The Dog Like Gods Of Ancient Armenians: Aralez

The Aralez or Aralezner (plural) were one of the oldest gods in the Armenian pantheon. The Aralez are dog-like creatures with powers to resuscitate fallen warriors and resurrect the dead by licking wounds clean. They were invisible spirits, but they were derived from dog-like creatures.

Ara The Beautiful

Ancient Armenians believed that when a brave man fell in battle or by the hand of a treacherous foe, spirits called “Arlez” descended to restore him to life by licking his wounds.

The body of Ara Geghetsik (The Beautiful) brought to Queen Semiramis by Juliano Zasso

In the Ara the Beautiful myth, these spirits are called the gods of Semiramis. After the battle between the armies of Ara The Beautiful and the Assyrian Queen Semiramis, the Armenian king Ara The Beautiful was killed. So the Assyrian Queen sent out to the battlefield to search for the body of her beloved amongst those who had died. And they found the body of Ara amongst the brave ones that had fallen, and she commanded them to place it in an upper chamber in her castle.

But when the hosts of Armenia arose once more against Queen Semiramis to avenge the death of Ara, she said:

“I have commanded the gods to lick his wounds, and he shall live again.”

Aralez by Guardians-Gift
Mushegh Mamigonian

In a true and realistic story of the fourth century about the murder of Mushegh Mamigonian, who was the commander of the Armenian king’s forces also talks about these ancient gods. The story says that:

“His family could not believe in his death…others expected him to rise; so they sewed the head upon the body and they placed him upon a tower, saying, ‘Because he was a brave man, the Aralez will descend and raise him.”

Aralez by HTG17

Presumably, their name is Armenian, and means “lappers of brave men,” or ” lappers of Ara,” or even “ever-lappers.”


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