Author Archives: SimonVratsian


In the articles of the Treaty of Sèvres


Armen Ts. Marukyan
The Treaty of Sèvres was considered by Armenian socio-political thought exclusively in the context of Articles 88-93, which are directly related to Armenia. This was quite natural, as these articles restored the right of the Armenian people to their homeland, a part of Western Armenia. Mentioned articles of the Treaty of Sèvres de jure recognized not only the Republic of Armenia including the Armenian provinces of Transcaucasia, but also the United Armenia uniting Eastern and Western Armenia. The signatory states, including the Turkish state that was defeated in the First World War, recognized the independence of the United Armenia and agreed to expand the borders of Armenia by annexing most of the territories of the provinces of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis, as well as part of the province of Trabzon, thus ensuring the exit of Armenia to the Black Sea.

In addition to these articles, the Treaty of Sèvres contains a number of important articles on the restoration of the violated rights of the non-Turkish population of the Ottoman Empire. Although the words “Armenia” or “Armenian” are missing in Articles 125, 142, 144, 285 and 288 of the Treaty of Sèvres, it is obvious, that they also directly refer to the restoration of the violated rights of the Ottoman Armenians, their descendants, as well as the Armenian communities. According to Articles 226, 228 and 230 of the Treaty, criminal liability was provided against high-ranking Turkish officials not only for war crimes, but also for crimes against humanity, which primarily meant genocide against Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. A comprehensive analysis of these articles will make it possible to clarify the international obligations undertaken by the criminal Turkish state under the Treaty of Sèvres, as well as to discuss the prospects for implementing the mechanisms proposed in the document to restore the violated rights and property damage of the Armenian population who became victims of the crime of genocide.

Although the Treaty of Sèvres was not ratified, some of its provisions were partially implemented by the signatory states, and that the Treaty of Sèvres was not replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne, since both the parties to these two documents, also their subject matter, are not identical.


About a forgotten booklet and its unforgettable author


Gevorg S. Khoudinyan
A well-known figure of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun Varand Papazyan, an intellectual and a critically thinking person, has passed away. The Armenian community did not pay due attention to a small but very interesting booklet by V. Papazyan entitled “Armenian National Strategy”, which was published in 1993.

V. Papazyan’s study is not a monograph, but rather a concise synopsis, each title of which can be presented as a separate monograph. Such laconicism and conciseness of the text is characteristic of the intellectual sincerity of thinker V. Papazyan.

In the first title “National Crisis” V. Papazyan studied the process of the collapse of the USSR and its geopolitical consequences for the South Caucasus. According to the author, this process left open the question of our region’s belonging to a certain zone of influence, but so far it has retained the dominant influence of the legal successor of the USSR – Russia.

V. Papazyan in his research also touched upon the internal political processes of the early 1990s in Armenia. Presenting his vision of the history of the national liberation struggle of the Armenian people, the author moved on to the main parts of his work – “Political Strategy” and “Armenian National Strategy”. Here V. Papazyan formulated his idea of the unity of the Armenian political nation. V.
Papazyan was a principled opponent of the so-called diaspora identity of Armenians. For him, the homeland of the Armenians is United Armenia, and the first phase of its restoration is the struggle of Artsakh for reunification with the Republic of Armenia.


And its connections with the art of Hakob Jughayetsi

Emma L. Chookaszian
Orlando Carlo Calumeno’s archive, located in Istanbul, Turkey, is known for the largest collection of Ottoman postcards and panoramas in the world. The Armenian medieval manuscripts are an important part of this private collection and our study is dedicated to one of them. Kept in Istanbul’s “Birzamanlar” gallery owned by O. C. Calumeno, this manuscript is distinguished by its simple yet very important illustrations, that we are going to reveal. The manuscript is a Four Gospels and its dimensions are 16 x 22 x 9cm.



Arsen E. Harutyunyan
For studying the medieval history of Yerevan, in addition to the information transmitted in the writings of chroniclers, important original sources are also extant epigraphic inscriptions, which have been preserved for the most part on church walls, cross-stones (khachkars) and gravestones. Medieval Yerevan, which appears in the manuscript memorabilia mainly as a rural area, and since the 15th century as a city, was a populated territory rich in churches in which, among other things, manuscripts were copied.

