Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic

Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic


(in Armenian, Aikakan Sovetakan Sotsialistakan Anrapetutiun), Armenia (Aiastan, “Land of the Armenians”).

The Armenian SSR was founded on Nov. 29, 1920. From Mar. 12, 1922, until Dec. 5, 1936, it was part of the Trans-caucasian Federation. On Dec. 5, 1936, it became a separate constituent republic of the USSR. It is located in southern Transcaucasia. It borders on the Georgian SSR in the north, on the Azerbaijan SSR in the east, on Iran in the south, and on Turkey in the west. Area, 29,800 sq km. Population, 2,493,000 according to the Jan. 15, 1970 census. The capital is Yerevan (until 1937, Erivan in Russian). The republic has 34 raions, 23 cities (in 1913 there were three), and 28 urban-type settlements.

The Armenian SSR is a socialist workers’ and peasants’ state, a Union soviet socialist republic, and a constituent republic of the USSR. The constitution now in effect in the Armenian SSR was adopted by the Extraordinary Ninth Congress of Soviets of the Armenian SSR on Mar. 23, 1937. The highest organ of state power is the unicameral Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR, elected for a four-year period on the basis of one deputy for every 6,000 inhabitants. Between sessions of the Supreme Soviet, the highest organ of state power is the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR. The Supreme Soviet installs the government of the Republic, the Council of Ministers; passes legislation for the Armenian SSR; and so forth. The local organs of state power in the raions, cities, settlements, and villages are the respective soviets of workers’ deputies, elected by the population for two-year terms. The Armenian SSR is represented in the Council of Nationalities of the USSR Supreme Soviet by 32 deputies.

The highest judicial body of Armenia is the Supreme Court of the Republic, elected by the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR for a period of five years. It functions through two separate judicial boards (one for civil and one for criminal cases) and a plenum. There is also a presidium of the Supreme Court. The attorney of the Armenian SSR is appointed by the attorney general of the USSR for a five-year term.

The Armenian SSR occupies the small northeastern part of the Armenian Highland. The Armenian SSR is a typical highland with a complex combination of folded, folded-block, and volcanic mountains; lava plateaus and alluvial plains; river valleys; and lake basins. About 90 percent of the territory lies at elevations over 1,000 m, with a mean elevation of 1,800 m. The highest point is Mount Aragats, with an elevation of 4,090 m, and the lowest points are in the gorges of the Debed River (in the northeastern part of the republic) and the Araks River (in the southeast) at 350–400 m.

Terrain. In terms of geomorphological features, four regions can be established in the Armenian SSR. The northeastern area of folded-block mountains (the central ranges of the Lesser Caucasus) has structural-tectonic and water erosion landforms. The basic ranges are the Somkhetskii, Bazumskii, Pambak, Gugarats, Murguz (Miaporskii), Areguni, and Shakhdag (Sevan).

The central volcanic area stretches from the Ekhnakhgaskii (Gukasian) and Dzhavakhetskii ranges in the southwest to the Karabakh Highlands in the southeast (more than one-third the territory of the Armenian SSR), with lava plateaus, highlands, and massifs with insignificant surface drainage and little ruggedness. This region includes the enormous four-peaked Mount Aragats, the Gegamskii (Mount Azhdaak, 3,597 m) and Vardenis ranges, and the Ashotsskaia, Shirak, and Sevan basins.

The southern part of the Armenian SSR has folded-block mountains, a very broken network of valleys and deep gorges. The highest is the meridional Zangezurskii Range (Mount Kaputdzhukh, 3,904 m) with the Aiotsdzorskii (Vaik) spur running to the west, and the Bargushatskii and Megri spurs to the east and southeast. The left bank of the Middle Araks intermontane depression is within the limits of the Armenian SSR. Its northwestern part, the Ararat Plain (800–1,000 m) is marked by a flat aggradation relief.


Geological structure and minerals. The territory of the Armenian SSR is located within the interior portion of the Mediterranean folded geosyncline belt. The geological structure is very complex. Here deposits have developed from virtually all the systems from the Precambrian to the An-thropogene inclusively, while intrusive rock is known of the most diverse composition and age (granitoid, alkali, basic, and ultrabasic). Particularly widely developed are the thick igneous-sedimentary series of the Jurassic and Paleogene. About one-third of the area of the Armenian SSR is covered with andesite basalts, tuffs, pumices, perlites, and other products from the eruption of Anthropogenic, recently extinct volcanoes.

In the Upper Pliocene, intensive volcanic eruptions occurred. The flows of the basic lavas formed a number of volcanic plateaus (Kotaikskoe, Egvardskoe, Aparan, Shirak, Akhalkalaki, and others) in the central part of the Lesser Caucasus. The time of the Lower Anthropogene was marked by major movements of the earth’s crust. As a result there was the formation of the Aragats Massif and the Gegamskii Range, and the downwarping of the Middle Araks depression and the basin of Lake Sevan. The seismicity of the individual regions of the Armenian SSR has been caused by its tectonic structure.

Moving from the southwest to the northeast, one can trace four structural zones of a general Caucasian strike, each of which possesses its own specific mineralization. There is the Alaverdi-Kafan gently folded zone with copper-pyrite mineralization, the Sevan perifault zone with chromite and gold, the Pambak-Zangezur folded zone with copper-molybdenum mineralization, and the Yerevan-Ordubad zone with rock salt and oil and gas shows.

Of chief value among the minerals are the deposits of copper-molybdenum (Kadzharan, Agarak, Dastakert, and elsewhere), copper-pyrite (Kafan, Shamlug, Alaverdi, Ankadzor, and elsewhere), gold (Zod, Megradzor, and elsewhere), iron (Razdan, Abovian, Svarants, and elsewhere), and polymetallic ores. There are also nepheline syenites, bentonite, rock salt, marble, dolomite, magnesial refractory raw materials, diatomite, tuffs, pumice, andesite-basalt, obsidian, perlite, and so forth.

In the Armenian SSR there are curative mineral waters used for therapeutic purposes and bottling.


Climate. The Armenian SSR is located in a subtropical zone, but because of the mountainous topography, it is marked by a diversity of climatic types. The climate of the Armenian SSR is influenced by the proximity of the Black and Caspian seas, as well as the arid Iranian and Asia Minor highlands. The southern location causes significant solar radiation. The maximum intensity in May-June at apparent noon in Yerevan is 1.08 kW/m2 (1.55 calories/[cm2.minute]), and on Mount Aragats, 1.16 kW/m2 (1.66 calories/[cm2 • minute]). The duration of sunshine during the year is 2,000–2,800 hours (a maximum on the Ararat Plain and in the basin of Lake Sevan).

The climate of the plains and piedmont parts is arid and continental with a hot summer and a moderately cold winter. In July the mean temperature is 24°-26°C, with an absolute maximum of 42°C; the January mean is -5°C. The precipitation is 200–400 mm per year, with a significant portion falling in the spring. The vegetation season is six to seven months. On the mountain plateaus and mountain slopes (up to 1,400 m elevation), the mean temperature is 18°-20°C in July and from -4° to -6°C in January. The precipitation is about 500 mm per year with a vegetation period of four to five months. In the medium mountains the climate is temperate, the mean July-August temperature is 18°C, the winter is mild with snow, and the mean January temperature is -2° to -8°C. The precipitation is 600–800 mm per year, with the maximum in late spring. In the highlands (at an altitude of 2,000–3,000 m), there is a cold climate: the summer is cool, with a mean temperature from 10° to 15°C, and the winter is cold, with a mean January temperature of -9° to - 14°C, an absolute minimum of -46°C, and a heavy snow cover. In the extreme southeast (Megri) and northeast (Noemberian), there is a dry subtropical climate, with 300 mm of precipitation per year.

Rivers and lakes. The rivers belong to the basin of the Caspian Sea. The largest river, the Araks, which serves as the frontier, includes 76 percent of the territory of the Armenian SSR in its basin; 24 percent of the territory is in the Kura River basin. The tributaries of the Araks are the Akhurian, Sevdzhur (Metsamor) with the Kasakh, the Razdan, Arpa, Vorotan, and others; the tributaries of the Kura are the Debed with the Pambak and Dzoraget, the Agstev, Akhum, and others. The rivers of the Armenian SSR are fast flowing and have rapids, particularly in the middle courses. They are fed by mixed sources, that is, by snow, rain, and groundwater. Spring flooding and summer low water are characteristic. The drainage of the Sevdzhur, Akhurian, and Razdan rivers is more regulated, and these rivers are fed by springs and lakes. The rivers of the Armenian SSR are not navigable, but are used for irrigation and as hydroelectric sources. The potential hydropower resources of the Armenian SSR are 21.8 billion kW-hr per year. It is technically possible to utilize 8.6 billion kW-hr per year.

In the Armenian SSR there are more than 100 mountain lakes. The largest, Sevan, is picturesquely located in a basin surrounded by mountains. In many regions of the central and southern part of the Armenian SSR, underground drainage predominates. The largest artesian basin is the Ararat basin with static water reserves of 29 billion cu m. Of the other basins, the more important are the Vorotan, Sevan, and Shirak. The water supply in all the discovered underground basins has been estimated at 50 billion cu m. The underground waters in the volcanic regions reach the surface in the form of numerous springs, both fresh and mineral. In the Armenian SSR there are more than 8,000 springs, among which the largest group includes the Karasunakn, Aparan-skie, Kazanshiiskie, and Shakinskie.

Soils. The great fluctuations in altitude and the complex relief and geological structure of the Armenian SSR have caused a diversity of soil types and a clearly expressed altitude zonality. In the lower parts of the Middle Araks Depression (600–900 m), a complex of desert soils has formed including salt bottoms, solonets, and swampy soils. There are also takyrs (clay-surfaced deserts) with areas of hummocky sands. The brown loamy soils at these elevations over the centuries have been plowed up and have formed cultivated irrigated soil. Brown stony soils (kirs) have developed in the foothills (up to 1,300–1,400 m). Chestnut soils are found in the Middle Araks Depression up to an elevation of 1,800 m and in the northeastern regions of the Armenian SSR and in Zangezur at a level up to 800 m. The cinnamonic soils of the arid mountain forests and brush are found at elevations of 1,600–1,800 m in the northern regions and at up to 2,300 m in the southern. In the Armenian SSR, mountain chernozems have spread most widely, chiefly on the volcanic plateaus. In the upper stage of the mountains, the soils are mountain-meadow, mountain-meadow-swampy, and mountain-meadow-peaty.

Flora. The vegetation of the Armenian SSR is marked by a diversity of plant forms and by an abundance of endemics. Halophyte (Russian thistle) vegetation is encountered in the lowland portions of the Middle Araks Depression. Fragrant wormwood (Yerevan wormwood) is spread widely (up to an elevation of 1,400 m). The foothills are covered by phryganoid vegetation with a large quantity of thorny (tragacanth) brush and cushion plants (Astragalus, Acantholimon), as well as tomillars, that is, thickets of xerophytic perennials. In the steppe zone (up to 2, 100–2,200 m), there is a predominance of feather grass and sheep’s fescue vegetation, and in the more arid regions, a vegetation which is transitional to xerophytic herb vegetation, in places with tragacanths.

In the northeastern and southeastern regions, under the conditions of the comparatively mild climate, there are hardwood forests (of eastern beech, oak, and hornbeam), which together with the brush occupy about 13 percent of the territory of the Armenian SSR. In the northeastern regions, they rise up to an elevation of 1,900–2,000 m, and in Zangezur up to 2,200–2,400 m. Arid light forests, juniper and hardwood, are widely found. There is mountain-steppe, sub-alpine, and alpine vegetation on the unforested areas. There are mesophyte herbs and grassy meadows in the lower part of the alpine zone (up to an altitude of 2,800 m) and alpine meadows in the upper part. The mountain steppes and alpine meadows are used as summer pastures.

Fauna. In the foothills there are many reptiles including the kufi and the Caucasian viper; there are also scorpions. The reed thickets are inhabited by the wild boar, jungle cat, jackal, gull, marsh harrier, and short-toed eagle. In the mountain steppes and alpine regions live rodents such as the Asia Minor suslik, William’s jerboa, the lesser mole rat, and voles. Carnivores are represented by the mottled polecat, and birds, by the lark, hoopoe, imperial eagle, bearded vulture, griffin vulture, Caspian snow partridge, snow finch, and mountain partridge. In the southern mountains, in the phrygana zone and above, one encounters the wild goat and more rarely the mountain sheep, or mouflon. In the forests are found the roe deer, boar, Syrian bear, European wildcat, lynx, squirrel, and dormouse. There are numerous birds including the accentor, woodcock, European robin, warbler, tit, and woodpecker. The fish are represented by the Sevan trout (ishkhan) and barbel; Lake Apri has wild carp, khramulia (Varicorhinus capoeta), asp, chub, and others. In the Armenian SSR, the racoon dog (the northeastern forest regions), the coypu (the Sevdzhur River Valley), and the Ussuri axis deer (Khosrovskii Forest) have been acclimated.

Preserves. Two preserves have been founded for the conservation of nature. The Dilizhan Preserve is a typical mesophile forest area with a predominance of eastern beech, oak, and hornbeam and with areas of pine and yew. It is inhabited by roe deer, brown bear, stone marten, and others. In the Khosrovskii Preserve, there are semidesert, phryganoid, and mountain steppe types of vegetation, juniper and almond light forests, and so forth. The animals include Syrian bear, wild boar, and mouflon.

Natural regions. The entire natural complex of the Armenian SSR has been subjected to significant changes both horizontally and vertically. From the foothills to the alpine regions the natural zones change in the following order: desert-semidesert, arid mountain steppe, upland-steppe, mountain-forest, alpine, and nival. The arid landscapes are found along the valley of the middle course of the Araks River, and they are particularly clearly expressed in the Ararat Basin. In the northeastern and southeastern regions, due to the mildness of the climate, there is a predominance of forest landscapes.

In the Armenian SSR, natural zones have been established. The Ararat Basin is the largest region, encompassing the left bank of the Araks River and its tributaries (the right bank is in Turkey). The bottom of the basin is the Ararat Plain and the foothills are marked by a continental climate with desert-semidesert landscapes. In the medium mountain area, there is a predominance of typical volcanic relief with steppe and alpine landscapes. The natural conditions are favorable for raising thermophilic crop (grapes, apricots, peaches, and southern vegetables).

The Shirak Region occupies the basin of the upper and middle courses of the Akhurian River. It is marked by mountain-steppe landscapes. The winter is cold with a constant snow cover, and the summer is warm. It is a typical volcanic area with mountain chernozems, and the alpine zone has alpine vegetation. Cereals and sugar beets are grown, and livestock raising has also developed.

The Lori-Pambak Region encompasses the basins of the Debed, Pambak, and Dzoraget rivers. There is a predominance of arid steppe and forest landscapes. The region is rich in copper and polymetallic deposits.

The Agstev-Tavushskii (northeast) region is the natural continuation of the Lori-Pambak, with a mild climate and forest landscapes.

The Sevan is an enclosed basin with mountain steppe and alpine landscapes and the presence of the enormous water surface of the lake.

The Vaik is a separate region encompassing the basin of the Arpa River, and in terms of the landscape and natural conditions it is similar to the Ararat Basin.

The Zangezur (Siunik) region is a very rugged mountain area where all the types of landscapes endemic to the Armenian Highlands are represented, but with a predominance of forest and mountain-steppe landscapes. This region is rich in nonferrous metal deposits.


Geologiia Armianskoi SSSR, vols. 1–9. Yerevan, 1962–69.
Bagdasarian, A. B. Klimat Armianskoi SSR. Yerevan, 1958.
Magakian, A. K. Rastitel’nost’ Armianskoi SSR. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Takhtadzhian, A. L. “Botaniko-geograficheskii ocherk Armenii.” Tr. botanicheskogo in-ta Armianskogo filiala AN SSSR, 1941, vol. 2.
Dal’, S. K. Zhivotnyi mir Armianskoi SSR. Yerevan, 1954.
Mirimanian, Kh. P. Chernozemy Armenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Kavkaz: Prirodnye usloviia i estestvennye resursy SSSR. Moscow, 1966.
Atlas Armianskoi SSR. Yerevan-Moscow, 1961.


According to the 1959 census, the bulk of the Armenian population (1,551,600, or 88 percent) consists of Armenians. Approximately 56 percent of all Armenians in the USSR and 45 percent of Armenians in the world are concentrated here. Azerbaijanis (107,700), Russians (56,500), Kurds (25,600), Ukrainians (5,600), Greeks (5,000), Assyrians (or Aisors, 4,300), and others also live in the republic.

Armenia is notable for high population growth rates (see Table 1); the population has increased three times during the years of Soviet rule. The natural population increase in 1969 totaled 18.3 per 1,000 people. The increase due to people moving to Armenia from other republics, as well as the repatriation of Armenians from different countries of the world, plays a large role in the formation of the modern population. Between 1921 and 1969 approximately 220,000 people were repatriated. During the 1960’s Soviet Armenia admitted an average of 2,000–4,000 people annually from foreign countries.

Table 1. Population of Armenia
1913 (year-end estimate) ..........1,000,000104,000896,0001090
1920 (year-end estimate)..........780,000112,000668,00014863
1926 (Dec. 17 census) ..........881,000167,000714,0001981
1939 (Jan. 17 census) ..........1,282,000366,000916,0002971
1959 (Jan. 15 census)..........1,763,000882,000881,0005050
1970 (Jan. 15 census)..........2,493,0001,482,000,1,011,0005941

Armenia has the USSR’s second-highest (after Moldavia) average population density (83.7 people per sq km). More than 45 percent of the population resides in the Ararat Lowlands, which make up 6.5 percent of Armenia’s total territory; the density here reaches 400 persons per sq km. The density is also high in the Shirak Lowland and the basin of Lake Sevan. More than 99 percent of the population lives higher than 800 m above sea level. There are no permanent populations above the 2,400 m level (more than 16 percent of Armenia’s territory). Females amount to 51 percent, and males 49 percent (as of Jan. 1, 1969). Approximately 76 percent of the population employed in the national economy is in the materials manufacturing industry. The average number of workers and employees in 1968 was 759,000 (15,000 in 1922; 155,000 in 1945; and 427,000 in 1960), including 249,000 in industry, 74,000 in construction, 92,000 in agriculture, 50,000 in transportation, 10,000 in communications, 38,000 in public health, 85,000 in education, and 28,000 in science and scientific services. Women account for 40 percent of the total number of workers and employees.

The important cities (more than 100,000 inhabitants in 1970) are Yerevan (population, 767,000), Leninakan (164,000), and Kirovakan (107,000). Of the new cities which have arisen during the years of Soviet rule, the most important are Echmiadzin, Kafan, Razdan, Oktemberian, and Alaverdi.


Primitive communal and slave-owning systems. The Armenian Highland is one of the oldest centers of world civilization. Traces of man in Armenian territory date from the Old Stone Age (Paleolithic). Paleontological finds from the Tertiary period and Acheulean obsidian tools were discovered along the gorge of the Razdan River for a considerable distance to the north, right up to the village of Nurnus (7 km north of Arzni, near Yerevan). The most ancient sites of the Lower Paleolithic period in the present-day territory of the USSR were discovered in mounds located on the slopes of Mount Artin (Satanidar, Areguni, and Iuzhnyi kholm). In the Neolithic period primitive agriculture appeared in place of hunting and gathering in the Armenian Highland, primarily around the mouths of mountain rivers and streams. In the Aeneolithic period and the Early Bronze Age, cattle raising developed intensively along with farming—for example, the settlements of Shengavit, Shresh Blur, Elar, and Tagavoranist, which date from 4000 to 3000 B.C. Armenia is one of the most ancient sources of metal culture. Excavations made at the settlement of Tekhut, near Echmiadzin, indicate that as far back as 5000 to 4000 B.C., copper metallurgy, rather well developed for that time, existed in Armenian territory. Archaeological investigations at the site of the ancient town of Metsamor (near Echmiadzin), which dates from 3000 to 1000 B.C. , revealed an ancient center of mining and metal production; more than 200 smelting works were distributed in the area of the settlement.

At the turn of the second millennium B.C. cattle raising began to dominate economic life. The first important social division of labor took place between the pastoralists (on the mountain slopes) and the agriculturalists (inhabitants of the lowlands); primitive barter appeared.

The second half of the second millennium B.C. was characterized by a vigorous florescence of bronze culture in the high-mountain regions, where growing class differentiation was distinctly noticeable. Tribal alliances, in the formative stages of government, appeared. In the period of the height of the bronze industry and the beginning of iron mastery (at the turn of the first millennium B.C.) an intensive process of disintegration in the primitive communal system occurred among the tribes of the Armenian Highland. After the fall of the Hittite Kingdom, western Asiatic influence on the culture of Transcaucasia diminished, and a period followed of rapid independent development in the culture of the Transcaucasian tribes, whose economy was based on semi-nomadic pastoralism.

In the struggle against the expansion of Assyria (from the 13th century B.C.)the tribes of the Armenian Highland entered into alliances (Uruatri, Nairi, Daiani, and others). Urartu, the first state formation of the ancient Eastern type in the territory of the USSR, was established in the ninth century B.C. on the basis of these alliances. The unification lacked stability and boundaries fluctuated. By late ninth and eighth centuries B.C., Urartu had considerably expanded its domain. Urartian fortresses, which were important military and administrative economic centers (Erebuni, Teishebaini, Argishtikhinili), were uncovered and investigated in the territory of Soviet Armenia. A cuneiform inscription dated 782 B.C, discovered in 1950 at the Arinberd Mound in the Yerevan area, reads: “By the greatness of the god Khaldi, Argishti, son of Menua, built this majestic fortress; he established (for it) the name Erebuni; (he built it) for the might of the country of Biainili (and) for the suppression of the hostile country. . . .” Thus, it is possible to determine the age of Yerevan, whose 2,750th anniversary was observed in 1968.

Slave-owning systems were established in the center of the Urartian state, while the disintegration process of the primitive communal systems continued in the outlying districts. The population of Urartu was engaged in cattle raising and agriculture based on artificial irrigation. Basic agricultural implements were made of iron, the extensive use of which began in Urartu earlier than in other regions of Western Asia. Among the handicrafts, metallurgy achieved the greatest development. Urartu had its own writing system, based on Assyrian cuneiform. The absence of unity, internal conflicts, and the onslaught of the Scythians and the Medes brought about the fall of the Urartu kingdom at the beginning of the sixth century B.C. In the second millennium B.C. the Armenian tribes that subsequently created their own unified state lived in the southwestern and eastern regions of the Armenian Highland. The former capital of Urartu, Tushpa (Van), and the city of Argishtikhinili (Armavir) became the most important centers of Armenian economic and cultural life.

Beginning in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. important developments were made in plow agriculture, viticulture, and viniculture in the valleys of the Armenian Highland.

A military slave-owning aristocracy developed among the Armenian tribes. During the second half of the first millennium B.C. the process of forming the Armenian nation was basically completed. When the Median Empire was being established, the Armenian tribes, as evidenced by Herodotus, dispersed from the upper reaches of the Galis River to the region of Mattieni; they played an important role in the defeat of Assyria and acquired their independence. Information about the first independent rulers of Armenia has been preserved in ancient Armenian sources. Movses Khorenatsi tells of the Armenian prince Paruir, son of Skaiordi, who assisted the Medes in the conquest of Assyria and its capital Nineveh (612 B.C.). In the last quarter of the sixth century B.C., Armenia was subdued by the Achaemenids after stubborn bloody resistance. In the trilingual Behistun inscription of Darius I, the country “Armenia” is mentioned in the Elamite and Persian texts, and “Urartu” is mentioned in the Assyrian text. The country of Armenia is designated on the Babylonian map of the world (fifth century B.C.). According to Herodotus, Armenia was included in the 13th and 18th tax districts (satrapies) of the empire of Darius I. As documented by Xenophon, the administration of the 13th satrapy was in the hands of the family of Ervanduni (Greek, Orontes), whose power was inherited by the right of succession. (The rulers of this district bore the family name of Ervand.) The Ervands maintained ties of relationship with the Achaemenid dynasty. Satraps were entitled to command military forces, and the regular contingent of Armenian troops consisted of 40,000 infantrymen and 8,000 cavalrymen.

The Armenians revised and developed the cultural heritage of Urartu and, at the same time, they were receptive to the influence of the ancient Mitanni and Hittite cultures of the neighboring regions.

After the defeat of the Achaemenids at the battle of Gaugamela (331 B.C. ), the Armenian satraps Ervand III and Mitraustes established two independent kingdoms. In the beginning, Ervand recognized the authority of Alexander the Great, but during the struggle among the Diadochi he became independent of the Macedonians in 316 B. C In 220B.C. the Seleucid ruler Antiochus III conquered the Ervand kingdom and annexed it to the territory of central and southern Armenia. Thus, toward the end of the third century B.C. all Armenian lands (with the exception of Little Armenia, which remained an independent kingdom) were unified under the rule of the Seleucids. This unified territory became known as Greater Armenia; it was governed by the local ruler Artashes (Artaxias). After the defeat of Antiochus III by the Romans at the battle of Magnesia (190 B.C.), Greater Armenia and Tsopk (Sophene) became independent kingdoms in 189 B.C. Artashes I (ruled 189 to c. 160 B.C.) proclaimed himself king of Greater Armenia and founded the dynasty of the Artashesids (189 B.C. to 1 B.C.).

Artashes I actively interfered in the affairs of neighboring states and contributed in every way possible to the collapse of the kingdom of the Seleucids. He succeeded in uniting the principal Armenian lands and expanding his own kingdom. He founded a new capital at the bend in the Araks River, calling it Artashat (Greek, Artaxata). Greater Armenia achieved the height of its power under his grandson Tigranes II (ruled 95–56 B.C. ), who finally unified the principal Armenian lands in one state, including Tsopk (except for Little Armenia, which had been earlier annexed to the Pontus Kingdom). At this time Greater Armenia expanded considerably with the annexation of other territories including Seleucid Syria, Commagene, the plains of Cilicia, and Mesopotamia. The kingdom of the Seleucids passed over in its entirety to Tigranes.

Antioch, the capital of Syria, became one of the capitals of the Armenian king. In view of the kingdom’s territorial expansion, the capital Artashat, which was located in the northeastern part of Tigranes’ domain, could no longer function as the chief political center. Tigranes built his new capital, Tigranakert, (Tigranocerta), in the center of the kingdom, on the shore of a Tigris River tributary at the crossroads of the trade routes.

The slave-owning economy of Armenia was based on the exploitation of slaves, communal peasants (shinakan), and tenant farmers. In the large cities (Armavir, Ervandashat, Arshamashat, Artashat, Tigranakert, and Vagarshapat, for example) significant developments occurred in metallurgy, pottery, decorative stonecutting and woodworking, the production of household utensils, leather-working, weaving, jewelry handicrafts, and construction work. The cities carried on large-scale trading with other countries. Slave-owning estates, agaraks and dastakerts, were located around the cities.

A highly developed culture, influenced by ancient Greece, Hellenistic Syria, and Asia Minor, arose in Greater Armenia. Architecture, theater, literature, and poetry were becoming well developed. However, the Hellenistic culture was disseminated primarily among the Armenian aristocracy. The masses of the people retained their own distinctive local cultures. Armenian religion bore the imprint of syncretism: ancient deities, which traced back to Urartu and to an even earlier time, were held sacred; and there were also some Iranian and Hellenic cults, including Zoroastrianism.

The absence of economic and ethnic unity, the intensification of class struggle, and the separatism among the rulers of the outlying provinces weakened the government of Tigranes II. He suffered defeat in the war with Rome, lost almost all of his earlier territorial conquests (Syria, Phoenicia, and Eastern Cilicia), and was compelled to submit to Pompey and recognize Greater Armenia’s dependence on Rome (66 B.C.). However, Tigranes II retained his authority over the principal Armenian possessions. In the first century B.C. the territory of Armenia became the arena for a bitter struggle between Rome and the Kingdom of Parthia. Under Artavasdes II (ruled 56–34 B.C. ), Armenia, in alliance with the Parthian kingdom, fought against Rome and freed herself of Roman domination. The Armenian territories of Tsopk and Lesser Armenia were annexed to Greater Armenia. The struggle between Rome and Parthia ceased temporarily after conclusion of the Rhandeia Treaty (62 A.D.), whereby the dynasty of the Armenian Arsacids became firmly established in Greater Armenia. In the continuing war between Rome and Parthia, Armenia began to play the role of a buffer state. In the second half of the third century A.D., Greater Armenia fell into dependence on Sassanid Iran.

Era of feudalism (third-fourth centuries to the 19th century). In the third and fourth centuries A.D. feudal systems became prevalent in Armenia. The communal peasants and slaves who were allotted land (erdumards) gradually developed into a new class of feudal dependent peasantry. In the fourth century, because of the increase of feudal land ownership, only the Ararat region was the “king’s land,” whereas the remaining lands gradually passed over to the hereditary ownership of the most prominent feudal princes (nakhararq). The strengthening of the feudal system was accompanied by an intensification of the class struggle.

In 301, Christianity was declared the official state religion of Greater Armenia. The Armenian Church was headed by the catholicoi, who at first were established at Caesarea (Kay seri), and later by the king of Armenia (from the middle of the fourth century). The Armenian Apostolic Church is sometimes called the Gregorian Church, after the name of the first catholicos, Grigor Partev. The Christian church became the ideologist and staunch supporter of the stability of feudal law and order.

As a result of the national struggle against the Sassanid invaders, Armenia was again able in the fourth century to be independent for some time. Under Arshak II (Arsaces, ruled 345–367), Armenia had to wage stubborn resistance against the expansionist policy of Iran. Following the treacherous capture of Arshak II, the Sassanids temporarily succeeded in seizing Armenia. Arshak’s successor, Pap (ruled 368–374), defeated the Iranian forces with the aid of the Byzantines. In 371, Iran was compelled to recognize Pap’s sovereignty over Armenia and to withdraw her troops. Pap fought against the power of the church and the aspirations to independence of the feudal lords. He brought the number of Armenian cavalrymen to 90,000. The Byzantine emperor Valens, displeased with the consolidation of Armenia, arranged for Pap’s assassination and appointed to the Armenian throne his first cousin Varazdat (ruled 374–380), who thereupon continued the policies of his predecessor against the will of the emperor. Byzantium and Iran took advantage of the rising discontent among the nakhararq with the central government and divided Greater Armenia between them in 387.

In western Armenia, which had moved toward Rome, the king’s authority was abolished by the Romans in 391, and thereafter Armenia was ruled by the Roman military governor. In eastern Armenia (approximately three-quarters of the entire territory of Armenia), which was subject to Iran, the kingdom was dissolved in 428, and the Iranian governor (marzpan) began to rule it. But even under him, Armenia continued to preserve internal self-rule. Armenian nakhararq were appointed to the key administrative positions. Both Iranian and Armenian garrisons, under the joint command of an Armenian commander in chief (sparapet), manned strategically important areas.

Soon, however, the most important government posts were taken away from the Armenian nakhararq, and the post of supreme judge, which had belonged to the Armenian catholicos, was handed over to the Iranian high priest. The collection of taxes also went into the hands of the Iranian administration. Iran demanded from the Armenians the renunciation of Christianity and acceptance of the then prevalent religion in Iran—Zoroastrianism. All of this provoked revolts against Iran. A popular uprising which gripped the entire country began in 450. The general Vardan Mamikonian, who had successfully gained a number of victories, became the organizer of the insurrection movement. At Artashat he formed a new government, having become ruler of the country and, at the same time, chief of the armed forces. A decisive battle occurred on May 26, 451, in the Avarair Valley. Both sides suffered great losses and Vardan Mamikonian was killed. The Armenian troops retreated to the heart of the country and scattered among the inaccessible mountains and gorges. The people resorted to guerrilla warfare. Iran succeeded in suppressing the country only because of numerous concessions by the Armenian aristocracy.

War against the Sassanids erupted again during the 480’s. The leader of this new revolt against Iran was Vahan Mamikonian. After a few years of bloody warfare Iran was forced to recognize Armenian self-government. In 485, Vahan Mamikonian was appointed marzpan. The privileges of the nakhararq and the clergy were reinstated. Anti-Iranian attitudes heightened in the 550’s when the post of marzpan again shifted over to representatives of the Iranian aristocracy. In 571 a revolt broke out. At its head was Vardan Mamikonian Karmir. In the battle (572) the Iranian troops were completely routed by the Armenian rebels. After this a considerable part of marzpan Armenia went over to the side of Byzantium. The revolt became a protracted war. The struggle between Byzantium and the Sassanids over Armenia and Kartli continued for 20 years. The Sassanid king Khormizd IV, seeking to gain the favor of the aristocracy in the part of Armenia subject to him, appointed the Armenian Dawith Saharuni (ruled 586–601) as ishkhan (ruler) of the country. From that time on, the ishkhans were entrusted with all the civic functions of the government.

