “Eighty” as Erbeloth and Otter write), which is said to be the place where Noah when first comes out of the ark  lived with his family.” (46-225). “… on the nearby mountains they collect manna. … On the mountain Chudi stood the village, the name of Karda (46-226). … they speak neither Arabian, nor Persian, nor Turkish … as far as their faith is concerned, they are Moslemimy or Yezidi … ” (46-227). Despite the strong distortion, the names of the villages Tamanu near the Karduh mountain and Tsemanin near the Mount Judy (Kurd-dag) are identifiable as the same village. This, in turn, gives grounds to unequivocally establish the identity of the “Karduh mountains” and Judy (Kurd-dag, ie, the “mountain of Kurds”). According to the “Epic of Gilgamesh”, it was here where the ship stopped after the Flood. As Ter-Ghevondian writes, Tmorik was located east of Mount Judy (Ararad) (11-191). The ethnonym “Tmorik” can literally be translated as “Marian” in the sense of the “land of the Mars”. It is obvious that Tmorik its new name “Cordrik” – “Corduene (Gordien)” obtained through the Karduhians after the retreat of the 10,000 Greek mercenary unit, which the participant of the campaign Xenophon in 441 BC described in his work called “Anabasis” . The Armenian historian Egishe, referring to the events of the 5th century, also mentioned Kordik along with Tmorik (47-157). This also confirms our idea of a gradual replacement of the ethnonym Tmorik (Tomirik) with Kordrik. The eastern shore of Lake Van has retained its ancient name Tamar among the Kurds. Korchayk, where the “country of Corduene-Cordia-Tmoria” was located (“Corduene-Cordia-Tmoria region”) (7-225), judging by the suffix “k”, also has an ethnic background. In connection with Corduene and Mount Judy, there is of interest  the biblical story about the manna that saved Jewish refugees from starvation. The book of Exodus says that on the fifteenth day of the second month after the Jews left the land of Egypt, in the desert Sin, that between Elym and Sinai, they were incited by starvation. At the command of the Lord, “the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.” (Exodus 16,14). And Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.” (Exodus 16:15). “Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.” (Exodus 16.21). And Moses asks his brother Aaron to put the vessel filled with manna “before the Lord to be kept for the generations to come” (16,33). “As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved.” (Exodus 16, 34). The high priest Aaron could place a sacrificial vessel filled with manna only in the temple on Mount Judy, where, according to legend, the ark stopped. The kingdom of Judah was in 587/586 BC conquered by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562/561) and part of its population was sent to Mesopotamia. It is this case that “gives a decisive impetus to the further crystallization of the Jewish ideology” (59-289). It is likely that the Jews  finding themselves in the area of Mount Judy, where the temple was built in the form of an ark, heard from the local population the myth of the flood, also chose it as an object of their worship. Among the Kurds, Mount Judy has always been considered sacred in connection with the myth of the flood. In modern Kurdish, the presence of the words nizar (grove on the mountainside), nizir (oath, vow), nizirge (sanctuary) (12-645), apparently, is directly related to the name of the mountain Nizir – Judy. Noah called his ark “Navis.” It is from the Kurdish word nawe that translates as “boat, vessel, ship” (12-644), where the root of the word naw means “womb, maw, inward, middle” (12-642). The fact that these words are Iranian-Kurdish is also indicated by the interpretation of E. P. Balavatskaya: “The Ark ’’Navis’’ is the symbol of the female nascent Principle personified in heaven by the Moon and on the earth by the womb; as the one and the other is the vessel and carrier of the seeds of life and being, which the Sun, or Vishnu, the Male Principle revive and fertilizes ”(41, 3-180). And this is not surprising, since Noah himself – Untapishta, the son of Ubar Tutun, was from the town Shuruppuk on the banks of the Euphrates and was the Guti. The following circumstance also indicates the occurrence of the flood legend in connection with the Kurds: Iranians, including the Kurds, in accordance with the solar calendar, the new year – Nawroz – are celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox [61]. Every year, on the first Sunday of the first week of August, in many areas of Kurdistan, the Kurds celebrate Noah’s festival (Cejni Nuh) (48-85). Apparently, this tradition is somehow connected also with the legend of the Noah’s Ark and the Flood, since it also has a strong motive of salvation, as in the Guti-Sumerian legend of Ishtar and Dummuzi.



