Bishop Karapet Ter-Mkrtchyan "The Blessing of the Holy Myron"

In Armenia, Chrisitanity has been sealed and imbibed with the fragrance of the Holy Myron.

Church Fathers called the blessing of the Holy Myron as "sacrament of the Myron", "sacrament of oil", "sacrament of the Holy Spirit". The veneration of the Armenian nation towards the Holy Myron comes from the depths of centuries.

The Holy Myron as an important element of the distribution of the Holy Spirit's graces and of the Armenian identity at the same time has a great role in the life of the Armenian nation. It is appropriate to quote Catholicos Vasken I: " We believe that in every drop of this blessed Myron there is a ray of light of the divine glory, because every time the old Myron is mixed with the new one. Every newly blessed Myron includes a part of the Myron blessed by St. Gregory the Illuminator".

Nowadays, there are numerous works and studies of different volumes about the canons of making and blessing the Holy Myron, however, there were not many at the beginning of the 20th century. 

In this regard, "Blessing of the Holy Myron" by bishop Karapet Ter-Mekerthchian published at the beginning of the 20th century was the most comprehensive study.

The text of the book is in three languages: Armenian, English, Russian. Contains many color photographs.

Bhe book can be acquired by visiting  http://booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=1187

 

Archbishop Maghakia Ormanian "The Church of Armenia" (in English)

This is the third edition of the English translation of Ormanian's book "The Church of Armenia". The history of the Armenian Church is alomost identical to the history of the Armenian nation, at least in recent 2000 years. In this book not only the history of the Church and the nation is reflected but also more in depth information about the Armenian Church: her theology, literature, administration, liturgy. The book addresses many questions that people have about the Armenian Church. The English edition is useful for English-speaking Armenians as well as English-speaking persons generally. The new edition of the book has many color illustrations directly connected to the text. The book gives exact and general information about the Church of Armenia to the reader who wants to know better this old Oriental Church.

This book is a "bestseller" among visitors to Armenia who are seriously interested in one of the most ancient Churches of the World, who still preserves its authenticity in the Christian World and authority among Armenians.

"Ankyunacar Publishing" 2015

To acquire the book, please visit http://booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=861

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK

BY BISHOP WELLDON

THE task of writing an Introduction to Mr. Gregory’s translation of Mgr. Ormanian’s book upon the Church of Armenia is not free from difficulty; nor is it made the less difficult because the Bishop who should have written it, had his life been spared, was a man of such wide and various learning as the late Bishop of Salisbury, Dr. Wordsworth. Yet in that Church there is much that is interesting to all Christians, and perhaps especially to members of the Church of England. For the history of the Church of Armenia is a witness to certain great principles of ecclesiastical life. It is a protest against the assumed infallibility and universality of the Church of Rome. For the Church of Armenia believes that “no Church, however great in herself, represents the whole of Christendom; that each one, taken singly, can be mistaken, and to the Universal Church alone belongs the privilege of infallibility in her dogmatic decisions.” She takes her stand then upon the national character and prerogative of Churches. She holds, as the Church of England holds, that it is a fraternity of Churches tracing their pedigree backwards to an Apostolical origin, developing themselves on separate lines, yet knit together by a common creed and by spiritual union with the same Divine Head, which constitutes the true ideal of the Universal Church.

The Church of Armenia claims descent from the Apostles St. Bartholomew and St. Thaddaeus. Whether it is or is not true that “Armenia was the first state in the world to proclaim Christianity as its official religion,” there is no doubt that Armenia as a whole was converted to Christianity at the very beginning of the fourth century A.D. by the preaching of St. Grigor Partev (Gregory the Parthian), better known as St. Gregory the Illuminator. He became the first Catholicos of Armenia. He ruled and organized the Armenian Church, and it is curious to notice that he died in the year of the Council of Nicaea, A. D. 325. 

