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|Did You Know (5)
By Jirair Tutunjian, Toronto, 8 December 2021
Kevork Vartanian (born in Nor Nakhichevan, Rostov-on-the-Don) and his wife, Kohar, were primarily responsible for thwarting Operation Long Jump, concocted by Hitler, headed by Ernst Kaltenbrunner and led by Otto Skorzeny, which was an attempt to assassinate Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill at the Tehran Conference in 1943. Vartanian’s identity was kept Soviet secret until 2000, when he received full credit for dismantling the assassination plot.
In King Ardashes’ curse to his son Ardavazt, the king used the word “horse” which indicates the word for equine in Armenian is similar to the English word. The king said: “Yeteh toon hors hedznes, hazadn ee ver ee Masis…”
Mother Teresa’s (1910-1997) name was Agnesa Boyajian. Her father had moved from Western Armenia to Albania because of the Turkish massacres of Armenians. Her mother was Albanian. Mother Teresa told of her Armenian background to Catholicos Vazken I during her visit to Armenia following the 1988 earthquake. Over the years, her name was spelled Boyagiu and Bojaxhiu.
Ali, the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad and the fourth Caliph of Baghdad, granted (A.D.660) certain immunities and privileges to the Armenian nation. Ali’s covenant said: “All those who violate this Covenant, shall be considered intriguing infringers of that which I have bestowed on them , and in league with those who do not profess loyalty to me. They all become transgressors against the divine ordinance, and thus incur the just indignation of the only God….”
King Dikran (“Medzn Dikran”) coined two coins—copper and silver. The copper was called khalks and the silver was called drachmas. They were minted in Ardashad, Dikranagerd, Antioch, and Damascus. On the coins, King Dikran wears Armenian tiara with 8-pointed star (sun) and two eagles looking at each other. The reverse side had mythological images as well as the name and titles of the king in Greek letters. There were two types of inscriptions: King Dikran and King of Kings Dikran.
Feeling unable to check the pressures against his realm, the king of Vaspouragan ceded it to the Byzantines (1021), receiving domains in Cappadocia as well as the governorship of that province.
Scholars consider Basil I (811-886) as the greatest of all the emperors of Byzantium and the reign of his dynasty the Golden Age of the empire. Basil was Armenian. His dynasty lasted from 867 to 1056. Basil was descended from the Arshagounis (Arsacid) was fluent in Armenian and spoke Greek with an Armenian accent.
Byzantium’s palace guards, called scholari, were traditionally Armenian. They were well known for their courage and loyalty. They protected the emperor and his family.
In Britain’s “Spectator” magazine (March 4, 2006), Michael Vestey wrote: “When he became leader, his closest colleague Anastas Mikoyan urged him to break with the past. Mikoyan’s son recalled that he was urged to tell the truth about Stalin. If he didn’t, warned Mikoyan, history would judge him as Stalin’s willing henchman and accomplice."
Bishop Garabed Yevtogiatsi (1446-1477) was the first Catholicos of Cilicia. He obtained his “firman” from the Sultan of Egypt. The Catholicosate remained in Cilicia until 1918 when it moved to Antilias, near Beirut, due to the Armenian Genocide.
Thank you, Mr. Tutunjian, for your series of fascinating articles on tidbits of Armenian history. I could not help but notice this paragraph: "Kevork Vartanian (born in Nor Nakhichevan, Rostov-on-the-Don) and his wife, Kohar, were primarily responsible for thwarting Operation Long Jump, concocted by Hitler, headed by Ernst Kaltenbrunner and led by Otto Skorzeny, which was an attempt to assassinate Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill at the Tehran Conference in 1943. Vartanian’s identity was kept Soviet secret until 2000, when he received full credit for dismantling the assassination plot." Certainly Armenians have helped Russians over the centuries and vice versa -- just the opposite of what the Russophobic Turks and Azerbaijanis have done. It is all the more disconcerting, therefore, that Russia utterly betrayed Armenia during the 2020 war, inexplicably choosing instead to side with Azerbaijan and Turkey. In fact, President Putin continues to do just about everything he can to look aside while Azerbaijan attacks Russia's sole ally in the Caucasus and practically invites NATO, pan-Turkism, and Russophobia in the form of Turkey into the Caucasus, Caspian, and Central Asia. This is hard to explain unless one looks back at the 1920s when another Russian dictator unwisely gifted Armenian land to Azerbaijan and Turkey. It seems to be a Russian habit - a habit that hurts Russia too. It is clear that the entire Armenian - Russian relationship bears reexamination.