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)
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 10th century monuments have been argued to be the forerunners of Gothic architecture which came to Europe several centuries later.[1][2]

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]

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.[4] Trdat is also thought to have designed or supervised the construction of Surb Nshan (Holy Sign, completed in 991), the oldest structure at Haghpat Monastery.[5]

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]

Armenia[edit]

Trdat in Armenia was still active before and after his reconstruction of the Hagia Sophia.

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"). History of the Armenian People. vol. iii. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1976, p. 388.
  3. ^ Macler, Frédéric. "Armenia: The Kingdom of the Bagratides" in The Cambridge Medieval History: The Eastern Roman Empire (717-1453). John Bury (ed.) vol. iv. Cambridge: The University Press, 1927, p. 161.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ (Russian) Hovhannisyan, Konstantine. Зодчий Трдат (The Architect Trdat). Yerevan, 1951, pp. 59-83.
  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'woyP atmut'iwn Tiezerakan, 28, p. 250-51.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.
  • _______________. "An Armenian Architect in Byzantium's Court: The Career and Building Practices of Trdat," The Oriental Institute, The University of Chicago, May 14, 2003.
  • _______________. “Armenian Architecture as Aryan Architecture: The Role of Indo-European Scholarship in the Theories of Joseph Strzygowski.” Visual Resources, 13, pp. 361–78.
  • (Armenian) Stepanos Taronetsi (Asoghik). Տիեզերական Պատմություն (Universal History). Translation and commentary by V. H. Vardanyan. Yerevan: Yerevan State University Press, 2000.
  • (Armenian) Toramanian, Toros. Նյութեր հայկական ճարտարապետության պատմության (Materials for the History of Armenian Architecture). vol. ii. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: ArmFan Publishing, 1948.

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