From St. Gregory’s day to the present the Church of Armenia has pursued an independent course. In her early history she resisted the controlling influence of the Churches of Caesarea, of Antioch, of Constantinople. In later times she has been subject to aggressions from the Greek, the Syrian, and the Latin Churches, and in some degree from missionaries of the various Protestant denominations. But although individual secessions from her communion have taken place, she has never compromised her separate national life. The quote Mgr. Ormanian, she has “always understood the meaning of union in the true and strict sense of term. She has desired to see its establishment on the basis of a spiritual communion between the Churches, of mutual respect for their several positions, of liberty for each within the limits of her own sphere, and of the spirit of Christian charity overruling all.”

One special merit of the book now recommended to English readers is that it is an appreciation of the Church of Armenia not from without, but from within. The author, as having himself been the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, is entitled to put forward the case of his own Church. It is thus that he claims a hearing for his repudiation of the Eutychian heresy so frequently associated with the Church of Armenia. It is thus too that he dwells with authority upon the unfailing tolerance characteristic of that Church in all the ages.

Not only is the Church of Armenia a standing instance of a Church developing on her own historical lines, but her independence is exemplified in numerous aspects of her past and present history. It will be enough to instance her recognition of three, and three only, Oecumenical Councils, the small number of the dogmas upon which she insists as necessary to salvation, her estimate and use of the sacraments, her hierarchical system, the strong influence of her laity in deliberation and administration, the dependence of her clergy upon voluntary offerings, her so-called dominical festivals, her special hagiology, and the democratical spirit which has endeared her to the nation.

It is probable that no other book gives so clear an account of the Church of Armenia in so brief a space as that of Mgr. Ormanian. If I do not mistake it, it will create in the minds of Anglican Churchmen not only a keen sympathy with the Church of Armenia, but a stronger confidence than ever in the strength of their own ecclesiastical position as accordant with the spirit and practice of the Christian Churches which are not merged in the Church of Rome, and as justified not only by ecclesiastical history, but by the Spirit and Will of Jesus Christ Himself.

J. E. C. WELLDON

March 16th, 1912

To acquire the book, please visit http://booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=861

 

La Jérusalem Nouvelle et les Premiers Sanctuaires Chrétiens de L'Arménie

The author is a very reliable guide through the documents. The book therefore starts with Eusebius’ dedication sermon at Tyre, connecting the church with the Temple – not the Jerusalem Temple on earth but its model, the one in heaven. Synagogues were also connected with the heavenly Temple, although the author does not say so. The Beth Alphaa mosaic, for instance, has angels on the nave floor and in the picture of the sanctuary (see cover of Strata), and the simplest explanation is that this synagogue too represented the heavenly Temple. It was also true of Constantine’s church on Golgotha. But the area, which was known as Golgotha long before, already had a building on it – the Temple of Aphrodite: this being the principal reason for pulling the shrine to Aphrodite down. During the clearing of the site an unexpected event took place. The Tomb of Christ was discovered, and the author accepts the statements of Eusebius (Vita Const. 3.30.4) and Sozomen, who lived in about 400 CE (Hist. Eccles. 2.1.5), that inside it were pieces of the cross. She thus rejects as legendary their finding by Helena. The rock, now revered as the site of Golgotha, as Gibson and Taylor have said, is far too small for three crosses, and a wider area for Golgotha is also implied by calling the Martyrium, to use the words of Egeria, the ‘Great Church built by Constantine on Golgotha behind the Cross’. So what is the Rock of Calvary containing the cross itself? The author, judging perhaps from the unsuitability of the site, thinks that it must commemorate another miracle, and suggests Cyril’s luminous cross which extended fromtheMount of Olives to the Anastasis. But there is no need to suggest such a miracle. The cross may have been there since the first arrangement of Golgotha. In my mind it served as a focus for the whole Golgotha area, and, according to Egeria (Itin. 37.5) the people who looked at this cross during Holy Week thought simply of the suffering Christ.

