ANSWER TO MY CRITICS                       AND



In 1965, my nearly decade of research efforts resulted in publishing a monograph “Azerbaijan in the 7-9 centuries”. The book had repeatedly been discussed at academic councils of various scientific and higher educational institutions.

I must say that the initial variant and subsequent versions of the manuscript exceeded by far the previously published book. The monograph appeared only after 2-year debates, i.e. went through all stages that commonly precede any published work.

The book was positively assessed in press, specifically in the journals “Peoples of Asia and Africa”, “Der Islam” and in periodical press of the Republic.

A year has passed since the publication of the book, and numerous book reviews and testimonials appeared in the publications of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia. Asatur Shmavonovich Mnatsakanyan was the first to respond to my publication in his book “On Literature of the Caucasian Albania” (Yerevan, 1966, in Armenian). Next came a scandalous review “On the Book by Z.Buniyatov “Azerbaijan in the 7-9 centuries” signed by the same A.Sh.Mnatsakanyan and P.Sevak (pen-name of the poet Kazaryan) (see “Historical-Philological Journal” of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR, 1967, #1, pp.177-190”. Of the same topic is an article by B.Ulubabov “On North-Eastern Outlying (?) Dialect of the Armenian language and Related Issues” (see “Bulletin of Social Sciences” of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR, 1968, #1, pp,51-77). And finally there was published an article by K.A.Melik-Ogadjanyan “Historical-literary Concept of Z.Buniyatov” (see “Bulletin of Armenian Archives”, #2, 1968, pp.169-189).

It’d be improper to deal here with anonymous and planted letters addressed to different official and unofficial structures, to me personally where, along with contemptible pseudoscientific attempts, there are used foul language and explicit threats. Let these insults and billings gate lie heavily on conscience of the citizens of the Armenian Republic who have presently mixed interests of the Gregorian clergy with those of society by setting the former above the latter.

I. Typical for all these articles is the fact that they wander away from the subject of the book as a whole. As if in collusion, all reviewers deal solely with materials as set forth on pages 6-12 and 91-102 of the book, i.e. on 19 pages out of total 380 pages of the book. In other words, the point is about the activity of the Gregorian clergy that I criticize. In an effort to advocate interests of the Gregorian clergy, my opponents, like it or not, became missionaries of this church and pervert its genuine historical role to thus please personal sympathies. What themes does A.Mnatsakanyan oppose to in his book and later in his review written jointly with P.Sevak?

It should be noted that V.Gukasyan in his article “On Some Issues of the Albanian Written Language and Literature (in connection with A.Sh.Mnatsakanyan’s “On Literature of the Caucasian Albania” (see “Transactions of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR”, series of literature and language, 1968, #2, pp.85-101). V.Gukasyan was right in stressing didactical manner of A.Sh.Mnatsakanyan who “takes readership as schoolchildren”. In the end of his article V.Gukasyan comes to the conclusion that the book by A.Sh.Mnatsakanyan on the Caucasian Albania has little to do with science.

Much of what has been said and referred to in the article by V.Gukasyan deals with my work as well (see his article “On Interpretation of Some Questions of the History of Azerbaijan in the Monograph “Azerbaijan in the 7-9 centuries”. – Transactions of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR, series of history, philosophy and law, 1968, #4, pp.115-135), hence, I am not going to retell the content of the book by A.Sh.Mnatsakanyan and the article by V.Gukasyan. I’d like to express my view on some aspects of the problem:

A.Sh.Mnatsakanyan insists on the Armenian origin of Aranshahs – rulers of Aran (Albania), natives of the local royal house of Zarmihr.


However, he has no grounds to advocate this concept, especially as “The History of Albania” by Moses Kagankatvatsi openly refers to the local, Aran origin of the house of Zarmihr (see “The History of Albania”, p.71, 136, 261; English translation, p.55, 108-109, 209).

A.Mnatsakanyan and his others with him consider Sahl ibn Sunbat to be Armenian, not Albanian prince – a direct offspring and representative of the dynasty of Aranshahs. He writes: “Z.Buniyatov tries to create an impression that Sahl ibn Sunbat was not Armenian”, but at the same time he makes a reservation as follows: “True, Sahl ibn Sunbat’s Armenian identity has not yet been established but beyond any doubts (in this way only! – Z.B.) he was Armenian”. Original logic!

