19th and 20th Century Historians (part I)
19th and 20th Century Historians
Ever since the fabrication of fake “Azerbaijan” in 1918 and the fertile Soviet ground for producing fiction for consumption as history, the long disappeared nation (in fact multitude of ethnicities) known as the Aghvans, Aluanians or Caucasus Albanians has become a controversial item despite or thanks to their status of being extinct. Any quote from Armenian or Iranian scholars is vehemently labeled by the “Azeris” as chauvinistic while the farcical distortions of history, a natural consequence of forcing a sham state to be regarded as an ancient civilization mainly through the efforts of the arch-falsifier Ziya Bunyatov (Buniyatov) and his followers, can simply not be taken seriously by anybody, not even by a rather pro-Turkish author.
As it is outside the scope of the present essay to mention or quote every scholar from whatever nationality who has written about Aghvank (Aran, Caucasus Albania) in modern times and keeping in mind the political climate of the period or the country where these were produced, a number of more or less impartial authors are presented below leaving the enthusiasts to do their own research into modern historians related to our subject.
Vasili Vladimirovich Bartold (1869-1930)
The renowned Russian academician Bartold has mainly researched and written about the Turks and the inhabitants of Central Asia. He has this to say about the origin of the name Azarbaijan: “Before Alexander’s incursion Iranian Azarbaijan (the real H.) was an inseparable part of Media and didn’t have an independent administration. In the battle of Gaugamela Atropat was the satrap of entire Media… After Alexander, a part of Media that was called the Lesser Media remained under Atropat’s rule. Later on Atropat’s name was added to the name of this land. The Greeks called it Atropatena and the Armenians called it Atrpatakan. This is where the name of Azarbaijan originated.” (Emphasis is mine H.)
Bartold describes “the Arax River which at present separates Iran and the Caucasus” as “a distinct ethnic and racial border between Iranian lands of the Medes and Albania (the usual but confusing term used in Soviet and most western sources for Aghvank H.) in ancient times where the ethnicities were of Japhethite origin according to N. Marr”.
Though there are several fallacies in the above quote, mainly in considering the north of Arax the beginning of the Caucasus whereas its southernmost part is the River Kur, we must be reminded of the political situation of the time where the whole of fake “Azerbaijan” was being treated as the exact geographic situation of Aghvank (Aran, Caucasus Albania). Yet we know that the northeastern part of this fabricated state was once part of Sarmatia the ancestors of today’s Ossets or Alans, also the land of Massagets, Artsakh has sometimes been considered an administrative region of Aghvank under the Sassanids.
Bartold has noted further that the River Kur had become the southern border of Aghvank in the time of the Caliph Marwan. Bartold goes on: “in the historic periods a strong racial and ethnic border has always divided the Iranian Medes from the peoples living in [Caucasus] Albania …the ethnic and racial differences between Azarbaijan (the real H.) and Albania (Aghvank H.) did not disappear even in the Islamic era. The language of the people of Azarbaijan (the real H.) differed from that of the people of Albania (Aghvank H.)”.
Explaining the reason why the name “Azerbaijan” was plagiarized by the Tatars for their fabricated state Bartold opines: “The name Azerbaijan was chosen because it was believed that by creating the Republic of “Azerbaijan” it would eventually be one with the Azarbaijan of Iran. If a proper name could be applied to the present day Republic of “Azerbaijan”, the name Aran would be the correct choice”. ●