Dr. Jesse S. Arlen to give Zoom lecture series on Armenian histories (starting this evening)

Dr. Jesse S. Arlen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Armenian Christian Studies at the Zohrab Information Center and Fordham University, will give a public lecture series through St. Nersess Armenian Seminary  via Zoom, entitled: “‘An Eternal Memorial for You and the Generations to Come:’ An Introduction to the Classical and Medieval Armenian Histories.”

The Fall Public Lecture Series begins this evening, Thursday, October 14th from 7:00–9:00pm and continues for the next six Thursday evenings through November 18th. Participants may attend all the lectures or just a few. Click here to register online.

title page of Mikayel Chamchean’s three-volume History of Armenia. Courtesy of Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/item/70232039/

Lecture Series Description: The Armenian historical tradition is rich and well developed, with texts written in this genre produced continuously from the first century after the invention of the alphabet up until the modern period. Of all the Armenian literary genres, it is the histories that have received the most attention from modern scholars, thanks to their importance for our knowledge of the Near East and Mediterranean. Nevertheless, the Armenians who wrote their histories did not conceive of history in the same way we do today, nor did they approach their topics with the same preoccupations and concerns of modern historians. In this six-week course, we will seek to approach the Armenian histories on their own terms, attempting to understand the context in which they were produced, the religious and imaginative world of the authors who composed them, and the goals and purposes that motivated both the patrons who sponsored them and the authors who wrote them. Proceeding chronologically, this semester our goal is to cover twelve major Armenian histories from the fifth to tenth centuries (about two per session). At the same time, we will introduce participants to books and online resources where they may acquire the primary texts and gain access to important secondary materials to facilitate deeper study on their own.

Lecture 1 (Oct 14) – Movses of Khoren and an Overview of the Armenian Historical Tradition

Lecture 2 (Oct 21) – The Conversion and Early History of Christian Armenia:  Agathangelos and Pawstos Buzand 

Lecture 3 (Oct 28) – Narrating the Religious Struggles with Zoroastrian Iran: Ghazar of Parpi and Yeghishe Vardapet

Lecture 4 (Nov 4) – Early Engagements with Islam: Sebeos and Ghewond

Lecture 5 (Nov 11) – Regional Histories:  Thomas Artsruni’s History of the House of the Artsrunik and Movses of Daskhuran’s History of Caucasian Albania.

Lecture 6 (Nov 18) – Looking Back at the End of the First Millenium: Catholicos John of Draskhanakert, Ukhtanes of Sebasteia, and Stephen of Taron

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