Latest Issues

Bulletin of the Institute of Oriental Studies (2022, № II-1)

  1. VAHE SARGSYAN - Institute of History of NAS RA, Armenia
    p.p 13-21

    Prominent German orientalist C. F. Lehmann-Haupt explored the Tigris Tunnel during his travels in the Armenian Highland and Northern Mesopotamia from 1898 to 1899. According to him, the kings of Assyria considered this place as the source of the Tigris (or at least one of its sources) and tried to reach it during their campaigns. This was probably conditioned by the circumstance that the waters of the Tigris River, which “flooded the walls” of the Assyrian capitals of Assur, Calah and Nineveh, flowed through the rocks there. According to the inscriptions of the Tigris Tunnel, the sacrifices made by the Assyrian kings in honor of their gods were considered to be dedicated to the god of the river and the spring [9: A.0.102.6 ii 34-40; A.0.102.8: 20-23; A.0.102.14: 67-72; 14: 434].

    Keywords: Nairi, Urartu, Assyria, Tigris Tunnel, inscriptions, C. F. Lehmann-Haupt, W. Belck, Tiglathpileser I, Shalmaneser III, campaign

  2. GOR MARGARYAN - Institute of the Oriental Studies of NAS RA, Armenia
    p.p 22-30

    Since the end of the XIV century, in official documents and written sources on the history of the Ilkhanate, the term šiltāqāt is often found, the meaning of which is still not fully understood. The interpretation of the term was often given without regard to the substantive characteristics of the word: šiltāqāt is interpreted partially, sometimes conflicting, and approximately meaningful comments are given. Šiltāqāt has been interpreted as an illegal tax, a tax levied under various pretexts, a pretext or extraordinary tax, generally as a collective name for lawless taxes, etc. Moreover, what was the meaning and application of šiltāqāt? If it was a tax, in what amount, where, how, and under what circumstances was it levied? Surely, since the Ilkhanid period šiltāqāt was levied on the subject peoples, and hence the term should have been reflected in the reports of the economic life of those same peo-ples. In particular, the article deals with the mention of šiltāqāt in the Armenian sources, the use and semantic meanings of the term or phenomenon. Interestingly, during the post-Ilkhanid period until the early 16th century, the term does not occur in Armenian sources at all. However, later on, begining from the 16th century in Armenian historical sources, and interestingly, also in various Armenian dialects, the term (sometimes in a distorted form) is often found, as well as a description of the phenomenon. The purpose of this article is to collect all the information and references to šiltāqāt in the Armenian sources, and on the basis of this as additional historical material, try to make clarifications of šiltāqāt, its application, meaning, etc. by means of source analysis

    Keywords: Šiltāqāt; šiltağ, etymology; Ilkhanid; tax system, illegal taxing; Armenian sources; Nak̲h̲čiwānī.

  3. SHAHBAN KHAPIZOV, MAGOMED SHEYKHMAGOMEDOV - Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of the Daghestan Federal Research Centre of RAS, Russian Federation
    p.p 31-41

    On the basis of the Daghestani Arabic-language sources of the 16th-17th centuries we es-tablish the presence of a military estate in the Avar Nutsaldom known as Pazhilal. They lived at least from the IX century until the second half of the XIV century in the fortress Akaro, a few kilometers north of Khunzakh, the capital of the Avar Nutsaldom. The written sources emphasize that, unlike the rest of the population, they did not pay taxes. Moreover, according to other sources, they received payment for their military ser-vice and had a number of agricultural plots, which they rented out and received additional income that allowed them to concentrate exclusively on their occupation, without being distracted by agricultural and other work. Oral tradition, archaeological excavations, written sources of the 19th - early 20th centuries as well as archival material of the 19th century allows us to characterize more thoroughly the subject of our study. A complex consideration of all the facts at our disposal and the introduction of a new and extremely valuable source - the Pazhilal agreement of the 17th century - allowed us to conduct a retrospective study to identify all the distinctive features of this institution of the medieval state in the Eastern Caucasus. We have also traced some analogies between cer-tain components of the military institutions of the Avar Nutsaldom with similar phenomena in the history of Armenia, Georgia, and especially - Iran. This helped us to identify the Iranian roots of certain terms and come to the conclusion that this component of the military culture of the Avar Nutsaldom was formed as a result of Iranian influence on local traditions.

