p: goddess

Անահիտ
Anahit

Anahit was the goddess of wisdom, healing, fertility and water in the ancient Armenian mythology. In the early periods she was also the goddess of war. By the 5th century BC she was the main deity being worshipped in Armenia.

According to the website of the British Museum, the fragments (head
and hand) of Anahit’s bronze statue were accidently discovered in 1872 by a farmer digging the land in Satagh, south-eastern Turkey. The head made its way via Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and Italy to the dealer Alessandro Castellani, who eventually sold it to the British Museum. The hand was presented to the Museum a few years later.


In Armenia, Anahit-worship was established in Erez, Armavir, Artashat and Ashtishat. A mountain in Sophene district was known as Anahit’s throne (Athor Anahta)

According to Plutarch, the temple of Erez was the wealthiest and the noblest in Armenia. During the expedition of Mark Antony in Armenia, the statue was broken to pieces by the Roman soldiers. Pliny the Elder gives us the following story about it: The Emperor Augustus, being invited to dinner by one of his generals, asked him if it were true that the wreckers of Anahit’s statue had been punished by the wrathful goddess. No! answered the general, on the contrary, I have to‑day the good fortune of treating you with one part of the hip of that gold statue. The Armenians erected a new golden statue of Anahit in Erez, which was worshiped before the time of St. Gregory Illuminator.

The sick went to the temples of Anahit in pilgrimage, asking for recovery. The symbol of ancient Armenian medicine was the head of the bronze gilded statue of the goddess Anahit. She is also a very powerful female symbol.

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