Conclusions: More than two and a half thousand years, the Kurds continue to live on these lands. In the first half of the 20th century, along the Araks River from the Soviet side, starting from Artashat (in Armenia) and up to Sharur (in Nakhchivan in northern Azerbaijan), there were about 80 villages with a Kurdish population, which, thanks to the “wise national policy” of the Soviet regime, was in 1937-1938 evicted from their homes, and the villages destroyed and fell into disrepair, and some were inhabited by Armenians and Azerbaijanis. The descendants of the evicted Kurds still live in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other republics of the former Soviet Union. In Yeraskh (Arazdagyan), for the most part Kurds from the tribes of Bashki and Sharqi lived, remnants of the once powerful Kurdish tribal confederation. And now in Nakhchivan, there are several hundred Kurdish families. According to ancient sources, the Land of the Mars was located here. As conclusions we can say the following: 1. The ancient inhabitants of Nakhchivan and the territories adjacent to the Ararat and Alagyaz mountains were the Mars-Medes, under whose names the ancient sources knew ethnic Kurds. 2. At the heart of the name “Nakhchivan” lies the Kurdish ethnic origin. 3. Since ancient times, the Kurds lived on these lands, they were not resettled here or placed here. 4. The original ethnic bearers of the myth of the flood, which actually occurred in Mesopotamia, and the Noah’s Ark, were the protokurds. 5. Mount Nizir (Nibur), where Noah’s Ark stopped, is Judi Mountain located in the northern part of Kurdistan.





