Mr. X or Captain Pogossian
Towards the end one passage particularly attracted our attention. It said:
‘Our worthy Father Telvant has at last succeeded in learning the truth about the Sarmoung Brotherhood. Their ernos actually did exist near the town of Siranoush, and fifty years ago, soon after the migration of peoples, they also migrated and settled in the valley of Izrumin, three days journey from Nivssi . . .’ Then the letter went on about other matters.
What struck us most was the word Sarmoung, which we had come across several times in the book called Merkhavat. This word is the name of a famous esoteric school which, according to tradition, was founded in Babylon as far back as 2500 B.C., and which was known to have existed somewhere in Mesopotamia up to the sixth or seventh century AD.; but about its further existence one could not obtain anywhere the least information.
This school was said to have possessed great knowledge, containing the key to many secret mysteries.
Many times had Pogossian and I talked of this school and dreamed of finding out something authentic about it, and now suddenly we found it mentioned in this parchment! We were greatly excited.
But apart from its name being mentioned, we discovered nothing else from this letter. We knew no more than before when and how this school arose, where it had existed or whether it might even still exist.
After several days of laborious research, we were able to establish only the following:
About the sixth or seventh century the descendants of the Assyrians, the Aïsors, were driven by the Byzantines out of Mesopotamia into Persia, and probably it was in this period that these letters were written.
And when we were able to verify that the present city of Mosul, the former capital of the country of Nievi, had once been called Nivssi, the city mentioned in the parchment, and that at the present time the population round about this city consisted chiefly of Aïsors, we concluded that in all probability the letter referred precisely to these Aïsors.