Armenia

Arme'nia

(Α᾿ρμενία), a country of Western Asia, is not mentioned in the original language of Scripture under that name (on the Harmonah of Am 4:3, see Rosenmuller, in loc.), though it occurs in the English version (2Ki 19:37), where our translators have very unnecessarily substituted it for Ararat (comp. marginal reading); but is supposed to be alluded to in the three following Hebrew designations, which seem to refer either to the country as a whole, or to particular districts. SEE ASIA.

1. ARARAT, אֲרָרָט, the land upon (or over) the mountains of which the ark rested at the Deluge (Ge 8:4; comp. Josephus, Ant. i, 3, 5); whither the sons of Sennacherib fled after murdering their father (2Ki 19:37; Isa 37:38); and one of the " kingdoms" summoned, along with Minni and Ashkenaz, to arm against Babylon (Jer 51:27). That there was a province of Ararad in ancient Armenia we have the testimony of the native historian, Moses of Chorene (Hist. Armen. ed. Whiston, Lond. 1736, p. 361). It lay in the centre of the kingdom, was divided into twenty circles, and, being the principal province, was commonly the residence of the kings or governors. SEE ARARAT.

Bible concordance for ARMENIA.

2. MINNI, מִנִּי, is mentioned in Jer 51:27, along with Ararat and Ashkenaz, as a kingdom called to arm itself against Babylon. The name is by some taken for a contraction of " Armenia," and the Chald. in the text in Jeremiah has Hurminli (הוּרמִינִי). There appears a trace of the name Minni in a passage quoted by Josephus (Ant. i, 3, 6) from Nicolas of Damascus, where it is said that "there is a great mountain in Armenia, beyond the Minyas (Μινυάς), called Baris, upon which it is reported that many who fled at the time of the Deludre were saved; and that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon the top of it; and that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved. This might be the man about whom Moses, the legislator of the Jews, wrote." Saint-Martin (Memoires sur l'Armenie, i, 249), has the not very probable conjecture that the word " Minni" may refer to the Manavazians, a distinguished Armenian tribe, descended from Manavaz, a son of Haik, the capital of whose country was Manavazagerd, now Melazgerd. It contains the root of the name Armenia according to the generally received derivation, Har-Minni, "the mountains of Minni." It is worthy of notice that the spot where Xenophon ascertains that the name of the country through which he was passing was Armenia, coincides with the position here assigned to Minni (Xen. An. 4:5; Ainsworth, Track of 10,000, p. 177). In Ps 45:8, where it is said, "out of the ivory palaces whereby they made thee glad," the Hebrew word rendered " whereby" is minni (מַנַּי), and hence some (e.g. Rosenmuller, in loc.) take it for the proper name, and would translate " palaces of Armenia," but the interpretation is forced and incongruous (Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 799). SEE MINNI.

3. TOGARAH, תֹּגִרמָה, in some MSS. TORGAMAH, and found with great variety of orthography in the Sept. and Josephus. In the ethnographic table in the tenth chapter of Genesis (ver. 3; comp. 1Ch 1:6) Togarmah is introduced as the youngest son of Gomer (son of Japhet), who is supposed to have given name to the Cimmerians on the north coast of the Euxine Sea, his other sons being Ashkenaz and Riphath, both progenitors of northern tribes, among whom also it is natural to seek for the posterity of Togarmah. The prophet Ezekiel (Eze 38:6) also classes along with Gomer " the house of Togarmah and the sides of the north" (in the Eng. Vers. "of the north quarters"), whereas also at Eze 27:14, it is placed beside Meshech and Tubal, probably the tribes of the Moschi and Tibareni in the Caucasus. Now, though Josephus and Jerome find Toglrmah in Phrygia, Bochart in Cappadocia, the Chaldee and the Jewish rabbins in Germany, etc., yet a comparison of the above passages leads to the conclusion that it is rather to be sought for in Armenia, and this is the opinion of Eusebius, Theodoret, and others of the fathers. It is strikingly confirmed by the traditions of that and the neighboring countries. According to Moses of Chorene (Hist. Arm. ed. Whiston, i, 8, p. 24), and also King Wachtang's History of Georgia (in Klaproth's Travels in the Caucasus, ii, 64), the Armenians, Georgians, Lesghians, Mingrelians, and Caucasians are all descended from one common progenitor, called Thargamos, a son of Awanaii, son of Japhet, son of Noah (comp. Eusebius, Chronicles ii, 12). After the dispersion at Babel he settled near Ararat, but his posterity spread abroad between the Caspian and Euxine seas. A similar account is found in a Georgian chronicle, quoted by another German traveller, Guldenstedt, which states that Targamos was the father of eight sons, the eldest of whom was Aos, the ancestor of the Armenians. They still call themselves "the house of Thorgom," the very phrase used by Ezekiel, the corresponding Syriac word for "house" denoting "land or district" (see Wahl, Gesch. der Morgenl.

