T'ovma Metsobets'i's

History of Tamerlane and His Successors

When the infidels saw their willingness, they sold all the captives for between 10,000 and 20,000 [dahekans]; and [the Christians] bought one priest at Archesh and Artske for [65] 230,000 dahekans. But this deed became the ruin of the wicked, impious tyrant Yusuf, for God took his power from him and no longer succored him. This transpired in the year 865 of the Armenian Era [1416]. [Yusuf] subsequently went to Diyarbakir and descended into Syria like a fox, but returned like a weakened bat. For his son, whom he had set up as a khan over the entire land, had been killed.

The next year 'Uthman, lord of Amida, took Erzinjan and wickedly killed Pir 'Umar. The next year, Shah-Ruh [Shahrukh Mirza, 1404-1447], Timur's son, the lord of Khurasan [g78], took a countless host of his troops and came to Sultaniyeh and Tabriz, against Yusuf. The latter came to oppose him. When they were close to each other—for they were to fight on that day or the next—God exacted from the Turkmen vengeance for the merciless enslavement, because that tyrant grew sick and died. His troops left him unburied and departed, arriving in the K'ajberunik' land, weeping and pitifully trodden. They encamped at the Christian monasteries and villages until springtime; and when they departed, they pillaged everything. [Yusuf's] son, named Aspahan, greatly aided and pitied the believers, freeing all to go to the district of Rshtunik'. And by a hairsbreadth we escaped Chaghatai's [the Timurid] army, for like a swiftly flying eagle they fell upon the [66] the Turkmen troops in the Taron country. Leaving behind their booty and loot, they secretly reached the country of Syria, the plain of the city of Amida.

Now Yusuf's son Iskandar (Sk'andar) had not been with his father, rather he had remained in his own place. Now he came from Baghdad, gathered up his father's troops and the braves of Hizan, and came to the Bagrewand district, close by the holy congregation built by Trdat and Gregory the Illuminator [g79], planning to go against Shahrukh. The latter reached Her and Zarewand district and finally Berkri. The news of Iskandar's arrival reached him. With an infinite multitude he came to Archesh, and ordered two trenches to be dug, one at Archesh, and one at Jrapsak [other copies, hrapsak, iwsapsak] close to Aghu mountain. The next day he arose and went to the plain of Apahunik', to Kanagah and had a trench dug from fear of the troops of the brave and powerful warrior Iskandar. Reaching Vagharshakert, [the armies] encamped face to face on the plain of Bagrewand. Joining battle, they struck at each other. The manly and valiant warrior [Iskandar] went into the midst of Shahrukh's army killing many of the troops of Chaghatai [the Timurids], cutting off the trunk of an elephant, and ravishing one of the serving women from Shahrukh's house. He cast dread and [67] terror over the eastern army. Yet Shahrukh had no fear of him. His servants came to him and said: "Why are you at peace, behold we have lost ourselves from fear of the valiant, single-combattant son of Yusuf." [Shahrukh], emerging from the tent ordered that camels and animals be taken before the troops. They cried out in unison [g80], the witches tossed paper into the air, they unsheathed their swords and attacked. At once, without delay, they put the troops of the disobedient Turkmen to the sword and destroyed them.

Here one could witness their calamitous anguish, for their clamor made both sides quake as though chilled, just as the braves Vardan and Mushegh made the Persians tremble. Father disowned son, and son, father; mother disowned daughter, and daughter, mother.

The two brothers Iskandar and Aspahan, escaping by a hairsbreadth with a few troops, fled to the inner reaches of the land, to Merdin and Mowsil And all the troops and families [Editor Shahnazarean notes (p.81 n.33) that xizan may mean "family, clan" if it is not the name of a district.] fell into the hands of Chaghatai. In the very place where they had divided up the Armenian and Georgian captives, they themselves were enslaved, and in the same spot countless hosts of them were killed. Who can put into writing the [68] screaming and clamor of the infidel youths who remained in that very place, and all who died of hunger and were eaten by beasts. This occurred in the year 870 of the Armenian Era [1421]. And Chaghatai, taking the booty and plunder went to Khurasan whence he had come; while the sons of Yusuf fled to the inner reaches of the land. Learning about [the Timurids'] departure, Aspahan quickly went to Tabriz by the [g81] Bitlis (Baghesh) road and for some days besieged it with a few troops. Now the other brother, Iskandar, came by the Baghdad road, entered Tabriz, put his brother to flight, took the entire land and sat as king over all parts of our land. His brother came to Basen and took the stronghold of Awnik. The next year he went to his other brother named Shah Mahmut in Baghdad, and waited for two years. Then he reunited his army against his brother and took the whole land of Babylonia. [Shah Mahmut], fleeing from his brother, fell into the hands of Chaghatai who killed him, for he was a peace-loving and philo-Christian man. And many said that he was Christ's servant.

