Author: Smbat Minasyan -
Pantheon of Armenian pagan gods and goddess
- Master of all Armenian gods, the father of all gods and goddess, the
creator of heaven and earth. He called "Great and courage Aramazd".
Aramazd was the source of earth’s fertility, making it fruitful and
bountiful. The celebration in his honor was called Am'nor, or New
Year, which was celebrated on March 21 in the old Armenian calendar
(also the Spring equinox). Aramazd's main sanctuary was located in Ani
Kamakhym, one of the cult centers of Ancient Armenia. The
treasures and tribal mausoleums of Armenian Arshaguni (Arshakuni)
kings were there, too.
- The daughter or wife of Aramazd. Anahit was the most loved and
Armenian goddess. She was mother-goddess. Anahit was sculptured with the child on her hands` with specific hair style of Armenians
mothers or women and was called "Great Lady Anahit". Ancient Armenians
believed that Armenian world was existing by Anahit's will. Anahit was
the cult of maternity and fertility. Anahit-worships
were established in Eriza avan (region) and in Armavir, Artashat and
Ashtishat cities . A mountain in Sophene
district was known as Anahit's throne (Athor Anahta).
the temple of Eriza was the wealthiest and the noblest in Armenia.
During the expedition of Mark Antony into Armenia (34 B.C),
the statue was crushed into pieces by the Roman soldiers. Pliny the Elder
gives us the following story about it: The Emperor Augustus, being
invited to dinner by one of his generals, asked him if it was true
that the wreckers of Anahit's statue had been punished by the wrathful
answered the general, "on the
contrary, I have to‑day the good fortune of treating you with one part
of the hip of that gold statue".
(Heracles) , -
The third god of Armenian Pantheon. Vahagn was the god of thunder and lightning. Vahagn's main sanctuary was
located in Ashtishat city of Taron "world" (region of Armenia).
Also he was a god of war. Armenian kings and warlords before going to
war asking him to support them.
Armenian origin of Vahagn's birth song
In travail were heaven
In travail, too, the
The travail held in
the sea the small red reed.
Through the hollow of
the stalk came forth smoke,
Through the hollow of
the stalk came forth flame,
And out of the flame a
Fiery hair had he,
Ay, too, he had
And his eyes, they
were as suns!
երգի հին հայերեն բնագիրը.
Երկնէր երկին, երկնէր
Երկնէր եւ ծովն ծիրանի՜.
Երկն ի ծովուն ունէր եւ զկարմրիկն եղեգնկ.
Ընդ եղեգան փող ծուխ ելանէր,
Ընդ եղեգան փող բոց ելանէր.
Եվ ի բացոյն վազէր խարտեաշ պատանեկիկ.
Նա հուր հեր ուներ,
Բոց ունէր մօրուս,
Եվ աչկունքն էին արեգակունք:
(Greek - Aphrodite, Mesopotamian - Ishtar) -
The goddess of love, beauty and water. She was the
wife or lover of Vahagn, the god of
thunder and lightning.
Her temple in Astishat was called "the room of Vahagn",
where Astghik met with his lover - Vahagn. She was sculptured
without clothes, as beautiful young woman during swimming. The celebration in her honor occurred in mid June
and was called Vardevar. It is still celebrated in Armenia by pouring
water on each other.
- The daughter of Aramazd. The goddess of war. Her cult was closely connected
with Anahit's cult. And it was not a randomness that her tample was
located in Ekegyac region (gavar), near with Anahit's temple. Now
Armenians usually call their grandmother
"Nane" (Nan) which means
that Nane was an influential goddess in Ancient Armenians spiritual
The god of sun and heaven
light. He was the son of Aramazd, the brother of Anahit and Nane.
His main worship was located in Bagaharich. The pagan temple of Garni
was Mihr's worship.
The god of
and studies, also an interpreter of dreams.
Tir was secretary of
Aramazd. Tir's temple was located near Artashat and was called "Aramazds
grchi divan" or "Mehyan for studying sciences".
(probably it was the same god with various names)
- Amanor was the god of Armenians new year and lord of the new
yield. The celebration in his honor occurred in the end of Junly and
was called Navasard (new year).
His main worship was
located in Bagavan city. If Amanor
was the god of new year and new yield, Vanatur was the god of
hospitality and bountiful
- The goddess of water, sea
and rain. She
was a fire creature, who forced the rain and hail to fall from the
heavens with her fury.
- The god of
underground. He was the god of dead people's kingdom or hell.
- The oldest gods in the Armenian pantheon, Aralezs
were gods in the
form of dogs, whose powers included the ability to resurrect the dead
by licking wounds clean.
Barshimnia - This
was one of the idols transported by Tigran from Mesopotamia into
Armenia, and housed in the village of Thordan, in Daranaghi. The
brilliantly white idol was made of ivory and crystal, wrought with
silver. The name Barshamin is
derived from the Phoenician Ba-ala-shamin, in Aramaic form, meaning
"lord of heavens," like the Bel of the Babylonians.
(Kissaneh) and Demeter-Demetr -
Agathangelos ignores the existence of
these two idols in Taron. On the other hand, there must have been some
ground for the tale about the fierce struggle of paganism, as reported
by Hovhan (John) Mamikonian who lived in the seventh century.
Similarity of Armenian pantheon with Iranian and Greek pantheons
Amanor and Vanatur
Spandaramet or Sandaramet
Barshamin or Barshimnia
Gissaneh (Kissaneh) and Demeter-Demetr