Hayk the Great (Armenian: Հայկ), Armenian
pronunciation: [hajk], or The Great Hayk, also known as Hayk
Nahapet (Հայկ Նահապետ, Armenian pronunciation: [hajk
Hayk the "head of family" or patriarch), is the
legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation. His story is
told in the
History of Armenia
History of Armenia attributed to the Armenian historian
Moses of Chorene
Moses of Chorene (410 to 490).
Hayk and King Bel
3.2 Battle of Giants and defeat of Bel
4 Comparative mythology
5 See also
8 External links
The name of the patriarch, Հայկ
Hayk is not exactly homophonous
with the name for "Armenia", Հայք Hayk’. Հայք Hayk’ is the
nominative plural in
Classical Armenian of հայ (hay), the Armenian
term for "Armenian." Some claim that the etymology of Hayk'
Hayk (Հայկ) is impossible and that the origin
of the term Hay ("Armenian") is verifiable. Nevertheless,
Haig are usually[how?] connected to hay (հայ) and hayer
(հայեր, the nominative plural in Modern Armenian), the
self-designation of the Armenians. Armen Petroyan believes that the
Hayk can "very plausibly" be derived from the Indo-European
*poti- ‘master, lord, master of the house, husband’.
Hayk would then be an etiological founding figure, like e.g. Asshur
for the Assyrians, etc. One of Hayk's most famous scions, Aram,
settled in Eastern
Armenia from the
Mitanni kingdom (Western Armenia),
Sargon II mentions a king of part of
Armenia who bore the
(Armenian-Indo-Iranian) name Bagatadi ("Theodore").
Armenian historiography of the Soviet era connected
Hayk with Hayasa,
mentioned in Hittite inscriptions.
The Armenian word haykakan or haigagan (Armenian: հայկական,
meaning "that which pertains to Armenians") finds its stem in this
Moses of Chorene
Moses of Chorene gave Hayk's genealogy as Japhet, Gomer and Tiras,
Torgom. Hayk's descendants are given as Amasya, Ara, Aram, Aramais,
Armanak, Gegham, and Harma.
Hayk was also said to be the founder of
the Haykazuni Dynasty. Some of the prominent Armenian royal houses
such as the Arran, Bagratuni, Bznuni, Khorkhoruni, Manavazian, Syuni,
Vahevuni trace their genealogy to
Hayk Nahapet.
According to Juansher,
Hayk "was prince of the seven brothers and
stood in service to the giant Nimrod (Nebrovt') who first ruled the
entire world as king."
Hayk and King Bel
"Hayk" by Mkrtum Hovnatanian (1779–1846). The legendary founder of
the Armenian nation, standing next to the tomb of Bel, with Hayk's
arrow still in Bel's chest. The map depicts the
Lake Van region and
Mount Ararat, with Noah's ark.
In Moses of Chorene's account,
Hayk son of Torgom had a child named
Armanak while he was living in Babylon. After the arrogant Titanid Bel
made himself king over all,
Hayk emigrated to the region near Mount
Hayk relocated near
Mount Ararat with an extended household
of at least 300 and settled there, founding a village he named
Haykashen. On the way he had left a detachment in another settlement
with his grandson Kadmos. Bel sent one of his sons to entreat him to
return, but was refused. Bel decided to march against him with a
massive force, but
Hayk was warned ahead of time by Kadmos of his
pending approach. He assembled his own army along the shore of Lake
Van and told them that they must defeat and kill Bel, or die trying to
do so, rather than become his slaves. In his writings Moses states
Hayk was a handsome, friendly man, with curly hair, sparkling eyes,
and strong arms. He was a man of giant stature, a mighty archer and
Hayk and his people, from the time of their
Noah and Japheth, had migrated south toward the warmer
lands near Babylon. In that land there ruled a wicked giant, Bel. Bel
tried to impose his tyranny upon Hayk's people. But proud
to submit to Bel. As soon as his son Aramaniak was born,
Hayk rose up
and led his people northward into the land of Ararad. At the foot of
the mountain he built a village and gave it his name, calling
Battle of Giants and defeat of Bel
Hayk defeats Bel with an arrow.
Hayk and his men soon discovered Bel's army positioned in a mountain
Moses of Chorene
Moses of Chorene located the site as Dastakert), with the king
in the vanguard.
At Dyutsaznamart (Armenian: Դյուցազնամարտ, "Battle of
Julamerk southeast of Lake Van, on August 11, 2492
BC (according to the Armenian traditional chronology of Navasard)
or 2107 BC (according to "The Chronological table" of Mikael
Hayk slew Bel with a nearly impossible shot using a long
bow, sending the king's forces into disarray.
The hill where Bel with his warriors fell,
Hayk named Gerezmank
meaning "tombs". He embalmed the corpse of Bel and ordered it to
be taken to Hark where it was to be buried in a high place in the view
of the wives and sons of the king.
Hayk established the fortress of
Haykaberd at the battle
site and the town of Haykashen in the Armenian province of Taron
(modern-day Turkey). He named the region of the battle Hayk, and the
site of the battle Hayots Dzor.
Further information: culture hero
The figure slain by Hayk's arrow is variously given as Bel or Nimrod.
Hayk is also the name of the
Orion constellation in the Armenian
translation of the Bible. Hayk's flight from
Babylon and his eventual
defeat of Bel, was historically compared to Zeus's escape to the
Caucasus and eventual defeat of the Titans.
Aram (given name)
List of Armenian patriarchs
^ Gōsh, Mkhitʻar (2000). The Lawcode (Datastanagirk') of Mxit'ar
Goš. Rodopi. p. 112. ISBN 9789042007901. Retrieved 6 July
^ a b c Moses of Khoren; Thomson, Robert W. (1978). "Genealogy of
Greater Armenia". History of the Armenians. Cambridge, Massachusetts:
Harvard University Press. p. 88. ISBN 0-674-39571-9.
^ Petrosyan, Armen (2009). "Forefather
Hayk in the Light of
Comparative Mythology". Journal of Indo-European Studies. 37:
^ International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; the ISBE uses the
outdated terms "Aryan" for "Indo-European".
^ Eduard L. Danielian, "The Historical Background to the Armenian
State Political Doctrine," 279–286 in Nicholas Wade, Armenian
Perspectives (Surrey, UK, 1997) 279, citing E. Forrer, "Hajassa-Azzi,"
Caucasia, 9 (1931), and P. Kretschmer, "Der nationale Name der
Armenier Haik," Anzeiger der Acad. der Wiss. in Wien, phil.-his.
Klasse (1932), n. 1–7
^ History 1.5 
^ The Georgian Chronicle
^ Movses Khorenatsi, History of Armenia. Ed. by G. Sargsyan. Yerevan:
Hayastan, 1997, pp. 83, 286.
^ (Khorenatsi, History I.10–12, pp. 83–84.)
^ dated by Mikayel Chamchian; Razmik Panossian, The Armenians: From
Kings And Priests to Merchants And Commissars, Columbia University
Press (2006), ISBN 978-0-231-13926-7, p. 106.
^ Gerezmank: the nom. pl, Gerezmans being acc. pl., "tombs"
^ History 1.11; a district to the southeast of Lake Van, see
Hubschmann, AON, p.343
^ Vahan Kurkjian, "History of Armenia," Michigan, 1968
P. Kretschmer. "Der nationale Name der Armenier Haik"
Vahan Kurkjian, "History of Armenia", Michigan, 1968
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