Aspahan filled Babylonia with blood, for he had taken the land's treasures, secretly hid them, and killed the treasurer. He spared neither Tachik nor Asori. He destroyed and enslaved Mowsil, Sanjar, T'klad and the entire land and then came against Jazira, shedding much blood. He went against Merdin and killed thirty Christians. The lord of Merdin, son of 'Uthman, [69] Sultan Hamze, came up before [Aspahan], [Spandiar (Ispend, Espan), son of Qara Yusuf] seized all his troops and loot, and he himself escaped by a hairsbreadth from his hands. The blood of the innocent cried out to God [g82], destroying him and his troops. Now in 871 A.E. [1422], Iskandar, who sat as king in Tabriz shahastan, came with his troops against Xlat' and taking the entire country, besieged Aghvanits' fortress. A Kurd named Sharaf together with some foolish Christians cursed him from the fortress in rebellion. Angered, [Iskandar] ordered his troops to shoot arrows at them and they took it immediately. Putting swords to work, they killed one hundred fifty Christians of the people located there and sixty souls they gave as a hideous sacrifice of Christians in Tsghak and Aghvanits'; they took a multitude of women and children as slaves, and they killed many.

There were some few who were returned, purchased with silver. But from that day forth, there was weeping and lamentation for the entire Armenian people until the day of [Iskandar's] death. The second year he came against Bitlis and Xlat', summoned his brother-in-law (p'esa) Shams al-Din (Shamshatin) and said: "Give me the fortress of Xlat." [Shams al-Din] went near the fortress, untied the belt around his waist, then tied it again tightly. And the emir let his head kerchief fall [g83], thereby signalling that "if they behead me, do not surrender the fortress. Rather, tighten your belts." [Iskandar] became angry and commanded his soldiers [70] to behead [Shams al-Din]. He seized the lord of Rshtunik', sultan Ahmad, son of emir 'Izz al-Din (Ezdin), and suddenly came against the fortress of Van and ravaged the entire land. He besieged Van for four months and during the siege of the fortress countless hosts of Christians died of hunger and thirst, and many died of stomach pains.

But he was unable to take Van that year. Instead, he went to Tabriz and was quiet during that year. He killed emir 'Izz al-Din's son, sultan Ahmad, in the fortress of Ernjak. The next year, 874 A.E. [1425], he once more came against Van and besieged it. Placed into straits, K'urd's son Melik' Asd gave the fortress to him, and, at liberty, he took his goods and belongings and went to Julamerk. That very year they killed his father's brother, named Pahat', taking the Rshtunik' country and the island of Aght'amar. Many Christians, wandering about the mountains and hills, died of hunger and weakness. And I cannot put a figure on the number killed, or [describe] the lamentation, weeping, clamor and destruction of our people occasioned by the wicked tyrant, the filthy, impious precursor of the antichrist [g84].

The same year the stinking (nengazhot) and pitiless Kurd of Bitlis came against the God-kept city of Artske and put many of our people to the sword, including the goodly, God-inspired, merciful and blessed vardapet Grigor, son [71] of Tser of Xlat', of the blessed congregation of Dastak, named Ts'ipnavak'. And the entire Armenian people mourned. For [Grigor] had embellished the churches of Armenia with menologies (yasmawurk'), lost homilies, canticles (ganjk') and hymns, and for fifty-five years he wrote books [or copied them] and gave everything to the poor. Being meek, extremely studious, and a reverer of martyrs, he received the martyr's crown. He was a student of the great Sargis, vardapet of Armenia, and studied for eight years with Yovhannes Orotnets'i, a classmate of the great Tat'ewats'i.

