Category Archives: REVIEWS

Historiographical Concept of the Annales School – 2023-1

(Hovhannisyan S. , The Annales School and the Ways of Writing History, Yerevan, “Sargis Khachents • Printinfo, 2022, 312 pp.)

Davit R. Mosinyan

The monograph titled “The School of Annals and the Ways of Writing History” by Smbat Hovhannisyan is an attempt to comprehend new methodologies of history in the Armenian environment. The work refers to the exposition of the history and logic of the Annales school, which plays an important role in the Western historiography.



Jürgen Gispert, Armenien gestern und heute – „Die Aschen der Opfer schlagen in unseren Herzen“. Zu einer Theorie der armenischen Memorialkultur, Leipzig, Eudora-Verlag, 2022, 492 S

Ashot N. Hayruni

A new extensive and valuable monograph (492 pp.) published in Leipzig titled “Armenia yesterday and today – ‘The Remains of the Victims Beat in Our Hearts’. On a theory of the Armenian Memory Culture” by the German ethnographer and Armenologist Dr. Jürgen Gispert provides the German-speaking reader with comprehensive information about the spiritual and cultural values of the Armenian people, their past and the present, including the contemporary challenges they are facing with, the overcoming of which is paramount for the preservation of the Armenian state and national identity.

The book begins with the coverage of the events that took place in the recent years, particularly after the “Velvet Revolution” and the previous realities, which, by continuously deepening the gap between the people and the authorities, ultimately culminated in the change of power. In particular, the author focuses on the irregularities, vote rigging and fraud that took place during the election process during the history of the Third Republic, the difficult social situation of the republic’s population and the lack of trust in the public sphere towards the socio-economic policy of the authorities, as well as the various realities that undermined the former intra-societal unity, including the influx of individual sects from the West after the collapse of the USSR and their divisive activities.

Afterwards, the author reflects upon the Armenian History, by outlining essential events from pre-historic, ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary Armenian history, especially focusing on those important events that shaped the course of history. The reader is thoroughly familiarized with the Armenian Genocide and its consequences. Detailed information is given about Armenian khachkars and Armenian culture in general. The systematic destruction of Jugha khachkars by the Azerbaijani authorities around 20 years ago is also outlined. Such criminal systematic destruction, as Gispert points out, had not even taken place during the invasions of Shah Abbas and Tamerlane. Further expanding on this subject, the author presents many facts about the course of events and consequences of Azerbaijan’s current anti-Armenian policy. The massacres of Sumagait and Baku, the destruction and usurpation of Armenian culture in the occupied regions of Artsakh are covered thoroughly and are presented in a new light, as a consistent continuation of the Turkish-Azerbaijani genocidal policy.

The author covers in detail the history of the emergence of the Artsakh question, thoroughly refuting the false theses as presented by the Azeri government that Artsakh supposedly belongs to Azerbaijan. At the same time, the author presents a detailed study of the history of Azerbaijan and the emergence of the Azerbaijanis as an ethnic group, which takes place only after 1918. The author juxtaposes the above fact of the newly emerged Azeri state and ethnicity with the reality of a thousand-year history of Armenian Artsakh, pointing out that Azerbaijan from the viewpoint of historic rights, as well as from the standpoint of modern international law has no legitimate right to claim Artsakh as its own.

The above noted monumental study by Gispert has not only academic, but also political value taking into consideration the fact of how much efforts and material resources are spent by Azerbaijan and Turkey to create a distorted public opinion in the West about Armenian heritage, culture and identity. The work contains, apart from the text itself, many valuable maps and photographs. We really hope that patrons would be found who would sponsor the translation and publication of this valuable work in Armenian, English and other languages.

Taner Akçam, The Young Turks՚ Crime Against Humanity – 2022-2


The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic cleansing in the Ottoman Empire

Armen C. Marukyan
The value of Akçam’s work lies in the fact that a large number of Ottoman archival documents, which are difficult to access for non-Turkish professionals, corroborate information known from other sources and adding additional details. However, it should be noted, that the Turkish historian does not always interpret impartially, analyzing the Ottoman archival documents circulated by him, moreover, his judgments sometimes directly contradict the information in the documents quoted by him.

Criticizing the historians who promote the Turkish official version, Akçam tries to present himself as an impartial historian, but his adoption of a conventional stance on fundamental issues of the history of the Armenian Genocide shows that in practice he is acting as a secret suspect of the crime against the Armenian people. Akçam’s approach differs from the official Turkish denial historiography in that, instead of so-called “hard denial”, he promotes “cautious suspicion” or “unnoticed denial”. Using the term “Armenian Genocide” and condemning the crime, the Turkish historian casts doubt on the motives of the Armenian Genocide, noting that the policy was not racist or nationalistic, that the “state interest” of the empire was the basis of the Armenian Genocide.

