Armenia Land of the Gods – Ancient written sources of Mesopotamia

Armenia Land of the Gods - Ancient written sources of MesopotamiaThere are many citations about “high mounts”, “gods”, “immortals”, “holy laws” and “sacred ceremonies” of Aratta country in one of the ancient sources, in the Sumerian heroic epic “Gilgamesh” (“Gilgamesh and the Land of Immortals”, “Enmerkar and the Lord Priest of Aratta”, “Lugalbanda and Mount Hurum” and other sections).13 Aratta was an Armenian ancient State.14

In other ancient written sources of Mesopotamia (“Gilgamesh”, ‘‘Atrahasis’’, ‘‘Babylonica’’ by Berossus) Armenia is the “land of gods’’, which by the will of gods was destined to become the salvation country for all mankind during the Flood.

Thus, kind and pious people like the Sumerian Ziusudra, the Akkadian Utnapishtim (Utnapistim is the Akkadian translation of Ziusudra, which means “having found a long life”), and Ksisutros by Berossos, were those who were saved from the Flood, having found refuge in “the Land of gods”, Armenia.

According to the Bible Noah was also a pious man who, being saved from the Flood, also sought refuge in Armenia (Mount Ararat). In his famous work “Babylonica”, Berossus (IV–III cc. B.C.) writes that the Land of gods, where mankind found its salvation, is Armenia (“the History of Babylon”, ‘‘Babylonica’’ or «Chaldaika»). 15

While writing his work High Priest Berossus had come to this conclusion by referring to the written cuneiform inscription found on the temple. The Greek written work includes the history of Mesopotamia from the ancient period till the period the author lived.

Some chapters from the work by Berossus are still preserved in the work by bishop, historian and theologian Eusebius of Caesarea (thanks to the Armenian translation) and in the works by other authors. In those preserved chap ters it is spoken about one of the Mesopotamian variants concerning the Flood, where the hero has the Greek name of Xisuthros.

According to Berossus Cronos, the god or titan, forewarns him about the Flood saying that a ship must be built to be saved. To Xisuthros’ question ‘‘Where shall we go to be saved?’’ sounds the answer: ‘‘To the land of Gods’’.

After the Flood when the Ark rested on top of the mountains they were told that they were in the Land of gods, in Armenia. Then the gods granted Xisuthros and his wife immortality and the right to live in the Land of gods. It is worth mentioning that the other survivors were sent to Babylon and were not allowed to live in Armenia. As we see not everybody was allowed to live in Armenia, the Land of gods.

Ancient written sources also testify that those who returned to Babylon were the descendants of titans, who decided to establish their own rules there. The names of the giants and titans such as Etan or Titan, Ner, Cronus, Japetus, etc. have been preserved.

Citing another source (the Berossus Sibyl), Movses Khorenatsi (5th c.) writes: ‘‘Before the construction of the Tower of Babel and the chaos caused by multilingualism and after Xisuthros’ navigation to Armenia the rulers of the country became Cronus (Khorenatsi uses the name Zrvan), Titan and Japetus’’.

Movses Khorenatsi compares these heroes with Shem, Ham and Japhet.16 It is known that these titans tried to build a tower to reach the gods. This made the gods angry and they destroyed the tower. Then people began to speak diff erent languages, thus not being able to unite their powers against the gods.

As we see the Land Armenia existed both before and after the Flood. It is the Land of gods and mortals, whom the gods made immortal. It is a very important fact to note that not all mortals were allowed to live in the holy Land of Ararat.

The name Ararat (the Land of Ararat) is also connected with the creation mystery of man. There are words in Armenian that have special meaning: Արարիչ (Ararich = creator), արարել (ararel = to create), արարած (ararats = creature), Արարատ (the land of creation), Ararat).