    Keywords: Daghestan, Hunzakh, warfare, history of state and law, source studies

  4. DAVID MERKVILADZE - Independent researcher, Georgia
    p.p 42-52

    In 1768, Fatali Khan of Quba together with Hussein Khan of Shaki took Shamakhi. Soon, however, the former also tried to subdue the Shaki Khanate. For this purpose, Fatali of-fered King Erekle II of Kartli-Kakheti and Ibrahim Khan of Karabakh to campaign against the Shaki Khanate. But failed to get their consent. For his part, the Khan of Shaki asked Erekle II for help. The King demanded that Fatali Khan reconcile with the Khan of Shaki and threatened to provide military assistance to Hussein Khan. Ibrahim Khan of Karabakh also asked Erekle II for help in case of Fatali Khan’s ag-gression. Thus, an alliance between Erekle II, Hussein Khan and Ibrahim Khan against Fatali Khan was formed. The allies aimed to restore the rule of Aghasi Khan in Shamakhi, even on the condition of vassalage to Fatali Khan. In case of refusal, they intended to re-turn the Quba Khanate to its former borders. The Russian government tried to limit the activity of Erekle II in the ongoing confron-tation between the South Caucasian Khans. Nevertheless, in 1770, Erekle II sent an army to Ibrahim Khan of Karabakh to repel the attack of Fatali Khan. As a result, Fatali Khan’s campaign in Karabakh ended in failure. In November-December 1773, the Avar Khan Muhammad-Nutsal IV, along with Hussein Khan and Aghasi Khan, campaigned to Shamakhi. King Erekle helped the Avars militarily. Erekle II sent a detachment of Muslim Borchaly Kazakhs against Fatali Khan, in order to make the participation of his subordinates less noticeable. But this did not go unnoticed by Russian intelligence. At the same time, it is incorrect to name Erekle II as an ally of the Dagestani leaders united against Fatali Khan in the subsequent campaign of 1774. The King’s participation in the hostilities during this campaign is not confirmed by any source.

    Keywords: King Erekle, South Caucasia, Quba, Fatali Khan, Khanate, Shaki, Shamakhi, Karabakh, Muhammad-Nutsal

  5. NELLI MINASYAN - Armenian State Pedagogical University, Armenia
    p.p 53-65

    In his article, “Three Ways of Policy”, Yusuf Akçura, one of the founders of the ideology of Pan-Turkism, summarizes the political discussions in Ottoman society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In this article he analyzes the doctrines of Ottomanism, Pan-Islamism, and Pan-Turkism. The author argues that the doctrines of Ottomanism and Pan-Islamism have exhausted themselves and are failed policies for the Empire. Additionally, he expounds the effectiveness of the policy of Pan-Turkism and formulates its conceptual principles. The purpose of this article is to analyze the main doctrines presented in Akçura's fa-mous work. The mainly focuses was on the ideology of Pan-Turkism and the author's ob-servations connected with it. In this context, we have considered the idea of Turkic unity, which is still relevant today. He presents two important circumstances: first, he talks about other Turkic peoples and brings the ideas of Turkic unity to the political agenda. Second, Akçura understands earlier that the multiethnic Ottoman Empire must become a nation-state, which the author connects with Pan-Turkism. Akçura's Pan-Turkism ideas continue to be viable because even today the ideas of Turkic unity have an important place in Turkey's domestic and foreign policy agendas.

