Translated by Robert Bedrosian
Written in the 13th Century
This is a dual language edition of Volume I of Smbat Sparapet’s Chronicle 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.
Smbat Sparapet’s Chronicle is a major source for the history of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. Roughly three-quarters of the work consists of a summary of Matthew of Edessa’s Chronicle which describes the period from 951 to 1136 and its continuation by Gregory the Priest, covering the period from 1136-1162. Given that Matthew’s work has survived, by far the most important part of Smbat Sparapet’s Chronicle is its original contribution, devoted to the period from 1163 to 1272. Volume I covers the period from 1136 to 1150.
As a statesman and general, Smbat Sparapet (“the Constable”) was a major participant in Cilician civil, military, and diplomatic affairs of the second half of the 13th century. An educated and literate individual, Smbat translated the Assizes of Antioch from French into Armenian, and probably also had some familiarity with Greek, Arabic, Turkish and Persian. He visited the Mongol court in Karakorum in 1248 and recorded some of his observations in a short letter in French to his brother-in-law Henry I of Cyprus. Such an individual certainly was uniquely well-informed to write a chronicle of his times.
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.