Patkanian, Rafael

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Patkanian, Rafael


(pen name Gamar-Katipa). Born Nov. 8 (20), 1830, in Nakhichevan’-na-Donu; died there Aug. 22 (Sept. 3), 1892. Armenian writer.

Patkanian studied at the Lazarev Institute in Moscow and at the universities of Dorpat (Tartu) and St. Petersburg. He first appeared in print in 1850. From 1855 to 1857 he published the Gamar-Katipa literary anthologies, which contained patriotic verse. In the late 1860’s he returned to his native town and began a pedagogical career.

In the 1850’s and 1860’s, Patkanian strove to arouse the national consciousness of the Armenian people in such works as the poems “The Tears of Araks” and “Song of the Mother of Agasi” and the long historical poem The Death of the Brave Vardan Mamikonian (1856). He wrote the cycle of civic poems Free Songs (1878) during the Russo-Turkish War and published the cycle of satirical verse The Lyre of New Nakhichevan’ (1879). Depicting the tragic life of the Armenian people under the Turkish yoke, Patkanian summoned the nation to unite in the struggle for freedom and expressed the people’s striving for liberation with Russia’s aid. His short stories “The Open Courtyard” (1874), “War” (1877), and “Walking-Corpses” (1889) exposed the greed of the commercial bourgeoisie and of the clergy; his novellas The Man of Ambition (1880) and Mistress and Maid (1884) are devoted to young people.


Patkanyan, Rh. Erkeri zhoghovatsu, vols. 1–8; vols. 1–7 in print. Yerevan, 1963–73.
In Russian translation:
In Poeziia Armenii s drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei. Edited by and preface by V. Briusov. Moscow, 1916.


Veselovskii, Iu. “Rafael Patkanian.” In the collection Ocherki armianskoi literatury i zhizni. Armavir, 1906.
Muradyan, H. Rhap’ayel Patkanyan. Yerevan, 1956.


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