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Born 361, in the village of Khatsik, province of Taron; died Feb. 17, 440, in Echmiadzin; buried in Oshakan, present-day Ashtarak Raion, Armenian SSR. Armenian scholar, enlightener, and creator of the Armenian alphabet.
Mesrop Mashtots was the son of a peasant. He became a monk and preached Christianity among the Armenian pagans. After studying the phonetic system of the Armenian language, he formed an alphabet in 405–406. Together with his students, Mesrop Mashtots translated part of the Bible from Syrian into Armenian. The creation of a national alphabet aided in the struggle to preserve Armenian cultural independence. A strong enlightenment movement arose and a rich literature, original and translated, appeared. In the fifth century, many of the students of Mesrop Mashtots became prominent writers (Eznik, Koriun, Egishe, and Movses Korenatsi).
REFERENCESAbegian, M. Istoriia drevnearmianskoi literatury, vol. 1. Yerevan, 1948.
Koriun. Zhitie Mashtotsa. Yerevan, 1962. (Translated from Armenian.)