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^ I'P- 2>1>1 and 362.

Ani, and the Armenian Kingdom of the Middle Ages 365

Byzantine annalists, and is styled by them, no less than by the
Armenian writers, the prince of Dvin.^ His son and successor,
Fathlun, purchased Ani from the Seljuk sultan, and gave it over to
his brother Manuchar (a.D. 1072). This ruler appears to have
governed with moderation ; and he was confirmed in his dignity
by the successor of Alp Arslan, the humane Malek Shah, who
extended the Seljuk empire to the Mediterranean. After the
death of Manuchar in A.D. iiio^ the inhabitants were much
harassed by their Mussulman and Georgian neighbours during the
government of his son and successor, another Abulsevar. They
appealed for help to the Bagratid king of Georgia, David the
Second, and opened their gates to that monarch (A.D. 11 24).
Abulsevar and his sons were carried off to Tiflis, and the unhappy
prince, with two of his children, perished in an unhealthy prison.'
This revolution restored the city to a Christian administration,
after a Mussulman occupation of sixty years. The cathedral,
which had served as a mosque, was restored to Christian worship
and consecrated anew with great pomp. But David the Second
died in the following year ; and his son and successor Dimitri
was confronted with an investiture of Ani by Fathlun, the eldest
son of the deceased ruler, who had been absent at the time of the
Georgian conquest and who was thirsting to avenge his father.
The issue of a lengthy siege was a happy compromise, by which
the Kurdish emir assumed the government under a pledge to
reserve the cathedral to the exclusive use of his Armenian
subjects (a.D. i 125-26).* Fathlun was killed in battle in the year
1 132, and was succeeded by his brother Mahmud.'' The Kurdish
dynasty continued to drag on a precarious existence as lords of
Ani until towards the close of the twelfth century ; but they lost
Gandzak to the Seljuks in 1088, and Dvin to the Georgians in
1 162.*^ The conqueror of Dvin, George the Third, was twice the
conqueror of Ani. His first expedition belongs to the year i 161,

1 Kedrenus calls hini ruler of Tibion ( = Tivin or Dvin) and parls of Persarmenia
about the river Araxes (edit. Bekker, vol. ii. pp. 55^ seq.). See Matthew of Edessa
(ch. X. with Dulaurier's note, and ch. cii. p. 165) and Aristakes (ch. x. ). For the Beni-
Cheddad see Saint-Martin (I\Id/uoi>-es, vol. i. p. 433 ; ii. p. 235) and Brosset {/y/n'/ies
iPAiit, pp. 114 and 126, and Hist, de la G^orgie, Hist, aiicienne, p. 343). Abulsevar
marched with Alp Arslan in 1069 against the Empire (Matthew of Edessa, ch. cii.).
His activity therefore ranges over a considerable period.

2 Samuel of Ani.

3 Samuel of Ani ; Matthew of Edessa ; the Georgian annalist, quoted by Brosset
[Hist, de la G^orgie, p. 369).

* Samuel of Ani and Matthew of Edessa. '•> Samuel of Ani.

" Samuel of Ani and Matthew of Edessa.


66 Armenia

when he made himself master of the place after a single day's
siege.^ But his success exasperated his Mussulman neighbours,
and he was confronted in the same year by the emir of Akhlat at
the head of an army numbering 80,000 men. The pompous
title of this prince, that of Shah of Armenia, serves to accentuate
his signal defeat by the Georgian king. But the Mussulmans
renewed their attacks under the guidance or at the prompting of
Ildigiz, the Atabeg governor of Azerbaijan. About the year
I 165 George was constrained to restore x\ni to them, and it again
came into the possession of the Beni-Cheddad. From these it
passed for the third time into the hands of the Georgians in
1173-74.^ During the reign of Thamar the luckless inhabitants
were surprised and massacred by the emir of Ardabil in eastern
Azerbaijan. Even at that period, the commencement of the
thirteenth century, the city was still rich and populous.^ But
the advent of the Tartars in A.D. 1239 was the occasion of a new
catastrophe, the place being sacked by the savage bands of
Jenghiz Khan. In 13 19 Ani was visited by a severe earthquake,
to which Armenian writers ascribe her final abandonment. But
there exists evidence to show that this consummation was deferred
to a later and uncertain date.

