16. Then the senior sepuhs and the entire multitude of the covenant of the Church and the people, men and women, assembled and lamented [the loss of] the blessed, pure, and virtuous doctrine which saint Gregory and his sons had fostered and caused to grow within them, who had preached the correct and true teaching to all listeners. They themselves, like the blessed Apostles, had received this teaching not from humankind, not from mortal hands, but through the grace of the Holy Spirit. Once again, united, they assembled and clasped the feet of the blessed man of God, Sahak. With mournful entreaties and copious tears they threw themselves before the true [g26] patriarch, and said:
"We have sinned before Heaven and before you. Pardon us sinners, and imitate your ancestor the pious Gregory who overlooked the severe torments and batterings he was subjected to by our ancestors. Rather try to resemble the Creator of us all, who repaid the evils visited upon him with good and showed in every way to those who believed in Him, heaven-bound conduct and the path to recognition of God. And He taught everyone to constantly  say: 'Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.' Now you, who were our constant vardapet, imprint His glory within your own person, follow the same example of patience, and forgive our trespasses. And we shall endeavor and request that the court [re]establish you on your native patrimonial throne of the kat'oghikosate of the Holy Church through which we were illuminated and saw that unattainable sun of justice. Let the clear and limpid doctrine of the holy patriarch Gregory (who was like an Apostle) not be mixed with the erroneous teaching [of the Syrians]. For weak and dissolute leaders have weakened the seal of traditions of the saint's unadulterated preaching, and lo! we and our offspring will suffer an eternal loss."
Although the entire multitude in unison spoke these and many other words of entreaty for many days, morning and night without cease, to the blessed [Sahak] they were entirely unable to change the mind of that upright man [to accept] their emotional requests. Rather [Sahak] tranquilly replied to all of them:
"I did not learn from the heavenly Creator and from Christ's vardapet to get angry at anyone. For [Christ] on the Cross beseeched his Father not to regard their actions as sins. And He always protested to us, saying: "Bless your persecutors, and be  good to those who hate you.' But I am unable to rule as patriarch over a people which plots against, betrays, and kills its lord. For the Holy Spirit which gave us a second birth in the holy baptismal font allowing us to be co-inheritors of Christ, also said through that sublime man Paul 'Judge not, lest you be judged,' and 'Those of you who are able, eliminate the failings of the weak,' and 'Vengeance is mine and I shall exact it, said the Lord.' You should know yourselves. You sought vengeance on your king for his deeds, and, being furious at him, you betrayed the blessed faith of our covenant and permitted the infidels to ridicule it. By what means could you try to console me, and who could entreat me to be [your] shepherd? For I see that the injured sheep of Christ's flock, rather than being wrapped, and having its wounds dressed with oil and wine and [g27] placed upon a pack-animal and taken to a shelter; that sheep was mercilessly torn apart before wild beasts that devoured and divided it. Leave me alone and allow me to lament the general ruin of the land of Armenia which I see with my mind's eye through strength from On High. Do not try to force me to be consoled over the destruction of my people.  For heavenly providence revealed to me in a dream, before I was ordained a bishop that this disastrous circumstance would develop. [It was] like the prophetic vision which was shown to the holy martyr Gregory, and was knowledge of things to come. My troubled heart forces me to relate this to you today and appear as incensed as the blessed Paul who was sent by God, who, because of false apostles and impious servants wrote boasting of the feats of his asceticism to the Corinthians. Now listen thoughtfully all you multitudes of people and I shall tell you."[Translator's note: the lengthy later interpolation known as the vision of St. Sahak (GhP I, 17) has not been translated here.] [g28]
18. When the multitude of Armenia's
awags, tanuters, sepuhs and the dense multitude
of the people heard
all of these words from the blessed patriarch Sahak they began
to weep in terror. Thereafter no one dared to remark on or talk
about such matters with the holy man.
