BY FATHER MICHAEL CHAMICH From BC 2247 to the year of Christ 1780, or 1229 of the Armenian era. Translated from the original Armenian by Johannes Avdal, esq.
The Armenians are an ancient people who live in an ancient land. Their home lies in the highlands surrounding the biblical mountains of Ararat, upon which tradition tells us Noah’s ark came to rest after the flood. (Gen. 8:4). In those highlands, the Armenian state has struggled to exist for more than 3000 years, most recently regaining independence in September 1991 upon the fall of the Soviet Union. Armenia’s more than 2780-year-old capital, Yerevan, derives its name from the fortress of Erebuni, founded on that site in 782 BC. On Yerevan’s streets, the people speak a distinctive Indo-European language upon which their ancestors put the stamp of their identity 5000 or more years ago.
THE ORIGINS OF THE ARMENIANS
After the universal deluge, the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth, fixed themselves for a period in the country about Mount Ararat, upon which, it will be recollected by all conversant with ancient tradition, that the ark of their highly favoured parent first settled on the subsiding of the waters. Here they multiplied considerably, and the anger of the Almighty against the sinful children of men, being appeased, fertility again covered the face of the earth, and peace and joy once more took possession of the bosoms of its inhabitants. Shem was the first to break the intimate union which subsisted between the families of his brethren and his own. Observing the rapidity with which the little community increased, he assembled his family, and communicating to the several members of it his intentions, he bade adieu to his brethren, and accompanied by his offspring, set out in a north-westerly direction, in search of a more commodious place of abode. In the course of a few days journey he arrived at the base of a lofty mountain, bounded by an extensive plain, and delightfully watered by a river, which passed through the middle of it. He rested two months on the banks of this river, and gave the neighbouring mountain the name of Shem, after himself. At the expiration of this period he resumed his journey, turning toward the south-east, leaving Taron, one of his younger sons, to settle in the country about the mountain to which he had given his name. The latter, on taking possession of his allotted inheritance, gave the land the name of Taron. It was subsequently called Taruberan. He then distributed to his several children portions of territory, all of which became, in course of time, populous provinces. Continue reading ‘THE ORIGIN OF THE ARMENIANS’ by F. Michael Chamich English text