Mount Judi

Last updated
Jūdī, Cudi, Cûdî, Qardū
The mountain range, seen from Şırnak.
Highest point
Elevation 2,089 m (6,854 ft)
Coordinates 37°22′10″N42°20′39″E / 37.36944°N 42.34417°E / 37.36944; 42.34417 Coordinates: 37°22′10″N42°20′39″E / 37.36944°N 42.34417°E / 37.36944; 42.34417
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Jūdī, Cudi, Cûdî, Qardū
Asia laea relief location map.jpg
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Jūdī, Cudi, Cûdî, Qardū
Jūdī, Cudi, Cûdî, Qardū (Asia)
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Jūdī, Cudi, Cûdî, Qardū
Jūdī, Cudi, Cûdî, Qardū (Earth)
Parent range Zagros

Mount Judi (Arabic : ٱلْجُوْدِيّ [1] al-Ǧūdiyy, Kurdish : Cûdî, Turkish : Cudi), also known as Qardū (Aramaic : קרדו, Classical Syriac : ܩܪܕܘ), [2] is Noah's apobaterion or "Place of Descent", the location where the Ark came to rest after the Great Flood, according to very Early Christian and Islamic tradition (based on the Qur'an, 11:44). [1]

Turkish language Turkic language mainly spoken and used in Turkey

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, and sometimes known as Turkey Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around ten to fifteen million native speakers in Southeast Europe and sixty to sixty-five million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state.

Noah Biblical figure

In Abrahamic religions, Noah was the tenth and last of the pre-Flood patriarchs. His story is contained in the Hebrew Bible, in the Book of Genesis, chapters 5–9. The Genesis flood narrative is among the best-known stories of the Bible. Noah is also portrayed as "the first tiller of the soil" and the inventor of wine.

Noahs Ark the vessel in the Genesis flood narrative

Noah's Ark is the vessel in the Genesis flood narrative through which God spares Noah, his family, and examples of all the world's animals from a world-engulfing flood. The story in Genesis is repeated, with variations, in the Quran, where the ark appears as Safina Nūḥ.


The Quranic tradition is similar to the Judeo-Christian legend. The identification of Mount Judi as the landing site of the ark persisted in Syriac and Armenian tradition throughout Late Antiquity but was abandoned for the tradition equating the biblical location with the highest mountain of the region, Mount Ararat.

Mount Ararat large peak in Turkey near Armenia

Mount Ararat is a snow-capped and dormant compound volcano in the extreme east of Turkey. It consists of two major volcanic cones: Greater Ararat and Little Ararat. Greater Ararat is the highest peak in Turkey and the Armenian plateau with an elevation of 5,137 m (16,854 ft); Little Ararat's elevation is 3,896 m (12,782 ft). The Ararat massif is about 35 km (22 mi) wide at ground base. The first efforts to reach Ararat's summit were made in the Middle Ages, and Friedrich Parrot, Khachatur Abovian, and four others made the first recorded ascent in 1829.

Jewish Babylonian, Syriac, and Islamic traditions identify Mount Judi or Qardu as a peak near the town of Jazirat ibn Umar (modern Cizre), at the headwaters of the Tigris, near the modern Syrian–Turkish border. Arab historian Al-Masudi [3] (d. 956), reported that the spot where the ark came to rest could be seen in his time. Al-Mas'udi locates Jabal Judi at 80 parasangs from the Tigris. Mount Judi was historically located in the province of Corduene, south of Lake Van. The mountains of this region, where Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran meet, are referred to as the 'Zagros'. [4]

Jewish Babylonian Aramaic was the form of Middle Aramaic employed by Jewish writers in Babylonia between the 4th century and the 11th century CE

Jewish Babylonian Aramaic was the form of Middle Aramaic employed by writers in Lower Mesopotamia between the fourth and eleventh centuries. It is most commonly identified with the language of the Babylonian Talmud and of post-Talmudic (Geonic) literature, which are the most important cultural products of Babylonian Jews. The most important epigraphic sources for the dialect are the hundreds of inscriptions on incantation bowls.

Tigris river which flows from Turkey through Iraq and Syria

The Tigris is the eastern of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq and empties into the Persian Gulf.

