Talk:Movses Khorenatsi

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Third opinion 2[edit]

I asked SimonP for the another third opinion about professors David Marshall Lang and Ronald Grigor Suny, since he is familiar with this dispute. These are 2 sources, the use of which in the article is disputed:

The reassignment of Moses Khorenats'i from the fifth to the eighth century was mooted as early as the 1890's by A. Carriere; Professor C. Toumanoff summarizes the evidence in the journal Handes Amsorya, Vol. 75, 1961, cols. 467-76. Few if any scholars outside Soviet Armenia continue to defend the old fifth century dating, though in Erevan the venerable chronicler's discredited account of himself is still upheld with patriotic zeal.

David M. Lang. Reviewed work(s): "Moses Khorenats'i": History of the Armenians by Robert W. Thomson. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 42, No. 3 (1979), pp. 574-575

The nationalist thrust of Soviet Armenian historiography extended into a fierce critique of foreign historians who attempted to question sacred assumptions in the canonical version of Armenian history. The holder of the chair in Armenian studies at Harvard University, Robert Thomson, had the temerity to assert that Movses Khorenatsi, whom Armenian historians had claimed as a fifth-century author, was actually an eighth-century writer with a clear political agenda that served his dynastic master. He went on to call him "an audacious, and mendacious, faker." "A mystifier of the first order," Movses "quotes sources at second hand as if he had read the original; he invents archives to lend the credence of the written word to oral tradition or to his own inventions; he rewrites Armenian history in a completely fictitious manner, as in his adaptations of Josephus.... Whoever Mo[v]ses was, he was not only learned but clever. His protestations of strict methodology were intended to deceive, to divert critical attention, and to encourage acceptance of his own tendentious narrative." Soviet Armenian scholars bitterly attacked Thomson's dating of Khorenatsi and his characterization of the author. In a sense, a foreigner had tampered with te soul of the nation.

Ronald Grigor Suny. Constructing Primordialism: Old Histories for New Nations. The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 73, No. 4 (Dec., 2001), pp. 862—896

Politologist Razmik Panossian writes the same as the above 2 historians: [1]

At present the article says:

Thomson's dating of Movses and his approach in evaluating the author's work was criticized when the English translation of History of Armenia appeared in 1978.

This creates an impression that when Thomson's work came out, it was universally criticized, which is not true. In fact, it met no serious criticism anywhere outside of Armenia. No non-Armenian source criticizing Thomson has been provided so far, and the above sources make it clear that criticism was coming mostly from the authors in Armenia and Armenian diaspora.

A third party opinion about the reliability of the above sources would be very helpful. Thanks. Grandmaster 05:56, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Lang : Few if any scholars outside Soviet Armenia continue to defend the old fifth century dating, though in Erevan the venerable chronicler's discredited account of himself is still upheld with patriotic zeal.
  • Suny: Soviet Armenian scholars bitterly attacked Thomson's dating of Khorenatsi and his characterization of the author. In a sense, a foreigner had tampered with the soul of the nation.
  • Panossian: This is not generally accepted by Armenians, particularly historians in Armenia, who take Khorenatsi's word at face value and place him in the 410 to 490 period.
As anyone can see, none of them say the same.
And sources have been provided, see Nersessian, curator at the British Library. Sardur (talk) 06:00, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
They all say that criticism of Thomson came from Armenian authors. Nersessian also represents the Armenian diaspora. Thomson himself writes:
Yet for nearly a century — from the 1890s to the present day — there has been no general agreement among Armenian and non-Armenian scholars on the date of this History.
Robert W. Thomson. Moses Khorenats'i, History of the Armenians. Harvard University Press, ISBN 0674395719.
Grandmaster 06:48, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Since when Armenian = Armenian diaspora? Anyway, I will summarise my position for SimonP latter today. Sardur (talk) 08:15, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Summary of my position:
There are several issues here, but first let me say some words on what Grandmaster wrote under this section:

  • This creates an impression that when Thomson's work came out, it was universally criticized: since when does "criticized" mean "universally criticized"?
  • no serious criticism anywhere outside of Armenia: not true, I recently mentioned Traina or Nersessian, both of wich are "outside of Armenia". And there are others, there's a table on that on this page.
  • No non-Armenian source criticizing Thomson has been provided so far: not true, see my former point.
  • the above sources make it clear that criticism was coming mostly from the authors in Armenia and Armenian diaspora:
    • none of these sources addresses criticism from the diaspora.
    • only one source (Lang, and I will come back to it latter) says something like criticism was coming mostly from the authors in Armenia. Suny and Panossian talk about criticism by Armenians but never say a word on the fact that criticism would come mostly from them.

