|Ararat - |
(Sanskrit; "holy ground".) A mountainous district in Armenia; the resting place of the ark after the deluge (Genesis 8:4). (But see NOAH.) Thither Sennacherib's sons fled after murdering their father (2 Kings 19:37). The ally of Minni and Ashchenaz (Jeremiah 51:27). In Genesis 11:2 translate "they journeyed eastward," Mesopotamia being described relatively to the writer's country, rather than to Ararat, which is N. of Mesopotamia. It overlooks the plain of the Araxes on the N. Berosus the Chaldaean, in Alexander the Great's time, makes the Kurdistan mountains, on the S. frontier of Armenia, the ark's resting place: Nachdjevan, on the Araxes, is thought to be Noah's place of landing, from Josephus' statement (Ant. 1:3), as also his place of burial. The mountain there, the loftiest in the district, is called Massis by the Armenians, Kuh-i-Nuh, i.e. "Noah's mountain," by the Persians.
There are two conical peaks, the greater and the less, seven miles apart; the former 17,300 feet above the sea, and 14,300 above the plain of the Araxes; the latter 4,000 feet lower; 3000 feet of the greater covered with perpetual snow. Lava, cinders, and porphyry cover the middle region, marking the vol. came origin of the mountain. A second summit is about 400 yards from the highest; and on the slope between the two the ark is surmised to have rested. On the side of the greater is a chasm, probably once the crater of the volcano; silence and solitude reign all around; Arguri, the only village on the descent, is the traditional site of Noah's vine. yard. In the wide sense Ararat comprises the whole Armenian range in the N. to the Kurdistan range in the S. The plateau of Armenia is a vast extent of plains rising high above the surrounding plain; and from that plateau, as a fresh base, mountain ranges spring, running generally from E. to W.; transverse ridges connect these.
The whole stands in the central point between the Euxine and Caspian on the N., and the Mediterranean and the Persian gulf on the S. The Acampsis, the Araxes, the Euphrates, and the Tigris connect it respectively with the four great seas. The greatest nations, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medes, and the Colchians, lay along these routes. Ararat even now is the central boundary between Russia, Turkey, and Persia. The Armenian plateau, from the longer period of action of the volcanic powers, and from there being room for the expansion of the molten masses in the region around, is far more accessible than the neighboring region of Caucasus.
At Erzroom, 6000 feet above the sea, crops appear in June and are cut in August. The vine ripens at 5000 feet, but in Europe at not higher than 2,650 feet. Thus it appears the Ararat plateau was one especially suited for being the ark's appointed resting place, and its geographical and physical features fitted it as the center for the even distribution of the human race. The severe climate would drive them after a time to the milder plains below; and in the meantime the grass such as feeds now the flocks of nomad Kurds, in the same region, would meet the wants of Noah's descendants in their nomad life. However, in the Babylonian legend of the Flood deciphered by Mr. G. Smith, Nizir answers to Ararat, not the northern mountain near Erivan, but the Ararat of Assyrian and Armenian geography, the precipitous range overlooking the Tigris N.E. of Mosul. Arabic Judi, Assyrian Guli.