Armenian ancient myths have been transmitted in the form of historical dialogues, traditions and epic songs. They were also kept in ancient and new folk novels, tails, traditions and songs. Songs and dialogues about Hayk, Aram, Ara Geghecik, Artavazd, Tigran and Azhdahak are ancient, too, in which historical kings or princess of ancient Armenians became epic, the ancient fabulous figures.
Armenian ancient myths are based on the principle of unique dualism, which was typical to classical mythology ։ positive and kind figures are the heroes, otherwise the negative ones are strange and sinister enemies. That contrast and fight end with the victory of kind, good figures and the loss of enemies.
The epic story of the mythical ancestor of the Armenian race is based on the battle with the inquisitor Bel, the mythical hunter, Sagittarius Hayk, who symbolizes darkness and cosmic confusion. Hayk became the ancestor of the Armenian tribe, the founder of the country, a famous ancestor, and his rival Bel, the Babylonian tyrant who invaded his homeland. Hayk fights with Bel, kills him, assures the survival of his tribe and country. Hayk is the Armenian name for the constellation Orion, Bel is the supreme god of the Western Semitic tribes.
The second ancestor of the Armenian tribe is the mythical Aram (probably from the pre-Armenian tribe of the Arim) of the Hayk family.
The myth of the dying rising as a young god, embodies the historical conversation of Ara Geghetsik (Handsome) and Shamiram.
The ancient myth of the universal war of the god of thunder and dragons found its distinctive significance in ancient Armenian fictions, especially in the poem and discourse of Tigran and Azhdahak, dragon slayer Vahagn, Artavazd and vishapazu-s (dragon- descended beings). Armenian god of thunder Vahagn was born in the heavens and the earth, from the sea of flames. As soon as he was born, he hurried to fight space dragons.
The thunderous god of the epic episodes of Tigran and Azdahak was historized, becoming King Tigran of Armenia, and his rival, king of dragons` the enemy Azhdahak the king of Midia
Vahagn, also historized, became the third child of Tigran and, according to another myth, the ancestor of the Armenian nation, who steals the ancestor of Barsham of the Assyrian patriarch, leaving his mark forever knocked out in heaven (hence the “path of the wicked”).
Various manifestations of the mythological plot of a hero locked in rock or water are the stories of Masis in Artashes, son of Artashes or his son Shidar, son of David Mher (in the novel “Sasna Tsrer”), from the lowness of Yervand: Various expressions of divine twin worship and myth are Yervand and Yervaz, Sarasar and Adramelik (“Sasni’s idioms”, Sanasar and Baghdasar), Mamik and Krnak, Demetrius and Gisane.
Several myths have also been preserved by orally. “Sasna Tsrer” preserves the name of the Armenian god of light and sun, Mihr (Great Mher and Small Mher) and mythological motives (killing Mher, the lion of Mher, locked in the Rock of Mher, dividing himself from the rock on the holidays).
Traditions associate with myths. They are short, informational dialogues about the events and people of local meaning, natural and cultural phenomena. They mostly explain the origin of some item and phenomena, explore some historical names or epics. Superstitious talks (they were called “ ban” or “bans”, which means a speech, a word), and scripts based on national beliefs are considered traditions as well and they are perceived as the events told by the witness.
Translated by Mariam Ispiryan