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E00150: The Epic Histories, traditionally attributed to P'awstos, written in Armenian in the second half of the 5th c., recount the miracle performed by *Jacob (bishop of Nisibis, ob. c. 337/8, S00296) at the Council of Nicaea and his vision of the Emperor *Constantine (S00186).

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posted on 04.11.2014, 00:00 by naleksidze
The Epic Histories, Book III, Chapter 10

The chapter recounts the story of the holy man Jacob of Nisibis. He desired to see the place where Noah's ark was stationed and thus he ascended Mt Ararat.

Ապա մինչդեռ ելանէր ընդ դժուարին ընդ անջրդի ընդ ափափայսն անապատին սարարատեան լերինն. աշխատեցան եւ ծարաւեցան նա եւ որք ընդ նմայն էին: Ապա դնէր ծունր մեծն Յակոբ ի վերայ երկրին, եւ կայր յաղօթս առ տէր. եւ ի տեղւոջն` ուր եդեալ էր զգլուխ իւր` բղխեաց աղբիւր, եւ արբին նա եւ որ ընդ նմայն էին. որ մինչեւ ցայսօր ասեն այնմիկ աղբեւր Յակոբայ: Եւ ինքն ի նմին աշխատեալ դեգերէր` զխնդրելին տեսանել առանց յապաղութեան, առնէր աղօթս առ տէր:

'Then, as he ascended through the difficult, waterless, and desert slopes of Mount Sararat [sic], he and those who were with him wearied and thirsted. Then the great Yakob fell on his knees, [prostrating himself] to the ground, and prayed to the Lord, and a spring gushed up on the spot that his head had touched, and he and those with him drank, and to this day it is called Yakob's Spring. But he himself toiled and persevered, imploring the Lord with prayers that he might see the desired sight without delay.'

On the mountain, Jacob was miraculously given a piece of the Ark, which he took back to his people, like Moses. After this, Jacob went to Armenia to the impious prince Manačihr Rštunik to teach and admonish him. However, when the prince saw, Jacob, he scorned and mocked the holy man.

Գայր հասանէր ի լեառն երկաթահատացն եւ կապարահատացն, եւ որ ընդ նմայն էին, ընդ Ըռըշտունիս : Եւ բաժանէր լեառն բարձր, ուստի երեւէին գաւառքն բովանդակ, որուս անուն Ընձաքիսար կոչէին: Իբրեւ հուպ եղեւ յայն լեառն ի ստորոտ լերինն, քանզի բազում աւուրք էին զի չէր ինչ բնաւ ամենեւին ճաշակեալ, եւ ծարաւեաց խիստ ծարաւով: Եկաց յաղօթս առ տէր, դնէր ծունր, եւ եդ զգլուխ իւր ի վերայ երկրի, եւ բխեաց աղբիւր, ուստի արբ ինքն եւ որք ընդ նմայն էին: Եւ եղեւ այս ըստ առաջին օրինակին. որպէս արար ի Սարարադ լերիինն, սոյնպէս եւ առ ոտին Ընձաքիսար լերինն ի ծովեզերն Ըռըշտունեաց ծովուն, որ ըստ առաջնոյն օրինակի կոչի եւ այս աղբեւր Յակոբայ մինչեւ ցայսօր ժամանակի: Եւ ելանէր քահանայապետն Աստուծոյ Յակոբ ի գլուխ լերինն Ընձաքիսար, եւ նզովէր զաշխարհն, զի մի' պակասեսցէ անտի խռովութիւն մինչեւ ի սպառ, փոխանակ տէրունի խաղաղութեան` որ ոչ լուան: Եւ սուրբ աւետարանիչ եպիսկոպոսն գնաց ի տեղի իւր: Իսկ յայնմ գաւառի, յետ գնալոյ նորա անտի, յետ երկուց աւուրց սատակեցաւ կինն Մանաճերհայ եւթն որդւով իւրով. յետոյ եւ ինքն չարամահ ծակոտեալ ելանէր մեծաւ տանջանօք յաշխարհէ: Եւ ըստ բանին` որ ասացաւ, ոչ եղեւ խաղաղութիւն յաշխարհին յայնմիկ յօրէն յայնմանէ եւ յապա:

'But [Yakob] went from there in great grief, and he shook the dust from his feet upon them, according to the Commandment of the Lord. Together with his companions, he went to the mountain in Rštunik', where there were iron and lead mines. This was a tall dividing mountain named Enjak'isar, whence all the districts were visible. As he came close to the foot of that mountain he felt a great thirst, for many days had elapsed since he had tasted anything at all. He prayed to the Lord, kneeling and bowing his head to the ground, and up gushed a spring, from which he and his companions drank. And this happened in the same way as before: what,he had done on Mount Sararad, this he performed at the foot of Mount Enjak'isar, by the shore of the sea of Rštunik' [and] like the first, this one is called Yakob's Spring to this day. And the high-priest of God Yakob climbed to the summit of Mount Enjak'isar and cursed that realm so that total confusion should never decrease there instead of the peace of the Lord, to which they had not hearkened. And [then] the holy, evangelizing bishop returned to his own home. But in that district Manačihr's wife with her seven sons died two days after his departure, and after that, he himself, pierced through [on all sides], departed in great agony from the world. And in accordance with the words [Yakob] had spoken, there was no peace in that realm from that day forth.'