However, A.Mnatsakanyan ought to know that an important fragment in all the editions of “The History of Albania” was omitted to testify Sahl ibn Sunbat’s belonging to the royal house of Zarmihr and the dynasty of Aranshahs. This fragment says that “Sahl ibn Sunbat came from the tsarskiy dom Zarmihrakan” as referred to by T.I.Ter-Grigoryan in 1940. The same is true of an article “Forgotten Fragment from “The History of Caucasian Albanians” by the British historian-Armenist Ch.J.Dawsett in 1957. I touched upon this subject in 1961 in my article “Once again about unpublished pages of “The History of Albania” by Moses Kagankatvatsi” (“Izvestiya” of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR, series of social sciences, #4, p.1-9) and in 1964 in my article “Albanica III” (ibid, #4, pp.87-92). Finally, in “The History of Caucasian Albanians” there is a fragment which testifies to the local, Albanian origin of Sahl ibn Sunbat (p.266 and 214 of the English translation).

True, A.Sh.Mnatsakanyan could have been mistaken on the subject. It may be supposed that he has not been attentive enough when reading “The History of Caucasian Albanians” and unaware of the works of Ch.J.Dawsett and other authors and misled by not well grounded hypotheses of M.Chamchan, V.Abaza, G.Dagbashian and A.Gren. In the meanwhile, Ch.J.Dawsett who cannot be blamed for “pro-Buniyatov’s” view on the subject, wrote that in the light of the facts available it is necessary to reject any assumptions and fantasies about the origin of Sahl ibn Sunbat from the family of Bagratuni or Toron.

If in his mentioned book A.Sh.Mnatsakanyan was still overcautious in respect of Sahl ibn Sunbat, later on he was persistent in his delusion, especially in a review written jointly with the poet P.Sevak. And again, the co-authors have no arguments at all, so all their “facts” are indicative of preconception and groundlessness of their stand on the issue. It is absolutely groundless when they allege that Aranshahs originally came from Armenians and that Sahl ibn Sunbat was an offspring of the Armenian Aranshahs, and so forth. (Pay attention to the term “originally came from the Armenian nation”!).

For instance, A.Mnatsakanyan and P.Sevak write: “Z.Buniyatov should know that Armenian principalities included not only possessions of Sahl ibn Sunbat but also the whole of Syunik, Ktish, Varsan, Baylakan, Kabala, Sheki, Artsakh-Khachen, Gardman, Utik”. Furthermore, the reviewers are trying to convince the reader that in the reviewed period, specifically the first half of the 9 century Albania “was just a geographical term. And he (i.e. Z.Buniyatov) was well aware of this”.

I’m not going to argue against you on the basis of my studies, for the latter are “anti-historical”, as you put it. I’ll turn down your Gregorian aspirations which manifest themselves in your pipe dreams of misappropriating territories between the Black, Caspian and Mediterranean Seas. These allegations are easily rejected on the basis of my research work. However, it is obvious that my arguments are unlikely to be explored properly in compliance with impartiality and objectivity.

That’s why I’d like to remind them of the authors who cannot be suspected of “buniyatovshina” (as expressed by A.Mnatsakanyan and P.Sevak). I’d like to begin with authoritative assertion of the professor of the Kazan University Kerovb Patkanyan. In his fundamental work “Van Inscriptions and Their Importance for the History of the Western Asia” (see “Journal of the Ministry of National Education”, 1875, part 177, pp.149-150). Note that K.Patkanyan (who, for some reason, is “forgotten” by A.Mnatsakanyan’s colleagues) writes: “Armenia as a state did not play any role in the history of mankind and its name served as a geographical term of the country where powerful neighbors decided on all disputes. As far as I know, Armenia had not been a motherland of the cultural people”.

Beyond any doubts, we cannot accept the K.Patkanyan’s assertion without reservations but it would be unfair to fully ignore statements of such an authoritative author.

Let’s look at an interesting map compiled by S.T.Yeremyan where he stretched out Armenian borders up to the Caspian Sea!

By the way, concerning a term “Great Armenia”. It is well known that the definition “Great Armenia” is erroneous, so it would be proper to speak about “Large Armenia”. This view has not been rejected even by such an unbridled reactionary as N. Adonts (see “Armenia in the Epoch of Justinian”, St-Petersburg, 1908).

