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No one can do Ararat justice; every turn gives a new picture. Its beauty is considered unrivaled by any mountain on earth; it is truly “the sublimest object in nature." Its snow-crowned peaks, rising from the noble plain of
Araxes, rear in solemn majesty above the sea of vapor into the regions of eternal winter, perpetually covered with ice and snow. It is a picture of mingled sublimity and beauty, terror and tenderness-calm, cold, majestic-greatest in extent and loftiest in height! What an awe-inspiring sight, in the mellow radiance of the moon, to watch the changing hues and shadows of the venerable mountain, or to hear the thundering sound of falling ice and rocks from its stupendous dome! The snow-line on its summit, 14,000 feet, never dissolves and is one of the phenomenal features of this very phenomenal mountain, exceeding in quantity either the Alps or the Caucasus, as the former averages 9,000 feet and the latter from 10,000 to 12,000 feet in height of snow line. The surrounding people consider it a greater miracle to climb the summit; they believe the mountain still contains the relics of the ark, unchanged by time or decay, and in order to insure its preservation by a divine decree it has been made inaccessible to mortal approach. The Tartars and the Turks of the neighborhood imagine its summit the abode of the Sheitan “the devil” and wild ghosts, and they tremble to approach too near its top. Morier himself declares “no one appears to have reached the summit of Ararat since the flood.” However, Dr. Friedrich Parrot of the University of Dorpat, after several unsuccessful attempts, finally gained the summit in September, 1829. He is considered the first mortal since the deluge who has ever ventured amidst the ice and snow of the isolated peak.
The name "Ararat" is of remotest antiquity. It has been known for 3,000 years. We find the name in the most ancient annals of Mosaic récord of creation, “upon the mountains of Ararat." Moses of Clorene, the father of our history, affirms that the entire country of Armenia was known by that name, and he traces the origin of the word "Ararat" or “Arardhi" to our Armenian patriarch, Ara or Arai, the beautiful, who lived eighteen centuries before our era. At his fall in a bloody conflict, the Armenian plain was called after him, Arai-Arat, “the fall of Arai.” Some others, as to the origin of the word Ararat, advance the theory that it was composed of “Ar” and “Arah,” “ Ar” in Sanskrit the “root of Aryan," or "nobles" and "Arah” “plains," or fields in classical Armenian, hence meaning “the plains of the Aryans" or "nobles."
The antiquity of the name Ararat antedates, a few centuries even the time of Moses. “An ancient bilingual tablet (W. A. I., II., 48, 13) makes Urdhu the equivalent of Tilla, of which the Accadian pronunciation is given as Tilla, the latter, as Sir H. Rawlinson long ago pointed out, being probably a Semitic loan word, and meaning the highlands.' Tilla, the equivalent of Urdhu, usually signifies the land of Accad or northwestern Babylonia, but since it is not glossed in this passage, and stands, moreover, between Akharru or Palestine, and Kutu Kurdistan, it would seem that it is here employed to denote Armenia. Urardhu, therefore, contracted into Urdhu, would have been the designation of the highland of Armenia among the Babylonians as early as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries B. C.'*
The term Ararat is used in the ancient annals of sacred
**Cuneiform Inscriptions of Van" in " Journal R. A. S.," Volume XIV..
and secular history for the entire country of Armenia, and not for the mountain itself. Anciently, even the inhabitants or the modern Armenians were known as a people of * Ararat.' It was not till of late years that the name "Ararat" came to be applied to the mountain itself. This misunderstanding has led some to erroneous conclusions and suppositions. Nothing could be more absurd to a native of Armenia than the idea that the ark rested on the very top of Mount Ararat. A well known American traveller, for instance, after describing his first impression of the mountain, goes on to say: "I could not help thinking what a hard time the mighty line of living things had when marching by twos, male and female, from those cold, bleak heights down into the plains below, after the great food had subsided; and what a time good old Noah must have had to keep some of his warm-blooded pets from freezing on that lofty sixteen-thousand-feet-high pinnacle." A great deal of similar would-be criticisms have been made concern ing the ark on Mount Ararat, as though that historic craft had presumed to rest on the very peak of the snow-capped pinnacle of symmetrical form. Such absurd criticisms, based upon false suppositions, indicate a lack of not only knowledge, but of a proper and common-sense understanding of the simple Biblical narrative. The geographical unit is the mountain range. With the mountain ranges the study of geography should begin. From them a scientific nomeclature can most easily be constructed. How precise and clear is the statement of the Holy Book, as inserted in Genesis “the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat,” and not upon Mount Ararat. There are Scriptural references in II Kings, XIX, 37; Isaiah XXXVII, 38. In these parallel passages allusion is made to Adrammelech and Sharezer, whom, having assassinated their father Sennacherib, escaped "into the land of Ararat.” The prophet Jeremiah (in Jeremiah II, 27), summoning the nations for the overthrow of Babylon, calls “together against her (Babylon) the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni and Ashchenaz.
Thus sacred and secular writers concur in speaking of not only a mountain, but of a range, a land, a kingdom, an army and a people of "Ararat." Does our critic suppose that the horses and mules of Ararat were reared on the icebergs of an isolated peak? They were seen in the markets. of Syria. Had they wings that they could fly where a donkey could not climb ? An army of Araratians helped Cyrus in the overthrow of Babylon. Did they come on a toboggan slide from the regions of everlasting snow?
Moses of Chorene's appellation, "Arred," or Ayrarad, coincides with the Armaniya or Armenia of the Parsian text, which is frequently employed in ancient historical documents, denoting that the name Ararat was identical with the whole country of Armenia. St. Jerome himself always identified Ararat with the plain of Araxes, where the mountain reposes.
Again, the window of the Ark is described in Genesis as. being above, and when "on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains came forth,” Noah would most