One day during a battle, King Aram of Armenia was taken prisoner by the Assyrian ruler, Nebuchadnezzar. The Assyrian leader considered this to not be a victory over the Armenian king, so he said “I will deprive you of food for 10 days. On the 11th day you and I will have an archery competition. If you win that means you are stronger than me, so I will let you go.”
Throughout the night Aram thought and then he asked for the most beautiful shield to be brought to him from the Armenian troops that were stationed at the border of Assyria. Nebuchadnezzar did not object and he sent his messengers to the border to convey Aram’s wish. At first the Aram’s servants were puzzled by their king’s request—he didn’t need a shield. Then they realized why and began to pack the inside of the shield with thin pieces of bread called lavash. They handed the shield to the messenger.
The Assyrians were oblivious to the lavash secretly hidden inside. When Aram received the shield, he inspected it and said “This is not good enough. May I have another?”
This continued to happen each day before the competition, the Assyrians still completely unaware of the lavash they were carrying and supplying to King Aram.
On the 11th day Aram and Nebuchadnezzar headed to the shooting range.
Nebuchadnezzar was very confident, sure that Aram, who had been left without food for 10 days, would be weak and spiritless. However the competition was not even close—Aram won by far, and then he returned to his country with honor. The lavash is what saved him, and for this reason when he returned to his country the king demanded that only lavash will be baked in Armenia, not any other kind of bread.
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