I feel that I owe an apology to my reader for this long
excursion into Armenian history. But my endeavour has been
to encompass a double purpose, that of presenting in a sufficient
narrative the capital events in the annals of Ani, and that of
sketching in from various and scattered sources the larger history
of the Armenian kingdom of the Middle Ages. The attention
of the traveller, no less than that of the statesman and the man
of culture, is frequently directed to that neglected but fascinating
subject, which indeed explains the present condition of the
Armenians and which conducts us to the threshold of our own
era. We cannot learn much from the long intervening spaces of
time during which Tartars and Turkomans, and Ottoman Turks
and Persians ruled in a country which was forgotten by the West.
A deep sleep settles on the land, given over to shepherds, from
which it scarcely awakes at the distant calling of the modern
epoch. The natural development of the Armenian people was

^ Samuel of Ani ; the continuation of Matthew of Edessa ; the Georgian annalist in
Brosset {Hist, de la Georgic).

- Brosset, Riiines cfJni, p. 131, and Voyage Archiologiquc, livraison i, rapport i,
p. 94.

•' The Georgian annalist, ap. Brosset, Hist, de la Gt'orgie.

Ani, and the Armenian Kingdom of the Middle Ages 367

suddenly arrested by the Seljuk conquest, and the abler among
them were forc,ed to seek new homes. Some stout spirits
established themselves in the mountains of Cilicia, where they
founded a petty kingdom which endured for nearly three hundred
years (a.D. 1080-1375). The obstinacy of their race was made
manifest by the long resistance of this colony to the spiritual
guidance of the popes of Rome. The friends of the Crusaders,
they were at length overwhelmed by the Turks, who suppressed
the dynasty. Their descendants still maintain themselves about
their adopted seats, secure in their mountain fastnesses. But
perhaps the most remarkable outcome of this dispersal was the
emigration of the inhabitants of Ani to Poland, Moldavia and
Galicia, to Astrakhan on the northern shore of the Caspian, and
thence to the Crimea. Many of these colonies have endured to
the present day. Some among them were permitted to retain
their own laws ; and the jurisprudence of the Armenian kings
figures in the code of the colony of Lemberg, which was adminis-
tered by the Armenian notables with the express sanction of the
Polish kings and which has been preserved to the curiosity of
our own age.^

My reader is now in possession of an outline of the history
of the deserted city before the walls of which he stands. He is
also familiar with the large surroundings which overpower this
elegant architecture — in the distance the pile of Alagoz and the
dome of Ararat ; far and near the undulating upland plain,
deeply cafioned by the sinuous course of the Arpa Chai. But
the site of Ani calls for some particular description.- It has

1 The various emigrations of the inhabitants of Ani are exhibited by ]Minas Bejeshkean
{Travels in Lehastan (Poland) and other Countries inhabited by Armenian Emigrants

from Ani, Venice, 1 830 (in Armenian)). His account is summarised by Erosset
{R nines d'Ani, pp. 138 seq.) and by Ritter {Erdktinde, vol. x. pp. 597 seq.). For the
code of the Armenians of Lemberg see Sitzungsberichte der phil. -hist. Klasse der k.
Akad. der Wissenschaften, Vienna, 1862, pp. 255 seq.

2 Let me catalogue in this place the works of previous travellers having reference to
Ani which I have collected. I shall annex the date of visit whenever I have been able
to ascertain it. I have purposely omitted works written in Russian or in Armenian.
The full titles will be found in the bibliography attached to Vol. IL

(I) 1621, Poser [Reyse, etc., Jena, 1675, 4°). His account is confined to a few
sentences. He mentions the existence of 200 churches in Ani and the immediate
neighbourhood. (2) Tavernier (edit. Paris, 1679, Livre Pretnier, p. 24). A few mis-
leading sentences. (3) 181 7, Ker Porter {Travels in Georgia, etc., London, 182 1 -22,
vol. i. pp. 169 seq.). A fantastic description. (4) 1836, Hamilton {Researches in Asia
Minor, etc., London, 1842, vol. i. pp. 197 seq.). The best of these older notices.
(5) 1837, Wilbraham {Travels, etc., London, 1839, pp. 287 seq.). The hasty but vivid
impressions of a tourist, from which the following is an extract: "The shapeless


68 An? lent a

been built within the fork described by the meeting of two
ravines which have been eroded by the action of water to a
considerable depth below the level of the plain. In the more
westerly of these ravines flows a small stream coming down from
the Alaja Dagh (p. 330), which was known to the old priest by its
older name of Tsaghkotz/ but which some travellers have called
the Alaja Chai. The more easterly is occupied by the Arpa
Chai, the ancient Akhurean. Near the confluence, the two
streams are only separated by a narrow spit, and their waters hiss
at the base of crags composed of lava. But the greater portion
of the site consists of a spacious platform, flanked on two sides
by the ravines. At a distance of about a mile above the junction
of the waters two small side valleys descend into the principal

mounds of Babylon are like the skeleton ; but the deserted, yet still standing city (Ani)
resembles the corpse whose breath has fled, but which still retains the semblance of
life." (6) 1837, Abbott (iVoies of a Totir, Joiir7ial R.G.S., 1842, vol. xii. pp. 215
seq.). Not important. (7) 1838, Eugene Bore {Con: ct Mdm., Paris, 1840, vol. ii.
p. 2) mentions a viemoire in which he was about to resume the results of his seven
days' sojourn in Ani, during which he copied inscriptions. The m^moire has been lost.
(8) 1839, Texier {Description de P Arminie, etc., Paris, 1842, folio, pp. 93-116), with
a plan, which is not oriented, and ten fine plates. Texier's account is both defective
and unsatisfactory ; but it is the first detailed description. I must warn my reader
against accepting his history ; he seems to confuse Timur with Alp Arslan in some
places. (9) 1844, Herrmann Abich {Bull, hist.-phil. de PAcad. de Sciences de St. Piters-
boiirg, 1845, vol. ii. pp. 369-76, with notice by Brosset ; Aus kaukasischen Ldndern,
Reisebriefe, \'ienna, 1896, pp. 176-200). The distinguished geologist devoted four days
to the study of the ruins and drew out a plan of the site. His full account, for which
consult the latter of the two references, had not been published, so far as I could ascer-
tain, at the time of my own journey. But Brosset had already published the plan, the
substantial accuracy of which I was able to test upon the spot {J'oyage Arciicologiqtte,
St. Petersburg, 1849-51, Atlas), and the inscriptions copied by Abich (in the same
work, livr. I, rapp. 3, pp. 86-1 11). (10) 1846, Muravieff, quoted by Khanikoff ap.
Brosset {Voy. Arch. livr. i, rapp. 3, pp. 121-52). (11) 1847, Nerses Sargisean of
the Society of the Mekhitarists of Venice copied a number of the inscriptions. See
Brosset {Kiiines dAni, St. Petersburg, i860, p. 5), and especially Brosset's article in
the Bull. Acad. Sciences St. P., 1862, vol. iv. pp. 255-67. (12) 1848, Khanikoff"
copied the Mussulman inscriptions. See Brosset {Voy. Arch. livr. i, rapp. 3, pp.
121-52). (13) 1850, Kastner (Lieut. Julius) was commissioned by Prince Vorontsoft",
Governor of the Caucasus, to explore Ani, and spent forty-four days within its walls.
He collected fifty inscriptions and made numerous drawings, which have been made use
of by Brosset {Riiines d'Ani, pp. 4 seq.). (14) 18 — , Ussher {/oi/niey /ro//i London
to Persepolis, London, 1865, pp. 243-45). A sketchy description.