 After this, the virtuous one withdrew
from all pursuits of the troubled world and occupied himself solely
with prayers and doctrine. There were many bishops and other venerable
priests who were unable to bear being separated from the ever-flowing
streams of his holy doctrine [and came to him] wherever he was,
at ostan or in the country. [Sahak] lived for many years and
having reached deep old age, he died peacefully in the village
named Blur in the district of Bagrewand. [This occurred in 439],
at the beginning of the second year of the reign of Vahram's son
Yazkert [II, 439-57] king of Iran, on the 30th day of the month
of Nawarsard on the second hour of the day. As we know accurately
the day of the saint's birth, from the History of the venerable
Koriwn so we surely know that the saint died on the same day,
in the same month, as he was born.
The blessed man of God, Sahak, had no
male offspring, only a daughter who was wed to Hamazasp, lord
of the Mamikoneans and sparapet of Armenia. She bore three
sons  to Hamazasp: the blessed Vardan, the blessed Hmayeak
and the venerable Hamazaspean. [Sahak] sealed [a document] and
gave them the property of his villages and fields and whatever
else belonged to him. He gave it in inheritance to them and to
their children in perpetuity. Raising his hand [Sahak] bestowed many blessings
upon them and bade them to retain the doctrine of the command
of saint Gregory who had taught and preached truthfully throughout
all of the land of Armenia—to revere and worship the one true
God, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The coveted remains of this blessed
man were taken [g37] by a multitude of priests and azats
to [Sahak's] own native sephakan village named Ashtishat
in the district of Taron. There they built a repository for the
saint and placed the pure body of this just man in a place fit
for the honest. They also built a glorious church there and a
martyrium for the saints and adorned [them] with precious and
costly  vessels. They established at the spot a monastery
for a multitude of clerics, establishing continual maintenance
of produce for the ease of the elderly [members] of the brotherhood.
The azats and priests of the district established at that
place (with enthusiastic popular support) yearly assemblies [where] from time to time and
with the voluntary support of the masses of people and [the participation
of] a great number of people who had come from distant places,
they commemorated the day of his death. Much benefit for the healing of every sort
of disease was obtained from the saint's relics. And with joyous
hearts they would return to their own dwelling.
19. Six months after the repose of saint
Sahak, the venerable Mashtoc' died in the city of Vagharshapat
(also called Nor Kaghak' ["New City"]. This took place
on the 13th day of the month of Mehekan [Mehekan:
February. The seventh month of the Arm. calendar]. Vahan, prince
of the Amatunik',  took the body of this virtuous man to his
own village called Oshakan. The tomb of the venerable one was
made with very great distinctions, and all the multitudes of the
peoples of Ayrarat hold a feast in his honor with the most diligent
By order of the venerable Mashtoc,'
the blessed Yovsep' succeeded on the throne of the patriarchate
of the land of Armenia. [Yovsep'] was from the village named Xoghoc
'imk ' in the district of Vayoc' Jor. Through the intercession
of these departed men, the land of Armenia was graced with the
worship of orthodox religion. This [situation] lasted until [A.D.
451] the 12th year of the reign of Yazkert [II, 439-57] son of
king Vahram of Iran.
End of this part.
20. King Yazkert had a hazarapet
named Mihrnerseh who was a malicious, malignant person. For many
years he had been thinking about an impious plan, leading to the
destruction and ruin of feeble souls. In this poisonous long-meditated
scheme, [Mihrnerseh] had as a wicked assistant and impious supporter
a man from the Siwnik' tohm, named Varazvaghan. Just as
Satan in Paradise used a snake as an accomplice and deceived the
First-Created, so [Mihrnerseh] attempted to satisfy his bitter
will by means of him. This Varazvaghan was the son-in-law of Vasak,
prince of Siwnik'. According to some, there was great hatred between
Varazvaghan and the daughter of the prince of Siwnik'. Consequently
the girl's father looked at his son-in-law with heavy resentment.