By the end of the sixth century Iran had conceded a large portion of Armenia to Byzantium. Armenia became a vassalage of the Byzantine state, although it was still governed by the ishkhan, who received the titles patrikios and kuropalat. Byzantium took no drastic measures against the Arab invasions to which the Armenian lands were exposed. The Armenian cavalry, under the leadership of the sparapet Theodoras Rshtuni, rose to the defense of the country. Having rallied around himself a large number of the nobility of Armenia, Kartli, and Caucasian Albania, he undertook negotiations with the Arabs which concluded with an agreement in 652. According to this agreement, Armenia, having recognized the supreme authority of the Arabian Caliphate, would not have to make payments of tribute for a period of three years; it had the right to maintain a cavalry of 15,000 men; the caliphate pledged not to invade Armenia, not to interfere with its internal affairs, and to defend it against Byzantine aggression; and Theodoros Rshtuni was appointed ruler of Armenia and other regions of Transcaucasia.

From the fourth to the eighth centuries, when early feudal relationships prevailed, the formation of different types of feudal land ownership and basic forms of feudal rent took place in Armenia. Feudal serfdom, which had become stronger, aggravated the class struggle, which often took the form of various “heretical doctrines” (Messalian, Borboriani, and so on). From the seventh to the ninth centuries the doctrine of the Paulicians, who advanced the idea of universal equality and who appeared as the opponents of large-scale land ownership, religious rites, and the church hierarchy, was widely received among the Armenian peasants. For the people, the Paulician doctrine was the call to battle with the feudal aristocracy. The church of Armenia came out against the Paulicians, denounced their movement as heresy, and anathematized them.

In the middle of the seventh century the Arabs, who had taken possession of Iran, Syria, and Mesopotamia, made incursions within Transcaucasia against Armenia, Iberia, the Caucasus, and Albania. By the end of the seventh century Armenian self-government was finished. Between 698 and 700, Arab forces conquered Armenia and Transcaucasia and formed a vicegerency called Armenia, which included Armenia, Kartli, and Caucasian Albania. The Arab conquest slowed down the development of feudal relationships in Armenia. Some Armenians fled to Byzantium, and their lands were seized by the Arab nobility.

Under the yoke of the caliphate, Armenia underwent a severe increase in taxes, which were chiefly levied upon the peasants; tenant farmer leasing became prevalent; there was an increase of church and monastery land ownership, where the principles of waqf (property of Muslim ministry) were applied. The struggle of the Armenians against Arab domination (revolts of 703, 748–750, 774–775, and 850–855) turned into a situation of bitter class struggle between the peasants and the Armenian feudal lords. Thus, the active participation of the Paulicians in the revolt of 748–750, under the leadership of Grigorii Mamikonian, a member of one of the oldest nakhararq families, also lent an antifeudal character to this movement.

A powerful insurrection erupted in 774 under the leadership of Musheg Mamikonian. It suffered defeat in 775. Many nakhararq families were entirely wiped out, others were banished. Their lands went to the Bagratids, who began to rule the country in 775. A new revolt by the people against the Arab yoke arose in 850. The people’s militia of the mountainous Sasun district, under the command of Ovnan Khutetsi, gained great renown. The revolutionaries defeated the Arab army, seized the city of Mush, and executed the vicegerent of the caliph. These events were reflected in the Armenian epos David of Sasun. The Arab punitive expedition under Commander Bugha dealt harshly with the rebels over the space of three years. The final overthrow of caliphate control occurred only at the end of the ninth century. The government of the country was in the hands of the Armenian Bagratid dynasty, whose members became independent kings, ruling the Ani Kingdom.

The period of well-developed feudalism covered the ninth through the middle of the 13th centuries. Feudal landed property increased during this time. In the tenth and 11th centuries the supreme right to the ownership of land in Armenia belonged formally to the king (only the king’s specific lands were excluded); actually, Armenian feudal lords enjoyed not only the right of property inheritance but also the right of ownership of land. Characteristic of this period was the expansion of the large-scale patrimonial economy of the feudal lords, which consisted of arable lands, orchards, vineyards, and pasture grounds. The feudal patrimonial estate became the center for agricultural production and was adapted to the needs of international trade, in which Armenia was heavily engaged beginning with the ninth century. The expansion of the patrimonial estate was accompanied by an increase in the personal dependence of the peasants on the feudal lords, and the peasants fulfilled a number of obligations on behalf of the feudal lords; the kor (corvée) became prevalent in the tenth century. The growth of manor tillage led to the development of serfdom in Armenia and an increase in feudal exploitation of the peasantry. Métayage flourished in Armenia; the peasant had to give one-half to four-fifths of his harvest to the landowner for the lease of a plot of land. Usury developed vigorously. All of this contributed to the aggravation of the class struggle—for example, the social class movement of the Thondracians, the peasant uprisings at the end of the ninth century, and the revolts of 910–918 in Ararat, Khark, Vaspurakan, Mananali, and Siunik. The revolutionaries rallied to the doctrine of the Thondracians, in which the protest of the toiling masses against social inequality was concealed under the guise of religion.

The Armenian cities which sprang up on the two principal international caravan trade routes (including Ani, Dvin, Artsn, Kars, Van, Khlat, and Manazkert) became important centers for the production of handicrafts; regular barter developed between city and village. Parallel with the growth of the cities and the emergence of large feudal patrimonial estates was the process of economic and political disintegration in the country, which is characteristic for a period of well-developed feudal relationships. Semi-independent kingdoms and principalities were formed: the Vaspurakan, Siunik, Kars, and Tashir-Dzoraget kingdoms, the Taik curopalate, the Taron principality, and others. In spite of the Bagratids’ desire for the unification of Armenia and consolidation of central power, a struggle continued within the class of feudal lords. Divided over petty feudal posessions, the country was unable to withstand the aggressive policies of Byzantium. Within the first half of the 11th century Byzantium gradually took over all of the Armenian territory. Despite the heroic resistance of the population under the leadership of the general Vagram Pakhlavuni, the capital of Armenia at Ani was seized in 1045 and plundered by the Byzantines.

In the middle of the 11th century the Seljuk invasion began. The Seljuks conquered almost all of Armenia by 1065, having ruthlessly ravaged the country, destroyed the cities, and annihilated the population. The economic development of Armenia came to a sudden halt; some of the regions returned to semipatriarchal and semifeudal relationships. The prerequisites for the unification of the country were lost. A considerable portion of the Armenian population was driven out or felt themselves compelled to quit their own lands. The numerous Armenian princely families, and also the kings of Ani, Vaspurakan, and Kars, who had resettled in Asia Minor, did not abandon efforts for the rebirth of Armenia. The domain of Filaret Varazhnuni, which had included the territory between the border of Armenia and Eastern Cilicia with its center at Marash, managed to hold out before the onslaught of the Seljuks for 20 years and provided the basis for the re-creation of an Armenian state in Cilicia under the rule of the Rubenids.

The Rubenids waged a military and diplomatic struggle against the Byzantines, Arabs, Seljuks, and Crusaders and against the centrifugal aspirations of the Armenian feudal lords. Under Mlekh (ruled 1169–75) and Ruben II (ruled 1175–87) the last strongholds of the Byzantines in Cilicia were eliminated. Under Leo (Levon) II (ruled 1187–1219) the Armenian state took possession of the Mediterranean sea-coast from Alexandretta to Seleucia. The Byzantine emperor Alexius III and the German king Henry VI each sent a royal crown to Leo II.

The Armenian kingdom in Cilicia flourished at the height of its achievements under Leo II, Hethum I (ruled 1226–70), and Leo III (ruled 1271–89). Its borders extended as far as the Euphrates in the east, the Taurus Mountains in the north, and Isauria and Lycaonia in the west. The capital was the city of Sis, and the chief ports were Mersin, Aias, and Tarsus. Leo II concluded trade negotiations with Italian cities; he built fortresses in the outlying districts of the state, where garrisons were maintained continually; he created a merchant fleet, a regular army, and a military training system; and he coined money. Foreign merchants received the right to move freely throughout Cilicia and to import and export goods without duty. Cilicia became the cultural center for Armenians. Schools were opened, literary and scientific activities were encouraged, fine art and architecture were promoted.

The collapse of the Seljuk Empire began at the end of the 11th century. At the same time, new Seljuk feudal states took shape in the territory of Armenia. The remnants of the Armenian feudal aristocracy and the Zakharids headed the liberation movement against the Seljuks. During the second half of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th centuries, Georgian and Armenian forces under the command of the Zakharids liberated a large part of Armenia and created an independent feudal principality under the protection of the state of Georgia. The Zakharids began to rule the country. Exceptionally close political, economic, and cultural collaboration and friendship was established between Armenia and Georgia.

The southern and western regions of Armenia continued to remain under the jurisdiction of the Seljuk emirates. The liberation of Armenia contributed to a rise of the economy and culture. Cities, trade, and the production of handicrafts achieved significant advances in the 12th and 13th centuries. Through the city of Trebizond, Armenian merchants carried on trade with the Crimea, Poland, the Northern Caucasus, southern Russia, and other countries. The growth in crafts and trade was accompanied by the enrichment of feudal lords and merchants, while at the same time the condition of the peasants worsened; some of them were deprived of the right to travel freely from place to place. Improvements were made in the higher religious and secular schools.

From 1236 to 1243, Transcaucasia was conquered by Mongol and Tatar forces, despite stubborn resistance from the population. The Armenian state was liquidated. Armenia was included as part of the state of the Hulaguids. The Mongol nomads destroyed the sophisticated agricultural system and introduced nomadic cattle raising. A considerable portion of the cultivated fields and orchards became vacant land. By the early 14th century, the flight of the population from Armenia to Georgia and neighboring regions of Asia Minor, the northwest coast of the Caspian, and the Northern Caucasus had reached enormous proportions.

The Armenian kingdom in Cilicia succeeded for a time in retaining its integrity. Hethum I reached a self-interested agreement with the Mongols, after he had warded off their invasion into his kingdom. His successor, Leo III, sought to unify all of the Armenian territory under his own power with the aid of the Mongols. The alliance between the Armenian state and the Mongol ilkhanis did not ensure the safety of the country. The Egyptian Mamelukes undertook devastating campaigns in Cilicia. Under Hethum II the gradual downfall of the Armenian kingdom in Cilicia began. The hopes of continuing with the help of the Western European powers and the Roman papacy were not realized. In 1375 the Mamelukes seized the country and captured King Leo VI. The Armenian state in Cilicia ceased to exist.

In the 1260’s, Armenia became a bloody battleground for the war between the Hulaguids and the khans of the Golden Horde. By the end of the 14th century Armenia had been thoroughly ruined during the campaigns of Toktamysh, and subsequently of Timur. The seizure of Armenia at the beginning of the 15th century by the nomadic Kara-Koyunlu tribes, and later by the Ak-Koyunlu, was also accompanied by destruction and massive extermination of the population.

In the 14th and 15th centuries most of the Armenian feudal aristocracy was destroyed. Their lands had been taken by the Mongol Tatar, Turkmen, and Kurdish nomadic military nobility. The destruction of the peasants and the downfall of the crafts brought about the catastrophic condition of the Armenian economy from the 14th to the 16th centuries.

During this period the importance of the Ararat district and the city of Yerevan as the center of the country was enhanced even further by the transfer in 1441 of the throne of the catholicos of all Armenians to Echmiadzin (in the vicinity of Yerevan). The city of Julfa (Dzhuga) by the 16th century had already become the center of a growing Armenian usurious commercial bourgeoisie.

From the 16th to the 18th centuries Armenia became the object of a bitter struggle between Ottoman Turkey and the state of the Safawids, which led to new stagnation of the Armenian economy. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were forcibly removed to Iran by order of Shah Abbas I (ruled 1587–1629). Julfa was destroyed and its population moved to Iran, to the vicinity of the city of Isfahan, where the Armenians founded the city of New Julfa (Nor-Dzhuga). Armenian merchants from New Julfa carried on large-scale trade, chiefly in Western Asia, India, Russia, and Western Europe.

In 1639, after the conclusion of the war between Turkey and Iran, Armenia was partitioned once and for all. Western Armenia, constituting most of the country, went to Turkey, and Eastern Armenia went to Iran. The last remnants of the Armenian state were five principalities in the Karabakh Highlands, which existed until the end of the 18th century.

According to sharia (Muslim religious law), the owner of all lands in Armenia was the shah or sultan, who yielded profit from the temporary or permanent use of these lands by members of the ruling class or the clergy. The Armenian population was assessed heavy taxes and obligations, chief of which was the bakhra (one-third to one-half of the harvest). The peasants were subject to compulsory labor conscription in the service of the state. The Christian population of Armenia was assessed a poll tax (jizya). The territory of Western Armenia formed part of several pashalics and wilayas, or provinces, in Turkey. The feudal lords of the nomadic and seminomadic Kurdish and Turkmen tribes cruelly exploited the Armenian population. The Turks hastened to convert the Armenians to Islam.

The harsh political, social, and national religious oppression gave rise to a massive movement of the Armenian people for freedom. Although the Armenian national liberation movement initially sought help from the Western European powers, by the end of the 17th century Russia had become its primary support in foreign policy. This was determined not only by the geographical situation of Russia and its political and strategic interests in the Middle and Near East but also by the economic and cultural ties between the Armenian and Russian peoples which had been initiated back in the time of Kievan Russia. These ties were especially broadened under Peter I. A large role in strengthening them was played by Israel Ori, a prominent figure in the national liberation movement of the Armenian people. In 1701, Ori arrived in Russia and presented to Peter I a plan for the liberation of Armenia. According to this plan, the liberation struggle of the Armenians had to take the form of a popular uprising, which would be assisted by Russian troops. The ultimate end would be the restoration of the Armenian state.

In the 1720’s a revolt erupted in Eastern Armenia against Iran, which subsequently directed its spearhead against the Turkish oppressors who had invaded Transcaucasia. Karabakh and Siunik became the centers of the liberation struggle, and the armed people made up the main force. A people’s militia was created in which Azerbaijanis fought alongside Armenians. In Karabakh they were led by the Gandzasar catholicos Esai Khasan-Dzhalalian and by Avaniuzbashi; in Siunik, by David-Bek. In 1722–24, Karabakh and Siunik overthrew Iranian domination, and achieved political independence. The success of the Armenian liberation movement was aided by the fall of the Safawid dynasty in Iran under the blows of the rebellious Afghans and by the Persian campaign undertaken by Peter I during these years.

Seeking to gain a foothold on the western coast of the Caspian Sea and to end Iranian domination in Transcaucasia and prevent its seizure by the Ottoman Empire, tsarist Russia wanted to establish a unified Armenian-Georgian state under its own protector, that is, to carry out the political plan of Israel Ori. The first step in this direction was the unification of the Georgian and Armenian armed forces near Gandzak under the leadership of the Georgian king, Vakhtang VI, and the catholicos, Esai Khasan-Dzhalalian. However, the allied Armenian-Georgian army broke up, since the military aid anticipated from Peter I was not received. This was prevented by a number of international circumstances and, primarily, by the invasion of Turkish troops into Transcaucasia in 1723 at the instigation of the European powers. Avoiding war with Turkey, Russia concluded a treaty with her in June 1724, by which a significant part of the territories won from Iran were retained by Russia. The rebellious Armenians who had revolted were forced to continue their struggle alone. In the spring of 1724 the Turkish army invaded Eastern Armenia, laid seige to Yerevan and took the city, despite heroic resistance from the populace. Karabakh and Siunik also offered resistance to the Turks. The Turkish forces failed to subdue the Karabakh Armenians, who subsequently joined the Iranian forces of Nadir Shah and drove the Turks out of Eastern Armenia. In Siunik, David-Bek and the military leader Mkhitar dealt a series of crushing defeats to the Turkish conquerors and upheld the independence of Siunik for a long period of time.

After a period of inactivity the Armenian liberation movement again revived after 1750. In 1761, Ioseph Emin, a prominent figure in the Armenian liberation movement and a successor to the political line of Israel Ori, conducted negotiations with the Russian government concerning the restoration of the Armenian state. He later intended to establish a unified Armenian-Georgian state under the leadership of the Georgian Bagratids. Emin sought to include even the Westerm Armenians, then under the Turkish yoke, in the liberation struggle. During this period Sh. Shahamirian, M. Bagramian, and other important figures of the Armenian colonies in India also came forth with appeals to the national liberation struggle. They promoted a scheme for the creation of an Armenian bourgeois republic under the protection of Russia. They even devised a plan for an Armenian-Russian alliance treaty. Both plans found approval from I. Argutian and I. Lazarian, important Armenians living in Russia. In the 1780’s, Russia twice proceeded to implement its plans for a campaign in Transcaucasia and the creation of an Armenian-Georgian state, but on both occasions was compelled to lay them aside. The Persian campaign undertaken by Russia in 1796 ended without results as well.

Annexation of Eastern Armenia to Russia; origin and development of capitalist relations. The beginning of the 19th century was marked by a change in the political course of tsarist Russia with respect to Transcaucasia. In 1801, Eastern Georgia was annexed to Russia. The northern areas of Eastern Armenia—the Pambak, Shamshadil’, Borchalin, and Kazakh distantsii (temporary military districts), and the Lori district—which were then part of Georgia, also went to Russia. The Karabakh, Zangezur, and Shuragel’ distantsii (Eastern Shirak) went over to Russia in 1805. The remaining areas of Eastern Armenia, the Yerevan and Nakhichevan khanates, became part of the Russian Empire according to the Turkmanchai Treaty of 1828, which was a result of the Russo-Iranian war of 1826–28. In March 1828 an Armenian province was formed from the territories of both khanates. The creation of the Armenian province was somewhat of a concession to the hopes for freedom of the Armenian people, who, at the beginning of the 19th century, actively participated in the military actions against Iran and Turkey on the side of the Russians. In the course of the Russo-Turkish war of 1828–29 the Russian army occupied part of Western Armenia—including Kars, Ardagan, Baiazet, and Erzurum. However, according to the Adrianople Peace Treaty of 1829, all of these territories were returned to Turkey, with the exception of the Akhaltsikhe Pashalic. Western Armenia was again left under the yoke of the Ottoman Empire. In 1828 more than 40,000 Armenians from Iran, and in 1829 about 90,000 Armenians from Turkey, migrated to Eastern Armenia.

The annexation of Eastern Armenia to Russia was a sign of progress. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Iran was a backward feudal country, with a prevailing natural economy that left its imprint on the nature of Iranian domination in Armenia. Feudal relationships, the fragmentation of the country, excessive taxes, and countless requisitions and obligations hampered the development of Armenia’s productive forces. Toward the beginning of the 19th century, agriculture, handicrafts, domestic goods production, and trade had fallen into complete decay. The entry of Armenia into the Russian empire created conditions for the peaceful historical development of Armenia and her involvement in the orbit of Russian capitalistic relationships. The administrative and territorial fragmentation of Eastern Armenia was eliminated by administrative and judicial reforms carried out by the tsarist government, and the establishment of Yerevan Province on June 9, 1849.

The centralization of power contributed to the economic development of Armenia: the former system of taxation was abolished, and favorable tariffs were established, thus stimulating the growth of goods transit; cognac production and the copper mining industry (Alaverdi, Kafan) began to be developed, and cotton-ginning factories sprang up; industrial and agricultural companies were established, which favored the expansion of the source of raw materials for Russian industry and the development of the production of valuable agricultural products (cotton, grapes, and others). Armenia was gradually drawn into the all-Russian market. The enlightened and democratic ideas of Russia and Western Europe exerted a wholesome influence on the attitude and activity of the progressive-minded Armenian intelligentsia. The establishment of Armenian educational institutions in Transcaucasia, Moscow, and Astrakhan was an important development in the cultural life of the Armenian people.

Nevertheless, Armenia, like Transcaucasia in general, continued to remain a backward agrarian country under the colonial oppression of tsarism. The tsarist government barred Armenians from participation in administrative and judicial bodies and hindered the development of the national culture. The decree of 1846, and later the statutes of 1847 and 1851, had the purpose of strengthening the social support of tsarism in Transcaucasia through the ascendency of the local landowners. The local feudal lords (agalars, meliks, and beks) were given equal rights along with the Russian landlords.

The changes which occurred in the socioeconomic life of Armenia in the 1840’s through 1860’s, the consolidation process of the nation’s Armenian bourgeoisie, and the struggle against the policy of national oppression gave rise to an upsurge of the social and political movement in Armenia. Representative of the Armenian enlightenment of the first half of the 19th century was Kh. Abovian, who laid the foundations for a new Armenian language and literature. M. Nalbandian, a follower of Russian revolutionary democrats, was an ideologist and leader of the Armenian democratic revolutionary movement.

The peasant reform of 1870 in Eastern Armenia furthered the development of capitalistic relationships, but the peasants essentially remained under the oppression of the landholders. Redemption money was the new yoke for the peasants. The most and the best part of the land was owned by the landlords, monasteries, and the state. Each peasant household was allotted on the average less than 8 desiatina s of land (1 desiatina = 1.09 hectares), while 300 desiatinas of land fell to the share of the landowner, that is, 37.5 times as much. The toiling peasantry paid 82 percent of all direct taxes and the church and landowners paid only 18 percent. Approximately 40 percent of the peasants did not have any cattle or stock. The impoverished peasants joined the ranks of the working class in Baku, Tiflis, Batumi, and Alaverdi.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Transcaucasia entered a period of development of industrial capitalism. New enterprises arose in Armenia. The copper industry grew. (It had been infused with French capital since the 1880’s.) In 1880, 4,269 poods (1 pood = 16.4 kg) of copper were produced; 23,568 poods in 1890; and 140,000 poods in 1906. Agricultural trade expanded, and the world-famous cognac and wine production was based on it. In 1888 there were 200 wine-distilling manufacturing companies and three large distilleries in Yerevan Province. In 1896 the production of wine in Armenia amounted to 546,000 vedros (1 vedro = 12.3 liters), and by 1900, to 1.18 million vedros. In 1888 there were 60 cotton-ginning installations working in the Yerevan District and 70 in the Echmiadzin District. The construction of the Tiflis-Aleksandropol’-Kars railroad in 1899, the Aleksandropol’-Ulukhanlu line in 1902, and subsequently the Yerevan-Ulukhanlu-Julfa rail line had great significance for the economy of Armenia.

By the end of the 19th century more than 1,650 km of railway lines had been constructed in Transcaucasia, hastening the development of widely spreading capitalism and connecting Transcaucasia with the all-Russian marketplace. The urban population increased: it grew 1.5 times from 1865 to 1897. Cadres of the national working class arose in Alaverdi, Kafan, and Aleksandropol’. In Baku, Armenian workers accounted for up to 26.9 percent of the proletariat membership in 1903. In Armenia itself, there were approximately 10,000 factory workers at the beginning of the 20th century.

In the first half of the 19th century definite improvements also occurred in the socioeconomic relations of Western Armenia, where trade and business were significantly revived. In the 1860’s a number of new capitalistic enterprises arose, and the formation of the working class began. The spread of the national liberation struggle concept gathered momentum. Periodical publications appeared. Under the influence of the European revolutions of 1848–49 the foremost members of the Western Armenian intelligentsia hoped to create a national constitution which would ensure the unhampered development of the Armenian nation and would serve as the constitutional basis for a future Armenian bourgeois republic. However, the national constitution which had been adopted in 1860 by consent of the Turkish government was abolished by the 1880’s under the regime of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II.

In the second half of the 19th century the national liberation movement grew stronger in Western Armenia. Armenians in Erzurum, Arabkir, Baiazet, and many other areas of Western Armenia begged the Russian government for protection. In 1862 an uprising of the Zeitun peasants against Turkish despotism took place in Cilicia. The national liberation movement became active in the period of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877–78, during which the Armenians in Transcaucasia aided the Russian army, formed volunteer mounted regiments and detachments, and supplied provisions and wagons. After the war, Kars and certain other regions of Armenia were annexed to Russia. Article 16 of the treaty of San Stefano and Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin (1878) were devoted to the Armenian problem as part of the larger Eastern Question. They obligated Turkey to carry out reforms in Western Armenia and to ensure the safety of Armenians. However, these resolutions were not fulfilled. In 1878 and 1884 the Zeituns again stirred up armed rebellion against the sultan’s government. In 1880, Armenians rioted in Vaspurakan, Sasun, Alashkert, and Van but were savagely repressed. In 1895–96 the Turkish government organized a wholesale extermination of Armenians, which aroused worldwide indignation and protest. The petit bourgeois party Gnchak (Bell) and the bourgeois nationalist party Dashnaktsutiun (Alliance) were founded by the end of the 19th century as part of the development of the national liberation movement.

In Armenia and other regions of Transcaucasia, Armenian economic and cultural centers rose up in the process of capitalist development. The process of forming an Armenian bourgeois nation had come to an end. A new Armenian democratic intelligentsia took shape which absorbed the traditions of progressive Armenian culture and the leading ideas of Russian public opinion and worldwide culture.

Period of imperialism and bourgeios democratic revolutions in Russia (1900–17). The appearance of the proletariat and the spread of Marxism introduced qualitative changes in the national liberation movement of the Armenian people. The first Marxist groups were formed in 1898. In 1902 the Union of Armenian Social Democrats was formed, which stood for the positions of the Leninist magazine Iskra (Spark). Between 1902 and 1905, party organizations (which were united in 1903 at the Caucasian union of the RSDLP) sprang up in a number of Armenian cities. Those who participated in their formation were A. G. Zurabian, S. I. Kas’ian, A. S. Kakhoian, B. M. Knuniants, M.G. Melikian (“Granddad”), S. S. Spandarian, A. Kh. Khumarian, S. G. Shaumian, and other revolutionary figures. In the period of imperialism and bourgeois democratic revolutions in Russia, the working people of Armenia came out together with the entire Russian proletariat and the toilers of other nationalities against autocracy and rule by the bourgeoisie and the landowners. During the Revolution of 1905–07 a strike movement formed in Armenia (Alaverdi, Aleksandropol’, Kafan, Kars, Sanain); the Bolsheviks created detachments of armed workers and strike committees. Armenian workers actively participated in the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat in Baku, Tiflis, and other cities of Transcaucasia. In the course of the revolution in many villages of Yerevan Province the peasants drove out the landlords and refused to pay taxes. Peasant committees sprang up in the villages. The leadership for the party work of the Armenian Bolsheviks was performed during these years by B. A. Borian, S. I. Kas’ian, A. S. Kakhoian, B. M. Knuniants, S. S. Spandarian, S. M. Khanoian, A. Kh. Khumarian, D. A. Shaverdian, S. G. Shaumian, and others.

During World War I (1914–18), the Armenian people were caught in a tragic situation. In April 1915 the Turkish government, having pursued a policy of genocide with respect to the Armenians, by special decree ordered the local authorities to carry out the massive extermination of Armenians. The Armenians made enormous sacrifices. In 1915–16 more than 1.5 million Armenians were annihilated in Turkey; over 600,000 were driven into the Mesopotamian desert, where most of them died. At least 300,000 Armenians took refuge in Russia. Some of the Armenians who fled settled in countries of the Near East, Europe, and America.

After the February Revolution of 1917 a soviet of soldiers’ deputies was established in Yerevan on March 12 (25), and in April a soviet of workers’ deputies was created. In March 1917, soviets of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies arose in Aleksandropol’, Kars, Sarykamysh, and other places. The overthrow of tsarism did not alter the condition of the Armenian people. The Special Transcaucasian Committee, set up at the beginning of March 1917 by the Provisional Government of Russia for the administration of Transcaucasia, pursued the policies of the Russian imperialist bourgeoisie and landowners.

The Great October Socialist Revolution, military intervention, and civil war (1917–20). The liberation of the Armenian people from social and national oppression began with the Great October Socialist Revolution. The victory of the socialist revolution in Russia completely changed the political situation in Transcaucasia and created conditions favorable for the establishment of Soviet authority, but the struggle of the people’s masses, lead by the Bolsheviks, did not immediately achieve this goal.

One of the first acts of Soviet Russia with respect to the Armenian people was the issuing of “On Turkish Armenia,” a decree of the Sovnarkom (Council of People’s Commissars) dated Dec. 29, 1917 (Jan. 11, 1918), which called for the full freedom and self-determination of the Armenians. The international situation did not afford the opportunity of implementing this decree. For a time, counterrevolutionary forces succeeded in wresting Transcaucasia from Soviet Russia. The government in Armenia, as in all of Transcaucasia, was seized by the counterrevolutionary Transcaucasian Commissariat. In February 1918 it was replaced by the Transcaucasian Seim (Diet), which continued the reactionary policies. The Seim was dominated by the bourgeois nationalist parties. It collapsed in May 1918, after which the three bourgeois republics—Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia—were formed in Transcaucasia. The Armenian bourgeois republic was founded on May 28, 1918. The bourgeois nationalist party Dashnaktsutiun came to power.

The Dashnak period was one of economic and cultural decline in Armenia. Gross industrial output was reduced to a twelfth, and agricultural output to a sixth. The copper industry was in ruins. A considerable portion of the fruit orchards and vineyards perished. The total area of land under grain crops in 1919, in comparison with 1913, was decreased by more than four times (from 345,700 hectares down to 82,700 ha). Epidemics raged. More than 300,000 refugees, including approximately 50,000 orphaned children, were crowded into a small area, apart from the local population. In 1918–19 more than one-third of the population died of starvation.

The Turkish aggressors, who had taken advantage of the extremely difficult situation created in 1918 in Soviet Russia and Transcaucasia, violated the conditions of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and, in April and May 1918, occupied a considerable part of Transcaucasia, including the territory of Armenia. The toilers of Armenia rose up against the invaders. On May 26, 1918, near the village of Sardarapat, a fierce battle raged with the Turkish troops, who were routed and hurled back. A blow was also struck at Turkish troops in Bash-Aparan and Karaklis. However, this could not alter the general course of the war. The Turkish aggressors succeeded nevertheless in capturing a large part of Armenia. They concluded a separate peace with the governments of the “independent republics” (Dashnak Armenia, MenshevikGeorgia, and Musavat Azerbaijan). The nationalist rulers entered into an alliance with the White Guard and the world imperialist bourgeoisie against Soviet Russia. On June 4, 1918, the Alliance of Peace and Friendship between the Turkish government and the Armenian bourgeois republic was concluded in Batumi. According to this agreement, the territory subject to the Dashnak government was limited to the districts of Yerevan and Echmiadzin, amounting to 12,000 sq km. The remaining Armenian territory was taken by Turkey. In view of Turkey’s violation of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Soviet government declared on Sept. 20, 1918: “The Brest-Litovsk Treaty between the RSFSR and Turkey no longer exists.” On Nov. 13 the Brest treaty was annulled. According to the Moudros Armistice of 1918, concluded between the Entente powers and Turkey, Turkey withdrew its forces from the area it occupied in Transcaucasia, including Armenia, in October 1918. After the defeat of the German bloc in World War I (November 1918) in Transcaucasia, including Armenia, the British imperialists began to play the masters.

Armenian Communist organizations, which in 1920 were formed into the Communist Party of Armenia, led the struggle of the workers for the victory of Soviet power. The entry of the Red Army into Baku at the end of April 1920 and the establishment of Soviet government in Azerbaijan contributed to the strengthening of the liberation movement in Armenia. The action of the Armenian workers against the Dashnak government took the shape of an armed revolt in May 1920, which resulted in the establishment of Soviet power in Aleksandropol’, Kars, Sarykamysh, Nor-Baiazet (Novo-Baiazet, present-day Kamo), Zangezur, and Kazakh-Shamshadin. However, the Dashnak government succeeded with the aid of the Entente imperialists in putting down the May uprising, after which they executed its active leaders—S. K. Alaverdian, B. B. Garibdzhanian, and S.G. Musaelian, and others.

In September 1920, Turkey again initiated military actions against Armenia. Turkish troops occupied almost two-thirds of the territory of Armenia. On Nov. 29, 1920, the workers of Armenia under the leadership of the Bolsheviks stirred up a rebellion against the Dashnak government, and they overthrew the Dashnak regime in joint action with the Red Army, which had come to their aid, and the 1st Armenian Communist Regiment from Azerbaijan. By its declaration of Nov. 29, 1920, the Armenian Revolutionary Committee proclaimed Armenia a soviet socialist republic. The Armenian people created their own sovereign socialist state. V. I. Lenin, in a telegram of Dec. 2, 1920, to S. I. Kas’ian, president of the Revolutionary Committee, hailed “toiling Soviet Armenia’s liberation from the yoke of imperialism” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 42, p. 54).

Socialist construction (1920–40). After the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia and the formation of the Armenian SSR a new era in the history of the Armenian people began. Important socialist transformations began to be realized. Large industrial companies, lands, mineral resources, and forests were nationalized. The peasants received more than 1.5 million hectares of land. In December 1920 the Council of Labor and Defense, at the suggestion of V. I. Lenin, organized aid for Armenia. Industrial equipment, agricultural machinery, medicines, and textiles were sent to Armenia from Moscow, Petrograd, and other cities. From Ivanovo-Voznesensk, equipment consisting of 18,000 spindles and 850 machines arrived in Aleksandropol’. Bread was sent from the Northern Caucasus, and petroleum products from Baku. Lenin, in a letter of Apr. 14, 1921, to the “Comrade Communists of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Dagestan, and the Gorskoe Republic,” laid down a program for economic, political, and cultural construction in these republics.