Բայց այս Յակոբ գործէր սքանչելիս մեծամեծս. եւ սա դիպեցաւ ի մեծ սիւնհոդոսին ի Նիկիա, որ եղեւ յամս Կոստանդիանոսի կայսեր Հոռոմոց, ուր ժողովեցան երեք հարեւր եւ ութեւտասն եպիսկոպոսք, վասն անիծեալ աղանդոյն Արիանոսի աղէքսանդրացւոյ, որ էր ի նահանգէ անտի Եգիպտոսի: Արդ ամենայն եպիսկոպոսքն նստէին առաջի Կոստանդիանոսի. եւ ի Հայոց էր անդ Արիստակէս, որդի Գրիգորի սքանչելոյ` առաջի կաթողիկոսին Հայոց Մեծաց: Սկսաւ երեւել սքանչելեօք նշանաց Հոգւոյն սրբոյ այնմ Յակոբայ ծածկեալ գործք զարմանալի թագաւորին: Ետես զի արքայն Կոստանդիանոս քուրձ զգեցեալ էր ի ներքոյ իւրոյ ծիրանեացն եւ պատմուճանին, եւ հրեշտակն կայր պահապան սպասաւորել նմա: Զարմացեալ եպիսկոպոսն Յակոբ, ասաց այլոց բազմութեան ժողովոյն եպիսկոպոսացն զիրս հրեշտակին, որ ոչ հաւատային իրացն: Իսկ նա պնդեալ վիճէր եւ ասէր. Որովհետեւ դուք գիտէք զիրս ծածկեալս, նախ զայդ յայտ արարէք, զի՞նչ է այն որ զգեցեալն է թագաւորն ի ներքոյ պատմուճանին: Որ ինքն ի մէջ կացեալ, ի ձեռն Հոգւոյն սրբոյ յայտնէր զխոնարհութիւն կրօնազգեաց աստուածասիրութեան նշանակ թագաւորին Կոստանդիանոսի. եւ զննեալ առաջի ամենեցուն ցուցանէր, զի ի ներքոյ ընդ ծիրանեօքն քուրձ զգեցեալ էր առ սէր ջերմեռանդ հաւատոցն` որ առ Քրիստոս ունէր: Ապա ետես թագաւորն Կոստանդիանոս զհրեշտակն սպասաւոր երեսացն Յակոբայ, եւ անգաւ առաջի ոտից նորա, եւ մեծապատիւ մեծապարգեւ մեծարեաց զնա: Եւ արկ զաթոռ նորա ի վերոյ քան զբազումս ի նոցանէ, որք ի սիւնհոդոսին յայն էին: Բայց ոսկերք նորա շնորհեցան քաղաքին ամդացւոց, ընդ այլ մծբնացիսն ի փոխել նորա անտի անդր ի մարտս պատերազմացն Յունաց թագաւորացն ընդ թագաւորին Պարսից:

'But Jacob performed the greatest miracles. And he was present at the great synod of Nicaea, which took place in the days of Constantine, the emperor of the Romans, [and] at which three hundred and eighteen bishops gathered together to anathematize the heresy of Arianos of Alexandria, who was from the province of Egypt. All the bishops took their seats there before Constantine; and Aristakēs, the son of the wondrous Gregory [the Illuminator] the first katholikos of Greater Armenia, was present from Greater Armenia. And the wondrous secret deeds of the king began to be revealed to the [same] Jacob through the miraculous signs of the Holy Spirit. He saw that King Constantine was clad in a hair shirt under his purple robe, and that a guardian angel was serving him. Bishop Jacob was amazed and told of the presence of the angel to the multitude of other assembled bishops, who did not believe this. But he argued insistently and said, "Because you know things that are hidden, reveal first what the emperor wears under his robe." [Then], raising himself among them he revealed with the help of the Holy Spirit the humility that was the sign of King Constantine's pious love of God. He disclosed before all of them what he had observed, that [the emperor] was clad in a hair shirt under the purple for the ardent love of the faith he had in Christ. Then King Constantine saw the angel who was serving the person of Jacob, he fell at his feet and magnified him with great honors and great gifts, and he raised his [Jacob's] throne above those of many who were at that synod. But his bones were given to the city of Amida, together with the other Nisibenites at the time of the move there from [Nisibis] during the war between the Greek king and the king of Persia.'

