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THE DEITY VAHAGN AS THE HOST OF THE ELEMENT OF FIRE
 
LILIT SIMONIAN
 
According to the tradition in Armenology, the deity Vahagn is researched as parallel to Avestan Veretraghna. Detailed survey of Middle Persian sacral li-terature however reveals more expressive association between Vahagn and Bah-ram (Vahram), mostly worshipped by Persians in its fire-form of Atash-i-Bah-ram and represented in the Medieval literature by Bahram-Gur (“wild ass”). Va-hagn and Bahram are both related with wild animals (goat, ram or ass), both kill dragons and have symbolic or real-ritualistic connection with fire.
 
The etymology of otherwise untranslatable particle “vah” in the name Va-hagn may be traced from old Hettitian (Hurrian) aḫ-vaḫ - presumably a kind of incense.
 
Along with written historical documents containing the name and some description of Vahagn there is rich folk material fixed during the 20th century in different regions of Armenia and in communities outside Armenia – ritual songs, myths and tales, a description of Trndez (Terntas) festival of fire, provi-ding important information about Vahe, Vahan, or Vahagn and pointing at diffe-rent qualities of the same fire-deity. As Vahagn-the Pahlevan he creates the Mil-ky Way and represents the month of February, as the Son of the Bull the evil spirit born out of reed brings disease, as a deity of the sunlight he is the brother of Golden Sisters – hosteses of the salty and sweet waters, and the spouse of the Golghair sunny girl. In folk materials he brings morning and spring, steals fire and straw and kills dragons.
 
The article is an attempt to use folk materials as addition to the historical witnesses to possibly reconstruct the full image of the ancient fire-deity Vahagn.
 
 
 
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