The Dashnaks attempted to restore their own government with the aid of the foreign imperialists. They incited a mutiny in February 1921 and took over Yerevan and the adjacent regions. The mutiny of the Dashnaks was crushed on Apr. 2, 1921, by units of the Red Army and Armenian detachments. The Dashnak detachments fled to Zangezur, where they were finally defeated in July 1921. Owing to the diplomatic efforts of the Soviet government, the Turkish forces were withdrawn from the district of Aleksandropol’ (Apr. 22, 1921). The workers who had raised a revolt in the Lori District, the so-called neutral zone which went to Armenia, overthrew the regime of the Georgian Mensheviks. The Sovnarkom of the Armenian SSR was formed in May 1921, with A. F. Miasnikian (Miasnikov) as president. In the struggle for the establishment and consolidation of Soviet government in Armenia, active roles were played by such prominent figures of the Communist Party as S. M. Kirov, A. I. Mikoyan, A. F. Miasnikian, N. N. Narimanov, and G. K. Ordzhonikidze.

The First Armenian Congress of Soviets, which approved the constitution of the Armenian SSR, was held Jan. 30-Feb. 4, 1922. A treaty concerning the formation of a federated alliance between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia was concluded on Mar. 12, 1922. From Mar. 12, 1922, until Dec. 5, 1936, Armenia was a member of the Transcaucasian Federation. On Dec. 30, 1922, the Armenian SSR joined the USSR as a member of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic (TSFSR). In 1936 the TSFSR, having settled the issues placed before it, was dissolved. Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia became part of the USSR with the rights of independent union socialist republics. On Mar. 23, 1937, a new constitution, which reflected the successes of socialist construction, was adopted for the Armenian SSR.

Through the efforts of the Armenian people and the brotherly help of all the peoples of the USSR, by 1928 Armenia’s industrial output had attained, and in agriculture surpassed, the level of 1913. Agriculture employed 90 percent of Armenia’s population. During the years of the prewar five-year plans, the Communist Party and the government of the USSR sought to ensure higher (by comparison with all-Union rates) growth rates for industry and capital investments in the nationalist republics that earlier had been economically backward. While the state budget of the USSR as a whole grew 2.5 times in 1937 as compared with 1933, the state budget of Armenia increased 3.6 times over this same period. The socialist industrialization of Armenia began. Nonferrous metallurgy was greatly expanded; chemical companies, construction materials manufacturers, food-processing plants, and light industries were created; a series of electric power plants was constructed. The gross industrial output in 1940 exceeded the level of 1913 by almost nine times. Armenia became an industrial-agrarian republic. The generation of electric power rose from 5.1 million kilowatt-hours in 1913 to 395 million in 1940.

Massive collectivization began in Armenia in 1930. By 1932 approximately 900 kolkhozes had been created, which involved 38 percent of the entire peasant economy. Equipping agriculture with modern technology was begun. By 1940,98.3 percent of the peasant economy had been collectivized. Large-scale irrigation systems were constructed; the area of irrigated land in 1940, in comparison to 1913, had doubled, and the area of land under grain crops grew by 25 percent. Over the same period of time the gross agricultural output increased 1.6 times.

A cultural revolution was brought about in the republic that eliminated illiteracy, created qualified national cadres of the working class and the national intelligentsia, and established a system of universities, institutions of scientific and cultural enlightenment, national theaters, libraries, and societies. Soviet Armenian literature and art developed. Drawing women into all areas of socialist construction was the most important achievement of the cultural revolution in Armenia. As a result of the socialist transformations, the exploiter classes and the exploitation of man by man were eliminated and unemployment and poverty disappeared forever. A socialist society was created in Armenia, just as in the entire country. The Armenian people were consolidated in a socialist nation.

The Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 and the postwar period. In the years of the Great Patriotic War the Armenian people, together with all of the peoples of the USSR, fought against the German fascist aggressors. The title of Hero of the Soviet Union was conferred upon 96 Armenian fighting men, and about 70,000 were decorated with orders and medals. The formations of aircraft squadrons and the Sasuntsj David Tank Column were made possible by the toilers of Armenia. Armenia dispatched several national divisions to the front. The Taman Infantry Division, under the command of MajorGeneral N. G. Safarian, engaged in battles from the mountains of the Caucasus all the way to Berlin. Able commanders worked their way up the ranks on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War. Among them were Marshal of the Soviet Union I. Kh. Bagramian, Admiral of the Fleet of the USSR I. S. Isakov, Marshal of Aviation S. A. Khudiakov (Khanferian), and Marshal of Armored Forces A. Kh. Babadzhanian. The Armenian Pobeda Guerrilla Detachment operated successfully as part of the partisan formation of S. A. Kovpak, as did the detachment named in honor of A. I. Mikoyan in the Caucasian partisan brigade of M. I. Naumov. Armenian fighting men participated in the resistance movement abroad (a Soviet Armenian guerrilla regiment operated in France; the Soviet citizen M. Dashtoian, who became a national hero in Italy, joined forces with the Italian partisans).

During the war years, 18 large industrial enterprises were constructed in Armenia. More than 380,000 persons were awarded orders and medals of the USSR for heroic labor on the home front.

In the postwar decade the national economy and cultural development of Armenia attained a high level. The Armenian SSR was awarded the Order of Lenin on Dec. 29, 1958, for successful production of agricultural products and for fulfillment and overfulfillment of the state plans. In 1968, as compared with 1913, the volume of industrial output increased 146 times. Gross agricultural production exceeded the level of 1913 by 4.5 times. Over the years of Soviet rule in Armenia, 362 large industrial enterprises and 20 large and medium-size power plants were constructed. Armenia’s per capita production of electric power surpassed that of Italy; Armenia’s per capita production of electric power is ten times greater than that of neighboring Turkey and 13 times greater than that of neighboring Iran. The working people of Armenia, like all Soviet peoples, are taking an active part in the creation of the material and technological resources of communism. On Oct. 16, 1968, the republic was awarded its second Order of Lenin for the progress achieved by the toilers of Armenia in economic and cultural construction.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 31, p. 329; vol. 32, pp. 15–16, 40–41, 250–252; vol. 42, pp. 54, 132; vol. 43, pp. 198–200; vol. 44, p. 255; vol. 48, pp. 208, 218–221; vol. 52, pp. 135–36.
Marr, N. Ia. Kavkazskii kul’turnyi mir i Armeniia. Petrograd, 1915.
Briusov, V. Ia. Letopis’ istoricheskikh sudeb armianskogo naroda. Moscow, 1918.
Piotrovskii, B. B. Oproiskhozhdeniiarmianskogo naroda. Yerevan, 1946.
Sardarian, S. A. Paleolir ν Armenii. Yerevan, 1954.
Martirosian, A. A. Armeniia ν epokhu bronzy i rannego zheleza. Yerevan, 1964.
Nersisian, M. G. lz istorii russko-armianskikh otnoshenii, book 1. Yerevan, 1956.
Eremian, S. T. “Opyt periodizatsii istorii Armenii epokhi feodalizma.” Voprosy istorii, 1951, no. 7.
Petrushevskii, I. P. Ocherkipo istorii feodal’nykh otnoshenii ν Azerbaidzhane i Armenii ν XVI-nachale XIX vv. Leningrad, 1949.
Arutiunian, P. T. Osvoboditel’noe dvizhenie armianskogo naroda ν pervoi chetverti XVIII v. Moscow, 1954.
Ioannisian, A. R. Rossiia i armianskoe osvoboditel’noe dvizhenie ν 80-x gg. XVIII st. Yerevan, 1947.
Ioannisian, A. R. Prisoedinenie Zakavkaz’ia k Rossii i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia ν nachale XIX v. Yerevan, 1958.
Grigorian, Z. T. Prisoedinenie Vostochnoi Armenii k Rossii. Moscow, 1959.
Adonts, M. A. Ekonomicheskoe razvitie Vostochnoi Armenii ν XIX v. Yerevan, 1957.
Tumanian, O. E. Razvitie ekonomiki Armenii s nachala XIX v. doustanovleniia Sovetskoi vlasti. Yerevan, 1947.
Ambarian, A. Razvitie kapitalisticheskikh otnoshenii ν armianskoi derevne (1860–1920 gg.). Yerevan, 1959.
Amirkhanian, Sh. M. Iz istorii bor’by za Sovetskuiu vlast’ ν Armenii Yerevan, 1967.
Agaian, Ts. P. Velikii Oktiabr’ i bor’ba trudiashchikhsia Armenii zapobedu Sovetskoi vlasti. Yerevan, 1962.
Kadishev, A. B. lnterventsiia i grazhdanskaia voina ν Zakavkaz’e Moscow, 1960.
Arzumanian, A. M. Armeniia—Rossiia—druzhba naveki. Yerevan, 1966.
Ekonomika i kul’tura Armenii k 50-letiiu Velikogo Oktiabria: Stati-sticheskii sbornik. Yerevan, 1967.
Nerkararian, V. N. O nekotorykh zakonomernostiakh i osobennostiakh stroitel’stva sotsializma ν Armenii. Yerevan, 1967.
Mnats’akanian, A. N. Hay zhoghovurdĕ Hayrenakan mets paterazmum (1941–45 t’t’.). Yerevan, 1954.

S. T. EREMIAN (pre-19th century) and TS. P. AGAIN (19th-20th centuries)

The Communist Party of Armenia is a constituent part of the CPSU. Marxism first began to spread in Armenia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Association of Armenian Worker Revolutionaries was founded in Tbilisi by a group of workers and students headed by A. Khumarian and A. Khazhakianin 1892. It began to publish a newspaper, Azat Aiastan (Free Armenia), and, beginning in 1894, the newspaper Kriv (Struggle). In 1898 in Tbilisi a Marxist group of Armenian workers formed, including G. L. Pilosian (G. Adamian), M. G. Melikian (“Granddad”), A. S. Kakhoian, G. A. Karadzhian (S. T. Arkomed), and G. K. Kozikian. It began publishing the handwritten newspaper Banvor (Worker) in 1900–01; 23 issues appeared. This group supported Iskra’s concept of building a single party of the working class in Russia. In the summer of 1899 in Dzhalal-Ogly (now the city of Stepanavan), S. G. Shaumian organized the first Marxist circle in Armenia. In 1901–02, Social Democratic circles sprang up in Yerevan and Aleksandropol’. In Tbilisi in 1902 the Union of Armenian Social Democrats was founded, with A. G. Zurabian, B. M. Knuniants, and S. G. Shaumian among its members. The union declared itself to be an inseparable part of the RSDLP and in October 1902 put out its first illegal Marxist newspaper, Proletariat. The league’s manifesto, published in the first issue of its newspaper, was highly praised by Lenin in Iskra no. 33 (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 7, pp. 102–06).

In March 1903 the First Congress of Caucasian Social Democratic Organizations in Tbilisi established the Caucasian Union of the RSDLP, headed by the Caucasian Union Committee of the RSDLP. The Armenian-language newspaper Proletariaty Kriv (Struggle of the Proletariat) began to be published. In 1902–05, Social Democratic groups arose within Armenia in the village of Akhpat, in Alaverdi, in Kars, in a number of villages of Borchaly district, and elsewhere. The Sarykamysh, Nor-Baiazet, and Kafan organizations were also set up. At the beginning of the Revolution of 1905–07 the Bolsheviks of Armenia energetically developed their agitational and propaganda work. In May 1905 under S. Shaumian’s leadership the first mass demonstration of the workers of Alaverdi was organized. A conference was held in the village of Akhpat of representatives of the Borchaly organization of the RSDLP. The conference served the function of a Party conference and elected a district committee consisting of A. S. Kakhoian, A. O. Tumanian, S. G. Evoian, and others. A gathering of representatives of the Social Democratic circles of Yerevan created a single Social Democratic organization and elected a Yerevan committee, including K. Alaverdov, V. Barzhanskii, A. A. Malkhasian, V. Ninuashvili, and G. N. Sokolovskii. The Bolsheviks of Armenia organized strikes, set up workers’ combat units and peasant committees, and did work among military units. They participated actively in the life of the RSDLP. S. G. Shaumian spoke as a representative of the Yerevan Bolsheviks at the Fourth Congress of the RSDLP in 1906. At the Fifth Congress in 1907, Bolsheviks from Transcaucasia, including S. G. Shaumian, A. S. Kakhoian, and G. N. Sokolovskii, the delegate of the Yerevan organization, held firmly to Leninist positions.

After the defeat of the Revolution of 1905–07, under the conditions of a period of reaction, underground organizations of the RSDLP continued to function in Yerevan, Alaverdi, Kafan, Aleksandropol’, Nor-Baiazet, and Kars. Party work was carried on at that time by Bolshevik groups in Alaverdi, Zangezur, Aleksandropol’, Kars, Yerevan, Kagyzman, Nor-Baiazet, Igdyr, Borchaly, Akhpat, and Dzhalal-Ogly. Lenin’s criticism of Machism was supported by S. G. Shaumian, S. S. Spandarian, A. M. Melikian, S. I. Kas’ian, E. S. Bakunts, and others. During World War I, 1914–18, the Bolsheviks of Armenia continued the revolutionary work of promoting the unity of the proletariat. In 1913, Lenin made special note of the fact that “in the Caucasus, Social Democratic Georgians + Armenians + Tatars + Russians have worked together in a single Social Democratic organization for more than ten years” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 48, p. 162). The works of S. G. Shaumian, A. F. Miasnikian (Miasnikov), S. S. Spandarian, and others on the international solidarity of the workers of Armenia are also important because they exposed the bourgeois nationalist Dashnaktsutiun Party. The Party conference that was convened in Baku on Oct. 4, 1915, played an important role in mobilizing the revolutionary forces of the region.

After the February Revolution of 1917 the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in Armenia still remained formally within a single organization, but in July 1917 the organizational differentiation of the Bolsheviks from the Mensheviks began. On July 16, 1917, at a citywide meeting, the bureau of the Aleksandropol’ organization of the RSDLP (Bolshevik) was elected. In early October 1917 the first regional congress of the Caucasian organizations of the RSDLP (Bolshevik) was held in Tbilisi, with delegates attending from Alaverdi, Akhpat, Aleksandropol’, Sarykamysh, Kars, and elsewhere. In December 1918 the newspaper Khosk (Word), edited by A. M. Melikian, announced that it was produced by “the Yerevan Communist organization. Until the general congress, said organization will be the highest body of the Party within the boundaries of the republic.’’ In September 1919 the Armenian Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik) was elected in Yerevan at an illegal conference of representatives of the Communist organizations of Armenia. This was the first single governing Party center for all of Armenia and included S. K. Alaverdian, G. O. Gukasian, S. I. Kas’ian, A. A. Mravian, S. M. Khanoian, and D. A. Shaverdian. On Jan. 18—19, 1920, an illegal conference was held in Yerevan at which the unification of the Bolshevik organizations of Armenia was completed. The armed uprising of May 1920 was headed by the Bolsheviks of Armenia, who elected a military revolutionary committee in Aleksandropol’. After the uprising was defeated the Dashnak reign of terror raged, and the Bolsheviks switched over to underground work.

On June 30, 1920, the Organization Bureau of the Central Committee (CC) of the RCP (Bolshevik) adopted a decision to create separate Communist Parties in Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia, all united in a Caucasian regional organization headed by the Krai Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik). Two representatives of the CP (Bolshevik) of Armenia, A. S. Nuridzhanian and A. M. Nazaretian, participated in August 1920 in the work of the Second Congress of the Comintern. On Sept. 10, 1920, the CC CP (Bolshevik) of Armenia was formed, consisting in part of 1.1. Dovlatian, G. A. Kostanian, A. S. Nuridzhanian, and A. G. Khandzhian. In November 1920, A. A. Bekzadian, S. I. Kas’ian, and S. M. Ter-Gabrielian joined the CC. The Communist Party of Armenia intensified its work to prepare and carry through an armed i nsurrection against the Dashnak government and to establish Soviet power in Armenia. On Nov. 29, 1920, the workers of Armenia, with the support of the Red Army, established Soviet power in Armenia. The Bolsheviks led the struggle against a Dashnak uprising in February 1921 and went on to undertake the creation of a soviet state system and the first measures of socialist transformation. Of great significance for the activity of the CP (Bolshevik) of Armenia was Lenin’s letterof Apr. 14, 1921, entitled “To the Communist Comrades of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Dagestan, and the Gorskaia Republic.” Lenin advised the Communists of Transcaucasia to understand the uniqueness of the situation and not to simply duplicate the tactics of the central Party organization but to modify them to conform to the different concrete conditions (see Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 43, p. 198).

In January 1922 the First Congress of the CP (Bolshevik) of Armenia was held, representing 4,906 Communists. At the congress the questions of Soviet construction, land policy, and the unification of the Transcaucasian republics were discussed. At subsequent congresses the following vital questions were discussed: the revival of agriculture at the Second Congress; the political and organizational tasks for developing the national economy at the Third Congress; evaluation of the republic’s economic development at the Fourth Congress; the conditions of work within the Party, the carrying out of the general line of the ACP (Bolshevik), and the struggle against Trotskyism and the right-wing opportunists, as well as the first successes in industrialization, at the Fifth Congress; the tasks of the first five-year plan for developing the national economy, the work of the Party in the countryside, and the successes of collectivization at the Sixth Congress; and the training of cadres, expansion of the network of higher educational institutions, rabfaks (workers’ schools), and technicums, as well as the industrialization of the republic and the tasks of mastering new technology and increasing the productivity of labor, at the Seventh Congress. The attention of the Party organizations centered first on the tasks of the restoration of the economy and, later, on those of the socialist industrialization of the republic, collectivization of its agriculture, and the cultural revolution. The Communist Party of Armenia carried out wide-ranging ideological and educational work among the toilers. It conducted a determined struggle against Trotskyism and right opportunism and against manifestations of bourgeois nationalism, defending the Leninist general line of the Party. Standing at the head of the surging labor enthusiasm of the workers of the republic, the Communists of Armenia successfully solved the problems of socialist construction during the prewar five-year plans. In its activity the Communist Party of Armenia was guided by the decisions of the congresses of the ACP (Bolshevik). Among those doing important work in the 1920’s and 1930’s in Armenia were S. S. Ambartsumian, E. S. Bakunts, A. G. Ioannisian, A. A. Kostanian, S. L. Lukashin (Srapionian), A. A. Mravian, A. F. Miasnikian (Miasnikov), G. A. Ovsepian, S. M. Ter-Gabrielian, A. G. Khandzhian, and A. A. Shakhsuvarian. The Eleventh Congress of the CP (Bolshevik) of Armenia, held in June 1938, summed up the historic victories of socialism in Armenia and the outstanding successes in the development of the economy and culture and in the rise of the material well-being of the workers. The Twelfth Congress in 1939 outlined the path for the further development of the mining and nonferrous metal industries.

During the Great Patriotic War all the efforts of the Communist Party of Armenia and of the Armenian people were directed toward the defense of the socialist homeland and the decisive defeat of the German fascist forces. During 1941–43, over 20,000 of the 36,900 Communists in the republic joined the ranks of the Red Army. During 1942–45, 26, 107 persons joined the Party. Under the leadership of the Party the workers of the republic strengthened the home front, developing industrial and agricultural production. The entire nation rendered aid to those on the front lines.

In the postwar years the activity of the Communist Party of Armenia was aimed at further developing the national economy and completing the building of socialism in Armenia. In March 1951 the Fifteenth Congress of the Armenian Party evaluated the results of the fourth five-year plan. The plan for industry was overfulfilled by 31 percent. The Armenian Party decisively overcame the shortcomings in its work and, in correspondence with the decisions of the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU, did a great deal to restore Leninist norms in Party life, to strengthen socialist legality, and to increase the level of activity of Party members. Putting the decisions of the Twenty-second Congress of the CPSU into practice, the Communists and all the workers of Armenia struggled for the successful realization of the CPSU program. The Communist Party of Armenia improved its work significantly after the October 1964 plenum and subsequent plenums of the CC CPSU. In the 1950’sand 1960’s the Armenian Party carried out the line of strengthening the development of the forces of the republic in its economic activities. In industrial production the Party’s adopted policy was to speed up the development of such branches of industrial technology as instrument-making, electronics, radio electronics, and computer technology.

Table 2a. Membership in the Communist Party of Armenia
YearMembersCandidate membersTotal
1922 ..........1,9742,9324,906
1930 ..........16,852
1940 ..........26,2179,66335,880
1950 ..........55,7945,34861,142
1960 ..........80,3954,66785,062
1968 ..........118,0974,962123,059

In March 1966 the Twenty-fourth Congress of the Armenian Party was held, outlining the tasks of the Party organization in the republic during the eighth five-year plan of 1966–70. Great attention was paid to the questions of internal Party work and the ideological and political education of the workers and especially the youth—in particular the students.

Guided by the decisions of the Twenty-third Congress of the CPSU, the Armenian Party directs the efforts of the workers of Armenia toward creating the material and technical base for communism.

Table 2b. Congresses of the Communist Party of Armenia
1st ..........Jan. 26–29, 1922
2nd ..........Mar. 13–17,1923
3rd..........May 5–10,1924
4th ..........Nov. 30-Dec. 4,1925
5th..........Nov. 13–19,1927
6th ..........Jan. 20–29,1929
7th ..........May 24–28,1930
8th ..........Jan. 17–23,1932
9th ..........Jan. 10–13, 1934
10th ..........May26-June2,1937
11th ..........June 2–6, 1938
12th..........Feb. 26–28, 1939
13th..........Mar. 11–14,1940
14th ..........Nov. 12–14,1948
15th ..........Mar. 20–22, 1951
16th ..........Sept. 20–22,1952
17th..........Feb. 14–17,1954
18th ..........Jan. 19–21,1956
19th ..........Jan. 25–27,1958
20th ..........Jan. 10–13,1959
21st ..........Feb. 10–12, 1960
22nd..........Sept. 21–23, 1961
23rd ..........Jan. 7–8, 1964
24th ..........Mar. 3–5,1966


Ocherki istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii Armenii. Yerevan, 1967.
Ocherki istorii Kommunisticheskikh organizatsii Zakavkaz’ia, part 1. Tbilisi, 1967.


The Lenin Communist Youth League of Armenia is a constituent part of the All-Union Komsomol. The establishment of Communist youth circles in Armenia began in 1917 in accordance with the resolution of the Sixth Congress of the RSDLP (Bolshevik) “On Youth Leagues.” In April 1919 the Marxist Student League was renamed the Spartacus League of Young Socialist-Internationalists, which published its own organ Spartak. The first Komsomol organizations were formed in May through July 1919 in Yerevan, Nor-Baiazet, Aleksandropol’, Dilizhan, and several villages of Zangezur. The first Transcaucasian conference of Communist Youth Leagues of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia was held illegally in Baku in September 1919. At that conference the youth leagues united into the Transcaucasian Regional Organization of the All-Union Komsomol, headed by the Transcaucasian Committee. Among the first organizers of the Armenian Komsomol were A. Budagian, G. Gukasian, P. Mikaelian, G. Pogosian, and A. Khandzhian. In December 1920 the Yerevan League of Young Communists elected an organizational bureau (A. Budagian, S. Buniatian, and A. Vardanian). In January 1921 this became the Central Committee of the Armenian Komsomol, which on Jan. 19, 1921, began to publish the newspaper Eritasard Komunist (Young Communist). Komsomol members participated in the May insurrection of 1920 and in the suppression of the Dashnak revolt in February 1921.

On August 21–22, 1921, the First Congress of the Komsomol of Armenia was held, completing the formal establishment of the Komsomol organization of Armenia. In 1924 the organization was renamed the Lenin Communist Youth League of Armenia.

Under the leadership of the Communist Party of Armenia the Armenian Komsomol participated in the revival, development, and socialist transformation of the national economy and in carrying out a cultural revolution in the republic. The Komsomol’s leadership in industry, agriculture, and in Red Army and border guard units acquired great scope. The Executive Committee of the Armenian SSR awarded the Armenian Komsomol the Order of the Red Banner of Labor on Nov. 14, 1932, for its active participation in socialist construction.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) tens of thousands of Komsomol members of Armenia fought in the ranks of the Soviet Army. The military exploits of Komsomol-trained men—for instance, N. Stepanian, two times a Hero of the Soviet Union, and Heroes of the Soviet Union A. Antinian, S. Burnazian, and U. Avetisian—brought glory to the Armenian organization.

In the postwar years the Komsomol of Armenia has paid special attention to the construction of new installations, such as the hydroelectric power plants at the Sevan-Razdan and Vorotan falls and the Arpa-Sevan tunnel. The Komsomol has also contributed to raising the productivity of labor and developing socialist competition. Thousands of Armenian Komsomol members went to help begin the cultivation of the virgin and unused lands in Kazakhstan. The creation of a series of chemical plants has been designated as a Komsomol top-priority construction project.

In the 1960’s the Komsomol members of Armenia actively joined the movement for communist labor. They acted as initiators of the competitions for economizing on raw and manufacturing materials, “for the high-yield hectare,” and “for the high-yield farm.”

The Komsomol of Armenia pays great attention to work in the schools and higher educational institutions and to increasing the general educational level of the workers and kolkhoz youth. It helps the Armenian Party educate the youth in the revolutionary traditions of the older generations and leads the youth expeditions to famous sites of revolutionary, military, or labor achievements by the Soviet people. The Komsomol of Armenia under the leadership of the Communist Party of Armenia directs the efforts of all youth towards solving the tasks of Communist construction.

Table 3a. Membership in the Komsomol of Armenia
1940 ..........93,000


Avetisian, G. A. Komsomol Zakavkaz’ia pod znamenem proletarskogo internatsionalizma. Yerevan, 1968.
Karapetian, A. N. Rozhdenie komsomola Armenii. Yerevan, 1958.

The trade unions of Armenia are an integral part of the trade unions of the USSR. The building of trade unions in Armenia was inseparably connected with the development of the trade union movement of the Russian proletariat. The first trade union in Armenia was the Union of Yerevan Domestic Workers, organized in the summer of 1905. In 1906–07 a number of trade unions were organized among

Table 3b. Congresses of the Komsomol of Armenia
1st..........Aug. 21–22,1921
2nd ..........June 3–6,1922
3rd ..........Oct. 1–5,1923
4th..........Feb. 18–23,1926
5th ..........Mar. 29-Apr. 5,1928
6th..........May 17–22,1929
7th..........Dec. 20–23, 1930
8th ..........June 5–8,1932
9th..........Feb. 12–15,1936
10th..........Oct. 20–22, 1937
11th ..........Feb. 7–11,1939
12th..........Sept. 27–29,1940
13th..........Dec. 8–10, 1947
14th..........Jan. 23–25,1949
15th..........Dec. 27–29,1950
16th..........Dec. 2–3,1952
17th ..........Jan. 15–17, 1954
18th ..........Dec. 15–16,1955
19th..........Feb. 17–18, 1958
20th..........Jan. 26–27, 1960
21st..........Feb. 2–3,1962
22nd..........Jan. 23–24,1964
23rd..........Feb. 10–11,1966
24th ..........Mar. 5–6,1968
25th ..........Mar. 12–13, 1970

workers at leather-making shops; railroad workers; workers at cognac-producing enterprises in Yerevan, Aleksandropol’, and Kars; copper miners at Alaverdi and Kafan; bakers, printers, and telephone and telegraph personnel at Yerevan, Aleksandropol’, and Kars. With the defeat of the Revolution of 1905–07 the majority of trade unions were liquidated, although some continued to function illegally. After the February Revolution of 1917 the old unions were revived in Armenia and new unions and factory and plant committees were formed. They fought for collective bargaining and the eight-hour day.

With the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia in 1920 the unions began to play an important role in reviving the national economy. The first congress of trade unions in Armenia was held on Aug. 22, 1921. In 1922, 28 unions and 34 sections had been organized, with a union membership of roughly 13,000 all told. In March 1922 the first Transcaucasian congress of trade unions was held in Tbilisi, with the unions of Armenia participating.

The Armenian trade unions played an important role in the 1930’s in the period of industrialization of the republic and the collectivization of its agriculture. They mobilized the workers to fulfill the industrial and financial plans on schedule, guided socialist competition, and conducted propaganda concerning the examples set by the experience of leading innovators in production, the Stakhanovtsy.

During the Great Patriotic War the trade unions of Armenia did great service in rendering all-around support to the front. In the postwar era the efforts of the trade union organizations have been directed at the further development of the national economy and at improving social, domestic, and cultural services for the workers.

The trade union organizations are at the head of the movement of inventors of new and more efficient production techniques. Production conferences have been held regularly. (There were 1,380 of them in 1967, with more than 50,000 participants.) With their help, the unions have furthered the discovery and realization of unused potential in enterprises and have helped to achieve the successful realization of economic reforms and increased profitability in socialist production.

A great deal of attention is paid to the development of socialist competition and the movement for communist labor. In connection with the successful fulfillment of the seven-year plan of 1959–65, more than 4,000 advanced workers in the republic’s economy were awarded honors, including 25 persons who were given the title Hero of Socialist Labor. The production and service workers of Armenia achieved new successes in competition in honor of the hundredth anniversary of Lenin’s birth.

In 1969 there were more than 815,500 members of trade unions in Armenia. At the beginning of March 1926 there were over 40,000; on Jan. 1, 1949, over 161,000; and on July 1, 1960, over 390,000. As of Jan. 1, 1969, the trade unions of Armenia had charge of 64 clubs and palaces of culture, 98 libraries, and 291 sports facilities, as well as vacation resorts and sanatoriums.

General characteristics. Under Soviet rule fundamental changes in the structure of Armenia’s national economy have taken place. Industry has become the leading branch of the economy. In 1968 industry accounted for 67.9 percent of the gross social product, while 12.2 percent came from construction, 12.5 percent from agriculture, 1.8 percent from transportation and communication, and 5.6 percent from trade, semifinished products, material and technical supplies, and other branches.

Capital investment in the Armenian national economy in 1968 amounted to 600 million rubles (247 million in 1960). From 1960 to 1965 the gross social product grew by 42.1 percent, and from 1965 to 1968, it grew by 31.4 percent.

In accordance with the decisions of the September 1965 plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the enterprises of Armenia, like those of other Union republics, changed over to a new system of planning and economic incentives. The products of Armenia are exported to all of the Union republics and to more than 70 foreign countries.

Industry. Armenia’s industry is based primarily on its own mineral wealth and agricultural raw materials and on imported fuel and ferrous metals. The planned utilization of the area’s natural and labor resources as well as the enormous advantages for development enjoyed by Armenia, as by all Union republics, as part of a single national economic complex within the USSR, have allowed new branches of industry to be founded and developed along with the reconstruction and expansion of such traditional branches as copper production, cognac production, and rug weaving. In 1968 more than 95 percent of the gross industrial product’s value was provided by the processing industry, and mining accounted for about 5 percent.

The volume of industrial production in 1968 had grown by 146 times in comparison with 1913. The average annual growth rate in the prewar years (1921–40) was 18 percent, and in the postwar period (1946–68), 13 percent. A constant feature of industrial development has been a rise in the relative importance of the production of the means of production (group A) amounting to 69 percent in 1968. And the production of consumers’ goods (group B) had increased by 1967 to 48 times the 1913 level.

The leading branches of industry include machine building and metal processing, chemical and petrochemical industries, light industry, food processing, nonferrous metallurgy, and construction materials. Together with electric power production these industries accounted for 97 percent of basic capital and more than 90 percent of the work force and of the gross industrial product of Armenia. The distribution of basic capital for industry and production as of Jan. 1, 1969, was as follows: electrical energy production, 24.6 percent; nonferrous metallurgy, 12.3 percent; chemical and petrochemical industries, 16.7 percent; machine building and metal processing, 18.9 percent; lumber, woodworking, and cellulose-paper industries, 1.2 percent; construction materials, 7.4 percent; glass and ceramics production, 0.5 percent; light industry, 7.5 percent; and food processing, 9.4 percent. The rise in gross industrial product by branches of industry is shown in Table 4. Data on industrial output in nonmonetary terms are given in Table 5.

Table 4. Increase in gross output by branch of industry (percentage of 1940)
All industry ..........100932496301,2341,684
Electric power ..........1001162495647651,342
Machine building and metalworking ....1001707203,13610,67717,056
Chemical and petrochemical ......1001203931,6845,1156,837
Lumber, woodworking, paper, and cellulose ..10084290496670798
Building materials.....100463301,3703,3634,587
Glass and ceramics ....100453053,0845,6298,233
Light industry ..........1001092465537431,092
Food ..........10070139245366423

Before the early 1960’s the main part of Armenia’s electric power was accounted for by the hydroelectric power plants on the Razdan, Dzoraget, Akhurian, and other rivers; the hydroelectric plant drawing on the six levels of the Sevan-Razdan waterfalls has an overall capacity of 557 megawatts. After the construction of thermal electric power plants (in Yerevan, Razdan, and Kirovakan) that utilize natural gas from Azerbaijan and the Northern Caucasus, the share of electrical energy produced by hydroelectric plants fell to 25 percent in 1968.

