1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aras
ARAS, the anc. Araxes, and the Phasis of Xenophon (Turk. and Arab. Ras, Armen. Yerash, Georg. Rashki), a river which rises south of Erzerum, in the Bingeul-dagh, and flows east through the province of Erzerum, across the Pasin plateau, and then through Russian Armenia, passing between Mount Ararat and Erivan, and forming the Russo-Persian frontier. Its course is about 600 m. long; its principal tributary is the Zanga, which flows by Erivan and drains Lake Gokcha or Sevanga. It is a rapid and muddy stream, dangerous to cross when swollen by the melting of the snows in Armenia, but fordable in its ordinary state. It formerly joined the Kura; but in 1897 it changed its lower course, and now runs direct to the Kizil-agach Bay of the Caspian. On an island in its bed stood Artaxata, the capital of Armenia from 180 B.C. to A.D. 50.