The Melik-Shahnazarians of Artsakh

In the conclusion to his article on the Kingdom of Artsakh (see previous post), Robert Hewsen remarked that the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Nagorno-Karabagh in 1965 was Nikolai Semyonovich Melik-Shahnazarov, a direct descendant of Antiochus, who was the prince of Syunik at the time of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

This Antiochus is none other than Andovk Syunik, mentioned numerous times in Pavstos Buzand’s History of the Armenians, as both the father of Queen Parandzem and brother-in-law of the Mamikonean house. If Hewsen is correct, the Melik-Shahnazarians (the ruling family of Artsakh's Melikdom of Varanda) descended from this Andovk. In 1888, another descendant of this family, Konstandin K. Melik-Shahnazarian, had authored a study (book) on the harms of tobacco, anticipating modern medical consensus by some 60 years. The book was published in Shushi, which, too, had been a part of the Melikdom of Varanda. 

Thanks to @Zinvor for bringing this to my attention.

If anyone can (or knows someone who can) get their hands on a copy of this book (physical or electronic), please let me know. 


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