Dr. Jesse S. Arlen’s St. Nersess Lecture Series on Armenian Histories now available on YouTube

Zohrab/Fordham Postdoc and Director Dr. Jesse S. Arlen’s Fall Public Lecture series at Saint Nersess Armenian Seminary is now available to stream on YouTube. The six sessions cover the major medieval Armenian historians and histories composed between the fifth and tenth centuries. Part II of the series will take place in the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester.

Lecture 1: An Overview of the Armenian Historical Tradition
Lecture 2: The Conversion and Early History of Armenia: Agathangelos, Epic Histories, & Moses of Khoren
Lecture 3: Narrating the Religious Struggles with Zoroastrian Iran: Ghazar of Parpi and Yeghishe
Lecture 4: Early Engagements with Islam: The Histories of Sebeos and Ghewond
Lecture 5: Regional Histories: History of Caucasian Albania & History of the House of the Artsrunik
Lecture 6: End of the First Millenium: John the Catholicos, Ukhtanes, and Stepanos of Taron

A playlist of the full series is available here.

A resource guide is available here.

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.

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