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Mysteries of Armenia

Floating Legends


Armenian communities existed in many countries of the Ancient East. The majority of Armenians who lived outside their fatherland were engaged in trade. According to various historians, Armenian city blocks in Babylon were irregular merchant outskirts. It is also believed that some of the petroglyphs on the Serpent Mountain had an image of a boat with trade middlemen. Such interpretations of rocky drawings can indeed be called in question, although it is a fact that the trade with Babylon was carried out via the Euphrates. Herodotus left a description of special technology of making boats for the transportation of goods. It said, “In Armenia, people cut down willows and use them to make the sides of the boat. Then they cover them with leather and make imitation bottom without pulling apart the sides of the stern and without narrowing the rostrum, yet shaping the boat as a rounded shield. Afterwards, they fill the whole vessel with straw, and having loaded it with goods, they float it towards Babylon”. Nonetheless, in Babylon the Armenians were famous not only as merchants. One of the most mysterious historic figures was the Babylonian King Arakha. G.Bunner claims that “Armenian Arakha and Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Judith is one and the same person”. Such viewpoint is also supported by K.Sheddle, who thinks Arakha not to be a proper name, but an Armenian title that means prince. The famous historian contends that the prince’s real name is Nebuchadnezzar. “He was the son of dethroned Nabonidus, so he went to Babylon in order to stake out a claim to his father’s throne”, he writes. Does this suggest that the last dynasty of Babylonian monarchs were of Armenian descent? So far the scholars have failed to give a definite answer to this question.

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