Because of the intensive use of the waters of Lake Sevan for hydroelectric power needs, the level of the lake has fallen. The development of thermal electric power production has allowed the plans for utilization of Lake Sevan’s waters to be revised with the aim of better conserving its natural condition. Since 1965 use of the lake’s water has been in accordance with irrigation plans rather than electric power plans (500 million cu m of water per year for irrigation). After the construction of the Arpa-Sevan tunnel (48.6 km) for transferring water from the Arpa River into Lake Sevan (at the rate of 270 million cu m per year) and after the fuller utilization of the water resources of the Ararat Valley for irrigation needs, the outflow of the age-old water reserves of the lake will be terminated completely. The operation of the Sevan-Razdan Waterfall Hydroelectric Power Plant and the irrigation of part of the Ararat Valley lands will be assured by the normal outflow from the lake.

At the beginning of 1969 electric power plant capacity had reached 1,347 megawatts (5.1 MW in 1913). In 1970 the Vorotan Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant, the Razdan State Regional Power Plant, and an atomic power plant were under construction. The electric power system of Armenia is part of the Transcaucasian grid and, through it, is linked with the united electrical energy system of the European USSR.

Machine building is characterized by the accelerated development of non-metal-consuming branches, such as the radio and electronics industry, instrument-making, electrical engineering, and the manufacture of precision tools. Automobile manufacturing and the production of compressors, hydraulic pumps, and passenger elevators are also developing. Because of the accelerated rates of development, machine building in 1968 occupied one of the foremost places among branches of industry in Armenia in value of gross output. The most important machine-building centers were Yerevan (the Lenin Armenian Electronics Plant, the F. E. Dzerzhinsky Machine Tool Plant, and instrument, electric light bulb, cable, and automobile plants, among others), Leninaken (microelectric motors, grinding and polishing machines, the Strommashina Plant, and others),

Table 5. Production of industrial products
Electric power (kW-hr)..........5,100,000395,000,000949,000,0004,997,000,000
Portable power plants (megawatts)..........0.2458,4
AC generators (megawatts)..........318989
Power transformers (megawatts)..........6093,729
Incandescent light bulbs (units)..........121,000,000
Metal-cutting lathes..........90010,900
Centrifugal pumps..........2,70076,700
Air compressors and gas-fed compressors4683,975
Sulfuric acid in monohydrate form (tons)......24,10072,000
Mineral fertilizers (tons of standard units).....57,900122,600
Motor vehicle tires..........195,0001,312,000
Cement (tons)..........95,000151,500670,000
Cotton cloth (meters)..........26,800,00034,600,00099,400,000
Wool cloth (meters)..........17,000551,0005,524,000
Silk cloth (meters)..........201,0001,529,00010,540,000
Rugs and related products (square meters) ....16,10017,8001,197,000
Hosiery and socks (pairs)..........9,800,00014,800,00048,300,000
Knitted clothing and underwear (items)..........3,000,0007,500,00058,700,000
Leather footwear (pairs)..........900,0002,000,0009,600,000
Clocks and watches, household use (items) ...200,0003,100,000
Canned goods (standard-unit containers)..........1,0000,00017,300,00031,400,000193,000,000
Cognac (decaliters, including amount bottled elsewhere)48,00063,00096,000396,000
Grape wine, not including household consumption (decaliters)188,0001,117,0001,527,0006,035,000

Charentsavan (instruments and boring machines), Kirovakan (precision tools), and Abovian.

A major chemical industry has been created. Three chemical complexes have been formed: an acetylene complex for the production of chloroprene rubbers and latexes, caustic sodas, hydrochloric and acetic acids, vinyl acetate, polyvinyl alcohol, synthetic resin, acetylcellulose, chemical fibers, automobile tires, and industrial rubber goods; a complex for the production of calcium cyanamide, nitrogen fertilizers, nitric acid, melamine, and carbamide; and a complex based on the utilization of sulfur dioxides for copper smelting (sulfuric acid). The switch to natural gas for part of acetylene production in 1966 and for part of ammonia production two years after that had great economic significance. The chemical industry is concentrated in Yerevan (the S. M. Kirov Combine, the Polivinilatsetat Plant, a tire plant, and a chemical reagents plant), at Kirovakan (the A. F. Miasnikian Combine and an acetate silk factory), and at Alaverdi. A major chemical and mineral processing combine for the multistage processing of nephelinic syenite was under construction at Razdan in 1970.

Nonferrous metallurgy is represented by copper production (the full technological cycle), aluminum (temporarily based on imported material), molybdenum concentrate production, lead production, zinc production, and the mining of gold and other precious and rare metals. The main centers for nonferrous metallurgy are Alaverdi (a copper and chemical combine), Kadzharian (a copper and molybdenum combine), Kafan (a copper-mining combine), Yerevan (an aluminum plant), Agarak (a copper and molybdenum combine), and Zod (a gold-mining combine).

The construction-materials industry is based on the use of types of igneous rock that are unique for their decorative and physical-technical qualities; tuff, pumice, perlite, and cinders, as well as limestones, nephelinic syenites, basalts, granites, and marbles are all used. The production of concrete and reinforced concrete aggregate structures has great relative importance (over 40 percent of the gross output of this branch of industry). The production of building blocks of natural stone (multicolored tuff) and of light aggregates and articles made from them and production of marble, cement, and fire-resistant materials (Tumanian and Yerevan) have nationwide importance. The main centers for the construction materials industry are Artik, Anipemza, Ararat, Razdan, and Aragats. In 1970 a major combine for marble products was being built at Nurnus.

The food-processing industry, which accounted for more than 22 percent of the gross industrial product of Armenia in 1968, specializes in branches based on the processing of grapes, fruits, and vegetables of a southern climate. The major branches of the food industry are wine and cognac production and fruit canning. The main enterprises in these branches are concentrated in the Ararat Valley (Yerevan, Artashat, Oktemberian, Echmiadzin, Ashtarak, Burastan, Parakar, Arteni), in the northeast (Airum and Berd), and in the extreme south of the republic (Megri). The production of Swiss cheese—for example, at Kalinino, Stepanavan, and Sisian—and the bottling of mineral water are other enterprises. Table salt is produced at Yerevan.

In light industry (22 percent of gross industrial production in Armenia in 1968), textile production is the leading branch, especially of knitted wear, woolen goods, and footwear. The main centers are Yerevan, Leninakan, Kirovakan, Kamo, Goris, and Stepanavan.

Armenia’s industry, not counting kolkhozes and sovkhozes, is distributed over more than 90 locations, compared to eight in 1913.

Agriculture. In the Soviet period fundamental changes have taken place in agricultural production. In spite of the sharp decline in the relative importance of agriculture for the republic’s economy, the volume of production has increased by 4.5 times.

The territory of Armenia has exceptional variety in soil and climatic conditions. The unusually wide range of agricultural branches, considering the limited area, is a striking feature. Nearly 75 percent of the basic assortment of agricultural crops raised in the entire territory of the USSR are cultivated here.

The total land area of Armenia in 1968 was 3 million hectares (ha), with 46.6 percent put to agricultural use, some 13 percent covered by forests and scrub growth, and more than 40 percent unsuitable for agricultural use. Cultivated lands covered 476,000 ha, hay fields covered 132,000 ha, and pasture land covered 696,000 ha.

In 1968 there were 257 sovkhozes and 495 kolkhozes in the republic. There were 18,300 tractors at work in agriculture (calculated in terms of 15-horsepower units), and there were 1,600 grain-harvesting combines. All of the kolkhozes and sovkhozes use electricity. Delivery of mineral fertilizers reached 168,000 tons (72,000 tons in 1958). In 1968 irrigated lands covered 248,000 ha (97,000 in 1913), and irrigated pasture

Table 6. Area devoted to vineyards and fruit trees and berry plants of producing age (hectares)
Fruit and berry producing acreage..3,5008,4008,50018,200

lands covered 150,600 ha. Floodlands are found primarily in the Ararat Valley. Under Soviet rule more than 1,500 canals, both within and between farms, have been built; this includes the entire present irrigation system. The main irrigation canals are the Artashat, Oktemberian, Arzni-Shamiram, Nizhnerazdan, Talin, Kotaik, and Shirak. Mechanized irrigation is used more and more to bring mountain areas with very rugged terrain under cultivation. In 1968 more than 15 percent of the land was irrigated by pumping stations, the most important of which are in Arevshat, Mkhchian, Noemberian, and Aigerlich.

Table 7. Pattern of crop cultivation (hectares)
Total under cultivation ...346,000434,000471,000403,000
Tobacco ..........1005,20010,1007,300
Sugar beets ..........1,6004,0004,400
Cereal crops ..........308,500340,000318,900195,200
wheat ..........191,600228,000197,900124,400
Potatoes ..........7,00013,20022,80017,900
Vegetables ..........3,3005,0008,00012,500
Commercial melons.....2,0002,1002,2005,100
Fodder crops ..........4,40037,70076,700159,300

The contribution of agriculture to the gross output of the rural economy amounts to 50 percent. The main crops are fruit and grapes (see Table 6), industrial crops (tobacco, geraniums, and sugar beets), and vegetables and melons (see Table 7).

Table 8. Gross yield for chief agricultural crops (tons)
Grapes ..........58,50065,60049,60092,300
Fruits and berries ..........14,70029,20018,50072,300
Tobacco ..........7003,4006,20014,300
Sugar beets ..........17,30048,300117,200
Cereal grains ..........174,300222,800281,200204,600
wheat ..........110,100144,200174,700139,700
Potatoes ..........47,40096,800159,100173,200
Vegetables ..........32,60067,100214,500
Commercial melons .....11,00012,10079,100

Data on the gross yield of agricultural crops are given in Table 8. Livestock breeders specialize in dairy and beef cattle and sheepherding. The increase in the number of livestock is shown in Table 9.

Table 9. Livestock, by thousand head (as of January 1)
Cattle ..........708598494714
dairy cows ..........231212141289
Sheep and goats ..........1,2171,2211,3092,273
Hogs ..........16598190

In 1968 the average yearly milk yield per cow in both kolkhozes and sovkhozes was 1,567 kg, and the wool yield per sheep was 2 kg. The pattern of state purchases of agricultural products is shown in Table 10.

Table 10. State purchases of agricultural products (tons)
Cereal grains..........40,30052,60027,000
Livestock and poultry (liveweight) ....13,20016,30047,600
Milk and dairy products (calculated by quantity of milk used) ..........20,10030,500171,200

Transportation. Rail transport carries 60 percent of the total freight turnover. In 1968 there were 562 km of railroad track (362 km in 1913), 70 percent electrified. The western regions are relatively well supplied with railroad track. More than half of the territory is between 30 and 90 km away from the nearest railroad. In 1970 a line from Akstafa in the Azerbaijan SSR to Idzhevan (a section of the projected Razdan-Akstafa line), and one from Sevan to Zod were under construction. In 1968, 9,729,000 tons of freight were shipped out by rail transport, and 12,967,000 tons were brought in to the republic. The proportion of motor vehicle transport in total freight turnover was more than 39 percent. There were 8,200 km of highway (as opposed to 1,000 km in 1913), of which 5,200 km were hard surface. Freight turnover for motor vehicle transport in 1968 reached 1,698 tons per km with a gross freight volume of 135.2 million tons. Transportation was provided for 220 million passengers. A new highway was under construction from Yerevan to Sevan in 1970. Many large cities of the USSR are linked with Armenia by air. An international airline operates between Yerevan and Beirut. Airlines within the republic link Yerevan with more than one-third of the regions. A pipeline brings natural gas into Armenia from the Azerbaijan SSR and the Northern Caucasus through Tbilisi, a distance of 495 km. All of the regions of Armenia are served by a single high-voltage electric power grid.

Economic regions. In Armenia five economic regions can be distinguished by natural conditions and economic-geographic features and by their structure and productive specializations.

The Ararat region is the most important in Armenia for electric power production, a variety of machine-building enterprises, chemical and construction materials industries, irrigated agriculture, viticulture, fruit and vegetable farming, and branches of the food-processing industry based on them.

The Shirak region is important for its textile industry, the mining of natural construction materials, and machine building. In agriculture, livestock raising and cereal grains predominate, and there is industrial sugar beet cultivation.

The Debed River region is the center of Armenia’s copper industry. The chemical industry is of major significance in this region. There is also livestock raising and the processing of livestock products, as well as fruit growing and viticulture. Machine building is developing.

The Sevan-Agstev region is important for the production of electric power and for agriculture, with livestock raising, cereal grains, and tobacco predominating. The mining, chemical, and machine-building industries are developing here.

The Siunik region (the southeastern part of Armenia) is a leading area for the mining industry (copper and copper-molybdenum), livestock, grain, and viticulture and fruit. Hydroelectric power production and machine building are developing.

Standard of living. Under Soviet rule the material well-being of the population has risen steadily. The national income in 1965 had risen by 48.5 percent over that of 1960, and in 1968 had risen 30.3 percent over 1965. The monetary income of the population in 1968 had risen 2.3 times in comparison with 1960. About 10 percent of the total monetary income of the population is accounted for by pensions and benefits paid by the government. The total volume of retail merchandise turnover in 1968 rose to 1,038,000,000 rubles (3.9 million in 1928 and 437 million in 1958). Of this, 54 percent went for food and 46 percent for other goods. In 1968 there were 569 savings banks in Armenia, and total deposits the people made in these banks came to 398.9 million rubles (3.1 million in 1940 and 54 million in 1958).

The housing construction industry has grown considerably. Completed usable housing (in terms of square meters of general living space) grew by 20.5 million from 1921 to 1968, including 9.1 million in the 1961–68 period and 3.6 million in the years 1966–68. For these same time periods the share of housing construction by state and cooperative enterprises, state and cooperative organizations, and housing cooperatives came to 44 percent, 59 percent, and 60 percent respectively. In the kolkhozes alone, 7.1 million sq m of living space had been constructed during 1921–68 by the kolkhozes, collective farmers, and members of the rural intelligentsia. More than 73 percent of this housing was built in the 1946–68 period.


Armeniia. Moscow, 1966. (Sovetskii Soiuz series.)
Narodnoe khoziaistvo Armianskoi SSR ν 1967: Statistich. ezhegodnik. Yerevan, 1968.
Atlas Armianskoi SSR. Yerevan-Moscow, 1961.
Dowlyan, S. M., and L. H. Valesyan. Haykakan SSH tntesakan ashkharhagrut’ian aknark. Yerevan, 1967.


Medicine and public health. In 1968 the birthrate per 1,000 inhabitants was 24.6, and the mortality rate, 5.2 (23.9 in 1913); the child mortality rate was 26 per 1,000 live births. Average life expectancy in 1967–68 in Armenia was 73 years.

During the years of Soviet rule, malaria, smallpox, cholera, relapsing fever, and trachoma were eliminated; cutaneous leishmaniasis is close to elimination. The sickness rate for tuberculosis and skin diseases has been sharply reduced and continues to decrease steadily. In 1968, in comparison with 1960, the sickness rate was reduced by 168 times for diphtheria and ten times for whooping cough. Poliomyelitis has been eliminated. A reduction has been attained in the illness rate for brucellosis, from 3.6 per 10,000 in 1958 to 0.3 in 1968. Acute intestinal infections, despite a significant decrease in the sickness rate (by six times in 1968 as compared with 1960), are still widespread.

In medical-geographic terms the country is separated into lowland, foothills, highland, and high mountain regions. A higher incidence of amebiasis and hymenolepidosis is recorded in the lowland areas than in other regions. A small amount of balantidiasis is recorded for the foothills regions only. The foothills and high mountain areas are characterized by a higher level of geohelminthiasis infestations among the population.

In 1968, 265 hospital institutions with a total of 20, 160 beds (85.3 beds per 10,000 people) operated in the republic, as against six hospitals with 212 beds (2.1 beds per 10,000 people) in 1913. The hospitals contain specialized patients’ beds; they include 3,075 therapeutic, 2,718 surgical, 175 oncological, 319 otolaryngological, 256 ophthalmological, and 410 neural beds. Outpatient and polyclinical aid is given by 477 medical institutions, 13 tuberculosis clinics, four skinvenereological and three oncological dispensaries. In 1968, 7,114 doctors (one doctor per 322 inhabitants) and 16,700 secondary medical personnel worked in institutions for preventive medicine. (In 1913 there were 73 doctors, or one per 13,700 inhabitants.)

The development of maternity and child-care facilities provided 100 percent obstetric patient care and systematic medical supervision for children in the cities. By 1969 Armenia had 240 maternity and children’s consultation centers and polyclinics, and the maternity hospitals and divisions maintained 3,300 beds for pregnant women and women in childbirth and 149 infant feeding centers. There are 1,200 places in the permanent day nurseries. Medical service for children is provided by 1,071 doctors and pediatricians.

In 1968, Armenia had 206 pharmacies and 525 pharmaceutical dispensaries. A network of sanitary antiepidemic facilities was created, including 50 epidemiologic stations and epidemiologic branches affiliated with regional hospitals. Training of medical specialists is provided at the Yerevan Medical Institute. The Advanced Training Institute for Doctors has been in operation in Yerevan since 1963. In Armenia there are ten medical scientific research institutes in such fields as roentgenology and oncology, cardiology and cardiac surgery, orthopedics and traumatology, obstetrics and gynecology, and hematology and blood transfusion. In 1969, 102 doctors and 447 candidates of medical science worked in the medical education institutions and the scientific research institutes. The journal Arokhchapautiun (Public Health Care) has been published since 1956.

In Armenia there are more than 350 areas with mineral springs, with more than 1,000 outlets of mineral waters varying in chemical content and temperature, discharging a total of 22 billion liters per year. The popular mineral waters are at Dzhermuk, Arzni, Dilizhan, Ankavan, Sevan, and elsewhere. There are 24 sanatoriums operating in Armenia for the aged and children with 4,600 inpatient facilities, including children’s health resorts with 1,800 beds, and ten rest homes with 1,700 beds. There are well-known health resorts at Arzni, Dzhermuk, and Dilizhan; cures at Ankavan, Ararat, Satani, Kamurdzh, and so on; and rest homes, Pioneer camps, and the large all-Union sports center at Tsakhkadzor.

Sports are widely developed in Armenia. In 1968 the republic had 2,869 physical culture collectives, more than 417,000 gymnasts, and 15 sports stadiums. In 1968, 59,000 tourists, including some 20,000 foreign tourists visited the republic. (In 1956 the corresponding figures were 6,080 and 80 respectively.)

The republic’s budget for the development of public health care increased from 16 million rubles in 1950 to 69.2 million rubles in 1968.


Veterinary services. The natural geographic conditions of Armenia are favorable for the development of the tick carriers of agricultural animal piroplasmoses (theileriasis, piroplasmosis, babesiasis). The basic biotopes are the Ararat Valley and the southeastern and the northeastern regions of the republic. Approximately 80 percent of the sicknesses occur between May and September. The alpine and subalpine regions of Armenia favor the occurrence of piroplasmoses. There is a definite spreading of eimerial infection that is associated with the pasturage of animals in raw and moist pastures, and there are a number of helminthiases (fascioliasis, echinococcosis, taeniasis). There is danger in Armenia of bringing in infectious diseases—foot and mouth disease, for example—from such neighboring countries as Turkey and Iran.

In Armenia there were 851 veterinary doctors and 1,155 veterinary surgical assistants in 1968. There are 406 veterinary institutions in the republic, including 34 stations for the control of animal diseases; 259 veterinary districts; 33 veterinary laboratories; and 55 meat, milk, and food control stations. Highly qualified specialists are trained at the Yerevan Livestock and Veterinary Institute. The leading veterinary research center is the Armenian Scientific Research Institute for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science.

Until the fifth century instruction in Armenian schools was conducted in the Syrian and Greek languages. The creation of an Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots in 405–406 furthered the development of school education in the native language. From the end of the fifth century to the beginning of the seventh century, advanced monastery schools were operated in Armenia; these schools trained teachers along with the seminarians. In the Middle Ages there were a number of fine schools—for example, Dprevan (in Shirak), Arsharuniants, Eraskhadzor, Akhpat, Nor-Getik, Narek, the school of Ananii Shirakatsi, and the academies (chemaran) in Sanain, Bzhni, Ani, Kars, and Sis. The universities of Gladzor and Tatev were particularly well known. These institutions primarily taught natural science, mathematics, history, rhetoric, grammar, music, and astronomy. In many sources the University of Gladzor is referred to as the “second Athens.” The University of Gladzor (which functioned for 60 years) and the University of Tatev (which functioned until 1415) graduated such distinguished figures as Ovanes Vorotnetsi, Ovanes Metsopatsi, Grigor Tatevatsi, Grigor Khlatetsi, Grigor Erznkatsi, and Akop Khrimetsi.

In 1815 the Lazarevskii Institute of Eastern Languages was founded in Moscow; it existed until 1918. Many Armenian writers, teachers, linguists, and leading public figures were educated there. Hundreds of scholars, men of letters, teachers, and cultural figures were given to the Armenian people by Nersesianov College, which opened in Tiflis in 1824 and existed until 1921. In the 1860’s and 1870’s, Armenian church schools and a number of private girls’ schools were established in Tiflis, Yerevan, Baku, and Constantinople. In Echmiadzin the Gevorkian Ecclesiastical Seminary (which also trained teachers for Armenian schools) was founded in 1874.

Although education in Armenia has a centuries-old history, knowledge was not accessible to the masses. According to the 1897 census, literacy of the Armenian population (ages 9–49) amounted to only 9.2 percent. In the 1914–15 school year there were only 459 general education schools of all types (34,700 pupils, primarily in elementary schools).

The victory of Soviet power in Armenia presented unlimited opportunities for the development of public education. All schools and cultural affairs institutions were transferred to the authority of the government; school was separated from the church; and instruction in the native language was introduced in the schools. In 1921 the Armenian Sovnarkom (Council of People’s Commissars) passed an edict to eliminate illiteracy among the adult population. Schools were opened and literacy programs were initiated. By 1929 conditions had been created for the introduction of universal compulsory elementary education. By the end of the 1930’s, Armenia became a republic with universal literacy. In 1940 universal compulsory seven-year education was introduced. By 1969 universal compulsory eight-year education, which had been introduced in 1959, was accomplished. In the 1968–69 school year there were 1,505 general education schools of all types, in which 612,500 students were enrolled. Educational work with schoolchildren was also carried on in 44 Pioneer palaces and clubs. There are 40 athletic schools for children and young people, three stations for young naturalists, 18 stations for young technicians, a children’s railroad, and other extracurricular institutions.

An extensive system of preschool institutions was established in the republic; in pre-revolutionary Armenia there had been only a few private kindergartens. At the beginning of 1969 there were 82,800 children enrolled in 842 preschool institutions.

Before the October Revolution, Armenia had only one secondary special education institution (131 students), and there were no higher educational establishments. In the 1968–69 school year there were 50 technical trade academies and schools (30,000 students), 59 secondary special education institutions (more than 43,000 students), and 12 universities (51,900 students). The major higher educational institutions are the University of Yerevan, the K. Marx Polytechnical Institute, the Medical Institute, the Armenian Agricultural Institute, the Kh. Abovian Pedagogical Institute, the Theatrical Arts School, the V. Ia. Briusov Pedagogical Institute of Russian and Foreign Languages, and the Komitas Conservatory. Yerevan is the site of the Pedagogical Sciences Research Institute. At the beginning of 1969, more than 72,000 specialists with higher education and more than 60,000 people with secondary special education were engaged in the Armenian national economy.

From 1961 to 1969 hundreds of teachers from Armenian schools in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, the USA, France, Canada, and Cyprus completed the two-month advanced course offered by the republic’s Advanced Training Institute for Teachers.

On Jan. 1, 1969, there were 1,221 popular libraries with a total of 9,862,000 books and periodicals. (In 1913 there were only 13 small libraries with about 9,000 books.) The major libraries, all in Yerevan, are the A. F. Miasnikian State Library of the Armenian SSR, the Main Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR, the Mesrop Mashtots Matenadaran (one of the world’s most important repositories of ancient manuscripts and archival documents relating to the history of Armenia and its neighboring countries), and the University of Yerevan’s Library of Science. On Jan. 1, 1969, there were 1,108 clubs and 29 museums. Among the major museums are the Art Gallery, the Museum of Armenian History, the Museum of the Revolution, the Geological Museum, and the Armenian Nature Museum (all in Yerevan).

Amateur arts. The Armenian SSR has experienced a considerable growth in popular culture. In 1968 there were 3,700 circles (including drama, music, and choreography groups), with more than 60,000 members.

Popular theaters sprang up in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Among the 26 popular theaters are the Collective of the Yerevan Palace of Culture of the Kirov Chemical Combine, the Yerevan Houses of Teachers, and the People’s Theater of the Leninakan Textile Combine.

The following are laureates of the all-Union and republic Olympic games: the song and dance ensemble of the Sevoian Club (Leninakan), the tire factory song and dance ensemble, the cable factory dance ensemble, the labor reserves ensemble, the aluminum plant dance ensemble (all in Yerevan), and the vocal and dance company of the Kirovakan Palace of Culture. The Palace of the People’s Art was opened in Yerevan in 1937.

Natural and technical sciences. The origin and development of concepts in the natural sciences in Armenia date back to the earliest periods of civilization. A lunar calendar was already in use as early as 1000 B.C., and a solar calendar was introduced in the fifth century B.C.

A relatively rapid development of scientific thought began in Armenia after Mesrop Mashtots devised an Armenian alphabet in 405–406 A. D. Ananiia Shirakatsi, a seventh-century mathematician, astronomer, and geographer, provided a scientific explanation for lunar and solar eclipses, and he advocated the notion of a spherically shaped earth. His work Ashkharatsuits (Geography) offers valuable information for that time on the countries of the Middle East, the Near East, the Mediterranean area, and particularly Transcaucasia and Armenia. Shirakatsi was also the author of the first arithmetic textbook to be written in the Armenian language. Although Armenian cultural development did not cease with the Arab invasions (seventh to ninth centuries), its progress was inhibited by two centuries of Arab domination.

The subsequent upsurge in Armenian cultural development was associated with the country’s return to independence under the rule of the Armenian Bagratid dynasty in the ninth century. The work of the noted scholar Grigor Magistr (tenth—11th centuries), who had studied natural science, medicine, philosophy, and philology, was truly encyclopedic. Euclid’s Principles was translated from Greek into Armenian early in the 11th century. Ovanes Imastaser (Ioann Sarkavag, 11th—12th centuries) was the founder of the university in Ani, the capital of Armenia, and wrote a series of works on mathematics, astronomy, and other fields in the natural sciences. The invasions of foreign aggressors greatly impeded the development of science and a distinctive culture in Armenia, but progress continued nevertheless.

The learned physicians MkhitarGeratsi (12th century) and Amirdovlat Amasnatsi (15th century) were recognized practitioners of the medical sciences in medieval Armenia. MkhitarGeratsi was the author of a treatise on fever illnesses and of works on the anatomy and pathology of the eye. In his book Not for Amateurs, Amirdovlat Amasnatsi provided the most comprehensive contemporary summary of therapeutics and pharmacology. Works on veterinary science and agriculture were also produced. Alchemists, whose works were associated with metallurgy, the production of ceramic ware, and the preparation of medicines and dyes, made their appearance in Armenia during the Middle Ages. Considerable experience had been acquired in the construction of irrigation systems.

The annexation of Eastern Armenia to Russia had a positive effect on the development of science and culture. But even prior to this, a number of Armenian cultural centers were functioning in Russia, the most important of which was the Lazarev Institute of Eastern Languages in Moscow (opened in 1815). Armenian schools were established in Russia and abroad. Gifted young people were sent off for advanced studies in universities in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, and Western Europe, mainly Germany. At the turn of the 20th century emigrants from Armenia, including the mineralogist A. E. Artsruni, a corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, were working in Russian universities. Armenia itself, however, did not have even one institution of higher learning.

The modern history of the natural sciences in Armenia began with the establishment of Soviet power. Until the mid-1930’s the center for the investigation of scientific problems in Armenia was the University of Yerevan, founded Dec. 17, 1920. Here worked a group of illustrious scholars and scientists who had received their educations in the universities of Russia and other foreign countries. Significant contributions to the formation of the separate natural science disciplines in Armenia and to the training of scientific specialists were made by S. P. Gambarian (chemistry); P. B. Kalantarian (agrochemistry and microbiology); A. G. Anzhur (Chebotarian) (physics); A. A. Ioannisian (biochemistry); I. A. Ter-Astvatsaturian (hydraulic engineering); T. A. Dzhrbashian and O. T. Karapetian (geology); A. A. Melik-Adamian, A. S. Kechek, and G. A. Areshian (medicine); Kh. A. Eritsian and M. G. Tumanian (agronomy); A. G. Ter-Pogosian (biology);T. P. Mushegian (physiology); A. A. Ovanesian and S. D. Lisitsian (geography); and others. The greatest progress has been made in the fields of chemistry and geology, in accordance with the requirements of Armenia’s national economy.

Some work in biology was conducted at the Museum of Natural History of Armenia, and later at the agricultural, animal veterinary, and medical institutes of Yerevan and at the research stations and centers established in the 1920’s. In 1923 a hydrobiology station was founded on Lake Sevan. However, the general level of natural science research still lagged behind the level attained in the sciences at the largest centers of the USSR.

In 1935 the Armenian branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (AN SSSR) was established in the republic; its first president was F. Iu. Levinson-Lessing, who made a large contribution to the study of the geology of the Caucasus. The Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR (AN ArmSSR) was established in 1943 on the basis of the branch.

MODERN STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT. The modern stage of development of the sciences in Armenia came with the creation of the academy. The development of scientific institutions and the consolidation of their material resources proceeded most rapidly in the physical and mathematical sciences, whose growth was dictated by their leading role in the natural sciences of the 1930’s and 1940’s and in technical progress in general.

Astronomy and physics. Major advances in some areas of astronomy and physics were due to the work of outstanding scientists who had completed their scientific training in Leningrad and Moscow and for whose scientific activity facilities had been created in Armenia. Of special significance were the advances made by scientists from the Biurakan Astrophysical Observatory, established in 1946 and equipped with modern optical instruments and radio telescopes, which made it possible to penetrate the remote reaches of outer space. Much of the work performed by the observatory staff has gained international recognition and has greatly influenced the development of modern astrophysics and celestial astronomy. For its achievements the observatory is indebted mainly to Academician V. A. Ambartsumian of the AN SSSR, one of the most accomplished astrophysicists in the Soviet Union, and his colleagues (corresponding members of the AN ArmSSR G. A. Gurzadian, B. E. Markarian, L. V. Mirzoian, and others). In 1947 the existence of unstable star systems, called stellar associations, was ascertained, and this discovery led, in essence, to a new concept concerning the process of star formation. As opposed to the earlier view, it was demonstrated at Biurakan that the formation of stars in our galaxy and others continues to the present day. Subsequent scientific work of the Biurakan Observatory has been devoted chiefly to the investigation of young formations within our galaxy, and in the metagalaxy as well.

The observatory is also studying the possible existence of superdense states of matter, which are considered to be stages in the development of matter that preceded the forms encountered today. Of particular importance are the works carried out in the 1960’s, devoted to the study of the external galaxies and their cosmic radioactivity, which made possible the conclusion concerning the ongoing formation process of galaxies and galactic systems and the huge role played by their nuclei.

Research work in the physics of elementary particles, electronics, radiophysics, and several other disciplines in the physical sciences is conducted at the Institute of Physics, in the research laboratories and subdepartments of the University of Yerevan, and at the Polytechnical Institute. Important results have been obtained by Armenian physicists in the study of cosmic rays, which was launched by the works of Academician A. I. Alikhanov and Corresponding Member A. I. Alikhanian of the AN SSSR. A scientific station equipped with high-power instruments, particularly magnetic mass spectrometers, for studying the structure of cosmic rays was set up on Mount Aragats at an elevation of 3,200 meters. In 1947 it was established that the composition of cosmic rays included an appreciable number of protons, and the existence of heavy mesons was also predicted. Subsequently, narrow atmospheric showers were discovered, and nuclear reactions were studied at billion-electron-volt energy levels. In 1966 a 6-billion-electron-volt ring betatron, the largest in the Soviet Union, was constructed at the Institute of Physics (A. I. Alikhanian, Iu. F. Orlov, A. Ts. Amatuni, and others).

