ÒÍÅ CODE OF HONOR OF ÒÍÅ ARMENIAN MILITARY
Armenian historiography contains à considerable amount in information about ancient and medieval Armenian military ideology. In the works in the 5th century historians Pavstos Buzand and Movses Khorenatzi, the commands and legacy îf the Armenian sparapets (commanders-in-chief) tî their successors làó out in detail the obligations and responsibilities îf Armenian warriors. This code îf honor, in hierarchical order, requires selfless loyalty tî: (1) (heir fatherland, the Armenian "world," country and independent kingdom; (2) chivalric honor; (3) the king as the most important state institution îf Armenia; (4) the people îf Armenia, all in its inhabitants, irrespective îf their social status; (5) the Christianfaith, church and clergymen; (6) family; (7) their kinsmen; (8) their comrades-in-arms.
These norms î! conduct share similarities with later medieval West European chivalry îf the 8th-14th centuries, as well as the system îf values îf the Japanese samurais codified during the 16-18th centuries. However, as this study shows, there are significant differences in the priority îf obligations îf the Armenian honor code, în the înå hand, and the West European and Japanese codes în the other. The ñînñåðt îf fatherland developed in the Armenian people long before the
adoption îf Christianity in the 4th century and was expressed bó various terms, such as "Hayotz ashkharh, Yerkir, Tagavorutiun" (the Armenian "world," II country, kingdom). In addition tî these terms, Movses Khorenatzi directly uses the terms "hayrenik" (fatherland) and "hayrenaser" (patriot); whereas, fîã example, à similar ñînñåðt îr fatherland as well as the term "fatherland" itself did nît emerge in neighboring Byzantium until the 10th century.
The large number îf Armenian troops (90-120 thousand men from àt least the 4th ñ. ÂÑ tî the 11th ñ. AD) and the dominant role îf warriors in Armenian society îf that period was conditioned bó the pressing need fîã defense îf the country from continual foreign invasions. The study demonstrates that in this historical context the Armenian military 's honor code had à solid and lasting impact upon the national character and the worldview in the Armenian people.