The study of the epigraphic heritage of Yerevan was carried out by archaeologist, expert in epigraphy Karo Ghafadaryan, who presented 293 epigraphic inscriptions on the pages of his monograph published in 1975. Despite this circumstance, the history of Yerevan by epigraphic evidence has never been the subject of special research. Undoubtedly, commemorative inscriptions are silent witnesses of the medieval history of the city, the construction and reconstruction of its churches, donations, spiritual and cultural life. Based on commemorative inscriptions, it can be stated that the churches of the settlements that were once close to Yerevan, and that have now entered the city plan (Nork, Avan, Noragavit, Kanaker, etc.), as well as the churches of the central part of Yerevan, almost in all medieval periods were active and played an important role. Despite the great destruction caused by the earthquake of 1679, at the end of the 17th century, church construction and cultural life in the city and its environs survived the time of its revival.

It should be noted that medieval Yerevan as a place rich in gardens is repeatedly mentioned especially in the dedicatory inscriptions of the 13th century preserved in the monasteries of Kecharis, Harich, Haghartsin, the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator (Tigran Honentz) in Ani, Katoghike of Yerevan and on the walls of other monasteries and churches. The donors, hoping to receive the liturgy, donated a garden located in Yerevan or a part of the garden to a certain spiritual center, for which a memorial inscription was created. For example, in 1204, a certain Vardmbel acquired a quarter of the garden in Yerevan called Megitoni, and donated it to the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Kecharis Monastery. In response to this, two liturgies were served in his honor. According to another commemorative inscription created during the construction of a lintel for the church of Surb Nshan (Holy Sign) of the same monastery, Paron (lord) Vard donated his own garden in Yerevan, called Chmshka, to the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Kecharis, in response to which friar Petros appointed eight masses – four in honor of Vard and four in honor of Aniar.


Part 2. The Pillars of the Entrance to the Church and the Southern Wall


Michael E. Stone (Jerusalem), Khachik A. Harutyunyan
The southern entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is decorated with 11 marble pillars, which were erected about nine centuries ago, and today they are presented to us almost unharmed. These pillars and the whole entrance are rightly considered to be one of the finest works of architecture of the Crusades period. We have designated the pillars by numbers 1-11 from left to right for easiness. On the outside, there is also one more pillar on the right side of the stairs ascending to Golgotha, which is the twelfth pillar.

On all the mentioned pillars there are inscriptions in different languages (Greek, Arabic, Assyrian, Georgian, Latin) inscribed by pilgrims and visitors, including also a great number of Armenian inscriptions, in which mainly the names of pilgrims are mentioned, and sometimes inscriptions consisting of one or two sentences are discerned.

It should be noted, that in the course of the time various signs, letters, sentences, one incised on the other, countless touches of pilgrims (even today the same phenomenon is noticed) make some inscriptions on the pillars extremely difficult to decipher at present, and some of them have been badly damaged and one or two letters are barely discerned, thus, giving an opportunity to decipher at least the language of the inscription.

There are also Armenian inscriptions on the outside wall (southern) of the church at full length of the stairs, ascending to Golgotha. All those inscriptions, as a rule, are scratched by some sharp instrument; they are not distinguished with proportionality and regularity, although in separate cases also a more serious approach and regularity can be noticed.

In total, we have found more than sixty inscriptions on the mentioned pillars and wall. In this article we present only 22 of them. In some cases, we have tried to date the inscriptions by their paleographical features or due to the identification of the mentioned persons.



Vardan Z. Petrosyan

1/ Like the occlusive-fricatives of other Indo-European languages, the Armenian occlusive-fricative phonemes are the result of the nasalization of the back-lingual occlusives of the common Indo-European language. In fact, common Indo-European language possessed two back-lingual categories – *G and *K with their aspirated and non-aspirated subcategories (comp. *g/*gh, *k/*kh) and three types – post-palatal, palatal and labio-velar (comp. *g, *g՛ , *gṷ, *k, *k՛ , *kṷ). The latter could freely interchange with each other. The prototypes of occlusivefricatives with a dental occlusive and with i̭semi-vowel are, in fact, the result of analogical processes.

2/ Apart from Armenian, occlusive-fricative phonemes were common in all old languages of the Satem group, in particular in Old Indian. However, they were also typical of Old Greek and Phrygian which have traditionally been ascribed to the western Centum dialect group. This provides evidence to conclude that either the process of the formation of occlusive-fricatives had already started during the period when the language bearers were leaving the Indo-European homeland (in Western Asia) or, as some comparative linguists claim, these languages belonged to the eastern dialect group. In either case, the existence of occlusive-fricatives in Old Greek and Phrygian provides evidence for their deeper relations with eastern languages than a simple contact or sub-layer inter-penetrations.