Vałaršapat, or Ēĵmiacin, the present seat of the patriarch, had been ruined and burnt to the ground by the Persians in the 360s. The city included four holy places, according to the Vision of St. Gregory: the Mother Church, the places where the first virgins were martyred and the oil-press where they lived. St. Sahak rebuilt the churches and dedicated them between 414 and 417 CE. But at almost the same time (417 to 435 CE according to Charles Renoux) the Armenian Church adopted the calendar of Jerusalem. This meant a change in the church year, but it also implied a need to get some parallel holy places linking Vałaršapat and Jerusalem. So the four churches were given parallels from Jerusalem. The church farthest to the east, St. Hrip’simē, was the Eleona. The oil-press was the church of Gethsemane, which is Aramaic for ‘oil-press’. TheMother Church was the Basilica of Constantine, now the Holy Sepulchre, and the one to the south, St. Gayanē, was Holy Sion. The book ends with a study of theMother Church of Ēĵmiacin. Anahit Sahinyan was the only archaeologist allowed to excavate the church, and he was working in the 1950s, since when there have been many improvements to archaeological method. Sahinyan concluded that the present church was founded at the end of the 5th century. Garibian de Vartavan shows that very little is known about the history of the church, apart from the fact (or legend) that it was founded by the first missionary to Armenia, St. Gregory the Illuminator. If this is true it ranks as a famous church, but the history of its restoration and repairs is almost completely lacking. At the beginning of the 5th century St. Sahak did some repairs (which are unknown), in 487 CE VahanMamikonean had to do some more repairs to stabilise the church, and by 618 the Catholicos Komitas changed the wooden roof into one built of stone. This is all the information available and highlights how great our need is for comparable studies on other famous Armenian churches, I hope by someone as reliable as Garibian de Vartavan.

This is an excellent book, not least because it fearlessly offers new and convincing interpretations of the documents.

To acquire the book visit http://www.booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=952&cur=USD

John Wilkinson

Former Director, British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem

Most comprehensive English-Armenian dictionary ever

English-Armenian dictionaries exist from 1821, and that first one was composed by Armenian Mechitarist congregation in Venice. Then, until now number of other extensive English-Armenian dictionaries were published. 

Below you can see the concise history of extended English-Armenian dictionaries since 1821:

  • 1821 «Dictionary English and Armenian», by Fr. H. Avgerian, Venice (The first English-Armenian dictionary).
  • 1825 reprint of the same dictionary in Calcutta, India.
  • 1922 «A Comprehensive Dictionary English-Armenian», by prof. H. Chagmagchian, Boston.
  • 1927 «English-Armenian Contemporary Dictionary», by M. Gushakchian and T. Khndruni, Beirut.
  • 1984 «English-Armenian Dictionary», H. Asmangulyan et al.,  Yerevan, Hayastan.
  • 2007 «English-Armenian Dictionary», N. Hambartcumyan et al. McMillan  Armenia, Yerevan.
  • 2010 «English-Armenian Contemporary Dictionary» by Kh. Grigoryan and Z. Grigoryan, Yerevan, Ankyunacar.
  • 2011 New English-Armenian Dictionary, by Kh. Grigoryan and Z. Grigoryan, Yerevan, Ankyunacar.
  • 2011 «English-Armenian Dictionary», N. Baratyan, YSU publishing house, Yerevan.
  • 2014 English-Armenian Contemporary Dictionary» by Kh. Grigoryan and Z. Grigoryan, Yerevan, Ankyunacar (Second edition, the most comprehensive contemporary English-Armenian dictionary).

As one can see, three of the recent English-Armenian dictionaries are published by Ankyunacar Publishing, and the last is the biggest ever. This newest edition contains 115,000 words and expressions. Over 200 disciplines are covered. 

If you are really serious about studying modern Armenian language, then this dictionary will be your best companion for long time.