Definition of armenia

Spr. u. Lit. p. 72). From the house or province of Togarmah the market of Tyre was supplied with horses and mules (Eze 27:14); and Armenia, we know, was famed of old for its breed of horses; The Satrap of Armenia sent yearly to the Persian court 20,000 foals for the feast of Mithras (Strabo, 11:13, 9; Xenoph. Anabas. 4:5,24; Herod. 7:40). SEE TOGARMAH.

The Α᾿ρμενία of the Greeks (sometimes aspirated, Α᾿ρμενία, comp. Xen. Anab. 4:6, 34) is the Arminzya or Irminiya of the Arabs, the Ermenistan of the Persians. Moses of Chorene (Hist. Arm. p. 35) derives ,the name from Aram (q.v.), a son of Shem, who also gave name to Aramaea or Syria; Hartmann (Aufklar. i, 34) draws it from Armenagh, the second of the native princes; but the most probable etymology is that of Bochart (Phaleg, i, 3), viz., that it was originally הִראּמִנִּי, Har-Minni or Mount Minni, i.e. the Highland of Minyas, or, according to Wahl (Asien, i, 807), the Heavenly Mountain (i.e. Ararat), for mino in Zend, and yrno, myny, in Parsee, signify "heaven, heavenly." In the country itself the name Armenia is unknown; the people are called Haik (Rosenmiller, Alterth. I, i, 267 sq.), and the country Ha-yotz-zor, toe Valley of the Haiks-from Haik, the fifth descendant of Noah by Japhet, in the traditionary genealogy of the country (comp. Ritter's Erdkunde, ii, 714).

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

The boundaries of Armenia (lat. 37-42°) may be described (Strabo, 11:526) generally as the southern range of the Caucasus on the north, and the Moschian branch of the Taurus on the south; but in all directions, and especially to the east and west, the limits have been very fluctuating (Rennell, Geogr. Herod. i, 369). It forms an elevated table-land, whence the rivers Euphrates, Tigris, Araxes, and Acampsis pour down their waters in different directions, the first two to the Persian Gulf, the last two respectively to the Caspian and Euxine seas. It may be termed the nucleus of the mountain system of Western Asia: from the centre of the plateau rise two lofty chains of mountains, which run from east to west, converging toward the Caspian Sea, but parallel to each other toward the west, the most northerly named by ancient geographers the Abus Mountains, and culminating in Mount Ararat; the other named the Niphates Mountains. Westward these ranges may be traced in AntiTaurus and Taurus, while in the opposite direction they are continued in the Caspius Mountains. These ranges (with the exception of the gigantic Ararat) are of moderate height, the plateau gradually sinking toward the plains of Iran on the east, and those of Asia Minor on the west. The climate is generally cold (Xen. Anab.

