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Martyrology of T‘amar Mokac‘i

(138 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Unknown author Date of Birth: Approximately mid-14th century Place of Birth: Armenia Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author does not identify himself/herself in the narrative nor does he/she make any indirect allusions that might clarify his/her origin and background. On the basis of the norms of this type of narrative, one might plausibly argue that the martyrology was composed by a monk or vardapet (doctor of theology) at one of the monasteries in the neighborhood of Ostan, on the south-east shore of Lake Van, not long after the events he documented. Primary …

 Vkayabanut‘iwn Yovhannēs episkopos Tarōnoy

(659 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
'Martyrology of Yovhannēs Bishop of Tarōn' Martyrology of Yovhannēs Bishop of Tarōn Date: About 1463 Original Language: Armenian Description The text sets the scene by sketching the protagonist’s background. Originating in the village of Hołablur in the region of Tarōn/Muš, the youth Yovhannēs had studied from an early age at the famous monastery of St John the Precursor, the first seat of the chief Armenian hierarch in the 4th century, finally being elevated to the position of abbot and bishop of the diocese of Tarōn. Once installed, he began restoring the mona…

Martyrology of Awag Salmastec‘i

(129 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Unknown author Date of Birth: Mid-14th century Place of Birth: Armenia Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author does not identify himself/herself in the narrative nor does he/she make any indirect allusions that might clarify his/her origin and background. Basing oneself on the norms of this type of narrative, one might plausibly argue that the martyrology was composed by a monk or vardapet (doctor of theology) at one of the monasteries in the neighborhood of Bitlis not long after the events he documented. Primary Sources of Information The only source direc…

Martyrology of the Confessor Step‘annos

(138 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Unknown author Date of Birth: Mid-15th century Place of Birth: Armenia Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author does not identify himself/herself in the narrative nor does he/she make any indirect allusions that might clarify his/her origin and background. On the basis of the norms of this type of narrative, one might plausibly argue that the martyrology was composed by a monk or vardapet (doctor of theology) at the monastery of Tat‘ew or another in the neighborhood not long after the events he documented. Primary Sources of Information The only source direct…

 Vkayabanut‘iwn Yovhannēsi mankan Xlat‘ec‘woy

(1,262 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
'Martyrology of the youth Yovhannēs Xlat‘ec‘i' Martyrology of the Youth Yovhannēs Xlat‘ec‘i Date: About 1438 Original Language: Armenian Description The text relates the case of a 20-year-old Christian Armenian youth, Yovhannēs, from the important city of Xlat‘/Ahlat on the western shore of Lake Van. Trained as a bard, he was much sought after for his art by both the Christian and Muslim communities, and he frequently performed at festivities for the local emir Sayf al-Din. His fame generated negative press among …

Martyrology of Mirak‘ Tawrizec‘i

(130 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Unknown author Date of Birth: Mid-15th century Place of Birth: Armenia Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author does not identify himself/herself in the narrative nor does he/she make any indirect allusions that might clarify his/her origin and background. On the basis of the norms of this type of narrative, one might plausibly argue that the martyrology was composed by a monk or vardapet (doctor of theology) at one of the monasteries in the neighborhood of Tabriz not long after the events he documented. Primary Sources of Information The only source directly…

Martyrology of T‘ēodoros Kesarac‘i

(125 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Anonymous vardapet Date of Birth: 1140s-1170s Place of Birth: Armenia Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author does not identify himself/herself in the narrative nor does he/she make any indirect allusions that might clarify his/her provenance and background. A later record from the 13th century exists, which plausibly states that the martyrology was composed by a vardapet (doctor of theology) who happened to be on assignment in Kayseri at the time of the events he documented. Primary Sources of Information The reference noted above is found in a čaṙəntir (ho…

 Vkayabanut‘iwn T‘ēodorosi Kesarac‘woy

(1,117 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
'Martyrology of T‘ēodoros Kesarac‘i' Martyrology of T‘ēodoros Kesarac‘i Date: Approximately 1204 Original Language: Armenian Description The work treats the case of a poor Armenian youth, T‘ēodoros of Kayseri, who was born and brought up as a Christian, married, and lived by his trade, but continually struggled to make ends meet. He contracted a loan to improve his finances but, when the deadline approached and the lender pressed him for the money, he was unable to discharge his debt. His case came before the chief qāḍī of the Seljuk state, who ruled he should return the sum in…

 Vkayabanut‘iwn Grigori episkoposi Karnec‘woy

(917 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
'Martyrology of Bishop Grigor of Karin (Erzurum)' Martyrology of Bishop Grigor of Karin (Erzurum) Date: Approximately 1321 Original Language: Armenian Description The account situates the martyrdom within the broader context of Christian-Muslim relations in the Ilkhanate after the leaders’ adoption of Islam and the new social and financial burdens this placed upon the Christian community, as well as peremptory attacks on their churches and monasteries. It then treats the anti-Christian activities of Timurtash, the M…

Aṙak‘el Bałišec‘i

(526 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Biography Aṙak‘el Bałišec‘i developed many of his skills as a poet, cleric, pedagogue, and musician under the tutelage of one of the most famous Armenian scholars of his time, Grigor Xlat‘ec‘i, celebrating his martyrdom in a verse lament of 1425, and expatiating more broadly on his life and exploits in a vita the following year ( Patmutiwn k‘aj ew tiezeraloys vardapetin Grigori Xlat‘ac‘woy). However, his first literary work was the martyrology of the vardapet Step‘annos and priest Petros of Xizan of 1424. Later in life, he also produced versions of the liv…