I’d like to add also that getting this dictionary is very easy: just go to http://booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=833&cur=USD (for softcover) or to http://booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=1057&cur=USD (for hardcover) and clicking on “Add to cart” follow instructions to secure purchasing through global payment system 2Checkout.com.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any additional information.

Best regards,
Theophana Vardanyan

Garegin Sarkissian "Council of Chalcedon and the Armenian Church"

Those who know the website http://booksfromarmenia.com, may be aware that one of the richest categories is the one presenting Armenian Philosophy and Theology. One of the latest arrivals to this category is this: Garegin Sarkissian "Council of Chalcedon and the Armenian Church".

It is in Russian, translated from English by E. Karchagin. The author of the book is the Catholicos Gareign I of the blessed memory. This work has been written in 1950-60-s, as the dissertation in the department of literature of Oxford University. The work was published in 1964 in English. The author has not made any changes, he only added appendices in the last chapter.

The topic discussed is the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and the relations of the Armenian Church with other Churches in the following period. This topic was discussed many times between believers of the Armenian Church and those adhering the Chalcedon Council. "But the book of Garegin I differs from all these investigations in one important circumstance: here the political, ecclesiastical and dogmatic situation before and after Chalcedon is considered critically on the basis of all available sources. One can say that this characteristic line became one of the main principles of study of Christology of the Armenian Church in the book of Garegin I" we read in the foreword.

Underlining the theological and historiographic importance of this book, we can say that there are few such books in English and Russian. Therefore, we think that this publication, carried out by the publishing department of the Holy See of Echmiadzin, may interest Armenians who speak in Russian, as well as others who speak in Russian and are interested in religious, ecclesiastical and theological issues concerning the Armenian Church.

To acquire the book, please follow the link http://booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=1217։

The epic "David of Sasoon": from the history of publication

This epic has been transferred from generation to generation orally, and had different names, but the most common name, of course was "David of Sasoon". It consists of 4 branches, each presenting a biography of one of the characters.

 

In terms of historical epic, its branches are developed during Arab invasions of 7-10 centuries, some parts – of the 12-13 centuries, but foundations of this folk art must looked for in much deeper antiquity, they are linked to ancient legends, early religious conceptions.

 

From the history of the writing of the epic

For the first time folklorist G. Srvandztyann has found in 1873 in the village of Mush Arnist from a novelist and wrote down the entire "Daredevils Of Sassoun" epic. A year after under the headline "Groc and brots, or David Sassoon and Mher's Door" was published in Constantinople. Linguist M. Abeghyan in 1886 recorded the second story in Vagharshapat and in 1889 has published in Shushi, under the headline "David and Mher".

Up to the 80-s of 20th century there were collected and written down 160 versions of the epic, 70 of which were published.

Many famous Armenian writers have elaborated the epic, be best of them being recoginzed that of Hovhannes Toumanian, which was published in 1903. 

 

Translations of the epic

The epic was translated in many languages: Russian, Georgian, Belorussain, Azeri, Chinese, Farsi, French, English, Polish etc. Due to active participation of UNESCO, the epic has drawn great interest worldwide.

Presently the interest to this epic has not ceased, and number of translations, full or in part, are being published.

The epic in arts

"Sasuntsi David" epos was reflected in the fine arts. The rich, colorful material inspired painters, sculptors and composers. The square at central railway station of Yerevan bears the name of David of Sasoon, where soars up the best artistic embodiments of David of Sasoon, the sculpture of Ervand Kochar.

Some of the publications made in different years, are presented in the website Booksfromarmenia.com.

1. http://http://www.booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=1219

2.  http://www.booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=526

3. http://www.booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=270

4. http://www.booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=1220

5. http://www.booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=1221

6. http://www.booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=1223

7. http://booksfromarmenia.com/category.php?cat_id=1

St. Augustine's "Confessions" in Armenian

The first book that we would like to present to your attention in 2016 is St. Augustine's "Confessions". 

