On the Eastern part of Armenian highland is located an ancient and renowned country having the stamp of millenniums on its history. At the dawn of history, it was one of the cradles of humanity. During all the history Armenian people had a unique place on the map of the world.
Bible about Armenian highland
The oldest testaments and proof about Armenia is the Bible. Holy Fathers of Church say that God took dust from Zion (now in Jerusalem, Israel) and created man from that dust and in Bible it is told. ” Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed” (Gen. 2:8) and in the east of Zion is Armenia, the lost Paradise.
And then the Bible indicates the exact place of Paradise saying. ” A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.
The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Gen. 2:8-11). River Pishon is the same river called by Armenians Pasis or Chorokh. River Gehon is Araqs. (These facts are easily proved by scientists.) The other two rivers did not change their names and up to these days are being called with their original names.
The second time we see it mentioned in the Bible is in the story of the Great Flood. After wandering on the waters for a hundred and fifty days the ark came to rest on the Mount Ararat (Gen. 6-8), after what Noah with his family came out of the ark and mankind started his development second time from Armenian highland.
Bible about Armenians
Book proving the century’s old history of Armenians is Bible, where multiple times Armenians are mentioned. The first verse is in the prophecy of Jeremiah, where he prophesizes about the division of Assyria “Lift up a banner in the land! Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations for battle against her; summon against her these kingdoms: Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz. Appoint a commander against her; send up horses like a swarm of locusts”. (Jer. 51:27)
By the way, Paruyr patriarch after invading Nineveh with his allies received the crown. The second time we see it mentioned as Ararat kingdom. “So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.
One day, while he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat”. (2 Kings 36-37). One of them became the predator of Sasun people and the other of two famous ministries Arcrunis and Gnunis.
And finally, we see praise of Armenian merchants in the Book of Ezekiel 24:14. “Men of Beth Togarmah exchanged chariot horses, cavalry horses and mules for your merchandise”, as Armenians are the generation of Torgomah.
Cradle of humanity
You have already read about the fact of Paradise location on Armenian highland, but the roots of our civilization date back to Great Flood. Shreds of evidence of Great Flood you may see even today all around the world, but the greatest proof is Noah’s Ark resting on Mount Ararat.
So after this mankind starting its formation once more from Armenian highland. Famous historian Father Michel Chamchyan (1738-1823) in three-volume “Armenian history” says, that because of cold weather on highland people started to move to Mesopotamia (includes territories from Iraq, Northeastern Syria, peripheral Turkey and Iran, although a small number of people did not leave.
Formation of people calling themselves “Hays” and called by others “Armenians” starts thirty years before the confusion of languages (Gen. 11). Hayk is the direct generation of Jabeth and was a participant during the construction of Tower of Babel.
After the confusion of languages Baal (or Nebrovt in Assyrian) starts to build Nineveh. Hayk refuses to submit Baal and taking all his sons and daughters with servants and their generation moves to the north the land of Ararat.
For a while, he settled in a field and built a country there, after he bequeathed the country to his son Kadmos and moved to north-east calling the place “Harq”, for others to know that “Harqs” first settled there.
Generations of Hayk are calling themselves “Hays” and are called by others “Armenians”. There are two versions of being called “Armenians”.
According to most historians, this name comes from Patriarch Aramayis (Sixth generations from Hayk) and according to the second theory, the name comes from Armenak the son of Hayk. Both of them were famous among neighbouring nations and both versions are possible.
Period of predecessors
Period of predecessors starts in 25th century B.C and continues up to 612 B.C. During these periods Armenia was non-stable and sometimes it was fully independent and sometimes was falling in the hands of rivals.
These were the times when national mentality was being formed and in 612 B.C, when the Armenian army together with allies invaded Nineveh, Paruyr was officially recognized as a king by neighbouring countries.
You will find rock-cut and stone carved gigantic structure-complexes, mainly related to the Early Bronze Age period settlements sometimes covering vast areas also, proving the creativity of ancient people living here.
Time of Kings, Armenia before Christianity
The period before Christianity in Armenia is taking time from Hayk to 301 A.C. Though all these time Armenia has always been in the center of events.
Located on the way of connection of Europe and Asia it has always been desirable for such countries as Assyria and Babylon, Macedon of Alexander the Great, Persia, Rome, Byzantine, Arabia, Magnolia of Amir Timur, Osman and Russian empires.
There were times when Armenia had times of prosperity and peace and there were times when wars like arousing waves were covering us having no mercy upon us but all these waves also helped us to cross the sea of history and gave us chance to represent you one of the most ancient countries of the world. Ancient Armenia was famous for his wine and beer production.
Famous historian Xenophon was one of ten thousand who participated in Cyrus the Younger’s campaign. During the retreat, they crossed Armenia, and he recounted his memories about Armenian especially praising bear made in Armenian villages as something he had never tasted before.
Before adopting Christianity Armenians were pagans and had similar to Greek gods widely known (Like Vahagn – Hercules).
It needs to be mentioned that Armenians were one of those few nations who had the god of writing called Mihr. No monument of this period has survived except Garni temple, as they were all destroyed after adopting Christianity and mostly in the same places churches were being built.
All the culture, language, even grammar are inseparably connected with Christianity. Christianity has officially been adopted as an official religion in 301 A.C, although Christian underground communities were living in Armenia starting the second half of 1st century, as two of twelve, and two of seventy-two Disciples of Christ have been martyred preaching Christianity in Armenia.
You may find monasteries and churches built in the 4th century even today although they are few, most parts of them are built from 6th to 14th centuries with unique church design different from the others. From the rise of Christianity this country is one of the carriers of Christian values. In 33 A.C, when Christ was still alive Armenian king Abgar sends his people asking Christ to visit him openly admitting him as “the Son of God”.
In the letter, Christ answers, He is not able to come, but he will send his Apostle “when everything is done”, meaning his Death on the Cross.