4:4, 8), but salubrious, the degree of severity varying with the altitude of different localities, the valleys being sufficiently warm to ripen the grape. The country abounds in romantic forest and mountain scenery, and rich pasture-land, especially in the districts which border upon Persia (Herod. i, 194; 7:40; Xen. Anab. 4:5. 24; Strabo, 10:528, 558, 587; Eze 27:14; Chardin, Voyages, ii, 158; Tournefort, Reisen, iii, 179 sq.). The latter supported vast numbers of mules and horses, on which the wealth of the country chiefly depended; and hence Strabo (xi, 529) tells us that the horses were held in as high estimation as the celebrated Nissean breed. The inhabitants were keen traders in ancient as in modern times. Ancient writers notice, also, the wealth of Armenia in metals and precious stones (Herod. i, 194; Pliny, 37:23). The great rivers Euphrates and Tigris both take their rise in this region, as also the Araxes, and the Kur or Cyrus. Armenia is commonly divided into Greater and Lesser (Lucan. ii, 638), the line of separation being the Euphrates (comp. Ptolem. v, 7 and 13); but the former constitutes by far the larger portion (Strabo, 11:532), and, indeed, the other is often regarded as pertaining rather to Asia Minor. (See, generally, Strabo, 11:526 sq.; Pliny, 6:9; Mannert, V, ii, 181 sq.; Ritter, Erdkunde, 10:285 sq.) There was anciently a kingdom of Armenia, with its metropolis Artaxata: it was sometimes an independent state, but most commonly tributary to some more powerful neighbor. Indeed, at no period was the whole of this region ever comprised under one government, but Assyria, Media, Syria, and Cappadocia shared the dominion or allegiance of some portion of it, just as it is now divided among the Persians, Russians, Turks, and Kurds; for there is no doubt that that part of Kurdistan which includes the elevated basins of the lakes of Van and Oormiah anciently belonged to Armenia. The unfortunate German traveller Schulz (who was murdered by a Kurdish chief) discovered in 1827, near the former lake, the ruins of a very ancient town, which he supposed to be that which is called by Armenian historians Shamiramakert (i.e. the town of Semiramis), because believed to have been built by the famous Assyrian queen. The ruins are covered with inscriptions in the arrow-headed character; in one of them Saint-Martin thought he deciphered the words Khshearsha, son of Dareioush (Xerxes, son of Darius). In later times Armenia was the border-country where the Romans and Parthians fruitlessly strove for the mastery; and since then it has been the frequent battle-field of the neighboring states. During the recent wars between Russia rid Turkey, large bodies of native Armenians have emigrated into the Russian dominions, so that their number in what is termed Turkish Armenia is now considerably reduced. By the treaty of Turkomanshi (21st Feb. 1828), Persia ceded to Russia the Khanats of Erivan and Naktclevan. The boundary-line (drawn from the Turkish dominions) passes over the Little Ararat; the line of separation between Persian and Turkish Armenia also begins at Ararat; so that this famous mountain is now the central boundary-stone of these three empires. (See, generally, Smith's Dict. of Class. Geogr. s.v.; Penny Cyclopedia, s.v.; M'Culloch's Geogr. Dict. s.v.)

The slight acquaintance which the Hebrew writers had of this country was probably derived from the Phoenicians. There are signs of their knowledge having been progressive. Isaiah, in his prophecies regarding Babylon, speaks of the hosts as coming from the " mountains" (Isa 13:4), while Jeremiah, in connection with the same subject, uses the specific names Ararat and Minni (Jer 51:27). Ezekiel, who was apparently better acquainted with the country, uses a name which was familiar to its own inhabitants, Togarmah. Whether the use of the term Ararat in Isa 37:38, belongs to the period in which the prophet himself lived, is a question which cannot be here discussed. In the prophetical passages to which we have referred, it will be noticed that Armenia is spoken of rather in reference to its geographical position as one of the extreme northern nations with which the Jews were acquainted than for any more definite purpose.-Smith.

Christianity was first established in Armenia in the fourth century; the Armenian Church (q.v.) has a close affinity to the Greek Church in its forms and polity; it is described by the American missionaries who are settled in the country as in a state of great corruption and debasement. The total number of the Armenian nation throughout the world is supposed not to exceed 2,000,000. Their favorite pursuit is commerce, and their merchants are found in all parts of the East.

A list of early works on Armenia may be found in Walch, Bibl. Theol. iii, 353 sq. For a further account of the HISTORY of Armenia (New Englander, Oct. 1863), see Moses Chorensis, Historia Armen. lib. iii (Armen. edid. Lat. vert. notisque illustr. W. et G. Whistonii, Lond. 1736); Chamich, History of Armenia (translated from the Armenian original by M. J. Ardall, Calcutta, 1827); History of Vartan, translated by Neumann; see also Langlois, Numismatique de l'Armenie (Par. 1858); Andrisdogues de Lasdivera, Histoire d'Armenie (Par. 1864). On its TOPOGRAPHY, see St.-Martin, Memoire sur l' A rmenie; Colonel Chesney, Euphrates

Erpedition, i; Kinneir, Memoirs of the Persian Empire, also Travels in Armenia; Morier, Travels in Persia, i; Ker Porter, Travels; Smith and Dwight's Researches in Armenia (Bost. 1833); Southgate, Tour through Armenia (N. Y. 1840); Curzon, Residence at Erzeroum (Lond. 1854), and vols. iii, 6:x of the Jour. of the Lond. Geog. Soc. containing the explorations of Monteith, Ainsworth, and others. On the RELIGION of the nation, see Giov. de Serpos, Compendio storia della nazione Armena (Ven. 1786); Kurze histor. Darstellung d. gegenw. Zustandes d. armen. Volkes (Petersb. and Berl. 1831). SEE EDEN.

 
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