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III.32943294    Chapter xxviii.

Abgar comes into the East, maintains Ardachès upon the throne of Persia; reconciles his brothers from whom our illuminator and his relations are descended.

Abgar, having gone to the East, finds on the throne of Persia Ardachès, son of Archavir, and the brothers of Ardachès contending against him:  for this prince thought to reign over them in his posterity, and they would not consent to it.  Ardachès therefore hems them in on all sides, hangs the sword of death over their heads; distractions and dissension were between their troops and their other relations and allies:  for King Archavir had three sons and one daughter; the first of these sons was King Ardachès himself, the second Garene, the third Sourene; their sister, named Gochm, was wife of the general of all the Ariks, a general chosen by their father Archavir.

Abgar prevails on the sons of Archavir to make peace; he arranges between them the conditions and stipulations:  Ardachès is to reign with his posterity as he proposed, and his brothers are to be called Bahlav, from the name of their town and their vast and fertile country, so that their satrapies shall be the first, higher in rank than all the satrapies of Persia, as being truly a race of kings.  Treaties and oaths stipulated that in case of the extinction of male children of Ardachès, his brothers should come to the throne; after the reigning race of Ardachès, his brothers are divided into three races named thus:  the race of Garene Bahlav, the race of Sourene Bahlav, and the race of their sister, the race of Asbahabied Bahlav, a race thus called from the name of the domain of her husband.

St. Gregory is said to have sprung from the race Sourene Bahlav, and the Gamsarians from the race Garene Bahlav.  We will relate in the sequel the circumstances of the coming of these personages, only mentioning their names here in connection with Ardachès, in order that you may know that these great races are indeed the blood of Vagharchag, that is to say, the posterity of the great Archag, brother of Vagharchag.

Everything being thus arranged, Abgar takes with him the letter of the treaties, and returns to his dominions; not in perfect health, but a prey to severe suffering.


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