In the same year [Iskandar], that merciless dragon and bloodthirsty beast, went to the Armenian city of Ormi, wrecked the entire land, killed 700 Tachiks and pitilessly, wickedly beheaded them, took many slaves and exterminated the Armenian people, in accordance with the prophecy of the great Nerses that "the Nation of Aram will be wiped out by the Nation of the Archers." Again in the year 878 A.E. [1429], [Iskandar] [g85] mustered troops, formed a band, came against the city of Sultaniyeh, and took it after a four months' siege. He put to the sword and sacrificed all the troops found there, more than 300 souls. Pitifully sobbing, they cried out through their tears, "Lord, avenge our blood." Seizing the lord of [72] the place, Elias, Xaji's son, [Iskandar] put him in his own fortress. Now this lord [Elias] was the son of the sister-in-law (wife's sister's son) of Shahrukh, king of Media and the Persian parts of the East and Khurasan. Moved to anger, [Shahrukh] came with troops as countless as the stars in the sky, in solemn military preparedness against the foolish, unfeeling, disobedient, proud and arrogant tyrant, Iskandar. The latter fled from him, but he came and camped opposite [Shahrukh] at Salmast, front to front, division to division. He did not permit his troops to flee from the wrath of Chaghatai's army, since through sorcery he had bound him such that he was unable to remove one arrow from his quiver. But during the time of battle, he slipped away and fled saying: "I shall pit a thousand of my men against ten thousand of them." The deplorable creature neither knew nor understood [g86], nor (due to his arrogant nature) did anyone want to inform him that a king's heart is in the hand of God Who gives victory to believers and unbelievers. [Iskandar], trusting in the strength of his arm, wanted to display a triumphant deed, but God did not give him the strength of victory. Rather, He betrayed his entire army into Chaghatai's hands. All the Turkmens and many Christians were captured, taken to the wintering place of Gharabagh where [Shahrukh] passed the blustering wintertime.

[73] Now those of Iskandar's soldiers who had survived the warfare, secretly fleeing hither and thither, came to the K'ajberuni country, took city, village, monastery and awan, and robbed and destroyed, leaving neither bread nor grass, bestially tearing everything apart. Above and below the wrath of God enveloped this seashore. From above, there came snow and showers of hail and here below was the bitterness of the infidels. Escaping by a hairsbreadth, we wanted to go to the island of Lim, but once we had arrived we found neither place to sit or stand nor sustaining food to prepare because of the frightful rage of God, and there was severe rain and snow. Our spiritual brother, vardapet [g87] Yovhannes received us affectionately. And while we were experiencing this tribulation, suddenly the troops of Amka fortress' wicked, loathsome infidel prince named Hajipek came to the island by boat, seized all of our Christians and demanded gold and silver. From evening until dawn [Hajipek] took 40,000 dahekans, though actually more than 100,000. Out of fear of them we willed the sea to drown us, [after] seeing and hearing the clamor and screaming of women and their children. For they struck them and beat them with sticks.

And while we were thus thinking that we would arise from the midst of the sea, disastrous news reached us, that [74] the Turkmen 'Uthman had come to Archesh city and robbed all the believers remaining there, since he was an enemy of Iskandar and his forces. It was on his counsel that Shahrukh vanquished the abominable Turkmen. And the saint's proverb was fulfilled regarding us "fleeing from the unicorn we fell victim to the snake." But at this point the mercy of benevolent God aided our overturned people. For the fugitive Iskandar, who had slipped away from Chaghatai and had come to the city of Van angered at his forces, came and removed those monsters who were ruling our district and ripping everyone apart like [g88] wicked beasts. And they removed the loathsome animals from the city, village and monastery. Freed from them, we had a brief respite for three winter months. This bitterness occurred at the time of the feast of the Cross of Varag. Now in springtime, Iskandar (who had fled from Chaghatai and was stealthily roaming about hither and thither, sometimes in the fortress of Ernjak and other places) came and besieged the city of Artske which the native lords of the city named Sawalan had taken. He besieged it for a few days and fought a great battle over it. The Christians and foreigners strove greatly, all of them praying that the wicked dragon would be slain and all [his forces] killed. The entire district was holed up in the fortress. Then suddenly the wicked forces of Chaghatai, 20,000 people led by Shahrukh's son Jonka, reached the city like a swiftly-moving eagle. When the troops of Iskandar saw this they expired from terror, because they were [75] unprepared. And they cried out: "What will you do Amirza, the enemy has arrived." As though unafraid, Iskandar [g89] willingly and without haste, donned his armor and all military weapons, and went before them with a small force of about 1,000 men by the Kur valley road behind the mountain of the blessed congregation of the Miracle-Worker. [Jonka's] troops, 20,000 strong, pursued [Iskandar] but were unable to break through his ranks and capture him. However a strong warrior and brave single-combattant came from Chaghatai, charging on his horse crying: "At'alba Iskandar, turn back that we may see each other, for I have followed you from Khurasan to fight." Turning back, sword in hand, [Iskandar] reached him and said: "From Khurasan? Let me end your quest," and he struck him with the sword, cleaving him into two parts from neck to waist. Seeing him, all the eastern troops were awestruck and dumbfounded, saying: "Who could pursue him after he worked such frightful unrelatable valor?" And thereafter they did no battle, but followed him in dread. Fearlessly [Iskandar] went to the Basen district. Now the multitude of the city of Artske emerged from the city and gathered up all the Turkmen booty and loot remaining from Chaghatai. The wicked descendant and son of destruction did not pursue them, but turned back and went to the Archesh country [g90].