Akçam tends to see Armenians as a “threat” to the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, to eliminate which the Young Turks resorted to so-called “social engineering”, which means elements of a policy of genocide against Armenians: extermination, forced deportation, Islamization and assimilation. Thereby, Akçam in fact repeats the approaches of the official Turkish historiography that denies and falsifies the Armenian Genocide, which justifies the criminal policy towards the Armenian people based on the nationalist ideology of pan-Turkism.

Akçam’s various judgments on the motives of the Turkish authorities for committing the Armenian Genocide suggest that either he has not yet made a final decision or in this way he tries to hide the real motives, at the same time raising doubts about the criminal intention to commit the Armenian Genocide, which is the main component of qualifying that crime. Is it a coincidence that Akçam concludes his work with the assumption that, regardless of how we qualify the extermination of Armenians from a legal point of view, it is first and foremost a moral recognition that it was not an unjust act worthy of moral reproach? The Turkish historian is thus trying to transfer the issue of the Turkish state’s responsibility for the Armenian Genocide to a purely moral field, as the discussion of this issue in the legal or political spheres will inevitably lead to processes of responsibility and compensation that are absolutely unacceptable for the Turkish state.

Assessing the works of T. Akçam published in different languages on some issues of the history of the Armenian Genocide, as well as his introduction into scientific circulation of unpublished Ottoman archival documents, nevertheless, we believe that Armenian specialists should have taken part in the process of translating and republishing these books in Armenia . Otherwise, it turns out that we share the biased judgments of the Turkish historian on fundamental-conceptual issues, as well as the approaches and conclusions that are almost identical with the views of the official Turkish historiography denying the given crime.


Knarik A. Abrahamyan
The article is dedicated to the analysis of Albert Makaryan’s collection “In the fields of literary criticism”. The author has classified t􀴣 ree main thematic directions such as the teaching problems (Khachatur Abovyan, Derenik Demirchyan), the questions of the writers that mainly cover the new period (Ghevond Alishan, Khoren Ghalfayan, Petros Duryan and others) and feedback on literary thought (Hrant Tamrazyan, Suren Danielyan).

Along with the problems of teaching in a methodological perspective (what to teach, how to teach and what to pay attention to) Albert Makaryan also presents remarkable literary observations. On the one hand they are related to Khachatur Abovyan’s novel “Wounds of Armenia”, on the other hand to Derenik
Demirchyan’s short story “The Redundant”. We have also noticed that these reflections on the teaching problems are not unique. Let us remember his articles devoted to Petros Duryan, Aksel Bakunts, Gurgen Mahari in scientific periodicals.

In pure literary articles we notice the preference given to Western Armenian writers. It should not be forgotten that in the publications of the books of Taguhi Shishmanyan and Zabel Yesayan, Albert Makaryan has a significant role in terms of both composition and donation of analytical pages.

And here in the assessment-reviews dedicated to literary critics Hrant Tamrazyan and Suren Danielyan interesting experience on conducting professional dialogues is presented.

The conclusion is that in all cases Albert Makaryan has shown his scientific and philological discipline.

Based on the analysis, the conclusion was drawn: in all cases, Albert Makaryan showed scientific and philological disciplinary literacy.


Seyran Grigoryan, Vahagn Davtyan’s Poems, Yerevan, Armav Publishing House, 2021, 458 pages


Zhenya A. Kalantaryan
The review analyzes and evaluates the peculiarities, principles and criteria of
the method used by S. Grigoryan–the author of the mentioned book. It is observed
that Grigoryan necessarily takes into account both the time of writing the poem and
the time the poem covers, trying to uncover the linkаgе between the past and the
present. One of the important merits of the monograph is the search for the bases of
the structural and lexical layers of the poems in historical and folklore sources.
According to the literary critic, Davtyan builds his poems mostly on a folklore
basis, as a result of which poems reflect the folk worldview.

The article comments on the comparisons made by the author of the book with
the historical and folklore sources of the poems, as well as similar works by
previous poets. It is noticed that some cases of stylization, imitation, repetition
revealed by the literary critic, according to his own observation, Davtyan used for
his own interpretation of the material, thus bringing his personality onto the

The critique assesses S. Grigoryan’s comprehensive approach in revealing
both inter- and intra-genre features of the poems. The author of the monograph
examines the poems and comes to convincing conclusion comprehensively
drawing from all the branches of philology, including the history of literary history,
literary theory, literary criticism, textualism, etc. The monograph is deemed to be a
noticeable contribution to modern Armenian literature.


Albert Makaryan, Astghik Soghoyan, Hakob Paronyan as a children’s writer, Yerevan, “Armav”, 2021, 188 pages


Nvard Kh. Vardanyan

Armenian literary criticism is enriched with a valuable study. Most recently,
a remarkable monograph entitled “Hakob Paronyan as a children’s writer” was
published. The authors of the book are well-deserved scientists – Albert Makaryan,
the author of several monographs dedicated to the examination of H.Paronyan’s
works and Astghik Soghoyan.