He sought to avenge the insults shown to his daughter by plotting
to kill [Varazvaghan] and thus persecuted him until he left the land of
 When the malicious Varazvaghan
realized the incredible rancor of Vasak, and was unable to tolerate
the severe violence of his father-in-law because of the mighty
authority which he exercised in the period of his princedom, he
fled to the country of Iran, to Mihrnerseh, hazarapet of
the Aryans. He soon had the diabolical idea of becoming the director
of the destruction of the land, and in this plan of wickedness
he accepted the encouragement and will of Mihrnerseh. He had the
impious idea of uniting with the devil, and, apostasizing the
truth, he worshipped the sun and the moon—elements established
by the Creator to serve humankind. The impious Varazvaghan voluntarily
separated from and rejected the blessed and just preaching of
Life which the martyr and apostle of Armenia, Gregorios (who bore
many very great sorrows) with tireless prayers and perpetual requests
day and night implanted as a seed and nurtured in every soul.
He entered the fire-temple and stated that the fire was a god. Apostasizing [g39] the inseparable, united holy Trinity, he became the cup-bearer of poison for the
ruination of souls and of all weak-minded individuals, by means
of the impious Mihrnerseh. This bitter prince Mihrnerseh then
became vardapet to the loathsome sepuh of Siwnik',
Varazvaghan, who instructed the latter day and  night, saying:
"Look with your mind's eye, and behold such a kingdom as
this one: mighty, and above all other kingdoms. [See] the power of the
cavalry, the discipline and organization of the army which causes
all observers and listeners, obedient and disobedient, to shiver
with fear. [See] too the clearly choice, correct, and attractive
faith which befits this great kingdom. For who in the entire world
does not see the glory of the sun (whose rays illuminate all rational
and irrational beings), or the usefulness of fire (with which all are fed, and which enjoy),
or the elements or the breath of sweet air (by which plants and
seeds sprout and reach maturity) which offer humankind the good
life, and happiness. Now while those [people] who are not obedient
to us see all of this, they do not comprehend it, for unlike us
they lack our great wisdom and xrad of good sense. Such
people are unable to recognize the gods and the benefits which
are given to humankind by each god in every decision, and clearly
the gods are angered when they cannot make the foolish realize
the benevolence which they bestow on the land. But the peoples
who have submitted to our great authority, yet adhere to such
 awesome and severe rules against the realm are eternally
lost, while we will be punished for it, for sinning against the
When this senseless doctrine of the
wily teacher Mihrnerseh was heard by his crazed pupil, Varazvaghan,
the latter (stupified by Satan who polluted his mind) could not
question the dull vardapet how a god who is himself lacking and incomplete could grant the requests of another. One can give what he has to the seeker of it, and one
can give a part of what he has received from another, to the seeker.
But clearly one cannot bestow on another what he himself does
not have. For should someone who is hot and in need of cooling
request it from the heat, he will not receive it. Rather, the seeker
is regarded as extremely foolish by everyone and [g40] deserving
of ridicule. Even the seeker knows that if he asks for something
he needs from someone who does not have it, he is unable to give
it. To request it from such a one, with many entreaties and protracted
pleading, is senseless and full of mortification—as it would be
to seek dryness from water, moisture from fire, coolness from
the sun, or light from the night. While these [individual] parts
indeed have power, it was given to them by God Who stipulated
it, and they are obliged to ceaselessly give it to the world—not
by their own will, but rather at the command of their Creator
Who is the true God, creator of all fulfullment of time and of
the elements—of heat, cold, dryness, dampness, light and darkness,
and God contains all of them within Himself. To those who worthily
request things from Him, He gives and totally accomplishes, according
to each person's needs and wants."
The impious Varazvaghan had learned
all of this from childhood and knew it well. But submerged in
the envy of impiety against his father-in-law, this denier of
God, [Varazvaghan], urged on by the devil with whom he had allied,
and who had stained his heart, had conceived of the following
plan: "This wisdom and the efforts I have undertaken may
bring me one of two results. Either the land of Armenia will accept
[Zoroastrianism] and apostasize, in which case I will merit great
gifts and honor from the Aryans, as the loyal individual who first
conceived of and facilitated such an important and great affair.