3/ The process of the origin of occlusive-fricatives had started much earlier before the Old Balkan peoples (Greeks, Phrygians, Thracians and others) abandoned their Indo-European homeland. Therefore, it started towards the end of the 3rd millennium or at the start of the 2nd millennium B.C. We have solid grounds to suppose that at least in Armenian that process lasted rather long – until the middle of the 1st millennium B.C.

4/ The fact that, according to the approaches accepted in comparative linguistics, sibilant sounds are considered to be the result of the first nasalization, and fricatives – of the second one in Armenian and Indian, while in old Slavic languages it is the opposite (in the languages mentioned their origin is ascribed to the time periods too remote from each other (about two to three thousand years) we believe, it comes to suggests that the two types of nasalization were parallel processes or at least, the second started while the first one was already in progress.


On the occasion of the 80th birth anniversary of the philosopher-poet


Hripsime A. Zakaryan
The theme of life and death has been and remains one of the main literature themes. It is an undeniable truth that life and death problem, in all its multiplicity of themes, is connected with Armenian poetry as an inner worldview. It has developed regularly and logically, in the light of philosophical conceptions of the authors of this or that period, mainly in two directions։ first, death was traditionally perceived as some absolutely natural necessity, at the same time including in itself tragic mood nuances. Second, moral-philosophical, when death is viewed and perceived as the end of earthly sufferings and transition to another life. The philosophical manifestation of this problem is mostly expressed in works of poetsymbolists.

In contemporary Armenian poetry, the theme of this orientation remains relevant and necessary. Emphasized, fully and universally, the life and death theme was sought to be more concretely and vividly transformed in Edoyan’s lyrical works. By redefining the traditional ways, the poet expands and enriches philosophical reflections on life, death, and immortality. This becomes more obvious and expressive as a result of comparing it with works of different authors of different historical periods (Yeghishe Charents, Vahan Terian and others).

The synthesis of Christian and Eastern religious-philosophical perceptions in the worldview of lyrical “I” is the main component of H. Edoyan’s entire creative art.

Thus, the relevance of this article is conditioned by the need for a special analytical work dedicated to the problem of life and death in Edoyan’s poetry, to his philosophical reflections on death, human life and soul immortality.

The article attempts to identify from the standpoint of traditional religiouscultural beliefs the essence, the content originality of the poems written on the issues of life and death that one often meets in the poetry of the prominent Armenian poet Henrik Edoyan. The eternal theme of life and death is often met in Armenian and world poetry in various wordings. However, unlike other poets, Henrik Edoyan, by rediscovering the eternal essence of world religions, confirms non-existence of death and the eternal life that in the poetic text is perceived as a realized truth, conveying a new meaning and a new artistic coloring to the poem.

The poet’s philosophical reflections on the meaning of life, death and immortality are reinterpreted in poems such as “Chaos is us, me and you”, “Here and there”, “Light and heavy”, “One and numerous”, etc.

The purpose of this article is the psychological-philosophical analysis of lifedeath correlation problems, which allows to rethink the peculiarities of H. Edoyan’s poetic world perception.


On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the poet


Suren S. Abrahamyan
The poem “Requiem” published in 1969 is the most significant work in Razmik Davoyan’s poetic legacy. That is one of the masterpieces of Armenian poetry of the last half-century which expresses the way of development of the poetry of the post-Sevak period whose worldview, poetics is extremely complex and has not yet been analyzed. Therefore, this analysis is the first literary attempt that offers a unique starting point for interpretation.

In general, Davoyan’s way of poetry, starting from the 60s of the last century, is the search for the song that is transformed into a melody. The word corresponds to the song that is born before things and is not a metaphor, and the melody corresponds to the spirit that expresses the substratum of the word. That is why the word bears the echo of the melody which is embodied in things, “fills the universe with life”, jingles in the depths of the melody that lives forever, like the instant in cosmic peace. Therefore, the poet’s word has an ontological substratum that seeks the purity of the poetics and the melody. The loss of the word is therefore the loss of the melody, and the loss of the melody is the destruction of the word, the elimination of the meaning that is probably the loss of life. Consequently, the poet’s reliance is the word that is reborn within the melody, lives with it, is resurrected, as below, above. But the melody is above, the word is below.

