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The History of Hayk, Abgar & the Early Armenians

Hayk

Etymology of Hayk

The name of the patriarch, Հայկ Hayk is not exactly homophonous with the name for “Armenia”, Հայք Hayk’. Հայք Hayk’ is the nominative plural in Classical Armenian of հայ (hay), the Armenian term for “Armenian.”[1] Some claim that the etymology of Hayq’ (Հայք) from Hayk (Հայկ) is impossible[1] and that origin of the term Hay (“Armenian”) is verifiable.[1] Nevertheless, Hayk and Haig are usually[how?] connected to hay (հայ) and hayer (հայեր, the nominative plural in Modern Armenian), the self-designation of the Armenians.

Hayk would then be an aitiological founding figure, like e.g. Asshur for the Assyrians, etc. One of Hayk’s most famous scions, Aram, settled in Eastern Armenia from the Mitanni kingdom (Western Armenia), when Sargon II mentions a king of part of Armenia who bore the (ArmenianIndo-Iranian) name Bagatadi (“Theodore”).[2]

A connection was made in Armenian historiography of the Soviet era, with Hayasa mentioned in Hittite inscriptions.[3]

The Armenian word haykakan or haigagan (Armenian: հայկական, meaning “that which pertains to Armenians”) finds its stem in this progenitor. Continue reading The History of Hayk, Abgar & the Early Armenians