The whole subject has been fully treated, but unfortunately at second hand, by Brosset
{Ritines dAni, St. Pet. i860, and Bull. Acad. Sciences St. P., 1862, vol. iv. pp.
255-67). The traveller is deeply indebted to Brosset, for these two valuable
treatises. Fergusson has devoted a few pages to Ani in the first volume of his History
of Architecture (see pp. 473-75)-

I ought not to close this list without referring to two works in Armenian which are
of special value : Sargis Dgalaleantz {Journey in Great Armenia, Tiflis, 1842 and 1858,
8vo), and Alishan {Description of Great Armenia, \'enice, 1855). Both these works
contain accounts of Ani.

^ This ravine is the Armenian Tsaghkotzadzor or \'alley of the Flower-garden.


Aiii, and the Arnicnian Kingdom of the Middle Ages 369

depressions from within the area which they enclose. The one
is directed towards the west and joins the trough of the Alaja ;
the other pursues a south-easterly course to the chasm of the
Arpa Chai. The heads of these two side valleys are separated
from one another by a considerable stretch of unbroken ground.
It is on that side only and along that space that the site is weak.
.And it is there that the double line of walls have been erected,
fronted in ancient times by a moat (Fig. 70).^

The character of this double wall and the appearance of the towers




icK Vv'all ut- THE Gateway.

are exhibited in my illustration, which was taken from outside, in front
of the principal gateway. The long line of fortifications is seen extend-
ing towards the east. Such walls are composed at Ani of an inner
core of solid conglomerate, faced on either side with rectangular blocks
of hewn stone. One admires the exquisite art with which the masonry is
disposed and the minute fitting at the joints. We enter the enclosure
between the two parapets, and walk for a short distance in an easterly
direction. Above us, upon the face of the inner wall, is placed a fine
bas-relief of a lion (Fig. 71) ; and almost immediately we arrive at the
inner gateway, just west of the great tower. A somewhat effaced inscrip-
tion is seen above the arch. It has been copied, but the interpretation

1 The moat may have united ihe \\ater.s of the Alaja and the Arpa Chai. See
K nines cfAiii, p. 60.

VOL. I 2 B

3/0 Armenia

and date are obscure.^ We know that these walls were originally built by
King Sembat the Second (a.d. 977-989);- but they must have been
restored and towers added at later dates. The earliest inscription which
has been discovered was found on a round tower not far from this entrance.
It is in Cufic character, and records that the tower was erected by
Manuchar the son of Chawir, or Abulsevar. We have already seen that
Manuchar was the first ruler in Ani of the Kurdish family of the Beni-
Cheddad (a.d. 1072). Other inscriptions belong to the latter half of the
twelfth century and the commencement of the thirteenth. They are
in Armenian and establish the fact that some of the towers were con-
structed by private persons as memorials to themselves.-''

Once within the archway through the inner wall, the interior of the
city is displayed in a long perspective to our gaze. But we might have to
mount upon one of the parapets, in order to survey the irregularities of the
large triangular space as far as the citadel at its further and narrow end.
This north-easterly or broader portion of the site is covered with the
debris of the private dwellings, not one of which has remained erect.
They must have been packed together in a most uncomfortable manner,
and they were probably built for the greater part of inferior material.'^ It
is as though a Persian runner had swished them away with his long cane
to open the view to the noble monuments which still stand. Behind us,
as we proceed, the long barrier of the fortifications opens out on either
side. The inner walls of many of the towers have fallen in, and their
vaulted interiors are laid bare. They suggest the appearance of a series
of apses as they soar up into the sky.