Thus, the sentence in Armenian Արարիչն արարել է արա- րածին Արարատում (Ararichn ararel e araratsin Araratum), means God created man in the Land of Ararat. So using only a few words the history of the creation of man and the dwelling-place of the people are displayed. It is worth mentioning that the root of the word Ararat (arar) in Armenian means “to create, to form, to make” while the “at” component is a suffi x that shows the place. And Mesopotamian mythology (‘‘Enki and Ninmah’’, ‘‘Atrahasis’’, ‘‘Gilgamesh’’) confi rms that the gods created man in their image.

Therefore the word Ararat with its origin and pronunciation is an Armenian word and has the meaning of the Land of Creation. A is supposed to be the fi rst sound the earthly human being, the created man, pronounced. It is a fact that almost all the alphabets of the world begin with A, which is pronounced easily and beautifully.

The man, being a spiritual creature, is supposed to have pronounced the fi rst letter of his Creator’s name. This is attested by the names of many gods of the Armenian Highlands, of Mesopotamia as well as Greek, Indian, Iranian and other gods from diff erent deities.

The names of all these gods begin with Ար-Ar, e. g. Aruru (pre-Sumerian mother-goddess), Ara the Beautiful (resuscitated god in the Armenian deity, as well as Armenian mythological king), Aramazd (the father god in the Armenian deity), Arma (the goddess of the Moon in Hittite-Luwian deity), Ara, Ardi, Arsimela, Aratsa (Ararat-Urartu deity), Armati (goddess in Iranian deity), Artemis or Artemida (Greek goddess of the Moon and hunting), Ares (Greek god of war), Aruna (Vedic goddess of dawn), Aryaman (Vedic deity), Aranyan (Vedic goddess of forest), Ra (Ra=Ar) (Egyptian god of the Sun), etc.

These names of gods also allow us to say that the second letter of God’s name was R and the name was pronounced AR (the name of the main god in Sumerian deity sounded An, in Akkadian-Anu). Of great signifi cance in the work by Movses Khorenatsi is the fact that the names of fi ve out of eleven Armenian forefathers begin with Ar: Aramanyak, Aramayis, Harma, Aram, Ara the Beautiful.17

The image of Father God under the porch of St. Astvatsatsin Church, Vayk, 1321, The Man-like image of the Creator, the Father God, (the only permitted image) carved on the wall of the Noravank church porch (architect Momik, 13th century). The Creator, holding the head of the fi rst man he created, is trying to enliven him.

Ar also has interchanged sound forms18 like Er, Ir, Ur, Or; Eriu, Eremon19 (Celtic mythological heroes), Er Armenios20 (resuscitated character in the work “Republic” by Plato), Uranos (Ur=Ar, Greek god of the sky), Rod (the main god in Slavonic mythology) as well as Orey (the forefather of Slavs), Yarilo (Yarovit, the son of Rod, the god of spring, cultivation and fertility), etc.

In the root Ar the sound [r]was sometimes interchanged into [l] and the name was pronounced Al-Hal, or El-Hal. Aldi/Haldi or Khaldi is the main god of Armenian Ararat-Urartu State. Taking the above mentioned into consideration we can say that the root “ar”, which is the fi rst root of the names of many ancient gods and heroes, means not only brave and noble but is also directly related to the name of the God, Ar the Creator (Ararich in Armenian), the toponymic name (Ararat Land), and the idea of creation and immortality (Ara the Beautiful, Er Armenios). It is therefore natural to consider the fact that the man, who was created in the Land of Ararat, was saved from the Flood and found refuge in the same Land.

According to studies a great many words in Armenian as well as in other Indo-European languages, have the root ar, which is the name of the God, in them. Other ancient Armenian words like arev (sun), arpi (dawn), arshaluys (dawning), arusyak (dawn), artsat (silver), aragil (stork), etc., that have the meaning of light, sparkle and white, allow us to say that primarily Ar meant light. Ar is always present (whether overtly or covertly) in the Armenian language and in the consciousness of each Armenian as well as in Arian tribes.