    Keywords: Yusuf Akçura, Ottoman Empire, Ottomanism, Pan-Islamism, Turkism, Pan-Turkism, nationalism, Turkic peoples, Turkic unity, Pan-Turanism

  6. MYASNIK ESOYAN - Institute of History of NAS RA, Armenia
    p.p 66-74

    The administrative, economic, educational and military reforms carried out by the Wali of Egypt Muhammad Ali made Egypt a strong and stable state, laying a solid foundation for its development. The reforms of Muhammad Ali also had a positive impact on the Egyptian Armenian community. By the end of the 19th century, Armenian cultural life in Egypt had become more active, the number of schools had increased, new cultural and educational unions and organizations had appeared, and new periodicals were being pub-lished. At the beginning of the 20th century, Armenians occupied a prominent place in the Egyptian society. Armenians had churches, schools, cafes, and various Armenian newspapers were published in Egypt. Additionally, Armenians were the most prominent distributors of tobacco - there were many Armenian kiosks in various markets around the country. Around town, one could often meet an Armenian shoemaker, pharmacist, baker, doctor, teacher, tailor, etc.

    Keywords: “Arshalouys”, Egyptian Armenian periodical, Western Armenians, Armenian massacres, regime, Cilicia.

  7. OKSANA ERMOLAEVA - Institute of History, Social, Political Sciences Petrozavodsk State University, Russian Federation
    p.p 75-87

    In most studies early Soviet borders are explored as sites of confrontational interactions between the newly created communist state and local communities. Alternatively, they emerge in scholarly research as spaces of illegal transborder exchanges and commodities transfers, resulting in the loss of official revenues and gains for informal economies. Later, in increasingly politicized contexts, these interactions resulted in the gradual “cleansing” and “sealing” of borders. The current article argues that to regain control over the borders during their transition from bridgeheads of the revolution and commodity transit zones to hermetically sealed barriers and fortress walls that occurred throughout the 1920s - 1930s, the Soviet state for some time struggled in vain to discipline not only local communities, which used the newly created borders for their own means, but multiple border controllers themselves - border guards, but primarily the customs apparatus located along Russia’s lengthy borders. For almost a decade in the specific conditions of Eastern and Northwestern Soviet border sectors, the latter refused to abide to increasingly restrictive working conditions, abandon their privileges and rights, and to submit to the new border control agency - the Soviet Main Political Directorate (GPU).

    Keywords: Soviet border control, borders of “secondary concern”, interagency rivalry, informal alliances, centre-periphery problems