The development of the scientific disciplines in Armenia is directly associated with technological and economic goals. The prime example of this relationship is the research work in electronics and radiophysics carried out in the 1960’s at the respective institutes of the AN ArmSSR and at a number of branch laboratories: this work is of particular importance to the development of the radio and electronics industry. Research in the physics of polymers and metals was also carried out (under the direction of N. M. Kocharian). The contributions of Armenian theoretical physicists (corresponding members G. S. Sahakian and G. M. Karibian of the AN ArmSSR) have been widely acknowledged.

The research work on quantum generators is also of great importance. A group of scientists, under the direction of M. A. Ter-Mikaelian, corresponding member of the AN ArmSSR, is working on the theoretical problems in this area of physics and is assisting in setting up production of quantum generators in Armenia.

Mathematics. Mathematical research in Armenia, up to the mid-1950’s, was concentrated primarily in the specialized area of the theory of approximation in complex domains. Essentially new and important results have been achieved in this field by a group of scientists headed by the academicians A. L. Shaginian and M. M. Dzhrbashian of the AN ArmSSR and Corresponding Member S. N. Mergelian of the AN SSSR.

Since the 1950’s the realm of scientific research in mathematics has been broadened, continuing to embrace new trends in the theory of the functions of complex variables (directed by M. M. Dzhrbashian), in functional analysis and differential equations (directed by Corresponding Member R. A. Aleksandrian of the AN ArmSSR), and in the theory of the functions of real variables (directed by Corresponding Member A. A. Talalian of the AN ArmSSR). Essentially new results have been obtained in such specializations as the theory of integral transformations and the spectrum theory of operators.

Engineering. Mechanical engineering scientists received recognition, particularly academicians N. Kh. Arutiunian and S. A. Ambartsumian of the AN ArmSSR, for their work on the theory of elasticity, creep, and plasticity. The results obtained in the theory of creep are of fundamental importance. A new theory was formulated for the creep of aging materials, especially concrete, soils, and modern reinforced and nonreinforced construction plastics. Research work on the theory of anisotropic coatings and laminae has considerable theoretical and applied significance. Of great importance is the work on the mathematical theory of elasticity, particularly research into problems of plane and spatial contact between homogeneous and heterogeneous solids.

An important breakthrough in the physical and mathematical sciences occurred with the establishment in 1957 of the Computer Center of the AN ArmSSR and of the Institute of Mathematical Machines (making possible the analysis of problems in cybernetics and the design and application of modern high-speed multipurpose mathematical machines). Armenian scientists and engineers designed the tube and transistorized digital computer models Aragats, Razdan (first transistorized machine in the USSR), Nairi (first installation in the USSR with automatic programming), and Masis-1. The new machine Razdan-3, designed to solve a wide range of problems in mathematics, mechanics, physics, and statistics, has been adopted by industry.

Theoretical and practical problems in cybernetics are being worked on at the Computer Center (since 1963, the combined computer centers of the AN ArmSSR and of the University of Yerevan). The center is concerned with the problems of machine translation, the application of mathematical logic and the theory of algorithms to the automation and optimization of programming, the application of mathematical methods and computers in economic studies, and the development of automatic control systems for scientific equipment. Scientific and technical research in Armenia is conducted in a broad range of different subject areas.

The proper utilization of the water and energy resources of Lake Sevan presents a complex scientific and technical problem, whose solution is of great importance to Armenia. Studies made in hydraulics and water power resources under the direction of Academician I. V. Egiazarian of the AN ArmSSR were employed in the design and construction of the Sevan-Razdan Hydroelectric Power Station cascade.

The complex research carried out by the Institute of Power Engineering and Hydraulics of the AN ArmSSR, the Scientific Research Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Development of the Ministry of Water Management, and other institutes made possible a series of proposals for resolving the problem of the rational utilization of Lake Sevan’s water reserves.

Valuable work with simulated power systems is conducted at the Scientific Research Institute of Power Engineering (Corresponding MemberG. T. Adonts of the AN ArmSSR). The Armenian affiliate of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering is concerned with the systematic analysis of the scientific principles of electrical engineering. Problems relating to the proper utilization of Armenia’s abundant supplies of building materials (tuff, marble, volcanic scoria, and so on) are dealt with at the Institute of Building Materials and Construction of the Office of State Construction of the Armenian SSR.

Earth sciences. The earth sciences have been the subject of a wide range of research activities. Significant work has been done by geologists in the study of Armenia’s natural resources. Systematic research is done in stratigraphy; problems in the structural geology of the Caucasus are studied; and the principles governing the distribution of metallic and nonmetallic minerals such as copper, iron, gold, rare-earth metals, trace elements, and nepheline syenites are also studied (works of academicians K. I. Paffengol’ts, I. G. Magak’ian, and S. S. Mkrtchian of the AN ArmSSR, and corresponding members A. A. Gabrielian, A. T. Aslanian, and others of the AN SSSR). The multivolume Geology of the Armenian SSR contains a series of geological maps, including gravitational and magnetometric charts of Armenia.

Large-scale hydrogeological investigations have been carried out in order to locate water for drinking and industrial use and to secure it for industrial and rural regions. Problems of engineering seismology and the earthquake-proof capabilities of structures are studied (A. G. Nazarov and others). The Institute of Geophysics and Engineering Seismology has been established.

Considerable work has been done in general physical geography, including the study of Armenia’s climatic and water resources and the division of Armenia into climatic and agroclimatic zones. Studies in economic geography are concerned with the problems of the formation and distribution of the population and populated centers, the territorial structures of industry and economic regionalization, the economic evaluation of natural conditions, natural resources, and so on. The production of specialized topical maps is well advanced (natural and economic survey and field maps have been published).

Chemistry. The work of chemical scientists in Armenia has been crowned with great achievements. A method for the complex reprocessing of nepheline syenites in order to extract aluminum oxide and other products has been devised at the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry under the direction of Academician M. G. Manvelian of the AN ArmSSR. A large mining and chemical combine is being built in Razdan on the basis of this method. The institute is one of the principal organizations in the USSR engaged in the development of new designs for electric glass furnaces.

The AU-Union Scientific Research Institute of Polymer Products has developed and introduced a new technology for synthesizing vinyl chloride from acetylene. Work is also being conducted to improve the production of chloroprene rubber and latexes and to create new types of polymer products. Armenian chemists, in collaboration with the G. M. Krzhizhanovskii Power Engineering Institute of the AN SSSR and the Institute of the Nitrogen Industry, were the first in the USSR to obtain the raw material for kapron (polycaprolactam fiber) through a method of photosynthesis.

Research in the chemistry of ammonium compounds is conducted at the Institute of Organic Chemistry under the direction of Academician A. T. Babaian of the AN ArmSSR. New methods have been devised for arriving at different types of monomers and polymers having valuable property complexes (thermally stable, adhesive, corrosion-resisting, and so on). Under the direction of Corresponding Member A.M. Gasparian of the AN ArmSSR a new method has been developed for the pneumatic conveyance of cement, alumina, dolomite, and so on, and it has been adopted by plants throughout the USSR.

Significant results have been attained through research into the theoretical problems of chemical structure, kinetics, and reactivity that has been conducted at a chemical physics laboratory under the direction of Academician A. B. Nalbandian of the AN ArmSSR. A new principle in the study of gas phase chemical reactions has been derived by means of electronic paramagnetic resonance.

A new interdisciplinary field of study has arisen—the chemistry of natural and synthetic physiologically active substances—combining the fields of organic chemistry, pharmacology, and biochemistry. The Institute of Fine Organic Chemistry, directed by Academician A. L. Mndzhoian of the AN ArmSSR, is searching for a synthesis of effective compounds for the medical treatment of cardiovascular, neuropsychological, and other disorders (gangleronum, quateronum, arpenalum, and so on). New methods are being developed for the synthesis of compounds of differing heterocyclic composition. The institute’s research provided the scientific basis for the establishment in Armenia of a chemical reagent plant and the construction of a new factory for synthetic chemical pharmaceutical drugs.

Biology. Biological research is conducted in botany, zoology, microbiology, plant physiology, animal and human physiology, and breeding. After a period of reduced activity from 1940 to 1960, research work was expanded in genetics, cytogenetics, cytochemistry, biochemistry, embryology, and radiobiology. Work began in biophysics and, in 1965, in molecular biology.

The Institute of Botany is publishing the ten-volume Flora of Armenia, compiled under the direction of A. L. Takhtadzhian, a corresponding member of the AN SSSR and the AN ArmSSR. This is the fundamental work for research in the resource sciences. Plants which produce physiological substances of great importance have already been revealed (S. Ia. Zolotnitskaia).

The research in plant physiology is of considerable interest (V. O. Kazarian). A theory regarding the aging of plants has been advanced. The results of research in the ontogeny of plant organisms are widely known. The study of wood species is systematically coordinated with physiological research. The classification of Armenia’s forest zones has been accomplished.

The Institute of Zoology is working on the problem of the biological principles for the assimilation, restoration, and preservation of animal life. The study of invertebrates is of particular importance. Fauna of Armenia is to be published. Research has been carried out on the phytonematodes of Armenia. Significant work has been performed on the helminthiasis infestations of animals (E. A. Davtian).

Research is being done on the individual development of hybrids among animals through the utilization of modern methods to control the formation of the embryos (A. A. Chilingarian, E. F. Pavlov, and Iu. A. Magakian). Research work was undertaken in microbiology under the direction of P. B. Kalantarian and was further elaborated by his students. Research is in progress in soil microbiology for the development of fertilizers and bacterial insecticides and for the production of physiologically active agents necessary for growing plants (M. Kh. Chailakhian, E. G. Afrikian, A. P. Petrosian, A. K. Panosian, L. A. Erzikian, P. G. Sarukhanian, R. M. Galachian, and others).

In the Institute of Agrochemical Problems and Hydroponics, under the direction of Academician G. S. Davtian of the AN ArmSSR, research is being done in connection with the conservation and increase of soil fertility and plant cultivation in a soilless environment (hydroponics). The institute formulates the principles of commercial plant growing.

The biological studies of Lake Sevan, completed by hydrobiologists (A. G. Markosian, T. M. Meshkova, and M. G. Dadikian), provide the basis for the resolution of problems associated with the conservation of the lake’s fish resources by means of artificial fish cultivation.

Molecular genetics is studied at the Institute of Experimental Biology of the AN ArmSSR (under the direction of S. A. Chshmaritian). Successful research is being done on the genetic interreactions of microorganisms and bacteriophages, protein macromolecules, the properties of DNA, problems of immunity, and also virus diseases.

The Academician L. A. Orbeli Institute of Physiology of the AN ArmSSR is the leading institute in the USSR concerned with the problem of the physiology of the nervous system in vegetation (academicians of the AN ArmSSR S. A. Bakunts, V. V. Fanardzhian, O. G. Baklavadzhian). Apart from the study of the central and peripheral mechanisms of autonomic nervous system activity, the institute is also engaged in research to clarify the structural and functional organization of the cerebellum, to study the compensation mechanisms of functions after organic injuries to the central nervous system, and to develop ways to boost the productivity of farm animals and poultry. Methods have been devised for the histochemical study of the brain’s nerve cells and vessels. Problems of the physiology of farm animal productivity are also studied (Academician S. K. Karapetian of the AN Arm SSSR).

Study of the biochemistry of the brain (under the direction of Academician G. Kh. Bunatian of the AN ArmSSR) is the chief preoccupation of the Institute of Biochemistry of the AN ArmSSR, established in 1961; it is the major center for neurochemistry in the USSR. Results achieved here are expanding areas of knowledge about the functional biochemistry of the brain. New hormones (peptides) which exert a strong dilating effect on vessels of the heart have been isolated from certain parts of the brain, and changes in the biochemistry of the brain during the organism’s development and aging processes have been studied. New results have been obtained in studies of membrane permeability and the formation of zymotic devices during embryonic development.

Biochemistry research is also conducted at the biochemistry subdepartments of the Yerevan Medical Institute (Corresponding Member V. G. Mkhitarian of the AN ArmSSR) and of the Yerevan Zooveterinary Institute (Professor G. V. Kamalian).

Agriculture. In the 1960’s a well-developed network of associated agricultural science institutions was created, including institutes of farming, livestock breeding, viticulture, wine-making, fruit growing, plant conservation, soil science, and agricultural mechanization. Important scientific work has been produced in these institutes and the agricultural universities by the Honorable Academician A. Z. Tamamshev of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VASKhNIL), Corresponding Member S. A. Pogosian of VASKhNIL, Professor A. A. Rukhkian, E. S. Kazarian, Z. Kh. Dilanian, A. A. Ananian, Academician S. K. Karapetian of the AN ArmSSR, Academician G. Kh. Agadzhanian of the AN ArmSSR, Professor A. A. Matevosian, L. M. Dzhannoladian, and others.

Medicine. A number of problems in medicine are being analyzed by members of the institutes as well as members of the departments of the Yerevan Medical Institute. X-ray Diagnosis (1951) by Corresponding Member V. A. Fanardzhian of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the Armenian SSR and the atlas Congenital Heart Defects (1957) by Professor A. D. Dzhagarian are among the most popular medical books. Research into the conditions of origin of the diseases that were widespread in prerevolutionary Armenia and the development of practical measures for their elimination are representative of the outstanding progress made in the medical profession. The task of developing health-resort facilities and utilizing mineral waters in Armenia has been of great importance (Academician L. A. Oganesian of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR, Professor A. A. Melik-Adamian, A. A. Akopian, T. S. Mnatsakanian, S. A. Mirzoian, and G. I. Agadzhanian).

The five-volume work by L. A. Oganesian, The History of Medicine in Armenia (1946–47), has achieved international recognition.

Social sciences,SOCIAL THOUGHT FROM ANCIENT TIMES TO EARLY 20TH CENTURY. The sources of Armenian social thought go far back into the depths of antiquity. The earliest works on historiography in Armenia date back to the reign of Tigranes II (first century B.C.). They are based on the oral folk literature, the Urartian cuneiform inscriptions, and several works of ancient Greek, Roman, and Syrian historians. The earliest works containing philosophical ideas also appeared in Armenia during this same period. According to the testimony of Plutarch (“Crassus,” 33; Russian translation, Izbr. biografii, Moscow-Leningrad, 1941), King Artavazd II of Armenia (ruled 56–34 B.C.) composed tragedies and discourses in the spirit of stoicism. Armenian historiography, which began to flourish from the moment the Armenian alphabet was created, made considerable progress in the first part of the fifth century. The first representatives of historiography in feudal Armenia were Agatangekhos (Agafangel), Koriun, and Pavstos Buzand. Their works are imbued with religious ideology. Egishe and Lazar Parbetsi, both educated in the Hellenistic tradition, were their younger contemporaries. The basic work History of Armenia by Movses Khorenatsi (late fifth-early sixth centuries) greatly influenced medieval Armenian historians.

The philosophical ideas of the early feudal period began to take shape in the fifth century in Armenia. The activity of a number of thinkers during this period was directed toward the strengthening of feudalistic Christian ideology, in defense of the monophysite doctrine, and in opposition to Zoroastrianism. Eznik Kokhbatsi (early fifth century), attempting to resolve the questions of good and evil and free will, contrasted monotheism with the dualistic Zoroastrianism. Egishe, Ioann Mairavanetsi, and David Kharkatsi were also important representatives of this school. Another trend in Armenian philosophy of this period was characterized by an adherence to the ancient Armenian post-Hellenistic culture. Its most notable representative, David Anakht (the Invincible), sided with the neoplatonists in the interpretation of the problems of existence and, upon considering the question of knowledge, spoke out against skepticism.

Ananiia Shirakatsi (middle of the seventh century) put forth views based on the natural sciences. Although he considered god to be the original cause of that which is, he drew closer to an understanding of nature as the sole material reality, thus giving rise to his own internal conflict.

The Paulician ideology, directed against the religious and secular hierarchy and against social inequality, appeared amidst the aggravation of class conflict and the national liberation struggle associated with the Arab conquest. Elements of a progressive ideology were inherent in the views of those who represented the antifeudal and anticlerical movement of the Thondraki. The essence of the opposing Thondraki ideology was the struggle against social injustice, in favor of equal social and property rights. In keeping with the ideas of the Thondraki, the poet and thinker Frik (13th century) denied the wisdom, justice, and benevolence of god, condemned religious intolerance and fanaticism, and spoke out against foreign oppression. From the tenth to the 12th centuries progressive positions were held by Grigor Narekatsi, who protested against the religious hierarchy; Grigor Magistr, who upheld the independence of philosophy in relation to religion; and Ovanes Imastaser (Ioann Sarkavag), who affirmed the materiality of the world and regarded man’s ability to think as a faculty directed toward knowledge of all that exists but regarded the content of the thought as the result of the influence of the external world on man. The natural scientific and fundamentally materialistic world view of the learned physician Mkhitar Geratsi also belongs to this same school of thought. In the 12th and early 13th centuries the traditions of this school were elaborated by Mkhitar Gosh and the thinkers of the Tatev school, as well as the nominalist philosophers Ovanes Vorotnetsi and his disciple Grigor Tatevatsi.

A tendency toward literature devoted to the history of ancient and early feudal Armenia (Ovanes Draskhanakertsi, Tovma Artsruni, and others) increased in the second half of the ninth century with the successful centralization policies of the Ani Bagratids. The 1 lth-century historian Aristakes Lastivertsi devoted his works to the history of the Thondraki and the struggle against the Seljuks and Byzantium. The period of the Mongol-Tatar Empire is treated in the works of such 13th- and 14th-century historians as Vardan Araveltsi, Kirakos Gandzaketsi, Stepanos Orbelian, and Grigor Aknertsi. On the whole, Armenian historiography of the ninth through 15th centuries is characterized by descriptiveness and the idea of providential guidance, but also by elements of a critical regard for earlier sources and works.

Records of economic and juridical thought in Armenia remain from the period of well-developed feudalism. The code of law of Mkhitar Gosh, drawn up in 1184, is an important document of feudal law in Armenia. The issues of law and the state were also taken up in The Book of Questions and Answers and The Book of Sermons by Grigor Tatevatsi. The literary sources of Armenian law consist of the records of church canon law and the Armenian codes of law. The first Armenian codex, the Book of Armenian Canons, was compiled under Catholicos Ioann Filosof Odznetsi (eighth century). The code of laws of David, son of Alavik, which was compiled in approximately 1130, is the first Armenian codex containing both religious and secular laws. In the Armenian kingdom in Cilicia, Nerses Lambronatsi (12th century) translated into Armenian the Commandments of Moses, the Byzantine Eclogues, and military law. The code of laws of Sumbat Sparapet (Gundstabl) was compiled in 1265.

The yoke of foreign oppression gave rise to a period of decline in Armenian culture of the 15th and 16th centuries that was particularly manifested in the works of Arakel Siunetsi, which were pervaded by religious and theological ideas. In the 17th and 18th centuries the philosophy of the feudalistic sectors of society was represented by the works of Simeon Dzhugaetsi and Stepanos Lekhatsi; the last major representative of this school was Simeon Erevantsi. He was also concerned with economic problems. In the book Dzhambr he gave a description of the land relationships of that time and the status of agriculture, the crafts, and commerce.

New philosophical and economic outlooks began to take shape in the 17th century. A group of Armenian enlighteners, including Shaamir Shaamirian, Iosif Emin, and Movses Bagramian, who upheld the principles of “natural law,” appeared in the Armenian colony in the Indian city of Madras during the second half of the 18th century. They considered despotism to be barbarism, and they likened the despot or the tyrant to an animal. National sovereignty, general elections, personal freedom, freedom of speech, and the inviolability of private property were proclaimed in the draft of a constitution worked out by Shaamirian; the division of society into classes was abolished. They maintained the necessity of the free development of industrial and commercial activities without governmental restraints. However, the ensuing conflict with the power of the clerics and princes ended in defeat for the enlighteners.

A fresh upsurge in Armenian historiography is observed in the 17th century. The historians Grigor Daranagetsi, Arakel Davrizhetsi, Zakaria Kanakertsi, and others drew upon an extensive range of new sources.

The late 17th and early 18th centuries were typified by the increasing differentiation of the social sciences (philosophy, political economy, history, and law).

The efforts of former members of a number of Armenian Catholic Mkhitarist congregations, founded in Venetia at the beginning of the 18th century, occupied an important position in the area of economic thought. They were progressive-minded thinkers, concerned with the theoretical problems of political economy and their practical application (G. Terterian, T. Tnkrian).

Armenian historiography of the 18th and early 19th centuries reflected the national liberation struggle of the Armenian people against the yoke of Turkey and Iran and raised the question of Russia’s liberating mission. The three-volume History of Armenia by Mikael Chamchian, the father of modern Armenian historiography, was published in 1784–86. In the mid-19th century a special place was occupied by the works of Nikogos Zoraian, an ideologist of the bourgeois enlightenment from Western Armenia, who, using the doctrines of the classical school of bourgeois political economy, attempted to explain the causes underlying the origin of commodity production and currency.

The subsequent development of social thought in Armenia is associated with a new stage in its history, that of the annexation of Eastern Armenia to Russia (1828). The formation process of the Armenian nation and the increase in national awareness, which occurred as the development of bourgeois relationships proceeded, found expression in the work of the democrat and enlightener Khachatur Abovian, the father of modern Armenian literature. Abovian acknowledged the possibility of knowing nature and the great significance of practical work in the process of knowledge. He was one of the founders (along with Mesrop Tagkiadian and Mikael Nalbandian) of democratic Armenian historiography. He actively advocated the development of the Armenian economy and the utilization of the scientific and technical achievements of his time.

The bourgeois liberal and revolutionary democratic schools of Armenian philosophy and sociopolitical thought arose in the second part of the 19th century. The father of Armenian liberalism was Stepanos Nazarian. An advocate of evolutionism, he spoke out against the revolutionary democratic school; yet at the same time he opposed the reactionary clerical camp represented in Armenia by Gabriel Aivazovskii, Mser Mserian, Ovanes Chamurchian, and others. Nazarian’s line of reasoning was continued by Grigor Artsruni, the founder of the newspaper Mshak (Toiler), who adhered to the philosophy of positivism. Artsruni sought to demonstrate the advantages of the capitalist system over the feudal system. Influenced by the vulgar political economy, he contended that all members of bourgeois society should participate with equal rights in the creation of public wealth.

Mikael Nalbandian, who had considered a peasant revolution for the abolition of serfdom inevitable, became the leader of the revolutionary democratic school. Sharing the views of the Russian revolutionary democrats (Herzen, Chernyshevskii), he thought that the transition to socialism would occur through the peasant community and the communal ownership of land. Herein lay the utopianism of his aspirations. A follower of L. Feuerbach, Nalbandian was philosophically a materialist; under the influence of the Russian revolutionary democrats, he appreciated the significance of Hegel’s dialectics, although he was critical of Hegel’s idealism. Nalbandian also made a notable impression on the development of economic thought by considering political economy to be the most important social science, which determined to a considerable extent the scientific method of approach to the analysis of social development. He saw that the goal of political economy was to contribute to the improvement of the situation of the common people. Nalbandian’s work is the pinnacle of pre-Marxist philosophy and revolutionary thought in Armenia. His followers included Movses Budagian and Arutiun Svachian.

The turn of the 20th century saw the appearance of such distinguished major historians and scholars of Armenia as Matadia Ormanian, Sarkis Egiazarian, and Nikogaios Adonts, who left works on the history of ancient and medieval Armenia which have not lost their significance to this day.

Avetik Araskhanian, the editor of the magazine Murch (Hammer), ranked among the representatives of the bourgeois democratic school of political economy during this period. He was the first to undertake the translation of Marx’ Capital into Armenian, but he did not finish it. In a series of magazine articles (in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) separate theses of Marxist political economy were treated, although they were frequently subjected to misrepresentation. The liberal bourgeois school was also represented by M. A. Bunatian, who approached an understanding of several Marxist tenets and criticized many propositions of classical and vulgar bourgeois political economy, and by V. F. Totomiants, who devoted his studies to several theoretical problems of political economy and the theory of the cooperative movement.

A series of philosophical works by the Western Armenian thinkers N. Zoraian, Galust Kostandian, and Anton Garagashian, who basically leaned toward a defense of materialist philosophy, appeared in Constantinople during the 19th century.

By the end of the 19th century, Marxism was widespread in Armenia. Several works by K. Marx and F. Engels were translated into Armenian. S. G. Shaumian, S. S. Spandarian, A. F. Miasnikian (Miasnikov), B. M. Knuniants, S. I. Kas’ian, and others were active propagandists of Marxism. S. G. Shaumian, who had analyzed the concepts of “basis” and “superstructure,” studied the structure of society from a materialistic understanding of history. Considering class struggle as the driving force of an antagonistic society, Shaumian pointed out the exploiting nature of a bourgeois state and the necessity and inevitability of a social revolution, and he exposed the pseudo-Marxist position of the so-called specifists, who brought forth the demand for cultural and national autonomy; Shaumian did much to elaborate the Marxist-Leninist theory of the national question.


SOCIAL SCIENCES IN SOVIET ARMENIA. The establishment of Soviet power in Armenia (1920) marked the dawn of a national renaissance of the Armenian people and a comprehensive golden age of Armenian socialist culture. The decisive struggle to overcome and eradicate the reactionary and idealistic trends in the social sciences, literature, and the arts came to an end with the utter defeat of the bourgeois nationalist Dashnak ideology and the conceptions of the bourgeois and petit bourgeois parties, groups, and factions. Much work was done on the subsequent propagation of Marxism-Leninism.

The Armenian affiliate of the Institute of MarxismLeninism has translated into Armenian and published the fundamental works of K. Marx and F. Engels, the collected works of V. I. Lenin, and also selected works of V. G. Belinskii, N. G. Chernyshevskii, A. I. Herzen, N. A. Dobroliubov, and G. V. Plekhanov. The works of the eminent Armenian Marxists S. G. Shaumian, S. S. Spandarian, A. F. Miasnikian, and B. M. Knuniants have also been published.

Philosophy. Philosophical thought in modern Armenia developed in the following basic directions: the study of the heritage of Armenian and Western philosophy, the treatment of isolated problems in dialectical and historical materialism, the criticism of bourgeois philosophy and sociology, and the treatment of philosophical questions of natural science.

The tasks of overcoming the bourgeois nationalistic ideology of the Dashnaks, and the views of Menshevism and national nihilism, confronted Armenia’s philosophers during the first phases of socialist construction. The older generation of Armenian Marxist philosophers (G. G. Giulikekhvian, L. E. Arisian, G. G. Gabriel’ian, G. G. Aslanian, and others) did much to resolve these problems. In 1944 the section of philosophy of the AN ArmSSR was established, which was subsequently reorganized as the section of philosophy and law and, in early 1969, as the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the AN ArmSSR. The majority of philosophers in Armenia work at the institute and in the subdepartment of philosophy at the University of Yerevan.

Contributions to the study of the history of philosophy, particularly of philosophical thought in Armenia, were made by G. G. Gabriel’ian (The History of Armenian Philosophical Thought, vols. 1–4, 1956–65, in Armenian) and V. K. Chaloian (On the Problem of the Doctrines of Eznik Kokhbatsi—an Armenian Philosopher of the Fifth Century, 1940; The Philosophy of David the Invincible, 1946; The History of Armenian Philosophy, 1959; Armenian Renaissance, 1963; East and West, 1968).

Works were published on the history of Western European philosophy by Kh. N. Momdzhian (Lafargue and Certain Problems of Marxist Theory, 1954; The Philosophy of Helvétius, 1955) and A. A. Karapetian (Critical Analysis of Kantian Philosophy, 1958). The history of Armenian philosophy has also been the subject of monographs by A. A. Adamian, S. S. Arevshatian, G. O. Grigorian, Ia. I. Khachikian, N. M. Gasparian, A. M. Tevosian, G. G. Shakarian, E. Sh. Arutiunian, and others.

In the areas of historical materialism and the science of communism, Armenian philosophers have treated the problems of the correlation between necessity and chance (G. G. Aslanian), the contradictions in socialist society (G. G. Gabriel’ian), the interrelationship between labor and technology (S. S. Tovmasian), the formation of communist methods of production (K. M. Bostandzhian), the role of geographical factors in the life of society (A. M. Voskanian), the methodology of the social sciences (E. S. Markarian), and the problems of love, marriage, and the family (A. L. Adoian). The works of M, L. Melikian were devoted to the study of nations and the question of nationalism.

Problems relating to the theory of knowledge, dialectics, and logic occupied an important place in the monographs of K. B. Vardapetian. G. A. Brutian, G. G. Gabriel’ian, G. A. Gevorkian, L. A. Abrahamian, G. G. Shakarian, T. P. Aleksanian, A. M. Ekmalian, and others. The philosophical and methodological problems of natural science were examined in a number of works by V. A. Ambartsumian, L. A. Orbeli, E. A. Asratian, A. A. Megrabian, V. O. Kazarian, and S. A. Avetisian.

The works of G. A. Brutian, G. G. Aslanian, T. A. Aleksanian, E. S. Markarian, S. D. Alakhverdian, and others were devoted to criticism of bourgeois philosophy and sociology.

Armenian philosophers also study the problems of moral philosophy and ethics (K. B. Vartanian, M. S. Danielian, G. K. Khtrian) and the problems of Marxist-Leninist aesthetics (S. S. Tovmasian, Ia. I. Khachikian, A. A. Adamian, A. L. Kalantar, O. A. Mamikonian, and others).


Historical science. The traditions of centuries-old Armenian historiography are elaborated by Armenian historians on the basis of a Marxist-Leninist world outlook. The first historiography center in Soviet Armenia was the Cultural History Institute, established in Echmiadzin in 1921. During the first years of Soviet power, significant contributions to the scientific treatment of individual problems in the history of the Armenian people were made by I. A. Orbeli, Ia. A. Manandian, Leo (A. Babakhanian), Kh. Samvelian, and A. G. Ioannisian.

Archaeological research yielded enormously valuable materials which made possible the reconstruction of the history of the primitive communal system in Armenia and the slave-holding state of Urartu. The study of archaeological remains in the Armenian Highland had already begun in the first part of the 19th century, when excavations were made of remains dating back to the periods of the primitive communal system, the Van dynasty, and the kingdom of the Bagratids. Beginning in the 1930’s expeditions from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the AN ArmSSR, the Hermitage, and the Institute of Archaeology of the AN SSSR uncovered valuable artifacts from the Lower and Upper Paleolithic and the Neolithic on the slopes and at the foot of Mount Artin, on the terrace of the left bank of the Razdan (Arzni) River, near the Sevan basin, and in Noemberian Raion. Settlements were also discovered by foreign archaeologists in the western part of the Armenian Highland. These discoveries enabled E. A. Baiburtian, S. N. Zamiatnin, M. Z. Panichkina, S. A. Sardarian, V. P. Liubin, and others to establish the fact of uninterrupted settlement of the Armenian Highland and the evolutionary development of the Paleolithic culture. Remains from the late Neolithic and the Aeneolithic are being investigated in the territories of Transcaucasia and the Armenian Highland.

A series of first-class rock-wall pictures from the Neolithic and Bronze ages, as well as subsequent stages in the history of Armenia, were discovered in the regions of Sisian and Ukhtasar and in the Geram Mountains as a result of investigations performed by a number of archaeologists (A. A. Kalantar, A. P. Demekhin, S. A. Sardarian, and K. O. Karakhanian). More than 80 settlements from the early Bronze Age culture have been discovered and researched (Shengavit, Kül Tepe, Shreshblur, Elar, Garni, Dzhrahovit, Arevik, Artik, Aragats, Kakhsi, Gukasian, and so on). Dozens of remains from the second millennium B.C. have been uncovered in the regions of Echmiadzin, Yerevan, Oktemberian, Sevan, Ashtarak, Garni, Aparan, Kirovakan, and Alaverdi. Remains from the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age were found at Lchashen. From 1930 to 1960 the most diverse Urartian remains were explored in Nor-Baiazet (now Kamo), Dzhanfid, Garni, Elar, Teishebaini (Karmirblur), Erebuni, Argishtikhinili (Armavir), and numerous other locations.

The archaeologists, historians, and philologists G. A. Kapantsian, B. B. Piotrovskii, N. V. Arutiunian, M. A. Israelian, and others have been, and are presently, engaged in fruitful study of Urartian epigraphic material. Rich archaeological material was obtained from Eastern Armenian tribal burial grounds during occasional digs (ninth to sixth centuries B.C. in Khrtanots, Golovino [Dilizhan], Kirovakan, Stepanavan Raion, the Sevan basin, Enokavan [Idzhevan Raion]). The find of a Greek inscription from King Tiridates, discovered in Garni in 1945, stimulated the initiation of archaeological work at the fortress there (B. N. Arakelian). Excavations made at Ani by N. Ia. Marr and I. A. Orbeli in the early 1900’s and at Dvin by S. V. Ter-Avetisian and K. G. Kafadarian from the 1940’s to the 1960’s helped shed light on important socioeconomic questions and problems of cultural living conditions in medieval Armenian cities. Much work has been carried out on the assemblage and study of medieval Armenian inscriptions (S. G. Barkhudarov [Barkhudarian] and others) which are invaluable sources for the history of the Armenian language; there are more than 10,000 such inscriptions at present. Armenian historians are working on a broad range of problems, beginning with the primitive communal system and the most ancient forms of government in the territory of the Armenian Highlands and extending to the history of modern times.

