Author Archives: SimonVratsian


Part III. The concepts of “Anthropological History” and “History of Memory”


Smbat Kh. Hovhannisyan
The article examines the paradigms of anthropological history and history of memory interpreted in a new light by the third generation of the Annales school. Hereby, if one of the most significant visions of the positivistic historiography was the quest for the origins of the contemporary events in the past (the so-called “idol of primary sources”), by which the researcher’s outlook was limited to those phenomena, which analogues he saw in the societies of his time, then historical anthropology appreciated mainly those differences that help us comprehend the past, without subordinating the apprehension of the past to the present.

It is also worth pointing out that, if for the founding fathers of the Annales the study of the history of traditions was merely a means for a deeper comprehension of the economic and social histories, then, for the representatives of the third generation of the school, these plots acquire their own independent value. Herein, historical anthropology, developing in parallel with the history of mentalities, serial and quantitative histories, which, in its turn, provided new platforms for the syntheses, was not so distinctly differentiated from the aforementioned research areas.

On the other hand, the importance of the subject of memory and history was again emphasized, and it became clear that mere contraposition could not exhaustingly represent the vast realm of history. Herewith, the apprehension of interrelation between memory and history means revealing, to some extent, not only their differences and opposition, but also and particularly their syntheticaldialogical perspective(s). And before outlining these perspectives it was highly essential, that memory, before turning into history, would go through a cycle of self-overcoming, during which it should gain a historiographical structure. By and large, the history of memory representation, in all its diversity, should appear in the junction in which all probable connections and transitions for historical science are concentrated. This creates the basis and potentiality of an embracive synthesis of historical science, which includes the interpenetrated and interreflected, even antipodal paradigms and conceptions.


Part I: Internal and international situation of the Bagratid’s kingdom in the first period of the reign of Smbat II (late 970s – first half of the 980s)


Arman S. Yeghiazaryan
Studies show that in a relatively stable peace at the beginning of the reign, when Byzantium and neighboring Muslim emirates dealt with internal issues, Smbat II Bagratuni (978-990) was engaged in peaceful construction. At that time, the capital of the kingdom of Ani expanded greatly, and it became necessary to build a new, larger wall. Immediately after ascending to the throne, Smbat II began to implement a large-scale project of new defensive walls and adjacent protection systems, which lasted about 10 years. The author of this project was the famous medieval architect Trdat, who was also the author of the project for the restoration of the Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople after the earthquake of 989.

The new protection system of Ani and, above all, the city walls made a great impression on contemporaries, as they were simply huge. Thanks to the new defense system, Ani became one of the most impregnable cities of that era. Inside the fence in 989 the foundation was laid for the construction of the city cathedral, many other buildings and bridges were built.

During the reign of Smbat II, the process of division, begun during the reign of King Ashot III (953-978), continued. In the very first year of his reign, Smbat II proclaimed his younger brother Gurgen as king in the northeastern province of the royal possessions, in Tashirk, thus forming third kingdom in the possessions of the Bagratids. King Gurgen of Tashirk recognized the priority of his brother, who, as in the case of the Kars kingdom, had the right to approve the accession of each new king of Tashirk.

With the establishment of the kingdom of Tashir, the central power of Ani was significantly weakened. This reality first manifested itself when Smbat II captured the Shatik fortress belonging to the kingdom of Kars, after which the combined troops of King Mushegh of Kars (975-984) and David Curopalates of Tayk (961- 1000/1001) invaded the central province of Shirak and Smbat II was forced to return the fortress. However, this did not violate the seniority rights of Smbat II and, for example, in 984, when Abbas, the son of King Mushegh, ascended the throne in Kars, he asked for the consent of Smbat II.

During the reign of Smbat II, the Muslim emirates in Armenia were initially unstable and did not pose a threat to the kingdom of the Bagratids. The situation changed in the 980s, when they significantly intensified, began to interfere in the internal development of the kingdom, creating a significant threat to the central government of Ani and Vaspurakan.


As sources of power and domination


Alexander S. Manasyan
The article substantiates the idea of force as a universal phenomenon in inanimate, in animate nature, as well as in a society in which it acts as a factor in the regulation of social relations. The key concept of the general idea is the concept of social power, the main sources of which are property, faith and knowledge. Social power is the ability of one subject to influence another, to impose his point of view (will) on him. Social strength is an innate feature of any human society, just as the force of gravity of any body. If there is a community of people connected with each other, then it is endowed with social power by the fact of its existence. The immediate observable source of all forms of coercion, power, domination is social power. Social power is the engine of any political and economic process and its guiding companion. The society of people that enters the struggle for power acts as a political force. Property, faith, and knowledge differ from other factors in shaping society in that they have functioned steadily throughout human history, forming power-oriented societies. It is obvious that the emergence of property is associated with a natural necessary need of man. In order to live, a person must acquire, create, have at his disposal goods that meet those needs: food, clothing, shelter. The phenomenon of property is related to the natural need to have the goods that meet the vital needs of man. In the course of the reproduction of social life, the energy invested in the instruments of production is repeatedly reproduced during their use, it turns from a material force into a social force, ensuring the power of the ruling minority over the disadvantaged majority. As a source of power, private property began millennia ago and still engenders a relationship of domination. Already at the stage of slavery, the social power of the slave owner flowed from the lands, the instruments of production and the slaves used as labor, which he owned. Often these days, the owner’s power over the means of production is not direct control over them. They are mediated by financial capacity, securities, key management positions and the right to control information flows. The person or group of people for whom property is a source of social power is commonly referred to by the common name as economic person. Faith also had and has tremendous community building potential. The principle underlying it knows no boundaries of nationality or class. He has been and remains a counterbalance to the material beginnings of power. The motto of Christianity “not only bread” in a condensed form expresses the transcendent role of spiritual values outside the material realm for the meaning of life. The ideas of the ancient peoples about the inner connection between power and knowledge are fixed in the Latin saying “Scientia potentia est” (“Knowledge is power”). The principled role of knowledge in the beginning of industrial civilization, thanks to Francis Bacon, found its general reflection in the formula “knowledge is power”, which this time, in contrast to its use in previous periods, marked a new trajectory of social development. The role of the natural and social sciences varies considerably in political processes. If the inclusion of natural knowledge in property relations becomes a source of social power, then social knowledge becomes such, bypassing property relations. The investor of natural and technical knowledge is an economic person who pursues victory in economic competition. The investor of social knowledge in the public consciousness is a political person who aspires to political power. The struggle for power in its purest form is a struggle of socio-political concepts, social projects that competing parties are trying to introduce into public consciousness. The implementation of any large-scale scientific project related to the country is a matter of state competence, which today embodies the politics of a person who came to power in a “party costume”. He should be the main customer of social knowledge.


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.