  8. ARMEN ISRAYELYAN - Institute of the Oriental Studies of NAS RA, Armenia
    p.p 88-105

    The problems with the Iranian-Afghan water issue are the result of the demarcation of the border between the two countries caused by external interference at different historical periods. Over the past 150 years, four agreements have been signed between Iran and Afghanistan on the use of water from border rivers, but they have never been fully implemented. The issue of water resources is a very sensitive for Iran and Afghanistan. Over the years, the emergence of complex environmental, agricultural, economic, social, legal, security, political and military factors has exacerbated the situation. Out of geopolitical interests, Great Britain and Russia divided the territories of Iran and Afghanistan into zones of influence in 1907, essentially depriving these countries of their sovereignty. In this situation, the settlement of border disputes between Iran and Afghanistan was entrusted to a third party, namely Great Britain, Turkey and the United States. Since the aforementioned countries were guided by their own interests when drawing the border between Iran and Afghanistan, as a result of the demarcation between the sides, it was not possible to find a solution to the water use of the Helmand River that would satisfy both Iran and Afghanistan. Iran and Afghanistan, as sovereign states, first began direct talks to resolve the water issue at the beginning of the 1970s. In 1973, the first and the only contract still in force was signed. In order to fully resolve the water issue between Iran and Afghanistan, it is essential to create an atmosphere of mutual trust between the two sides. The security, socio-economic and environmental factors that have emerged over the last two decades have hindered the formation of such an atmosphere. Attempts by the Iranian and Afghan authorities to find a comprehensive solution to the problem after the Islamic Revolution have failed. The water issue is now so complicated that it can only be resolved through political will. However, since both sides cannot but consider the socio-economic situation of the population and social pressures when making a political decision, they will be more inclined to make populist decisions in order to avoid aggravation of the internal situation. The hydropolitical policy directions pursued by Iran and Afghanistan indicate that the sides will also continue to use the water factor as a tool of pressure in the near future. Evaluating the statements of the Iranian military-political management on the water issue, it can be stated that the water issue has long ceased to be a merely ecological and agricultural one. Given the ethno-religious picture of the Sistan-Baluchestan province of Iran and the challenges threatening the province (terrorism, separatism), Iranian security forces are extremely sensitive to the water issue. Afghanistan is a strategically significant neighbor for Iran. The water issue is the possible factor that puts Iran in a serious dilemma. On the one hand, Tehran cannot jeopardize bilateral relations due to socio-economic problems in Sistan-Baluchestan, but on the other hand, failure to resolve the water issue can exacerbate the already tense situation in the province, leading to border clashes, which, in turn, could escalate into a large-scale conflict. Regular armed clashes on the Iranian-Afghan border since the formation of the Taliban interim government in Afghanistan, as well as the fact that Afghanistan’s neighboring countries have not formally recognized the Taliban authorities, make it almost impossible to reach definite agreements. Iran, despite tough public statements, will continue to pursue a cautious policy towards the Taliban in its real politics. If it puts pressure on the Taliban over water issue, the Taliban will simply block the flow of the Hirmand River into Iran, as they did in the 1990s. In that case, Iran will have to resort to tough measures to solve the problem, which, however, is not in Iran’s strategic interests. The fact that Iran considers the matter of reviewing the contract of 1973 while taking into account the needs of the people of the Hirmand River Basin is unrealistic and it will never be acceptable for Afghanistan. The demand for water on both sides will increase. The Hirmand River is not physically able to meet the demand of both sides. Mutual pressure can only ensure short-term solutions. Consequently, the water issue can be resolved comprehensively only through reciprocal concessions (Iran can either pay for uninterrupted, regulated water supply with oil or not charge transit money from Afghanistan) and by signing a new agreement based on this compromise.

    Keywords: Iran, Afghanistan, Taliban, water, dam, river, delta, Hilmend, Harirud, Tejen

  9. ORAZIO MARIA GNERRE - Expert of international relations and geopolitics, Italy
    p.p 106-119

    This paper intends to evaluate some elements that make up the worldview of contemporary China. To do this, these factors are dealt with (among others): the positioning that China assumes and wants to assume on the planet, and the ensemble of geopolitical theories that derive from it; and the conception of politics with respect to centralization / decentralization issues. In addition to this, the role of the economic (and geoeconomic) vision of contemporary China is also highlighted, in particular in relation to the thoughts of Xi Jinping expressed in 2017 at the Davos Forum. It becomes important to understand, in this sense, the idea of globalization and multipolarity that China extends, as a guiding principle, to its foreign policy. This is because it is based on cultural roots of distant ancestry. Through these interrelated interpretative levels, it is possible to understand the function that China plays within the contemporary world and its contribution of ideas and visions.

    Keywords: People’s Republic of China, International relations, Geopolitics, centralization, decentralization.

  10. HASMIK HMAYAKYAN - Institute of the Oriental Studies of NAS RA, Armenia
    p.p 120-128

    Գաթայ gat‘ay (pronounced gat‘a in the modern Eastern Armenian) is an ancient traditional festive cake, which was baked during various Armenian celebrations. Its baking process was sometimes itself accompanied by special traditions. However, it should be noted that the word gat‘a used today, which means ‘cake in the form of bałarĵ (traditional Armenian festive bread) containing abundant fat and sugar’[4: 214] is not found in ancient Armenian sources [3: 499-500]. Gat‘ay is met for the first time in Vardan Aygektsi’s fable ‘The Pig and Gata’ in the following passage: «Ասաց 'ի առակաց, թէ խոզն գաթայ մի գտեալ ուտէր. նայ խորիսն 'ի վայր կու թափէր եւ վասն պարանոցին միաբերոթեան զի վիզն ոչ կարէր շե¬ղել. որ զգլուխն 'ի վեր կալնուր. յայնժամ բերընցիք'ի վեր անկեալ եւ ետես արեգակն. զի խոզն զբոլորութիւն արեգականն աչօք չէ տեսեալ։ Եւ այնժամ ասաց, թէ զոր չէի կերեր, կերայ եւ զինչ չէի տեսեալ, տեսայ. զի այլ ոչ գաթայ էր կերեր եւ ոչ արեգակն տեսեր [7]