Important problems relating to the ethnogenesis of the Armenians, the history of the Hellenistic period and, above ail, the problems of slave-holding and its particular features in Armenia have been the subjects of works by Academician S. T. Eremian of the AN ArmSSR, G. Kh. Sarkisian, G. A. Tiratsian, A. G. Perikhanian, and A. G. Zhamkochain. Such subjects in Armenian medieval history as the nature of feudalism in Armenia, political history, land ownership , institutions of taxation, fiscal policies (of the Arabs, Mongol-Tatars, Persians, and Turks), history of cities and urban life, commerce, and the crafts were studied by Academician Ia. A. Manandian of the AN SSSR, Corresponding Member L. S. Khachikian of the AN ArmSSR, T. A. Avdalbekian, A. N. Zorian, B. M. Arutiunian, I. P. Petrushevskii, A. G. Abramian, K. G. Kafadarian, S. P. Pogosian, Corresponding Member B. N. Arakelian of the AN ArmSSR, L. O. Babaian, S. E. Akopian, V. A. Akopian, and S. T. Melik-Bakhshian. Substantial contributions to the study of the history of Armenian culture were made by Academician N. Ia. Marr of the An SSSR, Academician I. A. Orbeli of the AN SSSR, K. V. Trever. G. I. Goian, S. S. Lisitsian, N. M. Tokarskii, A. L. Iakobson, and others.

The history of agronomic relationships in the 18th and 19th centuries was treated in the works of Corresponding Member V. A. Rshtuni of the AN ArmSSR, I. P. Petrushevskii, Academician Ts. P. Agaian of the AN ArmSSR, A. A. Ambarian, S. S. Markosian, and others.

The study of problems relating to the national liberation movement have occupied an important place in Armenian historiography. Issues of the national liberation movement of the Armenian people are examined in close connection with Russian-Armenian relations, since Russia provided the principal foreign-policy support of the Armenian liberation movement from the end of the 17th century. Research was devoted to these problems by Academician A. G. Ioannisian of the AN ArmSSR, Academician A. R. Ioannisian of the AN ArmSSR, Academician M. G. Nersisian of the AN ArmSSR, P. T. Arutiunian, V. A. Parsamian, Z. T. Grigorian, V. K. Voskanian, and others. A number of collected works dealing with Armenian-Russian relations and the liberation struggle of the Armenian people have been published. Armenian sociopolitical thought and its separate trends in the 18th and 19th centuries were studied in a series of works by A. G. Ioannisian, M. G. Nersesian, A. R. Ioannisian, V. A. Rshtuni, G. K. Kazarian, and others. The major center for the study of Armenian source materials is the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts of the Mesrop Mashtots Matenadaran. Much scientific work is conducted here by the historians L. S. Khachikian, A. S. Anasian, A. G. Abramian, V. A. Akopian, A. D. Papazian, K. N. Iuzbashian, A. N. Ter-Gevondian, M. K. Zulalian, R. M. Bartikian, and others.

Historical studies of the old Armenian colonies in Russia and abroad, including the present-day foreign Armenian colonies, began to increase in the 1960’s (A. G. Abramian, V. B. Barkhudarian, V. A. Mikaelian, L. A. Khurshudian, S. V. Ovnanian, and others).

Armenian scholars devote much attention to elucidating the history of the revolutionary movement. The effects on Armenia of the revolutionary movement in Russia during the Revolution of 1905–07 are analyzed in the works of Ts. P. Agaian, V. A. Parsamian, and D. A. Muradian. In a number of works by A. F. Miasnikian (Miasnikov), A. G. Ioannisian, A. B. Karinian, T. G. Mandalian, and others, the inevitability of a victorious socialist revolution in Armenia is substantiated, and a wealth of factual materials on the struggle of the Armenian people for Soviet government are brought forth. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, on the basis of fresh factual material, works were composed on the history of the struggle for Soviet government and the Civil War in Armenia, which examined the revolutionary movement in Armenia as part of an all-Russian revolutionary movement (A. A. El’chibekian, G. B. Garibdzhanian, G. A. Galoian, Ts. P. Agaian, S. Kh. Karapetian, and A. M. Akopian).

A number of works shed light upon the history of the Armenian SSR during different periods of socialist construction, the history of the working class, the peasantry, cultural construction, the participation of the Armenian people in the Great Patriotic War, and the history of the cities (A. M. Akopian, T. Kh. Akopian, S. V. Kharmandarian, V. N. Kazakhetsian, A. K. Grigoriants, K. S. Khudaverdian, A. N. Mnatsakanian, A. P. Simonian, E. M. Khaleian, K. S. Kozmoian).

Armenian orientalists study the problems relating to the national liberation movement, socioeconomic history, culture, language, and literature of the peoples of the Orient (O. G. Indzhikian, N. O. Oganesian, E. K. Sarkisian, R. G. Sahakian, and others).

Publication of the eight-volume History of the Armenian People from ancient times to the present day was begun in 1967. Essays on the History of the Communist Party in Armenia was published in 1967. Collections of documents relating to the history of the revolutionary movement and socialist construction have also been published.

The republic has the Institute of History of the AN ArmSSR, the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the AN ArmSSR, the Institute of Party History of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia, the section of Oriental Studies of the AN ArmSSR, the Central Archives of Armenia, and the Central Historical Archives of Armenia.

V. A. DILOIAN and L. L. KARAPETIAN (archaeology)

Economic science. The establishment of Soviet power in Armenia led to a radical change in the state of economic science. In 1921 the University of Yerevan established the department of modern economics, renamed the department of social science in 1922, which trained economists, lawyers, and historians. An economics department was established at the university in the early 1930’s. In 1955 the Institute of Economics was established with departments of political economy of socialism, effectiveness of capital investment, basic funds and modern techniques, labor economics, cost accounting and material incentive, economic mathematical research, and the history of economic development, as well as a computer laboratory. The Scientific Research Institute of Economics and Agricultural Management, established in 1958, is basically concerned with the problems of agricultural distribution and specialization, economic land evaluation, and specific agricultural economic problems in Armenia. The Scientific Research Institute of Economics and Planning of Gosplan (State Planning Commission) of the Armenian SSR was created in 1966; its work is basically directed toward the formulation of general schemes for the development and allocation of the forces of production in the Armenian SSR, methodological problems in the improvement of planning, and problems relating to the population and standard of living. The Armenian branch of the Scientific Research Institute of Planning and Standards of Gosplan of the USSR, created in 1967, has as its area of study the problems of planning, organization, and management of industrial enterprises and the development of standards for the proper utilization of equipment, supplies, and expenditure of material resources by business enterprises. In 1966 an Armenian branch of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute was established in order to study population demand for consumer goods and business conditions.

The study of the principles regulating the development of the socialist economy has occupied an important place in the works of Armenian economists. Monographs and works have been published with particular emphasis on the theoretical problems of political economy (Academician A. A. Arzumanian of the AN SSSR, Corresponding Member G. N. Azatian of the AN ArmSSR, Z. G. Bashindzhagian, S. A. Badalian, V. M. Gabuchian, G. M. Garibian); the problems of the reproduction and utilization of basic funds (Academician A. A. Arakelian of the AN ArmSSR, B. O. Egiazarian, V. I. Kazanchian, G. D. Isahakian); management, cost accounting, and material incentive (Academician A. A. Arakelian of the AN ArmSSR, M. Kh. Kotanian); population reproduction and the utilization of labor resources (V. E. Khodzhabekian, L. M. Davtian); finances (V. E. Khlgatian); sector economics (G. S. Grigorian, A. Kh. Benuni, A. Kh. Karchikian, K. N. Khurshudian, Sh. S. Markarian, A. M. Osepian, V. S. Chatinian); economic history (O. E. Tumanian, M. A. Adonts, M. N. Eganian, K. P. Karagian, T. Avdalbekian); history of economic thought (Kh. G. Gulanian, S. Sh. Zurabian, N. R. Tovmasian, V. N. Aguzumtsian); the application of mathematical methods to economics (V. S. Dadaian); and other problems.


Juridical science. Soviet Armenian scholars of jurisprudence initiated the Marxist analysis of prerevolutionary Armenian law and have dedicated much of their effort to the institutions and branches of modern law. Governmental institutions and law in ancient and medieval Armenia have been the subject of studies in monographs by Kh. Samuelian, A. Papovian, A. Esaian, A. Tovmasian, A. Sukiasian, and others. Kh. Samuelian spent 40 years on the study of problems relating to the history of Armenian law—family and hereditary rights and blood feuds, for example. His History of Ancient Armenian Law (1939) represents the first attempt to study Armenian law from a Marxist viewpoint.

Legal scholars in Armenia took an active part in the drafting of new statutes and codes, in the advocacy of modern law, and in the training of legal specialists and lawyers (G. Chubarian, A. Esaian, and others).

Law research is conducted primarily in the subdepartments of the law department of the University of Yerevan and at the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the AN ArmSSR. Work is being done on problems relating to the history of modern Soviet government and law, criminal law, the international relations of Soviet Armenia, and problems of civil law, administrative laws, and laws regulating kolkhozes and other branches of industry.


Scientific institutions. A large network of scientific research institutions was created in Armenia during the years of Soviet power. As of Jan. 1, 1969, 94 scientific research institutions were operating in Armenia (in 1933 there were 39), including 32 in the system of the Academy of Sciences. In addition, there are 70 scientific research institutes, problem laboratories, and design offices affiliated with the ministries and the universities; several of these are leading institutions of the USSR. The Gosplan of the Armenian SSR created a scientific research institute for scientific and technical information and engineering and economic research. Scientific personnel amounted to 10,436 (in 1940 there were 1,067, and in 1960, 4,275), including 43 academicians, four honored academicians, and 44 corresponding members of the AN ArmSSR; 395 doctors; and 2,789 candidates of science. Scientific personnel for the republic receive postgraduate training at the Academy of Sciences, the university, scientific research establishments, and other institutions of higher education. In 1969 there were 1,182 postgraduate students (364 in 1960).

The Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR publishes the following periodicals in both the Armenian and Russian languages: Doklady AN Armianskoi SSR (since 1944); Istoriko-filologicheskii zhurnal (Historical Philology Journal, since 1958); the journals Vestnik Obshchestvennykh nauk (Journal of the Social Sciences, since 1966), Izvestiia AN Armianskoi SSR (since 1948; the series Matematika, Mekhanika, Fizika, Nauka o zemle[Earth Science] and Tekhnicheskie nauki [Engineering Sciences]), Armianskii khimicheskii zhurnal (since 1957), Biologicheskii zhurnal Armenii (since 1966), Zhurnal eksperimental’noi i klinicheskoi meditsiny (since 1962), Soobshcheniia Biurakanskoi observatorii (since 1946), and Astrofizika (since 1965).


Ambartsumian, V. A. Nauka ν Armenii za 40 let. Yerevan, 1960.
Akademiia nauk Armianskoi SSR za 25 let. Yerevan, 1968.
Chaloian, V. K. Istoriia armianskoi filosofii. Yerevan, 1959.

Armenian book publishing dates from 1512, when the first Armenian book, Parzatumar (Explanatory Calendar), was published in Venice. The first Armenian printing house was founded in 1567 in Constantinople; later, Armenian printing houses were established in Rome (1584), Paris (1633), and Leipzig (1680). The first geographical map in the Armenian language was printed in Amsterdam circa 1696. The first Armenian magazine, Azdarar (Herald), was issued in 1794 in Madras, India, and the first Armenian newspaper, the weekly Arevelian tsanutsmants (Eastern News), was published in 1815 in Astrakhan.
These significant events in the cultural life of Armenians occurred far beyond the borders of their homeland, for in Armenia itself, which was then divided between Iran and Turkey, conditions were not favorable for the development of a national culture. After the annexation of Eastern Armenia by Russia (1828) books and periodicals in the Armenian language began to be published in Yerevan, as well as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Astrakhan, Tiflis, and Baku, where more or less numerous groups of Armenian immigrants lived. The Armenian colonies in Constantinople and on the island of San Lazarro in Venice were particularly noted for their printing output abroad. Bazmavep, a publication of the Venetian Mkhitarists, has been issued regularly since its beginning in 1843.
In the middle of the 19th century progressive-minded members of the Armenian intelligentsia rallied around the Moscow-published magazine Iusisapail (Northern Lights, 1858–64), which played a significant role in the struggle against clericalism, medieval backwardness, and conservatism. Noteworthy periodicals published in the second half of the 19th century also include the newspaper Megu Aiastani (Bee of Armenia, 1858–86), published in Tbilisi, and the magazine Masiats Agavni (Dove of Masis, 1855–65), issued in Paris and later published in Theodosia. The writers and democrats O. Tumanian, A. Isahakian, A. Akopian, and others joined forces to publish the monthly Murch (Hammer) in Tbilisi (1889–1907).
The progressive trend in the Western Armenian press was represented by the newspaper Megu (Bee), which was published by A. Svachian in Constantinople from 1856 to 1874.
The number of Armenian publications and their editions was severely limited. In the 1860’s and 1870’s magazine circulation did not exceed 150–300; newspapers, 400–700. At the turn of the century the well-known Armenian newspapers Mshak (Toiler, 1872–1920) and Nor-Dar (New Century, 1884–1908) were published in Tiflis with circulations of 1,200–1,500 copies. In 1913 in Armenia, only 55 books (42 of them in the Armenian language) were published in an edition of 80,000 copies, and there were two magazines with an annual circulation of 1,300 and six newspapers with a total pressrun of 19,000.
In 1902, with the assistance of S. G. Shaumian and B. M. Knuniants, the first Armenian language newspaper with Leninist-Iskraist leanings, the Proletariat, was founded in Tbilisi. (One issue was published.) In 1903–05 in Tiflis there was published an Armenian language Bolshevik newspaper, Proletariaty kriv (Struggle of the Proletariat), the organ of the Caucasian Union Committee of the RSDLP. The first legal Bolshevik organ to be printed in the Armenian language was the newspaper Kaits (Spark); it was published under the editorship of S. G. Shaumian and S. S. Spandarian in 1906 in Tiflis. In 1911–12 the Bolshevik newspaper Nor-Khosk (New Word) was printed in Baku in Armenian. From September 1918 until March 1919 the legal Bolshevik newspaper Khosk (Word) was published in Yerevan.
By 1920 more than 460 printing houses, which had published books, magazines, and newspapers in the Armenian language, had been in operation at various times throughout the world. During this same period there were only a few printing houses in Armenia itself.
The establishment of Soviet power initiated a new stage in the history of the Armenian press. In 1921 the Aiastan (Armenia) State Publishing House was formed. In 1928 it published 372 books, including 352 in the Armenian language, with editions totaling 1,079,000 copies. In 1968 the publishing houses of the republic—Aiastan, Luis (Light), Mitk (Thought), Gitutiun (Science), and others—published 1,104 books (894 in the Armenian language) with a total of 9.87 million copies printed; 95 magazines and other periodicals (including 71 in the Armenian language) were issued with a total pressrun of 578,000 (total annual printing of 8,350,000 copies) and 91 newspapers (including 81 in the Armenian language) with a total pressrun of 966,000 (total annual printing of 170,681,000). The republic’s Armenian-language newspapers include Sovetakan Aiastan (Soviet Armenia, founded in 1920 under the name Kommunist, given the name Khorurdain Aiastan in 1921, and since 1940 called Sovetakan Aiastan), Avangard (from 1923), Pioner kanch (Pioneer Call, since 1925), Grakan tert (Literary Gazette, since 1932), and the weekly publication of the Armenian Committee on Cultural Relations with Countrymen Abroad Aireniki Dzain (Voice of the Homeland, since 1965). Newspapers in other languages include Kommunist (since 1934) and Komsomolets (since 1938) in Russian, Sovet Ermenistany (Soviet Armenia, since 1921) in Azerbaijani, and Ria-Taza (New Way, from 1930) in Kurdish.
Political, scientific, technical, literary, satirical, and other magazines in Armenian include Leninian ugiov (Along Lenin’s Path, since 1923), Sovetakan Aiastan (Soviet Armenia, since 1945), Vozni (Hedgehog, since 1954), Aiastani ashkhatavorui (Toiling Woman of Armenia, since 1958), Sovetakan grakanutiun (Soviet Literature, since 1933), Sovetakan arvest (Soviet Art, since 1932), Garun (Spring, since 1967), and Gitutiun ev tekhnika (Science and Technology, since 1963). Literaturnaia Armeniia (since 1958) and others are published in Russian. Scientific periodicals are published chiefly by the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR and the University of Yerevan. The Armenian Telegraph Agency (ArmTAG) has been operating since 1920.
In 1926 the first radio broadcasts were begun in Yerevan. In 1956 the Yerevan television station began operating. In 1968 the republic broadcast one television and two radio programs in the Armenian, Russian, Azerbaijani, and Kurdish languages. Broadcasts are also transmitted in the Armenian and Arabic languages to listeners abroad. Broadcast time amounts to 254 hours a day over all radio broadcasting transmitters. Relay stations make it possible to watch television in almost all areas of the republic. In 1965 a radio transmission relay system connecting Moscow, Sochi, Tbilisi, and Yerevan was placed in operation, which enables Armenia to receive television broadcasts from Moscow and other cities of the USSR, and also Intervidenie (International Television) programs.

Armenian folklore. Records of the creative work of the people, preserving information about the life and struggles of the tribes of Armenia, have come down to us from the distant past. The mythological legends about Gaik (the forefather of Armenians), Ara the Beautiful, and Vaagn, and the epic passages about Artashes (Artaxes) and Satenik and about Tigran and Adzhahak, which the Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi made use of in his celebrated History of Armenia, are noted for their high level of poetic development. The Armenian historians also preserved fragments of the epic cycles The Persian War and The Taron War. The popular genre of Armenian folklore consisted of folk tales about the struggle between the forces of good and evil, about the kingdoms of the light and the dark, and about intrepid heroes. The historical traditions, legends, and epic songs about kings, generals, philosophers, historians, and writers are of historical and artistic value. The pinnacle of Armenian folk creativity is the epic David of Sasun, which presents an artistic summary of the heroic struggle of the people against the yoke of the Arabian Caliphate. Lofty ideals and the freedom-loving spirit of the Armenian people are expressed in the epos.
The poetry of the gusans, folk singers who were mentioned in Armenian literary records as early as the fifth century, occupies a special place in the genius of song creativity. Despite church prohibitions, the gusans continued the traditions of folk poetry from pagan times. The songs of the pandukht, the wanderer driven from his native land, were widespread during the centuries of Seljuk, Mongol-Tatar, and subsequently Turkish and Iranian domination. The difficult past history of the Armenian people was memorialized in work songs, proverbs, sayings and magic spells.
After the Great October Socialist Revolution, the political, economic, and spiritual rebirth of the people was reflected in Armenian folklore, and the creators and heroes of the new life were glorified. The famous Armenian tale Lenin the Leader is rightly considered one of the best works of contemporary oral literature of the peoples of the USSR.
Ancient literature. The Armenian written word began with the cuneiform inscriptions (beginning of the first millennium B.C.) that have come down to us from the Urartians. Tragedies in the Greek language and, in all probability, gusan presentations in Armenian were staged in the first century B.C. in the capitals of Tigranakert and Artashat during the period when Hellenistic culture flourished in Armenia.
Upon the proclamation of Christianity (301) as the official religion in Armenia, relics of the pagan culture were destroyed. The Greek and Syrian languages were used in the divine worship of the churches. The scholar and political figure Mesrop Mashtots created a writing system for the Armenian language. Literature in the original and in translation was widespread in the fifth century A.D. The works of the historiographers Agatangekhos (Agafangel), Pavstos Buzand, Egishe, Lazar Parbetsi, and Movses Khorenatsi had great significance for the development of literature.
From the seventh century to the beginning of the eighth century, when the country found itself under the yoke of the Arabian Caliphate, religious songs (sharakans) and scholastic, dogmatic literature prevailed. Nevertheless, a secular literature continued to be developed (Davtak Kertog), and many talented historical writers (Sebeos, Ovnan Mamikonian, Movses Kagankatvatsi, Gevond) worked in this period.
After liberation from the yoke of the caliphate in the tenth century, conditions arose for an Armenian renaissance. In literature it was associated with the name of the brilliant medieval poet Grigor Narekatsi, who expressed humanistic ideals in the lyric poem Book of Tragedies and in Hymns. Narekatsi separated poetry from divine church worship, and sang of the real world, nature, and the beauty of man. Ovanes Draskhanakerttsi and Tovma Artsruni, historical writers of the tenth century, became bearers of the political ideals of the Armenian Renaissance.
With the Byzantine invasion in the 11th century, and the later Seljuk invasion, Armenia’s development again slowed down; conditions changed only in the 12th century, when the Zakharids, who had driven out the Seljuks, began to rule in Armenia. An independent Armenian feudal kingdom (1080–1375) was established in Cilicia, in the southwestern part of Asia Minor. Important poets appeared—Ovanes Imastaser (Ioann Sarkavag), Nerses Shnorali (Elegy on the Capture of Edessa), Grigor Tga (Elegy on the Capture of Jerusalem), and Nerses Lambronatsi. MkhitarGosh and, in the early 13th century, Vardan Aigektsi were prominent fabulists of the period. Aigektsi wrote The Fox Book, which incorporated folk satire directed against feudalism.
Progressive poets had begun writing in the colloquial language of the people, Middle Armenian, by the 13th century; Frik, who laid the foundations for the poetry of social protest, and Konstantin Erznkatsi, who introduced love lyrics, were outstanding representatives of humanistic poetry.
Beginning in the 16th century Armenian book printing developed in Venice, Constantinople, Rome, Amsterdam, Madras, Calcutta, and other places with Armenian colonies.
The theme of the pandukht (wanderer), with its expression of nostalgic yearning for the homeland, was of great importance to poetry. Ovanes Erznkatsi (13th century), Ovanes Tulkurantsi (14th-15th centuries), Mkrtych Nagash (14th-15th centuries), Grigor Akhtamartsi (16th century), Nerses Mokatsi, and the most distinguished representative of secular poetry, Nahapet Kuchak (16th century), introduced a life-affirming mood, which countered the church perception of the world.
From the 13th through the 16th centuries poetry attained a high level of development by such outstanding representatives as Grigor Tserents, Khachatur Kecharetsi, Arakel Siunetsi (whose Book of Adam casts doubt on religious dogma), Arakel Bagishetsi, and Simeon Aparantsi. Speaking of the life-affirming power of medieval Armenian poetry, which arose during the period of Mongol-Tatar and Seljuk invasions, an extremely inauspicious time for any display of literary activity, V. Ia. Briusov wrote: “medieval Armenian lyric poetry is a veritable triumph of the Armenian spirit in the history of the world” (Poeziia Armenii, Yerevan, 1963, p. 351).
Eighteenth-century writers include Bagdasar Dpir, Petros Kafantsi, Nagash Ovnatan, and the great poet-ashug (bard) Sayat-Nova, whose love lyrics reflect the contradiction between humanistic ideals and the reality of feudalism. The works of many Armenian figures are preserved in manuscripts. More than 500 authors are part of the history of Armenian literature of the fifth through 18th centuries.
Modern literature. In the literature of the second half of the 18th to the early 19th centuries, the predominating tendency was classicism. Its representatives—for example, O. Van-andetsi, P. Minasian, A. Bagratuni, E. Tomachian, and E. Giurmiuzian—re-created the struggle of the Armenian people against foreign oppressors, arousing a national consciousness.
The ancient Armenian language (Grabar) was difficult for the wide range of readers. The ashug poetry, which was especially widespread in the first half of the 19th century, presented literature in an intelligible language. In the 1820’s, writers of the so-called transitional period appeared; they commented on vital contemporary problems and attempted to shift to use of the modern Armenian language, Ashkharabar (A. M. Alamdarian and M. D. Tagnadian). In the 1840’s and 1850’s the poet G. Alishan came forth as the spokesman for the ideas of national awakening in poetry.
The affirmation of progressive romanticism in Armenian literature is associated with the name of the democrat and enlightener Khachatur Abovian. Abovian’s crowning work was the historical novel Wounds of Armenia (written 1841–43, published 1858), which depicts the heroic struggle of the Armenian people against the Iranian yoke and describes the liberation of Eastern Armenia through the aid of Russia. The literary generation of the 1850’s and 1860’s continued the traditions of Abovian. The progressive forces of the Armenian community grouped together around the magazine lusisapail (Northern Lights), published in Moscow under the editorship of S. Nazarian. The civic poetry of S. Shakhaziz took shape in the magazine. He wrote the outstanding poem “The Sorrow of Levon” (published 1865).
In the development of Armenian social thought and literature, an important role was played by the democratic revolutionary M. Nalbandian, a high-principled comrade-inarms of N. G. Chernyshevskii, A. I. Herzen, and N. P. Ogarev.
In Western Armenia during the 1850’s and 1860’s appeared the publicists M. Mamurian, G. Chilinkirian, S. Voskan, and A. Svachian, a comrade-in-arms of Nalbandian. An affirmation of romanticism in Western Armenian literature was associated with the work of M. Peshiktashlian and P. Durian, who reflected the enthusiasm of the national liberation movement.
In the 1870’s and 1880’s, R. Patkanian was the successor to the traditions of Abovian. In the cycle War Songs (1878) he expressed the desire of the Armenian people to free themselves from the Turkish yoke with the aid of Russia. The development of the novel of social conditions is associated with the name of Perch Proshian, who reflected the social stratification of the Armenian village in such novels as Sos and Varviter (1860), For Bread (1879), and The Kulaks (1889). The novelist and teacher Gazaros Agaian, in the novel Arutiun and Manvel (1867), expressed an ardent faith in the forces of enlightenment; his novella Two Sisters (1872) speaks of the necessity for the struggle against social evils.
Thefounder of realistic drama was the outstanding Gabriel Sundukian. His artistic realism is particularly evident in the comedy Pepo (staged 1871, published 1876). Sundukian’s work exerted influence on the subsequent development of Armenian theater and dramaturgy.
The satirist and playwright Akop Paronian played an analogous role in the literature of the Western Armenians. His satirical works of the 1870’s and 1880’s (Highly Respected Beggars, 1891; Pillars of the Nation, books 1–3, 1879–80; Notes of Osos and Uncle Balthazar, 1886; and others), presented great social and political conclusions, derided bourgeois society, and exposed the reign of arbitrary rule in the Turkish sultanate.
Spokesmen for the ideas of the national liberation movement of the 1870’s and 1880’s included G. Artsruni, the publicist and editor of the newspaper Mshak (Toiler), and the novelists Tserents and Raffi. In his novels (Dzhalaleddin, 1878; Khent, 1880; and Kaitser, 1878, publication of vols. 1–3, 1883–90), Raffi called for liberation from Turkish tyranny by way of armed revolt with the aid of Russia. He played an important role in the development of Armenian prose, particularly of the historical novel (David-Bek, 1881–82; Samvel, 1886).
In the 1880’s and 1890’s critical realism became the leading school. A galaxy of prose writers appeared including Nar-Dos (M. Z. Ovannisian), Muratsan (G. Ter-Ovanisian), V. Papazian, A. Arpiarian, G. Zokhrab, T. Kamsarakan, and the novelist and playwright A. Shirvanzade, whose work contains a deep reflection of the process of consolidating bourgeois relations in Transcaucasia (the novel Chaos, 1898; the drama Because of Honor, 1905; and others). Ovanes Ioannisian enriched Armenian poetry with folk motifs, a variety of genres and rhythms, and translations from European and Russian poets. In the poetry of Al. Tsaturian, especially during the years of the first Russian Revolution of 1905–07, the protest of the working people against “the powers that be” finds expression.
The work of Ovanes Tumanian synthesized the traditions of 19th-century Armenian literature. He created a cycle of realistic poems, which depicts nature scenes of his homeland, the life of the people with its social contradictions, and the national liberation movement (The Moaning, 1890; Anush, published 1892; The Poet and the Muse, 1899; and others). Tumanian skillfully executed a treatment of the folk epic David of Sasun (1902).
The most important poet at the end of the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century was Avetik Isahakian. The tragic fate of the Armenian people left its mark on his work of the 1890’s and the following years (the collection Songs and Wounds, 1897). The reactionary atmosphere after the Revolution of 1905–07 intensified the pessimistic motifs of his poetry (the poem “Abdul Ala Mahari”). A new stage in the development of Armenian poetry was marked by the work of V. S. Terian. His collection of verse, Visions of the Twilight (1908), refined and precious in form, acquired great popularity.
Among the distinguished poets of the new generation of the early 20th century are Siamanto (A. Iarchanian), D. Varuzhan, M. Metsarents, and R. Sevak. All of them to some extent felt the influence of Western European (chiefly French) symbolism, although in their best works they remained faithful to the traditions of Armenian classical literature.
By the beginning of the 20th century, with the growth of the worker movement in Transcaucasia and Armenia, the conditions were created for the rise of a revolutionary proletarian literature. In this process, a prominent role belongs to such outstanding figures in the Communist Party as S. G. Shaumian and S. S. Spandarian, who laid the foundations for Marxist-Leninist aesthetics and literary criticism in Armenia. The father of Armenian proletarian literature was A. M. Akopian. At the end of the 1890’s he appeared as the spokesman for the moods of the broad masses. The first Russian revolution brought about the collection The Ringing of the Dawn (1907) by the poetess Sh. A. Kurginian. The proletarian writers M. Petrosian, Arazi (M. Arutiunian), and A. Vardanian appeared during this same period.
Soviet Armenian literature. After the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia (1920) conditions for the genuine golden age of literature and art arose for the first time in the history of the Armenian people. The most important factors in the development of Armenian literature became the democratic and realistic traditions of the classics, the overall growth of Armenian socialistic culture, and the strengthening of ties with the cultures of other peoples of the USSR. The formation of Soviet literature took place in a bitter ideological and political struggle. Those distinguished representatives of prerevolutionary Armenian literature who came over to the side of the revolution included O. Tumanian, V. Terian, O. Ioannisian, A. Shirvanzade, A. Isahakian, Nar-dos, and D. Demirchian. Marxist literary criticism (A. B. Karinian, A. Surkhatian, P. Makintsan, A. G. Giulikevkhian), particularly the works of the theorist and Marxist A. F. Miasnikian (Miasnikov), further contributed to the development of the new literature.
A deep reflection of the life of the Armenian people at the new stage of their history may be found in the work of the poet of the revolution Egishe Charents. Charents’ poems (“The Furious Multitudes,” 1919; “Panpoem,” 1920–21; “Charents-name,” 1922; and others) and verses and ballads (“The Ballad of Vladimir Il’ich, the Peasant, and the Pair of Boots,” 1924; “Lenin and Ali,” 1925) absorbed the revolutionary enthusiasm of the people. The collections of his verse Epic Dawn (1930) and Book of the Way (1933) established traditions which were continued by subsequent generations of Armenian poets.
Important contributions to the poetry of the 1920’s and 1930’s included Eastern Poems by A. Vshtuni; the epic poem “Shirkanal-Bolshevik” (1925) by the proletarian poet A. M. Akopian; verses and fables by the children’s writer A. Khnkoian; the lyric verse of G. B. Sar’ian, G. G. Mahari, and S. Tarontsi; and the poem “The Rushan Cliff’ (1930) by Nairi Zar’ian. Armenian prose of the 1920’s and 1930’s is characterized by a variety of themes, genres, and styles. The most important representative of this period was Stefan Zor’ian, the author of the novellas The President of the Revolutionary Committee (1923) and The Girl From the Library (1925) and the novel The Story of One Life (vols. 1–2, 1934–39). S. Zor’ian portrayed the heroic natures of people inspired by the ideas of socialism.
The principles of realistic art received distinctive treatment in the work of Aksel Bakunts. The imaginary charm of patriarchal life is dispelled in the collections of stories Gloomy Gorge (1927) and Sowers of Black Fields (1933) and in the historical chronicle Kiores (1935). Another outstanding Armenian prose writer was Derenik Demirchian, whose tales and stories (“Sato,” “Nigiar,” “Rashid,” and others) demonstrated the formation of the new moral outlook of the Soviet man, born in the process of socialist labor. The stories of the proletarian writer M. Arazi are devoted to the spiritual development of the toiler. Ler-Kamsar stood out as a political pamphleteer.
Under the influence of the October Revolution a turning-point occurred in the work of Avetik Isahakian. From 1919 to 1922 he created the poem “Mger From Sasun,” based on the Armenian folk epic. From 1930 to 1936 he lived abroad. Returning to his homeland in 1936, the poet expanded into fruitful literary and public activities. His stories (“Funnel of Endurance,” “Pastorale,” and others) were written in the traditions of realistic prose. Outstanding works of the 1930’s include the autobiographical novels Life on an Ancient Roman Road (1934) by V. O. Totovents, Childhood and Youth (1930) by G. G. Mahari, In the Gardens of Silikhtar (1935) by Z. I. Esaian, and the novellas Spring of the Egnars (1935) by M. Armen and Kikos (1929) by M. K. Darbinian. A landmark in the development of Armenian prose was Nairi Zar’ian’s novel Atsavan (books 1–2, 1937–47), which portrays the consolidation of socialist positions in the countryside.
In the development of Armenian dramaturgy and theater, large roles were played by the comedy Brave Nazar (1923) by Derenik Demirchian, the political comedy Kum Morgana (1926, published 1930) by A. Shirvanzade, the satirical poem Kapkaz Pageant (1925) by Egishe Charents, the historical revolutionary drama In the Ring (1935) by V. B. Vagarshian, and the historical tragedy Shahname (Book of Kings) by M. Dzhanian. In general, Armenian literature of the 1920’s and 1930’s achieved notable success in creating the image of a new hero, that of the builder of a socialist world.
During the years of the Great Patriotic War of 1941—45, Armenian literature served to educate the people in patriotism and to win victory over the enemy. The publicism of Avetik Isahakian, Derenik Demirchian, and the historian I. A. Orbeli; the sketch books (The Birth of Heroes, 1942; On the Eve, 1943) of the front-line soldier and writer Rachii Kochar; the poem “War Cry” (1941) by Isahakian; the poem “Voice of the Motherland” (1942) by N. Zar’ian; the heroic ballads of G. B. Sar’ian; the philosophical poem Biblical (published 1946) by Ovanes Shiraz; the patriotic lyrics of the front-line soldier-poets T. Gur’ian, G. M. Borian, A. S. Sagiian, and R. K. Ovanesian; and the historical short stories of V. G. Khechumian were forceful contributions of this period.
The historical novels Vardanank (books 1–2, 1943–1946) by Demirchian and King Pap (1944) by S. Zor’ian and the tragedy Ara the Beautiful (1944) by N. Zar’ian also appeared. Novels published during the postwar years include Children of the Big House (1952) by R. Kochar, Tehran (1952) by G. S. Sevunts, In the Wilderness (1952) by S. E. Aladzhadzhian, Ararat (1950) by A. S. Siras, and Khodedan (1956) by Kh. T. Dashtents. Novellas of this period include On the Shore of Sevan (1951) and The Prisoners of Barsov Gorge (1954–55) by V. S. Ananian. The comedies At the Spring (1949) and Testing Ground (1950) by N. Zar’ian and the heroic drama Up in the Heights (1948) by G. Borian were staged in Armenian theaters.
Poetry became the leading genre in the postwar period; works of lofty civic enthusiasm were created. The collections of verse New Road (1949) by G. G. Emin and My People (1951) by S. B. Kaputikian are particularly noteworthy. Fruitful work was also done by Zar’ian, Sar’ian, Sarmen, Shiraz, Sagiian, Ovanesian, Vahagn Davtian, and Paruir Sevak.
Contemporary Armenian literature is developing the artistic traditions of the previous decades of socialist construction. The collections of verse Reflections at the Halfway Mark (1960) by Kaputikian, Man in the Palm of the Hand (1963) by P. Sevak, Two Roads (1962) by Emin, Before the Sunset (1964) and The Song of the Rocks by Sagiian, Summer Storm (1964) and The Song of the Son by V. Davtian, The Wonderful Gardener (1956) and The Silence of the Sea (1964) by Ovanesian, After the Thaw (1965) by M. E. Markarian, and Through the Shadows (1967) by R. N. Davoian are all brilliant pages from Armenian poetry. In 1959 the narrative poem The Unceasing Bell by P. Sevak was published.
Among the published novels and stories of considerable artistic merit are The Land (1954) and General Mkhitar by S. Kh. Khanzadian, Shirak (1954) by Akhavni, At the Crossroads (1946) by A. A. Sainian, Mister Petros and His Ministers (1958) by Zar’ian, On the Threshold of Summer (1959) by A. Stepanian, The Sowers Did Not Return by B. A. Ovsepian, Sayat-Nova (vols. 1–2, 1961–63) by Z. M. Dar’ian, Armenian Fate (1966) by S. B. Aivazian, Voskan Erevantsi (1962) by O. A. Gukasian, Nahapet by Kochar, The Book of Genesis by Khechumian, August by G. I. Matevosian, Petals of the Daisy by Z. Khalanian, and Urtsi Maran by Kh. Rachian. Outstanding also are the stories of R. G. Aramian, A. A. Avakian, G. Sevan, M. D. Sarkisian, and V. A. Petrosian. The dramatic lampoon The Dying Flora (1961) and the drama The Last Carnations (1957) by G. A. Ter-Grigorian and the plays Under One Roof (1958) by Borian and Blood and Roses by A. A. Araksmanian are devoted to the present day.
Armenian critics and literary historians work at the theoretical elaboration of problems of socialist realism, study the interrelationships between the literatures of brotherly peoples, and actively take part in the creative work of developing Soviet Armenian literature.
Armenian Soviet literature exerts a wholesome influence on the literary and artistic life of the Armenian colonies abroad. The progressive writers G. Addarian, V. Vagian (Lebanon), A. Andreasian, K. Sital (USA), Sh. Shakhnur (France), Dev (Iran), and others maintain close ties with Soviet Armenia.