It’d be appropriate to remind that an antonym of a word “great” is a word “insignificant” and an antonym of a word “major” is “minor”. In other words, if there is “Minor Armenia” (it is not political but geographical term) there is “Major Armenia” to be used only as a geographical term, like “Minor Caucasus” and “Major Caucasus”, “Minor Zab” and “Major Zab”.

Touching upon various regions of Azerbaijan – Karabakh (Artsakh, Hachen, Ktish), Sheki, Zangezur, Gyandja, Kabala, etc. which are referred to by A.Mnatsakanyan as “originally Armenian lands”, N.Adonts notes on page 225 of his book: “Artsakh (i.e. Karabakh) had always been outside the Armenian sphere of influence”. In his work “On Pre-Christian Beliefs of Peasants of Nagorno Karabakh Prof. I.P.Petrushevskiy points out that neither Artsakh, nor other above mentioned localities “had never belonged to the centers of the Armenian culture” and that even in the 13-14 centuries “in Artsakh and Sheki there reigned princes from Armenized Albanians”. In my view, it is obvious!


Note that Syunik”s (Zangezur) belonging to the Albanian regions is referred to in the works of Theophanes the Greek and Sebeos the Armenian, as well as in the works of Hubshman and Laurant. Even better, Topchiyan proved that the language of Zangezurians went back to a dialect of the Albanian language.

To avoid one-sided approach to the political geography, I beg to cite a number of Arab authors about belonging of some populated localities in connection with A.Mnatsakanyan and P. Sevak’s dissatisfaction with a map as attached in the end of my book. The point is that this map is not devised by me but copied from a research work “Lands of Eastern Caliphate” and “Atlas of Moslem Countries” by H. Le Strange published recently in Amsterdam. For this reason, the map is final result of my work, in my reviewers’ view. The point here is about an ordinary scientific honesty.


Regarding authors’ references:

Ibn Khaldun (vol.V, part 1, p.171): “In Shaban 556 Hegira (July-August 1161), Georgians captured the town of Ani, a part of the country Arran” (madinat Ani bilad Arran). And more: “In Shaban 557 Hegira (July-August 1162), Georgians captured the town of Dvin which is in Azerbaijan” (Dvin min Azerbaijan).


Abu-l-Fida (vol.III, p.582): “In 557 Hegira (21.12.1161-9.12.1162), Georgians took the field with a great army and invaded the country of Islam, captured Dvin which is in Azerbaijan” (wa malaku madinat Dvin min Azerbaijan).


Al-Makrizi (part 1, pp.40,42): “The town of Dvin is one of the towns of Azerbaijan” (balad Dvin ahad bilad Azerbaijan) and “the town of Dvin is within the limits of Azerbaijan from Arran and the country of Georgians” (balad Dvin fiahir Azerbaijan min jiha Arran bilad al-Kurj)


Al-Umari (p. 114): “In 529 Hegira (22.10.1134-10.10.1135), Georgians encircled Dvin which is a district of Azerbaijan” (hasarat al-Kurj madinat Dvin min a’mal Azerbaijan).


An-Nasawi (end of the Chapter 90): “Surmari has long been considered to be one of the districts of Azerbaijan” (Surmari ma’duda min a’mal Azerbaijan).


Such is the historical map, whether or no. So my reviewers are wrong in objecting to my having indicated solely Dvin on the map.

In a work that will follow I’ll try to correct this mistake as well, because Dvin and other towns’ belonging to “primordially Armenian towns’ is not confirmed.

For instance, excavations revealed no “primordially Armenian coins”. Instead, subsoil of Dvin and Ani teems with Ildegizid coins. There cannot be Armenian coins, for they had never existed. It is universally known that if a state has no its own monetary system, it cannot have an independent economy; if there is no economy, there is no statehood.

Sources of the geographical term “Major Armenia” lie in this fact only. No one will help here, even all-powerful Julius Caesar whom my reviewers refer to. It’d be better to remember Strabo who said 20 centuries ago: “The history, either old or new, seeks truth!” I do not want to focus on the fact that the Gregorian church, like many other religions, fawned upon any conqueror. As far back as N. Vardapetov noted that the Gregorian church “skillfully adapted to new conditions rendering, depending upon political conditions, services to Safavides, then the Russian tsar; at one time it bent down before Byzantian Emperors, tsars of Sasanide Persia, Arab caliphate, Mongolians, etc. This, to say the least, timeserving of the Gregorian clergy was referred to by N. J. Marr, T.I. Ter-Grigoryan, K. Patkanyan and N. Vardapetov. In an effort to deny this fact, my reviewers set themselves the thankless task.