To issues now. The main one is to avoid the impression given by Grandmaster's inclusions before he was last reverted, i.e. that only Armenian scholars criticized Thomson for reasons relating to historiographical agenda. This impression is:

  1. of course completely PoV
  2. OR: it can only be achieved via a combination of sources addressing different issues. Once again, there's not a single source for something like "only Armenian scholars criticized Thomson for reasons relating to historiographical agenda"
  3. on top, to say that "only Armenian scholars criticized Thomson" is not true: (i) even people agreeing with his conclusion on the 5th c. dating did criticize his tone (even Lang does so). Thomson has been criticized by various people for various reasons. (ii) if criticism is restricted to the 5th c. dating: see Traina for instance. And members of the Armenian diaspora of such a stature as Nersessian cannot be dismissed on the basis of any sources provided so far.

I also have issues with each of the three diverging sources (Lang, Suny and Panossian):

  • Whether Lang was right or not when he published his review, I don't care. The point is that it is outdated: since 1979, a lot of reviews or studies have been published on Moses, and several "outside Soviet Armenia" (= Lang's words) support the 5th c. dating, to start with Nersessian, already in 1979. What's the point of having in the article an outdated view? Are we here to write an article on Moses as he was known in 1979?
  • Suny:
    • What Grandmaster proposes is typically UNDUE: Suny is the only one saying "Soviet Armenian scholars bitterly attacked Thomson's dating". On top of this:
    • Suny is not reliable: he mentions only one author, Armen Aivazian. Other authors were not bitterly attacking, it has already been explained on this page.
    • Suny is not relevant: he's not a specialist of Moses (see [2]). His opinion could be relevant in Armenian historiography, but not here. To draw a parallelism, nobody would use, say, Yves Ternon as a source about Van in the Xth c., because it's not his speciality. Same for Suny.
  • Panossian is a politologist, i.e. he has no authority in a histori(ographic)co-philological debate.

Sardur (talk) 09:42, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Can you quote at least one critical review of Thomson's book by a non-Armenian author? The sources above mention that Thomson was attacked by Armenian authors, or that the old dating is upheld by patriotic scholars in Armenia. Both Suny and Lang are professors in Western universities, author of numerous books on Armenia. At the same time all sources in the article that criticize Thomson are Armenian. If the book of Thomson was not generally well received, then why no non-Armenian scholar wrote any critical review of it? Grandmaster 09:54, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
    Nersessian is already used in the article. I won't answer anymore to your-repeated-questions-already-answered untill we have some news from SimonP. Sardur (talk) 10:13, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
    I also mentioned that Nersessian represents the Armenian diaspora. Let's wait for the third opinion. Grandmaster 10:33, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
So does Suny, not that it matters but you just confirmed once again that you're cherry picking.-- Ευπάτωρ Talk!! 19:51, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't reject Armenian scholars in general. There are many prominent experts in the diaspora. But we have reliable sources which say that the majority opinion among the Armenian scholars is rejection of later dating for the reasons of patriotism. Grandmaster 06:17, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Since SimonP was unable to provide third opinion on this issue, I asked for WP:3o again. Grandmaster 05:03, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Just passing bye... and you editors look like you will never agree on this, is it not a good idea to have both and give the differing opinions? According to this school of though .. ... and there is a difference of opinion whereas this school of scholars holds these beliefs....(Off2riorob (talk) 11:30, 14 July 2009 (UTC))

