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Impearls: Greater Armenia

Item page — this may be a chapter or subsection of a larger work.  Click on     link to access entire piece.

Earthdate 2004-06-26

Greater Armenia

Joel in his intriguing Far Outliers blog, which we've had occasion to mention before here at Impearls, has been quoting from Robert D. Kaplan's year 2000 book Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus, providing fascinating glimpses of Armenia, Trabzon (the medieval Byzantine city of Trebizond) and other formerly Armenian-populated portions of present day Turkey, as well as of Azerbaijan.

Our only disappointment is that Kaplan provides too scanty a view of Armenian history, most particularly the medieval period when Greater Armenia, including far more than the present Armenian Republic, was in its heyday.  To remedy this drawback Impearls proceeds to reveal its own look at medieval Armenian history, drawing from a now public-domain chapter in the first edition of the renowned Cambridge Medieval History, by early twentieth century French scholar of Armenia Frédéric Macler (1869-1938), Professor of Armenian for many years at the École nationale des Langues orientales vivantes, Paris. 1

We will also make frequent reference to the splendid pictorial “VirtualAni” site, which folks definitely ought not miss.

Following is an index of the parts into which Frédéric Macler's chapter “Armenia” has been divided:

Greater Armenia
→  Introduction
→  The Arab Conquest
→  Recovery and Independence
→  The Arabs return, but are driven out
→  (Mostly) Peace and prosperity
→  Greeks and Turks
→  Little Armenia and Aftermath

→  Acknowledgments and References
→  (End)


UPDATE:  2004-07-03 17:50 UT:  Corrected a few typos; modified photograph usage at the request of VirtualAni.

UPDATE:  2004-07-13 14:00 UT:  Joel at Far Outliers, whose posting inspired this whole thing, has linked back to this article (under the title “Greater Armenia Impearled”) with lengthy quotations and the comment, “To add depth to the brief mentions of Armenia on this blog and elsewhere, the wonderfully informative Impearls ‘proceeds to reveal its own look at medieval Armenian history […].’  I'll post just a few paragraphs from each part.  Visit Impearls for the rest, plus illustrations, maps, notes, and acknowledgments.”

Jakub at a site called Social Bookmarks has linked to this piece, under the title “Medieval Armenia.”

Nathan at an interesting blog I hadn't previously been aware of called The Argus, devoted as it says to “watching Central Asia and the Caucasus,” linked to this article, commenting “The extent of my what I can say I definitely know about Armenia is its location and that it has a long and fascinating history.  Joel points to a series of posts from Impearls on Medieval Armenia.  Don't miss it!”

Matt at another blog new to me called Blogrel (which I'd thought was a cute bloggish pun on “doggerel,” but is actually a union of “blog” plus the word grel meaning “to write” in Armenian) then linked to the piece, adding:  “Impearls has a detailed post about Greater Armenia (Via The Argus).  It's an ‘all you ever wanted to know about historical Armenia but were afraid to ask.’  […]  This is a novel use of a blog.  A blog about history.  One thing is I don't see any way to make comments, but maybe that's a good idea.  Make sure you have a good cup of haykakan surtch and read the full post.”

Last but not least, Geitner Simmons at his wide-ranging Regions of Mind blog, has linked to the Armenia piece (along with our Northwestern California article) with the comment:  “Michael McNeil continues to demonstrate creativity at his blog Impearls.  Michael has put together a spectacular package about early Armenian history.  In another post, he examines some aspects of natural history in California's Klamath Mountains.  The graphics are first-rate — a wide range of architectural and cultural images involving Armenia, plus a terrific satellite photo and mountain images in regard to northwestern California.  Michael's look at Armenia underscores the devastation and brutality involved as warring empires and kingdoms struggled for control.”  Geitner illustrates with his own striking photo of a structure dating from early medieval Armenia.

UPDATE:  2009-11-09 13:10 UT:  Updated to fix broken picture links, and a couple of lingering typos.


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