MY LIBRARY / MOVSES KHORENATSI / HISTORY OF ARMENIA

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Current issue № 1 от 19-03-2015

The History of Armenia is an early account of Armenia and the Armenians by Movses Khorenatsi (Moses of Khorene) – a 5th century Armenian historian. The book is divided into three parts. The first part embraces the genealogy of the Armenian people with a detailed examination of patriarch Hayk and his descendants (Aram, Aramanyak, Ara and the others). The second part is devoted to the history of Arsacid dynasty and ends with the description of the events of the proclamation of Armenia as a Christian state. The third part goes on with the history of Tiridates III's successors, the first division of Armenia between Persia and Rome and brings the history down to the overthrow of the Arsacid Dynasty (428).

Khorenatsi used both foreign and Armenian primary sources (bibliographical, documentary, oral, material and other). The Bible, chronicles of Homer, Herodotus, Manetho, Josephus, Eusebius of Caesarea are mentioned among the foreign bibliographical sources. Among the pre-Mashtotsian sources are the works of Mar Abas Katina (II century B.C.), templar archives etc. The bibliographical sources in Mashtotsian script are those of Koryun, Agathangelos, Faustus of Byzantium, Gahnamak (the list of princes, nakharars (ministers) and honour degrees in the royal court), lithographs in foreign languages found in Armenia. The oral sources include epic songs recorded from folk singers, folk stories such as “The birth of Vahagn”, “Artashes and Satenik”, “Tigran and Azhdahak”, historical-traditional compositions, stories on the origin of nakharar families.

The History of Armenia with its solid structure, precise chronology, periodization of history and patriotic orientation is a fundamental national value and one of the world's monuments of historiographical thought. “History of Armenia” was a criterion for medieval Armenian historians, it was copied numerous times and served as an indispensable texbook of Armenian history until the half of the XIX century in the Armenian schools.

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