Arakel Leo

Leo, Arakel Grigor’evich


(pseudonym of A. G. Babakhanian). Born Apr. 14 (26), 1860, in Shusha, now in Nagorno-Karabakh AO, Azerbaijan SSR; died Nov. 14, 1932, in Yerevan. Armenian Soviet historian, writer, and publicist. Professor at the University of Yerevan (1924–32).

At the turn of the century, Leo published research works on the basic problems of Armenian history and culture. In Tbilisi during 1901–05, Leo published Armenian-language monographs on the history of Armenian book printing and on Iosif Argutinskii, head of the Armenian church in Russia, and Stepanos Nazarian and Grigor Artsruni, 19th-century social figures, publicists, and critics.

Rejecting the principles of ecclesiastical-feudal historiography, Leo developed the methodology of bourgeois historiography. Nevertheless, his outlook remained idealistic until the 1920’s. After the October Revolution of 1917, Leo revised his methodological positions and approached several questions from the viewpoint of economic materialism and vulgarized sociologism. He had a negative attitude toward the cultural heritage of the past and toward the Armenian liberation movement; he attributed exceptional importance to Armenian merchant capital in the history of Armenia. In his last years, Leo worked on a multivolume history of Armenia.


Leo. Erkeri zhoghovzhu, 10th ed., vols. 1–3. Yerevan, 1966–69.
Ani. [2nd ed.]. Yerevan, 1963.
Khojayakan kapitayē̌ev nra k’aghak’akan-hasar akakan derē̌ hayeri nej. Yerevan, 1934.
Tyurk’ahay heghap’okhut’yan gaghap’arabanut’yunē̌, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1934–35.


Ocherki istorii istoricheskoi nauki v SSSR, vol. 3. Moscow, 1963.