Author Archives: SimonVratsian


A retrospective view from a distance of 100 years

Avag A. Harutyunyan

A century after the heroic battle of Mountainous Armenia, in the conditions of the current dangerous military-political developments around Syunik, the revelation of its heroic history and the assessment of Garegin Nzhdeh’s role in that context are of great actual importance.

In Syunik-Artsakh, Great Britain especially stood out with its anti-Armenian policy. The vision of British policy was first and foremost to implement farreaching anti-Russian programs. In order to solve this priority problem, it was in their interests to expand the territory of the Republic of Armenia including the Kars province, and with the donation of Syunik-Artsakh, to more strengthen Azerbaijan against Soviet Russia.

Syunik, led by Nzhdeh, struggled without even breathing։ in the conditions of the military-political blockade, many enemies came and went, the events had changeable ups and downs and with some refluxes, Mountainous Armenia withstood. Nzhdeh acted not only as a military commander in Syunik, but also as an ideological leader and organizer.

Fighting in and for Syunik, from strategic perspective Nzhdeh had always kept in his field of vision the collective interests of the statehood of entire Armenia and the Armenians . If the Armenians of Syunik had not fought heroically under Nzhdeh, the safe existence of the Republic of Armenia in the Azeri-Bolshevik hostile tongs would have been greatly questioned, and later Soviet Russia would have ceded Syunik to Baku. After that, the circumstance of Soviet Armenia to be a separate union republic would be endangered. At best, it would simply be included as an autonomous entity within the borders of the Soviet republics of Georgia and Azerbaijan, which would divide the Cis-Caucasus into two parts. Thus, the heroic Syunik ensured the possibility of preserving the Armenian state entity for both the Soviet and the present and future times.

Given the current resonance of the history of the heroic battle of Mountainous Armenia, today we must learn the relevant lessons and draw necessary conclusions.


To the ARF External Responsible Body

Khachatur R. Stepanyan

The published documents present several letters of the ARF Central Committee of Georgia in 1922 addressed to the ARF Foreign Responsible Body. In 1922, both the motive and the conditions of the ARF underground activities in Soviet Georgia (as in the whole of the Soviet Transcaucasia), did not change. The prospect of a possible collapse of Soviet power and anarchy in Transcaucasia forced the ARF leadership to maintain its organizational presence in both Soviet Armenia and neighboring republics. At the same time, Soviet persecution forced them to operate underground and in the conditions of strict secrecy.

The letters below contain interesting information not only about the activities of the ARF in Soviet Georgia in 1922, but also about the political and socio-economic situation in that republic and throughout Transcaucasia.

Addressing regional policy issues, the letters alluded to some easing of tensions which emerged in Soviet-Turkish relations in late 1921.

The letters pay great attention to the New Economic Policy implemented in the whole Transcaucasia and especially in Georgia, revealing its negative aspects.

Several letters mention Dro’s visit to Georgia, his ban on entry to Armenia, and some of his financial problems.

The information about the demonstrations and uprisings against the presence of Soviet Russian troops in Georgia, which were suppressed only by the use of force, is quite interesting.

The letters again refer to the fate of the imprisoned and exiled ARF members, to taking care of their and their families’ needs. A separate report presents the reactivation of party-organizational life.


Military operations on the Caucasus Front from July 1914 to April 26, 1916.
Copy-book 10: from February 4 to March 14, 1916.

Ruben O. Sahakyan

The 10th notebook of Th. Nazarbekyan’s memoirs present the military operations that took place from February 4, 1916 to March 14, the most important of them was the night attack of Bitlis (Baghesh) on February 18-19 (March 2-3).

After the liberation of Mush, the detachment led by General D. Abatsiev, which included General T. Nazarbekyan’s military unit, was instructed to capture Bitlis. On the night of February 17-18, 1916, the first attack on Bitlis failed. The Russian troops and the Armenian 1st Druzhina suffered significant losses. T. Nazarbekyan stated that at the beginning of the attack D. Abatsiev had made a mistake by not capturing the heights dominating the city, which was used by the enemy. And only after receiving the replenishment did General D. Abatsiev suddenly take over Bitlis on the night of February 18-19, 1916.

