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naturally have been lower down to see what was above the Ark. Therefore the extreme cone, the highest pinnacle of Ararat, was not the resting-place of the diluvian ark, but in all probability a much lower part of the Ararat range.
In Armenia are many once famous cities unknown to Americans, because the hand of time has shorn them of their former splendor, and many have receded into oblivion, buried beneath the accumulations of centuries. The most and largest of them were situated on the fair banks of the Tigris, and comparatively few on the Euphrates. Some cities had their streets paved with fragments of sculpture when Moses was with Pharaoh on the throne of Egypt.
Fortifications in Armenian cities are numerous. Some of the walls still remain thirty or forty feet high, with solid stone foundations, and of considerable thickness. Towers rise at regular intervals, with large arched gateways. Let us recall some of the cities.
Ani, the city of the kings, the glittering city of gold and silver, was the imperial pride of Armenian sovereigns, whose pearly palaces in her gala days shone in the dazzling glare of the sunlight with beauty. Her streets were clean and richly adorned with lovely decorations of nature and art. This ideal city is to-day a heap of colossal ruins.
The venerable city of Van, anciently Semiramis city, embowered by the eastern banks of the lake, command a view of ber wondrous citadel, towering on a rugged rock with a natural amphitheatre surrounding it, buried amid the loveliest vegetation and vineyards, presenting a picturesque situation that is beautiful beyond description or power to conceive.
Queen Semiramus of Assyria, with the exquisite taste of a woman, chose this paradise-like spot for her summer resort. On such an immense scale are the proportions of the buildings that it required six hundred architects and one thousand two hundred workmen. It was not alone the love of nature that attracted the queen to the vernal banks of the lake, but Ara, a young Armenian sovereign, who was famed throughout all the east for his beauty. Among many, Queen Semiramis was the chief victim of a love-stricken fever. In vain were all her charming manners, loving words and entreaties to the fair young Armenian patriarch, for he had rabidly denied with a shiver to be bound in sacred ties of marriage with an idolatrous ruler, who worshipped not the true God of his fathers. The exquisite melody of the nightingale, or the gentle swish of purling waters of the lake were mute to her; the beaming moon or gleaming stars had lost all spell and charm beside the charm of him who was the fairest of mortals. Even at night in her profoundest repose she was tortured with unrest. Shall her love consume her? She had determined to gain him—if not by will, at least by force of arm's. How mysteriously strange is the path of love! She advanced upon the Armenian forces, but with bitter results, the clash of her conquering arms resounds, for Ara was sacrificed! It must have been a most tragic sight of wild despair when the stricken patriarch was laid low at the queen's feet, with the stamp of death upon his beautiful features. In vain were all endeavors of magic art to bring him to life. The spot: where he was buried in a coffin of gold is still pointed out as “Ara Seni,” “Ara is sacrificed.”
The cuneiform inscriptions of Van are famous in history, as they have revealed the secrets of centuries and yielded up. much to modern science. Prof. A. H. Sayce of Oxford, England, in his Journal renders the translations of these venerable inscriptions along with other researches of the Armenian antiquities, thus revealing the fact that the clear stream of knowledge has descended through succeeding generations to our day.
Artaxata, once the mighty capital of Amenia, where King Tiridates received his crown from Rome. After seeking for years to stifle the incipient church, he too bowed before the cross of Christ, and, like Saul of Tarsus, became the ardent. advocate of what he once endeavored to overthrow.
The holy city of Vagharshabad was built by King Erovant, but all its pomp and glory have faded away, except the monastry of Etchmiadzin. This most ancient Episcopal seat of the Armenians still remains as a mighty bulwark, against which in vain have the heathen cannon of all ages thundered. This mother church of Ararat contains a. number of holy relics, among them the head of the spear by which the side of the Savior was wounded, the hand of St. Gregory, the founder of the monastry, who laid the first stone in the year 302, that blessed hand that had baptized his haughty cousin, King Tiridates, by whom he had
suffered unimaginable persecutions, and other saintly and hallowed relics which are kissed with devout reverence and awe. Our country being the first to have a Christian ruler, the traditions in this Episcopal seat are also rich in Apostolic legends. None of them are more singular than the reputed correspondence of Christ with our King Abgarus of Edessa. The messengers of this sovereign, having some business transaction with the Roman nobility in Palestine, heard of the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth, and on their return related them to their sovereign, who was convinced that either Jesus was "that Christ," or else God had come down to dwell on earth. As the King was suffering from a serious disease, he sent a letter to Christ with a company of messengers imploring Him to repair to his court and graciously cure him. At his request an artist was also sent so that if the Lord would fail to come, he would at least have his portrait. The painter being at work one day endeavoring to fulfill his royal commission, was observed by the Savior, who, passing a handkerchief over his countenance handed it to the artist with a perfect likeness of himself upon it. Duly an answer to the King's letter was! written by St. Thomas, with a word of praise of his faith in an unseen Christ, and informing him that the Divine Master's mission
was more urgent elsewhere than in Armenia, but that after His ascension disciples would be sent to enlighten the King's people and cure him from his sufferings. It has been stated that a papyrus has been
discovered in an Egyptian tomb containing the reputed letter of our King.
Erzerum, on the main line of communication between Persia and the Euxine, still survives as a populous military post and commercial entrepot. She reposes in a lovely district about one hundred miles southeast of Trebizond.
By those who dwell in the vicinity, the city is thought to be the very spot where the Garden of Eden was located. They claim that for many a century the flowers of Paradise bloomed around the source of the Euphrates. Tradition says, nature herself was so horrified at the sacreligious conduct of a Persian king, that she refused to produce those rare beauties any longer, and even changed the course of the river itself. Local accounts of Adam's fall show how a frail, sympathetic man will follow a woman into any kind of a trap. He did not eat of the fruit, they say, until he saw its fatal effect on lovely Eve. Then, concluding that the Creator would have compassion if he saw them both in the same sad plight, and restore them to their former estate, he decided to follow her example. Reasoning thus, he indulged. We know the result! Restoration did not occur in accordance with his logical reasoning. There was something wrong with the premises. Logic was not taught, except objectively, in his day. Who can blame Adam? “The Lord cursed the serpent, and Eve and I were doomed between the two," was the sad refrain.
The extent of the fortifications is so great in Erzerum that they require 22,000 men to defend it. In 415 A.