That's what I'm actually trying to do. There's a group of scholars (mostly in Armenia and the Armenian diaspora) who believe that Moses of Chorene lived and wrote in the 5th century, and there's another group (mostly international experts) who believe that this author lived much later. As you can see from the article, in its current state the article for the most part represents the position of pro-5th century party, while the opinion of critics of this position is being suppressed. It is impossible to understand from the article why exactly the scholars outside of Armenia disagree with the 5th century dating. I don't think it is acceptable, all existing scholarly opinions must be presented equally and fairly. Grandmaster 04:48, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
  1. No source has been provided so far about scholars from the Armenian Diaspora.
  2. The issue under this section is not about opinions on the dating, but about opinions on the scholars and their nationality.
Sardur (talk) 05:34, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
For now, could we at least agree on leaving out nationalities (just refer to them as "XX, a scholar on Armenian history") until an agreement has been reached? Nishkid64 (Make articles, not wikidrama) 15:45, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Of course. But then we somehow need to bring the article to neutrality. It says:
Thomson's dating of Movses and his approach in evaluating the author's work was criticized when the English translation of History of Armenia appeared in 1978.
This raises a question: who were the critics? In its present form the statement creates an impression that Thomson was universally criticized, and no one agreed with him. But the fact is that all the criticism was coming from the Armenian scholars, which the sources above confirm. So I think something needs to be done to fix problematic statements in the article.
Plus, a bigger problem is that while so much space is dedicated to the criticism of this particular scholar, his position is not fairly represented in the article. My attempt to introduce some of Thomson's explanations why exactly he finds 5th century dating impossible was reverted for no reason. [3] Note that none of Thomson's critics in the article address the points that he raises, and the section that contains this criticism is very far from neutrality. Grandmaster 13:00, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Always the same. Traina for instance is not Armenian, Nersessian for instance is not Armenian. Sardur (talk) 16:17, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Did Traina criticize Thomson? Grandmaster 16:33, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
He does, I already gave an example. Sardur (talk) 19:01, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
That is only one non-Armenian source, which contains just one critical line. In general, Thomson's book was very well received and is a number one source on Moses. How can you claim that Thomson's book was met with criticism only when it was published? And as the sources above attest, most of criticism was from Armenian scholars. Grandmaster 04:26, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
That's not only one critical line, he also says that there's no reason for concluding that the History is a late forgery (i.e. Thomson's opinion), for example. And there are other scholars, see the table which was provided several times. Sardur (talk) 05:48, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
That's not criticism of Thomson's work, and none of the authors in the table criticized Thomson. All the substantial criticism was from Armenian authors. We have sources about that. But leaving that alone, what are the grounds for claiming that Thomson's work was not generally well received? Grandmaster 08:07, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Is this a joke?
We don't have sources, but one source, an outdated one on top of that.
And nobody claimed that Thomson's work was not generally well received, that's the point from the beginning. Your question reflects a binary view of the subject, which is not very helpful. Sardur (talk) 08:44, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Suny: Soviet Armenian scholars bitterly attacked Thomson's dating of Khorenatsi and his characterization of the author. Note that this scholar talks about attacks on Thomson, not criticism. This is going nowhere anyway. So let's try another DR procedure. Do you mind mediation? Grandmaster 05:41, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
A third opinion was requested nearly one week ago (diff). I'm going to remove it from the list there because both Off2riorob and Nishkid64 have offered outside opinions. Sardur and Grandmaster may still be disputing, but it's beyond the scope of WP:3O. — Athaenara 16:08, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I would really prefer if someone actually read the sources and provided his opinion on them, because Off2riorob offered just a general observation on dispute, but did not comment on sources, and Nishkid64 kindly provided his opinion on the above sources before, but it was rejected. So another opinion would be helpful. Grandmaster 04:26, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

I cannot believe this article is back to pseudohistory mode, without even any "disputed" tag, after all this time. The facts are simple, and have long been established beyond reasonable doubt. The only question left open is, is this supposed to be the Armeniapedia article, or the Wikipedia article. To answer this, please check the url box in your browser. If it reads "", please stop trying to turn this into an example of patriotic revisionism. The section title "hypercritical phase" is so blatantly out of line I can only laugh. How about talking about the period of Soviet Armenian nationalist revisionism as the "hypocritical phase"? Only, this phase never spilled outside the Armenian SSR and as such would rather classify as "suspension of the critical method in Soviet Armenian scholarship". --dab (𒁳) 09:22, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

I cannot add anything to the article, it gets instantly reverted. Latest example: [4] I tried to explain why exactly the 5th century dating is being rejected by the international scholars, and it was removed from the article under a very strange pretext. [5] Grandmaster 09:37, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
So after the editwarrings and 3O that was also unsuccessful for you and dab, you see no solution than add another pov to the article. before doing it you should read what users (and provided sources) wrote here on your pov addings. Gazifikator (talk) 10:52, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Please mind WP:AGF and WP:Civil. Grandmaster 11:37, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Not WP:AGF nor WP:Civil is a reason to add revisionist POV to such a significant historical article. Civility means to hear others, look on their sources, not do what you like with no respect to these kilometers of discussions! Gazifikator (talk) 12:45, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Incredible: there is an agreement on the lead, which was not easy to reach, and that's the thing which is first removed...
And actually, despite of what Grandmaster said, we did advance. Slowly, but certainly. Only non consensual things were reverted. Sardur (talk) 17:16, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

After many months of discussion the only advance was an agreement on the short section about the reference in other literary sources. Grandmaster 06:27, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
You forget the lead (though less recent), and I'm sure we're not far from a consensus on Thomson. Sardur (talk) 09:41, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

the only way forward here is quite clearly to ban the patriot trolls. This will happen in good time, there is no deadline. Until then, the very least that proper procedure demands would be to keep the {{NPOV}} and {{merge}} tags up. There is simply no way these will be removed before this is fixed.