In his memoirs, T. Nazarbekyan refers to the cases of robbery and violence committed by the army after the capture of Bitlis. He notes with surprise that the Armenian volunteers were mainly blamed for this, when the Cossacks and the shooters entered the city first, and finally the volunteers. To be impartial, the commander cites a June 29, 1916 letter from military priest Ruben Bekgulyants. Bringing several examples, the friar categorically denied the rumors about the “illegalities” of the Armenians. In his turn, the general tried to prevent any clashes between the Armenian and Turkish residents of the city.

By the estimation of General N. Korsun, the capture of the city of Bitlis gave an opportunity to control the mountain pass leading to Mesopotamia. The operations in Erzrum and Bitlis significantly eased the situation of the British, who were fighting hard in the Suez Canal.

Russian units were constantly attacked by Kurds. The brigands of the infamous tribal chief Musa Bey were especially prominent. Prince B. Shakhovsky, who had great diplomatic experience, was sent to negotiate with them, even promising to grant autonomy to the Kurds. The Mush detachment under the command of T. Nazarbekyan and the Armenian refugees found themselves in a catastrophic situation, there was no supply, especially bread. The supply was almost stopped. At that difficult moment, Rostom (Stepan Zoryan), who had moved to Western Armenia as the plenipotentiary of the Caucasus branch of the Union of All-Russian Cities, offered his help to the general. He asked T. Nazarbekyan for a guard to find the wheat stored in abandoned Armenian villages. They agreed to share the found supply equally. Thanks to Rostom, the refugees and troops were provided with enough bread.

On March 8, 1916, the secret order of the commander of the 4th Caucasian Army Corps, General V. de Witt, was received, after the reading and analysis of which T. Nazarbekyan concluded that their situation was not that stable, as heavy fighting was expected, whereas his corps was occupying about 100 km front with little force. The Allies had stopped the Gallipoli operation and it was expected that the Turks would start moving regular military units toughened in battles to the Russian-Turkish front.

The preparations of the Ottoman command were evidenced by the intelligence information and the testimonies of the Armenian refugees: Turkish military units and Kurdish bandits were advancing in the direction of Bitlis. Analyzing the received order and information, T. Nazarbekyan concluded that the enemy was preparing to attack Bitlis, therefore on March 13 he sent additional forces to Bitlis.


Gevorg S. Khoudinyan

At the beginning of the current year, a collection of documents summarizing the letters and writings of the most prominent representative of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun’s first generation, Armenian famous hajduk leader Nikol Duman, was published in the “Vem series” edited and annotated by Yervand Pambukyan.

It includes Nikol Duman’s letters, his booklet entitled “Project of People’s Self-Defense” and small but valuable writings, photographs and other relics.

The documents included in this collection, which summarize the rich chronicle of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun’s military-revolutionary activity, not only have a narrow sourceological value, but also open a wide field of learning the experience and skills of the past for the current generation concerned with the defense of the Homeland.

The most interesting part of the reviewed collection is the letters and military instructions written by Duman from Yerevan during the bloody Armenian-Tatar battles in Transcaucasia during the years of the First Russian Revolution of 1905- 1907.

His activities in Yerevan in 1905 are taken as important by the fact that Duman was able to make a breakthrough in the extremely dangerous situation in the entire province of Yerevan after the brutal massacre of the Armenians of Nakhichevan. And if it were not for the extraordinary steps taken by Nikol Duman, a considerable part of the Armenians of the Ararat Valley would also have met the fate of Nakhijevan. Duman’s letters in those days show that he was able to properly analyze the causes of the Nakhijevan disaster and, through skillful steps, build a system of self-defense that allowed him to neutralize the quantitative and, in some parts, qualitative advantages of the enemy in much of the Ararat Valley.

The unique legacy left by the indomitable commander from Artsakh in the field of organizing ARF combat groups, which is a specific insight of the military-political content of the Armenian liberation war of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from a distance of a millennium is presented to us as a timeless and lasting experience whose necessity is felt again by the new generation of defenders of the Homeland, who are really concerned about having a national army.


