Nature Worship and Nature Myths
Many mountains were sacred, while others, perhaps sacred by themselves in very ancient times, became the sites of famous temples. The towering Massis (Ararat) was called Azat (Yazata?), "venerable." It was a seat of dragons and fairies, but the main reason of its sacredness must be sought in its imposing grandeur, its volcanic character, or even its association with some deity like Marsyas-Masses, by the Phrygo-Armenians (2). This Phrygian god Marsyas-Masses was famous for his skill with the flute but especially for his widely known interest in rivers. He was the son of Hyagnis, probably a  lightning god, and like the Norwegian Agne was hung from a tree by Apollo, who skinned him alive (Apuleius). In fact Marsyas was no more than a tribal variety of Hyagnis, and Hyagnis can be nothing else but the Phrygian form of Vahagn.
Mount Npat (xxx of Strabo), the source of the mighty Tigris, must have enjoyed some veneration as a deity, because the 26th day of each Armenian month was dedicated to it. It has been maintained that Npat was considered by Zoroastrians the seat of Apam-Napat, an important Indo-Iranian water deity.
Mt. Pashat or Palat was the seat of an Aramazd and Astghik temple and a centre of flre-worship. Another unidentified mountain in Sophene was called the Throne of Anahit.
One may safely assume that the Armenians thought in an animistic way, and saw in these natural objects of worship some god or spirit who in Christian times easily assumed the name and character of a saint.
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