There is no "agreement" that there should even be an article on Moses apart from the article on his History. Nothing is known about this person other than what is found in this single text. We do not keep articles on authors known exclusively through their own work.

In the meantime, if you consider yourself an Armanian patriot, have the very basic decency to stand down and let the encyclopedists handle this article. Your patriotism completely misplaced in this project, and it is not welcome. If you are an Armenain patriot, please resign yourself to editing articles about Italian operas or some other topic where your judgement is not clouded by your primal sentiments. --dab (𒁳) 17:23, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Dab, please mind WP:AGF and WP:Civil. Insulting others and constantly turning Wikipedia into an ethnic battleground on this talk page has achieved nothing if you haven't noticed but it has created a very harmful atmosphere and has possibly intimidated other editors from making useful contributions. Progress has been incremental but visible. Unilateral edits are very unwelcome when active discussions are being made. --Marshal Bagramyan (talk) 18:10, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I concur. On top, and relating to this article, I would advise Dbachmann to try to get familiar with the main current scholars. Dab's statement is so ridiculous when you read Thomson, Mahe, Traina and others. Sardur (talk) 01:09, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Why even respond to his trolling? Ignore him, revert on sight and report.-- Ευπάτωρ Talk!! 01:24, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

how about responding to the issues raised? The trolling is entirely yours, gentlemen. If you keep removing the cleanup tags I will seek administrative action. Indeed, the case is obvious enough that I would feel justified in taking administrative action against people revert-warring over the cleanup and merge tags. There is no way Moses of Chorene is going to be presented as a historical 5th century individual on Wikipedia. Simply none. This is Soviet era propaganda and has no place in a 21st century encyclopedia. You are not the first nationalist tag-team trying to exploit Wikipedia, and you won't be the last. Wikipedia is well equipped to deal with this sort of thing. It takes time, to be sure, but there is simply no way that you are going to prevail, so I would invite you to do everyone a favour and begin showing some intellectual honesty. --dab (𒁳) 07:22, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Did you read anything on this page ? Traina for instance is even not Armenian. Sardur (talk) 10:18, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
"Soviet-era propaganda"? Dab, you really have no idea what you're talking about... Serouj (talk) 00:14, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Would you please stop editing in such a disruptive way? To consider that this is an issue "Soviet Armenian scholars against the rest of the world" or "patriotic Armenian historiography vs. mainstream western historiography" is completely stupid and does not reflect current scholarship on Moses. Once again, see Traina, Mahé, etc. Sardur (talk) 09:24, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
A good example : the word "hypercritical", that you find dubious. This word is for instance used by Jean-Pierre Mahé, a French historian and philologist, the translator (with his wife) of the History in French! Sardur (talk) 09:33, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

The vast majority of western scholars do not talk about "hypercritical" stage. It is an opinion of one or two persons. I don't see that Thomson, Toumanoff, Hewsen and others ever mention "hypercritical" stage. I think dab's edits were very good in general, and made the article a lot more neutral than it was. Plus, you also saw the opnion of Nishkid, who said that Lang and Suny are acceptable sources. Grandmaster 05:18, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

They do not because it's so obvious. Actually, the same could be said about other antique or medieval historians.
Actually, Nishkid also said it could be UNDUE. Sardur (talk) 05:37, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
This is what he said: [6] He did not say that they were UNDUE, he said you can argue that they are. However I don't think that the opinion of notable professors in Armenian studies could be undue weight. Grandmaster 06:17, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Suny is not an acceptable source because he provides no position Movses - nor would his opinion matter because he is a political scientist on Soviet affairs and not a specialist on Armenian studies per se. Nishkid's point was that Suny can be used as a source, that is, if he had anything relevant to say on topic. But the thing is that he has nothing relevant to say, much less Movses' dating. As for the word "hypercritical," simply read Lang's review of Thomson's work and see that even he accuses Thomson of exaggerating his criticism of Movses. The term hypercritical as a word relates to a period, and your claim that only a few scholars have used it does not make any sense. The reason is that there are very few scholars who have made evaluations on the evolution of the studies regarding Movses, and that to reject the word you have to provide sources which show that other scholars disagree with the usage of the word.

