Mount Ararat – The “Mother of World”

Mount Ararat – The “Mother of World”The snow-capped inactive volcanic cone known as Mount Ararat is now located in the territory that used to be the ancient Armenian region Ararat. Armenians have venerated Mount Ararat since times immemorial. Ancient Armenian legends say that deities reside inside the mount. In Armenian, both peaks of Mount Ararat have separate names: the smaller peak is called Sis, while the larger one is called Masis. The plural “Masiq” may be sometimes used to refer to both peaks.

Historically, the name “Masis” is connected to the king Amasya, the great-grandson of the progenitor of Armenians Hayk. Amasya is said to have called the mount “Masis” after his own name (Thomson, 1978, p. 90-98). Mount Ararat is also described in the Bible as the place where Noah’s Ark came to its rest after the Flood. Pre-Christian legends also verify that Ark descended to a certain Armenian mountain.

“The ark first came aground on the mountain of Ararat, in Armenia, a sacred spot to this day; and here God made His covenant with Noah, renewing His first blessing to Adam, permitting the use of animal food; promising that the course of nature should never be disturbed again till the end of all things, and making the glorious tints of the rainbow, which are produced by sunlight upon water, stand as the pledge of this assurance. Of man He required abstinence from eating the blood of animals, and from shedding the blood of man, putting, as it were, a mark of sacredness upon life-blood, so as to lead the mind on to the Blood hereafter to be shed.” Charlotte Mary Yonge (1859), “The Chosen People”

John McClintock and James Strong describe Mount Ararat as follows in their “Encyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical literature” (1894):

“There is no doubt of the antiquity of the tradition of this [Mount Ararat] being (as it is sometimes termed) the ‘Mother of the World’.”

Smith and Dwight also recognized the beauty of Mount Ararat with the following passage from the work of McClintock and Strong:

“The mountain thus known to Europeans as Ararat consists of two immense conical elevations (one peak considerably lower than the other), towering in massive and majestic grandeur from the valley of the Aras, the ancient Araxes. Smith and Dwight give its position north 57° west of Nakhchevan, and south 25° -west of Erivan (Researches in Armenia, p. 2G7) and remark, in describing it before the recent earthquake, that in no part of the world had they seen any mountain whose imposing appearance could plead half so powerfully as this a claim to the honor of having once been the stepping-stone between the old world and the new.”

Ker Porter describes another passage:

“It appeared,” says Ker Porter, “as if the hugest mountains of the world had been piled upon each other to form this one sublime immensity of earth, and rocks, and snow. The icy peaks of its double heads rose majestically into the clear and cloudless heavens; the sun blazed bright upon them, and the reflection sent forth a dazzling radiance equal to other suns. My eye, not able to rest for any length of time upon the blinding glory of its summits, wandered down the apparently interminable sides, till I could no longer trace their vast lines in the mists of the horizon; when an irrepressible impulse immediately carrying my eye upward again refixed my gaze upon the awful glare of Ararat” (Trav. i, 182 sq.; ii, G3G sq.).”

Morier also writes:

“Nothing can be more beautiful than its shape, more awful than its height. All the surrounding mountains sink into insignificance when compared to it. It is perfect in all its parts; no hard rugged feature, no unnatural prominences; everything is in harmony, and all combines to render it one of the sublimest objects in nature” (Journey, c. xvi; Second Journey, p. 312).”

Now, we offer you to have a look at pictures of Ararat that perfectly attest to the claims of its beauty:


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