From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

a considerable country of Asia, having Colchis and Iberia on the north, Media on the east, Mesopotamia on the south, Pontus and Cappadocia on the west, and the Euphrates and Syria on the south-west. Armenia is often confounded with Aramaea, the land of Aram or Syria; but they are totally different. Armenia, which is separated from Aram by Mount Taurus, was so denominated from Ar-Men, the mountainous country of Meni or Minni, the people of which country are mentioned under this name by Jeremiah, when summoning the nations against Babylon.

The people of this country have in all ages maintained a great similarity of character, partly commercial and partly pastoral. They have, in fact, in the northern parts of the Asiatic continent, been what the Cushites and Ishmaelites were in the south, tenders of cattle, living on the produce of their flocks and herds, and carriers of merchandize between the neighbouring nations; a part living at home with their flocks, and a part travelling as merchants and dealers into distant countries. In the flourishing times of Tyre, the Armenians, according to  Ezekiel 27:14 , brought horses and mules to the markets of that city; and, according to Herodotus, they had a considerable trade in wine, which they sent down the Euphrates to Babylon, &c. At the present day, the Armenians are the principal traders of the east; and are to be found in the capacity of merchants or commercial agents all over Asia, a patient, frugal, industrious, and honest people, whose known character for these virtues has withstood the tyranny and extortions of the wretched governments under which they chiefly live.

The religion of the Armenians is a corrupt Christianity of the sect of Eutyches; that is, they own but one nature in Jesus Christ. Their rites partake of those of the Greek and Latin churches, but they reject the idolatries of both. It is indeed a remarkable instance of the firmness of this people, that while the surrounding nations submitted to the religion as well as the arms of the Turks, they have preserved the purity of their ancient faith, such as it is, to the present day. It cannot be supposed but that the Turks used every effort to impose on the conquered Armenians the doctrines of the Koran. More tolerant, indeed, than the Saracens, liberty of conscience was still not to be purchased of them but by great sacrifices, which for three centuries the Armenians have patiently endured, and exhibit to the world an honourable and solitary instance of a successful national opposition of Christianity to Mohammedanism.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Arme'nia. (Land Of Aram). Armenia is nowhere mentioned under that name in the original Hebrew, though it occurs in the English version,  2 Kings 19:37, for Ararat.

Description. - Armenia is that lofty plateau whence the rivers Euphrates, Tigris, Araxes and Acampsis pour down their waters in different directions; the first two to the Persian Gulf, the last two respectively to the Caspian and Euxine seas. It may be termed the Nucleus of the mountain system of western Asia. From the centre of the plateau rise two lofty chains of mountains, which run from east to west.

Divisions. - Three districts are mentioned in the Bible.

(1) Ararat is mentioned as the place whither the sons of Sennacherib fled.  Isaiah 37:38. It was the central district, surrounding the mountain of that name.

(2) Minni only occurs in  Jeremiah 51:27. It is probably identical with the district Minyas, in the upper valley of the Murad-Su branch of the Euphrates.

(3) Togarmah is noticed in two passages of  Ezekiel 27:14;  Ezekiel 38:6 both of which are in favor of its identity with Armenia.

Present condition. - The Armenians, numbering about two millions, are nominally Christians. About half of them live in Armenia. Their favorite pursuit is commerce. The country is divided, as to government, between Russia, Turkey and Persia. - Editor.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [3]