Furthermore, you have yet to justify the bullet point by point positions of Thomson on the main article on Movses.--Marshal Bagramyan (talk) 06:34, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

If so much space is dedicated to criticism of Thomson by the Armenian authors, why the position of Thomson cannot be allocated the equal space? You saw the opinion of Nishkid that both positions should receive equal coverage, while at present the position of 5th century supporters gets unfair promotion. Suny does not have to be an expert on Movses, he is an expert on Armenian nationalism, and that is more than enough. As a professional historian, he knows what he is talking about when describing the dispute over Movses' dating. Lang never uses the word "hypercritical", he just disagrees with the language Thomson uses, but agrees with his dating. Grandmaster 10:51, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Ouch, that's getting complicated. Marshall, do you have a problem if this is added?
"Robert W. Thomson, the former holder of the chair in Armenian Studies at Harvard University and the translator of several classical Armenian works, noted that Moses of Chorene uses sources not available in Armenian at that time, and refers to persons and places attested only in the sixth or seventh centuries. He recapitulated as follows the historical clues scattered in the History, some of which were previously noted by various scholars and which in his opinion enable to reject the 5th century dating:
Moses is the first Armenian writer to equate Siunik' and Sisakan. The latter term is first found in Syriac in the sixth century; in the seventh-century Armenian Ashkharhats'oyts' it refers to a canton, not the whole province. Moses knows of four Armenias. These four Byzantine provinces were not so organized until 536 A.D. (By Justinian). Moses refers to the territory east of Lake Van as Vaspurakan, a term used only after the partition of Armenia in 591. Not until the early eighth century Narratio de Rebus Armeniae is Vaspurakan used to designate a province in the same sense as Moses uses it. Moses refers to the Khazars, not mentioned in other Armenian sources before the seventh-century Ashkharhats'oyts'. Moses knows of an Iranian advance into Bithynia. Only in the 604-629 war did the Iranians advance so far west. Moses refers to two positions, Presiding Prince and Comes, in Byzantine Armenia; this reflects the position after Heraclius' victory over Iran in 629.[1]"
Sardur (talk) 11:10, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Sardur, those points don't truly belong to Thomson. He is just verbatim repeating what the earlier hypercritical scholars had stated. We can probably list at least four of those points in its respective section and just say that he brought up those claims once more in his translation of the work.--Marshal Bagramyan (talk) 16:15, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't see your answer with all the noise in here. I agree, and this is why "recapitulates" and "previously noted" stand there... Sardur (talk) 18:38, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Sardur, the disruptive editing is entirely yours. With all this prancing around, you are simply trying to lend credibility to a position that does not in fact have any credibility, in the best tradition of WP:UNDUE. You will note that all literature quoted that is supposed to back up this "historical 5th century Moses" originates in Soviet Armenia. All of it. If you are even going to continue this talkpage discussion, the least you could do would be presenting some piece of scholarly literature that does not originate in Armenian patriotism and that was published after 1990.

Can we please cut to the chase and merge this article already? It is a discussion of the authorship of the History. "Moses" has no existence outside of this discussion. --dab (𒁳) 12:18, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Once again, could you read this page?
No, not "all literature quoted that is supposed to back up this "historical 5th century Moses" originates in Soviet Armenia". The Curator of the Christian Middle East Section at the British Library is certainly not to be considered as writing "some piece of scholarship" that does "originate in Armenian patriotism".
On top, other scholars are quoted on this page, and without your disruptive edits, perhaps the users involved in this page could discuss and agree on how to insert them in the article. See Traina for instance, already quoted here. I also already quoted Mahé who refuses to consider the dating issue as solved in his translation.
On top, you changed again the lead, though it was reached after a successful request to WP:3O.
I note that, you, an admin, are edit-waring; you try to impose your PoV (while scholarship on Moses generally agree that the dating issue is still disputed, like it or not); and you don't care about what has been reached here after consensus. Are these local standards? Sardur (talk) 14:41, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
And since when does Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare belong to "Soviet era Armenian scholarship"?? Your edits are not only diruptive but they also introduce blatant mistakes in the article. Sardur (talk) 15:16, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