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  1. The message about the Armenian king Tigran in Armenian sources was borrowed from the work of Xenophon “Cyropedia”. Herodotus, knowledgeable in Persian history, reports the conquest of Media by Persian troops under the command of Cyrus (I, 107-130). Herodotus does not have any message about the joint actions of Cyrus and Tigran in 550 BC against Astyages. Such information is not available in other sources. It is generally accepted in the scientific world that the state of Urartu, which ceased to exist after the Median conquest in 595 BC, i.e., 30 years before the supposed beginning of the reign of Tigran I, was not known to Armenian sources. Naturally, this raises the question of how, without knowing about the existence of Urartu as a state, can you save information about the exact date of the reign of Tigran I in Armenia?
  2. The Bible is written as “Togarma.” Togarma – “Til-Garimma” of Assyrian sources — is identified with the modern Gerun, above the ancient Kurdish city of Malatya in the northern (Turkish) part of Kurdistan on the Tohma River. And this is much further from the headwaters of the Choroh River, where hai, the ancestors of the present-day Armenians, are mentioned by ancient authors. During the reign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib, the governor of this region was Gurdick (Gordias), and it is etymologically difficult to attribute this name to Armenian. Assigning Togarma to Armenians is a late tradition. Haik of Armenian sources – isn’t Gaia Martan (Gayomart), the Primordial Man of Avesta? This is also indicated by the fact that in the Armenian language “Mart” (obviously Iranian borrowing) means “person”.
  3. Paytakaran – B(P)alazakan. Now Beylagan in the Republic of Azerbaijan. For details, see: “Friendship”. 2001. No. 12. C.38-39.
  4. The concept of “vaspurakan” comes from the Zend word visopudra– “son of a princely family” and ment the Vaspur’s country. Avestan (Old Kurds) vis has the meaning “house”, “yard”, “manor”. Thus, the concepts of visopudra (son of a princely family) in the meaning of “Vaspur’s country” and vis (house, yard, manor), from which “Vaspurakan” (“Sepakan”) originated, have Kurdish ideology as their basis. Part of this Vaspurakan (Sepakan) in ancient times coincided geographically with the possessions of Mardpet (Leader (Prince) of the Mars) and is the country Mardpetakan (Country of Prince of the Mars). For details, see: “Friendship” 2001. №12. P. 35.
  5. The borders of the northern part of Kurdistan in the IX century. In fact, these borders to the XIX century little changed. Russian scientist XIX century S.P. Gagarin, territorially, Kurdistan described as follows: “Kurdistan of Turkey is located in Asian Turkey and is part of the Vanish and Sherursky eyalets – 460 versts long and 340 wide … 5 principalities (Bidlis, Giaulamerk (Julamerk), Amadiya (Imadia), Jezire (Jezire Botan) and Kara Dogan)” (10). By Amadia (Imadiya) is meant the southern part of Kurdistan. Kara Dogan – the distorted name of the extensive governorship of Karadag as a part of the emirate Baban in the XIX century in the eastern (Iranian) part of Kurdistan.
  6. “Ter” is a form of address, a name inherent exclusively to representatives of the Armenian clergy, known from the 7th century and “its use has been strictly preserved to this day” (11-193). “Ter” refers to the affiliation of the person in the past or present to the priest. It seems to us that this word comes from the Kurdish word “dêr”, which means “pagan (Christian) temple” (12-307). And in this source we are talking about the representatives of the ruling class, endowed with secular power.
  7. Modern Kurdish kur – “depth, dungeon.”
  8. The anthroponym Tirikan is a theophoric name on behalf of the god Tiri. Tiri – ancient Zoroastrian god, Kan/an – Iranian-Kurdish affiliation affix; there is also Median (ancient Kurdish) holiday “Tirikan”, which was dedicated to the deity Tiri. This holiday fell on the fourth month, counting from the “New Day” (Navroz), and was celebrated on the day of Tiri, the month of Tiri (22, 90-91). Apparently, only the tribal nobility and kings had theophoric names. In Kurdish, the word “tir” means “arrow”, and, therefore, the theophoric name of the Guti king Tirikan can be translated as “archer” or “God’s arrow of Tiri.” Thus, we can speak about the “Iranian-Kurdish” name Tirikan, to which the widespread name Tigran goes back.
  9. One of the founders of Assyriology, an outstanding English orientalist and diplomat, who made a significant contribution to deciphering the Median (Old Kurds), Ancient Persian and Assyro-Babylonian cuneiform and read the name Darius in the Behustin (Biststun) inscription. Yime – to the Avesta Noah is attributed teaching people the writing (Avesta, “Videvdat”), which itself indicates the development of writing among the Medes (ancient Kurds).
  10. For details, see the article “The Medes in the ethnogenesis of the Kurdish people.” “Friendship”. 2001. №12. Pp. 34-35.
  11. It is noteworthy that Khorensky did not know the names of the Medes kings in their Armenian sounding and he writes them in ancient Greek manner with the suffix “is”, which also indicates their borrowing from Armenian sources, although among the listed Greek sources are missing.