Armenia ( Ar-Mç'Ni-Ä ), Mountains Of Minni (?) The English name for a country called Ararat in the Hebrew,  2 Kings 19:37;  Isaiah 37:38, A. V., but the R. V. has Ararat in both of these places; hence "Armenia" does not occur in the Revised English Version. Armenia is in western Asia, between the Caspian and the Black Seas, and the Caucasus and Taurus ranges of mountains. Three districts, probably included in Armenia, are mentioned in the Bible—Ararat, Minni and Ashchenaz, and Togarmah. 1. Ararat was a central region near the range of mountains of the same name. 2. Minni and Ashchenaz,  Jeremiah 51:27, districts in the upper valley of a branch of the Euphrates. 3. Togarmah,  Ezekiel 27:14;  Ezekiel 38:6, was apparently the name by which the most, or perhaps the whole, of the land was known to the Hebrews. The present number of Armenians is estimated to be from 2,500,000 to 3,000,000, of whom about 1,000,000 live in Armenia. Its chief modern towns are Erzeroum, Erivan, and Van. See Ararat.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [4]

A large country of Asia, having Media on the east, Cappadocia on the west, Colchis and Iberia on the north, Mesopotamia on the south, and the Euphrates and Syria on the southwest. It is an elevated tableland, with a cool and salubrious climate. Lying between the Caucasus and the Taurus range, with Mount Ararat towering in its central province, it gives rise to three notable rivers, the Euphrates, Tigris, and Araxes. It is only named in Scripture as the place of refuge of two Assyrian parricides,  2 Kings 19:37 . The modern Armenian Church resembles strongly the Greek Church, and is sadly debased and corrupt. See Ararat , Minni , and Togarmah .

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [5]

(See Ararat .) The name in Hebrew, translated Armenia from ( Ηar-Μini ), "the mountains of Minni" equatzs to Minyas, in the upper valley of the Murad-su branch of the Euphrates. Togarmah is the name of the race, the Armenians referring their own origin to Thorgomass or Tiorgarmah. In  Ezekiel 27:14 its trading in "carriage horses, riding horses and mules" (so the Heb.), for which Armenia is still famous, as well as for the keenness of its traffickers, is mentioned.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

This name occurs in the A.V. in  2 Kings 19:37;  Isaiah 37:38 , as the place to which two sons of Sennacherib fled after killing their father; but in both these passages the Hebrew word is Ararat. Armenia occurs in the LXX in the passage in Isaiah. Armenia lies west of the Caspian Sea, and extends northward of 38 N. lat. It is now partly in the Russian and partly in the Turkish empires.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

 2 Kings 19:37 Genesis 8:4 Jeremiah 51:27Ararat

King James Dictionary [8]

ARME'NIA, a. Pertaining to Armenia, a country and formerly, a kingdom, in Asia, divided into Major and Minor. The greater Armenia is now called Turcomania.

Holman Bible Dictionary [9]

 2 Kings 19:37Ararat

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [10]

ARMENIA . See Ararat.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

ar - mē´ni - a  :

I. Geography

II. Ancient History

1. Turanian Armenians

Their Religion

2. Aryan Armenians: History to 114 ad


I. Geography

אררט׃ , 'ărārāṭ (Sumerian Ar , "region," plus ar "high," plus ṭu , "mountain," plus "high mountainous region"): in Assyrian, Urṭu , Urarṭu , Urasṭu  : in AEgyp, Ermenen (= "Region of the Minni") Wiener, Origin of the Pentateuch , Armina , Armaniya (Ἀρμενία , Armenı́a ): in Hecataeus of Miletus, circa 520 bc, the people are Ἀρμένιοι (  Genesis 8:4;  2 Kings 19:37;  Isaiah 37:38;  Jeremiah 51:27 ). Throughout the Bible, this is a country , not a mountain. Armenia Major was bounded on the North by the River Cyrus (Kour), Iberia, Colchis, and the Moschici Mts.; on the West by Asia Minor and the Euphrates; on the South by Mesopotamia and Assyria; on the East by the Caspian and Media. (Armenia Minor lay between the Euphrates and the Halys.) Ararat was originally the name of the central district. Most of Armenia is between 8,000 and 3,000 feet above sea-level, and slopes toward Euphrates, Cyrus, and the Gaspian. Mt. Massis (generally called Greater Ararat) is 16,969 ft. and Lesser Ararat, 12,840 ft. Both are of igneous origin, as is Aragds (A'la Göz), 13,436 ft. Sulphur springs and earthquakes still attest volcanic activity. The largest rivers are the Euphrates, Tigris and Araxes. The latter, swift and famed for violent floods, joins the Cyrus, which falls into the Caspian. The lakes Van, Urmi and Sevan are veritable inland seas. The many mountain chains, impassable torrents and large streams divide the country into districts far less accessible from one another than from foreign lands. Hence, invasions are easy and national union difficult. This has sadly affected the history of Armenia. Xenophon ( Anab . iv.5) describes the people as living in houses partly underground, such as are still found. Each village was ruled by its chief according to ancient customary laws. He well describes the severity of the winters. In summer the climate in some places is like that of Italy or Spain. Much of Armenia is extremely fertile, producing large herds of horses and cattle, abundant crops of cereals, olives and fruit. It is rich in minerals, and is probably the home of the rose and the vine.


