Translated by Robert Bedrosian
Written in the 11th Century
This is a dual language edition of Aristakes Lastivertc’i’s History that places the original Armenian text side-by-side with its English translation. A searchable, digital copy of the English translation can be accessed at Archive.org.
Aristakes Lastivertc’i was an eleventh century Armenian cleric and historian. His History was written between 1072 and 1079, and describes the events of 1000-1071, including information about Byzantine-Armenian relations, the Seljuk invasions, and the Tondrakian movement in the Armenian Church. The work opens with a poetic summary of the disasters befalling the Armenian people in the eleventh century. Subsequent chapters describe Byzantine attempts to subjugate the Armeno-Georgian district of Tayk’ (1000 to 1022); conflicts and cooperation among Armenian and Georgian princes; and the Seljuk invasions from 1047 to the capture of the city of Ani (1064) and the Battle of Manzikert (1071).
Little is known about the author of this work. The village of Lastivert whence he hailed is believed to have been located near the city of Arcn in the district of Erzurum. Unlike earlier Armenian historians, Aristakes had no patron and was not writing a eulogistic account of the role of a particular noble family in Armenia’s history. Rather he was a patriotic historian who heaps scorn on those clerical and lay Armenian lords whose actions he considered detrimental to Armenia’s national church and to the preservation of Armenian states. The History displays equal aversion to Armenia’s foreign overlords, Byzantine and Saljuq.
The Sophene Dual Language series places the original Armenian text side-by-side with its English translation, making for the most accessible editions of the finest works of Armenian literature.