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ARMENIA , in Transcaucasia. Historically its boundaries embraced a much wider area in different periods. The Armenian diaspora is scattered in many countries of the world and still identifies its past history and future aspirations with the wider connotations of the term Armenia. Jewish historical, exegetical, and descriptive sources reveal knowledge of the variations in geographical area and history of this remarkable people. The fate and modes of existence of the Armenians have been compared in some essential features to those of the Jews. Much of the original Armenia is now the area of Kurdistan in Turkey. However, from the seventh to ninth centuries the Arab conquerors called by the name Armenia a province which included entire Transcaucasia, with the cities Bardhaʿa, now Barda in the present Azerbaijan, where the governors mostly resided, and (now Tbilisi, capital of Georgia). The province is also sometimes called Armenia in eastern sources. The were sometimes credited with Armenian origin: this is stated by the seventh-century Armenian bishop and historian Sebeos, and the Arab geographer Dimashqī (d. 1327). In the 13 th to 14 th centuries the Crimea and the area to the east were known as Gazaria (Khazaria) to western authors, and as Maritime Armenia to Armenian authors. The term Armenia often included much of Anatolia, or otherwise referred to cities on the Syrian-Mesopotamian route (now Turkey, near the Syrian frontier) such as Haran (Ḥarrān), Edessa (Urfa), and Nisibis (Naṣībīn). In the past Armenia has been connected with the biblical Ashkenaz. The Armenians are termed "the Ashkenazi nation" in their literature. According to this tradition, the genealogy in Genesis 10:3 extended to the populations west of the Volga. In Jewish usage Ashkenaz is sometimes equated with Armenia; in addition, it sometimes covers neighboring (Targ. Jer. 51:27), and also Khazaria (David b. Abraham Alfasi, Ali ibn Suleiman; cf. S. Pinsker, Likkutei Kadmoniyyot (1860), 208; S.L. Skoss (ed.), Hebrew-Arabic Dictionary of the Bible of David ben Abraham al-Fasi (1936), 159), the Crimea and the area to the east (Isaac Abrabanel, Commentary to Gen. 10:3), the Saquliba (Saadiah Gaon, Commentary, ibid. ), i.e., the territory of the Slavs and neighboring forest tribes, considered by the Arabs dependent of Khazaria, as well as Eastern and Central Europe, and northern Asia (cf. Abraham Farissol, Iggeret Orḥot Olam (Venice, 1587), ch. 3). In other expositions found in rabbinical works, Armenia is linked with . The anti-Jewish attitudes prevailing in eastern-Byzantine (Armenian) provinces made the identify it with the "daughter of Edom that dwellest in the land of Uz" (Lam. 4:21) or with "Constantina in the land of Armenia" (now Viransehir, between Urfa and Naṣībīn ( ). Hence Job's "land of Uz" is referred to as Armenia in some commentaries, for instance in those of Naḥmanides and Joseph b. David ibn Yaḥyā. The "Uz-Armenia" of Abraham Farissol is however the Anatolian region near Constantinople. Armenia is also sometimes called Amalek in some sources, and Jews often referred to Armenians as Amalekites. This is the Byzantine term for the Armenians. It...
Source Citation (MLA 8 th Edition)
Poliak, Abraham N. "Armenia." Encyclopaedia Judaica, edited by Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik, 2nd ed., vol. 2, Macmillan Reference USA, 2007, pp. 472-474. Academic OneFile, Accessed 24 Apr. 2019.
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