Syria–Turkey border International border

The border between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey is about 822 kilometres (511 mi) long. It runs across Upper Mesopotamia for some 400 kilometres (250 mi), crossing the Euphrates and reaching as far as the Tigris. It follows the Southern Turkish stretch of the Baghdad Railway, roughly along the 37th parallel between the 37th and 42nd eastern meridians. In the west, it surrounds the Turkish Hatay Province, following the course of the Orontes River and reaching the Mediterranean Sea coast at the foot of Jebel Aqra.


The relation of some of the spellings is clear. The origin of Judi is less clear. It is usually interpreted as a corrupted version of the same name, via al-gurdi (Reynolds 2004). The proposal that the two names are ultimately the same was first advanced by the English Orientalist George Sale in his translation of the Qur'an published in 1734. Sale's footnote reads:

George Sale (1697–1736) was an Orientalist and practising solicitor, best known for his 1734 translation of the Qur'an into English. He was also author of The General Dictionary, in ten volumes, folio.

This mountain [al-Judi] is one of those that divide Armenia on the south, from Mesopotamia, and that part of Assyria which is inhabited by the Curds, from whom the mountains took the name Cardu, or Gardu, by the Greeks turned into Gordyae, and other names. ... Mount Al-Judi (which seems to be a corruption, though it be constantly so written by the Arabs, for Jordi, or Giordi) is also called Thamanin ..., probably from a town at the foot of it.

Mesopotamia Historical region within the Tigris–Euphrates river system

Mesopotamia is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent, in modern days roughly corresponding to most of Iraq, Kuwait, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, and regions along the Turkish–Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders.

Assyria Major Mesopotamian East Semitic kingdom

Assyria, also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC until its collapse between 612 BC and 609 BC - spanning the periods of the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age. From the end of the seventh century BC to the mid-seventh century AD, it survived as a geopolitical entity, for the most part ruled by foreign powers such as the Parthian and early Sasanian Empires between the mid-second century BC and late third century AD, the final part of which period saw Mesopotamia become a major centre of Syriac Christianity and the birthplace of the Church of the East.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Sale[ citation needed ] goes on to say that there was once a famous Christian monastery on the mountain, but that this was destroyed by lightning in the year 776 AD, following which

Monastery complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplace(s) of monks or nuns

A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone (hermits). A monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church, or temple, and may also serve as an oratory, or in the case of communities anything from a single building housing only one senior and two or three junior monks or nuns, to vast complexes and estates housing tens or hundreds. A monastery complex typically comprises a number of buildings which include a church, dormitory, cloister, refectory, library, balneary and infirmary. Depending on the location, the monastic order and the occupation of its inhabitants, the complex may also include a wide range of buildings that facilitate self-sufficiency and service to the community. These may include a hospice, a school, and a range of agricultural and manufacturing buildings such as a barn, a forge, or a brewery.

the credit of this tradition hath declined, and given place to another, which obtains at present, and according to which the ark rested on Mount Masis, in Armenia, called by the Turks Agri Dagh.

Religious traditions

Depiction of Noah's ark landing on the mountain top, from the North French Hebrew Miscellany (13th century) Ararat Ms. 11639 521a.jpg
Depiction of Noah's ark landing on the mountain top, from the North French Hebrew Miscellany (13th century)


The Syrians of the east Tigris had a legend of the ark resting on the Djûdi mountain in the land of Corduene (Kard, Korchayk, Carduchoi). This legend may in origin have been independent of the Genesis account of Noah's flood, rooted in the more general Near Eastern flood legends, but following Christianization of the Syrians, from about the 2nd century AD, it became associated with the Mountains of Ararat where Noah landed according to Genesis, and from Syria also this legend also spread to the Armenians. The Armenians did not traditionally associate Noah's landing site with Mount Ararat, known natively as Masis, but until the 11th century continued to associate Noah's ark with Mount Judi. [5]

It is to be noted, the biblical Ararat is thought be a variation of Urartu , an ancient term for the region north of ancient Assyria which encompasses the Armenian plateau. According to Josephus, the Armenians in the 1st century showed the remains of Noah's ark at a place called αποβατηριον "Place of Descent" (Armenian : Նախիջեւան, Nakhichevan, Ptolemy's Ναξουανα), about 60 miles southeast of the summit of Mount Ararat ( ca. 39°04′N45°05′E / 39.07°N 45.08°E / 39.07; 45.08 ). [6] The "mountains of Ararat" in Genesis have become identified in later (medieval) Christian tradition with the peak now known as Mount Ararat itself, a volcanic massif on the border between Turkey and Armenia and known in Turkish as "Agri Dagh" (Ağrı Dağı).


