Did You Know? (17)

By Jirair Tutunjian, 25 June 2022

Vanda Miss Joaquim is the national flower of Singapore. It’s named after Armenian Agnes Joaquim who discovered the flower in 1893. It was named Singapore’s national flower in 1981.

The first Armenians who settled in Hungary arrived in the 13th century. That’s the first mention of Terra Arminium settlement suggests. A substantial number of Armenians settled in Hungary when King Andrew II of Hungary brought Armenians with him upon his return from the Crusades. Armenians also left Armenia following the Mongolian raids and the Ani earthquake. Many of the Armenians were craftsmen (skinners, tanners, and merchants).

In 15th century Europe there was a popular prayer: “God save us from the Devil, the Turk, and the comet.”

Here are the names of some prominent Nakharar dynasties of Armenia: Khorkhoruni, Gamsaragan, Timaksian, Mamigonian, Ardzruni, Pakraduni, Deruni, Saharuni, Rshduni, Varajnuni, Bahlavuni, and Amaduni.

The Gyulbudaghian’s nebula is named after Armenian astronomer Armen Gyulbudaghian. He discovered the nebula at the Pyuragan Observatory in 1977.

In 1678 the Armenian leadership secretly conducted a congress in Echmiadzin, and decided that Armenia had to be liberated from Turkish and Persian rule. Because they couldn’t do it on their own, Israel Ori of Artsakh, son of a melik (prince), searched for help in many European capitals. He died in 1711. Eleven years later, Peter the Great declared war against Persia. Georgians and Artsakh Armenians helped Russians by rebelling against Persia. Tavit Peg commanded the revolt for six years. He died on the battlefield.

In the mid-13th century the Armenian Church entered into discussions with the Greek Orthodox patriarch in order to build an alliance and gain protection in the event of an attack from the Mongols. The Armenians also opened negotiations with Rome, signalling their willingness to declare that they were in agreement with the papacy’s interpretation of the nature of the Holy Spirit, a topic that had caused much friction in the past. But just as agreement seemed to be on the horizon, the Great Khan Guyug died in 1248. This was followed by a succession struggle within the Mongol leadership. As this played out, the rulers of Armenia and Byzantium received assurance that no attack was imminent.

The patron saint of Dubrovnik is the Armenian Saint Blaise who was born in Sivas in the 4th century. He was stoned to death and beheaded. In the Middle Ages he appeared to a priest in Dubrovnik and warned him that a Venetian force was planning to storm Dubrovnik. Forewarned, the citizens took the Venetians by surprise and saved their city. Saint Blaise is known as San Biago in Italy and San Blas in Spain. There are churches in France, Germany, and Britain named after the Armenian saint.

One of Ottoman empire’s most famous marches was “The Sultan’s Grand March”. It was composed and arranged by Hovhaness Kevorkian in 1838.

Travel writer William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854) was scathing about most of the sites and scenes of Jerusalem. The only building in the whole city, he wrote, “that presents any considerable appearance of comfort” is the Armenian Convent; its compactly-built façade, the neatly-paved street in front, overshadowed by noble tree, and the portly and highly respectable looking monks about its doorway, are all redolent of ease, and wealth, and cleanliness—rare in the city of Jerusalem.” He also wrote that the Armenian Convent was the “best resting place in Jerusalem.”

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