1397: Richard FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel 1831: Slaves of Sussex County, for Nat Turner’s rebellion

1795: Sayat-Nova

September 22nd, 2017 Headsman

The Armenian poet Sayat-Nova (“King of Songs”) was martyred on this date in 1795 by the invading Qajar army.

Poet, singer, and legendary wielder of the kamancheh in the court of the Georgian king,* Sayat-Nova was also an ordained priest in the Armenian Church.

This last point would figure crucially upon the invasion of the Qajar Shah seized the Caucasus in a 1795 bloodbath:** trapped in a monastery, Sayat-Nova faced the ritual Islamic offer of conversion or death. He chose immortality.

His legendary name and likeness adorn many public places in Armenia (not to mention an Armenian cognac), as well as places touched by the Armenian diaspora like a Boston dance company.

YouTube searches on the man’s name yield a rich trove of songs and movies about the man, but the best commemoration for these pages is surely his own music.

* Until he got ejected for scandalously falling in love with the king’s sister and became a wandering bard. Poets!

** The Shah was assassinated two years later, and the Qajars lost their grip on the Caucasus as a result.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Armenia,Artists,Arts and Literature,Borderline "Executions",Execution,Famous,God,History,Iran,Martyrs,Myths,Occupation and Colonialism,Put to the Sword,Religious Figures,Summary Executions,Wartime Executions

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One thought on “1795: Sayat-Nova”

  1. Johan Louis de Jong says:

    The Qajar dynasty , the ancestors of Prime Minister Mossadeq, have been accused of ethnic cleansing on the Christians in the Caucasus. Which is the truth. And very stupid because it facilitated the expansion of Czarist Russia. But the Qajars, who were Turcic and not Iranian, were far from the smartest rulers of Iran. They were rather impopular and always the target of assassination.

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