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7th & 8th Century Gems

We are excited to announce our forthcoming publication of Sebeos and Ghevond’s Histories. These key 7th-8th century historical sources continue our Dual Language Series, which places the original Armenian text on the left-hand side and the corresponding English translation on the right-hand side, and will be published on July 13, 2021.

Sebeos' History is a seventh century document of special importance for the study of Armenia and the Middle East in the sixth-seventh centuries. It was during this period, when Iran and Byzantium were wrestling for control of the Armenian highlands, that Armenian culture became more individual, independent, and distinctively national. While Sebeos focuses his attention primarily on Armenia's lay and clerical naxarars (lords), he also provides extensive and valuable information on events taking place in the neighboring societies of Byzantium, Iran, and among the Arabs. Volume I includes the first 24 chapters of Sebeos’ History, appended to which is another short work known as the Primary History of Armenia.

Ghewond’s History is the sole 8th century Armenian history describing the Arab domination, covering the period from ca. 632 to 788, and describing the Arab invasions of Armenia in the mid 7th century, the wars fought by the caliphate against Byzantium and the Khazars, the settlement of Arab tribes in Asia Minor and the Caucasus, and the overthrow of the Umayyads, as well as information on Arab tax policies, the status of the Armenian Church, and the Armenian and Arab nobilities.

This release coincides with Book 2 of The History of the Aghuans, a major source for the history of the indigenous Aghuan people of Caucasia from the earliest times to about A.D. 988. Aghuania comprised parts of modern Dagestan and Azerbaijan, Armenia's eastern neighbor. Its ancient peoples and their numerous languages were noted occasionally by classical Greek and Latin authors. Like the neighboring Armenians, the Aghuans were part of the Iranian-Zoroastrian culture-world for at least a millennium. Their royalty and nobility had marriage ties with their counterparts in Iran and Armenia. Also, like Armenia, Aghuania was among the countries early visited by the Apostles; and the Aghuan and Armenian churches were frequently united. Book Two, in 52 chapters, describes events from the 5th-7th centuries reaching the year 683.

These gems of Armenian literature were translated by Robert Bedrosian, one of the world's foremost Armenian scholars. Robert received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1979, specializing in ancient and medieval Armenian history, followed by a decades-long successful career in computer programming. Since 2009, he has uploaded over 2,000 documents online about ancient and medieval Armenian culture. A list of these documents can be found here, and are accompanied by 23 resource guides (clickable syllabuses).