    Keywords: gatay, Armenian, Hittite, NINDAgatai/katai-, pastry, bread, wedding, etymology

  11. HAKOB AVCHYAN - Yerevan State University, Armenia
    p.p 129-135

    Enclitic pronouns are used in most of New West Iranian languages. They are mainly used for marking the possessor, as well as objects, besides, those Iranian languages and dialects, which show ergative patterns, make use of enclitic pronouns for marking the agent in erga-tive constructions. This paper deals with the enclitic pronouns and their functions in Anbarāni, one of the Northern Talyshi dialects, spoken in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Where it is possible the features of Anbarāni enclitics will be compared with some other West Iranian languages.

    Keywords: Talyshi, Anbarāni, West Iranian, enclitics, pronouns, dialectology, Iranian languages, Iranian linguistics.

  12. TEREZA AMRYAN - Yerevan State Univesity, Armenia
    p.p 136-146

    The Yezidi wedding, due to its unique and different colours and elements, has been a sub-ject of interest for their non-Yezidi neighbors. From time to time, it has been an object of interest for journalists, researchers and scientists as well. However, the transforming ele-ments of the Yezidi traditional wedding have not been properly studied as of yet. In the framework of this article, some elements of Yezidi traditional weddings are examined: those elements have undergone various transformations due to external influences over the last few decades. The wedding ceremony is a more open, easily influenced and transformable ritual. Therefore, many elements of the traditional Yezidi wedding have partly been influenced by the Armenian wedding ritual and partly influenced by modern wedding trends. Many elements have been given a new appearance and interpretation, while some old ceremonies have been reborn and are performed in a new way. Additionally, some traditional forms of marriage (polygamy, levirate) have been forgotten among the Yezidis of Armenia. The study of the transformation of some elements of the traditional Yezidi wedding is important, as it can greatly contribute to the study of the dynamics of other ethnic transformative processes.

    Keywords: Yezidi, wedding, element, transformation, bride, groom, custom, tradition, ritual.

  13. ANI AVETISYAN - Matenadaran, Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, Armenia
    p.p 147-165

    The present article touches upon a series of Ottoman Turkish manuscripts from the Mate-nadaran's Arabic script manuscripts collection, an example of a unique collection in Otto-man Turkish manuscripts known as the "Collection of Verse Dictionaries" MS No. 1467, in order to provide the first detailed study. These collections were compiled at the religious-educational institutions called tekke or dergāh, and the medrese. They were compiled as language textbooks, in order to provide easy learning of languages (Arabic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish) through the simultaneous use of several verse dictionaries and to be engaged in the process of learning languages by heart. The unique copy of the Matenadaran’s "Collection of Verse Dictionaries" includes 3 complete copies of bilingual (Arabic-Ottoman Turkish) and trilingual (Arabic-Persian-Ottoman Turkish) verse dictionaries of the 14th-15th, 17th and 19th-century writers: copies of Ferişteoġlu ʽAbdullaṭīf ibn Melek’s (proper name was ʽAbdullaṭīf ʽİzzeddīn et-Tirevī) "Luġat-i Ferişteoġlū" and Bosnalı Ebū̕ l-Fāżl Muḥammed (Meḥmed) ibn Aḥmed er-Rūmī's "Ṣubha-i Ṣıbyān" Arabic-Ottoman Turkish and also complete copy of Adanalı Ḫōca Meḥmed Ḥayret's (propar name was Meḥmed Behāeddīn Ḥayret) "Tuḥfe-i Zībā" (known with another titles as "Tuḥfe-i Dürrī" or "Tuḥfe-i Ḥayret" or "Tuḥfe-i Se Zebān") Arabic-Persian-Ottoman Turkish verse dictionaries. The article presents in detail the works included in the collection. At the same time, it has touched upon the methodology of writing verse dictionaries in classical Turkish litera-ture, their structural features, the significance and role of dictionaries in Turkish society, religion, literature and education. The purposes of writing verse dictionaries in all cases were to teach languages, to develop and spread literary speech, and to practice in prosody (especially in ʽArūż meter). The comprehensive presentation of the collection is even sufficient for it to become a part of the manuscripts of the four collections, already known in foreign collections as the "Collection of Verse Dictionaries", in order to become a source of new research opportuni-ties for local and foreign specialists.