Or, [failing that] should  [the Armenians] reject and resist
it, they will be unable to resist such a great [military] force
[as Iran] and will be completely ruined, with their Houses and
belongings, and perhaps my enemy will be lost in this situation.
And even if I receive not a single benefit from it, it will be
more than enough for me to hear of and witness the destruction
of my enemy—even more [satisfying] than [achieving] all the benefits
and greatness in the world." Divine providence did not forget
all of these wicked thoughts of the impious sepuh from
Siwnik' and his son, [thoughts which Varazvaghan] had brought
to a head. Indeed, from this time on God's righteous judgement
requited him with a verdict befitting his deeds. For [Varazvaghan]
became an object of ridicule to his entire tohm, and to
the people of [his] district: for many years he was tormented
by his adviser, his dew, in the presence of everyone, becoming
a constant spectacle. He fell to the ground foaming in senselessness
and was unable to say that he had sinned. Consequently, when the
dew found that the man had been abandoned by the care of
God, he afflicted him for a long time with severe, unbelievable
torments and afflictions until [the dew] choked him. He
left to his son the remnants of his stinking, foul-tasting dish,
as is written in the sixteenth psalm:  "They were satiated
with their meal—of pork, as another translation has it —and left the remnants to their children." In the next world he will receive recompense
for his sins, in Tartaros he will be kept in the inextinguishable
Gehenna [g41], and betrayed to the eternal and unpassable flames.
[This recalls] yet another apparition, the prophetic vision which appeared
to the blessed champion Gregory from God. [In this vision], he
saw the classes of black goats which, after washing in the fountain
of Life, were turned to the glittering white color of ether and
shone like the sun. Half of those who had so washed turned back
and, crossing through the water, they changed from being like
white sheep to being black wolves, attacked the lambs and made
a carnage. Resembling those lambs which were transformed into wolves, that
man from the tohm of Siwnik' was the cause of the loss
of many people, and of the destruction of the land of Armenia.
 21. When the impious Mihrnerseh
heard all of these words, he was delighted since he had found
in the demoniac Varazvaghan a support for his poison and an implementer
of his own wicked scheme. [Mihrnerseh] delightedly went into the
presence of Yazkert, and began speaking with him alone: "It
is fitting that Lords who benefit from their servants think not
only about the attractiveness of profits, but about the saving
of souls, so that the souls of the
servants not be lost. For just as you are concerned about your
profits and taxes [vasn k'o shahic'n ew harkac'], so that
you benefit therefrom, so the gods regard the saving of souls
warmly and like to see it. To do something worthy of the gods—no
one can say what gifts and honors the gods have stored up and
hold for such a one—to say nothing about someone who plans to
lead numerous souls from error to the road [ranking] among the just those [formerly]
accursed. The glory and luxuries which the gods
have prepared for such [evangelists] no one can describe in words,
or write down.  Now how many lands are there in which you
rule as a god [Ard` k'ane ashxarhk' en, orum duk' ishxek' astuacabar],
where you can kill or spare whomever you chose? First and foremost
there is the great land of Armenia which is useful [Ew nax
arhajin` orpes Hayoc' mec ashxarhn pitoy e ew ogtakar], and
with [Armenia] is Iberia and Aghbania/Aghuania. You see only the benefits
which you receive from the lands, but the great and important
[issue]—that such a host of souls are being lost—you never think
or worry about. Nor do you realize how much this would recommend
you to the gods. For, should you look to the salvation of so many
people, be assured that it will increase and benefit the present
greatness of your kingdom with the good folk and grandeur which
is there. I see very great benefits in this important matter for
the Aryan world. For you yourself and all the Aryans know Armenia
as a large and [g42] useful land. It is close to and borders the
emperor's realm, and has the same faith and worship, since the
emperor has authority over them. If you get them accustomed to
our  faith and they become familiar with it and able to acknowledge
that until then they had been strayed but now had come onto the