The Quranic account of the Flood and Noah's Ark agrees with that given in Genesis, with a few variations. One of these concerns the final resting place of the Ark: according to Genesis, the Ark grounded on the "mountains of Ararat". According to the Qur'an (11:44), [1] the final resting place of the vessel was called "Judi", without the word "mountain". However, the use of Arabic definite letter "Al" in front of word Judi in the Quran signifies that it is pointing to a definite place (or mountain, in this case). Had it been referring to a general height, it would have been just "Judi", not "Al-Judi". [7]

And the word was spoken: "O earth! swallow up thy waters! And, O sky, cease [thy rain]!" And the water sank into the earth, and the will [of God] was done, and the ark came to rest on Al-Judi. And the word was spoken: "Away with these evil doing folk!"

Quran, 11:44 [1]

The 9th century Arab geographer Ibn Khordadbeh identified the location of mount Judi as being in the land of Assyria (Al-Akrad), and the Abbasid historian Al-Mas'udi (c. 896-956) recorded that the spot where it came to rest could be seen in his time. Al-Mas'udi also said that the Ark began its voyage at Kufa in central Iraq, and sailed to Mecca, where it circled the Kaaba, before finally travelling to Judi. Yaqut al-Hamawi, also known as Al-Rumi, placed the mountain "above Jazirat ibn Umar, to the east of the Tigris," and mentioned a mosque built by Noah that could be seen in his day, and the traveller Ibn Battuta passed by the mountain in the 14th century. [3]

Searches for the mountain

The Durupinar site, argued to be Noah's Ark The Structure Claimed to be the Noah's Ark near the Mount Ararat in Turkey.jpg
The Durupınar site, argued to be Noah's Ark

In the 1980s, adventurer and self-styled archaeologist Ron Wyatt and his colleague David Fasold claimed to have discovered Noah's Ark at Durupınar, some twenty miles from Mt. Ararat near a mountain locals called Cudi Dağı. [8] Fasold later vacillated on the claim. [9] [10] [11] [12]

The description of medieval geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi matches a 2,089 m (6,854 ft) peak north of Silopi, that is now called Jabal Judi or Judi Dagh by Muslims and Gardu by Christians and Jews.[ citation needed ]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Quran   11:44  (Translated by  Yusuf Ali)
  2. McAuliffe, Jane Dammen (2001). Encyclopaedia Of The Quran. 1. Brill. pp. 146–147. ISBN   978-90-04-11465-4.
  3. 1 2 Lewis, J. P. (December 1984), Noah and the Flood: In Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Tradition, The Biblical Archaeologist, p. 237
  4. "Zagros Mountains". Britannica . Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  5. Friedrich Murat (1901). "Ararat und Masis, Studien zur armenischen Altertumskunde und Litteratur" (in German). 5 (2). Heidelberg: The University of Chicago Press: 335–337.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. Conybeare (1901)
  7. Arabic definite article
  8. Fasold, David (1988). The Ark of Noah . New York: Wynwood. pp. 92–93. ISBN   0-922066-10-8.
  9. Clifton, Brad (9 April 1997). "Doubts sank faith in Ark". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) .
  10. Thomson, Kirstyn (9 April 1997). "Witness Tells How Ark Faith Sank". The West Australian.
  11. Deal, David Allen (2005). Noah's Ark: The Evidence. Muscogee, Oklahoma: Artisan. ISBN   0-933677-02-2.
  12. Dawes, June (2000). Noah's Ark: Adrift in Dark Waters. Belrose, New South Wales: Noahide. p. 184. ISBN   0-646-40228-5.