Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Armenian mythology

Very little is known about pre-Christian Armenian mythology, the oldest source being the legends of Xorenatsi's History of Armenia.


Monsters and spirits

  • AL- The Al is a dwarfish evil spirit that attacks pregnant women and steals newborn babies. Described as half-animal and half-man, its teeth are of iron and nails of brass or copper. It usually wears a pointed hat covered in bells, and can become invisible.

  • Aralez - Aralezner - The oldest gods in the Armenian pantheon, Aralez are dog-like creatures with powers to resuscitate fallen warriors and resurrect the dead by licking wounds clean.
  • Devs - The Dev are air-composed spirit creatures originating from Zoroastrian mythology (the Daevas), and share many similarities to angels. They reside in stony places and ruins, and usually kept to themselves.
  • Sahapet - The Shahapet were usually friendly guardian spirits who typically appeared in the form of serpents. They inhabited houses, orchards, fields, forests and graveyards, among other places. The Shvaz type was more agriculturally oriented, while the Shvod was a guardian of the home. A Shvod who is well-treated may reward the home's inhabitants with gold, but if mistreated might cause strife and leave.
  • Nhang - The Nhang (from the Persian word for "crocodile") was a river-dwelling serpent-monster with shape shifting powers, often connected to the more conventional Armenian dragons. The creature could change into a seal or lure a man by transforming into a woman, then drag in and drown the victim to drink its blood. The word "Nhang" is sometimes used as a generic term for a sea-monster in ancient Armenian literature.
  • Piatek - The Piatek is a large mammalian creature similar to a wingless griffin.


1 comment: