Armenian Highland

Ծառը ինչքան բերք տայ ու բարի, գլուխն էնքան խոնարհ կը պահի:
However much fruit a tree bears, it humbles its head that much more.

Noratus cemetery  Նորատուսի գերեզմանատուն’

Medieval Armenian cemetary with a great amount of early Khachkars in the Noratus village, Located in Gegharkunik province of Armenia. 

The cemetary became the largest historical Armenian cemetary after the vile destruction of the ten thousand khachkar cemetary in Julfa, Nakhichevan by Azeris. 

The oldest  khackhars date to ninth century and they are spread over a seven hectare field with over a thousand medieval khachkars, all with unique ornamentations depicting farm life, weddings, royalty and religious depictions. The cemetary is named after the nearby village of Noratus which has evidence of a settlement form the Bronze Age and also the ninth century Holy Virgin Church. Many believe Noratus is named after the medieval fortress founded by Prince Gegham.

A popular folktale speaks about when the massive monstrous army of Timur the Lame was invading, The defenceless villagers dressed the khachkars up as soldiers by placing helmets on the top and leanind swords towards them. From a distance in the foggy Armenian mountains it looked like armed soldiers standing strong, this resulted in Tamerlanes army retreating.

“To live for that, for which it is worth to die, and to die for that, for which it is worth to live”

—   Garegin ‘Nzhdeh’ Ter-Harutyunian
The Syunik mountain range in southern Armenia
The bay of Naples by moonlight
Յովհաննէս ԱյվազեանHovhannes Aivazian (Ivan Aivazovsky)

“There is a walnut tree
Growing in the vineyard
At the very edge of the world.
My people, you are like
That huge ancient tree—-
With branches blessed by the graces
But sprawling
Over the small corner of land
Roots and arms spread out
And spilling your fruit
To nourish foreign soils”

—   Sylva Gaboudikian
The Lom people, also called Armenian Gypsies are a branch of the proto-Romani people. The ancient proto Romani people known as Phen (one of the two main branches of Romani resulting from a parting of ways in the Persian territory, the other being the Ben Romani) migrated to Armenia in the seventh century. It was the first time the Romani were on European soil and first time they encountered Christianity which led to many conversions to the Armenian Apostolic Church. 
Eventually the Romani were forced to another mass migration into the Western Byzantine territory- Constantinople and Thrace- from where they eventually spread throughout the Balkans and the whole of Europe. When and why the exodus of this group of Romani from Armenia occured is somewhat a matter of speculation, but it was probably the Turkish invasion and desctruction of Armenia in the middle of the eleventh century. No one knows exactly how long the Phenn Romani stayed in Armenia but linguistically their language was heavily influenced by the Armenian language. To this day European dialects of Romani contain a large number of Armenian loan words.
The second migration into Armenia happened sometime in the eleventh or twelfth century. Their descendants calling them selfs “Lom” (As opposed to Rom in Europe and Dom in Syria and Iran) still live Armenia and the Caucasus, Incorrectly called Caucasian Gypsis. Dom, Lom and Rom are likely to have the same origin. The Lom, Just like the Phenn who came before them converted mostly to the Armenian Apostolic Church where they still belong.
The Lom speak the Lomavren language which is a fuse between the Romani language and Armenian. It’s grammar is closely related to that of Armenian, with the vocabulary being almost exclusively Indic
“The most significant influence of Armenian on Romani was a shift in sound. Words pronounced with a “bh” - that is, an aspirated “b” - came to sound like “ph”. So whereas in Middle East or Asiatic Romani the word for sister was, and is, “bhen” (as it is in Hindi), in Armenia, and subsequently in Europe, the word is “phen”. It is on the basis of this shift - indeed of this word - that the English linguist and Gypsiologist John Sampson in the 1920s became the first to classify Romani dialects, and thus the Romany migration, into two major groups.”- Isabel Fonseca ”Bury Me Standing, The Gypsies and Their Journey”
As Romani were persecuted in most parts of the world, the Lom people in Armenia assimilated more and more into Armenian society as time went past. The Armenization of the Lom started shortly after their arrival although they retained their identiy through their dialect and a different lifestyle. The assimiliation into Armenian society by the nineteenth century was very impressive in comparison to the treatment of Romani in the rest of Europe.They have kept their Lom identity and perform the traditional Romani professions and practises, except fortune-telling. The Lom are present in Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Israel. They are no longer endogamous, and intermarriage with Armenians are common. They are well identified with the Armenian culture, and several Lom have been important personalities in Armenian history
One of those is Kerope Patkanyan who was a Scientist and orientalist, he belonged to the Armenian Roma people. He studied at the Lazarevsky Institute of Eastern Languages and became an expert in Armenian history, culture, language and literature. In 1863 he graduated as Master in Eastern Literature for his studies on the Sassanid history and in 1864 as Doctor in Literature for his work on the composition of the Armenian language. In 1871 he was appointed professor at the University of Sankt-Petersburg. He translated into Russian some works of Armenian writers and performed a research on the languages and culture of Caucasian Gypsies and other nomadic groups, and wrote articles on geography and history for encyclopaedic publications.
Another is Zarifa Mgoyan, she is a Romani Armenian professional singer. Zara performs different genres and gives concerts in the most prestigious stage halls throughout Russia. She has won several important contests and has been awarded many important prizes granted by the Russian Academy of Culture and Arts and other institutions, and is considered one of Russia’s most popular singers.
Currently Armenian Lom live in cities like Yerevan and Gyumri. There is no reliable figures of the number of Lom currently living in Armenia and Georgia, but it is estimated at around a few thousand individuals. 