Armianskie belletristy, vols. 1–2. Collection edited by Iu. Veselovskii and M. Berberian. Moscow, 1893–94.
Sovremennye armianskie poety. Moscow, 1903.
Sovremennaia armianskaia literatura. Moscow, 1906.
Armianskaia muza. Collection edited by Iu. Veselovskii and G. Khalatiants. Moscow, 1907.
Poeziia Armenii s drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei. Preface by editor V. Briusov. Moscow, 1916.
Sbornik armianskoi literatury. Edited by M. Gorky. Petrograd, 1916.
Armianskie skazki. Translated and annotated by Ia. Khachatriants. Moscow, 1933.
Antologiia armianskoipoezii. Edited by S. S. Arutiunian and V. Ia. Kirpotin. Moscow, 1940.
Armianskaia poeziia ν perevodakh V. Briusova. Yerevan, 1956.
Antologiia armianskoi sovetskoi literatury. Yerevan, 1957.
Nazariants, S. Obozrenie istoriigaikanskoipis’mennosti ν noveishie vremena. Kazan, 1846.
Abegian, M. Istoriia drevne-armianskoi literatury, vol. 1. Yerevan, 1948.
Orbeli, I. Armianskii geroicheskii epos. Yerevan, 1956.
Shaumian, S. Izbr. proizv., vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1957–58.
Spandarian, S. Stat’i, pis’ma, dokumenty. Moscow, 1958.
Ganalanian, O. Ocherki armianskoi literatury XIX-XX vv. Yerevan, 1957.
Istoriia armianskoi sovetskoi literatury. Moscow, 1966.
Babaian, A. S. Armianskie literaturnye sviazi (1920–1960): Materialy k bibliografii. Yerevan, 1960.
Ch’arbanalian, G. Haykakan hin gprut’ian patmut’iun (IV-XIII dd.), 3rd ed. Venetia, 1897.
Abegian, M. Hayots’ hin grakanut’ian patmut’iun, vols. 1–2. Yerevan, 1944–46.
Mkrian, M. 13–18 dareri hay ashkharhik grakanut’iun: Ĕntirnmushner. Yerevan, 1938.
Hay grakanut’iun, books 1–3. Yerevan, 1955.
Terterian, A. Hay klasikner. Yerevan, 1944.
Sovetahay grakanut’ian taregrut’iun. Yerevan, 1957.
T’erzibashian, V. Hay dramaturgiayipatmut’iun, 1668–1868, vol. 1. Yerevan, 1959.
Hay nor grakanut’ian patmut’iun, vols. 1–3. Yerevan, 1962–64.
Hay rhevoliuts’ion poezian 1900–1920 (Collated and edited by Ye. Tonerian.) Yerevan, 1961.
Sovetahay gegharvestakan grakanut’ian bibliografia. Yerevan, 1949.

Architecture. The most ancient settlements on the territory of Armenia—Adzhi-Khalil and Shengavit—date from the Aeneolithic age. The structures of the Urartu state (ninth through sixth centuries B.C.) are characterized by a high level of construction. Remnants of the cities of Artashat and Tigranakert, as well as the Garni fortress with ruins of a pagan temple of the type of the Greek-Roman peripteros (first century A. D.), have survived from the Hellenistic period. The national dwelling, the glkhatun, (with a rectangular plan and a recessed wooden dome), a prototype of which was described by Xenophon (fourth century B.C.), was preserved by tradition until the 20th century.

With the development of feudal relations (third and fourth centuries) and the adoption of Christianity (301) castle-fortresses and palaces of patriarchs and princes were constructed (in Dvina, Zvartnots, and Arucha); churches were erected that had traits in common with the churches of Syria and Asia Minor, however, they belonged to a basically independent school of architecture. Churches of the single-nave hall type (Shirvandzhukh, fifth century) and three-nave basilican churches (Kasakh, fourth century, and Ereruk, fifth century) were built. Various types of circular domed churches were developed: with a square plan (in Vokhdzhaberda, fifth century); with four apses (in Tsrviza and Arzni, fifth-sixth centuries); with a rectangular plan, with four prominent apses and four pylons under the dome (the cathedral in Echmiadzin) or without pylons (Mastara); rectangular, with an inscribed cross (Avan, 591–602, and Ripsime); with eight apses (Zoravar, seventh century); and others. In the middle of the seventh century, a three-tiered round church was erected in Zvartnots. The combination of circular and basilican compositions led to the construction of domed basilicas (Tekor, late fifth century, and Odzun, mid-sixth century) and unique “domed halls” in which the pylons supporting the dome adjoin the longitudinal walls, as a result of which the interior space is not broken up (Ptgni, seventh century). The structures of the fifth through seventh centuries are characterized by clear-cut, compact composition, balanced forms, harmonious proportions, terse decor, and beautifully laid, cleanly cut stone (tuff, basalt).

Monumental construction, interrupted in the late seventh century by the Arab conquest, was revived at the end of the ninth century, when the country was liberated from the domination of the Arabian Caliphate. The earlier plans and designs were partly preserved, but the proportions became more graceful, and the decor was enriched (elegant stone carvings, archways). Arched and vaulted structures were perfected. There was extensive secular and religious construction in the cities: in Ani (capital from 961) strong defensive walls, palaces, and a cathedral (989–1001) and the Gagikashen Church (1001–10) were constructed (both by the architect Trdat); Akhtamar Island became the site of a palace and the Church of the Holy Cross (915–921, by the architect Manuel), unique in the richness of its decor (numerous scenic reliefs, ornamental carvings, and so on). Strategic routes were protected by strong fortresses (Anberd, Tignis); large monastery complexes were created (Tatev, Sanain, Akhpat, Khtskonk).

During the 12th–14th centuries, civic architecture came to the fore. New types of structures—inns, refectories, book depositories, and caravansaries (for example, the Selim Caravansary near the village of Akhkend, one in Zora, and others). Bridges were constructed (near Sanain, late 12th century). Gavits (church foyers), which were semireligious constructions that reproduced the design of a native residential house in monumental structures, were erected in Sanain, Akhpat, Khorakert, and other cities. Church architecture became limited to several canonical types. A number of new stone structures were created, including ones with crossedarch subceilings. A structure of great interest is the Airivank Monastery cut out of a cliff (Gegard, 12th—13th centuries). A great deal of construction of the 11th-14th centuries was done in the Cilician Armenian state (1080–1375), where fortresses, ports, palaces, churches, and schools were built.

The Mongol-Tatar invasion led to an economic decline, and from the middle of the 14th century monumental construction virtually stopped in Armenia. It was revived briefly in the 17th century (the Mugni, Khor-Virap, Tatevi-Mets-Anapat, and other monastery complexes).

After Armenia’s annexation by Russia (1828), especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, two- and three-story houses, with many apartments or many rooms, often of the gallery type, began to be built in the cities. The early 20th century saw the introduction of some amenities and the construction of public buildings.

The architecture of Soviet Armenia developed under the influence of socialist changes in the country on a basis of creative utilization of national architectural traditions, taking into account the natural and the new living conditions. During the years of Soviet power, Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, has been virtually built anew. The reconstruction of Yerevan, based on the master plan of 1924 (architect, A. I.

Tamanian; one of the early experiments of the city’s socialist reorganization), envisaged functional territorial zoning and the creation of complexes of large public buildings (Lenin Square, a university village, a complex of cultural and educational buildings). High-rise buildings with cross-ventilated apartments and terraces, essential in the Armenian climate, were constructed in Yerevan, Leninakan, Alaverdi, and other cities (architects, A. A. Agaronian, B. S. Arazian, N. G. Buniatian, M. V. Grigorian, O. S. Makarian, and S. A. Safarian). K. S. Alabian, G. B. Kochar, M. D. Mazmanian, and other architects created complex housing developments and sought original encompassing designs suitable for southern dwellings.

The designs of A. I. Tamanian played an important role; his striving to combine modern and traditional architectural forms (First Yerevan Hydroelectric Power Plant, 1923–26; Government House, 1926–41; Theater of Opera and Ballet, 1926–53) determined the stylistic direction of Armenian architecture up to the mid-1950’s (in Yerevan, the buildings on Lenin Square, architects, M. V. Grigorian, E. A. Sarapian, S. A. Safarian, and others; the covered market, architect, G. G. Agababian, engineer, A. A. Arakelian; the railroad station, architect, E. A. Tigranian; the wine cellars of the Ararat Trust, architect, R. S. Israelian; in Kirovakan, Kirov Square, architects, O. S. Markarian and Z. T. Bakhshinian). The use of local stone of various shades (pink, white, and cream-colored tuff) creates a unique color scheme in cities and villages of Armenia.

In the late 1950’s and the 1960’s, in addition to construction in natural stone, prefabricated construction and the use of standardized plans were developed. Architects sought to create new forms and means of architectural and artistic expression based on modern progressive structures and new construction and finishing materials (in Yerevan, the G. Sundukian Theater, architect, R. B. Alaverdian, engineers, R. A. Badalian and others; the DinamoGymnasium, architects, K. A. Akopian and N. G. Alaverdian; the Institute of Radiophysics in Ashtarak, architects, S. A. Gurzadian and M. M. Manvelian; and the conference building in Burakan, architect, S. A. Gurzadian).

Sculpture and stone mosaics are being used more and more widely. A great deal of attention is focused on urban construction: a general plan of Yerevan has been developed (1969, architects, M. D. Mazmanian, E. A. Papian, and others), and urban reconstruction is under way (Abovian Street in Yerevan, architects, F. G. Darbinian and others; Aragatsi Street in Leninakan, architect, G. N. Mushegian). Buildings of different heights are attractively combined with small architectural objects, reservoirs, and green areas. High-rise apartment houses are under construction (in Yerevan, architects, D. P. Torosian, L. M. Gevorkian, and others; in Kirovakan, architects, V. A. Belubekian and G. M. Karapetian, engineers, V. V. Papian and others). Memorials have been erected to the heroes of the Sardarabad Battle of 1918 (architect R. S. Israelian, sculptors, A. A. Arutiunian, S. M. Manasian, and A. A. Shaginian) in Oktemberian Raion; to the Armenian victims of genocide in 1915 (architect, A. A. Tarkhanian) in Yerevan; and to the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia (architects, S. A. Gurzadian and D. P. Torosian) in Yerevan.

Industrial and hydrotechnical architecture of the 1940’s through 1960’s is represented by the hydroelectric power plants (inGumush and Yerevan, architect, T. A. Marutian, engineers, A. G. Sarkisian and others) and large industrial plants (a chemical fiber plant in Kirovakan, architects, K. I. Khudabashian and others; the Armelektrozavod power plant in Yerevan, architects, A. A. Pogosian, O. A. Dokhikian, and others; and a chemical reactor plant in Yerevan, architects, K. M. Ananian and others). Bridges have been built over the Razdan River in Yerevan (engineers, V. V. Pandzhian and N. A. Slavinskii, architect, G. G. Agababian) and over the Kasakh River in Ashtarak (engineer, S. P. Ovnanian); an aqueduct has been built in Yerevan.


Fine art. Cliff paintings dating from the sixth millennium B.C., Aeneolithic black polished ceramics with carved geometric designs, metal artifacts (vessels, ornaments, and so on), and ceramic articles of red clay with black geometric paintings dating from the second millennium B.C. have all been found on Armenian territory. Vishaps—huge stone fish—have been discovered. Remnants of wall paintings, numerous ceramic and bronze articles, and jewelry have been discovered in Urartian fortresses (Erebuni, Teishebaini). Other artifacts dating from the Hellenistic era include bowls of chased silver and rhytons, sculptural fragments, mosaics (the mosaic floor of a bath in Garni, second-third century), and small terra-cotta articles.

After the adoption of Christianity, a new ideological content, borrowed from the centers of the Christian East, was subjected to a creative transformation in the art of Armenia. The medieval Christian churches were decorated with mosaics, which have been unearthed in rock debris. Moreover, mosaics executed by Armenian masters in Jerusalem have been found. Paintings also decorated the churches—for example, in the church in Lmbat (seventh century); in Tatev (tenth century, part of the scene of the Last Judgment, composed in a manner akin to that of Western European monuments); graphic wall decorations in the Akhtamara Church (tenth century); and 12th-century decorations in Akhtal, 13th-century decorations in the churches of Tigran Onents and of Bakhtageki in Ani, and 14th-century decorations in Akhpat.

Early medieval sculpture is represented by fourth- and fifth-century stelas (with carved images of the Mother of God, St. Grigor the Enlightener, and others) and by the modest decor of the fifth-century churches. During the late sixth century and the seventh century, carved decorations became richer (the capitals of the Zvartnots Church), and scenic reliefs appeared (in Mrena and Ptgni), as did high-relief representations of church elders (Sisian), often holding the model of a church in their hands (beginning in the tenth century; in Akhpat, Sanain, and Akhtamar). The reliefs of the Akhtamar Church—for example, the frieze Grape Picking and figures of people, animals, birds, and biblical subjects—are unique. The 2-meter, early 1 lth-century statue of Gagik I holding a model of the church, which stood atop the façade of the Gagikashen Church in Ani, has not been preserved. The sculptural decor of the Tigran Onents Church in Ani and the churches in Nor-Getik and Noravank (all 13th-14th centuries) are festive in design. Khachkars (stelas with a cross carved in an ornamental frame) appeared in the ninth century, at first monumental and severe in design and later covered with exquisite, lacelike carvings.

Miniature book illustrations had a leading place in medieval Armenian art; the earliest surviving examples date from the sixth and seventh centuries. Though the styles were diverse and there were many local schools, Armenian miniature art as a whole was marked by richly decorative ornamentation, arrangement, color saturation, and clarity of design. In the ninth and tenth centuries, two trends became apparent: the first, conditioned by commissions of the feudal nobility, was typically festive, picturesque, and marked by a well-developed ornamentation and an abundance of gold (the Gospels of Tsaritsa Mike, 862; of Echmiadzin, 989; and of Mugni, 11th century); the second, connected with democratic classes, had marked graphic qualities, terseness, closeness to folk art, and expressiveness of faces and gestures (the Gospels of 986, 1018, and 1038). The miniatures of the 13th-14th centuries, when local schools were developing, were particularly varied. The most prominent is the Cilician school, which appeared in the 12th century and flourished in the second half of the next; its outstanding artist was Toros Roslin. His miniatures are marked by a diversity of subjects, psychological expressiveness of characters, masterful composition of group scenes, light and accurate drawings, and ornamentation developed with virtuosity.

Miniature painting also attained great heights in Eastern Armenia. (The Gospel of Targmanchats by artist Grigor in 1232 is distinguished by the emotional quality of its images and its painting.) Manuscripts of the Vaspurakan school, in which linear drawings predominated (14th century; artists—Rstakes, Dzerun, and others), represented the democratic trend. Outstanding artists of the 14th century were Momik, Toros Taronatsi, and Avak (who worked in the Gladzor Monastery), those of the 14th and 15th centuries were Grigor Tatevatsi and Grigor (who both worked in the Tatev Monastery). The last great miniaturist was Akop Dzhugaetsi (late 16th and early 17th centuries), whose works seemed to forecast the beginning of a new secular development in Armenian art.

The applied arts of medieval Armenia consisted of various ceramics (the main production centers in the 12th and 13th centuries were in the cities of Ani and Dvin): unglazed with relief and intaglio designs; glazed with engravings and paintings; and faiences with painted decorations. Also noteworthy are embroideries (earliest, 14th century); metal artifacts (Gospel border worked in the Cilician manner in 1255 in the Matenadaran, Yerevan; chased silver gilt hinged tablets of 1293, in the Hermitage, Leningrad, and of 1300 and 1687, in the Echmiadzin Museum); and wood carvings (door from Mush, 1134, and the doors of the Arakelots Church on Lake Sevan, 1486, all from the Museum of History in Yerevan).

In the 18th century, realistic elements became more and more apparent in the works of the Ovnatanian family in the Echmiadzin Cathedral. The family’s founder, Nagash Ovnatan, did the first wall paintings in the cathedral (three scenic fragments have been preserved); outstanding among the subsequent paintings were the works of his son Arutiun and the portraits of Armenian clerics executed by his grandson Ovnatan.

After the annexation of East Armenia by Russia, as the ties with Russian and Western culture were strengthened, Armenia’s secular arts developed, with painting first. During the 1830’s through the 1870’s portrait painting became most developed—for example, the works of the native artist Akop Ovnatanian and of S. A. Nersesian, who was trained at a fine arts academy. I. K. Aivazovskii, the famous marine painter, who was an Armenian by nationality, worked in Feodosiia.

The colonial policy of Russian tsarism deprived the Armenian artists of proper conditions for creative work in their motherland; they worked in Tbilisi, as well as in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and abroad, and came under various artistic influences. They devoted their works to the life of the Armenian people and to the Armenian landscape. In the 1880’s and 1890’s realistic genre paintings were created by A. I. Shamshinian. V. Ia. Suren’iants, who also was an illustrator and a scenic artist, painted historical subjects and scenes of everyday life. Landscape painting developed, begun by G. Z. Bashindzhagian. At the end of the 19th century and during the first decade of the 20th century, scenic paintings in a realistic style (E. M. Tatevosian), portraits (S. M. Agadzhanian), and landscapes (F. P. Terlemezian, E. M. Tatevosian) were created. Armenian sculptors appeared who worked mainly in Paris: A. M. Ter-Marukian created the first monument in Armenia—the statue of Kh. Abovian (1913, erected in 1933, at present in the court of the Abovian House Museum in Yerevan); A. M. Gurdzhian created a gallery of masterfully executed portraits. In the first decade of the 20th century M. S. Sar’ian, an Armenian painter whose work is marked by a search for new means of artistic expression (comprehensive drawing and an intensive palette produced by bright, decorative color combinations), began to exhibit in Moscow.

After 1920 many Armenian artists moved to Armenia. An important role in Soviet Armenian art in the 1920’s and 1930’s was played by the work of M. S. Sar’ian (his landscapes, still lifes, and portraits, with their keen depiction of character) and by the realistic portraits of S. M. Agadzhanian. In painting, which still holds a leading position in Armenian art, the landscape is particularly well developed (E. M. Tatevosian, S. A. Arakelian, G. M. Giurdzhian, and F. P. Terlemezian). Thematic pictures are painted by S. A. Arakelian, A. K. Kodzhoian, E. M. Tatevosian, and A. A. Bazhbeuk-Melikian (the last two working in Tbilisi). Small and monumental sculpture developed (A. M. Sarkisian, S. L. Stepanian, and A. A. Urartu). Easel and book graphics by A. K. Kodzhoian and T. A. Khachvankian came to the fore. Scenic design developed (M. A. Arutchian, G. B. Iakulov, M. S. Sar’ian, Kh. A. Esaian, and others).

The 1940’s and the first half of the 1950’s were characterized by the development of genre painting (scenes of labor, historical events, modern everyday life) and landscape and still-life painting. During these years the following artists were among those who became prominent: the painter and graphic artist M. M. Abegian; the painters M. A. Aslamazian, O. M. Zardarian, A. V. Bekarian, E. A. Isabekian, and A. T. Kalents and P. N. Konturadzhian, who had been living abroad but were repatriated; the graphic artists G. S. Khandzhian (who is also a painter) and V. T. Aivazian; and the sculptors E. S. Kochar (who designed the monument David Sasunskii in Yerevan in 1959), N. B. Nikogosian, G. G. Chubarian, T. S. Chorekchian, and S. I. Bagdasarian. The work of these artists has developed strikingly since the second half of the 1950’s. Strong color, emotional content, and often decorativeness predominate in painting. Monuments full of movement and expression have appeared in the field of sculpture.

In the second half of the 1960’s new tendencies and directions became noticeable in Armenian art. The treatment of modern subjects aspires to greater depth and psychological insight (M. K. Avetisian, L. A. Bazhbeuk-Melikian, N. G. Kotandzhian, A. A. Melkonian, S. M. Muradian, and others). The search for means of artistic expressiveness in the works of young painters is marked by diversity (M. V. Parsamian and others).

An even greater place in sculpture is held by courageous heroic images on a monumental scale (sculptors A. A. Arutiunian, S. M. Manasian, A. B. Grigorian, K. A. Nuridshanian, and others). Outstanding among practitioners of decorative and applied art are the ceramic artists A. G. Bdeian, R. I. Shaverdian, and R. L. Simonian.

Armenian architects are trained at the construction department of the K. Marx Polytechnical Institute and artists at the Institute of Art and Drama and the F. Terlemesian College of Fine Art.

In 1937 the Architects’ Union of the Armenian SSR was founded in Yerevan (1933–37, the Organizing Committee of the Architects’ Union), and in 1945, the Artists’ Union of the Armenian SSR (1932–45, the Organizing Committee of the Artists’ Union).



Izmailova, T. A., and M. A. Aivazian. IsskustvoArmenii. Moscow, 1962.
Trever, K. V. Ocherki po istorii kul’tury drevnei armenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1953.
Iakobson, A. L. Ocherk istorii zodchestva Armenii V-XVH vv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Arutunian, V. M., and S. A. Safarian. Pamiatniki armianskogo zodchestva. Moscow, 1951.
Tokarskii, N. M. Arkhitektura armenii IV-XIV vv. Yerevan, 1961.
Arutiunian, V. M., and K. L. Oganesian. Arkhitektura Sovetskoi
Armenii. Yerevan, 1955.
Durnovo, L. A. Kratkaia istoriia drevnearmianskoi zhivopisi. Yerevan, 1957.
Armianskaia miniatura (album). Introduction by L. A. Durnovo. Yerevan, 1967.
Izobrazitel’noe iskusstvo Armianskoi SSR (album). Text by E. Martikian and P. Parsamian. Moscow, 1957.
Erlashova, S. “Put’ zhiznennoi pravdy.” Iskusstvo, 1969, no. 2. T’oramanian, T’. Nyont’r oaykakan charsarapĕsowkhyan pasmowkhyan, vols. 1–2. Yerevan, 1942–48.
Arhat’elian, K’. Haykakan paskerak’andanenĕ IV-VII dd. Yerevan, 1949.
Akarian, L. Kilikian marankarchowt’yoni XII-XIII dd. Yerevan, 1964.

Armenian monodic music has millennia-old roots. Its basic principles developed concurrently with the evolution of the national colloquial language. The distinctive qualities of Armenian music evolved in the third century B.C. ,when the solo form and the system of the basic modes of expression were formed and the primary branches of the music—peasant, religious (pagan), and the professional folk music of the gusan—were determined. The acceptance of Christianity (301) laid the foundation for a new style, that of Christian church music.

The general development of Armenian culture from the fourth to the seventh centuries also had a great effect on music. The range of intonations, harmonic principles, themes, and genres in peasant songs were expanded. Professional church music also developed along with folk and professional art. At the end of the fourth century instruction in singing and song writing was introduced in the universities. Psalms and sharakans, and later on, the gandza, the avetisia, and other types of liturgical songs were composed, based on the modes of expression which were widely used in folk music. The first composers and teachers of sacred music included Mesrop Mashtots (fourth to fifth centuries), Sahak Partev (fourth to fifth centuries), Iohan Mandakuni (fifth century), and Komitas (sixth to seventh centuries). In the fifth century the voices were systematized; in the seventh century Barseg Chon compiled the first collection of selected sharakans; in the eighth century Stepanos Siunetsi produced a second systematization of voices; and in the eighth and ninth centuries the khaz, a system of musical notation, was devised. Fundamental questions of the aesthetics and theory of music (the study of sound, for example) were dealt with in the works of David Anakhta (the Invincible), David Kerakana, Stepanos Siunetsi, and others.

The next significant development in Armenian music occurred during the tenth through 13th centuries, after the nation’s liberation from the yoke of foreign conquerors. The progressive ideas of optimism and humanism, which were characteristic of the Armenian Renaissance and were reflected in the epos David of Sasun, exerted an enormous influence on the development of music. Important, melodically developed sacred and secular vocal works, the so-called tags, appeared; they were lyrical, contemplative, epic, or dramatic in content and constituted a special style of monodic music which had been influenced by the music of the gusans. Music from the tenth through 13th centuries that has survived includes peasant songs of various genres: work songs (including orovels, songs of the plowman), love songs, songs about nature, epic songs, ritual songs, songs of everyday life, satirical songs, young people’s dance tunes, and so on; outstanding tag pieces by Grigor Narekatsi, the greatest poet of the Middle Ages, and other writers; and the gusan airens. During this same period, musical notation was perfected, and the formative stage in the study of voice and the khaz, the manrusum, came to an end.

The poet and musician Nerses Shnorali (12th century) gave final form to the sharakans, in the collection Sharaknots, and to the Patarag (liturgy), in both of which parallels with the folk music are clearly evident. The foremost musical and aesthetic ideas of the period are represented by the works of Ovanes Imastaser (Ioann Sarkavag, 11—12th centuries), which give an almost materialistic interpretation of the sources of artistic creativity, and by the works of Ovanes Erznkatsi (13th century), wherein the equality of the principles of sacred and secular music is substantiated and the ascetic Christian conception of the church is criticized. A vast quantity of voluminous tomes have been preserved in manuscript form, containing khaz transcriptions of medieval liturgical works and secular songs and tags.

After Turkey and Iran conquered Armenia in the 16th century, folk songs of melancholy and sorrow prevailed, genres of historical songs and songs of the pandukht (the wanderer, who goes away to search for a living) developed, and social themes were intensified. In professional creativity, church songs were relegated to the background by the secular tags. (A notable example, “Krunk,” was about the dismal fate of the people.)

At the turn of the 18th century the art of the Armenian ashug arose and continued to develop in subsequent years. The major ashugs included Nagash Ovnatan, Bagdasar Dpir, Saiat-Nova, Shirin (O. Karapetian), Dzhivani (S. Benkoian-Levonian), and Sheram (G. Talian).

Between 1813 and 1815, A. Limondzhian devised and introduced into practice a new Armenian musical notation, which N. Tashchian used to transcribe three volumes of medieval sacred music. The urban folk song of modern times, including the genre of national patriotic songs, arose at the beginning of the 19th century, based on the musical traditions of the medieval cities.

The popular musical instruments known to have existed in ancient Armenia include the bambir, pandir, vin, dzhutak, knar, chnar, and tavikh (stringed instruments); the sring, shepor, pog, ekhdzherapog, galarapog, and avagpog (wind instruments); and the tmbuk, tsytsga, and kshots (percussion instruments). Some of these have disappeared, and others have been modified. Contemporary folk instrumental music includes songs, dance tunes, and large-scale epic and ceremonial pieces. In ensemble playing, individual instruments usually improvise freely in a unison performance, thus adding heterophonic elements to the polyphonic timbre; the sustained tone is also widely used. Instruments (solo and ensemble) include such stringed instruments as the kiamancha, and kiamani (bowed); the santur (plucked); the saz, chongur, ud, tar, and kanon (pizzicato); the blul, parakapzuk, duduk, and zuma (wind); and the dool, daf (khaval), and nagara (percussion).

A distinctive melodic craftsmanship, based on the extensive use of different devices for the development of themes and motifs, is found in all forms of ancient, medieval, and modern Armenian folk music. Armenian monody is intonationally well-tempered, is based on an extensive system of diverse diatonic harmonies, and possesses a wealth of rhythms. Deeply emotional, Armenian music is, nevertheless, noted for its restraint of feeling. The monodic music provided the basis for the creation of modern polyphonic music, which began developing in the 19th century.