There were many Christian clerics and laymen wandering around as fugitives, in the mountains and hills and in caves. [76] But [the enemy] surrounded the mountain like an eagle hunting a bird from the sky, roaring and shrieking. They attacked with horses; and the hearts of the men and women wilted when they arrived like the terrible and frightful Day of Judgement. They killed the grandees; some they circumcised and dragged from the faith and led into captivity away from their fathers, women and children. Mother cried out to son, and son to mother: "My mother, who will let me see you again?" And mother to son: "Why my son? Alas and woe is me, and woe the day of your birth. Woe to me and to your father that glad tiding. Alas may my arm which held you aloft break. Will you go to the sea of bitterness? Will Christ give you a means of getting free?" It is impossible to put into writing this disastrous, racking calamity. But I am providing a few details about it for those coming after us, that you mourn the destruction of the Armenian people, for we personally were there. They took booty and plunder and countless hosts of our pitiful children from city and village and went to Tosp district, to the Van country, to the foot of the blessed congregation of Varag. Under the leadership of a loathsome unbelieving Kurd named Sewdi (from the house and line of the goodly, constructive Amir Ezid and Melik who held the Berkri country) [they] arrived suddenly and enslaving countless multitudes of women and [77] the children of all the believers, they led them away to Khurasan.

Screaming and lamentation ruled us. We frequently inquired that we might perhaps find out the number of slaves taken from Archesh and Van. No one was able to say for certain, but only this much: that three deacons [were taken] from the blessed congregation of Metsob and twenty-seven [Shahnazarean notes on p. 91 note 34 that one ms. has sixty-seven.] captives, close to our family and known to our dear ones, from the village of Agho were taken and ten captives from one house in Majaruats' village. Alas and woe to us, from that day until the present, and beyond.

This transpired on the day of Pentecost, in the year 879 of the Armenian Era [1430]. Once again on the day of the Feast of the Cross, Iskandar came and besieged the city of Artske and devised a strategem for taking it. Now the Christians, secretly taking counsel about the infidel, especially the sagacious and wise princely philo-Christian tanuter named Murat, together with the tanuters of Archesh: the dzernawor Yovhannes P'ok'o and Gorgi Melik' tanuter of Agho, resolved to go to the tyrant Iskandar and to quench his bitter anger. For he had come to kill the poor Christians by sword. [78] They went down to him with supplications and entreaties and gave him an oath so that he would not remember the former rebellion and disobedience which they had shown him, and in no way harm them. By the mercy of Christ they quenched his bitterness, and he vowed to do no damage to them. In the middle of the night they came down from the walls and went to [Iskandar]. Filled with unspeakable joy, he treated all citizens with affection and in the morning entered the city in peace, without pillaging.

However, they killed the lord of the city, named Salt'in and a Danishman advisor of his. Through the mercy of God he did not harm a hair in the city, for he was philo-Christian and compassionate toward our people. But because of his arrogant nature neither he nor the believers were successful. He ruined himself and destroyed our people. Now at the coming of the next year, 880 A.E. [1431], a severe famine descended over the believers and unbelievers in our land [g93]. They ate dog, cat, corpse, horse, mule, ass, and camel, and the number of animals decreased therefrom. [The people] then turned to their sons and daughters, to the point that in the city of Tabriz, 1,000 souls were eaten, secretly and openly, and the upper and lower parts [of the land] were ruined. Others from Tabriz city, [from] Her and Zarewand, Oshni and Aghbak went to the K'ajberuni area. And many who [79] were there died. But those who came to Arest awan multiplied through fish and vegetables.