yeah, unlike the article as it stood when it wasn't even tagged for cleanup. Conybeare died in 1924. Move him to the "early studies" section and be done. What "consensus"? May I ask you to review the history of this "discussion", in the archive? This case had been fully resolvedback in aprill. Grandmaster (talk · contribs) had presented absolutely satisfactory references. I am not even sure what valid points are supposed to have been raised since then. Grandmaster has shown angelic patience in putting up with all sort of nonsense. If you had a minimal amount of good faith, you could collaborate with Grandmaster to achieve a reasonable presentation of the history of this thing. If you can dig up some 19th century western scholar who believes in a 5th century Moses, that's very fine. The upshot remains that current scholarship is unambiguous about the later date, and the only reason we are even having this discussion is Armenian patriotic mysticism, not scholarship. There isn't a WP:SNOW chance that this article will end up presenting the 5th century date as historical or even possibly historical in Wikipedia's voice. It is extremely unlikely that there is even grounds on keeping this article separate from the article on the History. An yet instead of granting these very obvious points, you prefer to go out of your way to take potshots at me for pointing out the problems. That's of course in extremely poor style, but it is also understandable seeing that you cannot, of course, be expected to make a case that actually holds any water. --dab (𒁳) 16:07, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

"I am not even sure what valid points are supposed to have been raised since then" Perhaps you should, that would save our time. And you could even realise that my opinion is not "5th century dating" but that the issue is still disputed.
What consensus? the consensus on the lead, on which even Grandmaster agreed.
"If you had a minimal amount of good faith, you could collaborate with Grandmaster to achieve a reasonable presentation of the history of this thing." That's the best! even till today, this is what I'm doing! Grandmaster and I did reach a first agreement in the above section "First appearence", and we did reach a second one this morning on the above section "Arguments"! I am discussing here for months now and didn't insert anything not discussed before. And you, what are you doing? You modify the article without any discussion, so please keep your lesson for yourself.
And now the blattant non sense: "current scholarship is unambiguous about the later date, and the only reason we are even having this discussion is Armenian patriotic mysticism, not scholarship." For the 4th time on this page, see Giusto Traina (for instance Giusto Traina, "Moïse de Khorène et l'Empire sassanide", p. 158-159, in Rika Gyselen (ed.), Des Indo-Grecs aux Sassanides: Données pour l'histoire et la géographie historique, Peeters Publishers, 2007, ISBN 978-2-9521376-1-4). Sardur (talk) 17:36, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
The prevalining opinion in non-Armenian scholarhip is that Moses of Chorene lived later than the 5th century. I agreed that we present both 5th and later dating equally, but the progress is very slow. And this article has serious neutrality issues. The 5th century dating is presented as the correct one, criticism is not presented adequately, undue weight is given to the opinion of critics of Thomson, etc. Hypercritical claim is another instance of POV. This all needs to be fixed, but considering how slow the progress was, it looks like some editors expect that stonewalling the discussions will cause the other side of the dispute to give up. But it is not going to happen. Sardur indeed has been the most constructive among people involved here, but this article is not going anywhere. Grandmaster 05:15, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi everybody, I just discovered this discussion today, and have been reading around since. I am not going to express my "opinion" about this, as I'm not an expert on the subject. However, there are a few things I can observe from the discussion on the page. I agree with Grandmaster, that Sardur has been putting forward the most constructive argument here, as I see from the multinumber of the sources he's presented, with a table right at the top, showing who supports what position. By taking a look at that table, I think that no one can claim "The upshot remains that current scholarship is unambiguous about the later date". Dbachmann, are you suggesting that International Committee of Historical Sciences and Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies are somehow distant from the current scholarship? I realise that you're trying to be neutral, and I appreciate your effort at that, but assuming patriotism is the source of the discussion from the point you entered it and telling people who are presenting referenced arguments "If you are an Armenain patriot, please resign yourself to editing articles about Italian operas or some other topic where your judgement is not clouded by your primal sentiments" is hardly being neutral and even further from assuming good faith. Chaojoker (talk) 17:10, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Grandmaster is obviously fully competent and entirely right. This is a simple matter of an encyclopedist editor running into a nationalist tag-team with an agenda. We get this all the time on Wikipedia. The project rules are built so that expertise will win out in the end, but it's often a tedious process. --dab (𒁳) 10:28, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

"Movses the Poet"[edit]

Is the above name another name for this subject? If it is, then he does seem to be a saint of the Armenian Church church as per here. John Carter (talk)

This one is in the group of the "Holy Translators", and Movses Khorenatsi is traditionally one of them, so I would say yes. It however requires confirmation. Sardur (talk) 18:02, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

"Moses" vs. "Movses"?[edit]

