Did You Know? (21)

Herodotus “the first historian”

By Jirair Tutunjian, Toronto, 25 August 2022

According to Herodotus, the Celts originated from Armenia. The city of Cymry in Armenia is pronounced exactly as the Welsh name of Wales. The oldest historical records of England—from the 9th century—say the first inhabitants of Britain came from Armenia.

Mikhael Sagetelyan (1927-1994) was a Soviet journalist, author, KGB agent, head of TASS in U.S (1959-1965), and an important conduit of information between the US and the Soviet Union. After graduating from the Moscow Institute of International Relations, he worked at “Izvestia” and for “Novoye Vremya” in Washington. His work provided him with a cover for his espionage work. In 1962, seven months before the Cuban Missile Crisis, he utilized his position to drop false information about possible Soviet position in disarmament. In 1965 he was go-between with presidential adviser Pierre Salinger re Viet Nam peace negotiations. He later held senior positions at “Izvestia”. In 1972 he wrote “Who Killed John Kennedy?” blaming a right-wing plot.

According to Jewish sources (historian Judith for one), Tigran the Great’s army included chariots and 12,000 cavalrymen. He had 120,000 infantrymen and 12,000 foot soldiers. Jewish historian Josephus said the army had 180,000 men in total.

Plutarch wrote that Armenian archers could kill from 200 meters with their deadly accurate arrows. The Romans admired the warrior spirit of the Armenian cavalry and Roman historian Sallustius Crispus wrote with admiration about the Armenian cavalry.

The Armenian liturgy is based mostly on the version written by Basil/Vasil of Cesaria. It was later enriched with new items.

The Armenian sharagans (religious songs) are based on the tonality of eight modes and are still in use. The most beautiful examples of the sharagans were composed in the 7th century.

“The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians” says: “Armenia possesses a school of church music which ranks among the most beautiful of all the known Oriental styles: the music is of the utmost expressiveness, and in wealth of invention the only school which can compare with is the Byzantine, which in many ways it excels.”

Linguist Hagop Martayan led the reforms of the Turkish language. He was secretary-general of the Turkish Language Association and contributed to the Turkish Encyclopedia. Ataturk called him Dilacar “the Opener/Revealer” of the language. Martayan, who fought in the Turkish War of Independence, died in 1979.

In 1909, after the proclamation of the constitution, the Armenians with other Christians demanded the right to serve in the army and enjoy equal rights. A great many Armenian teenagers entered Harbiye (military college) and demonstrated their courage and skill in both Balkan Wars and World War One.

Armenian Proverbs
Law for the rich, punishment for the poor.
Pigs never see the stars.
A man who picks a big stone does not mean to throw it.
Better die standing than live crouched.
Even if he were the sun he wouldn’t dry your handkerchief.
If eggs were good for the voice, the hen’s rear would sing like a nightingale.
Bribes give light even in hell.

  1. Years ago I was told that the Irish came from Armenia by a gentleman at the Armenian Community Centre. Maybe this is why my husband married me! I am of Irish and Scottish decent.

  2. Debbie,
    There are a number of nations which have, according to certain sources, Armenian origins.
    According to medieval German sources, Bavaria was founded by an Armenian nobleman who settled members of his tribe in the region and founded Bavaria.
    English historian Robert Ellis wrote a book in the 1860s where he concluded that the Etruscans–the original inhabitants of Italy–were Armenian. He based his thesis on the numerous similar words in Armenian and Etruscan.
    As early as the 17th century, Basque scholars and historians advanced the thesis that Basques came from Armenia. They based their conclusion on the number of similar words in both languages in addition to the similarity of toponyms (mountains, rivers, lakes, etc.).
    An 8th century English book (“Doomsday”?) about the history of England’s original inhabitants said Armenians were the first settlers of England.
    Finally, scholars continue to argue whether the original homeland of Indo-Europeans is Armenia or Ukraine.
    Jirair Tutunjian

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