The Pre-history of the Armenian People
As Piotrovsky has shown, semi-nomathc stock-rearing based on mountain pastures dominated in the field of production, but metallurgy began to acquire an increasing significance. The end of the 2nd millennium B.C. is here the acme of the Bronze Age. Development of the Transcaucasian deposits of copper ore and realgar probably accounts for the rich growth of the local cultures. An alloy of copper with arsenic was used instead of bronze proper (copper and tin). The beginnings of the industrial use of iron (164) date from the 11th to 9th centuries B.C. The iron was acquired primarily in the mountains west of the Upper Euphrates valley and in Pontus (165). As the late S. M. Bacieva has shown (166), the iron trade route was controlled by the princes of the Northern Syrian alliance, bringing them enormous wealth. In her opinion the offensive of Urartu against Northern Syria during the 8th century B.C. should be explained by the desire to intercept iron, so necessary for the equipping of the Assyrian army. According to Greek authors, another route of iron export was through the Mosynoeci, who got the ore from their dependents the Chalybes, i.e., probably the Georgian-speaking tribe of Chaldians (or Moschi?) in Pontus (167). The Mosynoeci sold the iron to the Greek colonies.
Right up to the 8th century B.C. (when a strong Assyrian influence begins to be felt in Urartu) the material culture and the way of life in the Highlands, including the type of clothing and weapons, continued to be half Hurrian, half Luwian ("Hittite") in its  nature (168). The Aramaean and Luwian Northern Syria, the Luwian (or mixed) regions of the Cilician Taurus, and the valleys of the Upper Euphrates valley, where Hurrians were mixed with the Mushki, Urumeans, and Luwians, remained the leading area culturally.
By the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C. the mountain regions had achieved a relatively high level of development. Under the conditions of a prevailing nonmarket economy this made them comparatively independent of the importation of goods from the more developed south, except for luxury articles. The mountaineers exported iron, but the proceeds of this trade went to the Northern Syrian princes (who were in a position to dictate high prices for the metal on the external market) or to the Greek colonies, and the trade barely influenced the economy of the Highland's population as a whole. At the same time the development of handicrafts and agriculture in Mesopotamia required a constant influx of cheap raw materials (not only of iron, but also of copper, timber, etc.) from the mountain regions. Since natural exchange was not available, Assyria changed to forced seizure of raw materials and handicraft articles (mainly metallurgical) by conquering the peripheral areas and systematically plundering them for tribute (169). Military campaigns also supplied the economy of Mesopotamia with labor force.
Urartu was the one area of the Highlands which was least accessible to enemies, and it therefore found itself in more favorable conthtions for development. But in order to survive alongside of powerful and bellicose Assyria, Urartu had to catch up quickly. It had to rival its threatening southern neighbor's level of military and administrative development and its important conquests. Therefore in relation to its periphery Urartu played a role analogous to that of Assyria in relation to its own, with the difference that, being economically more backward, the northern kingdom apparently devoted more attention to the quick development of its agriculture (particularly of gardening) by introducing extensive irrigation measures (170). We know very little about the society of the Highlands at the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C., but we have some information for the 8th-7th centuries on the social structure of Urartu (171) and of Mana (172). It is probable that the same general features were also typical of the other states of the Armenian Highlands. One such feature was the active political role of the free community members (Urart. shurele, plural of shure, "sword"; "arms" seem to have had the connotation of "tribes" and also "freemen" generally). These freemen were liable for military and other services and lived in communities of extended families. Such communal villages, apparently with dwelling towers, surrounded the fortress-settlements (E.GAL) or the self-goveming "towns"  (Urart. patare) (173). Among the royal personnel, the mari (cf. Hurrian marianna) and the royal kinsmen (more particularly. the latter) were prominent.* In Mana it is particularly clear that the state was dominated by a tribal or clan oligarchy. The tribal division of society was still preserved here (as also in Daiene); along with the king there existed in Mana a council of elders, comprised of royal kinsmen, councillors, provincial governors, and possibly the elders of the different townships, as well as tribal chieftains (174). Such councils of elders also existed presumably in the other "countries" of the Highlands in the pre-Urartian period.