Undeserving an attention is the terminological scholasticism of the reviewers when they are seeking to fill in the lack of scientific arguments by bad language and insults unbecoming to scholars. Let it remain on their conscience. Thus, they allege that my concept “have nothing to do with science as a whole and the Marxist-Leninist science in particular”. In the meanwhile, Prof. Berthold Spuler from Hamburg notes (see “Der Islam”. Vol. 45, 1967, pp.321-322): “The book “Azerbaijan in the 7-9 Centuries” is of great interest for researchers. It is hard to read for non-specialists. Hence, non-specialist is unlikely to cope with it. A reader must independently make corrections or identify meanings of the Marxism-prescribed historical picture, if he wants to treat things properly”.

The Spuler’s remark has a direct relation both to reviewers and non-specialists. As for the Marxism, Spuler warns a reader against giving in to the Marxist interpretation in my book!

II. My second opponent B. Ulubabov is even more untenable than two of his predecessors. He pounces upon those maintaining that Armenians are newcomers in Nagorno Karabakh. He severely criticizes Archbishop Markar Barkhudaryan, T.I. Ter-Grigoryan, N. Vardapetov, N. Adonts, S.T. Yeremyan and somewhere else Z. Buniyatov. Even worse, the Russian resume of the B. Ulubabov’s article is contrary to its text in Armenian, so it is astonishing that editors of the “Bulletin of Social Sciences” of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR inserted this article of journal’s pages.

III. At last, a few words about “academically styled” review of K.A. Melik-Ogadjanyan. He starts as saying that “a leading historical concept of Ziya Buniyatov runs all through his work”. The reviewer does not unveil what is meant under “historical concept” and immediately charges the monograph’s author with tendentiousness. I’ve noted that my opponents decline from examining my book in full laying a special emphasis on its smaller part that deals with “Gregorianization of Albania’s population”. The last reviewer cautiously writes”: “Soviet historians are sure to express their stand on methods of research and historiographical concept of the author”.


However, historians remain silent. They are substituted for linguists, poets and esteemed Ulubabov. As for K. Melik-Ogadjanov, his review repeats, somewhat differently, the allegations of A. Mnatsakanyan and P. Sevak. However, it’d be appropriate to remind that T.I. Ter-Grigoryan has already proven that text of the “The History of Albania” has been falsified by Catholicoses and monks of Vagarshapat. Note that Ter-Grigoryan is a native of ecclesiastical family, highly professional and proficient in ecclesiastical matters. So, there is no need in trying to force an open door! Everything is obvious here: the text is falsified, and all these are unmasked in my book.

Touching upon Mhitar Gosh and his “Datastanagirk” (“Code of Law”), K.A. Melik-Ogadjanyan advances an idea that V. Bastamyan has allegedly updated Mhitar Gosh, an author of the 13 century. In his view, Gosh was allegedly wrong in saying that he had compiled his Code of Law at urgent request of the noble head of the church of the Albanian house, Catholicos Stepannos III. Poor Gosh could not have ever imagined that certain V. Bastamyan and A. Papovyan would come into the world in the 20 century and finish writing of what Gosh had no slightest idea. No wonder that it is K.A. Melik-Ogadjanyan, and no one else, who accused me of “juggling”!

Let’s assume that I’m not proficient in subtleties and amendments of V. Bastamyan to the Mhitar Gosh’s text. In this case, what is to be done with research works of Joseph Abgarovich Orbeli, founder and first president of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR? The point is that J.A. Orbeli calls the Gosh’s work as the “Code of Law”, not the “Armenian Code of Law”! Let’s consider the following fragment of Acad.Orbeli: “Mhitar Gosh reports that he has got down to his work “in the years of anarchy in our kingdom and pontificate in the country of our Albanian Most Reverend Stefan” (see Selected works, vol.I, p.213). N.A. Orbeli points out that Albania is a motherland of Mhitar Gosh: “He gave all details about a place he started his work – “in the country of Aran”. Worthy of note is the fact that touching upon Aran, one of the regions of ancient Albania, and mentioning a district of Gandzak, he calls it “a mother of towns”, “a parent state”. Mhitar Gosh did not lose his ties with Aran and Gandzak (Gyandja), the largest town after the destruction of Barda”. J.A.Orbeli adds: “Thus, Mhitar is a contemporary, even a peer of great Nizami, and since his childhood he was attached to the town where Nizami grew up”. And further: “Mhitar Gosh’s activity was related to the culturally Armenized region of Artsakh (Upper and Lower Khachen, i.e. interfluve of rivers Terter-chay and Gargar-chay)”.