path—then they will love you and the land of the Aryans, and will
reject and withdraw from the emperor, his faith, and land. Thereafter
that land [of Armenia] will be firmly bound to us in affection
and unity. When the hearts of the Armenians belong to us, [the
hearts of] the Iberians and Aghbanians/Aghuans will also be ours. Although
I already was concerned about such a great matter and planned
to point it out to you, I was made even more sure by a man from
the tohm of Siwnik'. He knew enough to leave the errant
faith he had held until then, and to adopt our true and firm faith
which he did voluntarily and enthusiastically. From him I learned
and confirmed yet more the spiritual and material benefits which
would come from such a matter both to your kingdom and generally
to the entire Aryan world. Now since this man, with firm affection,
gave himself over [to Zoroastrianism] and chose the good, he is
deserving of more prominent glory and even more honor than all
of his comrades and members of his tohm, so that when his
tohm and all the Armenian nobility observe the very great
benefits and luxuries given by you and visible on him, motivated
by envy to have such a life and  such good things, the prominent
[Armenians] will quickly try to surpass eaeh other in implementing
your will, and will enthusiastically obey your order(s). Should
this come to pass, the kingdom of the land of the Aryans will
always be at peace and ease; should this not come to pass, I suspect
that in the future [the Armenians] who hold to [the Byzantines']
faith, perhaps will want to serve them [militarily] as well, and
that no small amount of suspicion of the land of the Aryans will
When Yazkert, king of Iran, heard all of these agreeable words from his malicious, evil-minded hazarapet Mihrnerseh, he liked and praised them, and informed the mages and the other Aryan nobility of everything Mihrnerseh had said. All the Aryans generally were astonished at and lauded the counsel [and so Yazkert] quickly summoned the mage, had the principles of magianism written down and sent to Armenia. He sent a hrovartak to all the Armenian nobility, having the following import:
 22. "Former kings, who were my ancestors and occupied this royal throne—either because they were not at leisure or, because they did not think about such weighty and important affairs, I know not which—did not concern themselves with these matters. But now, informed by the mages and other wise and senior men of the land of the Aryans, I am thinking that just as we enjoy the benefits and other service from those people under the authority of our kingdom we are therefore even [g43] more obliged to show concern for and find salvation for everyone's souls. Our faith informs us that we will suffer heavy punishment from the gods should we be found indifferent with regard to this great trust. Now if we are to be punished for not demanding a certain thing from you, you should be even more frightened about laziness regarding the benefits to each person's soul, because [in that case] you will be punished both by us, and by the gods. Accordingly, we have had our correct and just faith written down, and brought to you. As you are a useful land and beloved by us, we want you to study our just and balanced faith and to hold it, and not to worship the faith which we all clearly know is false and without benefit. Now,  having heard our command, implement it willingly and gladly and do not even think of doing otherwise. We also want and are ordering you to write us [the principles] of your so-called faith so that [we can see] how lost you have been till today. And when, as we, you become people who recognize our true faith, then the Iberians and Aghbanians/Aghuans will not dare to stray from what we and you want."
23. When all the Armenian nobility had
received this hrovartak, read everything contained in it
and knew that [Yazkert] had also sent them the principles of their
impious faith in a written form, they realized that this was the
covert arrow of the enemy so bitter and full of poison which had
come from them, cleverly shot at the unblemished flock of Christ.
The rational assembly of the blessed flock of Christ was saddened
and dismayed, and discussed matters. "Perhaps," they
said, "furthered by weak-minded and glory-seeking individuals
among the sceptical men, the arrow, (i.e., Zoroastrianism) will wickedly strike root and many will be ruined, having strayed from the correct and just faith of Christ."