The substratum of the song, then, descends from the top down, embodying the word that radiates the meaning of existence. Davoyan’s “Requiem”, which sounds like a melody, mourns the song and the loss of the word. Figuratively speaking, it is like the mystery of the cross that descends from the top down as a melody to connect the word with the upper sphere. And below strives up to sound like its
melody. Thus, in the poem “Requiem”, Davoyan is looking for the prototype of the word, the soul, the antecedent song, which contemporaries call poetry. The tragedy and tragical, however, lies there that the distorted song, like a tortured woman like a ghost, wanders from heaven to earth as a pillar of light leading to Golgotha, looking for itself in chaos. That is why God has become a probable god, a probablespirit, like a ghost of a true song. But our spirit struggles. The yearning for the song has made us sick. But the roads do not save us, though our souls sing the song of the road. A faithless nomad, strange and horrific, appears on our way again and says, “Your song is sung”. Not only the person but also the song is a martyr that has been persecuted as much as our way has persecuted us again.


Part one: the motives and prerequisites


Gevorg A. Tshagharyan
The article examines the perceptions of heroic and hero-worship in Victorian age. The subject of special focus are the prerequisites and stimuli for the appearance of these terms, their manifestations and development on the background of the mental climate of the époque. In this vein, an attempt is made to examine Thomas Carlyle’s theory of the hero and the heroic within the framework of the intellectual and theoretical assumptions of the time under consideration.

In each of four consecutive years, from 1837 to 1840, T. Carlyle delivered a series of lectures in London. Each lecture series was a great success, and the last of the four produced one of the most famous books of the author, “On Heroes, HeroWorship, and the Heroic in History”.

T. Carlyle became interested in heroes and hero-worship early in his career. In the 1831 essay on “Schiller”, for instance, he declared that “great men are the Firepillars in this dark pilgrimage of mankind; they stand as heavenly Signs, everliving witnesses of what has been, prophetic tokens of what may still be, the revealed, embodied Possibilities of human nature”.

The heroic was a central element in Carlyle’s thinking and was to become, after several anticipatory treatments in various essays and occasional reviews, the leading principle of all his later social theory. The subject was also a major Victorian preoccupation, widely shared by Carlyle’s fellow Victorians who, said Edmund Gosse, turned “admiration” from “a virtue into a religion, and called it Hero-Worship”. In this sense, one of the reasons for the enormous vogue of heroworship is the cult of enthusiasm. For hero-worship, in the words of its major prophet, is “infinite admiration”, and the worshiper an enthusiast who “can love his hero or sage without measure, and idealize, and so, in a sense, idolize him”. This perception marks a striking reversal of the rationalistic attitude in the previous century. When D. Hume and E. Gibbon submitted the heroic to the cold glance of reason, they aimed to see it as a mask to hide selfish ambition or else a patent form of fanaticism and delusion. But when enthusiasm became a virtue, the Romantic Victorian eye brought with it the power to see men as a hero and the heart to respond with appropriate worship.

T. Carlyle’s 1840 lectures were, therefore, an incursion into the mainstream of Victorian thought, and his theory of the hero in some ways was merely the final, high doctrine in a movement which had been for some years under way. Carlyle’s originality lay not so much in his choice of subject matter as in the depth and seriousness of his treatment and the imaginative richness with which he invested it.

T. Carlyle also set out to counter certain fashionable contemporary attitudes in which history was considered mainly as an impersonal play of forces. According to such views, great men were, as James Anthony Froude remarked, “the creatures of their age, not the creators of it, scarcely even its guides”. In line with egalitarian sentiments, the individual leader was judged no differently from his fellows, and was seen to be merely in a position to hasten a development which would have eventually taken place without him. Carlyle sought to counteract such prevailing notions in his 1840 lectures and to posit instead the view that (in Froude’s words) “every advance which humanity had made was due to special individuals supremely gifted in mind and character, whom Providence sent among them at favoured epochs”. Hence, at a time when the Bible and the Church were no longer able to satisfy the religious instincts of many Victorians, the heroic and heroworship, like nature and great men, could be welcomed as another manifestation of the divine spirit working in the world.

Thus, when the Victorian period began, all the prerequisites for hero-worship were present: the enthusiastic temper, the conception of “great man”, the revival of Homeric mythology and medieval ballad, the popularity of W. Scott and G. Byron, and the living presence of Napoleonic soldiers and military leaders. In the fifty years after 1830 the hero-worship was a dominant factor in English culture.


