Armenian literature

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Armenian literature

Armenian literature: The Armenian Church fostered literature, and the principal early works are religious or hagiographical, most of them translations. The first major Armenian literary work is a 5th cent. translation of the Bible; its language became the standard of classical Armenian. Early Mesopotamian influence resulted in Syriac translations (Aphraates and St. Ephraem Syrus). Armenia then turned to the West for literary inspiration, producing translations of many religious works (Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzen, and John Chrysostom). Among secular works are renderings of Aristotle and of the romance of Alexander. The original writings of the golden age are confined to saints' lives and histories. The 5th-century history of Moses of Khorni contains practically all that is known of pre-Christian Armenia, its folklore and epics. Later historians include Thomas Ardzruni (10th cent.), Matthew of Edessa, who described the Crusades, and Stephanos Orbelian, who wrote of the Mongol hordes (13th cent.). A tradition of nationalistic epic poetry, influenced by Muslim form, emerged; the best-known example is David of Sassoun. The principal figure of the 12th cent. is Catholicos Narses IV, a prelate and poet notable for his literary style. After the decline of Armenian cultural centers in the 14th cent., the literature of Armenians abroad was heavily influenced by their host countries. In 18th-century Constantinople, Mechitar (1676–1749), a monk of the Catholic Armenians, founded a community (the Mechitarists) to cultivate Armenian letters. Their headquarters are now in Venice, and they are the principal Armenian publishers. Anticipated by the late 18th-century folk poetry of Sayat Nova (=Haroutioum Sayadian), the 19th cent. saw a considerable revival of Armenian letters and the establishment of a modern literary language. The major novelists of the 19th cent. were Khachatur Abovian and Hagop Melik-Agopian (called "Raffi" ). The 1915 Turkish massacres sent many Armenian writers (including Hagop Ochagan, Nigoghos Sarafian, and Zareh Vorpuni) into exile, which became the subject of their writing. After the incorporation of part of Armenia into the Soviet Union in 1921 the poet Leguiche Tcharentz and novelist Alexander Bakountz perished in Stalin's purges. Notable writers of the period were the poet Avetik Issahakian and the historical novelist Derenik Demirdjian. More recent figures include the poets Parouyr Sevak, Hovhannes Chiraz, and Hrant Matevosian.

See Z. C. Boyajian, ed., Armenian Legends and Poems (2d ed. 1959); J. Etmekjian, An Anthology of Western Armenian Literature (1980).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Armenian literature
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.