Ara the beautiful and the mountains of Aragats

Since ancient times the cult of sun worship occupied a special place in Armenian mythology. The main proto-Armenian god was Ar, the god of Sun, Fire and Revival. It is connected with light, sun, fire found in Ararat (the people of Ar), Arev (Sun), Arpi (Light of heaven), Ararich (God or Creator), Aryan, Rta, Arta etc.

The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc. The names Armen and Arman, feminine Arminé, are common given names by Armenians. Armin is also a Persian given name, and is an ancient Zoroastrian given name, meaning Guardian of Aryan Land. Armin meanings in Urdu & English is Dweller Of The Garden Of Eden.

The Proto-Indo-Iranian term is hypothesized to have proto-Indo-European origins, while it is probably a Near-Eastern loanword from the Ugaritic ary, kinsmen. In Akkadian ayyaru means “young man”.

It has been postulated the Proto-Indo-European root word is *haerós with the meanings “members of one’s own (ethnic) group, peer, freeman” as well as the Indo-Iranian meaning of Aryan. Some authors have connected the Indo-European root *ar- meaning “to assemble”.

In Hittite arā- means “friend” from arā, “right, proper(ly)”, derived in turn from Sanskrit áram, “fittingly” and ṛtá-, “truth, order” as well as Greek “to fit together, construct, equip” (< IE *haer-, “fit”), with its derivative “friendship”. The word is probably non-Semitic, possibly a kulturwort, a word borrowed among many languages denoting a cross-cultural concept.

Vedic Mitra is a prominent deity of the Rigveda distinguished by a relationship to Varuna, the protector of rta (Sanskrit ṛtaṃ “that which is properly/excellently joined; order, rule; truth”, the principle of natural order which regulates and coordinates the operation of the universe and everything within it).

Both Vedic Mitra and Avestan Mithra derive from an Indo-Iranian common noun *mitra-, generally reconstructed to have meant “covenant, treaty, agreement, promise, oath.” This meaning is preserved in Avestan miθra “covenant.” In Sanskrit and modern Indo-Aryan languages, mitra means “friend,” one of the aspects of bonding and alliance. Vedic Mitra is the patron divinity of honesty, friendship, contracts and meetings.

Together with Varuna, he counted among the Adityas, a group of solar deities, also in later Vedic texts. The first extant record of Indic Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor. Mitra appears there together with four other Indic divinities as witnesses and keepers of the pact.

In Zoroastrianism, Mithra is a member of the trinity of ahuras, protectors of asha/arta, “truth” or “[that which is] right”. As preserver of covenants, Mithra is also protector and keeper of all aspects of interpersonal relationships, such as friendship and love. Arta- sometimes appears as an element in Vedic and Indic personal names, as with Iranian.

Artatama I (Sanskrit: Ṛta-dhaman, “his abode is Ṛta”; Sanskrit ṛtaṃ “that which is properly/excellently joined; order, rule; truth”) was a king of the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni in the late fifteenth century BC. His reign coincided with the reigns of Egyptian pharaohs Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV.

In the 33rd year of his reign, while he was in the Armenian Highlands in 1446 BC, Thutmose III of Egypt, referred to the people of Ermenen (Armenians), and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”.

The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which existed in many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi.

The name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. At the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

Graeco-Aryan, or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan, is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family that would be the ancestor of Greek, Armenian, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid-3rd millennium BC.

Mount Aragats is an isolated four-peaked volcano massif in Armenia. The name of the mountain is less often spelled Aragatz or Aragac. According to Armenian tradition, Aragats originates from the words Արա Ara + գահ gah, which translates to “Ara’s throne”. Ara refers to the legendary hero Ara the Beautiful.

Aragats was mentioned by the early medieval historian Movses Khorenatsi. In his History of the Armenians Khorenatsi claims that the mountain is named after Aramaneak, the son of Hayk, the legendary father of the Armenian people. Aramaneak called his possessions “the foot of Aragats”.

Mt. Aragats plays a special role in Armenian history and culture. Along with Ararat, it is considered a sacred mountain for the Armenians. According to an ancient Armenian legend, Aragats and Mount Ararat were loving sisters who parted after a quarrel and separated permanently. The modern Aragatsotn Province, dominated by the mountain, was formed in 1995.

The original cult worship in Armenia was a kind of unfathomable higher power or intelligence called Ara, called the physical embodiment of the sun (Arev) worshiped by the ancient Armenians, who called themselves “the children of the sun”.

Aralezs (plural: Aralezs or Aralezner, singular: Aralez) are dog-like creatures, or spirits, in Armenian cultural beliefs or in the Armenian mythology, who live in the sky, or on mount Massis (Mount Ararat), according to other imaginations.

They were praised with Ara the Beautiful (also Ara the Handsome; Arnian: Ara Geghetsik), sometimes associated with the historical king of Ararat known as Arame who ruled in the 9th century BC, and the Assyrian queen Shamiram (Semiramis), who waged war against Armenia to get him in Old Armenia.

Armenians believed that Aralezs descended from the sky to lick the wounds of dead heroes so they could relive or resurrect. According to Armenian historians, when Mushegh Mamikonyan died, his relatives placed his corpse on a tower, hoping that Aralezs would lick and revive him.

But before this, a similar event had took place when Aralezs had licked and revived Ara the Beautiful. Semiramis had heard about the beauty of the Armenian king, and sent him a letter in which she asked him to become her husband and to ascend to the throne, trying to combine the two powers.

However, messengers returned and passed her Ara’s refusal which humiliated Shamiram. She felt hatred towards Ara, so she ordered her commanders to capture Ara alive in the region called Ararat, but he was vanquished and killed by one of her sons. His body was found on the battlefield among the other slain soldiers. Shamiram then told Ara’s people to place his corpse on the top of the mountains, where Aralezs would revive him.

Inconsolable Semiramis reputed to be sorceress took his body and tried in vain to enliven him. When Armenians advanced to avenge their leader, she disguised one of her lovers and spread the rumor that Gods brought Ara back to life. As a result, the war was ceased.

Aragil or Stork – considered as the messenger of Ara the Beautiful, as well as the defender of fields. According to ancient mythological conceptions, two stork symbolize the sun.

Ara / Usha, also known as Aurora, is the Latin word for dawn, and the goddess of dawn in Roman mythology and Latin poetry. Like Greek Eos and Rigvedic Ushas, Aurora continues the name of an earlier Indo-European dawn goddess, Hausos. In Roman mythology, Aurora renews herself every morning and flies across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun.

Due to the dawn heralding the sun and inducing the daily routine, the Dawn Goddess is associated with instilling the cosmic order. Ushas is the arouser of Ṛta, while the role of Aušrinė as the maid of the sun renders her a moral example in Lithuanian traditions and helped her syncretism with the Virgin Mary.

Ararat and the Armenian nation:

0 views0 comments