Ar is the Creator, Space, Light, Heaven and Earth, God, bright mind, culture, art, fl ora and fauna, some personal and geographical names, and a mythological hero…21 It should also be mentioned that for Armenians Ar, the god, was identical with the Sun-god. Without the existence of this god there would be no people, no nature, no fl ora and fauna on Earth.

The image of the Lord (the Sun-god), the beginning of the 21st century, Byurakan (author Gor Abrahamyan)

Both personal and geographical names beginning with [ar] were spread in the Armenian Highlands: Personal – Aram, Aramanyak, Aramayis, H/arma, Ara the Beautiful, Armenak, Artavazd, Artashes, Artan, Artavan, Arshavir, Argam, Arbak, Artsrun, Armihr, Arame, Argishti, Ariazate (the name of the daughter of Tigranes the Great), Arshak, Arsham, etc. Geographical – Ararat, Aratta, Armani, Arme, Armina, Ardini, Armavir, Artashat, Araman, Aramus, Aramanyak, Artagers, Aragats, Aratsani, Araks, Areguni, Artaz, Areni, Armash, Artsn, Archesh, Arush, Artsakh, etc.

The root [ar] may occur in the beginning, in the middle or at the end of a word. There are numerous examples in Armenian: Arev-Aregak (the Sun), aryun (blood), art (fi eld), aror (wooden plough), aros (ashberry), arka (king), artsiv (eagle), aryuts (lion), aragil (stork), arahet (path) as well as erkink (sky: yer=ar+kyank), erkir (earth: yer=ar+kertel, a created place), garun (spring), gari (barley), varel (plough, lead, drive), zartnel (wake up), bartsranal (rise), etc. We can also add the words meaning leaders (arajnordner): arka-king (Armenia), pharaoh (Egypt) Caesar (Rome), tsar (Rusia), karol (Europe), etc. The name armen has a deep, symbolic meaning. Let us discuss the names Ari, Armen, (the son of Ar) and Arman (the son of Ar).

In Sumerian sculptures (4th mil. B. C.) people are depicted with light skin, fair wavy hair, big black and blue eyes, round head and oblong nasal bone (characteristic features of the Armenoid racial type). It is assumed that people created in the land of Ararat might have had certain likeness to the above described ones, who lived in Lower Mesopotamia in the V–IV millennia (also earlier). Let us not forget that one segmentt of Sumerian people remembers that its ancestors have come from the north, from a mountainous land (G. Childe, The Most Ancient East: The Orientale Prelude to European Prehistory, Moscow, 1956; Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta by I. Kaneva, Journal of Ancient History, 4; History of the Most Ancient East, chapter I, 1983, p. 92), unlike the other segment which calls itself ‘‘black headed’’ (The Most Ancient East, chapter I, 1983, p. 265). G. Childe states that a number of tribes with light skin from the Armenoid racial type came to Sumer from Northern Mesopotamia (Armenian Mesopotamia). The ‘‘black-headed’’ Sumerians, having Dravidyan origin, are supposed to have come by sea from the South. We may also assume that by “black-headed” men or people Sumerians meant human beings in general, diff erentiating them from gods.

In the Bible it is spoken about the sons of God, who are bright and saintly22 people and whose role on earth is very important. But who are these sons of God? There is only one answer: They were the people who were used to be called “Honest and Brave Arians”. They followed all the commandments of God (to struggle against evil, to tell the truth, to help the poor and to be responsible for their relatives).

According to some researchers the denomination Arian means having spiritual power. Thus the spirit is in the word-stem Ar of Arian, which is God. But the name of one of the ancient nations in the world, the hay armens23 (ar-men = son of Ar) prompts that those created in the Land of Ararat were Arians (armens). In the Sumerian epic poem ‘‘Gilgamesh and the Land of Immortals’’ Gilgamesh travels to Aratta, the land of immortals, which is ‘‘a land of high mountains’’, in order to gain immortality.