Minas Gaphamatzean; Garagashean; Palasanean; Ĕntir Ḥatouadsner , I; Rawlinson, Seven Anc. Monarchies  ; Strabo; Xenophon; Petermann, Mittheilungen for 1871; Bryce, Transcaucasia and Ararat .

II. Ancient History

1. Turanian Armenians

The country is first mentioned in  Genesis 8:4 as the land upon (some one of) the mountains of which Noah's Ark rested. (According to Jewish tradition this was one of the Kurdish mountains.) It is next spoken of by Sargon I of Agadé̄ , circa 3800 bc, as among his conquests. In early Babylonian legends Armenia figures as an almost unknown land far to the North, full of high mountains and dense forests, containing the entrance to the Lower World ( Mād Nū - , "Land of No Return"). On its borders stood Mt. Nisir where the gods dwelt and Ṣit - napistim ' s "ship" stopped. This "Mountain of the World" was the present Jabal Judi, South of Lake Van. Next came Egyptian influence. Thothmes III, in his twenty-third year (circa 1458 bc), after a great victory over the Rutennu or Ludennu (Mesopotamians and Lydians), received the submission of the "chiefs of Ermenen " and others. It is remarkable that the name by which the land is still known to foreigners (Armenians call it Ḥaiāstān ) should occur so early. In his thirty-third year, Thothmes Iii mentions the people of Ermenen as paying tribute when he held his court at Nineveh, and says that in their land "heaven rests upon its four pillars." In Seti I's Hall of Columns at Karnak we see the people of Ermenen felling trees in order to open a way through their forests for that king's armies. Rameses Ii in his twenty-first year, in war with Kheta-sira, king of the Hittites, probably subdued Armenia (compare Tacitus Ann . ii.60). Many places conquered by Rameses III, and mentioned in the Medinet Habu lists, were probably in Armenia. The Assyrian king Uras-Pal-acur (circa 1190-1170 bc) made a raid into Armenia, and mentions the central district ( Urarṭu proper, near Lake Van), the land of the Manna (Minni,  Jeremiah 51:27 ), Nahri ("the Rivers"), Ashguza (Ashkenaz, ib), etc. Another invader was Tiglath-pileser I (circa 1110-1090 bc). Asshut-nacir-pal in 883 bc advanced to Urarṭu . A little later he mentions as articles of Armenian tribute chariots, horses, mules, silver, gold, plates of copper, oxen, sheep, wine, variegated cloths, linen garments. Again and again he carried fire and sword through the country, but it constantly revolted. Under Shalmaneser Ii (860-825 bc) and afterward for centuries wars continued. By uniting and forming powerful kingdoms (of which the principal was Biainash around Lake Van) the Armenians resisted. Finally in 606 bc they took part in the destruction of Nineveh, and in that of Babylon later. Shalmaneser Ii tells of the wickerwork coracles on Lake Van. The Balawât bronzes depict Armenians dressed like the Hittites (to whom they were sometimes subject) in tunics and snow-shoes with turned-up and pointed ends, wearing helmets, swords, spears and small round shields. Sayce compares their faces in form to the Negro type. Possibly they were Mongolians.

