Since Armenia pre-dates most of the surrounding nations, ancient historians would refer to it by the name that is still in use today. Something easily overlooked by some, nevertheless of significant importance attesting to the continuation from the times of the immemorial to the present. A rare occurring in the region that has known much turmoil, occupation, change of power, genocide, expulsion, emerging and disappearing of empires and entire nations. So in this post I would like to share a few quotes from antique writers about Armenia of the old, referring to this country as we refer to it today, Armenia.
We have said that Media and Armenia lie to the north, and Adiabene and Mesopotamia to the west of Babylonia.
For the Medes, Armenians, and Babylonians, the three greatest nations in these parts, were from the first in the practice, on convenient opportunities, of waging continual war with each other, and then making peace, which state of things continued till the establishment of the Parthian empire.
The Parthians subdued the Medes and Babylonians, but never at any time conquered the Armenians. They made frequent inroads into their country, but the people were not subdued, and Tigranes, as I have mentioned in the description of Armenia, opposed them with great vigour and success.
Note: none of the mentioned countries except Armenia, exist today.
Appian, The Mithridatic Wars 13.87 (about the most victorious battle of Mithridates over Rome)
Mithridates manufactured arms in every town. The soldiers he recruited were almost wholly Armenians. From these he selected the bravest to the number of about 70,000 foot and half that number of horse and dismissed the rest. He divided them into companies and cohorts as nearly as possible according to the Italian system, and turned them over to Pontic officers to be trained.
He continues in section 88: “So great a number of officers had seldom fallen in any single Roman defeat.”
Confirmed written evidence of ancient beer production in Armenia can be obtained from Xenophon in his work Anabasis (5th century B.C.) when he was in one of the ancient Armenian villages in which he wrote (Book 4, V).
There were stores within of wheat and barley and vegetables, and wine made from barley in great big bowls; the grains of barley malt lay floating in the beverage up to the lip of the vessel, and reeds lay in them, some longer, some shorter, without joints; when you were thirsty you must take one of these into your mouth, and suck. The beverage without admixture of water was very strong, and of a delicious flavour to certain palates, but the taste must be acquired.