Epics and Romances

History of Taron

The History of Taron attributed to John Mamikonean is a short historical romance in five parts, purporting to describe significant events in the district of Taron in the Byzantine-Iranian wars during the reign of Xosrov II, when Taron was frequently invaded by the Iranians.

The History describes the actions of five generations of Mamikoneans (Taron’s princely house) in defending and avenging the district. Each cycle of the story is devoted to the exploits of one of the heroes, who display at times superhuman bravery and duplicity, wisdom and cunning, humility and pomp, and compassion and cruelty. Much of the narration describes the battles fought by the heroes and the cunning tactics used by the Taronites to defeat the invading Iranians.

This volume is part of the Sophene Dual Language Series and contains the Classical Armenian text with a facing English translation.

Translated by Robert Bedrosian



David of Sassoon

David of Sassoon is an Armenian folk epic with ancient roots. It recounts, in four cycles, the heroes of the mountainous district of Sassoon to the southwest of Lake Van and their pursuit of national liberation from foreign oppression. The David of Sassoon presented here is Armenia’s national poet’s Hovhannes Toumanian’s captivating rhymed version of the third cycle of the epic with an English translation by Thomas Samuelian that echoes the rhyme and rhythm of Toumanian’s poem.

This volume contains the English translation together with the Eastern Armenian text.