Ankyunacar Publishing 2008, Yerevan, 480 pp. ISBN 99941-800-1-1.

One of the Medieval encyclopedists, the saint of the Cathlic Church Isidorus of Seville (6-7 cc.), who by the way is known as the saint patron of Internet and day of his day, 4th of April, is commemorated as the international day of the Internet, speaking about Christian fathers of first centuries and their heritage, says: "Augustine stands above all by thought and knowledge, since no one can not only write as much, but also read as much as he wrote", and then "whoever will say that he have read all works of Augustine, should be considered as a liar".

This may seem a little exaggerated but is not far from the truth: Augustine has authored 93 works, amounting 232 books, by his name there are 500 letters and sermons. Aurelius Augustine or Augustine of Hippo (354-430) is from Carthage, and lived most of his life in the towns Tagaste and Hippo of Roman Africa (now in Algire). From his religious-philosophical works most famous are "Confessions" (Confessiones), "On the City of God" (De Civitate Dei), "On the Trinity" (De Trinitate), "On the Free Will" (De libero arbitrio), which toghther with religious content have also high artistic qualities.

Of these works, "On the City of God" has been translated and published once in 1841 by Mekhitarist congregation of Venice, but "Confessions" has never been translated into Armenian. Ankyunacar Publishing conducted this labourous work and the first edition of "Confessions" published in 2002. (translation from Latin with coparison of English translation by Kh. Grigoryan). In 2008 was published the second, revised edition of this translation and now it is available for all who would like to read Augustine in Armenian language.

To acquire this book, please follow the linkhttp://http://booksfromarmenia.com/category.php?search=augustine&cur=USD

Theophana Vardanyan

Armenian Amulets of XVIII-XX cc.

This study aims to shed light in the eclectic amulet collection in the History Museum of Armenia, namely natural and artificial intriguing objects of charms used or worn in the XVIII-XX cc. It is the first attempt not only to bond the Armenian amulets with diverse cults and popular beliefs but also to reveal their functions and purposes in everyday life and rituals. The book is expected to be in the best interests of ethnographers, archaeologists, art theorists and those who feel curious about popular traditions, customs and rites in general.

There is a rich collection of various amulets at the section of ethnography of the Armenian History Museum (AHM). Some of the names of these charms

have dialectal forms equal to Armenian literary words; the others are in Persian and Arabic. This collection is classified into several groups according to their functions: 1. polyfunctional amulets defending people, houses, plants etc., 2. women's amulets, 3. children's amulets and 4. animal's charms.

http://booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=1031

 

Hetoom Historian of Korikos by Karen Matevosian

The chronology of Hetoom Historian of Korikos (end of 13th, beginning of 14th century) composed in 1296 entitled as "Concise history of times collected from different histories" is presented in the book. The history is in three editions, research and annotations, as well as two other works of the author (in appendix), which are valuable sources about the history of the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia and the state of Crusaders.

To acquire the book visit http://booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=1198

Language: Armenian

The book is for historians and wide public interested in the history of Armenia.

Symbolism and work of Martiros Saryan, by Ararat Aghasian

The monography is dedicated to the early, symbolistic period of the work of Martiros Sarian, one of the greatest Armenian painters of XX century. As a result of detailed and comprehensive analysis of main creations of Sarian of that time the most characteristic formal-stylistic and ideo morphological pecularitiesof his art are revealed. Early creation of Sarian is considered on the wide historical-cultural background of the epoch, and specific works are shown in comparison of russian and West European painters-symbolists of the end of XIX and beginning of XX centuries. In this monography are reflected opinions about Sarian of famous critics and figures in literature and art.

The book is for specialists and those, who is intersted in history of the Armenian painting. Richly illustrated by photos of pictures of Sarian.

Language: Russian.

You can acquire the book here: http://booksfromarmenia.com/item.php?item_id=988

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