As is evident, Orbeli reaffirms facts which are fervently rejected by my opponents, especially, the latter. The facts are affirmative of Mhitar Gosh’s identity to Arran and his identification as an Arran author. All these are referred to in my book. K.A. Melik-Ogadjanyan is anxious about “an unscientific concept” of Acad. J.A. Orbeli to question the scientific erudition and awareness of the researcher: “There are concise (gee, concise! – Z.B.) fragments, which set forth improper judgments arising from unfaithful translation of the Armenian text and related misinterpretations of Gosh’s statements”. Man alive! K.A. Melik-Ogadjanyan took the liberty of putting Orbeli through his facings. Orbeli is a world famous scholar, an expert in Armenistics admired by the whole scientific community! Even better, editorial board of the first volume of “Selected Works” of J. A. Orbeli includes S.T. Yeremyan, K.G. Kafadaryan, A.G. Ganalanyan, R.R. Orbeli, etc.

Perhaps, they all are well aware of their subject, however my opponent is not embarrassed, and he insists on some “improper interpretation” of Gosh’s assertions by Acad. J.A.Orbeli. In so doing, he means not one interpretation but several once! All this is done to “prove” Mhitar Gosh’s being not privy to Albania, Aran, and his motherland Gyandja to attain his purpose K.Melik-Ogadjanyan goes so far as to remake the town of Gyandja into “the country of Gandzak” and identified it to the “country of Parisos”.

However, the reviewer never stops at what has already been said on the subject. He writes that “the country of Parisos” was ruled by “the independent” royal dynasty of Haykids”. By the way, Parisos had always been a part of the lands of Gardman, Aran and Albania, as is evidenced by the map mentioned in an article by K.Tumanov “Bagratides of Iberia from the 8 to 11 centuries” (journal “Le Maison”, #74, p.3-4) and in his separate book about Bagratides of Georgia.

It should be noted that Kerakos Gandzaketsi and David Gandzaketsi were locals of Gyandja and had no relation to Parisos. Of interest is the fact that Ch.J.Dawsett is right in believing that David Gandzaketsi was a resident of Gyandja. My opponent is not pleased with statements of Voskan Ter-Ovanesyan. The opponent “discovered” that V.T.Ovanesyan conventionally nicknamed Kerakos as “Gandzaketsi” through “misunderstanding” only. By the same “misunderstanding” V.Ter-Ovanesyan declined from adding a word “khayots”, i.e. “Armenian” and therefore they work by Kerakos should be titled as “the History of Armenia” only, according to my opponent. Very strange claims!

It has to be kept in mind that K.Melik-Ogadjanyan, A.Mnatsakanyan and P.Sevak are displeased with the research method of K.Patkanyan, M.Barkhudaryan, T.I.Ter-Grigoryan, N.Vardapetov, N.Adonts, V.Ter-Ovanesyan, I.A.Orbeli et al. However, these are the researchers who greatly contributed to the development of historical science and, beyond any doubts, they are brilliant experts in this field.

K.Melik-Ogadjanyan charges me “with deviation from the Marxist-Leninist methods in the research of social principals and history of fraternal republics of the Soviet Union” (i.e. Armenian SSR – Z.B.). This accusation is utterly ridiculous and insincere, so it needs no refutation. I’d like to remind K.Melik-Ogadjanyan of his own expression: “conscience is a decoration of human nature”.


P.S. Two more books have recently been published – a book by L.O.Babayan “Social-Economic and Political History of Armenia”, 13-14 centuries (Moscow, 1969) and a Russian translation of a book by A.Sh.Mnatsakanyan “On Literature of Caucasian Albania” (Yerevan, 1969).

1).Any new research into the social-economic and political history of a country or people accounts for a new information to contribute to the science. At first sight, the book by L.O.Babayan is the proper research. However, a detailed acquaintance shows that this work is, as a matter of fact, a variant of the well known work by

A.A.Alizadeh, Academician of the Academy of Science of the Azerbaijan SSR, titled “Social-Economic and Political History of Azerbaijan, 13-14 centuries” (Baku, 1956), together with attraction of fragments from the latest works by Prof.I.P.Petrushevskiy.