Assyrian-type artifacts and Assyrian customs began to penetrate the Urartian aristocracy only toward the end of the 9th century B.C. The Urartian royal court with its thousands of eunuchs (175) was organized according to the Assyrian pattern, however no large royal field economies arose in the Highlands even during the dominion of Urartu. Rather, the palaces, both in the capital and in the provincial administrative centers, were usually places where tribute from the local population was stored and processed by artisans. Nor did any field estates belong to the sanctuaries. These were both regular temples and holy sites where the cult was practiced before a "door" carved in the rock or before a stele or stone slab. Their wealth consisted of the sacrificial cattle which the kings would present to the temple and of the obligatory, expiatory, and votive offerings which the population would bring. The rank-and-file community members would consume part of the meat offered during the sacrifices, and they also apparently received cattle from the temple by way of loan or purchase (176).
In the beginning, slavery was little developed, probably less so than in the Hittite Empire. The royal inscriptions continually mention massacres of the males captured by the Urartian army. When the Urartian kings began to bring captives by the thousands from their campaigns, those whose lives were spared were frequently settled on land and were even recruited into the army (177). We have already referred to the curious fact that the cuneiform heterogram LU2.A-SI, which in Hittite designated the hippares, captives settled in groups on the land, is in the Urartian cuneiform used in the meaning of "warrior of the (tribal) militia."
Both the Assyrians and the Urartians introduced a centralized administration by "provincial governors" (bel pehate) in the subject territories. But in the pre-Urartian period there must have been preserved a more patriarchal type of government, most likely similar to that in Mana, where provincial governors and tribal chieftains were practically independent rulers--probably assisted by their own councils of elders. The organized settlements and  villages ("towns") seem to have had, under the domain of Urartian kings, their own kind of self-government (council, popular assembly?). With respect to some "countries" and tribes the Urartian inscriptions do not mention individual rulers, and here a type of "military democracy" probably still prevailed. But even in some of the "countries" which had already reached the level of state, there probably existed comparatively democratic conthtions. This can be seen from the fact that slaves and impoverished community members attempting to free themselves from obligatory services, and even rebellious members of the aristocracy, sought refuge here. Such areas of refuge were Shubria (178) and Melid-Kammanu (179). With respect to Shubria, which was situated high up in the mountains, this is not very surprising. But it seems strange for commercial Melid, which claimed in addition the role of a major political power. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that here among the population there was a considerable percentage of comparatively recently settled tribes, which may have brought with them the traditions of tribal democracy--viz., the Proto-Armenians.
The narrative of Xenophon about the Mosynoeci in the end of the 5th century B.C., analyzed in detail by M. I. Maksimova, gives a certain notion of the life of the tribes of the Highlands which still were on the level of primitive communities. A clan aristocracy had already formed among them, distinguished by tattooing and a fat appearance (they were specially fattened on roasted chestnuts). Multi-storied towers served as the dwellings of the Mosynoeci (just as they did the Hurrians and the Urartians, except that the Mosynoecian towers were wooden). Each tribe seems to have had two chieftains: a ritual "king," who never left his tower, and an "archon," who conducted administrative and military matters, apparently along with a council of clan chieftains (180).
What has been said about the society of the Armenian Highlands, beginning with its more developed areas which had a stable governmental structure (Urartu), and ending with the backward tribes (Mosynoeci), allows us to imagine also those social conthtions which prevailed here on the eve of the Urartian conquests of the 8th century B.C.
We know that the Assyrian king Assurbelkala made an inroad into the Highlands in 1076 and 1074 B.C.--first against the federation of Uruatri, and then a second time against Hemmu (Hemmuwa). Somewhat later there was a campaign against the Mushki and again later against Musru. In his inscription, fortresses and "countries" are listed whose names partly coincide with those mentioned by Adadnerari I (183). No Assyrian campaigns into the Highlands are known to have taken place from that time to the reign of Adadnerari II. In 911 he waged war against Iluia, the king of the Qumanians, and the tribes of Haphi "unto the countries of Mehri, Salua, and Uratru"; then the king was active in Kadmuhi and marched four times against the Highlandss of Nairi, including Alzi. In 895 and 894 he came to the assistance of the city of Qumme, which was fighting with the mountain tribes (184).
