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Encyclopedia >> Armenological Encyclopedia >> Armenia in spiritual concepts of Ancient world

  Armenia in spiritual concepts of Ancient world.

The information about Armenia in Bible is of great importance, as it refers to the most fatal events of mankind: the creation of the world and the revival of the mankind after the great flood. The first book of Bible, Genesis, tells that God created the man in the Garden of Eden, from where four rivers went outEuphrates, Tigris, Gihon and Pishon. The scholars still argue on the last two rivers, one of which is surely Araks. Certainly the headwaters of Euphrates and Tigris are in the Armenian Highland. That is to say according to Bible Armenia is Eden, where the mankind was created and where the symbols of immortality and wisdom, two trees (tree of life and tree of the knowledge of good and evil) were kept. According to Genesis, after some time because of wickedness of man God decided to destroy man with great flood, after which Noah with his family rested <<upon the mountains of Ararat>>, that is to say in the Armenian Highland. As a matter of fact, according to Bible Armenia is a sacred place, where the mankind was created, where the symbols of immortality and wisdom were kept and which became the land of revival of mankind after the great flood. The same beliefs we find in other written sources of the ancient world. It has been particularly said that in ancient Mesopotamian mythology god of wisdom Haya was worshipped, who with Mother-goddess created mankind in the Armenian Highland. In Sumerian epic poem land Aratta is always worshiped as land of divine sacred laws and land of immortals. It is significant that in Mesopotamian epic poem hero Gilgamesh in his quest of immortality made his <<way to Aratta>>, went upstream of Euphrates and on his way he passed over mountains Mashu (Masu), which are mountains Masius or Masion bordering with southern part of the Armenian Highland. The same we find in the epic poem dedicated to Alexander of Macedonia, which was written in 240 BC. According to it Alexander the Great aspired to immortality and passed the way of a well-known hero of Ancient East Gilgamesh. Actually Alexander, who had never been in Armenia before, made his way to <<Armenia, where the headwaters of Euphrates and Tigris>> were, on his way he passed over mountain range of Masis. That is to say the beliefs according to which Armenia was a land of immortality were so profound in the ancient world, that in the famous plot of quest of immortality the most famous antique world hero Alexander the Great took the place of a prominent hero of Ancient East Gilgamesh. Moreover the ultimate aim of both of them was to reach the land of Immortality: Armenia, where mythological <<Flower of immortality>> was kept, which coincides with biblical Tree of Life. The second biblical tree in Eden: tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the symbol of wisdom. In spiritual understandings of Ancient East Armenia was presented as land of wisdom, this becomes obvious from mythological beliefs about god of wisdom Hay(a) spread in Western Asia. Besides, according to a Sumerian manuscript <<Wisdom and art were brought down from Aratta>>. In mythological beliefs of some nations the Armenian Highland was regarded as <<home of gods>>, as a sacred place. Such beliefs were spread among our ancestors too, which were kept in Armenian Christian bibliography. This is how province of Armenia Major Upper Armenia, which was the main spiritual center of pre-Christian Armenia, is depicted in <<Ashkharatsuyts>> (<<Geography>>) <<This region is really higher, as its name shows, it is higher not only from other parts of kingdom of Armenia, but also from the whole world, that is why it was called top of the world. From Upper Armenia four large rivers flow out>>. The name <<top of the world>> also comes from ancient times, as at that time this place was considered to be “home of gods” and four rivers flowing out of there remind us four rivers flowing out from biblical Garden of Eden. Eden is mentioned to be in <<eastern part>>, which deserves special attention. According to other book of Genesis after the revival of mankind in the Armenian territory monolingual people from <<east>> went to land of Senaar (Sumer) and decided to build <<Tower of Babel>>. In both cases Armenia was represented as land of <<west>>, while it was in north from the land of Jews, who wrote the Old Testament. In another episode of the same book the same belief has been repeated for the third time. The idea according to which haven of the sun was the Armenian Highland was preserved in Hittie sources, according to which the sun rose from <<Eastern sea>>: from Lake Van. This coincided with the Armenian legends, according to which <<golden bedroom>> of the sun was at the bottom of the lake, from where it rose every morning and sat. The whole facts mentioned above make every Armenian think a bit. Armenia is considered to be the land of creation of man, the land of revival of mankind after the great flood, the land of immortality and wisdom, the land of sun not only by our ancestors but many other nations, who had nothing common with us. So in ancient times there was a supranational and religious spiritual ideology, where our highland had its principal role. Why the Armenian Highland? What is the secret of our land, what is the secret of eminence of our homeland?


                                                                                                      Movsisyan A.