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The Architecture of Ancient Fortress Garny


During the reign of this king “Armenia used the Macedone-Seleucid calendar”. Already in the II c. B.C. Great Armenia “became one of the leading countries of Near Asia”, and “by the beginning of the I c. B.C. Armenia was the most powerful state of Near Asia”.

During the reign of the Arshakid dynasty, especially at the time of Tigranes II (95-56) Armenia expanded cultural and economic relations even more eith the Hellenistic world.

The population of twelve Hellenistic cities of Cappadocia, Cilicia, possibly even Syria, Corduena, Adiabena was reseted into Armenia by Tigranes II mainly in Tigranakert.

The Armenian elite of the epoch had a special regard toward the Hellenistic world and had certain relationships with it. Thus, ostracized from Athens the famous orator Amohicrates declined the invitation of the Seleucids and found refuge at the court of the Tigranes II.

Here also resided the celebrated philosopher, writer and politician Methrodor of the Scepsis. The Armenian king Artavasdes II (55-34) was a well known follower of Hellenistic art.

It is probable that in Tigranakert as well as in Artashat existed theatres of Hellinistic type. In the Artashat theatre a group of artists performed Euripidaeus’ tragedy “The Bacchante”.

The Armenian gods were juxtaposed with Greek ones, and Greek gods were erected in the Armenian temples. Cultural relations of Armenia with Greco-Roman and neighboring Hellenistic states (Asia Minor, Syria) found their reflection in the architecture of the Garny temple.

In the end of the III c. or the beginning of the IV c., when Christianity was proclaimed as state religion, together with other heathen monuments almost all religious structures were destroyed.

Apparently, the temple of Garny was an exception, serving secular purposes after the adoption of Christian faith (it was considered as “the summer house of sister of Tiridat III”).

Reconstruction

In 1834 Dubois de Montpereux outlined the draft of the temple’s reconstruction: the plan (without the lateral colonnade) and the initial appearance of the main facade (a high podium with six columns crowned with a pediment). After almost a century K. Romanov (1912) and N. Buniatian (1933) presented their drafts.

Romanov’s draft, consisiting of a plan and main facade, differs from the first by its professionalism. The complete detailed draft of the reconstruction with subsequent measuring was performed by N. Bunatian after detailed theoretic studies.

 
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Writer: RepublicOfArmenia.com News
Editor: Eugenia Melkonyan
 
 
 Date Added: Wednesday August 02, 2006 12:46:54 
 




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