Tukulti-Ninurta II also invaded Nairi at least twice (889-884 B.C.) (185). His most important campaigns were, however, in northern Mesopotamia, which he again tried to subject to Assyria, attempting to seize it from its Aramaic dynasts. The Aramaeans had founded a number of small kingdoms there, which bore the traditional name of Hanigalbat (i.e., Mitanni). One of the most important enemies of Assyria in the eighties of the 9th century B.C. was 'Ammi-Ba'al, the king of the Aramaean kingdom which had its center in the city of Amed (Amida, now Diyarbakir). In connection with his campaigns against Amed, Tukulti-Ninurta apparently made a detour through the Highlands. In addition, in his last campaign he went up along the Middle Euphrates and the river Habur to Nasibina (Mtsbin of the Armenian sources of the Middle Ages) and Huzirina (now Sultan-tepe) and, passing over the mountains (apparently over Kashiari--Masius--Tur-'Abdin), attacked the country of the Mushk (186), where, according to his annals, he destroyed the crops, seized cattle and sheep, and imposed a large tribute on the inhabitants. From this we may conclude that at this period the kingdom of the Eastern Mushki had again spread from Alzi into the valley of the Tigris. In the conclusion to his annals Tukulti-Ninurta II boasts that he "captured the region of the high mountains, from the country of the Subareans [i.e., the Hurrians] to the countries of Gilzan and Na[iri ...] ...; in all 2720 horses I brought into harness for the forces of my land."
The might of Assyria was restored by his son  Assurnasirapal II (884/3-859 B.C.). Like his father, he made campaigns mainly into northern Mesopotamia and into the valley of the Upper Tigris (Kadmuhi, Amed). He brutally wiped out the local population, subjecting it to the most cruel tortures and executions; the descendants of the Assyrians who had settled there in earlier years, and who by this time had lost their connection with Assur, were also mercilessly slaughtered. Entire districts were completely laid waste. Assurnasirapal's campaigns touched only the outlying regions of the Highlands. In 879 and 866 (187), with the intent of coming up on hostile Amed from the rear, he twice made detours: the first time along the left bank of the Upper Tigris (the country of the Ulluba) and from there through the area between the sources of the Tigris and the Euphrates (Dirria, Nirbu) (188); the second time along the Euphrates "to the towns of the countries of Assa (Alzi?) and Haphi, which are opposite the country of Hatti" (here "Hatti" stands for "Melid"), and then across the western source of the Tigris near Lake Sua (Golcik) and the mountains of Amadani, and again through the land of the Dirria, as well as Mallanu (near modern Ergana). Although for the time being the Assyrian raids did not bring much harm to the mountain dwellers, who, when their enemies appeared, hid themselves and their cattle in inaccessible mountains, the evil fame of growing Assyria forced some "countries" to try and buy Assurnasirapal off with gifts. Among those who acted in this way were the Eastern Mushki, Gilzan, and Hubushkia in 883, during the Assyrian campaign in Kadmuhi, as well as Shubria, Inner Urumu, and a series of other thstricts in 882, during a campaign which led roughly into the same region. It is important to note that among the gifts of the Mushki, apart from domestic animals, there were bronze utensils and wine; this indicates that in the interval between the 11th and beginning of the 9th centuries they had changed to a settled way of life and had taken up farming and hanthcrafts. The annals of Assurnasirapal also mention that certain Assyrians had fled to Shubria "because of hunger and famine" but were returned to be settled in one of the conquered towns.
According to the information of the later inscriptions of Assurnasirapal (189), he subjugated the countries "from the river Subnat (i.e., the eastern source of the Tigris) to Urartu." However what is meant here is apparently only plundering in the outlying districts of the mountains and reception of gifts from the countries named above.
By the time of the next Assyrian king, Shalmaneser III (859-821 B.C.) (190), almost all of Mesopotamia had already been firmly subjugated. Shalmaneser made several serious raids into the heart of  the Armenian Highlands. In 859 he fell on Hubushkia from the east and then clashed with the forces of Aramu, king of Urartu, and reached Lake Van (191). In 856 he conducted a large campaign up along the Euphrates, through the countries of Amed, Isua-Alzi (the land of the Eastern Mushki), and Suhmu, where he occupied the fortress of Uashtal and captured the ruler of the province, a person named Sua; he then crossed into the valley of the Choroh and made a raid into the kingdom of Daiene. On his way back he crossed the Highlands up to the point where at the time the Urartian territory began. After defeating the army of Aramu (accorthng to the Assyrian assertions, 3,400 Urartian warriors fell in battle), he captured the Urartian fortress and administrative center of Arashkun (medieval Artske?) and set off for Lake Van by a roundabout way, from the east, across the province of Aramale (Armarele). Shalmaneser then returned to Assyria through Gilzan, Hubuskia, and the valley of the Upper Zab (192). The result of this campaign was the inclusion of the entire Upper Euphrates valley, incluthng Alzi and Suhmu, into the new Assyrian province of Na:iri (with its center at Amed) (193). As usual, the unassailable Sasun Mountains allowed Shubria to remain independent; Shalmaneser III's attempt in 854 to besiege Anhitte (or Anhitteshe), the king of Shubria, in his fortress of Uppumu ended in a compromise--the Shubrian king paid a one-time propitiatory gift, and the Assyrians wididrew the siege and left (194).