    Keywords: The collection of Arabic script manuscripts, Matenadaran, Ottoman Turkish manuscripts, Dictionary, Verse dictionary, Collection of Verse Dictionaries, Tuhfe, Lüğat-i Ferișteoğlu, Sübha-i Sıbyân, Tuhfe-i Zibâ.

  14. Reports
  15. ZHALGAS ADILBAYEV - Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Mongolia, Kazakhstan
    p.p 168-175

    The article describes the results of 30 years of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Diplomatic relations between the republics of Kazakhstan and Mongolia were established on January 22, 1992. The visits of the President of Mongolia N. Bagabandi in 1998 to Kazakhstan and the visit of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev in 1999 to Mongolia gave a new impetus to the development of bilateral relations. From 1991 to the present day, more than 40 agreements and treaties have been signed between two countries. The official visit of the Prime Minister of Mongolia U. Khurelsukh to Kazakhstan from October 10-12 in 2019 was memorable for its scale and content. During this period, 8 meetings of the intergovernmental commission of the two countries were held. Today, bilateral relations are developing steadily. However, in the future, interstate relations between Kazakhstan and Mongolia should enter a new stage of development. To do this, the parties need to intensify relations at the highest level. For example, this year the organization of an official visit of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan to Mongolia is being discussed. The intensification of inter-parliamentary cooperation between the two countries is also on the agenda. Cultural and humanitarian relations between the two countries have great prospects.

    Keywords: Khazakhstan, Mongolia, diplomacy, cooperation, embassy, visits, turnover, diaspora, trade and economic, investments

  16. Scientific Life
  17. GOHAR ISKANDARYAN - Institute of the Oriental Studies of NAS RA, Armenia
    p.p 178-184

    "Armenia-Iran. The Historical Past and Present" international conference took place in the conference hall of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (NAS RA) on February 9-10, 2022. The conference was dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). The Institute of Oriental Studies of NAS RA initiated the conference a year ago, circulating the call for proposals. This event is, in fact, a tribute to all the figures who contributed to the establishment and development of the diplomatic relations between Armenia and Iran. The Cultural Center of the Embassy of the IRI in Armenia, as well as the Chair of Iranian Studies of the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the Yerevan State University (YSU) welcomed the initiative. The State Archives of the Republic of Armenia joined the efforts during the last organizational phase of the conference. Numerous Iranian Studies centers in different countries, including the University of Tehran, the Association of Iranian Studies, The German Oriental Studies Trust, the Caucasus Studies Institute, as well as the Chair of Iranian Studies of the Faculty of Oriental studies of YSU, quicky took up the announcement and shared on their social media pages. As a result, the organizing committee of the Conference received more than 50 applications from Iran, Lebanon, the United States, Pakistan, and Armenia. The organizing committee reviewed the materials and extended the invitation to participate in the conference to 35 scholars. The conference consisted of five sessions. Message greetings by the Catholicos Karekin II, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of RA Ararat Mirzoyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of IRI Hossein Amir Abdullahian were first read for the participants. The President of NAS RA Ashot Saghyan highly appreciated the organization of a conference on Armenia-Iran diplomatic relations and pointed out that deepening of the ties should be kept in the center of attention. The Academician-Secretary of the Division of Armenology and Social Sciences Y. Suvaryan recalled Iran's support for Armenia during the tough times in 1990s.

    Keywords: Armenia, Iran, International conference, 30th anniversary, NAS RA, Institute of Oriental Studies, Cultural Center of the Embassy of the IRI.