  12. Kurdish scholar Cherkase Rush gives a linguistic analysis of the word “Ajda(h)ak”, who is a character from the Zoroastrian epic. The constituent parts of this theonymy are aj(aji) and da(h)ac. Azhi is the original Kurdish root. In the Avesta (Median-Old Kurd) it is fixed in the form azi. In modern Kurdish language, it has been preserved in the form of zia (aži> azî> zi> zia). It refers only to the ritual and mythological sphere of the world perception of the Kurds and means “dragon”, “monster”. In everyday life, the word “mar” (snake) is used, which is derived from the Avestan maizya (ie, “deadly”, “fatal”). In “Avesta”, with the word azi, the epithet višâpa also applies, which in the abstract sense means “dragon”, “monster”. In the Zoroastrian epic (in the Avesta texts) there is another dragon called Aži-srvara> Aži-sruvar (“horned snake”, ccopare to Kurdish stru — horn). In the medieval cultural and everyday tradition of the Kurds’ neighboring nations, these two characters – Aži-Dahaka and Aži-višara – are both nominally and functionally perceived by the contamination population, in part even by unconditional identity (24, 26-27). In “Avesta” Aji-Dahak acts as a three-headed dragon – “the strongest demonic druj” (avest. “lie”; ccopare with Kurdish dûrû – insincere, two-faced), makes sacrifices to the deities Ardvisura Anahite and Vayu, but they refuse him help. In “Zamyal-Yasht” (XIX, 37) Aji-Dahak is a rival to the god of fire Atar in the struggle for the symbol of royal sovereignty farn. In Yasht (XV, 19-21) depicted as a righteous Zoroastrian. Defeated A.-D. will be chained and suspended in the volcanic vent of the sacred mountain Demavend. Before the end of the world A.-D. will break loose and reign again for a short time. But on the Day of the Kersap’s Last Judgment – the hero-daevfighter, from the clan Sama (sometimes identified with Sama), “armed with a club”, whose name reflects the cult of the horse (and in Kurdish asp – “horse”), bewitched by pari Hnantaiti (“Videvdat” 1, XIX). He fell asleep for a long time on the eastern outskirts of Iran, and when he awoke, he killed Aji-Dahak who had escaped from the shackles. In the future, the image of Aji-Dahak is subjected to historicization. A-D. became king Zahhak, an Arab by descent. Thus, Aji-Dahak appears in two images: the mythical – in the form of a dragon and the historical – as the Median king Astyages.
  13. “Big Mountain” means Mount Ararat. The literal translation from the widespread Kurdish name of Mount Ararat is Agri: Jiya gri, where ci is “mountain” and gır is “large”: ya gri → a’gri → Agri = Great (Greater) mountain.
  14. The current Ordubad in Nakhchivan in northern Azerbaijan.
  15. In the northern part of Kurdistan between the cities of Maku – Bayazet and the Ararat – Tandurek mountains there is a small territorial unit completely populated by Kurds with the same name area and the settlement Dambat.
  16. The settlement with the Kurdish name “var” (“camp”) and the ethnonym of the Kurdish Juniki (Junikan) tribe means “Junik’s Camp” and indicates that this settlement was once founded by the Kurdish Junikan tribe, who retained their tribal name to this day. Toponyms are Mount Ju/ u /nik and the village Janik in Northern Kurdistan in the Van region; ravine Jygi/y n and hydronim – Lake Jygi/y/n in the upper flow of the Vedi(chay) river in the Republic of Armenia indicates the distribution area of this powerful tribal confederation, which consists of two branches: Janiki-Serdsir and Janiki Germsir; in the another powerful Kurdish confederation, Jalali  thereis also  a tribe called Junikian (Janikian). The suffix “an”, characteristic of the end of Kurdish words, means belonging. Separate clans of these tribes in the XIX – early XX centuries continued to live in the territory of Nakhchivan, in the Ararat valley and Karabag. Among the Janiki-Germsir, one tribe is called Kara-Bagi. The author among the settlements standing along the banks of the Araks River also names the settlements of Vranjunik, where later “descendants of Ajdahak” were placed. (25-118; 1- 525, 529; 26, 234-362; part 2, pp. 35-36; 27- 283).
  17. The sources preserved information about the terrible earthquake at 7 am on June 20, 1840, which caused great damage in Maka, Bayazet, where a new fortress and many houses were destroyed. Here is what the eyewitness of the events the major Russian army Veskoboinikov writes about this: “From the collapse of the apex of Mount Big Ararat, the monastery of St. James and the village of Akhuri with more than 1,000 residents were lined with blocks of ice floes and stones; On June 24, at 9 o’clock at midnight, one can say that the mass of debris that hung over the valley rushed with incredible speed across the plain to the Kara-su river; along with them were the devastating streams of thick mud. The flow of dirt around July 5 began to decrease, and finally, completely dried up. … a glade opposite the monastery on the left bank of the stream … up to 30 families of the Curtians, staying here, perished” (Report of Major Veskoboinikov to General Golovin, dated November 2, 1840, No. 120 (28-496). This indicates a late origin of information about the earthquake in the book by M. Khorensky.
  18. Anuysh – the Median-Kurdish female name, and now many Kurdish women bear it. The names Anush, Anosh, Anoshah are common among Kurdsh women (29-132). Among Kurdish men, the name Anushirvan is often found (29-272). Some sources name Anushirvan translate from Farsi as “immortal soul.” It seems to us that these names are associated with the name of the god Anu (the main god of the city of Uruk in Sumer, where the main population was the Guti – the ancestors of the Medes Kurds) and Anum (in the Guti-Lullubei pantheon). Anuysh, i.e., “acceptable to Anu”; Anushirvan: Anu is the name of God and Sharvan is a warrior, knight, warrior Anu. There is also a Kurdish female name Ane, which corresponds to the name of Ana in Sumer-Gutiam mythology.
  19. In the XIX century Armenian immigrants near the ruins of this city founded the village Norashen (“New Village”), which during the years of the Soviets in Azerbaijan was renamed in Ilyichevsk, and now received the historical name – Sharur. Now – the eponymous district center in Nakhchivan.
  20. About this, see: Friendship. No. 18-19.P. 55.
  21. Edessa is the Greek name for Urfa in the northern part of Kurdistan. The Kurdish name is Rıha (Medieval Rehime). Historic Harran in Media. In I AD Edessa (Osroena) was ruled by Arab kings from the Abgar dynasty (2-56). In I BC one of the Arab kings of the principality Hatra located in the desert between the Tigris and the Euphrates was called Sanatruk, whose name lived for a long time in the Arab tradition (2-256). In another translation of “History of Armenia,” it is written that “Santruk originated from Arshakid family” (Armenian History. Works by Moses Khorensky with a brief geographical description of ancient Armenia. Translated by archdeacon Joseph Ioannesov. St. Petersburg, 1809. III-3) Accordingly, the actual reports of Abgar and Sanatruk belonging to the Arab dynasty require a more critical approach to the “History of Armenia” by M. Khorensky.
