Pantheon of Armenian Deities
Prior to Christianization, Armenia was mostly a Zoroastrian-adhering land since it was repeatedly conquered by various Iranian empires, such as the Achaemenid and the Parthian. Therefore, the Armenian pantheon comprised a mix of Iranian gods, Semitic gods, and one Armenian god Vahagn.
Aramazd, Anahit, Tir, and Mihr were the Armenian gods taken from the Iranian pantheon, while Nane and Astghik were Armenian goddesses of a Semitic origin.
CREATOR OF THE SKY AND THE EARTH GOD OF LAND FERTILITY ANAHIT, NANE, AND MIHR’S FATHER GOD OF IRANIAN ORIGIN
GODDESS OF FERTILITY AND BIRTH GOLDEN MOTHER OF ARMENIA ARAMAZD’S DAUGHTER GODDESS OF IRANIAN ORIGIN
GOD OF SUN, WAR, AND LIGHTENING DEFENDER WHO FIGHTS AGAINST VISHAPS (DRAGONS) NATIONAL ARMENIAN GOD AND HERO
GOD OF WISDOM, ENLIGHTENMENT, AND SCIENCES ARAMAZD’S SCRIBE INTERPRETER OF DREAMS GOD OF IRANIAN ORIGIN
Connection Between Myths and Land
Among beautiful Armenian myths, there are tales about gods and goddesses, which form the Armenian identity of a place, while being connected to specific locations on the territory of modern Armenia or its former lands.
There are two ways in which this connection is established, and the first one is through the foundation of shrines. For mostly every god of the Armenian pantheon, a shrine or a temple had been erected.
The other way the myths are linked to the land is by the geographical locations or natural monuments being mentioned in the narratives themselves.
In order to learn more about Armenian myths and see their connection with the land, explore the following story map below.
Connection Between Myths and People
While studying the map, you could notice that besides being connected to the land, the myths also have an established connection with the people as there is a range of relatable and appealing points for the people in these narratives.
First, the myths put a strong emphasis on the family ties of most of the gods. Likewise, they highlight the depiction of a woman as a loving person who spreads love and affection. All goddesses of the Armenian pantheon are connected with the concept of love or motherhood: Astghik is the lover of Vahagn, Anahit is the goddess of fertility, and Nane is also considered to be a goddess of motherhood. As for the male gods, they are portrayed as characters who protect and provide people with the supply and knowledge needed for their well-being. However, what they have in common is that all gods and goddesses are wise and just.
Moreover, the myths point out character traits that Armenians value in people and aspire to develop in themselves. Some of the characteristics are mercifulness, hospitability, generosity, and kindness.
Therefore, through the myths, a reader can form a general perception of the Armenian societal reality, particularly the perception of women as loving, fertile characters, and men as breadwinners. Likewise, one can learn the general characteristics of the Armenian people.