Why is this person called "Moses of Chorene" in the name of the article, yet the text of the article consistently calls him "Movses"? I'm not saying one form is better than the other, but I'd like to see a discussion here on the talk page about which form best fits Wikipedia guidelines -- then enforce consistency in all parts of the article. -- llywrch (talk) 21:38, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Movses is simply the Armenian rendition of the biblical name "Moses". Also, "Chorene" is the French/German rendition of the Armenian village that he hailed from, Khoren/Khorni/Khorneh/Khoron. While his name sometimes is at times written Moses or Movses in publications today, most scholars have entirely discarded the French/German rendition of his name (which was widely in use during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries), not least because the first syllable of Chorene, if we are to follow proper English pronunciation rules, isn't pronounced like the "Ch" sound found in the words "chew" or "choose". It is a guttural sound (voiceless velar fricative) that comes from the throat. The Library of Congress has rendered the "Խ" sound in Armenian with the letters, "Kh", which is used extensively in the English transcription of Russian names and words (Mikhail; Khlevnyuk; Khodorkovsky; etc.) that possess the equivalent letter (X) to the Armenian "Խ". I believe this far more accurate in conveying the sound than "Ch". I think if no one objects, we can simply change the name of the article to Movses Khorenatsi, as the most simple, logical, and effective way of transcribing his Armenian name into English characters.--Marshal Bagramyan (talk) 22:02, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't really mind it either way, but according to the rules we must use the common English name. This was discussed here: [7] If it was demonstrated that Movses is more popular than Moses, then the name could be changed. Grandmaster 07:10, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm just looking for consistency. FWIW, I don't think he's that familiar a personage to English speakers to prefer one form over the other. -- llywrch (talk) 07:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Most of the academic literature, in particular the modern material, uses Movses Khorenatsi. "Moses of Chorene" is 19th-century encyclopedia stuff. A bit like Boudica vs Boadicea. Wkipedia uses Boudica, though Boadicea is still more widely used. Meowy 03:16, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Was there a consensus for the move? I think it should be demonstrated that Khorenatsi is more commonly used in literature. Grandmaster 09:09, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

I certainly did not see any complaints shown in the above discussion. A quick search through Google Books shows that many recent works, esp. by scholars, tend to favor "Movses Khorenatsi", "Khorenatsi" [8], [9], rathern than "Moses of Chorene", which is encountered far more often in books and journals published in England, France, and Germany from the early nineteenth to early twentieth centuries [10].--Marshal Bagramyan (talk) 17:13, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

I get about twice as many hits on google books for "Moses of Chorene" than for "Movses Khorenatsi". I expected this to be due to a historical shift in usage, with "Moses of Chorene" being the more old-fashioned form, but I find that for any period I restrict my search to, the ratio of 2:1 is more or less perserved. E.g. the period 1980 to 2000, [11][12] gives me a ratio of 358:153. Clearly both terms are valid and used in respectable publications, but if it comes down to picking one under WP:NAME, the name most commonly used in English is clearly "Moses of Chorene". --dab (𒁳) 10:35, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

We should use a name which is recognizable to anglophones; among them we should generally use the most common in reliable sources (because most recognizable) - unless there is some legitimate and pressing cause not to. This article is not edited for specialists in Armenia; they have better sources. This classicist would prefer Moses of Chorene, the name I have heard before. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:42, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Your move was unnecessary. As some other editors have already commented above, the "Chorene" is not used in literature period, whether its in academic publications or popular works on the subject. You say that his name should be recognizable to anglophones and yet the current title follows the phonetic pronunciation that was invented by German and French scholars at the turn of the 19th century. I already outlined the problems with such a pronunciation above and it's quite clear that, after the 1960s, this archaic form of spelling was dropped by all authors in favor of the more accurate rendition of the name, i.e., Moses or Movses Khorenatsi (even the French translation drops the "Ch" in favor of the "Kh"). Unless the average anglophone is 90 years old, he or she will be more familiar with the style that has been employed by scholars for the past 40 years or so. If by classicist you mean someone who someone who studies the classics, then even they prefer Moses or Movses Khorenatsi, as evidenced by the title used in the English translation by Thomson or by the works published by scholars in Armenia. If you have no other argument to offer, then I shall move it back to its previous title.--Marshal Bagramyan (talk) 16:29, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

