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The History of the World of Alowan 40

Movses Kalankatvatsi's (Մովսէս Կաղանկատուացի) The History of the World of Alowan (Պատմութիւն Աղուանից աշխարհի).

  • Based on the English translation of the text from Grabar (Old Armenian) by Robert Bedrosian (2010).

Bishop Israye'l confirms the land of the Xunı in the faith, due to his teachings and they listen to him sweetly because of the miracles he worked.

These people were practising [a religion including] tree-worship, deluded into this fanaticism by satan. In accordance with their dull[cold]-witted Northern understanding, they thought that this filthy pagan practise—this delusional, fictitious, and false faith—was a great religion. If a person or an object happened to be hit by the thundering fiery lightning and heavenly fire, then they considered that person or thing a kind of sacrifice dedicated to the god Xovar (քուար OA *kʰuɑr / *kʰɔwɑr). They also worship a gigantic wild monster whom they call Taŋrı Xan (թանգրի խան *tʰɑŋri χɑn) God, and whom the Persians call Aspandiat. [They worship him] using horses as a burnt offering. Since they have completely undisciplined minds, they practise every kind of error: beating drums, whistling over corpses, bloodying [themselves] by cutting their cheeks and limbs with swords and daggers, and holding naked swordfights. It was a diabolical sight, [to see] there at the graves man against man and detachment against detachment prepared for battle, naked. Many groups wrestled with each other and engaged in horse races riding this way and that in the orgy. Some spent their time weeping and moaning, while others played demonic games. They played their games and danced their dances with lewd acts, mired in benighted filth and deprived of the sight of the light of the Creator. They made sacrifice to fire and water, to some gods of the road, to the moon and to all the created things which they considered somehow wondrous.

Moreover, they were sexually incontinent and in accordance with their savage pagan customs, they married their father's wife, shared one wife between two brothers, and had several women. They had numerous irreligious laws and impious rites, as a consequence of which they were unable to comprehend or grasp the [doctrine of the] Sun of Righteousness. When [Bishop Israye'l] heard about and saw this obsession with evil and idolatrous customs, he begged God night and day for the salvation of the land, praying that he might find some means of converting them. At his command an hour was set aside for God, and all the lords and common folk of the land of the Huns came to worship the religion of the Holy Church and to hear the divine message. The prince and whoever else in the camp wanted to hear the words of the bishop assembled in the house of the Lord. And they said to each other: "Come, let us hear his words of comfort, for he is a chief in the holy Christian religion, which transmits to the world the message of the Holy Spirit."

When [Israel'l] saw their enthusiasm and the attention they were paying, he began to speak to them about the teachings found in the Holy Bible…..

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