Now beasts, grown accustomed to eating corpses, attacked those left alive in our country. Wolves entered Archesh and all our districts, took, tore to pieces, and devoured children from their mothers' embrace. They instantly ripped apart those folk, large and small, they encountered in the [open] plain. Wolves ate more than one hundred souls in the district of Archesh, to say nothing of the poor by the Arest and Marmet rivers. In wintertime so many believers perished from the cold weather, going from the Araratean district toward Georgia that it is impossible to calculate it, as our spiritual brother the monk Zak'aria Tegherts'i told us. Furthermore, a mot' of wheat fetched more than 60 t'anks in the bazaar of Archesh [g94]. Everyone was dying, natives and foreigners alike. Some took their horses and went to distant lands: to Erzinjan, Xarberd, Amida, Arzn and Ch'mshkatsak; and those who remained lordless died from the severity of the famine. Some went to the Kurds at Bitlis, Mush and Sasun and from poverty and the bitterness of hunger apostasized and became unbelievers, more than 500 people, to the sorrow of God, the angels, and mankind. And all of this transpired because of our sins and wicked deeds; especially from the laziness of presbyters and the fraudulence of clerics, and from the evil deeds of unbelieving and falsely-named [80] believers; from unjust tanuters who confiscated; from the loathsome, foul leaders—we are unable to set down our own and their impurities, for what is secretly alluded to is known by everyone. It is seven years that we have been living under this bitter scourge. For in the absence of the sword, it was famine that killed; in the absence of slave-taking, wild beasts ate people; birds ate the crops, frogs and mice sullied the fields; it was chastisement more bitter than the Babylonians' in the days of Abraham, and more bitter than the punishment of the Hebrews and Egyptians, for whereas the sons of the [g95] Egyptians drowned in the sea, the sons of Armenia drowned in the city of Herat (Hre) in a sea of unbelief. They drowned in the sea and did not multiply with children. Our sons and brothers who died and were lost through unbelief, raise up their sons in unbelief and fill the entire world. Until the final day of justice so many peoples [shall] be born from the Armenian people, like the 72 nations presently existing: for if the entire world was populated by eight times more just and righteous a man of God, Noah, then how many more must grow and multiply from thousands and tens of thousands of men?

Such a chastisement occurred: neither cleric, layman, rich or poor restrained his tongue from cursing the rulers, nor did they say "Forgive us God," nor [cease] the putrid, foul-mouthed, impure curses and anathemas the clerics of the church of Armenia constantly cleave apart the newly-ruined [81] vow, always filling the mouths of scholars with impurity. Alas and woe to us and to them, for I blame myself since I am of the same will though stricken by pangs of reason; for I was familiar with Biblical knowledge, want to withdraw and do not want to heed. And I am always bitter, for the habit has grown old. I am unable to support the church clerics for they are the dragon of rebellion; and, having evaded the advice of spiritual men and vardapets of the Church, they follow their own wills...[ We omit the translation of a group of lengthy Biblical quotations and references to priests who curse the bishops and vardapets (pp. 97-98).] For it was as a consequence of such imprecations, I believe, that the Holy Spirit of God quit the people and Church of Armenia.

Once again let us return to the previous exposition of the wretched last times and the overturned people. The tyrant Iskandar placed one of his sons named Arali as prince in the city of Van the fortress of Tosp district, at the foot of Varag. And [Arali] made unjust tax demands upon our people and the Tachiks. They went to his father Iskandar and complained, saying: "We cannot bear the grief and bitterness which he causes, for he has greatly impoverished our land. [Iskandar], very much displeased, summoned [Arali] to correct his ignorance. Afraid to go to his father [g99], he slipped away to the lord of Shamaxi, Xalil-Ullahanu, son of shaykh Ibrahim. But the latter seized him and had him taken to the lord of Khurasan, Timur's son Shahrukh, as Xalil [82] secretly nursed a grudge against Iskandar. Learning of this hatred, [Iskandar] assembled troops in a division and went against the Shamaxi region, destroying the entire land, city and village, putting to the sword the country for a fifteen days' march and bitterly harassing the lord of Shamaxi and the city of Shamaxi. He cut down tree and vineyard, sparing nothing, and wreaked unrelatable destruction. Furthermore one of their princes, also named Iskandar (and his equal in wickedness), took him to the other side of the Darband gate. He destroyed many lands, mercilessly putting to the sword the mountaineers and the plains-dwellers, remaining there for a full year shedding so much innocent blood that no one can commit it to writing. Turning back they brought to the Siwnik' country 360 severed Danishman heads in blood-caked, foul-smelling loads. The Christians were extremely lucky for [the Qara-Qoyunlu] had brought 30 [Christian] captives secretly. A priest named Yakob followed them and informed him. Extremely displeased, [Iskandar] set them free in peace [g100].

