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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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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.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Armenia'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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Armenian Church