  22. From the Arshakids dynasty, reigned, according to N. Adonts, in 190-197 AD (7, 427-428).
  23. Sana is the Kurdish female name (29-225).
  24. It can be translated etymologically from Kurdish: in Kurdish tur means “sack, bag”, which gives reason to translate the baby’s name as “Sanot’s burden”, but it would be more correct to translate this name as “Sanot’s blessing”, since dirûd means blessing, wishing for happiness (12-270).
  25. Apparently, under the name Yeruand, we should take the satrap Orontes II, who was a descendant of Gidarna, one of the seven noble Persians — the comrades of Darius I. According to Strabo, during the reign of the last Achaemenid king, Darius III (Darius III Kodomen – 336-330 BC) Orontes ruled in Armenia even in 316 BC. (Strabo, XI, 14, 15). Under the name Eruand, one can also see the ancestor of the Kurdish dynasty of Ravandid.
  26. In the annals of Salmansar III, was told about the campaign in 828 BC. of Assyrian turtan (commander) Dayan-Ashur in the country of the Medes. Dayan-Ashur moved from the Upper (Big) Zab valley to the South of Van lake Habushkia (located on the length of the Batman river), then through the territory of a certain Magribu of Malhiss, turned to the south-east and invaded the territory of Ualki, the king Manna (9-162) . As can be seen from this story, Malhaz is a male name and is mentioned in connection with the Assyrian campaign on Media and is still widespread and characteristic Kurdish male name and means “loving home”, “wonderful family man”, “a child-lover”. N. Adonts, the Malhaz clan is justly believed to be more ancient, their appearance in Armenia relates to the period of Tigran II (140-55 BC). At the same time, he notes that “the power of the malhaz (as a princely title — L. M.) in Horhoruniy, aspta in Bagratuniy, malik in Mamikonid… marks the first influence of the respective ethnic elements during general turmoil” (7, 415-416), thereby accepting their non-Armenian origin, at the same time approving their subsequent assimilation (“armenization”). As we see, N. Adonts obviously takes the Malhas clan for the princely title that existed among the Horhorunian clan. But in the Cathedral list among the participants of the Church Council in 450, the Horhoruni princes are absent, and instead of them the third after the princes Syunii and Artsruni are listed Prince Malhaz (7-244). Malhaz is a widespread and characteristic Kurdish male name. And, moreover, it means “a loving home, a wonderful family man, a child-lover.”
  27. In the list of the kings of Armenia, compiled by N. Adonts, starting from 190 BC till 36 AD the names of 17 are given, and in the period from 50 to 385 AD the names of also 17 kings; the names of the last four on this list – Arshaka, Valarshaka, Vramshapukha and Artashes are given, but nothing is said about their reign (6, 427-428). Name Yeruand is missing. Therefore, it is difficult to determine the period in question in the “History” of M. Khorensky.
  28. The story about this gathering of troops, the manner of presentation strikingly recalls Plutarch’s message about the gathering of troops by Tigran the Great: “… Armenians and Gordians gathered to him with all the forces, and the Median and Adiabensian kings came at the head of their troops, when hordes of Arabs arrived from the Babylonian sea, and from the Caspian — crowds of Albanians and Iberians adjacent to them, but they were also joined in the same among them, free tribes from the banks of the Araks, attracted by the affection and gifts of Tigran…” (Plutarch, Lucullus, XXVI).
  29. Tmorik (Armenian T’mor’ik) – Country of the Mars – the ancient name of Kordrik, which was located in the Korchayk (Kortchayk) region, in the south of which Assyria lay, in the north – Parsisk Armenia, in the east – Mokk (Moks). And now the Kurds of the Sarhad region call the eastern shore of Van Lake “Tamar”.
  30. Argam as a male name is widespread among the Kurds (29-272). And in Kurdish it means Judah, or goat, tree whose bright red flowers are called Argavan. In Kurdish, the expression “argavani” means bright red. The name Argam-Argavan is preserved in the names of two villages called Aygavan in the Ararat region and near Yerevan in Armenia.
  31. Of all the peoples of the Near and Middle East, only the Kurds have the most developed exposition of historical events in song form. This is indicated by all, without exception, researchers studying the Kurds.
  32. His forward detachments actually reached the Caucasus. At the foot of Mount Beyukdash in Gobustan (Republic of Azerbaijan), a stone was found for the first time with a Latin inscription: “The Emperor” Domitian Caesar Augustus Germanicus. L. Yuli Maxim, Centurion XII Legion of Fulminat.
  33. Chronological confusion. A tyrant from the Arshakid dynasty was overthrown in 344 AD. (7, 427-428)
  34. Haira is a male name and still widespread among Kurds, for example, Hero, Horo, Horan, Huro, Horon, Hure (29 – 385, 389).
  35. Information about the name of the Kurdish tribal confederation in the above-mentioned areas, in particular in the Gohtna (Ordubad) region, has also been preserved. According to M. Khorensky, “Gohtntians were successors of the Sisak generation” (4-8). The Kurdish tribe Sisianan (Sisiyanly) dates back to this “generation” of Sisak. Interestingly, well-known ethnographers and scientists I. Shopin (1-528) and A. Alekperov also pronounce the name of the tribe as “Sisiyanly generations” (ly is the affix of belonging in the modern Azerbaijani language). This tribe is still continued to live at the end of XIX – early twentieth century in the Ordubad area in Nakhchivan and Zangezur and transferred it ethnonym to the Sisiyan region (part of historical Zangezur) in the Republic of Armenia. According to Armenian sources, the tribal name Sisak also shows the name of the powerful Kurdish tribal confederation Shakkak (Shekkak). The distorted pronunciation and written reflection of the words Si-Sak and She (Sha) – Kak are quite permissible.