The Mystery of Sherif Pasha


Aram S. Sayiyan
After the overthrow of the Young Turks’ power, the Ottoman Committee in Geneva, using Sherif Pasha’s ambition and childishness, managed to include him in the Ottoman delegation to the Paris Peace Assembly, and then nominated him in the position of the head of the non-existent Kurdish delegation, so that, as a counterbalance to the Armenian Issue, he would raise the Kurdish question, thus gaining the opportunity to reduce the demands of the Armenians.

However, Sherif Pasha soon began to play an independent political game, trying to become the Emir of Kurdistan with the help of the English. In order to guarantee itself from a possible double game by Sherif Pasha, the Ottoman government organized the sending of telegrams of complaints from Kurdish organizations in Istanbul and influential Kurdish tribesmen in Western Armenia to Paris to prevent allies from declaring him ruler of Kurdistan.

Though Sherif Pasha’s demands at the Peace Assembly were of no importance to Great Britain, especially since the British knew very well that there was no real Kurdish force behind him, not even a delegation, and, what is more probable, they knew about the real purpose of the Turkish game of appointing Sherif Pasha as the head of the non-existent Kurdish delegation by the Ottoman Committee, Great Britain realized that the real owners of the situation in Western Armenia were the Kurds, yet the Armenians made up a negligible percentage there. As for the Republic of Armenia, it could not ensure its security on its own, and there was no question of liberating Western Armenia by own forces. In this historical period, the only force that could resist the Kemalists inside the country were the Kurds, thus ignoring them would mean gifting them to the Turks. Therefore, in such conditions, Great Britain planned to create a Kurdish state in the territory of Southern Armenia in order to make a buffer zone between the Kemalists and its sub-mandate colony Iraq.

Along with the strengthening of the Kemalists, the British decided to unite the Armenian-Kurdish delegations, so not only Poghos Nubar Pasha, but also the Republic of Armenia had to accept the Kurdish claim, because of which the Kurds, instead of being punished like the Turks, were equated with the Armenians. Moreover, Sherif Pasha cynically stated that the Kurds had suffered a lot during the war, including from the Armenians. All this was done on the one hand to free the Kurds from the influence of the Ottoman authorities, and on the other hand to support the plans of Great Britain interested in the Armenian-Kurdish alliance, which were aimed at suppressing the growing Kemalist movement. Although such a policy was criticized by some Armenian circles, who accused both of the Armenian delegations of ceding part of the six vilayets to the Kurds, but the whole problem with it was that the Kurdish delegation had no role in resolving the territorial issues. The claim of the six vilayets turned into the so-called “Little Armenia” plan: to divide Southern Armenia and the Kurdish-populated territories into French and British zones.

According to various sources, Sherif Pasha resigned from the post of head of the Kurdish delegation in the spring of 1920, giving way to grievances between Kurds and Turks, but in our opinion, these were just occasions. Whereas the reasons were deeper, they did not depend on Sherif Pasha at all. They were two: in the spring of 1920, the Kemalists and the Bolsheviks became so powerful that they turned into a real threat to the British hegemony in the Middle East. The real owners of the country in Turkey were the Kemalists, who were joined by most of the Kurdish tribes in Western Armenia.

Combining these geopolitical realities, we come to the conclusion that the presence of Sherif Pasha would not change anything in the Kurdish part of the Treaty of Sèvres, as first the military-political situation had changed completely not in favor of the Kurds (as well as the Armenians), then the Kurds were disunited and there was no real power behind Sherif Pasha. Experienced British officers and diplomats were convinced that the Republic of Armenia would not be able to resist the Bolsheviks in the future, the only force that could do that was the Kemalists in the event of unification with the Kurds of Western Armenia. In this light, the presence of Sherif Pasha in the Peace Assembly in the spring of 1920 had lost its meaning. Neither the Ottoman delegation nor the British needed him anymore.

Thus who, after all, was Sherif Pasha? An Ottoman official who, according to his secretary, Galib Bey, carried out the task of the Turkish government, or an adventurous person who pursued the coveted goal of becoming Emir of Kurdistan being used by all interested parties for their own purposes and eventually thrown out? Analyzing his actions and expressed thoughts presented in the article, it can be concluded that the second version is more probable.