Arak‘el of Tabriz: Book of History

Series: Armenian Studies Series. 16
Availability: In stock
Published: 2010
Page #: xii + 638
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1568591728, 1-56859-172-1
bibliography, glossary, index, notes

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Quick Overview

Ara`kel of Tabriz’s monumental Book of History is one of the most important primary sources on the history of Armenia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Georgia in the seventeenth century. It covers the period from 1602 to 1666, that is, the reigns of the Safavid shahs, `Abbas I, Safi, and `Abbas II. The historical material that it contains is indeed staggering. It includes the most complete account of the forced deportations of thousands of Armenians from their native land into Persia; the socioeconomic conditions of Armenians in Persia and eastern Armenia; the Celali uprisings and the effect it had on the inhabitants of western Armenia; the decline of the Holy See of Ejmiatisn under kat`oghikoi Dawit` and Melk`iset` and its revival under kat`oghikoi Movses and P`ilippos; the establishment of monastic schools in eastern Armenia; the biographies and martyrdoms of famed clerics and lay persons; an account of the Jews of Persia; the demise of the Armenian community of Poland during the Counter-Reformation; the genealogy of Ottoman and Safavid monarchs; records of earthquakes, fires, and eclipses; the account of the false Jewish messiah Sabbatai Sevi in Izmir; the order of succession of the Armenian kat`oghikoi, including the names and dates of all co-kat`oghikoi; the names and properties of gemstones according to medieval Arab beliefs. the history of the Aghuank` region; and the chronology of significant events which occurred in Armenia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Georgia from 561 to 1666.It is hoped, that this volume, the first English translation, will enable scholars, who are unfamiliar with this amazing primary source, or cannot read classical Armenian or comprehend the unfamiliar terminology in Persian, Arabic, and Ottoman Turkish used by Akak`el, to better understand the political, social, and economic history of Armenia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Georgia during a crucial period.


George A. Bournoutian

George A. Bournoutian is Professor of East European and Middle Eastern Studies at Iona College, New York. He has taught Iranian history at UCLA and Armenian History at Columbia University, New York University, University of Connecticut, Tufts University, Rutgers University, Ramapo College, and Glendale Community College. He is the author of 30 books, including The Khanate of Erevan Under Qajar Rule and From Tabriz to St. Petersburg: Iran’s Mission of Apology to Russia in 1829. His translations of primary sources such as The Chronicle of Abraham of Crete; Abraham of Erevan’s History of the Wars: 1721-1738 and documents such as Armenians and Russia, A Documentary Record, 1626-1796, Russia and the Armenians of Transcaucasia, A Documentary Record, 1797-1889, and A History of Qarabagh have received laudatory reviews in TLS, BSOAS and other important publications. Professor Bournoutian is a member of the Society for Iranian Studies and a member of the Society for Armenian Studies. He is also a frequent contributor to encyclopedias, various scholarly journals, and collections. His work has been cited in major publications and he is considered a world authority on the history of the South Caucasus in the Modem Period (1400-1900). Professor Bournoutian was born in Isfahan and grew up in Iran. He received his High school diploma from the well-known Andisheh (Don Bosco) institution in Tehran. His B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. are from UCLA. He is fluent in Armenian, Persian, Russian, and Polish and has a reading command of French. His A Concise History of the Armenian People is considered the best source in English and has been translated into Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Armenian, Russian and Japanese.

Transliteration and Dating Systems
Translator’s Introduction

Arak‘el's Circular Chart of the Ottoman Sultans

Map 1: Persia in the Seventeenth Century

Map 2: Geographical Locations Mentioned in the Text

Arak‘el’s Title Page

Arak‘el’s Introduction

Chapter 1: On the taxes demanded from the Kat`oghikoi by foreign aggressors, and the sufferings that they caused

Chapter 2: On the arrival of Vardapet Srap`ion to Holy Ejmiatsin and how he became the Kat`oghikos

Chapter 3: On how the Persian King, Shah Abbas, came to Armenia, conquered all, and how Vardapet Srap`ion returned to his home

Chapter 4: On the first invasion of Cegal-oglu, which led the Shah to deport the entire population of the Land of Ararat and its surrounding regions

Chapter 5: On the exile of the population of the wealthiest town of Julfa to Persia

Chapter 6: On Sardar Cegal-oglu’s second invasion, his defeat and retreat

Chapter 7: On the appearance of the Celali, the terrible famine and the man-eating wolves, as well as other calamities which befell our land

Chapter 8: On the capture of the cities of Ganja and Shamakhi

Chapter 9: On the pretext by which Shah Abbas summoned the Georgian Kings and how he deceived them

Chapter 10: Another account of Shah Abbas’ deception of the Georgian Kings

Chapter 11: On the history and causes of the devastation of the Land of Georgia and the death of their King, Luarsab, at the hands of Shah Abbas I

Chapter 12: On the martyrdom of the mother of T`eimuraz, King of Kakhet`i, by the order of the same Shah Abbas