  36. A village in the Gohtna (Ordubad) region. Juga is the current Julfa in Nakhchivan, and Khoshakunik was located in Gohtna.
  37. “Nak-chu-an” can also be translated from the Kurdish language: “nyg” means “foot”, “chu” – “went, left” and the common Iranian accessory suffix – “an”. But such an approach would be too simplistic and far from unscientific.
  38. In the annals of the Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurita I (the end of the thirteenth century BC), is described his campaign against the tribes of the “Guti and Ukumani, the countries Elhunia, Sharnida and Mehri” (35-267). The Ukumani region (Kumme or Kumma) was located on the Big Zab River, south of Musasir (the current city Revanduz in the southern part of Kurdistan). In the inscription of another Assyrian king, Adadnerari II (911-890 BC), which tells about his campaign in October-November 911 BC on the Kummani, the settlement Basa is mentioned in the country Mehri (35-283). From his other inscription on the embankment wall of the city Ashura it becomes known that during the 4th day of the month of arahsamn (October – November) Adadnerari attacked the country Basa, which was in the neighborhood of the countries Habhu and Sarbalia, Diduala: “together with other settlements on the banks of the River Ruru I conquered the countries of Mehri” (35-283). The country Base, according to the source (35-283), is localized “from the other side of the Lower Zab at the border of the Lulumey country through Habhu, Zamua to the passes of the Namru country … the one who bowed the vast country of the Cumanites to his feet to the countries Mehri, Salua and Uraritu… (35-283). Asarhaddon (680-669 BC) also in his inscription boasts that “conquered the country  Basa, an area located far away on L(ayl), its king, I imposed a tribute to my rule; I conquered Shupriya to its extreme limits (36-241).” Shupria corresponded to the Sasun Mountains, located south-west of Lake Van, and therefore bordered the country Basa. In the III BC as part of the powerful Parthian kingdom there were separate Kurdish dynasties. In Parsa, where the center was Istahr, at the beginning of the 3rd century. AD there were several semi-independent principalities, the strongest of which were rules by the Basrangid dynasty, which was established in II BC. Ardashir, expanding his domain, became so strong that, with the support of the priesthood and clan aristocracy, he overthrew in 212 AD the ruler of Parsa Gochihr Bazrangid. And in the Sassanid era (226-651), the Bazikani dynasty stood out among the independent Kurdish dynasties. One of the districts Taron (Taruberan) was called, according to ancient Armenian sources, Bznunik, and even Lake Van was called Bznuni. The letter “k” at the end of the toponym “Bznunik” is suffixed and indicates its ethnic content. Armenian sources Kurdish dynasty Bazikan and called as Bznakan or Bznuni, where Baz is the name of the ancestor or tribe, and “Tuni” in the broad sense of “house” (clan, tribe) from the Middle Persian “Tauma”. We see the princely family of Bjuni (Bznuni) and the eponymous “nahararstvo, canton Bznunakan” in M. Khorenski’s work (7-248,256,308,312-313,316,321,337,490-491). Thus, the clan Bazz (Bazikan, Bznunakan, Bznuni), from  the mists of ancient time, acts in its Kurdish guise. Thus, the Buzz clan (Bazikan, Bznakan, Bznuni) from hoary antiquity acts in its Kurdish guise. It was by the name of this clan the ancient Greek sources called the Van region Bosoropeda – “Land (Country) Basa”, and the Arab sources called Bosforodjan (Bolodzori, 5-6). Male names Baz, Bazi, Bazian, Bazo, Bazit, Bazan are widespread among Kurds. In the Kurdish tales found the mythical bird Baz – a synonym for the legendary bird Simurg or the Avestan Huma. There is also a species of eagle, called by the Kurds as teyre baz (falcon). Currently, the mountainous area south of Julamerga, in the Hakkari region, is called the Bazi tribe of the same name (23-66; 25-75). The founder of the dynasty of Mervanid Kurdish state (990-1087) was the Kurdish leader Ebu Abdullah Hussein Buzz. This dynasty ruled in Diarbakir (Amed), Ahlat and Malazgirt and later expanded its holdings to Mayafarikin (the present Silvan district of Diarbakir region), Arzani and Kaifa. In a short time, the entire Diarbakır region, Jezire and Nisaybin came under their authority and the Kurdish prince Baz bin Dostik declared himself a Kurdish sovereign. Mervanid’s ancestor Buzz, on the border of Atropatena and Armenia, rebuilt the fortress Buzz. This is the fortress from which the well-known Kurdish commander Papak (Babek – Kurd. “Fearless”) led a long and stubborn struggle against the Arab invaders. The source mentions the fortress Bazikan (Baziran), belonging in the XIX century to the Kurdish tribe Zibari (27-66). Ibn-Hordadbeh mentions the Kurdish al-Bazincan zumma in 14 farsahs from Shiraz. The Arabic author Ibn-Fakih (V, 203), referring to Ibn-Hordadbeh (47,72), mentions the Kurdish tribe al-Basinjan, and his ancestor calls him Husayn Ibn-Jilawayh. According to al-Istahri (113) and al-Mukaddasi (447), this zum is known as the “Shakhriyara”. Medieval Arabic sources write in some detail about the Madan Bajunays area – the Buzza area with the center in Manazkert. In the southern part of Kurdistan there is a locality – the modern Bazian (Baziyan) district, located to the east of Dohuk district and south of the Marga district. In the emirate Baban was the Bazyan district with the administrative center of Chemchemale.
  39. According to the ancient Iranian calendar, the month mehr is the seventh month of the year, the first autumn month. In ancient Iranian it means love and the sun. The 16th day of the month Mihr is celebrated as a national holiday. Is there a direct connection between these two dates?
  40. “Ararat” and “Masis” are Kurdish words and can be translated only from the Kurdish language. “Masis” – in Kurdish ma– “left” and sis – “white, gray”; letterally – “snow-white”. Snow does not come down from the top of Ararat all the year round, therefore sometimes Kurds in their songs called it: “white-top (snow-white)”.