Mariam M. Karapetyan

The paper discusses the possibilities of using language teaching as a tool for the development of media literacy. In particular, methods of developing distance-setting skills in relation to media-texts through language analysis are given.

The metalinguistic, metacognitive meaning of this approach is interpreted. The school teaching of the language (in this case, Armenian) is considered as a way of institutional introduction of media literacy, and Armenian language teaching is considered as a tool for achieving mass media literacy. The paper also examines the conceptual fundamentals for the introduction of media literacy in “Armenian language”, namely, the compliance with the new subject criteria of education.

Theoretical observations are accompanied by practical tasks and by the analysis of theoretical and practical material from Armenian language textbooks. So, how specific linguistic topics can help in the development of media literacy?

Due to this circumstance, the paper has scientific and practical significance and can be used as a practical guide for introducing media literacy into language learning.


New solutions for the centennial debate

Artak S. Sargsyan

The article discusses the itinerary taken by the Assyrian army of Sargon II, king of Assyria (721-705 BC), during his campaign towards Mannea and Urartu in 714 BC. The study is based on a comparative analysis of cuneiform sources, as well as a comparison of cuneiform toponyms with modern and historical names of various regions and settlements. As the study of those sources show, the Assyrian army crossed the Great Zab river about 70 km north-east of Kalhu (Nimrud), and after 3 days overcoming about 120 km along the river Rovanduz, passes Kullar (Kaolan-Bin I Sar (Bunais)) and Govra Shinki, also crossed the river Little Zab. Having reached Gerdeh Sur and Sufian (Sumbi/Sunbi), to the borders of Manna and Urartu, the army moved eastward, crossed the mountains Nikippa (Bahram Boga) and Upa (Bai Dag), the Buia river flowing from Bai Dag, and reached Simirria (Chemelyan), entering Urartu. In the south of Lake Urmia, the army crossed the path of Biruatti (Pirtandur)-Sinabir (Shirineva)-Aḫshuru (Shahurkand)- Rappu (Tatao river) and Arattu (Jagatu river, Vararatn)-Suia (Shoria) and entered the Mannean region of Surikash, located south-east of Miandoab. From the fortress of Siniḫini (Shinabad), Sargon’s army passed through the country of Allabria (in the basin of the Tatao river), to the east of which was the country of Karallu (Kuliar). From the Latashe fortress (Darveshan?), in Allabria country, the army of Sargon II reached Parsuash (Parsha), then moved north to the Sirdakka-Zirdiakku fortress (Sardako), in the Missi (Musi) region, and marched, passing about 160-170 km between Bukan and Sakkiz, then along the Jaghatu river basin, reached the Panzish fortress (Parshikand), located 30 km north-east of Miandoab. Capturing Parda (Arpad), the capital of Zikirtu, Sargon reached the basin of the river Shor, tributary of the river Karangu, turned to the west and moved to Aukane (Argun), raiding the settlements of Ishtaippu (Ishlakand), Saktatush (Chaktir), Nenzu (Nazar Karez?), Gurrusupu (Dorsu?), Kabani (Chebani), Barunakku (Ablakh?), Ubabaru (Baba Kur Kur), Siteru (Zulgadar?), Tashtami (Tastabar), Tesammiu (Suma).