The monograph is the first complete attempt to present the great Armenian
satirist Hakob Paronyan as a children’s writer. For the first time, the children’s
periodical founded by Paronyan, that is, the illustrated bi-weekly magazine
“Theater: Friend to Children” and the children’s literature published in its pages are

In the four chapters of the book the history of the publication of the
periodical is examined, the genres of children’s literature are studied. The study
clarifies that all the materials published in the periodical are entirely Paronyan’s
creations though they are signed by different pen-names. They were mainly
intended to admonish and instruct the children, so the themes are of cognitive,
morally philosophical, educational, instructive and pastime nature.

It is obvious that as children’s writer Paronyan prefered realistic genres
(realistic tale, tale-story, story, instructive stories and etc.) wishing to present to the
little reader the real notion of life and not to decive them by false stories and unreal
miracles. This principal is seen in elaborations of two fairy tales. For instance, the
tale “Red Varduk” has no happy end, which mostly underlines its instructive
nature. The authors of the study have also turned to the unique approaches to
education conditioned by gender.

The monograph is a new and fresh word in the field of Paronyans’ study: it
will surely be useful for th specialists in literature, literary theorists and for the
broad range of the readers interested in philology and children’s literature.


Ed. by Ye. Pampukian

Armen Ts. Marukyan
In 2017 in Antilias (Beirut), edited, with a foreword and noted by Honored Historian Yervand Pambukyan, the work of a member of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun Central Committee of Constantinople – a well-known publicist Shavarsh Misakyan was published, which is a collection of letters, articles and memoirs of the author. Based on the information obtained from the letters and articles of Misakian at the moment of the crime, the successive stages of the genocide policy pursued by the Turkish authorities in relation to the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire are revealed.

The indisputable value of Misakian’s work lies in the fact that in the fateful period of history for the Armenian people, the operational and reliable information sent by him from the Ottoman Empire informed the international community about what was really happening with the Armenian population, despite the misinformation about the mass extermination of the Armenian population spread by the Turkish state and its allies. In his letters and articles, he provided such information that at that time it was simply impossible to obtain from other sources, which was later confirmed and supplemented by documents and materials published later.

It can be stated with confidence that from the point of view of objective documentation of the history of the Armenian Genocide, Sh. Misakian’s work is a valuable source, the materials of which, when compared with other sources, will allow compiling an objective history of that crucial period for the Armenian people in a clear chronology.



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.


On the Treaty of Sèvres and the Arbitral Award of US President W. Wilson

Suren T. Sargsyan

At the end of 2020, a collective work for readers interested in the Armenian Question and the Armenian Cause – “The Treaty of Sèvres and the Arbitral Award of US President W. Wilson: A critical look from a 100-year distance” authored by historians representing various scientific and educational institutions of the republic was published.

The authors, both by means of examining their prehistory and history and by elucidating the efforts made to implement these documents over the past centenary,
have comprehensively observed and analyzed the Treaty of Sèvres and the Arbitral Award of US President W. Wilson, which are landmarks for Armenia and the Armenians from a distance of 100 years. Moreover, guided by the best traditions of investigative historiography, they have taken a fresh look at 100-year-old events to reveal the deep connection and reciprocity between the past and the present.

Referring to the political content of the Treaty of Sèvres and noting that it concluded a long series of reciprocal treaties between the countries that won and lost in World War I, the authors emphasize that Articles 89-93 of the Treaty restored the timeless right of the Armenian people to Western Armenia. It is emphasized that the de jure recognition of the Republic of Armenia was no less important not only by the allies who won World War I, but also by the defeated Ottoman Empire. It legally stated that the Republic of Armenia was the United Armenia, which united the two parts of Armenia.

The authors substantiately deny the falsity of the alleged replacement of the Treaty of Sèvres by the Treaty of Lausanne and present in detail the real content of the Sèvres-Lausanne passing. It is emphasized that from the point of view of international law, the Armenian rights were not only annulled by the Treaty of Lausanne, but in fact they were reaffirmed by Article 16 of the Treaty. At the same time, the Treaty of Lausanne did not recognize Turkish sovereignty over the territories allotted to Armenia by W. Wilson’s Arbitral Award. The legitimacy of W. Wilson’s Arbitral Award and the fact that it is legally timeless and inalienable are substantiated by an examination of declassified US archival documents.

“The Treaty of Sèvres and the Arbitral Award of US President W. Wilson: A critical look from a 100-year distance” collective work, despite the large number of its authors, has a rather solid structure, fresh and rich speech about “old” general issues, and quite realistic conclusions.


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.