The Martyrology of Vardan Bałišec‘i

(130 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Unknown author Date of Birth: Approximately 1380s Place of Birth: Armenia Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author does not identify himself/herself in the narrative. However, the self-deprecating self-references, appeal for divine inspiration to direct the narrative, and familiarity with the conventions of the genre and the contours of the Christian-Muslim debate, suggest that the martyrology was composed by a monk or vardapet (doctor of theology) at one of the monasteries in the neighborhood of Bitlis not long after the events he documented. Primary So…

 Vkayabanut‘iwn T‘amaray Mokac‘woy

(737 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
'Martyrology of T‘amar Mokac‘i' Martyrology of T‘amar Mokac‘i Date: 1397 Original Language: Armenian Description The work tells the tale of the attractive Christian Armenian woman, T‘amar, also known as Gohar, of the region of Mok‘s to the south-west of Lake Van. Her beauty rendered her the object of the unwanted affections of a local Kurd, who planned to kill her husband T‘uma and make her his own. On learning of his scheme, T‘amar and T‘uma moved their family to the island of Ałt‘amar, where they lived for …

Yovhannēs vardapet

(120 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Biography A later scribal colophon appended to the martyrdom informs the reader that the original author was a certain Yovhannēs vardapet, who happened to be in the Derǰan region at that time and became an eyewitness to the events he describes. It adds that the writing was later inserted in a manuscript menologium by the scribe Karapet, from whose exemplar the current scribe copied most of the account, except for its introductory preface. Primary Sources of Information The only source directly associated with the author is the martyrology itself. Secondary Sources of Information H. Ačaṙ…

 Patmut‘iwn Hayoc‘

(835 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
'History of the Armenians' Kirakos Ganjakec‘i or Arewelc‘i Date: 1265-66 Original Language: Armenian Description The tenth chapter of Kirakos’ history presents the martyrdom of Grigor, an Armenian nobleman from the eastern region of Xač‘en, against the complex background of inter-ethnic and religious tension in southern Caucasia at a pivotal transitional point between Georgian and Mongol suzerainty in the 1220s. A contingent of Kipchak Turks sought a place to settle in Georgia from King Giorgi IV Lasha (r. 12…

 Vkayabanut‘iwn Awagi Salmastec‘woy

(677 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
'Martyrology of Awag Salmastec‘i' Martyrology of Awag Salmastec‘i Date: 1390 Original Language: Armenian Description The work is an account of the martyrdom of the Christian Armenian leather worker Awag, originally of Salmast, who had been apprenticed there under a Muslim master around the mid-14th century and subsequently relocated to Bitlis some 30 years later, perhaps to escape Timur-i Leng’s devastating campaigns in the region. It is also significant that Armenians were the majority population in the city. There, he was charged by a …

 Vkayabanut‘iwn Amēnawagi Derǰanc‘woy

(731 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
'Martyrology of Amēnawag Derǰanc‘i' Yovhannēs vardapet Date: 1335 Original Language: Armenian Description The account focuses on an altercation that arose between Amēnawag, a simple Armenian peasant from the village of Kaṙnberdak in the district of Derǰan near Erzurum, and a local Muslim to whom he owed some money, when the latter pressed the former to discharge his debt and impounded his pack animal as a guarantee of payment. Amēnawag countered that it was better for his brother to take charge of the anima…

Kirakos Ganjakec‘i or Arewelc‘i

(565 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Biography Kirakos is one of the most important Armenian historians of the 13th century. He was born in the region of Ganja and received his early formation at the monastic school of Nor Getik under the eminent savant Vanakan Vardapet. After 1215, he continued his education in Xoranašat Monastery, relocating to Lorut in 1225. In his history, he informs us he was taken captive by the Mongols in spring 1236, and gained a rudimentary knowledge of their language before escaping back to the monastery of Nor Getik…

Martyrology of Zak‘aria, catholicos of Ałt‘amar

(146 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Unknown author Date of Birth: Mid-14th century Place of Birth: Armenia Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Probably Ałt‘amar or its environs Biography The author does not identify himself/herself in the narrative nor does he/she make any indirect allusions that might clarify his/her origin and background. Granted the status of the martyr as a high-ranking cleric with a large monastic entourage and the theological sophistication with which the martyrology is penned, it is most plausible that the author was a vardapet…

 Vkayabanut‘iwn Step‘anosi ark‘episkoposi Sebastac‘woy

(798 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
'Martyrology of Archbishop Step‘anos Sebastac‘i' Martyrology of Archbishop Step‘anos Sebastac‘i Date: About 1387 Original Language: Armenian Description This work depicts the retaliation of Burhān al-Dīn, the Danishmend q āḍī of Sebastia, against conspirators among his troops, who were planning an abortive revolt against his harsh rule in the aftermath of his killing the previous ruler of the city and ensconcing himself in power there. This scenario serves as the backdrop for his onslaught against the important local Armen…

Martyrology of Bishop Grigor of Karin (Erzurum)

(134 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Unknown author Date of Birth: Approximately 1270s-80s Place of Birth: Armenia Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author does not identify himself/herself in the narrative nor does he/she make any indirect allusions that might clarify his/her provenance and background. On the basis of the norms for this type of narrative, one might plausibly argue that the martyrology was composed by a monk or vardapet (doctor of theology) at one of the monasteries in the neighborhood of Erzurum not long after the events he documented. Primary Sources of Information The only so…
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