Chapter 1



(Armenian Manuscript Pages 3 to 6)


(This is a Partial Translation. [JT.])


The name "Perkenik" is not found in ancient Armenian writings.[1] The ancient Armenian writers do not mention it. One may ask: "Why?" In history the name of a city or village is usually recorded when some historic event takes place there. For example, it is given as the site of a military engagement.  Or again, its name may be mentioned to identify some well known structure in it or nearby, such as a castle or fortress or bridge; or to name some natural feature such as a river. But Perkenik has had no such castle, nor fort, nor bridge.  Nor has its name been associated with any river.[2]  Further, no historic military exploit has been cited as having taken place near Perkenik.  All of this is not to say that Perkenik did not exist of old, but simply that such information has not been recorded in the ancient writings[3].






Prior to the 16th century we find no mention at all of the name "Perkenik" It is Gregory Taranaghetsi or Gamakhetsi[4]  who is the first to record the name in his Chronicles written between 1634-1640.  (See Mesrob V. Nshanian, The Chronicles of Gregory Vartabed Gamakhetsi or Taranaghetsi, Jerusalem, 1915, page 418.)  So let's now take a look at this citation.


Gregory, in speaking of a Vartabed named Nerses and his student, relates that Nerses gives him [the student] the authority of the "scepter." The student, having passed through Agn, Pingian, and Sebastia in 1595 reaches Diurige (Divrig) and proceeding further comes upon a village which they call Perkenik.  The student and Vartabed John (later Catholicos), who was there, greet each other and both remain for awhile together at the residence of Asdvadzadoor. The exact citation follows:


". . . badahelov i kiugh mi, vor PRRKNIK asen yev Hovhannes Vartabedn ant linelov, sirov voghchiunial zmimians, vor zhamanag mi i miasin genalov mod Asdouadzadourin"


Taraghanetsi's citation occurs chronologically around 1595.  We can therefore hold that the name of the village in the form "PERKENIK"[5] existed and was in use around 1595 (or 1596).  From the point of view of ANTIQUITY AND ORIGIN the name appearing in this form serves as an IMPORTANT and WEIGHTY basis of a proof [which I am about to develop].


[To be continued: JT]

[1]  In the Armenian, the author lists three variant spellings of the village's name: (1)Prknik,(2)Prknig,(3)Prrknig.  Throughout our English translation of this book, we have followed a spelling that seems to have been around awhile, namely: "Perkenik."  One thing in this spelling's favor is that it guarantees that the semivowels "e" are in the right places.  (The "e" semivowels are absent in the Armenian spelling, but are nonetheless pronounced as the "u" in "hut", or the "e" in "the", etc.)  All in all it serves as a reasonably close approximation to the pronunciation of the name, so for now we've opted to use this form. But see also my comments in the Translator's Commentary in the Appendices. [JT]

[2]Hajian refers to the MISMIL tributary (and its numerous branches and canals) flowing through the village as "PRKNKOU CHOOR", that is, the "Waters  of Perkenik" but this apparently is a name in local use only.  See Chapter 4. [JT]


[3]  Again, see my remarks in the Translator's Commentary among the Supplements  [JT].


[4] In English, we can use "of -" for the place name in "-tsi" thus:  "Gregory of Taranagh," or "Gregory of Gamakh"  [JT]


[5] Here we're back to our "English" form "Perkenik." In the Armenian the identically spelled word is used throughout so the author can make his point, but hereafter I'll use the "English" form (which after all is the translation for whichever of the variant spellings occur in the Armenian).  It saves from from having to transliterate the variants each time they occur (especially when it is clear they're all referring to the same place-name.) [JT]

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