The Lom people, also called Armenian Gypsies are a branch of the proto-Romani people. 

The ancient proto Romani people known as Phen (one of the two main branches of Romani resulting from a parting of ways in the Persian territory, the other being the Ben Romani) migrated to Armenia in the seventh century. It was the first time the Romani were on European soil and first time they encountered Christianity which led to many conversions to the Armenian Apostolic Church. 

Eventually the Romani were forced to another mass migration into the Western Byzantine territory- Constantinople and Thrace- from where they eventually spread throughout the Balkans and the whole of Europe. When and why the exodus of this group of Romani from Armenia occured is somewhat a matter of speculation, but it was probably the Turkish invasion and desctruction of Armenia in the middle of the eleventh century. No one knows exactly how long the Phenn Romani stayed in Armenia but linguistically their language was heavily influenced by the Armenian language. To this day European dialects of Romani contain a large number of Armenian loan words.

The second migration into Armenia happened sometime in the eleventh or twelfth century. Their descendants calling them selfs “Lom” (As opposed to Rom in Europe and Dom in Syria and Iran) still live Armenia and the Caucasus, Incorrectly called Caucasian Gypsis. DomLom and Rom are likely to have the same origin. The Lom, Just like the Phenn who came before them converted mostly to the Armenian Apostolic Church where they still belong.

The Lom speak the Lomavren language which is a fuse between the Romani language and Armenian. It’s grammar is closely related to that of Armenian, with the vocabulary being almost exclusively Indic

The most significant influence of Armenian on Romani was a shift in sound. Words pronounced with a “bh” - that is, an aspirated “b” - came to sound like “ph”. So whereas in Middle East or Asiatic Romani the word for sister was, and is, “bhen” (as it is in Hindi), in Armenia, and subsequently in Europe, the word is “phen”. It is on the basis of this shift - indeed of this word - that the English linguist and Gypsiologist John Sampson in the 1920s became the first to classify Romani dialects, and thus the Romany migration, into two major groups.”

- Isabel Fonseca Bury Me Standing, The Gypsies and Their Journey”


As Romani were persecuted in most parts of the world, the Lom people in Armenia assimilated more and more into Armenian society as time went past. The Armenization of the Lom started shortly after their arrival although they retained their identiy through their dialect and a different lifestyle. The assimiliation into Armenian society by the 
nineteenth century was very impressive in comparison to the treatment of Romani in the rest of Europe.

They have kept their Lom identity and perform the traditional Romani professions and practises, except fortune-telling. The Lom are present in Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Israel. They are no longer endogamous, and intermarriage with Armenians are common. They are well identified with the Armenian culture, and several Lom have been important personalities in Armenian history

One of those is Kerope Patkanyan who was a Scientist and orientalist, he belonged to the Armenian Roma people. He studied at the Lazarevsky Institute of Eastern Languages and became an expert in Armenian history, culture, language and literature. In 1863 he graduated as Master in Eastern Literature for his studies on the Sassanid history and in 1864 as Doctor in Literature for his work on the composition of the Armenian language. In 1871 he was appointed professor at the University of Sankt-Petersburg. He translated into Russian some works of Armenian writers and performed a research on the languages and culture of Caucasian Gypsies and other nomadic groups, and wrote articles on geography and history for encyclopaedic publications.

Another is Zarifa Mgoyan, she is a Romani Armenian professional singer. Zara performs different genres and gives concerts in the most prestigious stage halls throughout Russia. She has won several important contests and has been awarded many important prizes granted by the Russian Academy of Culture and Arts and other institutions, and is considered one of Russia’s most popular singers.

Currently Armenian Lom live in cities like Yerevan and Gyumri. There is no reliable figures of the number of Lom currently living in Armenia and Georgia, but it is estimated at around a few thousand individuals. 

8th-7th century BC Armenia


This silver figure holding her breasts probably was part of a table or chair leg. The provincial character of the partly opened mouth and bulging eyes is associated with the metalworking tradition of the Kingdom of Ararat.


This Armenian manuscript was created in 1475 by a Armenian scribe named Aristakes for the Armenian Apostolic ChurchIt contains a series of sixteen images on the life of Christ preceding the text of the Gospels, as well as the traditional Evangelist portraits, and there are marginal illustrations throughout. The style of the miniatures, which employ brilliant colors and emphasize decorative patterns, is characteristic of manuscript production in the region around Lake Van during the fifteenth century. This jeweled and enameled silver binding bears a composition of the Adoration of the Magi on the front and the Ascension on the back.Numerous inscriptions  spanning a few centuries attest to the manuscript’s long history of use and revered preservation
Coin of Arsames I of Armenia ca. 230 BCKing of Armenia, Sophene and Commagene.

It would be difficult, perhaps, to find the annals of a nation less stained with crimes than those of the Armenians, whose virtues have been those of peace, and their vices those of compulsion. But whatever may have been their destiny — and it has been bitter — whatever it may be in future, their country must ever be one of the most interesting on the globe.

- Lord Byron

“Almost without, exception Armenians are Christians, although often in a sociological rather than a religious sense. Their devotion to their ancient Church as the main embodiment of their traditions, and as the one institution which remained alive when their country was enshrouded in the might of alien empires, is immensely strong”.


-Christopher J. Walker


In general, much too little has been known about Armenia, even though, culturally speaking, Europe owes her a considerable debt. At the dawn of history, Armenia was one of the cradles of civilization. Millenia before the Christian era, the economy, arts and popular traditions of Armenia had developed to such an extent that her culture stimulated Egypt, Greece and Rome both materially and spiritually.

- Elisabeth Bauer