Directing our steps towards the cathedral, the largest of the buildings,
we pass the scattered fragments of an octagonal tower (No. 1 1 on the
plan), which must have succumbed at a comparatively recent date. It
has been seen while still perfect by my predecessors, who have described
it as a minaret. It may have also served as a watch-tower. One huge
block of masonry which has held together still displays the large propor-
tions and the form of the structure. The remains of a spiral staircase
engage the eye, and one is impressed with the excellence of the masonry.

^ See Brosset, Ruines d\4iii, pp. 18 and 144. It may belong to the Tartar period
(Mongol) and have reference to the restoration of Ani after the earthquake of a.d. 1319.
Texier {op. cit. p. 94) commits himself to the statement that it is in Arabic characters ;
but see Khanikoff, op. cit. p. 135.

- On the authority of Samuel of Ani. See supra, p. 354.

3 See Brosset, Kiiines crAiii, pp. 16, 17, 58, 59 ; and Voyage Arch., livr. I, rapp.
3, p. 143. One of these inscriptions indicates that the name of the reigning prince of
the Beni-Chcddad in a.d. I160, just before the Georgian conquest, was Phatl (Fathlun).
Several belong to the reign of IMiamar, and exhibit the name of the Georgian ruler,
Zakare-Shahanshah, who is styled "chief of the mandatories" and son of Sarkis Shahan-
shah. See Brosset []'oyage Arch., livr. I, rapp. i, pp. 92-94, and Kiiines cPAni, p. 18)
for an explanation of this title. Two of these inscriptions of Zakare belong to the years
1206 and 121 5 respectively.

'' Ani is said to have contained not less than 100,000 inhabitants in the eleventh
century. Yet the circumference of the city has been estimated at not more than 3^
miles. I am inclined to think that a large proportion of the population lived without
the walls.

Fig. 73. Ani: Niche in Eastern Wall of Cathedral.

Ani, and the Armenian Kingdom of the J\ fiddle Ages 3711

Two inscriptions have been found upon this pile. One in Persian bears
the date Heg. 595 or a.d. 1198-99, and is to the efiect that one Kei-
Sultan of the Beni-Cheddad family "forbids the sale of sheep and
camels in front of this mosque of Abu-1-Mamran." The other is in
Armenian and without date or personal sanction, being a mere exhortation
to obey the order. One must suppose, in the absence of evidence to the
contrary, that the minaret belonged to a mosque which has disappeared.^

The cathedral will surprise the traveller, even if he have come from
Edgmiatsin. Although of small proportions, if judged by a European
standard, it is nevertheless a stately building.- It bears the imprint of
that undefmable quality, beauty, and can scarcely fail to arouse a thrill of
delight in the spectator. It is seen to great advantage, adjacent edifices
having disappeared (Fig. 72). The extreme simplicity of the design —
an oblong figure of four almost unbroken walls — at once appeals to the
eye. The skill with which these plain spaces have been treated is the
feature which is admired in the next place. The apse is only indicated
by two niches which recess back from the face of the wall on the east
(Figs. 72 and 73). Two similar niches are seen on the south, and, I
think, also on the north side ; but their purpose is ornamental and to
secure uniformity of design. The remainder of the space is diversified by
the lightest of false arcades, which rises almost to the roof, embraces the
niches and extends to all four walls. My illustration (Fig. 72) displays
the southern and eastern fronts ; that on the north resembles its counter-
part, but is less ornate. The facade is practically the same as the eastern
front, but without the niches and with a low doorway. Similar doorways
are conspicuous on the northern and southern sides. One remarks the
tall and slender pillars of the false arcades, the cushion form of the
capitals with their richly chiselled faces, the low spring of the rounded
arches which curve inwards at the base, but scarcely suggest, so slight is
the curve, the horse-shoe shape. The row of these arched mouldings is
pleasantly broken at the doorway, which is surmounted by a narrow
window with a rectangular frame of chiselled stone. And the bold arched
moulding of pointed form, which envelops door and window, takes the
eye above the tops of the neighbouring arches and leads it upwards to the
loftier roof of the transept.