The author of the work proceeds with the line of M.Chamchan, Y.Manandyan, Leo et al; bourgeois historians who devoted their life to the thankless task: to prove that Aran, Karabakh, Gyandja, Shamkhor, Tauz, Nakhchivan, Sheki and some other regions and towns of Azerbaijan are primordially Armenian territories. In the end of his work L.O.Babayan comes to the conclusion (p.315): “In the reviewed period (13-14 centuries) the Armenian population was predominant ethnic element on the territory of Aran. As is seen, L.O.Babayan is “deserving successor” to the anti-historical line of A.Mnatsakanyan, B.Ulubabov, P.Sevak and K.Melik-Ogadjanyan.

Sources used in the work are identical to those in the work by A.A.Alizadeh, and in this respect L.O.Babayan relies on groundless hypotheses and falsified assumptions which run contrary to the historical facts. In particular, he insists on a certain Armenian statehood in the 13-14 centuries and includes some Azerbaijani and Georgian regions into the composition of the far-fetched state, including Karabakh. In so doing, L.O.Babayan alleges that Khachen prince Hasan Jalal had no relation to Georgians (p.22), according to an anonymous Persian source of the 13 century; in so doing, he attempts to substantiate his forced concept. “This region (vilayet) (Khachen – L.B.) is hard to access and located in the forest and mountains; it is pertaining to the regions of Aran and there reside Armenians – people of Abkhazia (Georgia), and their padishah is called tsar”.

However, the source is dissenting: “…This region (vilayet), is hard to access and located among mountains and forests; it is pertaining to districts (a’mal) of Aran; there reside Armenians (to the point! – Z.B.); people of Abkhaz (Georgia) call their Padishah as Tsar; they revolt against Abkhazians” (see N.D.Miklukho-Maklay. A Geographical Survey of the 13 Century in Persian. Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1954, v.IX, p.204).

On the p.87 L.O.Babayan refers to a fragment from a work by Rashid ad-Din (Collected chronicles, v.1, part 2, p.229): “They made their way for Djebe and Subeday in Aran to stay there in winter. Their route was laid via Gurdjistan (Georgia). Rashid ad-Din seems to be clear, however L.O.Babayan makes a footnote: “Note that under Gurdjistan the author (i.e. Rashid ad-Din) means also northern regions of Armenia” (see p.120).

Notes to Rashid ad-Din’s statements are extremely revealing, especially as “The History of Georgia” (v.1, p.207) says that “Mongolians had immediately dispossessed Georgia of its vassal possessions and recognized “Gurjistan” (Georgian kingdom) in its own borders only –within the limits of the Transcaucasian Christian world” (broken underlining by the authors of “The History of Georgia – Z.B.). It is absurd when L.O.Babayan includes some regions of Georgia (up to the river Choroh) and of Azerbaijan (Nakhchivan, Syunik, Karabakh, Artsah, Khachen, Gyandja, Uti, Shamkhor, Tauz, etc.) into the composition of the mythical Armenian state of the 13-14 century. All Babayan’s allegations are so nonsensical and incongruous that if one takes out all these allegations from his book, there remains nothing in the Babayan’s monograph.

In his research L.O.Babayan demonstrates propensity for “astonishing” analogues. Let’s cite several examples. Thus, p. 53:”Hamdullah Qazvini writes that some regions of Azerbaijan are noted by big crops of cereals and that these crops are of high quality; 16 mans of bread are baked out of 10 mans of flour”. Here comes the L.O.Babayan’s analogue: “It may be assumed that cereals in Armenia were of the same high quality”. Ibid: Rahid ad-Din writes (where? - remains unknown) that the rice was cultivated in Talysh region, and the rice and cotton in Gyandja and Shamakha”. The Babayan’ analogue: “If the rice was cultivated in Talysh and Shamakha regions, from this it follows that this crop was, beyond any doubts, spread in the Ararat valley as well. True, sources of the reviewed period say nothing of it” (striking logic !).