Chapter 13: On the persecutions that the Armenian people suffered at the hands of Shah Abbas I

Chapter 14: Another account of the persecutions that the Armenian people suffered at the hands of Shah Abbas

Chapter 15: On why there was no Kodaw Tax on sheep in the land called Araghstan

Chapter 16: On the history of the relics of the saintly virgin, Hrip`sime; how the Franks found and excavated them and how they took them to the city of Isfahan

Chapter 17: On how and on what occasion they took
the Right Arm of St. Gregory, Our Illuminator, and the stones of the Cathedral of Ejmiatsin to Isfahan

Chapter 18: On the Mughada of one hundred tumans
imposed by the Shah on Kat`oghikos Melk`isedek

Chapter 19: On the history of the reign and flight of Kat`oghikos Sahak

Chapter 20: On the opposition of Kat`oghikos Sahak to Kat`oghikos Movs?s and Holy Ejmiatsin

Chapter 21: On the history of the virtuous men, Bishops Sargis and Ter Kirakos, who were responsible for the construction and prosperity of monasteries and churches, and the observance of all monastic rules by the residents

Chapter 22: Another account of the Grand Hermitage

Chapter 23: On the history of the life and deeds of the Saintly Vardapet Poghos

Chapter 24: On the life and the reign of Ter Movses, as well as on the restoration of the radiant Holy See of Ejmiatsin

Chapter 25: On the teachings and reign of Kat`oghikos P`ilippos; on the restoration of the churches of St. Gayane and Hrip`sime, and on finding their relics

Chapter 26: On the restoration of famous monasteries and on the construction of splendid and magnificent churches

Chapter 27: On the martyrdom of the K`ahana Ter Andreas

Chapter 28: On the history of the oppression and
misfortunes suffered by the Christian Armenians who lived in the city of Lvov

Chapter 29: On the revival among the Armenian
vardapets of the worldly sciences found in secular books, as well as the art of grammar, the knowledge of which had been long lost, and the reason for its dissemination

Chapter 30: The history of [the relic of] the Right Arm of St. Gregory, Our Illuminator

Chapter 31: The succession of our Kat`oghikoi,
beginning with St. Nerses Klayets`i and listed in
order until our time

Chapter 32: The list of vardapets[who studied]at Ejmiatsin,beginning with the tenure of Mkhit`ar Gosh, and descending in succession

Chapter 33: On how and on what pretext they [the Persians] removed the Christian Armenians from the center of Isfahan, and resettled them on the outskirts of the city, on the other side of the river

Chapter 34: The history of the Jews, who lived in the city of Isfahan, as well as other Jews, who lived in the dominion of the Persian Kings. The reason they were forced to renounce their faith and accept the Muslim religion

Chapter 35: On the strong earthquake in the city of Tabriz

Chapter 36: The story about the grave and relics of Patrikios Vard

Chapter 37: On the earthquake in the city of Van and its surrounding regions

Chapter 38: The history of and the reasons for the
destruction of the glorious monastery called Varag, and on the theft and the transfer of the Holy Cross [of Varag] to the Khoshab fortress and its [later]return to the city of Van

Chapter 39: On H?usein Agha’s departure to Julamerk

Chapter 40: The account of the death of the impious Ch`omar

Chapter 41: The account of the death of Suleyman Bek

Chapter 42: The history of the rule of Ibrahim Bek and the return of the Holy Cross [of Varag] to the city of Van

Chapter 43: The history of the relics of St. John the Forerunner, which were kept from ancient times in Old Julfa, and which were subsequently found

Chapter 44: The story of the martyrdom of the
innocent youth Nikoghayos

Chapter 45: The story of the martyrdom of the saintly Christian, named Khach`atur

Chapter 46: The story of the martyrdom of a Christian named Sirun

Chapter 47: The story of the martyrdom of a man
named Mkhit`ar

Chapter 48: The Story of the martyrdom of a
Christian named Awetis

Chapter 49: About the miracles of God upon men who
renounced [their Christian] faith at the hour of
their death

Chapter 50: On the fire that occurred in the great city of Constantinople

Chapter 51: The history of the Ottoman Kings: the
genealogy of the descendants of Osman, who are
called Khondk`ars

Chapter 52: The genealogy of the Persian Kings
Chart: Names of gemstones

Chapter 53: On the names and attributes of
precious stones

Chapter 54: Here is the “Book on Gems” that are
found on earth. On their origins; most importantly,
the diamond

Chapter 55: The History of the Land of Aghuank`
composed by Vardapet Hovhannes Tsarets`i.
A short chronology from the beginning until our time

Chapter 56: [Chronology]

Chapter 57: The history of the exploits of the Jewish people and the Jew called Sap`eta, who declared “I am Christ, the Savior of the Jewish people, and I have come to save them,” and other events that followed

Chapter 58: The reasons for writing this Book of
History, as well as a memorial note from the author

Glossary of Terms

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