The founder of the kingdom of Biainash was Sardurish I, about 840 bc, who built as his capital Tushpash, now Van. He ruled most of Armenia, defending it against the Assyrians, and apparently, inflicting a check on Shalmaneser Ii in 833 bc. He introduced the cuneiform characters, and his inscriptions are in Assyrian. His son Ishpuinish adapted the Assyrian syllabary to his own tongue, which bears a slight resemblance to Georgian in some points. The next king, Menuash, has left inscriptions almost all over Armenia, telling of his victories over the Hittites, etc. The kingdom of Biainash reached its acme under the great monarch Argishtish I, who succeeded in defending his country against Shalmaneser Iii (783-772 bc). But in his son's reign Tiglath-pileser Iv (748-727 bc: Pul) crushed the Armenians to the dust in a great battle near Commagene in 743. Pul failed to capture Van in 737, but he ravaged the country far and wide. Rusash I, at the head of an Armenian confederacy, began a great struggle in 716 with Sargon (722-705), who in 714 captured Van with Rusash's family. After 5 months' wandering Rusash committed suicide. His brother Argishtish Ii to some degree recovered independence. His successor Erimenash gave an asylum to Adrammelech and Sharezer ( Assur - sar - uṣur ) in 680 ( 2 Kings 19:37;  Isaiah 37:38 ) after the murder of their father Sennacherib. Invading Assyria in the same year, they were defeated by Esar-haddon I. Armenia from the Cyrus River to the South of Lake Van was ravaged by the Kimmerians (679-677). Rusash Ii (circa 660-645) and his son Sandurish Iii (the latter circa 640 or soon after) submitted to Ashurbanipal (668-626). Nebuchadnezzar (604-561) boasts of reaching Van in his conquests, though the Armenians had probably their share in the destruction of Nineveh in 606. Jer ( Jeremiah 51:27 ) mentioned the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz about 595, and said they would help in the overthrow of Babylon (in 538). Cyrus had therefore probably subdued or won them over after capturing Ekbatana (549). After this the Turanians gradually gave place in Armenia to the Aryan Armenians of later times.

Their Religion

The supreme god of the Turanian Armenians was Ḥaldish , who was father of all the rest. They were styled "children of mighty Ḥaldish ." He, with Teishbash, god of the atmosphere, and Ardinish, the Sun-god, formed "the company of the mighty gods." Auish, god of water; Ayash, god of the earth; Shelardish, the Moon-god; Sardish, the Year-god; and 42 other gods are mentioned. Sari was a goddess, probably corresponding to Ishtar. Adoration was offered to the spirits of the dead also. Somewhat strangely, some of the divine names we have mentioned remind one of certain Aryan (Greek and Old Pers) words, however this may be accounted for.


Valdemar Schmidt, Assyriens og AEgyptens Gamle Historie  ; Maspero, Dawn of Civilization  ; Rawlinson, West. Asiat. Inscrs; Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek (Schrader, editor); Airarat , 1883; Sayce in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society , new series, Xiv; Records of the Past  ; Hastings, End of Religion and Ethics , I.

