Guest entry from PeopleofAR
Here are a few quotes concerning Armenia from “The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by Edward Gibbon, 18th century English historian and a member of the parliament.
About the worship of Images: “…the Armenians, the most warlike subjects of Rome, were not reconciled, in the twelfth century, to the sight of images. ”
About the Syrian war: “Four thousand and thirty of the Moslems were buried in the field of battle; and the skill of the Armenian archers enabled seven hundred to boast that they had lost one eye in that meritorious service.”
About the bodyguards of Roman emperors: “The chosen bands of cavalry and infantry, which guarded the person of the emperor, were under the immediate command of the two counts of the domestics. The whole number consisted of three thousand five hundred men, divided into seven schools, or troops, of five hundred each; and in the East, this honorable service was almost entirely appropriated to the Armenians. Whenever, on public ceremonies, they were drawn up in the courts and porticos of the palace, their lofty stature, silent order, and splendid marms of silver and gold, displayed a martial pomp not unworthy of the Roman majesty.”
About commerce: “Since the beginning of the last century, the Armenians have obtained a large and lucrative share of the commerce of the East: in their return from Europe, the caravan usually halts in the neighborhood of Erivan, the altars are enriched with the fruits of their patient industry; and the faith of Eutyches is preached in their recent congregations of Barbary and Poland. 143″
About foreign trade: “The foreign trade is in the hands of the Armenians. What Gregory principally admired and envied was the industry of Europe—artes et opificia.]”
About the war with Persia: “The king of Persia attempted to make himself master of Armenia; but the brave resistance of the people, the advance of Constantius, and a defeat which his army suffered at Oskha in Armenia, and the failure before Nisibis, forced Shahpour to submit to terms of peace”