In the second half of the 19th century a new compositional school arose, and professional musical creativity was perfected. Armenian societies were formed which carried on the work of musical enlightenment; professional music companies (including musical comedy troupes) and European-style musical ensembles sprang up; and publications on music were issued periodically. G. Eranian, N. Tashchian, G. Korganov, T. Chukhadzhian, and other composers employed European compositional techniques in their works. Music was widely integrated into dramatic theater performances. In 1868, Chukhadzhian composed Arshak 11, the first Armenian opera, and subsequently a few other operas and musical comedies (produced in Constantinople and in various cities of the Near East, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe).

In Eastern Armenia, the problem of creating a distinctive national style of music, based on a synthesis of native folk melodies and European compositional techniques, was resolved during this period. Many Armenian musicians received their training in the Nersesian School (Tbilisi), the Gevorkian Seminary (Echmiadzin), the School of Music affiliated with the Tbilisi branch of the Russian Music Society, and Russian and foreign conservatories.

Intensive transcription of folk songs began in the 1880’s. The choral works of Kh. M. Kara-Murza and M. G. Ekmalian and the folk dances of N. F. Tigranian made their appearance. Folk choruses which popularized polyphony were organized. Komitas (Sogomon Gevorkovich Sogomonian) created highly artistic solo and choral works modeled on the native folk music. He studied the richest examples of the folklore, interpreted its distinctive characteristics, and produced his own treatment of the native folk songs. The work of Komitas marked a new stage in the development of Armenian music. The two symphonic suites Crimean Sketches (1903, 1912) and the symphonic tableau Three Palms (1905) by A. A. Spendiarov, the heroic song “There, There, on the Field of Honor” (1914) by Kh. Abovian, “To Armenia” (1915), and other works laid the foundations for a national symphonic vocal music. R. O. Melikian achieved outstanding success in the art song (the song cycle Autumn Lines). A. T. Tigranian wrote the opera Anush (1908–12), which set a new stylistic trend in Armenian opera; its roots lay in the language of native folk music. A distinctive genre of children’s opera was created by A. M. Manukian. Composers who performed their own works included Siuni (G. O. Mirzoian), A. S. Mailian, A. G. Ter-Gevondian, and S. V. Barkhudarian.

Armenian musicology in the pre-Soviet period was associated primarily with the theoretical interpretation of folk music and medieval professional music and the explication of its national traditions and originality. In addition to Komitas, valuable contributions were made in this field by V. D. Korganov, E. Tntesian, and others. The musicologist, composer, and teacher S. A. Melikian was concerned with collecting folk music.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries many Armenian performers made appearances in Russia and Western Europe, including the female vocalists N. O. Korganian (N. Dariali), E. O. Korganian (E. Terian-Korganova), M. O. Korganian (Svetade), N. A. Papaian, and M. A. Babaian; the male vocalists A. S. Shakhmuradian and T. O. Nalbandian; and the violinists I. R. Nalbandian and D. G. Davtian. A number of important composers and performers in foreign Armenian colonies were also engaged in musical activities. Included among these were the students of Komitas in Constantinople: B. Kanachian (choruses, the opera Abega, and others), V. M. Srvandztian (songs, romances, choruses), V. S. Sargsian (choruses, the song opera Anush), and M. T. Tumadzhian (folklorist). Other composers included O. R. Perperian, G. Alemshakh, and Goarik Gazarosian. Armenian performers who lived abroad included the violinist V. Kozikian and the male vocalists K. Zobian and D. Ovanesian (Rumania); the cellist and composer D. Aleksanian, the pianist R. Petrosian, the male vocalists C. Aznavour and J. Sergoian, and the female vocalist L. Dourian (France); the violinist M. Parikian (Great Britain); the male vocalist A. Tokatyan and the female vocalists L. Amara and L. Chookasian (USA); and the female harpist C. Miltonian (Italy).

Armenian music was greatly developed during the period of Soviet power. It relied on the achievements of the classics and the richness of native folk music. Cultural contacts with the musical heritages of neighboring Soviet peoples were broadened, and the experience of universal musical realism was assimilated.

The first major works of Soviet Armenian music were Yerevan Etudes (1925) and the opera Almast (1928, performed 1930) by A. A. Spendiarov and the song cycles Zmrukhty and Zar-var (both published in 1928) by R. O. Melikian. Operas were written by A. G. Ter-Gevondian (Seda, 1923) and A. S. Mailian (children’s opera tableaux). In the 1930’s the work of Armenian composers covered a wide range of contemporary Soviet and historical revolutionary themes. A new generation of composers came to the fore, among whom A. I. Khachaturian occupied a special place. Many of his works (concerts, ballets, symphonies, and so on) made an important contribution to the development of Soviet music. Popularity was attained by the works of A. L. Stepanian (the operas Brave Nazar, performed in 1935; Sasuntsi David, 1936; and At Dawn, performed in 1938), A. G. Ter-Gevondian (ballets Bride of Fire, 1934, and Anait, performed 1940), A. S. Mailian (opera Safa, 1939), K. O. Zakarian, L. A. Khodzha-Einatov, S. A. Balasanian, and others.

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 themes of patriotism and heroic tragedy were prominent in Armenian music. A. L. Stepanian’s First Symphony (1943), the poem Armenia by G. E. Egiazarian (1942), and the works of T. G. Ter-Martirosian, M. S. Mazmanian, and others were written during this period. A. I. Khachaturian’s Second Symphony, one of the best works of Soviet symphonic music, and his ballet Gaiane (performed in 1942 at the Leningrad Theater of Opera and Ballet) achieved tremendous acclaim.

In the postwar years, the talent of the young composers who emerged during the war—for example, A. A. Babadzhanian, A. G. Arutiunian, and E. M. Mirzoian—became more firmly established alongside the well-developed work of the middle and older generations of composers. Symphonic vocal music was elaborated. Of the numerous cantatas, special praise was reserved for Cantata of the Motherland (1948) by A. G. Arutiunian; similar success was also achieved by his poem Legend of the Armenian People (1961). A. I. Khachaturian created the ballet Spartacus (performed in 1956 at the Leningrad Theater of Opera and Ballet); A. A. Babadzhanian wrote his “Heroic Ballad” (1950). The operas David-bek (1950) by A. T. Tigranian, Nune and The Heroine (1950) by A. L. Stepanian, the ballet Sevan (1956) by G. E. Egiazarian, and the Symphonic Dances (1945) and Perpetual Motion for violin and orchestra (1957) by E. M. Mirzoian also made their appearance. The operetta and musical comedy continued to be developed by A. S. Aivazian, V. A. Tigranian, V. A. Kotoian, S. Kh. Dzhrbashian, and A. P. Dolukhanian. The composers E. O. Bagdasarian, E. A. Abramian, G. M. Sar’ian, G. M. Chebotarian, and others created successful instrumental chamber works. A. M. Satian’s vocal works (Songs of the Ararat Valley and others) met with great success. A cycle of poems by E. Charents was set to music by G. O. Chtchian. Great achievements were made in symphonic and chamber music by A. L. Stepanian, A. A. Babadzhanian, L. A. Khodzha-Einatov, A. G. Arutiunian, D. G. Ter-Tatevosian, E. S. Oganesian, G. E. Egiazarian, E. M. Mirzoian, K. A. Orbelian, and others. Other successful composers who appeared in the postwar years include A. R. Terterian, A. V. Adzhemian, G. M. Akhinian. G. A. Armenian, E. E. Arutiunian, G. G. Ovunts, E. A. Aristakesian, and T. E. Mansurian.

Soviet Armenian musicologists include S. A. Melikian, M. G. Agaian, A. A. Adamian, Kh. S. Kushnarev, A. I. Shaverdian, A. K. Kocharian, G. G. Tigranov, M. O. Muradian, R. A. Ataian, and G. Sh. Geodakian.

Armenian musical performing arts have flourished during the years of Soviet power. The female and male vocalists of this period include People’s Artists of the USSR A. B. Danielian, G. M. Gasparian, T. T. Sazandarian, P. G. Lisitsian, and N. M. Ovanesian; People’s Artist of the RSFSR and of the Armenian SSR Z. A. Dolukhanova; and People’s Artists of the Armenian SSR Sh. M. Talian, A. M. Aidinian, and A. E. Ter-Abramian. Conductors include People’s Artist of the Armenian SSR K. S. Saradzhev, People’s Artists of the USSR A. Sh. Melik-Pashaev and M. A. Tavrizian, and People’s Artists of the Armenian SSRG. E. Budagian, S. G. Charekian, and O. A. Chekidzhian. Other artists include chorus directors, People’s Artist of the USSR T. T. Altunian and People’s Artist of the Armenian SSR A. A. Ter-Ovanesian; violinists, People’s Artist of the Armenian SSR A. K. Gabrielian and Honored Artist of the Armenian SSR Zh. E. Ter-Merkerian; the pianist Iu. S. Airapetian; and the cellists M. V. Abramian and K. A. Georgiian.

The A. A. Spendiarov Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet has been serving the city of Yerevan since 1933, and the A. Paronian Theater of Musical Comedy has been in operation there since 1942. The Philharmonic Society (founded in 1932) consists of a symphony orchestra, a chamber orchestra, a choral group, the Komitas Quartet (formed in 1925), and an estrada (variety stage) orchestra (1938). The symphony orchestra (1966) and an ensemble of native folk instruments (1926) are affiliated with radio and television, and the choral group (1966) with the Choral Society. Armenia has the Komitas Conservatory (founded in 1923), a professional secondary school of music, five music colleges (Yerevan, Leninakan, Kirovakan, and Kafan), and 53 music schools. The Institute of Arts of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR has a department of music and a department of national folk music. The Composers’ Union of Armenia was established in 1933.


Kushnarev, Kh. Voprosy istorii i teorii armianskoi monodicheskoi muzyki. Leningrad, 1958.
Ataian, R. Armianskaia narodnaia pesnia. Moscow, 1965.
Shaverdian, A. Ocherki po istorii armianskoi muzyki XIX-XX vv. (dosovetskii period). Moscow, 1959.
Shaverdian, A. Komitas i armianskaia muzykal’naia kul’tura. Yerevan, 1956.
Tigranov, G. Armianskii muzykal’nyi teatr, vols. 1–2. Yerevan, 1956–60.
Asaf ev, B. Ocherki ob Armenii. Moscow, 1958.
Muzyka Sovetskoi Armenii: Sb. statei. Moscow, 1960.
Arutiunian, M. Armianskaia SSR. Moscow, 1957. (In the series Muzykal’naia kul’tura soiuznykh respublik.)


The art of dance in Armenia has inherited the traditions of many centuries. A large number of Armenian parierger (dance melodies, song dances) and parer, or khager (dances), have been preserved; the former are performed to a song accompaniment, and the latter are accompanied by musical instruments. The melodies are in 2/4, 3/8, 4/4, 6/8, 7/8, and 9/8 time. Different meters are often combined in the same melody. A large role is played by refrains in one, two, or more lines—the vestiges of ancient magical incantations, some of which have acquired a newer and more secular content in the course of their development. The measure of dance songs consists of five to 13 syllables per line.

The types of Armenian song dances and dancing are quite varied in content and form. One of the most ancient types of song dances is the epic vipakan, whose form is called ttsandyr giond (slow dances performed in groups by many people). Related to the epic types were song dances of mournful lamentation—the sygo parer (relics of ancestor worship)—and the slow, group gionds. Survivals of former totemic song dances (group, solo, and duet) continue to be performed even in the present day: the davapar (camel dance), archi par (bear dance), khazkhaz (goose dance), krryngaven (crane dance), shoror, khynki ttsar (rockrose dance), and so on. The ritual ttsisaiin dances were associated with the cycle of annual festivals: on the day of the Presentation of the Lord, dances were organized around a bonfire; at Shrovetide (until the beginning of the 20th century) masked dances were held; on Ascension Day Armenians sang and danced fortune-telling song dances; and on Transfiguration Day they poured water on each other (in order to bring rain for the autumn crops).

Different dances were performed at the times of betrothals, weddings, and ceremonies after the wedding. The tagman parer (burial dances at the cemetery) were performed during funerals right up to the beginning of the 20th century. Dances for journeys, witchcraft, and war (often on dummy horses) were also widespread. The dances of wrestlers and ropedancers (larakhagats-pailevan) were in a separate category. The work dances of the herdsmen, plowmen, sowers, mowers, threshers, weavers, potters, and butchers are widely known. Among these, the kochari dances (imitations of sheep and goats in the Armenian Dionysia) are of interest. Dances of everyday life were popular, including comic dances, song dances for making curses, and dances for healing, love, and children. The choreography of Armenian folk dances is quite diverse and is characterized by a wealth of dance figures.

In 1938 a folk ensemble of song and dance of Armenia was formed, and in 1958, the Armenian Dance Ensemble. Both make good use of the traditional folk dancing arts in their programs and continue to create new forms of folk choreography based on the material of contemporary national folklore.

The collection and study of folk dance materials and ethnographic data are done by a group of theater scholars and folklorists who collect the folk dances at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR.


Professional ballet in Armenia received its greatest development only after the establishment of Soviet government. In 1923, V. A. Aristakesian opened a dance studio in Yerevan, where instruction was given in classical exercises, Caucasian (“Asiatic”) dancing, and ballroom dancing and, later, Armenian folk dancing. In 1924, S. S. Lisitsian opened a studio for rhythmic movements. In 1926, A. A. Sirunian and A. A. Durinian organized a new studio. The Rhythm, Movements, and Physical Culture Technicum was established in 1930, and the Professional Studio of Rhythm and Movement was founded in 1931. (All of these were under the artistic direction of S. S. Lisitsian.) In 1934 the professional studio was reorganized as a choreographic technicum (since 1936, the State Choreographic Academy). A ballet troupe was formed at the Yerevan Theater of Opera and Ballet in 1933. Its first production, performed in 1933, was the opera Almast by A. A. Spendiarov. The ballet Futile Precaution by P. Gertel’ was presented at the same time, and Swan Lake by P. I. Tchaikovsky was staged in 1935. In 1939, I. I. Arbatov presented the first national ballet—A. I. Khachaturian’s Happiness, concerning life on a modern kolkhoz. The timely subject matter, the massive painted stage scenery, and the original music, in which native folk melodies were widely used and elaborated upon, determined the success of the ballet’s choreography.

In the 1930’s the troupe included L. P. Voinova-Shikanian, R. L. Tavrizian, E. Kh. Araratova, Z. M. Muradian, and others. Among the national ballets performed in the 1940’s and subsequent years Were Anait by A. G. Ter-Gevondian (1940); Khandut set to the music of A. A. Spendiarov (1945); Gaiane (1947) and Spartacus (1961) by A. I. Khachaturian; Sevan (1956) and Dream Lake (1968) by G. E. Egiazarian; Marmar (1957), Eternal Idol (1966), and Antuni (1969) by E. S. Oganesian; Akhtamar, Ivushka, and Lorentsi Sako by G. M. Akhinian (1966, based on the texts of O. Tumanian); Prometheus by E. A. Aristakesian(1967); and Immortality by K. A. Orbelian (1969). The troupe also presents classical ballets—for example, The Little Hunchback Horse by Ts. Puni (1941), Giselle by A. Adam (1960), The Caucasian Prisoner by B. V. Asaf’ev (1943), Raimonda by A. K. Glazunov (1945), and The Bronze Horseman by R. M. Glière (1940).

The following choreographers played an important role in the formation and development of Armenian ballet: People’s Artist of the Armenian SSR I. I. Arbatov (Iagubian), Honored Art Worker of the Latvian SSR and of the Armenian SSR E. Ia. Changa, and Honored Art Worker of the Armenian SSR M. S. Martirosian (chief choreographer of the theater). Ballet dancers include People’s Artists of the Armenian SSR L. P. Voinova-Shikanian, V. Sh. Galstian, T. G. Grigorian, S. A. Minasian, Z. M. Muradian, L. V. Semanova, R. L. Tavrizian, and V. G. Khanamirian and Honored Artists of the Armenian SSR E. Kh. Araratova, V. A. Borisov, A. T. Garibian, Dzh. A. Kalantarian, and B. O. Ovnanian.


Lisitsian, S. S. Zapis’ dvizheniia. (Kinetografiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.)
Lisitsian, S. Hay zhoghovrdi inavurts’ parere yev t’aterakan nerkaya ts’umnere, vol. 1. Yerevan. 1958.

The origins of Armenian theater date back to the first millennium B.C. , when tragedies (by dzainarku-gusan actors and vokhpergaki actors) and comedies (by katakergaki and kataka-gusan actors) were performed. In 69 B.C. a theater was built in the city of Tigranakert by King Tigranes II. His son Artavazd II created a theater in Artashat where the troupe led by the actor Iazon performed. In the fourth century A.D. performances were given at the court of Arshak II. Theater buildings were modeled after the ancient amphitheaters. The earliest dramatic works that have been preserved to our time are the dramatic poems of Ovanes Erznkatsi (O. Pluz) and The Book of Adam by Arakel Siunetsi. During the 17th through 19th centuries theaters developed in the Armenian colonies in L’vov (school theater), Moscow, Venice, Vienna, Madras, Calcutta, and other cities.

The first Armenian performances, under the direction of M. Bzhishkian, were staged in 1810in Constantinople. During 1846–66 the professional theater Aramian Tatron (under the direction of O. Gasparian), which toured Tbilisi, Yerevan, and Tabriz, worked in Constantinople. In 1836, G. Shermazanian established a theater in Tbilisi named Shermazanian Darbas. In the 1850’s a number of amateur theaters in Constantinople staged the plays of M. Peshiktashlian, S. Ekimian, T. Terzian, and others. At the beginning of the 1860’s the Arevelian Tatron professional theaters, under the direction of Ekimian in Constantinople (1861) and G. Chmshkian in Tbilisi (1863), were organized on the basis of amateur troupes. The activities of the Tbilisi troupe and the appearance of the works of G. Sundukian (Pepo, Khatabala, One More Sacrifice, and others), the father of Armenian dramaturgical realism, determined the affirmation of critical realism on the Armenian stage. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the realistic traditions of national dramaturgy found expression in the creative work of A. Paronian (Uncle Bagdasar), A. Shirvanzade (Because of Honor, Evgine, Armenui, and others), and L. Shant (Ancient Gods). This period also saw the beginning of the creative work of the dramatists V. Papazian (Cliff), S. Taraian (Socrates and others), E. Ter-Grigorian, Nar-Dos, L. and M. Manvelian, D. Demirchian, and others.

In the 1860’s and 1870’s, Armenian theaters were established in Yerevan, Nakhichevan-on-Don, and several other cities (Aleksandropol’, Baku, Shusha, Gandzha).

At the end of the 1870’s many prominent actors, including P. I. Adamian, Siranuish, Astkhik, A. Rach’ia, M. Mnakian, and M. Nvard, migrated to Transcaucasia as a result of the persecutions of Armenian theaters in Constantinople by the Turkish government. Such important realistic actors appeared on the Armenian stage in Tbilisi at this time as G. A. Chmshkian, M. O. Amrikian, G. Z. Ter-Davtian, Vardui, K. Aramian, and S. Chmshkian. The stage activity of the tragedian P. I. Adamian, whose work strongly protested social and national oppression, is particularly outstanding in the development of Armenian theater in the 1880’s. The later development of Armenian theater at the turn of the 20th century is associated with the names of Siranuish and O. A. Abelian, who continued the traditions of the realism, romanticism, and elevated art of P. I. Adamian and G. A. Chmshkian. A new generation of actors and producers appeared, including G. A. Petrosian, O. M. Sevumian, O. M. Maisurian, A. N. Armenian, O. G. Zarifian, I. S. Alikhanian, S. A. Adamian, O. N. Gulazian, Asmik, A. T. Voskanian, V. K. Papazian, M. G. Manvelian, G. K. Avetian, A. M. Vruir, O. K. Stepanian, and E. M. Durian-Armenian. A distinctive feature of the development of the Armenian theater at this time was the creation of a network of national theaters (in Yerevan, Shusha, Baku, Tbilisi, and other cities), where amateur and professional actors performed together. A. G. Kharazian, P. A. Araksian, O. G. Ter-Grigorian, G. N. Pirumian, and others took part in the work of these theaters. Revolutionary and democratic Marxist criticism furthered the development of prerevolutionary Armenian theater. As far back as the early 1860’s, Mikael Nalbandian wrote about the social significance of Armenian theater in his articles. Early in the 20th century articles appeared by S. G. Shaumian and S. S. Spandarian, calling for the theater to begin serving the people. During World War I (1914–1918) and the period of Dashnak control over Armenia (1918–20), leading cultural figures, seeking to preserve the realistic traditions of the Armenian theater, carried on the struggle against decadence, pessimism, and mysticism.

The triumph of the Great October Socialist Revolution provided great promise for the development of Armenian theater. In 1918, Armenian acting troupes were organized in cities of Soviet Russia in the Ukraine and Middle Asia. After the establishment of Soviet power in Transcaucasia (1920–21), Armenian theaters were formed in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. In 1921 the G. Sundukian Theater, which became the most important dramatic theater in Armenia, was established in Yerevan, and it opened in 1922 with a performance of Sundukian’s Pepo. Its formation was the result of the work of the producers L. A. Kalantar, A. S. Burdzhalian, A. K. Gulakian, and V. M. Adzhemian and such actors as R. N. Nersesian. V. B. Vagarshian, A. M. Avetisian, A. T. Voskanian, Asmik, O. N. Gulazian, V. K. Papazian, G. D. Dzhanibekian, R. T. Vartanian, S. O. Garagash, M. M. Dzhanan, and A. M. Khachanian. The Baku Armenian State Theater, where O. A. Abelian, Zhasmen, Kh. O. Arutiunian, A. A. Ovanesian, L. G. Eramian, T. Kh. Sarian, and others worked, was created in 1920. I. S. Alikhanian, O. M. Maisurian, A. S. Mamikonian, M. G. and A. K. Beroian, A. G. Lusinian, and others appeared in the Armenian theaterformed in 1921 in Tbilisi (now named after S. Shaumian). The works of Sundukian, Paronian, Shirvanzade, A. N. Ostrovskii, N. V. Gogol, M. Iu. Lermontov, L. N. Tolstoy, M. Gorky, A. P. Chekhov, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Schiller, Beaumarchais, Lope de Vega, C. Goldoni, and H. Ibsen occupied an important place in the repertoire of Soviet Armenian theaters. Plays by the Soviet authors D. Demirchian, V. B. Vagarshian, K. A. Trenev, B. A. Lavrenev, N. F. Pogodin, and others were also performed. Thematic material reflecting contemporary Soviet life and the formation of the new man, the builder of socialism, began to occupy an important place in the Armenian theater repertoire of the 1930’s.

A large network of Armenian theaters has been created during the years of Soviet power, including the theaters for young audiences in Tbilisi (1929) and Yerevan (1929); the MravianTheater in Leninakan (1928), where the actors L. B. Zorabian and Ts. K. Amerikian worked; the Abelian Theater in Kirovakan (1931); and the Armenian theaters in Sukhumi (1928), Batumi (1931), Stepanakert (1932), and Kirovabad (1935). Yerevan is the home of the Dzh. Dzhabarly Azerbaijani Theater (1929), the Puppet Theater (1935), the K. S. Stanislavsky Russian Dramatic Theater (1937), and the Yerevan Armenian Dramatic Theater (1969).

The following are among the outstanding theatrical figures of the Armenian SSR: People’s Artists of the USSR A. M. Avetisian, V. M. Adzhemian, and G. D. Dzhanibekian; People’s Artists of the Armenian SSRG. A. Akopian, L. A. Alaverdian, A. A. Arazian, A. N. Arzumanian, A. A. and G. S. Arutiunian, K. T. Artsrunian, A. A. Asrian, G. A. Ashiugian, O. A. Buniatian, V. K. Varderesian, V. T. Vartanian, O. N. Gulazian, T. O. Dilakian, L. B. Zorabian, R. N. Kaplanian, M. K. Kostanian, D. M. Malian, V. Kh. Marguni, A. A. Maschian, A. A. Mkrtumian, B. P. Nersesian, A. B. Pashaian, T. Kh. Sar’ian, M. M. Simonian, V. Kh. Stepanian, G. Kh. and I. G. Danzas, Zh. A. Tovmasian, G. Kh. Khazhakian, K. M. Khachvankian, and Zh. S. Eloian; and the theatrical artists M. A. Arutchian, S. M. Tarian, G. B. Iakulov, and S. A. Arutchian.

The realistic traditions of Armenian theatrical art were enriched in the process of mastering the method of socialist realism and of creating a new image of man in modern times. That art is characterized by a high cultural level and elevated romanticism, which have always distinguished the Armenian theater.

In 1944 the Theatrical Institute was established, with sub-departments in acting, directing, and theater sciences. In 1940 the Armenian Theatrical Society was founded in Yerevan.


Goian, G. 2000 let armianskogo teatra, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1952.
Rizaev, S. Teatry Sovetskoi Armenii (handbook). Yerevan, 1965.
Harut’iunian, B. Hayrhusakan t’aterakan kapere. Yerevan, 1955.
Sovetahay t’atroni tarets’rut’iun, books 1–2. Yerevan, 1961–69.
Circus. The first Soviet Armenian circus company was created in 1956. (It received the title “Yerevan” in 1961.) The Armenian Circus is widely known in the USSR and has toured abroad; it has been awarded the title Honored Company of the Armenian SSR. The Armenian Circus’ performers include People’s Artists of the Armenian SSR V. A. Arzumanian (Arzumanov), A. Akopian, and S. I. Isahakian; and Honored Artists of the Armenian SSR E. B. Avanesova, Sh. M. Gevorkian, A. A. Magdesian, the brothers M. A. and R. A. Akopian, L. G. Engibarian (Engibarov), R. G. Manukian, P. P. Shchetinin, and N. A. Shirai.

The first newsreel films in Armenia were made in 1907. In 1911 the Russian cinematographers A. D. Digmelov and A. I. Minervin filmed the funeral of the head of the Armenian Church in Echmiadzin. The Armenian actors A. I. Bek-Nazarov, V. K. Papazian, A. S. Burdzhalian, and others took part in making prerevolutionary Russian films. In 1920, Lemberg filmed documentary material dedicated to the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia. The official date for the beginning of Armenian film is April 1923, when the Armenian Goskino (State Film; now the A. I. Bek-Nazarov Armenfil’m studio) was established by decree of the Armenian Sovnarkom (Council of People’s Commissars). The first offspring of Soviet Armenian cinematography was the documentary film Soviet Armenia (1924).

The work of director A. I. Bek-Nazarov was of great importance to the formation of Armenian cinematography. His first feature film was the screen version of an Armenian literary classic, the tale Namus (1925) by A. Shirvanzade. This and A. I. Bek-Nazarov’s subsequent films Zare (1927), Khas-Push (1928), and House on a Volcano (in collaboration with the Azerbaijan Film Studio, 1929) overcame the clichés of “oriental” Western films and confirmed the principles of realism in representations of social conflicts and revolutionary changes in the lives of the Eastern peoples. Outstanding releases of Armenian silent motion pictures included the satirical film lampoon Mexican Diplomats (1932, directed by L. A. Kalantar and A. P. Martirosian), the comedy Kikos (1931, directed by P. A. Barkhudarian), a screen adaptation of the story Gikor by O. Tumanian (1934, directed by A. P. Martirosian), and the documentary film Land of Nairi (1930, directed by A. I. Bek-Nazarov).

Armenian cinematography was guided in its formation by the realistic tradition of the national literature and theater. A national group of creative workers in Armenian film formed in the 1930’s. In addition to A. I. Bek-Nazarov, a large contribution to the development of Armenian cinematography was made in the 1920’s and 1930’s by the directors P. A. Barkhudarian and A. P. Martirosian; the cameramen G. I. Bek-Nazarian, D. M. Fel’dman, N. D. Anoshchenko, and A. K. Kiun; the scriptwriters E. A. Chubar, A. S. Bakunts, G. P. Chakhir’ian, and M. A. Gevorkian; the artists M. A. Arutchian, S. M. Tar’ian, E. E. Lansere, and M. Surgunov; and the actors O. A. Abelian, G. N. Nersesian, Asmik, O. M. Maisurian, N. N. Manucharian, A. M. Khachanian, A. B. Amirbekian, A. M. Avetisian, and D. M. Malian.

The first Armenian sound film was Pepo (1935; director, A. I. Bek-Nazarov; cameraman, D. M. Fel’dman), a screen adaptation of G. Sundukian’s play. The merits of the film are its vivid depiction of the prerevolutionary Armenian way of life and its high level of acting. The film brought fame to Armenian cinematography.

In the 1930’s much consideration was given to the elaboration of historical revolutionary themes. The most significant films were Karo (1937, on themes of A. Gaidar’s tale School, directed by A. T. Ai-Artian), Zangezur (1938, directed by A. I. Bek-Nazarov), Mountain March (1939, directed by S. A. Kevorkov). During these years the first Armenian animated films were created, including Dog and Cat (1937, directed by L. K. Atamanov).

In 1940 a comedy on a contemporary theme was presented in The People of Our Kolkhoz (directed by A. T. Ai-Artian). In 1940 the full-length documentary film Land of Joy (edited by G. A. Balasanian and L. G. Isahakian) was released.

During the Great Patriotic War a few short feature films were made from documentary materials filmed on various fronts. Bek-Nazarov released the historical patriotic epic film David-bek in 1944. In 1945, Native Land, one of the best Armenian documentaries, appeared.

Between 1946 and 1953 only two feature films were released, but film production sharply increased in 1954. A whole new group of directors, cameramen, and actors had appeared. Films became more varied in themes and genres, most of them being contemporary. In 1959 an independent Yerevan studio was created for newsreel, documentary, and popular science films. Among the major works of the 1950’s and 1960’s were two films devoted to Kamo, a legendary hero of the revolution, Personally Known (1958) and Extraordinary Mission (1965); both films were directed by S. A. Kevorkov and E. A. Karamian. A screen adaptation was made of A. M. Shirvanzade’s play Because of Honor (1956, directed by A. T. Ai-Artian). The historical film Northern Rainbow (1961, directed by A. T. Ai-Artian), about the reunification of Armenia and Russia, and the films Born to Live (1961, directed by L. V. Vagarshian), Tzhvzhik (1961) and Karine (1967; both directed by A. Kh. Manarian), Hello, It’s Me! (1966, directed by F. V. Dovlatian), Triangle (1967, directed by G. S. Malian), Brothers Saroian (1968; art director, F. V. Dovlatian; directors, Kh. G. Abramian and A. P. Airapetian), Pomegranate Color (1969, directed by S. O. Paradzhanov), and others were also released. Among the best documentary films were Hello, Artem (1964, directed by G. G. Melik-Avakian), Martiros Sar’ian (1965, directed by L. V. Vagarshian), and Seven Songs of Armenia (1968, directed by G. G. Melik-Avakian).

In the 1950’s and 1960’s a large contribution to the development of Armenian film was made by the directors A. T. Ai-Artian, S. A. Kevorkov, E. A. Karamian, G. G. Melik-Avakian, F. V. Dovlatian, S. O. Paradzhanov, Iu. A. Erzinkian, L. V. Vagarshian, G. S. Malian, A. Kh. Manarian, L. G. Isahakian, G. R. Markarian, M. G. Akopian, G. A. Sarkisov, and D. Kesaian; the documentarists G. A. Balasakian, D. Kh. Zhamgarian, R. V. Frangulian, and A. G. Egiazarian; the cameramen S. G. Gevorkian, I. S. Dudarian, Zh. G. Vartanian, S. V. Shakhbazian, A. G. Iavurian, K. Z. Mesian, S. Kh. Israelian, G. N. Aramian, G. A. Egiazarian, G. M. Sanamian, N. A. Simonian, and G. Kh. Aslanian; the scenarists L. A. Karagezian, M. F. Ovchinnikov, M. Kh. Chamanian, A. N. Agababov, A. S. Aivazian, and M. A. Shatirian; the artists S. A. Arutchian, S. A. Safarian, P. L. Beitner, R. P. Babaian, R. O. Babaian, S. Kh. Andranikian, and V. G. Podpomogov; and the actors Kh. B. Abramian, A. A. Kotikian, A. Kadzhvorian, A. B. Dzhigarkhanian, G. O. Tonunts, V. K. Varderesian, M. M. Simonian, and M. M. Mkrtchian. In 1958 the Union of Cinematographers of the Armenian SSR was established.

In 1969 the Armenian SSR film network consisted of 722 motion picture installations.


Lebedev, N. Ocherki istorii kino SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow, 1965. (Chapter on Armenian cinematography.)
Kinematografiia Armenii (collection of articles). Moscow, 1962.
Rizaev, S. Armianskaia khudozhestvennaia kinematografiia. Yerevan, 1963.
Bek-Nazarov, A. Zapiski aktëra i kinorezhissëra. Moscow, 1965.
Haykakan kinoarvestĕ, horhvatsneri zhoghovatsu, vols. 1–2. Yerevan, 1958–60.
Dĕnuni, D. M. Urvagits Hayastani kinematografiayi patmut’ian. Yerevan, 1961.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Full browser ?