2. Aryan Armenians: History to 114 Ad

The ancestors of the present Armenians (who call themselves Ḥaik'h , i.e. Pati - s , "Lords") may have settled in the country in the 8th century bc, when Sargon mentions a king of part of Armenia who bore the Aryan name Bagadatti (= Theodore). They came from Phrygia (Herod. vii.73), used the Phrygian dress and armor (Dion. of Halicarnassus; Eudoxius; Herod.) and spoke the same language (Herod. i.171). In the Bible they are called the "House of Togarmah" ( Genesis 10:3;  1 Chronicles 1:6;  Ezekiel 27:14;  Ezekiel 38:6 ) and "Ashkenaz" ( Genesis 10:3;  1 Chronicles 1:6;  Jeremiah 51:27; the Assyrian Ashguza), as by their own writers of later times. Xenophon in the Cyropedia mentions a Median conquest of Armenia, Strabo their Median attire; yet Armenian girls could not understand Xenophon's Persian interpreter ( Anab . iv.5). Three of the four Armenians mentioned by Darius have Aryan names. The Armenians joined the Median noble Fravartish in his revolt against Darius I (519 bc). Much of the consequent fighting took place in Armenia, which was with difficulty subdued (517). It formed part of Darius' thirteenth Nome, and afterward two satrapies (apparently Armenia Major and Minor). The government (of Armenia Major) was made hereditary in the family of Vidarna (Hydarnes) for helping to put down Fravartish. Xenophon's interesting description of the country and people and the severity of its winters is well known. Herodotus tells of Armenians in skin and wicker-work coracles bringing wine, etc., to Babylon. Xenophon says they and the Chaldeans traded with India. Strabo mentions their caravan trade across central Asia. The satrap of Armenia had to present 20,000 young horses annually to the king of Persia at the great annual festival of Mithra. A large body of Armenian soldiers served in Xerxes' invasion of Greece. At the battle of Arbela (331 bc), 40,000 of their infantry and 7,000 cavalry took part. Armenia then became a portion of Alexander's empire, and later of that of Seleucus (301 bc), under a native satrap, Artavasdes. Armenia revolted after Antiochus' defeat at Magnesia (190 bc), and the Romans encouraged the two satraps to declare themselves kings. Artaxias, king of Armenia Major, used Hannibal's aid in fortifying his capital Artaxata (189 bc). Artaxias was overthrown by Antiochus Epiphanes in 165, but was restored on swearing allegiance. Civil confusion ensued. The nobles called in the Parthians under Mithridates I (150 bc), who became master of the whole Persian empire. He made his brother Valarsaces king of Armenia. Thus the Arsacide dynasty was established in that country and lasted till the fall of the Parthian empire (226 ad), the Armenian kings very generally recognizing the Parthian monarchs as their suzerains. The greatest Armenian king was Tigranes I. (96-55 bc), a warrior who raised Armenia for a time to the foremost position in Asia. He humbled the Parthians, joined Mithridates Vi in war with Rome, ruled Syria for over 14 years, built near Mardin as his capital Tigranocerta, and assumed the Assyrio-Persian title of "King of Kings." Lucullus defeated Tigranes and destroyed Tigranocerta in 69 bc. Tigranes surrendered to Pompey near Artaxata (66 bc), paid 6,000 talents, and retained only Armenia. Under him Greek art and literature flourished in the country. Armenia as a subjectally of Rome became a "buffer state" between the Roman and Parthian empires. Tigranes' son and successor Artevasdēs joined in the Parthian invasion of Syria after Crassus' overthrow at Sinnaca 53 bc. He treacherously caused great loss to Antony's army in 36 bc. Antony carried him in chains to Egypt, where Cleopatra put him to death in 32 bc. After this, Armenia long remained subject to the Romans whenever not strong enough to join the Parthians, suffering much from intrigues and the jealousy of both powers. There is no proof of the later Armenian story that Armenia was subject to Abgarus, king of Edessa, in our Lord's time, and that the gospel was preached there by Thaddaeus, though the latter point is possible. In 66 ad, Tiridates, elder brother of the Parthian king Vologēsēs , having defeated the Romans under Paetus and established himself on the throne of Armenia, went by land to Rome and received investiture from Nero. Peace between Rome and Parthia ensued, and Armenia remained closely united to Parthia till Trajan's expedition in 114 ad.


Spiegel, Altpers. Keilinschriften  ; Herodotus; Xenophon; Arrian; Tacitus; Velleius Patroculus; Livy; Polybius; Ammianus Marcellinus.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

Arme´nia, a country of Western Asia, is not mentioned in Scripture under that name, but is supposed to be alluded to in the three following Hebrew designations, which seem to refer either to the country as a whole, or to particular districts.

