Upcoming Lectures/Presentations

Armenian-Syriac cultural and literary relations in the  Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia during 12th-14thcenturies

By Onnik Kiremitlian

Sunday, September 2, 2018 @ 4:00PM

In the Aram and Anahis D. Boolghoorjian Hall of the Merdinian School:
13330 Riverside Dr., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Direction: Exit Woodman on 101 FWY; go North 1 block, turn Right on Riverside Dr.


The large influx of Armenians into Cilicia due to the Seljuk-Turkic invasions of Greater Armenia, as well as the Byzantine political coercions during the second half of the 11thcentury put the Cilician Armenians in close ecclesiastical, literary and cultural contacts with the Syrians. The latter had a sizeable presence and numerous monasteries imbued with learning and ascetic lifestyle. The Syrians supported the Rubenid Armenian hegemony over Cilicia and its wresting from the domain of Byzantine influence. Close cultural and translation activities developed and flourished between these two churches. Notable figures in this period are Catholicos Gregory II the Martyrophile († 1105), Catholicos Nerses IV the Gracious († 1173) champion of Church unity, the erudite polyglot Nerses Lambronatsi († 1198), as well as the prolific scholar Vardan Areveltsi († 1271). Through independent and collaborative translation activities works of inestimable scientific, historical, literary, and theological value were put into circulation, the Syriac originals of some of which survive only in Armenian. Recent manuscript studies show that there are literary and theological works, such as those by Marutha of Tagrit that were most probably translated from Syriac into Armenian, part of which did not survive in Syriac. Important translation works, the scholars, their translation methods, their importance for the mediaeval world and relevance today will be presented.Syriac works translated into Armenian surpasses in volume and scope those of the Armenian “Golden Age” of the 5th-6thcentury literature.

Onnik Kiremitlian is from Beirut, Lebanon. He is a graduate of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of Ejmiatsin, Armenia, and holds graduate and postgraduate degrees in Biblical Studies and Languages, Theology and Patristics from the London University in UK. He is currently a doctoral student in the Oriental Institute of the Catholic University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve in ancient philology, languages and literatures, and is in the final phase of defending his doctoral thesis. The topic of his thesis is on the Armenian and Syriac works of the 7thcentury Syriac church father Marutha of Tagrit. His areas of interests are primarily in Armenian-Syriac literary, cultural, and ecclesiastical relations, and also mediaeval literature and theology of the Christian East (in the Syriac, Coptic, Arabic, and Ethiopic traditions), as well as Armenian Christianity.

Disclaimer: The Merdinian School is not the sponsor of this event and any opinions expressed during the event are not those of the School.