In one of the poems of the Kurdish poet Majid Ali about Agri / Ararat it is said:

Ele barkır bereke The tribe has migrated from the field

Disa ma sis ew Agıri Agri remained white-top again.

Çıgas karvan je buhuri How many caravans passed there, –

Çıgas rewi le ewiri  How many lonely travelers for the night sheltered there.

Kurdish poet from Kyrgyzstan Tahare Avdi writes:

I walk on the land of a stranger, like a simple monk.

I forgot my native language, I get confused in words.

Resentment hurts in the soul, tears in the eyes.

Mountains Sipan and gray-haired Ararat are silent.

“Ararat” in translation from Kurdish means: ar– fire and hat – came: literally – “spewing fire”, “fiery.” Syrians, having adopted the name of Ararat from the Kurds, called it “Sararad”, where sar is the top, “head” and ar– fire, that is “Fire peak”. In Kurdish, for example, the word “ardu” (wood fuel, firewood) clearly shows the essence of this word, where ar is fire and du is smoke. The word ar is also found in the naming of the ancient Medes priests-magicians – “atrvan (“agrvan”) – “keeper of fire”. This word in modern Kurdish has the same meaning. The name Ararat “Fiery” (“Spewing Fire”) indicates the volcanic nature of the mountain, the origin of which in modern science leaves no doubt. The Kurds, who watched the volcanic eruptions of the mountain, naturally, should have called it that way. To this day layers of hardened lava could be observed around the Mount Ararat. And the different names of Agri-Ararat-Masis are explained by the fact that different Kurdish tribes called these mountains differently. In the same song, several titles could be applied at the same time, as can be seen in the poems of Majide Ali and Tahare Avdi.

