History of the Armenians

Moses of Khoren’s History of the Armenians #

Translated by Robert Bedrosian

The Work #

Moses’ History is unique in scope, methodology, and the treatment of sources. It consists of three books. Book 1 traces the origins of the Armenian people from Hayk through the early princes and kings to the time of the conquests of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. Book 2 begins with the establishment of the Parthian kingdom in Persia and the rule of king Vagharshak in Armenia, and carries the story to the conversion of Armenia to Chrsitanity by Trdat III in A.D. 301. Book 3 covers the period from the death of Trdat III in 330 to the fall of the Arsacid dynasty and the partitioning of Armenia in 428 and the deaths of Moses’ beloved teachers, Sahak and Mesrop, in 440. The History ends with an appendix called Lamentations, which expresses the author’s grief over the loss of the kingdom and the evils besetting Armenia.

Western interest in Moses of Khoren began early in the 18th century, soon after the first printed version of the History appeared in Amsterdam in 1695, making it available to European scholars. The first translation into Latin (abridged), by H. Brenner, appeared in Stockholm, in 1733. Brenner’s edition was followed by acomplete and annotated Latin transaltion by the brothers George and William Whiston, published in London in 1736 and again in Venice in 1753 and 1827. The History has also been translated several times into French, Italian and Russian, with translations also into German, Hungarian and English.

The present edition #

Coming soon.

References #

  1. Acikyan, A. J., Basmajian, G., Franchuk, E. S., & Ouzounian, N. (2000). The Heritage of Armenian Literature: Volume I. From the Oral Tradition to the Golden Age. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

  2. The Movses Xorenats’i Controversy: When did this Armenian historian live and write? (Prepared by Robert Bedrosian).

Additional resources #

  1. Movsēs Xorenac’i (in Encyclopedia Iranica).

  2. Whiston, W. (1728). Armenian records taken out of Moses Chorenensis. London.

  3. Stepanyan, A. (2021). Khorenica: Studies in Moses Khorenatsi. Yerevan State University.

  4. Topchyan, A. (2006). The Problem of the Greek Sources of Movsēs Xorenac’i’s History of Armenia. Leuven: Peeters