Levon Shant

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shant, Levon


(pen name of Levon Segbosian). Born 1869 in Constantinople; died Nov. 29,1951, in Beirut. Armenian writer.

Shant graduated from a theological school in Üsküdar and studied at the Echmiadzin Theological Academy. From 1892 to 1899 he studied at the universities of Leipzig, Jena, and Munich, and he later returned to Armenia. His early works, the first of which were published in 1891, include the narrative poem The Girl From the Mountains (1893), the novella The Strangers (1896), and the dramas The Egoist (1901) and On the Road (1904). All of these works deal with the quest for freedom in a world of illusions.

In his later works, Shant often employed historical themes. After the defeat of the Revolution of 1905–07 he wrote the drama Old Gods (1909; Russian translation. 1912), and during World War I (1914–18) he wrote the drama The Emperor (1916). Shant subsequently became closely associated with the bourgeois nationalist party Dashnaktsutiun, and his views displayed reactionary tendencies. He emigrated in 1921 and lived in Europe, Asia, and North America, taking up residence in Beirut in 1949.

Shant wrote about the distant past of the Armenian people, for example, the tragedy Oshinpail (1932) and the novel Thirsting Souls (1941). Shant’s heroes reflect the author’s gradual loss of interest in social matters. Eventually symbolist perception of reality came to prevail in his works.


Shant’, L. Erker, vols. 1–9. Beirut, 1946–51.
Entir erker. Edited by T’op’ch’iani. Yerevan, 1968.


Levon Shant’. Yerevan, 1926.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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