Ararat, the land upon (or over) the mountains of which the ark rested at the Deluge ( Genesis 8:4); whither the sons of Sennacherib fled after murdering their father ( 2 Kings 19:37;  Isaiah 37:38); and one of the 'kingdoms' summoned, along with Minni and Ashkenaz, to arm against Babylon ( Jeremiah 51:27).

Minni is mentioned in  Jeremiah 51:27, along with Ararat and Ashkenaz, as a kingdom called to arm itself against Babylon. The name is by some taken for a contraction of 'Armenia.'

Thogarmah, mentioned by the prophet  Ezekiel 27:14;  Ezekiel 38:6.

The boundaries of Armenia may be described generally as the southern range of the Caucasus on the north, and a branch of the Taurus on the south. It forms an elevated table-land, whence rise mountains which (with the exception of the gigantic Ararat) are of moderate height. The climate is generally cold, but salubrious. The country abounds in romantic forest and mountain scenery, and rich pasture-land, especially in the districts which border upon Persia. Ancient writers notice the wealth of Armenia in metals and precious stones. The great rivers Euphrates and Tigris both take their rise in this region, as also the Araxes, and the Kur or Cyrus. Armenia is commonly divided into Greater and Lesser, the line of separation being the Euphrates; but the former constitutes by far the larger portion, and indeed the other is often regarded as pertaining rather to Asia Minor. There was anciently a kingdom of Armenia, with its metropolis Artaxata: it was sometimes an independent state, but most commonly tributary to some more powerful neighbor. Indeed at no period was the whole of this region ever comprised under one government, but Assyria, Media, Syria, and Cappadocia shared the dominion or allegiance of some portion of it, just as it is now divided among the Persians, Russians, Turks, and Kurds. In later times Armenia was the border-country where the Romans and Parthians fruitlessly strove for the mastery; and since then it has been the frequent battle-field of the neighboring states. Towards the end of the last war between Russia and Turkey, large bodies of native Armenians emigrated into the Russian dominions, so that their number in what is termed Turkish Armenia is now considerably reduced. By the treaty of Turkomanshee (21st Feb. 1828) Persia ceded to Russia the Khanats of Erivan and Nakhshivan. The boundary-line (drawn from the Turkish dominions) passes over the Little Ararat; the line of separation between Persian and Turkish Armenia also begins at Ararat: so that this famous mountain is now the central boundary-stone of these three empires.

Christianity was first established in Armenia in the fourth century; the Armenian Church has a close affinity to the Greek Church in its forms and polity; it is described by the American missionaries who are settled in the country as in a state of great corruption and debasement. The total number of the Armenian nation throughout the world is supposed not to exceed 2,000,000. Their favorite pursuit is commerce, and their merchants are found in all parts of the East.

The Armenian or Haikan language, notwithstanding the great antiquity of the nation to which it belongs, possesses no literary documents prior to the fifth century of the Christian era. The translation of the Bible, begun by Miesrob in the year 410, is the earliest monument of the language that has come down to us. The dialect in which this version is written, and in which it is still publicly read in their churches, is called the old Armenian. The dialect now in use—the modern Armenian—in which they preach and carry on the intercourse of daily life, not only departs from the elder form by dialectual changes in the native elements of the language itself, but also by the great intermixture of Persian and Turkish words which has resulted from the conquest and subjection of the country. It is, perhaps, this diversity of the ancient and modern idioms which has given rise to the many conflicting opinions that exist as to the relation in which the Armenian stands to other languages. As to form, it is said to be rough and full of consonants; to possess ten cases in the noun—a number which is only exceeded by the Finnish; to have no dual; to have no mode of denoting gender in the noun by change of form; to bear a remarkable resemblance to Greek in the use of the participle, and in the whole syntactical structure; and to have adopted the Arabian system of meter.