Entering the Uishdish, near the south-western slope of the mount of Sohend (Uaush) the army of Sargon II defeated the allied army of Rusa I, and then moved north, entered the Urartian regions of Subi, Zaranda (Sahand) and Bari (region of the Sangibutu (hist. Gabityan) in the basin of the Barush river), passing the route Ushkaia (Osku), near mount Millau (Milan)-Zaranda (Sahand)-Aniashtania (Anаrjan or Asinjan)-Bari (Bare)-Tarui (Toykaun)-Tarmakisu (Tabriz): the last two fortresses were in the Dalaia region-in the Talheh Rud basin. In Sangibutu, the route continued through the settlements of Sardurihurda (Sardarud)-Ulhu (Akhulu)- Shashzissa (Siz)-Hundurna (Kundur)-Vadnaunza (Vanza)-Arazu (Ersi)- Shadishṣinia (Zanjhira)-Eliadinia (Valdian)-Kinishtania (Keniani) lying at the eastern and northern foothills of Meshou Dag (Arṣabia), and reached the mount Irtia (hist. Tagryan). Further, in the Armariali region (hist․Great Agհbak and Arna), the invasion took place along the route Bubuzi (Bobarzan)-Ḫundur (Hodar)- Riar (Ravian)-Aiale (Aleri)- Ṣinishpala (Kani Spi)-Sharni (Soradir)-Arna (հist. Arna)-the temple of the God Ḫaldi (on the site of the monastery St. Barthelemy)- Arbu (hist. Arebanos). Then the army moved through the territory of Aiadu (Aiduni, Hayots Dzor), along the route Anzalia (Arindi?)-Uizuku (Bashad Dag)- Kuaiain (Kanguar)-Kallania (Koran/Gyorandasht), entered Gevash (hist. Rshtunik), captured the coastal the settlements of Aiadu from Arṣidu (mount Artos) to
Maḫunnia (Mokhraberd), including the fortresses of Kallania (Gyorandasht) and Argishtiuna (Mokhraberd), the settlements of Bitaia (Batkants), Aluarza (Akhavants), Kiuna (Kavash), Alli (Ili), Arzugu (Angalur?), Shikkanu (Ishkert), Daiazuna (Dakhamants), Baniu (Bogonis?), Birḫiluza (Virkunis), Dezizu (Degdzis, Teztis), Abaindi (Arberd), Ḫasrana (Snar), Parra (Poghants or Paghghat), Aniastania (Herishat), Balduarza (Bakhavants), Saruardi (Saren), Shummatar (Matmants or Shmshema), Ṣiqarra (Tsrtakar), Old Uaiais (Uishini, hist․Vostan). Sargon’s army returned from Mokhraberd and crossed the rivers Alluria, Kallania (Gyorandasht), Innaya and penetrated into the Uaiais region, moved along the route Barzuriani (Bazirawan Dag)-Ualtukuya (Warkuni Dag)-Kutta (Khuta)-Kippa (Kup Dag)-Asapa (Espin), came up the fortress of Uaiais (Waisik), located about 26 km north-east of Julamerk (Hakkari). From here, Sargon moved to Ḫubuškia (Julamerk), sent most of the army to Assyria, and the army consisting of 1,000 soldiers at the estuary of Dezi Derre crossed Great Zab, moved along the route Sheiak (Shakitan)-Ardikshi (Orisha)-Ulaiau (Aleyan)-Alluria (Haruna), and through Shemdinli entered Zerzan (Za(r)zaru), seizing the city of Muṣaṣir (Masiro, Masira). The army returned to Assyria through a gorge that stretched along the line of Chia Dari-Balutia (Andarutta), reached Berokh and Hupa (Hipparna) and descended to Kalhu. In total, the army of Sargon II passed a distance of around 1600 km in 3,5 months. As a result of this campaign the land of Muṣaṣir was captured and attached to Assyria. Another region, the land of Uishdish, was passed to the hands of the Manneans, allies of Assyria. With the restoration of the itinerary of this campaign it becomes possible to draw the limits of the Mannea kingdom and its surrounding lands, including Muṣaṣir and Ḫubuškia, as well as almost the entire southern borders of Urartu.


Edgar G. Hovhannisyan

In the early 1920s, about 3500-4000 Armenian refugees from Cilicia and various settlements of Western Armenia settled in Cyprus. This completely changed the pattern of the Armenian community in Cyprus. In the mid-1920s, the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus was reorganized, and it finally transferred under the jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia. From 1920 to 1940 the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus was headed by Archbishop Petros Sarajyan. He played a huge role in the life of the Armenians of Cyprus. Through the efforts of Bishop Petros the community life of the Armenians of the island was reorganized, the bodies of the local national authorities were reconstructed, and the new Charter of the diocesan was approved. A new stage began in the life of the Armenian community of Cyprus.

One of the main tasks of the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus became the preservation of the national identity of the Armenian refugees settled in Cyprus, also the organization of their educational, religious and cultural life. One of the main tasks of the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus was to preserve the national identity of the Armenian refugees who settled in Cyprus, as well as to organize their educational, religious and cultural life. One of the urgent tasks was to solve the social problems and ensuring the livelihood of orphans and destitute refugees. The solution to these problems was immediately undertaken by the Armenian Diocese of Cyprus and the bodies of national authorities.

