Ancient and medieval cosmology in Armenian Highland

Part of : Mediterranean archaeology & archaeometry : international journal ; Vol.16, No.4, 2016, pages 393-399

Humankind has always sought to recognize the nature of various sky related phenomena and tried to give them explanations. It is especially vivid in ancient cultures, many of which are related to the Middle East. The purpose of this study is to identify ancient Armenian’s pantheistic and cosmological perceptions, world view, notions and beliefs. By this study we answer the question “How did the Universe work in Ancient Armenian Highland?” The paper focuses on the structure of the Universe and many phenomena of nature that have always had major influence on ancient Armenians thinking. Here we weave together astronomy, anthropology and mythology of Armenia, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions. The initial review of the study covers Moses of Khoren, Yeznik of Koghb, Anania Shirakatsi and other 5th-7th centuries historians’ and scientists’ records about the Universe related superstitious beliefs and cosmological understanding. By discussing and comparing Universe structure in various regional traditions, myths, folk songs and phraseological units we very often came across “seven worlds”, “seven earths” and “seven layers” concepts. We draw parallels between scientific and mythological Earth and Heaven and thus find similar number of layers on both of the ancient and modern thinking. In the article we also give some details about the tripartite structure of the Universe and how these parts are connected with axis. This axis is either a column or a Cosmic Tree (Kenatz Tsar). In Armenian culture the preliminary meanings of the Kenatz Tsar are more vivid in folk songs (Jan gyulums), plays, epic, and so on, which was subsequently mixed with religious and spiritual views. We conclude that the perception of the Universe structure and celestial objects had a significant impact on culture and worldview of the people of the Armenian Highland; particularly it was one of the bases of the regional cultural diversity.
Subject (LC):
Cultural Astronomy, Ancient Cosmology, Universe, Earth, Heaven, Cosmic Tree
Περιέχει 4 εικόνες
References (1):
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