 Then, at the command of the tanuters
of Armenia, there assembled the holy bishops (according to the
districts of the land of Armenia), the venerable priests
and monks. [Their names] are as follows:
Yovsep' [The text, asterisked by the
editors, begins Ew Yovsep' "And Yovsep'," indicating,
perhaps, that the list is incomplete] (who, though [only] a priest by
ordination, at the time held the throne of the kat'oghikosate of Armenia.
lord Anania, bishop of Siwnik'
lord Mushe, bishop of Arcrunik'
lord Sahak, bishop of Taron
the blessed Sahak, bishop of Rhshtunik'
lord Melite, bishop of Manjkert
lord Eznik, bishop of Bagrewand
lord Surmak, bishop of Bznunik'
lord T'at'ik, bishop of Basen
lord Eremia, bishop of Mardastan
lord Gad, bishop of Vanand
lord Basil, bishop of Mokk'
lord Eghbayr, bishop of Anjewac'ik'
lord Tachat, bishop of Tayk'
 lord K'asun, bishop of Tarberun [Tarberunoy episkopos]
lord Zawe'n, bishop of Mananaghik'
lord Eghishe, bishop of Amatunik'
lord Eremia, bishop of Apahunik'
All of these men were bishops. Among
the honorable priests were: the blessed Ghewond, and Xoren from
Mren, and Dawit' and other honorable priests and many senior monks
together with lord Aghan of the Arcrunid line, a marvellous man
of angelic faith. Among those assembled from the naxarars
Vasak, lord of Siwnik'
Nershapuh, lord of Arcrunik'
Vardan, lord of the Mamikoneank ' and the sparapet of Armenia
Giwt, lord of Vahewunik'
Artak, lord of Mokk'
Shmawon, lord of Anjewac'ik'
Manech, lord of Apahunik'
Arhawan, lord of Vanand
Arshawir, lord of Arsharunik'
Vahan, lord of Amatunik'
 Atom, lord of Gnunik'
Varazshapuh, lord of Palu
Hrahat, lord of Ashoc'k'
Hmayeak, lord of Dimak'sean
Gazrik, lord of Abegheank'
P'ap'ag, lord of Arhawegheank'
All of these senior tanuters,
with senior sepuhs, pious bishops, senior priests and monks wrote the following reply to the hrovartak,
addressed to king Yazkert and to all the nobility at court:
24. "In the radiant and true precepts of our faith—which to you seems futile and nonsensical—it is written: 'Servants, obey your temporal lords as [you would obey] God.' We, exhorted first by the command of our faith, and then by your great kingdom, to the extent of our ability have it in mind to serve you not merely out of human fear, for appearances, after the example of evil servants.  Rather [we wish] to implement your will and order fully, voluntarily and enthusiastically. [We wish] to serve you not only with material expenses [och' miayn karaswoy caxiwk']. Rather we will shed our blood and the blood of our sons for your sake. But concerning the salvation or loss of our souls, do not in any way trouble yourselves. And should, as you fear, your gods reward or punish because of our souls—as you said—may God administer that benefit or punishment on us and on our souls. If we are quiet on that matter, forgive us. Because, just as it is impossible for human natures to alter one divine providence to another, similarly it is impossible for us who naturally have studied and grown firm in this faith, to obey such a command and accept it. We cannot hear even a single word about this, because we simply do not want to.
"Now regarding the precepts of your faith which you had written down and brought to us, we shall never listen to you. When we are at court, [what we have heard about Zoroastrianism] there and/or from the mages (who are styled your "teachers of the faith") we have subjected to ridicule [g45].  [How much more we would ridicule] what you have written and are urging us to read and obey, something which we neither need nor want. Rather, to honor your kingdom even more, we have desired not even to open and read what you have written. We recognize those precepts as false and the nonsense of a stupid person. As we have heard them many times from your false, so-called vardapets and are as well-informed about them as you are, there is no need for us to read or hear them. Indeed, were we to read them, we would be forced to ridicule them which would make us enemies of those precepts, their initiators [orensdirk'] as well as those who worship such falsehood. Consequently we did not deem it fitting and appropriate to write down the precepts of our faith and have them brought to you, as you ordered. For if we did not consider the precepts of your false religion (which merits ridicule), unworthy of being read—but which, in your great wisdom you thought to have written down and brought to us—since you would be alienated from us for laughing at  them, why then should we write down the God-loving and correct precepts of our faith and send it to you to be ignorantly ridiculed and hated. Let this much only be clear to you about our beliefs: we do not serve the elements, the sun and moon, wind and fire as you do. Nor do we revere the many gods which you name on the earth and in the sky [ew bazum astuacoc'd, zor anuanek'd duk' i yerkri ew i yerkni`]. For we have learned about and firmly serve the one sole true God Who made heaven and earth and everything upon them. He alone is God whom you have called gods, the creator, king of kings and lord of lords. It is proper for all rational beings to worship and revere only Him."
