Mountains of Ararat

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Ararat mountains view
Mt. Ararat as seen from Yerevan
Depiction of Noah's ark landing on the "mountains of Ararat", from the North French Hebrew Miscellany (13th century)

In the Book of Genesis, the mountains of Ararat (Biblical Hebrew הָרֵי אֲרָרָט‬, Tiberian hārēy Ǎrārāṭ, Septuagint: τὰ ὄρη τὰ Ἀραράτ) is the place where Noah's Ark came to rest after the great flood (Genesis 8:4).


In the Armenian tradition and Western Christianity, based on Jerome's reading of Josephus, the specific summit of the "Mountains of Ararat" where Noah's ark landed is identified as Mount Masis (now known as Mount Ararat - Armenian: Արարատ) the highest peak of the Armenian Highland, located in present-day Turkey. In Syrian tradition, as well as in Quranic tradition, the mountain is identified with Mount Judi in what is today Şırnak Province, Southeastern Anatolia Region, Turkey. During the Middle Ages, this tradition has eclipsed the earlier association with Mount Judi in Eastern Christianity (Syrian Christianity), and the Mount Judi tradition is now mostly confined to the Islamic view of Noah.

The "Mountains of Ararat" in Genesis clearly refer to a general region, not a specific mountain. Biblical Ararat corresponds to Ancient Assyrian Urartu (and Old Persian Armina) the name of the kingdom which at the time controlled the Lake Van region.

The Latin Vulgate says "requievitque arca [...] super montes Armeniae", which means literally "and the ark rested [...] on the mountains of Armenia", which was changed to "... mountains of Ararat" (montes Ararat) in the modern Nova Vulgata.

The Book of Jubilees (7:1) specifies that the Ark came to rest on one of the peaks of the "Mountains of Ararat" called "Lubar".

In the book, Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus wrote:

Sir Walter Raleigh devoted several lengthy chapters of his History of the World (written c. 1616) to his argument that the "Mountains of Ararat" were anciently understood as including not only those of Armenia, but all the taller mountain ranges extending into Asia far to the east, and that Noah's Ark must have landed somewhere in the Orient, since Armenia is not actually east of Shinar.

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