Grigor Magistros

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Grigor Magistros (Armenian: Գրիգոր Մագիստրոս; "Gregory the magistros"; ca. 990–1058) was an Armenian prince, linguist, scholar and public functionary. A layman of the princely Pahlavuni family that claimed descent from the dynasty established by St. Gregory the Illuminator, he was the son of the military commander Vasak Pahlavuni. After the Byzantine Empire annexed the Kingdom of Ani, Gregory went on to serve as the governor (doux) of the province of Edessa. During his tenure he worked actively to suppress the Tondrakians, a breakaway Christian Armenian sect that the Armenian and Byzantine Churches both labeled heretics.[1] He studied both ecclesiastical and secular literature, Syriac as well as Greek. He collected all Armenian manuscripts of scientific or philosophical value that were to be found, including the works of Anania Shirakatsi, and translations from Callimachus, Andronicus and Olympiodorus. He translated several works of PlatoThe Laws, the Eulogy of Socrates, Euthyphro, Timaeus and Phaedo. Many ecclesiastics of the period were his pupils.

Foremost among his writings are the "Letters," which are 80 in number, and which shed light upon the political and religious problems of the time. His poetry bears the impress of both Homeric Greek and the Arabic of his own century. His chief poetical work is a long metrical narrative of the principal events recorded in the Bible. This work was purportedly written in three days in 1045 at the request of a Muslim scholar, who, after reading it, converted to Christianity. Grigor was almost the first poet to adopt the use of rhyme introduced to Armenia by the Arabs.[2]

Works[edit]

  • (Armenian) Գրիգոր Մագիստրոսի թղթերը [The letters of Grigor Magistros]. Alexandropol: Georg Sanoeants' Publishing, 1910. An English translation, with commentary, by Professor Theo van Lint at Oxford, is currently underway.[3]

Studies[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ See (Armenian) Babken Arakelyan (1976), «Սոցիալական շարժումները Հայաստանում IX-XI դարերում» [Social movements in Armenia, 9th-11th centuries] in Հայ ժողովրդի պատմություն [History of the Armenian People], eds. Tsatur Aghayan et al. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, vol. 3, pp. 284-88.
  2. ^ Hacikyan, Agop; Gabriel Basmajian; Edward S. Franchuk (2002). Nourhan Ouzounian, ed. The Heritage of Armenian Literature Volume II: From the Sixth to the Eighteenth Century. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. pp. 325–26. ISBN 0-8143-2815-6. 
  3. ^ Professor Theo M. van Lint. Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford.