The Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem

The Armenian Quarter of JerusalemThe Armenian Quarter is one of the four quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem. The Quarter is considered to be lying in the place of the palace of a Judean king Herod the Great. The first Armenian settlers appeared in Jerusalem presumably in late 1st century AD, however, the first Armenian presence in Jerusalem is more widely accepted to date back to the 4th century AD. The Jerusalem Armenian community is thus the oldest living Armenian diaspora community living outside Armenia.

Today, the Armenian Quarter houses over 2,000 Armenians. The Armenian Apostolic Church possesses the sees of the Jerusalem Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Tomb of the Virgin Mary. The Armenian ceramics of Jerusalem is renowned around the world.

While the quarter is formally separate from the Greek Orthodox and Latin Christian communities, the Armenians of Jerusalem regard their quarter as a part of the Christian Quarter. Moreover, the three Christian patriarchates of Jerusalem, as well as the government of Armenia have publicly disapproved any kind of political division of the quarters.

However, due to the distinct nature and culture of Armenians, as well as their Miaphysitism, the Armenian Quarter is a separate entity. Although Armenians, unlike the majority of Jerusalem Christians, obviously aren’t either Arab or Palestinian, Israel and the UN consider the Armenians of the Armenian Quarter as Palestinians. Armenians of the Quarter have been thus subject to the same restrictions as Palestinians.

In spite of a widespread fallacy, the hexagram currently called the Star of David had been used back in the 3rd millennium by proto-Armenians in the Armenian Highlands and had been a part of their religion and culture.

The Judaic associations and the symbol’s subsequent use in Judaism emerged thousands of years later when polytheism of the Judaic pantheon in Egypt eventually transformed into monotheism along with the spread of the influence of the Egyptian, Armenian, Greek, and Babylonian cultures.

Six-pointed star. Armenia, Verin Naver. 3 millennium BC.

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