Now the lord of Shamaxi, that Xalil, took the qadi and mudarris and went to Shahrukh, lord of the city of Herat, casting dirt on his head and tearing his collar. They related the bitter and lamentable calamities which Iskandar visited upon them . [Shahrukh] and his entire family became enraged. Bitter bile, filling the appetite for reason, he [83] summoned all the leaders of the wicked city of Herat, great and small, and said to them: "Judge properly and correctly what must be done to Yusuf's son." In unison they all clamored: "He is worthy of death. Let that man be killed; and should you not kill such a merciless thirster for blood, the creator God will demand justice from you." He ordered that armaments be brought, and he fastened them on himself, something he had long since prohibited, being a sufi (sofi) and a peace-lover. In complete rage he traversed a twenty days' journey in but three days. Then gathering up his forces from here and there, he arrived at the city of Sultaniyeh with an inestimable, countless multitude. He waited forty days that perchance that foolish braggart, supported and tricked by satan, might obediently come before him [g101].

But [Iskandar] paid no attention to him. Shahrukh, a peace-loving man, came to Siwnik' with his heavy forces, to the fortress of Ernjak; he surrounded and besieged it for many days. Meanwhile [Iskandar's] son and mother, acting wisely, made a vow with [Shahrukh] not to leave his father [Iskandar] alive if there were any means of killing him; and they gave [Shahrukh] numerous gold and silver treasures. Receiving the supplications of the emissaries, [Shahrukh] thanked them. And he praised his wisdom, saying: "The wisdom of his son [and] Xanum exceeds that of op'a Iskandar." [84] Again ambassadors came to the fortress (klayn) with great gifts. Iskandar was outside the fortress. He fled with 150 men and came like a thief to the village of Artsap' in the Gogovit country, remaining there a brief three or four days. Then he and his troops went to the city of Karin now called Arzrum (Erzerum), fleeing from terror and dread of Chaghatai [the Timurids].

The lord of Erzinjan (Erznka), named 'Utman, took his forces—more than 20,000 men—and came before [Iskandar] to fight him. Having 3,000 armed men with him, [Iskandar] and these troops suddenly entered the ranks of their forces [g102] where they killed 'Uthman, the head of the army and his son named Bayezid (Payazit) plus more than 700 people. Seizing 100 brave, powerful warriors, that merciless and foul animal, the son of satan, slaughtered them like sheep and piled the slain on the road, like a fortress. The next day, the Chaghatai army of Shahrukh's son, Jonga, who had 30,000 men with him, arrived. Seeing the slain on the road they were seized with dread and did not want to pursue them. His son (who regarded not pursuing them as ignominious) filled with anger and said before his grandees: "Let none of our troops dare remain in the city or mountains; rather in unison, arm and go after themn." Coursing after them, they caught up and took all their plunder as booty and [85] loot. However, they were unable to enter [Iskandar's] lines. Instead [the two armies] moved in close range of one another as far as Aghch'ar city. But they were unable to seize him. [Iskandar] went and dwelled in T'oxat' and his own country, receiving great honors from the city princes and the surrounding areas.

Now in springtime he wasted their land, and then went and encamped on the bank of a river. He assembled numerous troops—more than 40,000—came [g103] and encamped near them, but was unable to do anything to them. When they saw his unmanly arrival, they came and demolished and ruined his land. He went to Sebastia and besieged a cave where people had fled for refuge out of dread of him. He tricked those people with a false oath, brought a multitude of believers out of the cave, and enslaved wife and son of the innocent, miserable Armenian people; and the wicked ones tortured [them] with fire, sword, and unspeakable torments. Now the Christians of Divrigi (Tiwrike) saw the tortured and captured folk, and weeping and mourning they went before the wicked tyrant and precursor of the antichrist. Giving inestimable sums they purchased [the captives], and many of them were brought and settled in the upper regions. Then [Iskandar] went against Xarberd, burning the entire country with fire and sword, all the multitude of the merciful [86] and compassionate [folk] of the district he seated in the mourning of captivity.


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