Բնապաշտական եւ խորհրդաբանական ընկալումների դրսեւորումները Հայր Ղեւոնդ Ալիշանի երկերում

Ամփոփում  

Naturalistic and symbolic perceptions expressed in

Ghevond Alishan’s works

 

 

ASHOT GRIGORYAN

 

The Armenian foot has traversed all the ways

even though having not discovered them.

Ghevond Alishan

 

The artifacts certifying the naturalistic and symbolic perceptions of our an­c­estors are spread all over the Armenian highlands in the shape of thousands of rock sculptures, ancient cult monuments, sanctuaries, temples, castles, and fortresses, as well as geographical names, ethnological materials, and other com­positions. For interpretation as well as revelation, explanation, preservation, and even current possible usage of their prototypes, it is necessary to carry out in­vestigations to understand the reasons of their creation.

       It is quite important that the investigation of the thousands of artifacts is ac­companied by studying written sources about them. Along with the va­lu­able works left by the medieval Armenian historians (Khorenatsi, Tatevatsi, Shi­ra­katsi, Davit Anhaght, Narekatsi, etc.), it is important to study the literary he­ri­tage of Father Ghevond Alishan, one of the outstanding scientists of the St. La­zarus Mekhitarist Congregation of Venice.

       By distinguishing Ghevond Alishan’s compact work Ancient Armenian Faith or Heathenism (which was published in parts in the journal Baz­ma­vep) among his numerous studies, we have a purpose to specially re­fer to our ancestors’ naturalistic and symbolic perceptions introduced by Ali­shan that have always been expressed in all the fields of Armenian art (par­ti­cu­lar­ly in architecture) beginning from prehistoric period till nowadays.

       In his book, Ghevond Alishan has thoroughly presented typical phe­no­m­ena of heathen life, ancient faith, and cult worship of gods including the Ar­me­nian religion, faith, worship, God, naturalism (symbolic perceptions and wor­ship of mountains, stones, fire, water, vegetation, and fauna) and luminaries (worship of the sun, moon, stars, climate).

       The studies of the Armenian intellectual heritage allow us to conclude that many of religious and symbolic expressions described by Alishan have passed on to Christian culture and preserved until nowadays. Such interpretations found in Alishan’s heritage are widely used by various researchers and, today, many of his provisions are admissible and applicable in the scientific world. Current studies show that even the slight examination of the structural peculiarities of the most important monuments of the Armenian highlands con­firms the inevitable practicing of their creators’ naturalistic perceptions. Among them are the traces and facts of the repeatable application of the figural con­cepts of quadrilateral division of the world, perception of human-earth-heaven tripartite and three-layer division, three classes in society relations, as well as numerical, vegetable, animal, universe-originating, anthropological and geo­met­rical sym­bols.

       Today it is already known that such structural concepts as hill-temples, pyra­mids, ziggurats, depictions of Mount Ararat, Noah’s Ark, cathedral-altars, sepulcher-pantheons, church-khachkars, house-cities, castle-fortresses, word-speeches, fairy-tales and riddles, epopee and epics are the results of interrelated situation of the Armenian identity and its continuous existing in the Armenian highlands. There is also a logical chain of parallel realities such as the dwelling of primitive men in the Armenian highlands and his intellectual activities, Portablur, the Nemrut pantheon, the Greater and Lesser Massises, Noah’s Ark, paradise, tree of life and wisdom, Gregory the Illuminator’s torch – on Mount Aragats, the Ararat Kingdom, Khor Virap and Holy Etchmi­a­dzin, Cilicia and Armenia, the spreading of the Indo-European language family, Ar­me­nian diaspora, etc.

Reflections of these symbolic perceptions in the prehistoric, pre-Christian and Christian periods, their application and continuous alterations, re-in­ter­pre­ta­tions and preservation of many of their initial meanings, and also their ap­pli­ca­bi­lity in the 20th century Armenian art are real and contentious topics for studying and making certain conclusions.

Further investigations of our ancestors’ naturalistic perceptions of the world and especially the comprehensive studies of Ghevond Alishan’s un­pub­lished works will certainly enrich our knowledge of the Armenian cultural herit­age in the process of its revelation, evaluation, preservation, and re­cog­ni­tion.

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