  1. An excerpt from this epic, see the “Archive” section of this magazine. During one of the conversations with the author of this article, a well-known Kurdivan, Doctor of Philology, Professor O. D. Jalilov (Ordihane Jalil) confirmed that his personal archive contains several songs from the Kurdish version of the “Epic of Gilgamesh” and he planning to public it in the future.
  1. Incestuous marriage among Iranian peoples existed only among the Persians, and was especially widespread during the Persian dynasty of the Achaemenids. In the course of religious reforms carried out by Zoroaster, incestuous marriages were prohibited. Apparently, Persians came to the Iranian plateau in the VII century BC did not strictly adhere to the teachings of Zoroaster. It is known in history that the king of Persia, Darius I, was married to his sister and two his daughters. The sources preserved information about the incestuous marriage among the Persians at a later time, up to the XVIII century (58-89), which led some researchers to make the erroneous conclusion that the early Zoroastrian orthodoxy was allegedly encouraged of incestuous marriage. Ancient sources of incestuous marriages among the Medes are not fixed.
  1. The echo of this reform of family relations is reflected in one of the many legends about the origin of the Kurdish people that have remained with the Kurds. According to legend, “King Suleiman (Biblical Solomon) summoned 500 young ginns to himself and ordered them to go to the countries where the sun sets and bring him 500 young beautiful girls. Ginns immediately went down to fulfill orders, and in all Western countries gathered 500 of the most beautiful girls just starting to drink water from a maiden spring. Returning from a mission, the gennies got into a blizzard and decided to wait out bad weather, hiding in the mountains. They had to wait a long time until the weather cleared. And then the news was received about the death of the king and the need to fly further disappeared. And during this time, young ginnies fell in love with the beauties. Ginns took the girls as wives, soon children were born to them, and their children have thier children … and so the Kurdish people arose, and the mountains that sheltered them got their name – Kurdistanian … ” One of the versions of this legend was told by Czech writers Miroslav Zygmund and Jiri Hanzelka to their readers with great love in a jointly written book about the Kurds “Kurdistan is a country of uprisings, legends and hopes” (Prague, 1962, p.5). According to them, “… legends are a life-giving spring for the Kurdish people, in which they draw their strength … they have never lost their legends and can hardly ever part with them” (ibid.).
  1. The belief that bears are descended from humans is still preserved by the Kurds.
  1. In the Kurds, to this day war means “place of residence, accommodation, home, a place of staying”
  1. There are numerous evidences about the Kurdish shepherd’s flute, with the help of which the shepherd controls thousands of sheep flocks, and they are reflected in the sources.
  1. The miraculous, natural light. E.P. Balavatskaya sees the holy “spirit” in this (41, 3-374).
  1. Mount Cardu. In a comment 39 to the “Judean Antiquities” of Josephus Flavius (book 1) notes the “etymological connection between the Korduis and the famous Karduhs of Xenophon, the forefathers of the present Kurds” (42-66). The same Karduhs in ancient sources were called the Gordians (Plutarch. Lucullus, 29; Strabo. XII, 522).
  1. We are talking about ammomum and other light incense, which, according to Sallust (86-35 BC.) (“Historical fragments” -Histor. Fragm., IV, 18), the Corduenes produced.
  1. Born in 64 BC, a friend of Judah’s king Herod and Emperor Augustus, he wrote a history in 144 books, from Assyria and Media to the time of the author.
  1. The Minnian people are also quoted by the prophet Jeremiah (LI, 27): it is identical with the Mannei or Munney of Assyrian inscriptions and lived east of Lake Van. M. Khorensky mentions them as “Manavasities” (I, 12). About the Mannei as a protokurds, see the magazine “Kurditsan Report”. 1998. №18.P.23-26.
  1. There is no other information about this mountain. Apparently, the name of the mountain Baris is the distorted name of the mountain Masiy (Tour-Abdin), which is located not far from the Mount Judy.
  1. Antique Masiy – the mountains Tour-Abdin, in Northern Mesopotamia, separating the region of the modern Kurdish city of Nisaybin (ancient Mygdonia with the city Nisibis) from the Upper Tigris Valley.
  1. The Nifat Mountains belong to the spurs of the Asia Minor Taurus and are adjacent to the Masiy mountain range. Adonts writes that “together with the Mards between Zagr and Nifat, lived … the Cyrtians, which were established south of the Mards in the area, which was then called by their name – Kortcheya. The Cyrtians are the current Kurds. Favstosa Buzand (IV) Kortcheya denotes as the Salmas district; later it occupied the neighboring Cordueen lands, apparently due to the growing influence of the Kurds ”(7-418).
  1. Cappadocia, a region in Asia Minor between Galis and the Euphrates, in the east bordered on Armenia (Strabo, XII, I, 1). Until 548 BC Cappadocia was Lydian, and then – Persian satrapy under Cyrus II Great (558–529 BC) .Macedonians seized Cappadocia from the Persians already divided into dusatrapies (Strabo, XII, I, 4) – “Actually Kappdokokiya” (“Great Cappadocia”) and “Cappadocia at the Taurus “(Pontic Cappadocia – the Black Sea coast). One of the kings of Cappadocia was called Ayrarat (compare “Ayrarat mountains”).
  1. Commagene is a small historical area bordering Cappadocia.
  1. Nisibin is a modern Kurdish city Nisaybin, located in the south of Northern Kurdistan near the Habur River, on the border of the Syrian and Turkish parts of Kurdistan: now divided between Syria and Turkey. The Syrian part of the city is called Kamislo.
  1. Tigranokert is located at Tel-Ermen in the valley between the mountains Maziy and Nifat on the left tributary of the Euphrates in the Amed (Diarbakır) region. Founded by arshakid Tigran II in 77 BC it was originally settled by Greeks from Cappadocia and Cilicia. Tigranokert in 69 BC., 8 years after the foundation was destroyed by the Romans, and the population returned to its original habitat.
  1. Pinaka fortress – the medieval fortress Finik in the hereditary principality and emirate of Jezire in the early 16th century. The owners of the emirate and the fortress Finik were the leaders of the powerful union of the Kurdish tribes Bohty (Bokhti), who transferred their tribal name to the river Bohtan, the upper tributary of the Eastern Tigris.
  1. From the Kurdish word “sinûr” (12-380), sinor (49-336) – “border, abroad, boundary, limit, border”: literally “Border Mountains”. A synonym for the Kurdish word serhed (12 -396; 49 -333). The Midian Mithridates VI Eupator (132-63 BC), king of the Pontus and Bosporus state, Lesser Armenia and Colchis “showed such great care for these areas that he built 75 fortifications there, where he kept most of his treasures. The most significant of them are Hydara, Basgedariza and Sinoria. The last place was on the very border of Greater Armenia, why Theophanes changed it name to Syunirya” (“Borderland”, 46-825, note 46) (Strabo. XII, 3.28). For this reason, for thousands of years Kurds living in these lands a vast region covering the area of Mush, Van, Bingol, Erzerum, Kars, Bayazet, Agri and Igdir in the northern (Turkish part) of Kurdistan, called “Sarhad”, literally – “Border Zone”.
  1. According to the Bible, “in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.” (Genesis VIII, 13). This happened in the month Nisan (March-April) of the Guti-Sumerian calendar. It was in connection with this that Moses commanded Nisan to be considered the first month of the year: “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.” (Exodus XII, 2). Although the Jews borrowed the Sumerian-Babylonian names of the months, which go back to the Guti-Hurri-Kassite (protokurds) calendar, the beginning of the year and the first month they, contrary to the commandment of Moses, considered tishri (for more detail, see: Friendship. 2002. №14-15. P. 86-87). The ancient Jews considered Aviv as the first month (barley was ripening in that month). The closest neighbors of the Kurds – Arabs, Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians, who profess, besides the Arabs, Christianity – celebrate the New Year’s holiday on January 1.


Magazine “Friendship” (Dostani) Moscow 2002 №№ 20-21


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