Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/812

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736

ARMELLINO


736


ARMENIA


Ret. Le cardinnl Georget d'Armngnae cn-le{iat 4 Avignon (1566-83). d'apres sa correapondance: Annalef du midi (1898). 129-I.';4. 273-306; Tamizky de Lahroque. LeUres in- Miles rfu rardinat d'Armagnac, in Bev. hist., 1876, II; Faroes in La grandc cnCJ/r., Ill, 986.

Jean Le Bars.

Annellino, Mariano, a Benedictine historian, b. in Rome (according to others, at Ancona) in 1657; d. at FoHgno in 1737. At the age of twenty he entered the inona.stery of St. Paul in Rome, whence he was sent to Monte Cassino to complete his studies. From 16S7 to 1695 he taught philosophy at various mon- asteries of the Cassinese Congregation. From 1697 to 1722 he devoted himself to preaching and became famous throughout Italy for his Lenten sermons. In 1722 Pope Innocent XIII appointed him abbot of the monastery at Sienna; in 1729 he was trans- ferred as abbot to the Monastery of St. Peter at Assisi, and, in 1734, to the Monastery of St. Felician, near Fohgno. He ^Tote the "Bibliotheca Bene- dictino-Cassinensis", a carefully compiled list and sketch of all the authors of the Cassinese Congrega- tion, and a few other historical and hagiographical works concerning the Cassinese Congregation of Benedictines.

Hdrter, Nommdalor (Innsbruck, 1893), I, 1212; Adelunq, Supplement zu JfFckers Getehrten- Lexicon (.Leipzig, 1784), I, 1091; Studien und Mittheilungen aus dem Benediktiner-Orden, VIII, 243; ZiEGELBAUER, HiitoTia rei literarite Ordinia Sancti Benedicti. Ill, 5 37.

Michael Ott.

Armenia, a mountainous region of Western Asia occupying a somewhat indefinite area to the south- east of the Black Sea. Although the name "Ar- menia" occurs twice in the Vulgate, the regular biblical designation of the country is "Ararat", a name which is doubtless identical with the "Urartu" of the cuneiform inscriptions. Not being delimited by permanent natural boundaries, the territory cov- ered bj^ Armenia has varied at different epochs of the world's history, and even as early as the time of the ancient Romans there was recognized a Lesser as well as a Greater Armenia, the former embracing a portion of Asia Minor. Politically Armenia has ceased to exist, having been partitioned between Turkey, Persia, and Russia, the largest share being possessed by Turkey. The country comprises a total area of about 120,000 square miles and consists in the main of an elevated plateau traversed by several mountain ranges which run parallel to the Caucasian mountains on the north. A few of the principal peaks, the most noted of which is Ararat, the "holy mount", rise above the line of perpetual snow. Among the important rivers that take their rise in Armenia are the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Araxes. There are many lakes, chief among which are Lake Sevanga and I^ake Van. The latter is seventy miles in length and about twenty-eight in breadth, and is probably the "Upper Sea of the Nairi" mentioned in the cuneiform inscriptions. The climate is severe, including the extremes of heat and cold. There are practically but two seasons, summer and winter, the latter lasting from October to May, and the transition from one to the other is abrupt. The peculiarities of the climate, among which may be noted a considerable degree of humidity, are due in part to the proximity of the Black Sea, partly to the high elevation of the region, most of the inhabited localities being from 5,000 to 8,000 feet above the sea le\el. Scarcely any trees are to be found on the .Armenian mountains, but those planted in the inhabited localities thrive well. Grapes are successfully cultivated in the valleys and around Lake Van. Wheat, barley, hemp, cotton, and tobacco are also raised. I're-eminent among the domestic animals are the horse and buffalo. The mountainous tracts yield excellent pasturage, and in consequence, the rearing of live stock is more


extensively carried on than agriculture. On ac- count of the various subjugations of the country the inhabitants of Armenia belong to different races. The native Armenians and Kurds form each about a quarter of the entire population; the Turkish and Turcoman elements corLstitute the major part of the remaining half. Greeks, Jews, and Gypsies are scattered throughout the country. The Armenians themselves, of whom only about 1,000,000, or about one-half of the total number, live in Armenia, are a commercial people par excellence.

The Church ix Ar.menia. — I. Ancient Politi- cal Constitution. — The name Armenia appears for the first time in the cuneiform inscriptions of Darius Hystaspis. Much obscurity obtains as to the deriva- tion of the word. Some would refer it back to the Vannic word Armani-lis, a stela, while others would connect it with Arman, a district lying to the south of Lake Van. Armenia is the name given to a mountainous strip of land situated in the south- western portion of Asia. On one side it touches the Black Sea, on the other the Caspian, while on the north and on the south it is enclosed respectively by the Caucasus and the Taurus Mountains. Within its confines is the celebrated Lake Van. In shape it much resembles a quadrangle. As far as is known, the earliest inhabitants of Armenia were a white race, whose capital, Dhuspa, stood on the site of the present city of Van. An Aryan race replaced it and it is from this latter stock that the modern Armenians have sprung. They style their ancestors the Haik and make allusion to their country as Haisdan. They claim that the father of their race, Haik, was the son of Thogorma, whom in Genesis we find to be the third son of Corner. This belief has given rise to many beautiful legends. Be this as it may, it was about the end of the seventh or the beginning of the sixth century b. c. that this new race took possession of the country. In number and social condition it was superior to its predecessor, but this new people also was subject to the Medes and the Persians. With the victory of Alexander the Great over the Persians in 328 B. c. Armenia fell into Greek hands. The Seleucidte of Syria, under whose control the land soon passed, allowed it the choice of its rulers. When in 190 b. c. the Romans over- threw Antiochus the Great, Artaxias and Zariadris, who were then ruling the land, declared themselves kings, the former in Armenia proper, the latter in Sophene. Thus began the national dynasty of the Arsacides, which became famous under Tigranes the First. Later the Romans and the Parthians made a plaything of the country, which soon chose as its ruler Tiridates, the brother of the Parthian king. When the Arsacides lost the Persian throne to the Sassanides (a. d. 226) Armenia declared itself against the new house and there ensued a bloody combat between the two countries, which lasted for several centuries.

II. Conversion to Christiamity. — The nature and characteristics of the paganism which preceded Christianity in Armenia are practically unknown to us. Attempts have been made to identify its gods with those of Greece, but all we know are the names and the sanctuaries of its pagan deities. Olxscurity likewise shrouds the beginnings of Christianity in the country. Native liistorians of a rather late period would have us believe that .-several of the Apostles preached in .\nnenia, and that some of them, as St. Bartholomew and St. Thaddeus, died there. A popiilar legend ascribes to the latter the evangelizing of the land. Although the very ancient writers of the country, .such ius Korioun, Agathangelus, etc., do not even mention the name of Thaddeus, yet the legend, which apparently came at a late period from a Greek source, h;is .so prevailed that even to-day the head of the Armenian Church claims to be occupying