In that epic poem the Light and the Sun rise from the Masu (Masis) twin mountains, on the other side of which lies the magic garden of Eden or Paradise, where the gods live. It is assumed that this garden is located in the Ararat Valley

The Land of Armens-Arians (M. Kavoukjian, 2010, p.220)
The settlement of the gods, the magic garden Ararat Valley, which is situated on the other side of the mountains

It has already been mentioned that the epic poem testifi es to the fact that Aratta is not only a land of ‘‘high mountains’’, ‘‘immortals’’ and ‘‘gods’’, but also a land of ‘‘holy laws’’ and ‘‘sacred ceremonies’’.

In ancient written sources there is no other land which is described to have those characteristic features. This means that the inhabitants of Aratta (Ar-Atta, the land of forefather Ar, the land of Ar) lived following the commandments and laws of the Creator (God). There was a fi rm relation between the Creator and the created men.

These inhabitants were people from the Arian tribe (ar-men), the sons of the Creator, who lived according to the commandments of the Creator. For hay-armens all people created by the Creator were equal. In Armenia there were no slaves, no serfs or other subordinated layers. It was typical for Armenians to think that man, being created by God, the Creator, was perfect and that all people were equal.

13 Kramer S. N., The Sumerians, Chicago, 1963; Kaneva I., Journal of Ancient History, 1964, 4, p. 208

14 M. Kavoukjian, The Origin of the Armenian people, Montreal, 1982; M. Kavoukjian, Armenia, Subartu and Sumer, Montreal, 1987, p. 65–72; A. Movsisyan, The Armenian Ancient State. Aratta, Y., 1990

15 Eusebius of Pamphilus Caesarea, Chronicon, Chapter I, Venice, 1818 (in Armenian)

16 Movses Khorenatsi, 1981, p. 29

17 Movses Khorenatsi, 1981, p. 23

18 Some researchers are against the existance of Ar as god because it isn’t mentioned in ancient written sources. But we should bear in mind that the name of god Ar/Ara is mentioned in prehistoric sources, which date back to the end of the 4th millennium – beginning of the 3rd millennium B.C., while it is estimated that modern civilization has a history of 14–15 thousand years.

Thus, being too old it is possible that the name of the Creator, god Ar may not have been mentioned in written sources. But the names of the ancient gods of South-Western Asia, especially the ones of the Indo-European people begin with the root Ar (Aruru, Ara the Beautiful, Aramazd, Arma, Ares, Aras). The fact that the Creator’s name begins with the word stem Ar is not accidental.

An excerpt from Angela Teryan’s book “Ancient written sources of European peoples about their ancestral homeland – Armenia and Armenians”

19 Mythology of the World Nations, M., 1988, v. I, p. 52; 1991, т. II, p. 636 20 ‘‘Republic’’ by Plato, XL (X. 614

21 Some researchers interpret the name of god Ar in a negative way or they just don’t accept his existence, but there are so many obvious facts that it is senseless to debate with those researchers who are against the existence of Ar as “ararich”, God the Creator. The negative attitude towards Ar is obsevved at the time of Christianity

22 Psalm-book, 28,1: In the Bible, the expression “Sons of God” is explained as “Angels of God”. (Book of Job, in Hebrew, original, 2, 1). In another case the “Sons of God” expression describes mankind. (Luke 15: 11–32, “The Return of the Prodigal Son”).

23 Häy (pronounced Hi), the name given to Armenians is related to the name of the ruler of Mother Earth Haya (Enki, as well as Ea). According to Mesopotamian mythology Enki/ Haya had an important role in the creation of man on Earth (”Enki and Ninmah”, “Atrahasis”).

In the Sumerian poem “Enki and Sumer” or “Enki and World Creation” Enki/Haya after creating men, teaches them how to live in the World. Travelling all over the world, he teaches people the right way of living. He decides the fate of both cities and people.

Navigating in the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, Enki-Haya gives people the opportunity of living in a civilized world. He creates plough, pickaxe, mould of brick making, etc. It is assumed that the spoken language was also bestowed upon people by the gods.

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