This is inconsistent with dab's searches above.
The contention that we should privilege, in this matter or any other, scholars in Armenia or in Armenian is improper; there is an Armenian Wikipedia, after all.
The assertion about classicists is a plain lie: Moses of Chorene is the article title in the current edition of Pauly-Wissowa, and the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium also calls him Moses although they transliterate the Armenian epithet (to Xorenac'i not Khorenatsi).
I see no reason whatever to use an outdated system of transliteration instead of a long-established translation, both in Wikipedia and outside of it; I will therefore stand with the present title. Feel free to demonstrate that your unEnglish preference is the consensus of Wikipedia. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:23, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
But we're not gearing this for either scholars in Armenia or scholars in Armenian Studies. The authors in volume 1 of the book, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, which is geared towards a popular audience and students in general, favor the Khorenatsi rendering of the name. George Bournoutian's A Concise History of the Armenian People and Simon Payaslian's The History of Armenia, both aimed towards the layman, use the new rendering. Moreover, Dab's searches only show that scholars are largely citing works published prior to the mid-20th century, not showing favoritism to the older rendering. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium is using the Hübschmann-Meillet System, which I agree is far too geared towards specialists.
To reiterate what I said above, "while his name sometimes is at times written Moses or Movses in publications today, most scholars have entirely discarded the French/German rendition of his name (which was widely in use during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries), not least because the first syllable of Chorene, if we are to follow proper English pronunciation rules, isn't pronounced like the 'Ch' sound found in the words 'chew' or 'choose'. It is a guttural sound (voiceless velar fricative) that comes from the throat. The Library of Congress has rendered the "Խ" sound in Armenian with the letters, 'Kh', which is used extensively in the English transcription of Russian names and words (Mikhail; Khlevnyuk; Khodorkovsky; etc.) that possess the equivalent letter (X) to the Armenian 'Խ'." The average English-speaker is mislead to think that Movses' is name is pronounced Moses of "Chore-en" or something (lol), which completely distorts the pronunciation and spelling of the name whose name you are concerned about preserving.
This seems like a silly issue to get oneself worked about but the current naming neither adheres to the usage preferred by everyone living in the 21st century, specialist and layman alike, nor maintains the simplicity and ease in pronouncing and spelling which you have set yourself up the task to accomplish. There's not much else to say.--Marshal Bagramyan (talk) 22:47, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
In short, it is pronounced like Chalcidike, at both ends. However difficult that may be for Modern Greek nationalists, anglophones have been pronouncing it for centuries now. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:59, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm actually surprised that this title remained the same after four years. Another editor recently modified the spelling recently to reflect the most widespread and accurately rendered name, i.e., Movses Khorenatsi. As stated above the "Ch" seems to be an importation of the 19th century European preference to render the Greek "X" with those two letters. While Moses of Chorene seems to have been the most common spelling during the 19th century I don't believe it would be correct to maintain it now for reasons stemming from accessibility and research. Virtually no author uses that form in books or articles published nowadays and for many it seems to reflect an anachronism, akin to spelling Kurds, for example, Koords, which at one time a century ago was also very prevalent.--Marshal Bagramyan (talk) 21:39, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree. Google Ngram shows how the use of "Moses of Chorene" has been declining through the 20th century, while "Movses Khorenatsi" has been steadily rising since the 1950s. Plus, we should consider that many authors use different spellings of "Khorenatsi", such as "Xorenatsi", "Khorenaci", "Khorenac'i". --Երևանցի talk 20:21, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Doctor of the Church[edit]

The article is categorized in the Category:Doctors of the Church, but the the word doctor isn't used anywhere in the prose of the article. Can anyone elaborate on any church that grants Moses of Chorene the title "Doctor of the Church", and provide a citation to support such a title? Gentgeen (talk) 19:33, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Hateful language removal[edit]

I removed hate speech inserted by Murcel. R.Thomson was criticized by his remarks, and some of this criticism is found in this article. Please avoid invectives and hate speech. This is unethical and can lead to sanction. Dehr (talk) 06:15, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

This is a highly against Wikipedia regulations. The added information is well sourced and relevant. To accuse me of "hate speech" is also a violation of regulations, you have no evidence of such accusation, so consider this a warning. Mursel (talk) 17:24, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
"so consider this a warning" and your entire entry above is a violation of regulations. Please assume good faith. Dehr (talk) 04:38, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary, it is perefectly legitimate to warn editors about inappropriate comments. WP:AFG is not a free license. Paul B (talk) 13:09, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

File:Movses Khorenatsi Matenadaran.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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  1. ^ See Robert W. Thomson's introduction in his translation of Movses' work, History of the Armenians, Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 1978, p. 57-58.