25. The holy priests assembled there
wrote all these words in the letter; then, together with all
the naxarars of Armenia they had it taken to Yazkert, king
of the Aryans. He ordered the mages and all the senior personages
of the court to be assembled, had the letter sent by the Armenians
opened, and read in the presence of all. The king, the mages,
and the entire nobility of the court heard the words of the letter.
Seized with rage [Yazkert] asked the mages and the entire Aryan
nobility: "What do you  think of servants who write to
their lord with such bold audacity?" The class of mages and
all the grandee nobility of the court stood up and said: "They
have written to us regarding the destruction of themselves and
of their land. But now you must be bold to acquaint them with
your lordship and their status as servants." The king and
all the nobility became yet more aroused and the view was expressed
that: "If they did not have hopes of expecting aid from some
quarter, they would never have dared to consider this, let alone
write it in a letter and send it to your kingdom." The malicious
Mihrnerseh said this [g46].
When king Yazkert heard this from all
the mages and all the court nobility, he became even more enraged
and commanded that hrovartaks be written immediately to
the land of Armenia, to Iberia and to Aghbania/Aghuania. And in the hrovartaks
he commanded that it be written that all the tanuters and
senior sepuhs of the three lands should come to the court
swiftly and without delay. And he said: "Should anyone lazily
delay he will be put to death without any clemency." When
the hrovartaks reached the three lands of Armenia, Iberia,
and Aghbania/Aghuania and were read in the presence [of the nobility],
as soon as they learned that all of them had been summoned with
such urgency, they knew at  once what was afoot, that the
urgent summonses did not bode peace but the ruination of their
souls. In despair they lamented and took refuge in God's assistance.
The three lands then sent delegations
to one another, made a pact, and confirmed it with many vows sworn on the Gospels. They
thought that if they did not go [to court] they would be considered
to be in rebellion, but they were in agitated doubt about going.
They considered it better to go, and called on God's help to find
a way out for them. However, with the intercession of the holy
Gospels, they confirmed with each other to unitedly and boldly
hold to their thoughts, words, and plans, saying: "Yes, let
us go, but let us not consent to apostasizing the Creator of heaven
and earth. God will arrange this for us if we show ourselves
as part of Christ's body and soul, recalling the blessed Apostles,
the sermons of the holy Church which are of one heart and soul.
May their intercession correct our answers before the awesome
king, our Saviour, Lord Jesus Christ, and protect us from the
attack of the wicked beast which is coming against us. But should
someone decide to  violate this oath of unity and apostasize
the Son of man, as [Christ] Himself said, that person will be
rejected by Him before the Father and the angels of heaven
[Matthew 10, 33; Luke 12, 9]."
Thus united by oath and vow, [the nobility
of] the three lands of Armenia, Iberia, and Aghbania/Aghuania went to court.
Members of the grandee nobility of Armenia
who went on the journey at that time were as follows:
from the tohm of Siwnik,' Vasak,
lord of Siwnik' who, at the time was the marzpan of Armenia,
from the tohm of Arcrunik,' Nershapuh,
from the tohm of Rshtunik,' Artak,
from the tohm of Xorxorhunik,' Gadishoy,
from the tohm of Mamikoneank,' Vardan, asparapet of Armenia, and lord of the Mamikoneank,'
from the tohm of Mokk,' Artak,
from the tohm of Apahunik,' Manech,
from the tohm of Amatunik,' Vahan,
from the tohm of Vahewunik,' Giwt,
from the tohm of Anjewac'ik,' Shmawon,
and from the land of Iberia, the bdeshx Ashusha and other tanuters of the land.
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