Trdat the Architect

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Trdat the Architect
Born 940s
Died 1020
Nationality Armenian
Buildings Ani Cathedral
Church of St. Gregory (1001-1010)
Argina Cathedral
Projects Restoration of the Dome of the Haghia Sophia (989-994)

Trdat the Architect (Armenian: Տրդատ ճարտարապետ, circa 940s – 1020; Latin: Tiridates) was the chief architect of the Bagratuni kings of Armenia, whose tenth-century monuments have been argued to be the forerunners of Gothic architecture which came to Europe several centuries later.[1][2]

Work[edit]

Armenia[edit]

Trdat was active in Armenia before and after his reconstruction of the Hagia Sophia. In 961, Ashot III moved his capital from Kars to the great city of Ani where he assembled new palaces and rebuilt the walls. The Catholicosate was moved to the Argina district in the suburbs of Ani where Trdat completed the building of the Catholicosal palace and the Mother Cathedral of Ani. This cathedral offers an example of a cruciform domed church within a rectangular plan.[3] Trdat is also believed to have designed or supervised the construction of Surb Nshan (Holy Sign, completed in 991), the oldest structure at Haghpat Monastery.[4]

Byzantium[edit]

After a great earthquake in 989 ruined the dome of Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine officials summoned Trdat to Byzantium to organize repairs. The restored dome was completed by 994.[5] As the contemporary Armenian historian Stepanos Taronetsi (Asoghik) commented:

Even [Hagia] Sophia, the cathedral, was torn to pieces from top to bottom. On account of this, many skillful workers among the Greeks tried repeatedly to reconstruct it. The architect and stonemason Trdat of the Armenians also happened to be there, presented a plan, and with wise understanding prepared a model, and began to undertake the initial construction, so that [the church] was rebuilt more handsomely than before.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ See (German) Strzygowski, Joseph. Die Baukunst der Armenier und Europa. Vienna: A. Schroll & Co., 1918.
  2. ^ (Armenian) Harutyunyan, Varazdat M. "Ճարտարապետություն," [Architecture] in Հայ Ժողովրդի Պատմություն [History of the Armenian People], eds. Tsatur Aghayan et al. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1976, vol. 3, p. 388.
  3. ^ Macler, Frédéric. "Armenia: The Kingdom of the Bagratides" in The Cambridge Medieval History: The Eastern Roman Empire (717-1453), ed. John Bury. Cambridge: The University Press, 1927, vol. 4, p. 161.
  4. ^ (Russian) Hovhannisyan, Konstantine. Зодчий Трдат [The Architect Trdat]. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1951, pp. 59-83.
  5. ^ Maranci, Christina. "The Architect Trdat: Building Practices and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Byzantium and Armenia." The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. Vol. 62, No. 3, Sep. 2003, pp. 294-305.
  6. ^ Vasn oroy bazum c'an elew arhestawor cartarac'n Yunac' ar i verstin norogel: Ayl and dipeal cartarapetin Hayoc' Trdatay k'aragorci; tay zorinak sinuacoyn, imastun hancarov patrasteal zkalapars kazmacoyn ew skzbnaureal zsineln. or ew gelec'kapes sinec'aw paycar k'an zaira'inn. Malxasean, Step'anos Taronec'woy, Patmut'iwn Tiezerakan, 28, pp. 250-51, as translated in Christina Maranci. "The Architect Trdat: Building Practices and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Byzantium and Armenia," The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 62/3 (September 2003), pp. 295.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]