Thanks to hard efforts and the purposeful work of the Diocese of Cyprus and the national organizations of the island the Armenian refugees successfully overcame the existing challenges. Some decades later, the Armenian community of Cyprus was a small but well-organized and prosperous community of Armenian Diaspora.


Ashot G. Manucharyan

Inside the Armenian medieval church in the Georgian town of Tetritskaro (თეთრიწყარო = White Spring) there is a khachkar (cross stone) with a lapidary inscription.

We assume that the khachkar was moved from the Samshvilde fortress, whose ruins are located 5 km southeast of Tetritskaro town. Shamshvilde was the early capital of the Armenian kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget.

The lapidary inscription on the khachkar consists of 13 lines. It was created by master Vard in 1051 in memory of himself and his brother Aghbayrik, who was a priest.

At the end of the inscription, prince of princes Smbat of the Tashir-Dzoraget kingdom (972-1118) is mentioned. He was the brother of King David Anhoghin of Tashir-Dzoraget (989/996-1048/50). Prince of princes Smbat was the commander-inchief of the Tashir-Dzoraget kingdom. He died between 1051-1061


In the writings of the philosophers of hellenistic judaism

Proto-archimandrite Fr. Shahe Ananyan,

Albeit the advanced studies in the history of Jewish thought, the Hellenistic Judaism is a relatively new phenomenon per se, and in this regard the discussions and theories on that issue continue to be in constant need of revision. The article discusses some basic issues and problems of the Antique and Hellenistic philosophies in the light of their interpretation and reception by the philosophers of Hellenistic Judaism. For this aim, the short introduction of the historical and cultural signification of Hellenistic Judaism is presented, taking into consideration the results of the recent historical, philological and archaeological studies in this field, as well.

The author discusses firstly the place and the importance of the Hellenistic culture both in Palestine and the Jewish Diaspora as a necessary framework and fertile soil for the development of the Jewish-Hellenistic thought in 4-1 cc. B. C. Secondly, in order to precise the limits of the interchanges between the Judaism and the Hellenistic philosophy, some aspects of the terms- and meaning-making processes are clarified on the basis of several examples of the Jewish Bible’s Greek translation (Septuaginta). In this sense the author deemed also important to point out the main ideas and qualifications with which the Antique and Hellenistic Greek authors used to perceive the image of Jews as a nation of philosophers, par excellence. This kind of attitude, regardless of the continuing persecutions of the Jews in the Seleucid and Roman empires, and the anti-Hellenistic dispositions among many Jewish communities and political groups, incited on its turn a new
wave of interconnections between the Jewish monotheism and the Hellenistic religious philosophy. One could even assume the evident influence of some Hellenistic philosophical movements, namely Stoicism on the Jewish biblical books, composed from 4 c. B. C. to 1 c. A. C.

However, within the large context of the Hellenistic oikoumené the Jews presented a remarkable exception. Confronted with Greek ideas, some attempted to combine Greek intellectual values with Hebrew ones; such efforts were especially successful in Egypt and in other parts of Jewish Diaspora, meanwhile being firmly ancred in the tradition of the Jewish monotheistic religion. The figures of great Jewish-Hellenistic thinkers such as Aristoboulos, Pseudo-Aristaeus and Philo of Alexandria were the result of that successful enculturation. Their ideas on the theory and methods of that synthesis which are analyzed in the article, are of primary importance for studying the Jewish-Hellenistic thought.


Forms of pronouns

The problem of intralinguistic relations of words and types of semantic relations of pronouns has always been discussed in Armenian linguistics. There are structural disagreements. The accepted view is the multifaceted classification of pronouns (personal, demonstrative …), which, however, we strongly believe does not have sufficient scientific validation. The intra-group classification of pronouns should be done according to the contextual meaning, in relation to other parts of speech. In this combination-comparison, the grammatical description of noun-pronouns is more emphasized and visible, therefore, it is mastered well.