In 845, using a bridgehead in the Upper Euphrates valley, the Assyrians struck a blow at Melid (195) and the country of Suhmu (196), which evidently had been able to throw off the yoke, and started a new campaign against Aramu the Urartian. We are told that at this time the Urartian possessions extended to the source of the Euphrates (Karasu). At this spot the king of Daiene, Asia, appeared before the Assyrian king expressing his submission (197). In 832 Daian- Assur, a general of the ageing Shalmaneser, made one more campaign along the right bank of the Arsanias against the Urartian king, this time Sarduri I (198). In addition there were other Assyrian campaigns under Shalmaneser III against Haphi, Hubuskia, Musasir (touching on the outlying districts of Urartu), as well as Gilzan (199).
Shalmaneser III tried to subjugate Syria and the provinces to the west of the Euphrates. In 858 he defeated the coalition of the Northern Syrian alliance and received tribute from it in 854, but in the same year he suffered a defeat by the Southern Syrian alliance at Karkar (200), and had to retreat back beyond the Euphrates. After a while he again started a series of almost yearly campaigns to the west, both into Syria and into southeastern Asia Minor (Melid, Tabal, Gurgum, Pakarhabuna, Que) (201); however he did not  succeed in firmly tying these provinces to Assyria.
After 827 periodic internal troubles began in Assyria, strongly limiting its aggressive possibilities. Except for a few casual campaigns (in 805 and 759 B.C., against Arpad in Syria; in 801 and 795 B.C., against Hubuskia) (202), Assyria did not undertake any major attacks to the west or north until the second half of the 8th century B.C.
Unfortunately the chronology of most of the Urartian campaigns of the 8th century B.C. either has not been established at all (for the rule of Minua), or established very unreliably (for the rule of Sarduri II). Only the chronology of the campaigns of Argishti I is more or less reliable.
The beginning of the decisive offensive against Assyria by the Urartian king Minua (c. 810-786 or 780 B.C.) apparently should be dated to the years 800- 790. As far as we can understand from the fragments of this Urartian king's annals (209), the attack proceeded in two directions: on the right flank the Urartians marched from the region of present-day Bitlis, crossed the pass of Marma (in the Armenian Taurus) and, passing through Uliba (Ulluba) and Dirgu (Dirria), descended into Mesopotamia to the west of the source of the Tigris. Here they invaded Ishala (Assyr. Isalla), between Commagene and the upper reaches of the river Habur). On the left flank they penetrated along the valley of the Upper Zab to the border of Assyria proper, to the south of the city of Qumenu (Qumme).
Somewhat later, during Minua's next invasion of Mana, another detachment of his forces made one more campaign in the valley of the Upper Euphrates (210). This campaign apparently ended in bringing Alzi and the other surrounding "countries" under the control of Urartu (211). As Melikishvili presumes, the "provincial governor," Titia, installed here by Minua, was in fact an autonomous ruler (212), and the position of Alzi must have therefore improved in comparison with the period of Assyrian control. The seriously  damaged inscriptions of Minua from the Mush valley (213) refer to one of his campaigns into the mountains of the Armenian Taurus (mentioned are the country of Urmie and the city of Qulmeri, which is Assyrian Qullimmeri in Shubria). It is possible that the king of the province in question (i.e., Urmie-Shubria?) was not removed by the Urartian conqueror (214). Minua's further successes are related in his inscription from Palu (215). From the inscription it is evident that he conquered the country of Supa (Sophene; here probably part of Suhmu or Alzi) and reached the "Hittite country" (here the kingdom of Melid-Kammanu), receiving tribute from the king of the city of Melitia (Melid).
