Ioannisian, Ioannes

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ioannisian, Ioannes Mkrtichevich


Born Apr. 14 (26), 1864, in Vagarshapat; died Sept. 29, 1929, in Yerevan. Armenian poet.

The son of a peasant, Ioannisian studied at the Lazarev Institute in Moscow. In 1888 he graduated from the department of history and philology at Moscow University. He worked as a teacher until 1912. He welcomed the Great October Socialist Revolution and took part in the construction of a new life, working in the legislative commission of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Armenian SSR after 1922.

Ioannisian published three collections entitled Poems (1887, 1908, 1912). His early poems are among the best examples of Armenian civic lyrics; the poet exposed the savage exploitation of the peasantry and wrote of the hard labor of the farmer (“Farewell to Sun and Spring”; “Ashug”; “Araz”; “Alagiaz Is White and Frozen”). Some of his verses have tragic overtones (“There Are Minutes”; “I Believe That I Am Immortal”). Ioannisian did classical adaptations based on popular traditions of the songs of the ancient Armenian minstrels (gusans) and wrote ballads and legends (“King Artavazd,” “The Birth of Vahagn”), in which he expressed liberationist sentiments. His work played a major role in the development of Armenian poetry, including that of the Soviet period, laying the way for H. Tumanian and A. Isaakian. Ioannisian was a master of the love lyric and of pastoral poems, which are marked by fluid expression and fresh comparisons and metaphors. His translations of Homer, A. S. Pushkin, N. A. Nekrasov, P. Ia. Iakubovich, A. Mickiewicz, Goethe, Schiller, and Heine are unparalleled to this day.


[Hovhannisian, H.] Erkeri zhoghovaou, vol. 1. Yerevan, 1937.
Erker. Yerevan, 1959.
Erkeri zhoghovaou, vols. 1–2. Yerevan, 1964.
Banasteghoutyunner. Moscow, 1887.
Banasteghoutyunner. Vagarshapat, 1908.
In Russian translation:
Stikhotvoreniia.Yerevan, 1940.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1949.
Lirika. Moscow, 1963.


Istoriia armianskoi sovetskoi literatury. Moscow, 1966.
Khitarova, S. Poeziia Ioannisiana. Moscow, 1968.
Ghanalanyan, H. Hovhannes Hovhannisyan (grakan dimankar). Yerevan, 1946.
Hovesepyan, G. Hovhannes Hovhannisyan. Yerevan, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.