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(pen name of Ovsep Shishmanian). Born Sept. 16 (28), 1822, in Constantinople (now Istanbul); died Feb. 1 (13), 1888, in Tbilisi. Armenian writer.

From 1831 to 1837, Tserents studied in Vienna at a school run by the Mechitarist fathers. He studied medicine in Paris from 1848 to 1853. In 1853 he took up residence in Constantinople and on Cyprus, where he worked as a teacher and physician. He resided in Tbilisi from 1878 and taught at the Nersisian Armenian Gymnasium.

Tserents and Raffi are considered the founders of the Armenian historical novel. Tserents’ novel Toros, Son of Levon (1877) portrays the drama of events in the Cilician Armenian state of the 12th century. In the Pains of Birth (1879), his best novel, relates the Armenian people’s struggle for freedom from the Arab Caliphate in the ninth century. The novel Theodore Rshtuni (1881) describes the seventh-century struggle for a strong centralized government, in which the hero of the title played a major role.


Erker. Yerevan, 1968.
In Russian translation:
Toros, syn Levona. V mukakh rozhdeniia. Istoricheskie romany. [Foreword by V. Mkrtchian.] Yerevan, 1969.


Nanumyan, Rh. Tserents’. Yerevan, 1961.
Hay nor grakanut’yan patmut’yun, vol. 3. Yerevan, 1964.
Sarinyan. S. N. Haykakan rhomansizm. Yerevan, 1966.