Text: Garsoïan 1984. Translation: Garsoïan 1989, 77-80.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

History

Evidence ID

E00150

Saint Name

Jacob, bishop of Nisibis, ob. c. 337/8 : S00296 Constantine, emperor, ob. 337 : S00186

Saint Name in Source

Յակոբ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Armenian

Evidence not before

460

Evidence not after

470

Activity not before

320

Activity not after

330

Place of Evidence - Region

Armenia

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Hadamakert Հադամակերտ Hadamakert Başkale

Major author/Major anonymous work

Epic Histories (Buzandaran Patmut'iwnk')

Cult activities - Places

Holy spring/well/river

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Punishing miracle Material support (supply of food, water, drink, money) Apparition, vision, dream, revelation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - bones and teeth

Source

The History, traditionally attributed to a certain P‘awstos Buzandac'i (usually translated as 'Faustos of Byzantium') covers Armenian history from the later Arsacid dynasty (c. AD 330) to the partition of the Armenian kingdom between Byzantium and Iran (AD 387). The History is the earliest source covering this specific period of history, which was later treated by Movsēs Xorenac'i. As N. Garsoïan points out, despite the evident importance of the material contained in the History for the study of 4th century Armenia, it was never included into the received Armenian tradition, and medieval historians preferred to refer to Movsēs Xorenac‘i, the most authoritative source for later authors, as the sole authority for 4th century events. Łazar P'arpeci, for example, considered the information provided by P‘awstos as false and absurd, and so apparently did the rest of medieval scholarship. Date and language The authorship of the text has long been debated. The author claims to have been an eyewitness of the events he describes, but if this was indeed the case he could not have written in Armenian, as the Armenian script was only created in the 5th century. Thus, he was often considered a Greek historian, a supposition 'supported' by a misunderstanding of the word Buzand (in his name) as 'Byzantium' (see below). Other external evidence has also been cited to favour the idea that the work was originally written in Greek, and only later translated into Armenian. There has also been a theory in favour of a Syriac original, mostly advanced by Peeters and based on multiple Syriacisms in the text. The most convincing theory, however, favours an Armenian original, and is mostly based on internal linguist evidence, such as the use of scriptural quotations that derive from the Armenian version of the Bible, various colloquialisms, and the spelling of proper names. As to the date of the composition, the author’s own claim cannot be accepted as trustworthy as he is far too ignorant of 4th century events to be considered a contemporary; he presents 4th century historical events as filtered through folk memory, often projecting events of the 5th century into the previous century. Based on the Epic Histories' quotations from Koriwn (who wrote in the first half of the 5th century), and a reference to the Histories by Łazar P‘arpeci (writing at the very end of the 5th century), who places 'P‘awstos' immediately after Agathangelos, Garsoïan suggests convincingly that the date of composition was around 470, arguing that 'it is difficult to imagine a time more suitable for a work glorifying the role of the Mamikonean family in Armenian history than the generation immediately following the sparapet Vardan Mamikonean's heroic defense of Armenian Christianity in 451' (Garsoïan, Epic Histories, 11). The author The claim by some late antique and medieval sources that P‘awstos was Greek rests on a misunderstanding of the word Buzand, which was considered to mean 'Byzantium'. Medieval reception 'corrected' the form Buzand to Buzandac‘i ('from Byzantium') to support the Greek origin of the author. The actual title appended to the text is Buzandaran Patmut‘iwnk‘. A. Perikhanian has found a definitive solution to the problem, showing that the word buzand derived not from the toponym ('Byzantium') but from the Parthian bozand , 'a reciter of epic poems, a bard' , with the suffix –aran as an adjectival qualifier. The title can thus be translated as Bardic or Epic Histories. So, as N. Garsoïan has shown, the work generally titled History of Armenia and attributed to Faustos of Byzantium is in fact a compilation of tales assembled by an anonymous historian in the 5th century. In our database the text will be consistently referred to as the Epic Histories. The author’s agenda From the perspective of the author’s representation of cultic practices, Garsoïan’s conclusion (as follows) is noteworthy: 'The author may have been a native of the southwestern district of Taron because of his unreserved devotion to the Mamikonean lords of the district and to its holy site Aštišat, which he invariable presents as the original centre of Armenian Christianity, as against the focus of the contemporary 'Agathangelos Cycle' on the northern city of Vałaršapat'/Dwin, and the nearby holy site of T'ordan' (Garsoïan, Epic Histories, 16). The author is a rigourous defender of Nicene orthodoxy and is thus strongly antagonistic toward the Armenian crown, which 'sought to conform with the Arianizing policy of the successors of Constantine through much of the fourth century' (Garsoïan, Epic Histories, 15).

Discussion

This piece of information concerning James of Nisibis, apart from the story of the wood of the Arc and Jacob's confrontation with Manačihr is recorded by Theodoret of Cyrus. These two episodes may be Armenian additions are were also repeated later by Movsēs Xorenaci and by the History of Albanians. The History of Taron even names him as the cousin of *Gregory the Illuminator.

Bibliography

Edition: Buzandaran Patmut'iwn (The Epic Histories) also known as Patmut'iwn Hayoc' (History of Armenia) Attributed to P'awstos Buzandac'i, a facsimile reproduction of the 1883 St. Petersburg edition with an introduction by Nina G. Garsoïan (New York: Caravan Books, 1984). Translation: Garsoïan, N.G., The Epic Histories Attributed to P'awstos Buzand (Buzandaran Patmut'iwnk') (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989).

Licence

Exports

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

Licence

Exports