Armenia, Nairi or Hayastan. These all are the names of the same country. The accepted name of the country, “Armenia”, originates from the Hurrian name of the region of Arme, which had been located in the Armenian Highlands. Nairi, which literally means the country of rivers and lakes, was the name of Armenia. But the Armenians call their country Hayastan and their people Hayer.
The name Hayastan comes from the name of Hayk Nahapet, who is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation. The Armenian historian, bibliographer of the 5th century Movses Khorenatsi combined folklore with history and wrote various ancient legends-myths that corresponded to historical events of different periods.
This is the legend “Hayk and Bel”. This legend is about how the actions took place in the period after the destruction of the Babylonian tower by the gods, when titans, descended from the gods, continued to live on the Earth. Hayk was also a titan, the son of Torgom from the country of Ararat. Frօm the descriptions of Hayk’s appearance we imagine him as tall, broad-shouldered, curly- hair and glowing eyes – resembles the image of the Armenian god of war and thunder, Vahagn. When the cruel king Bel subordinates all peoples to his power, only Hayk refuses to obey him. Accompanied by 300 men with their families and households, he went to the North of the country of his ancestors. To the Armenian Highlands. Bel invites him again. He was sure this time that Hayk would obey him, but he received a refusal once more, starting a stubborn war against the country of Hayk. The number of Hayk’s country’s troops was much smaller, but they were courageous and brave, they were fighting for their land and freedom. During an unequal, stubborn battle, neither side is superior. This frightened Bel, and he quickly retreated. Noticing this, Hayk, being an excellent warrior and archer, draws his three-feather arrow and kills Bel. Seeing such courage of the enemy and the death of their leader, Bel’s army scatters immediately. Since then, these people settled on these lands, and named the country by the name of the progenitor – Hayk. Later, the Persian suffix “stan”, which means land, was added to the name ‘’Hay’’ and the country of Hayastan again means “the land of Hayk”.
The prominent Armenian scientist Ghevond Alishan studied the date of the settlement of Hayk with his people on the territory of Armenia and this historical event – 2492 BC. It was from this period that the Armenian chronology began, and Hayk became the founder of the royal dynasty of Haykazuni, which ruled until 325 BC.