Thus the left shore of the Upper Euphrates was placed under the domain of Urartu. Further to the north Minua reached Diauhe (Daiene) and imposed tribute on its king Utupurshi (216). He also expanded the Urartian possessions beyond the mountain of Masis-Ararat to the river Araxes (217).
However more campaigns were required for the firm subjugation of the Upper Euphrates valley. Thus the next Urartian king, Argishti I, in 783 (according to Melikishvili) or in 777 (according to I. M. Diakonoff) (218) again carried out a campaign against the "Country of the Hittites" with its capital of Melitia (219), and to where the dynasty of one Tuate ruled (220), and further against the country of Niriba (Nirbu) and down along the Euphrates (221). In all almost 30,000 inhabitants of both sexes were captured here and led away, and 6,000 "warriors of the country of the Hittites and of Supa" were displaced and settled as a garrison in the new city of Erbune, built by Argishti I in the following year at the site of present-day Erevan in the Ararat valley, which he had recently conquered (222). In 773 (767) Argishti's warriors raided the country of Urmie, from which it is evident that this country was no longer subject to Urartu as it may have been previously.
Argishti marched against Diauhe (Daiene) at least twice. In the first campaign, of 785 (779) (223), he inflicted a heavy defeat upon the kingdom: about 30,000 inhabitants were taken captive and driven away, extensive regions were turned into Urartian governorships, and a heavy tribute was assessed for the remaining part of the Daiene kingdom. Subsequently (according to Melikisvili--in 768 or 762; the date is unreliable) Utupurshi, the king of Daiene, rebelled against Urartu for the third time (224). The fate of the kingdom is unclear, since the text of Argishti I's chronicle is damaged here, but the name of Daiene disappears from history from this time on (225). In any event there is no doubt that it no longer existed after the Cimmerian invasion in the second half of the 8th century B.C. (about which see below).
 In the east Argishti I continued to bypass Assyria in a flanking maneuver and almost got to the borders of Babylonia in the valley of the Diyala (226).
By the time of Sarduri lI's accession (c. 760 B.C.?) the Upper Euphrates was indisputably recognized as the western frontier of the Urartian Empire (227), and the Urartians tried vigorously to make their way into Syria. At the beginning of his rule (228) Sarduri II defeated Hilaruandas, the king of Melid, who up to this time probably had been the leader in the Northern Syrian Alliance, and apparently acquired from him some fortresses on the right (western) shore of the Euphrates (229).
Around 745 Sarduri II invaded Commagene (230) (which was about to take advantage of the defeat of its neighbor, Melid, to seize part of its territory) (231) and forced its king, Kushtashpili (232), to submit.
Thus the Northern Syrian alliance was now opposed not by one powerful enemy, Assyria, but by two, who, although they were rivals, were equally dangerous. In addition to this there appeared the threat of Phrygia from the west, where it may have had, about 750 B.C., reached the northwestern slopes of the Cilician Taurus. Such a danger forced Mattiel, the king of Arpad, to whom the hegemony within the alliance had passed, to try and find an independent power upon which he could lean. In 754 B.C., after the Urartians had already defeated Melid, Mattiel had to swear an oath of allegiance to Assurnerari IV, the king of Assyria (233). But seeing that Assyria, which was engaged in civil strife, did not have the strength to act, the king of Arpad, representing the Northern Syrian alliance, turned to Bargaia, the king of the country of Kasku (Aramaic Katak) (234). However it turned out that this was an unreliable or insufficiently powerful support, so after the Urartian invasion of Commagene, Mattiel and the entire Northern Syrian alliance (235) considered it best to ally themselves with Sarduri II; apparently the Southern Syrian alliance also supported Urartu.
At this moment Urartu may have surpassed Assyria in power. The Urartian administrative system was so perfect that it possibly served as the pattern for an administrative reform in Assyria as well (236). Already in Minua's time the Urartian army was reequipped after the Assyrian fashion. At the beginning of his rule Sarduri II felt it was possible to drastically reduce the obligatory military service of freemen in his kingdom, obviously relying now more on a standing army, maintained at the expense of the wealthy royal treasury, which had been replenished by collecting taxes and tribute (237). The entire Armenian Highlands (with the exception of the kingdoms of Shubria and Hubushkia) and a big part of central and western Transcaucasia were now subject to Urartu. The Urartians  had not yet managed to become firmly established on the right shore of the upper Euphrates, but they were readily acknowledged as protectors by the Northern Syrian alliance.
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