BAGAYAṞIČ, also BAGAṞIČ or BAGAṞINČ; Gk. *Bagaris (Strabo, 11.14.14), Basgoidariza (ibid., 12.3.28), and *Bagarizaka (Ptolemy, 5.13.4); Turk. Pekeric; a locality in the district of Daranałi in northwestern Armenia; about 91.6 km (55 miles) west of Erzerum 40° 53’ north latitude, 40° 13’ east longitude) Bagayarīč lay on the main road through northern Armenia linking Sebastea (Sīvās) in the Roman Empire with Ecbatana (Hamadān) in Media via Satala, Bagayarīč, Karin (Erzerum) and Artaxata (Artašat).
Bagayarīč was celebrated as the site of the great temple of Mihr (Mithras, one of the eight principal pagan shrines of pre-Christian Armenia), traditionally built by Tigranes II the Great (r. B.C. 95-56). It is possible that all of the surrounding district of Daranałi formed the domain of this temple for after its destruction at the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity (ca. A.D. 314), Daranałi became the property of the Armenian church. At the turn of the twentieth century, Bagayarīč consisted of two adjoining villages Verin “upper” and Nerkin “lower” Bagarīč, consisting respectively of 80 and 130 homes, half of which were inhabited by Armenians and the rest by local Muslims, the two together forming the larger village in the caza (district) of Derǰan. Ruins of the temple and an old castle could still he seen at Bagarīč at that time.
L. Ališan, Ayrarat, Venice, 1890.
S. T. Eremyan, Hayastanə əst “Ašxarhacʿoycʿ”-i, Erevan, 1963, p. 42.
T. X. Hakobyan, Hayastani patmakan ašxarhagruṭʿiwnə, 2nd ed., Erevan, 1968, pp. 221, 226.
Idem, “Bagarīč,” in Haykakan sovetakan hanragitaran II, Erevan, 1976, p. 196.
H. Hübschmann, Armenische Grammatik, Leipzig, 1897, p. 113.
Idem, Die altarmenischen Ortsnamen, Strasburg, 1904, repr. Amsterdam, 1969, pp. 284, 287, 379.
I. A. Orbeli, Izbrannye trudy, Erevan, 1963.
A. Perikhanyan, Khramovye ob-edineniya Maloĭ Azii i Armenii, Moscow, 1959.
(R. H. Hewsen)
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: August 22, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 4, p. 408