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Origin of the name AVARAIR.
Etymology of the name AVARAIR.
Meaning of the baby name AVARAIR.


AVARAIR.  Armenian name, meaning "from Avarair," the location of a famous battle also known as the Battle of Vartanantz which took place on May 26, 451 on the plain of Avarair, in Vaspurakan.

    In the middle of the fifth century Armenia had already lost its national independence.  It was ruled by feudal chiefs and princes who were subject to the King of Persia.  The Persians at this time were aiming at the conquest and conversion of the world.  In A.D. 450 the Persian King sent a letter to the Armenian princes, setting forth the excellence of fire-worship and the foolishness of Christiantiy, and formally summoning Armenia to embrace fire-worship.  A great council was called, in which bishops and laymen sat together, and a reply of unanimous refusal was drawn up.  Eghiché, an Armenian historian of the fifth century, one of the bishops who signed the refusal, has preserved in his history the text of this remarkable document.  First they answered at considerable length the arguments of the Persian King against Christianity.  In conclusion they said:—
    "From this faith no one can move us,—neither angels nor men; neither sword, nor fire, nor water, nor any deadly punishment.  If you leave us our faith, we will accept no other lord in place of you; but we will accept no God in place of Jesus Christ:  there is no other God beside him.  If, after this great confession, you ask anything more of us, lo, we are before you, and our lives are in your power.  From you, torments; from us, submission; your sword, our necks.  We are not better than those who have gone before us, who gave up their goods and their lives for this testimony."
    The king of Persia was as much amazed as enraged by the boldness of this reply; for Armenia was a small country, and stood alone, without allies, against the vast power of Persia.  A Persian army of 200,000 men was sent into Armenia.  The battle was fought on the plain of Avarair, under Mount Ararat.  The much smaller force of the Armenians was defeated, and their leader, Vartan, was killed.  But the obstinate resistance offered by rich and poor—men, women, and children—convinced the King of Persia that he could never make fire-worshippers of the Armenians.  As the old historian quaintly expresses it, "The swords of the slayers grew dull, but their necks were not weary."  Even the high-priest of fire saw that the Persians had undertaken an impossibility, and said to the Persian King:—
    "These people have put on Christianity, not like a garment, but like their flesh and blood.  Men who do not dread fetters, nor fear torments, nor care for their property, and, what is worst of all, who choose death rather than life,—who can stand against them?"
    Whence dost thou come, O moon, so calmly and softly,
    Spreading o'er mountain, valley, and plain thy light,
And over me the Patriarch, wandering sadly,
    With wandering thoughts, in Avarair to-night?—The Nightingale of Avarair.
    (Armenian Poems, Blackwell, 1917)


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