THE LIBERATION LEGEND OF THE ARMENIAN MIDDLE AGES – 2010-3

Part 1: Armenian-Roman Treaty in the literary sources 

Vardan G. Devrikyan
The article is devoted to Trdat I Arshakuni’s visit to Rome in 65 and the written echoes of the signed treaty with Neron the Emperor, to which later the history of Trdat the Great’s visit to Rome together with Grigor Lusavorish in 315 and meeting Constantine (Kostandianos) the Emperor and Pope Seghbestros of Rome was added.

In the article, it is being shown how the history of Trdat I’s visit to Rome was intertwined with Trdat III’s visit to Rome in the Armenian environment.

Starting from Agathangeghos’s “History of the Armenians” from historiograph to historigraph, from century to century the history of this Armenian-Roman Treaty has been endowed with new features, gaining marked political shades.

The Armenian historiographs, referring to this treaty, first from the Byzantium emperors, and then from the “Franks”, the European rulers were expecting military-political support for Armenia’s liberation.

At the same time, mainly connected with these expectations, the history of this very Treaty and Trdat’s visit to Rome, receiving reinforced novelistic tones, has turned to a medieval legend, according to which the Treaty which was formerly signed by the Armenian and Roman kings has to be realized by the successors of the Roman Emperor.

In the article, in the notifications about the Armenian-Roman Treaty, according to their chronicle course, the future changing flow of the medieval legend of the confirmed Treaty is being shown, as well as the political of the Armenian freedom mind quests reflected in it are being revealed. Concurrently, the idea is being stressed that the history about the Armenian-Roman Treaty, besides the reflection of military-political expectations, also had a general cultural-political importance and symbolized the perception of Armenia and the Armenian nation of forming a part of the European system of values by succeeding authors.

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