Many historians and scientists of the world have tried to solve the riddle: how could such a small nation without large military force confront so many disasters, and not only survive on the face of the world, but to be reborn…
One of the explanations of this riddle lies, probably, in the characteristic feature of the Armenian people – his devotion to his native language, literature and spiritual culture. Where people could not win with the sword, they won with the writings, carrying their aspirations, hope and faith through the centuries for future generations.
In 405 AD, under the patronage of King Vramshapuh and Catolicos Sahak Partev, Mesrop Mashtots created the Armenian alphabet, which we are now writing … The new alphabet was well-received and a new Armenian translation of the bible was published in 405 AD. Other literary works soon followed.
Noteworthy is the first sentence written with the letters of the new alphabet, “To know wisdom and gain instruction; to discern the words of understanding…” It reflected people’s insatiable desire for knowledge, which extended not only to their own culture, but also on all the best in the culture of other nations, and included desire to share their spiritual heritage…
Even before the creation of alphabet, Armenian had been written with ‘cuneiform’ scripts, which was deemed unsuitable for religious works. The Armenians craved and developed their own language, so that already the 5th century is considered “Golden Age” of our culture.
The term Armenian is used to refer to three languages, each with its own dialects: Classical Armenian (Grabar, the older form of the language), Modern Western Armenian (developed in Western Armenia and t spoken in the diaspora), and Modern Eastern Armenian (the language of the Republic of Armenia). Originally there were 36 letters in the Armenian alphabet. Three letters were added in the 10th-12th cc, for a total of 39 letters. Direction of writing is from left to right.
Exactly in the fifth century and later were established the books and works by such well-known Armenian scholars as Movses Khorenatsi, Koryun, Pavstos Byuzand, Agatangeghos, Yeghishe, Lazarus, Parpetsi, Yeznik Koghbatsi, David Anhaght, Anania Shirakatsi and others.
Even after the “Golden Age” Armenian literature gave to the world such major poets as Grigor Narekatsi, Nerses Shnorhali, Frick, Nahapet Kuchak, Naghash Hovnatan and many others.
Medieval Armenian literature, especially poetry, marked a genuine revival, signs of which have appeared in Armenian literature, philosophy and art several centuries before the European Renaissance. We can say that literature in Armenia has never been “just because”, from the very beginning it was a powerful weapon in the hands of the people in the struggle for better future.
The best traditions of the ancient and medieval literature, in the XIX-XX centuries have continued and developed such bright representatives of Armenian literature, as Khachatur Abovyan and Mikael Nalbandyan, Raffi and Shirvanzade, Avetik Isahakyan and Hovhannes Tumanyan, Grigor Zohrab and Siamanto, Daniel Varuzhan and Derenik Demirchyan, Stepan Zoryan and Yeghishe Charents, Paruyr Sevak, Aksel Bakunts and others.
The new generation of young poets and writers came, who together with their works brought a fresh approach to different genres of Armenian literature, deepening its content and enriching it. From beneath their feathers are born new novels, new poems and stories, in which our time, our era, actions and deeds of our contemporaries are presented with an artistic interpretation.
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