The architecture of the roof is less single of feature. Multiplicity of
outlines and contrast of shapes are the characteristics which are here
displayed. At one level you have the aisles, at another the nave and
transept, at yet another the supreme crown of the dome. Here it is a
group of gables ; there the large circle of the drum of the dome ; there

^ The conjecture which Brosset throws out that the mosque referred to may be the
cathedral is not, I think, a happy one. For this minaret see especially Khanikoff {oJ>.
cit. pp. 135-36), Brosset {Ritines d\-lm, p. 31), and Abich {Aiis kauk. Land. vol. i. p.
191). The inscription describes Kei-Sultan as "son of Mahmud, son of Chawir, son of
Manuchar, Cheddadi." Kei-Sultan is not otherwise known. We must conclude that the
Beni-Cheddad were still powerful in Ani as late as the end of the twelfth century.

^ The dimensions of the interior are as follows, according to my measurements : —
Length, 105 feet 6 in. (viz. 76 feet 6 in. to the dais of the apse, and 29 feet from the
dais to the extremity of the recess) ; breadth, 65 feet 6 in. ; breadth of apse, 29 feet 7 in.



again the cone formed by the roof of the dome. This uppermost member
of the series has unhappily fallen in ; but enough remains of the drum
to enable the eye to complete the picture, and to reconstruct the delicate
mouldings of a false arcade. We have in fact a roof scene essentially
Byzantine in character, but which is quite free of that suggestion of a
series of box-like elevations which is engendered by the appearance of
some specimens of the style. On the contrary, we receive the impression
of a stately simplicity underlying the diversity of outline and form.

The interior is quite remarkable from the standpoint of the history
of architecture ; it is also calculated to deserve the admiration of the
lover of art. It has many of the characteristics of the Gothic style, of
which it establishes the Oriental origin. ^ The dome is supported by four
massive piers of coupled pillars with plain capitals. Four similar piers
are placed at either extremity of the building, a pair at the entrance and
one on each side of the apse. A feature of the edifice is the extreme
narrowness of the aisles and the corresponding constriction of the side
chapels at their eastern extremity. The relative proportions of the apse
and of these minor apses may be discovered by a glance at the illustration
of the eastern front, where the extent of the latter is indicated by the two
arches with little windows, one on either side of the niches. The Gothic
appearance of the interior is still further accentuated by the bold pointed
arches which spring from the piers. Our curiosity is aroused by these
characteristics ; but our emotions awake as we contemplate the magnificent
apse (Fig. 74).- That element of grandeur which we miss in Armenian
churches is here made manifest in a high degree. It is imparted by the
apse to the whole interior ; and the apse becomes, by a happy inspiration
of the architect, indeed the head and soul of the church.

Vestiges of paintings upon the ceilings have been observed by my
predecessors ; but I do not know that the building suffers from their
destruction. The plaster has fallen, and the perfection of the masonry
is exposed. The roofs as well as the walls are composed of stone, and,
as usual in iVrmenian churches, no wood or metal has been used. Even
at the present day the Armenian masons are possessed of exceptional
skill ; and their natural gifts have been here directed by the conceptions
of genius. Although the interior is almost free of ornament, the art of
the sculptor has been employed upon the enrichment of the outside niches,
of the doorways and windows, and of the mouldings of the false arcade.
In no case do we discover any trace of barbarism ; the designs are sober
and full of grace, the execution is beyond praise.^^ The impression which

1 Texier reminds us that at the time when this cathedral was built (early eleventh
century) the Romanesque style was universal in Europe {op. at. p. 112). Yet in this
building we have the characteristics of a style which might be found in Southern Europe
in the thirteenth century— the pointed arch, the coupled piers. See also Fergusson, op.

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