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The interregnum: 428-861
The joint action of religious and cultural factors in the preservation of the Armenian ethnos was to be confirmed.

About half way through the fifth century, by an event that was so important that it was to remain a turning point in the political and religious history of Armenia.

It was the so-called war of the Vardanank", in which one sees crystallized in its heroes and renegades, both the epic virtues and the defects that in many ways characterized the national life of the Armenians.

The war lasted for the whole latter half of the century.

Indeed, although the main battle lasted no more than a day, the second of June, 451, it was followed by year after year of tenacious passive resistance and bitter guerrilla warfare, wisely championed, moreover, by the wives of the princes that had died on the battlefield or had been exiled.

Then at last, in 485, the King of Persia, Valash, reluctantly had to grant the Armenians freedom of worship, conscience, and culture.

The peace conditions proposed by the Armenians at the end of this victorious guerrilla warfare constitute a lesson in civilization that goes well beyond the concept and practices prevailing in those times as regards human rights.

This had very much to do with the condition of a people that simply could not aim at the domination of others but merely desired to live undisturbed with due respect granted to their faith and identity.

Peace was therefore concluded on the basis of three principles that the Armenians proclaimed they would not renounce, even at the risk of annihilation: a) no one was to be forced to change religion; b) people were not to be judged on the basis of their social condition, but rather according to their actions; c) no action based merely on hearsay was to be taken by the authorities against anyone; rather, they could act only with full knowledge of the case in point.

These same objectives could well be pursued today in many places and circumstances.

It would by no means be superfluous to draw special attention to one point, obvious though it may be: the war of the Vardanank" was not a religious war in the generally accepted sense of the term.

On the pan of the Armenians, it was fought with no intention whatever of imposing a belief, nor was it motivated by any desire to implement religious discrimination or intolerance: it was no more than a revolt against arrogance in defence of the religious freedom and identity of a people.

After the peace treaty drawn up at Nvarsak, Valash bestowed upon the commander-in-chief of the Armenian forces, Vahan Mamikonian, the title of marzpan, that is, plenipotentiary governor, and he effectively governed Armenia with full powers.

 
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Writer: Hasmik Muradyan
Editor: Eugenia Melkonyan
 
 
 Date Added: Wednesday August 02, 2006 07:38:38 
 




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