Page images

this country abounds with fruits and trees for the use of man, and with those also which are evergreen. It likewise produces the OLIVE. I have mentioned that Arene was one name of the ark ; and many places were so denominated in memorial of it. It is to be observed, that there is scarcely any eastern name which begins with a vowel, or common aspirate, but is at times to be found expressed with a guttural. The city Ur was called Cur, Cour, and Chora : Aza was ren. dered Gaza: Ham, Cham ; Hanes, Chanes: Hala, Habor, and Haran; Chala, Chabor, and Charan. $o Arene, an apk or ship, was expressed " Ca. rene: from whence came the Carina of the Romans. The term Go-Carene (fw-Fægnon) signifies literally the place or region of the ark. I do not, however, imagine, that this was precisely the spot where the 18 descent was first made, though the pame was given in memorial of that event; a circumstance common to many other places. I make no doubt but that the region of the Minyæ, at the foot of Mount Arad, or Ar


* Many places are to be found in Media, Susiana, and Armenia, named Carene and Carina. See Cluver. Geog.

Gogarene was beyond the Cyrus, and a northern province, See Strabo, Stephanus, and others. It was at too great distance from Ararat, which was upon the river Araxes.

Arat, was the district where the Patriarch and his family first resided. It was upon the river 19 Araxes, and one of the mediterranean provinces of Armenia. It was called 20 Ararat and Araratia, from the mountain, and seems to have been a fine

country, productive of every thing necessary for life. The whole of Armenia appears to have been * fruitful; and we have the attestation of Strabo, that it produced the olive. It seems, for the most part, to have been of a very high situation. One province was styled, on this account, Armenia Alta. It bordered upon Araratia westward; and the account given of it by Moses Chorenensis is remarkable. 23 Armenia Alta inter omnes regiones revera altissima est; quippe quæ ad quatuor cæli partes fluvios emittit. Habet præterea montes tres, feras plurimas, aves utiles,

19 The Araxes is properly the river of Arach, or Aracha, which signifies the river of the ark.

20 Isaiah. c. 37. v. 38. and 2 Kings. c. 19. y. 37. Ararat, regio Armeniæ. Hieron. in Isaiam. Araratia, in medio regionum (Armeniæ) loco, Moses Chorenensis. Geog. p. 361.

Habet Araratia montes camposque, atque omnem fæcundi, tatem. Idem.


361. 22 Habet Armenia rerum ubertatem. Id. p. 358. Strabo says of Armenia, πολλοι αυλωνες, οι μεν μεσως, οι δε σφοδρο, ευδαιμονες, ralarig To Apakno wider. l. 11. p. 800.

33 Geog. p. 358.

thermas, salinas, atque aliarum rerum ubertatem, et urbein Carinam. Armenia Altă is one of the highest régions in the world; for it sends out riders in contrary directions towards the four cardinal points in the heavens. It has three mountains, and abounds with wild animals, and species of fowl for food, also with hot baths, and mines of salt, and with other things of utility ; and the chief city is called 24 Carina. The region styled Araratia was also very high, though it had fine plains and valleys between the mountains. A country of this nature and situation must, after the flood, have been soonest dried, and consequently the soonest habitable. And it seems also, in an eminent degree, to have contained every requisite for habitation. The mountain still has the name of Ararat, which it has retained through all ages; and the province beneath is at this day peculiarly styled 25 Ar-Meni. This name seems by the natives to have been originally limited to the - region of

[ocr errors]

2* Some of the principal cities in Armenia were Carina, Arca, Comana, Ararathia, Cucousus. See Hierocles Eurexdnjas. p. 703. These names are very remarkable.

25 Ermenia of D'Anville. See his curious map of Armenia, entitled, Carte generale de la Georgie et de l'Armenie, desinée a Petersbourg, en 1738, d'apres les Cartes, Memoires, et Observations des Gens du Pays, &c. publiée en 1766.

It was the same as Ararat, which was extended in the same


the ark; but writers in aftertimes have spoken of it with a greater latitude, and extended it to a large country. It was of great repute, and its chief city very ample, before it was ruined by the Tartars. The learned Roger Bacon mentions, that it once had eighty churches : 27 Fuerunt in ea civitate octoginta ecclesiæ Hermenorum.

The mountain was also called 28 Masis, and likewise Thamanim and Shamanim, the purport of which is remarkable. I have before taken notice of the sacred Ogdoas in Egypt, which was held in great. veneration. It consisted of eight " personages described in a boat, who were esteeined the most antient gods of the country. This number was held sacred, and esteemed mysterious by other nations. It is observable, that the Chinese have somewhat more than two hundred principal elenjentary characters; and out of these all other representations are formed, by which, in writing, they express their ideas. By these combinations, the characteristic is, in some

manner. But Jerome says, Ararat non est tota Armenia. I. 11. in Esaiam.

27 Rogeri Baconi Pars major de Aquilonaribus Mundi partibus. See Purchas. vol. 3. p. 55.

See Cartwright's Travels. p. 30. and William de Rubruquis. C. 48. Maglov ogos ev Apueva. Strabo. I. 11. p. 772.

2. See vol, iii, of this work, p. 63.


degree, made a definition of the thing represented, and it has often a relation to the original history. Some of these have a reference to this mystical number eight, of which I shall give two instances of a very curious nature. They are taken from the letter of that learned Jesuit at 30 Pekin, who wrote in answer to some queries sent by the Royal Society at London. Le caractere de barque, vaisseau, est composé de la figure de vaisseau, de celle de bouche, et du chiffre huit : ce qui peut faire allusion au nombre des personnes, qui étoient dans l'arche. On trouve encore les deux caracteres huit, et bouche avec celui d'eau pour exprimer navigation heureuse. Si c'est un hazard, il s'accorde bien avec le fait. The same reference to the number eight is to be observed in the history of Mount Masis, or Ararat. It was called the Mountain Thamanim, or Tshamanim; and there was a town towards the foot of the mountain of the same name, which was supposed to have been built by Noah. Now Thaman is said, in the antient language of the country, to have signified eight, and was analagous to the you, Shaman, of the 3' Hebrews, which denotes the same num

so Lettre de Pekin sur le Genie de la Langue Chinoise, &c. A Bruxelles, 1773. p. 32.

3. See Bochart. Geog. Sacra. I. 1. p. 18.

« PreviousContinue »