The L.O. Babayan’s work bandies around a term “Great Armenia” which is allegedly borrowed from Hamdullah Qazvini, and a reference is laid on an unknown note in “Essays on the History of the USSR” (?) (p.120). First, H. Qazvini uses no term “Great Armenia” but “Major Armenia”. He says literally: “Armenia consists of two parts: Major and Minor Armenia (see Nuzhat al-kulub, p.100); I’d like to enumerate all populated localities forming Major and Minor Armenia (according to Qazvini):  Ahlat, Abtut, Ardzhish, Armuk, Alatak, Bargiri, Bayan, Haradin, Hushab, Harmaramt, Lukiyamat, Hangamabad, Salam, Ayn, Kabud, Madazjird, Van, Vvastan, Valasdjrd (pp.100-101). And that’s all! No other localities and towns are quoted by Hamdullah Qazvini in Major and Minor Armenia.

2).When publishing the Russian version of his book A.Mnatsakanyan omitted some sections contained in the Armenian versions he had to after the V.Gukasyan’s criticism.

And again all A. Mnatsakanyan’s intentions are aimed at expanding Armenia’s lands at the expense of neighboring regions. He resorts to every possible pretext to directly or indirectly declare that no Arran (Albania) had ever existed; there were neither Albanians, nor Utiis (Udins). Instead, there was solely “Trans-Kura Armenia”, “North-Eastern Land”, “Eastern Land of Armenia”, “Interior Armenia”, and so forth. He repeatedly refers to a certain Mashtots who, being unaware of Arran and Georgian languages had allegedly created alphabets for Georgians and Armenians.

To all appearances, A.Mnatsakanyan is not aware of an article by A. Perikhanyan (see “On Origin of the Armenian Written Language”. West Asian collected works, part II, pp. 126-127) which directly says that “Mashtots knew neither Georgian, nor Albanian languages and that no much importance has to be attached to Koryun’s report that Mashtots gather information in loco about phonetic composition of these languages”. A. Mnatsakanyan has the wonderful ability to be inconsiderate of others’ views.

With extreme light-mindedness A. Mnatsakanyan rejects views of the prominent orientalists and Armenists (Armenian included) who long before him wrote about the existence of the Albanian state independent of Armenia, indicated the language and literature of this country. His works are full of expressions like “in attempt to prove A.Shanidze…”(p.9); “A. Shanidze is incapable of providing any concept …” (p.11); “Naked assumption of K. Trever…” (p.18); “Leo, groundlessly…” (p.20); “Fallacious views of A.Y. Krymskiy…”; “A.E. Krymskiy rejects…”; “A.E. Krymskiy does not explain…”; ”A.E.Krymskiy’s attempt…” (pp.22-29); “Neither A. Manandyan, nor M. Abegyan paid due attention to…” (p.29); “Markwart’s delusion…”; “Fallacious opinion of Markwart…” (p.32); “Georgian historian S. Kakabadze tries to prove…”(p.40); “Groundless statement of K. Trever…”(p. 60); “N. Pigulevskaya’s assumption has to be admitted unsubstantiated…”(p.117); “Facts cited by sources (?!) should be recognized erroneous…” (p.146); “Groundless facts of R.Acharyan…”(p.147) and in the same vein. In the meanwhile, all these academicians – A.E. Krymskiy, N.V. Pigulevskaya, K.V. Trever, Markwart, A. Shanidze, S. Kakabadze are not come-and-go people in science. The scientific world defers to their opinions but A. Mnatsakanyan. It does no honor to him.

And again you are rushing about the map of the Azerbaijan SSR misappropriating Gyandja, Beylakan, Salyan, Sheki, Shamkhor, Shamakha, Zangezur, Tauz, Nakhichevan, Gardman, and Karabakh.

I advise you once again to familiarize yourself with works by V. Gukasyan whom you call “a certain philologist”. He does know the literature of Albania better than you do, and you’d be all the better to consult him.


It’d be appropriate to note that the historical destinies integrated the peoples of Transcaucasia into a single family. The Soviet power brings up the young generation of these peoples in the spirit of mutual respect, friendship and brotherhood. These peoples have nothing to share in the present and the past. Each of them lives in their own home but is ready at any point to render disinterested aid to their neighbor and brother. Is it worth staring a conversation about borders and abuttal, historical though, as A.Mnatsakanyan, P. Sevak, K. Melik-Ogadjanyan, etc, do? Without any scientific grounds and in defiance of facts? At any rate, it is obvious that all these attempts are having no prospects and unworthy of the Soviet scholars – patriots, internationalists and communists.

                                                                                                                        Z.M. Buniyatov