Ełishe #

Introduction #

by Beyon Miloyan

Եղիշէ (Yeghishe), vardapet.

Little is known about the life of Ełishe, though a corpus of works attributed to him has survived. His elaborate prose and profound theology indicate he was a vartabed, and his essay on monastic life indicates that he joined the cloister, probably later in life. His magnum opus, the History of the Vartanants Saints (Պատմութիւն Սրբոցն Վարդանանցն), is a major source for the Battle of Avarayr, its causes and aftermath. The History covers the thirty-six-year period from AD 428 to 464 in seven chapters. But Ełishe’s History is otherwise an account and panegyric of the Vartanants and Ghevontiants saints who were martyred in the war. The History contains one reference to a Yeghisha, bishop of Amatunik, which Ełishe does not identify as himself but which some have surmised to be a reference to the author, who otherwise describes himself as an eyewitness of the events in his narrative. Other works attributed to Ełishe include his Advice to Monastics, Interpretation of Joshua and Judges, Homily on the Lord’s Prayer, Homily on the Passion of Christ, Homily on the Judgment and Second Coming, Homily on the Commemoration of the Departed, and On the Soul of Man.

The present edition #

History of the Vartanants Saints

This edition presents the Classical Armenian and English in parallel format with word-by-word grammatical tagging of the Armenian text and English gloss. The Classical Armenian and English texts are from the 2023 Sophene edition translated by Beyon Miloyan.

Advice to Monastics

This edition presents the Classical Armenian with a parallel English translation by Beyon Miloyan, with word-by-word grammatical tagging of the Armenian text and English gloss. The Classical Armenian text is from the 1859 San Lazzaro compilation of Ełishe’s works.

References #

  1. Miloyan, B. (2023). History of the Vartanants Saints. Sophene.

  2. Ter-Minasyan, E. (1957). Եղիշէի Վասն Վարդանայ եւ Հայոց Պատերազմին [History of Vardan and the Armenian War]. Erevan.

  3. Yeghishe. (1838). Մատենագրութիւնք նախնեաց. Սրբոյ հօրն մերոյ Եղիշէի վարդապետի մատենագրութիւնք. San Lazzaro.

Additional references #

  1. Zekiyan, B. L. (1982). Ełišē as Witness of the Ecclesiology of the Early Armenian Church. In N. G. Garsoïan, T. F. Mathews, & R. W. Thomson (Eds.) East of Byzantium: Syria and Armenia in the Formative Period (pp. 187-197). Harvard University.

  2. Toumanoff, C. (1966). Armenia and Georgia. In J. M. Hussey (Ed.) The Cambridge Medieval History, Volume IV (pp. 593-637). Cambridge University Press.

  3. Bonner, M. R. J. (2020). The Last Empire of Iran. Gorgias Press.