Karen Yuzbashyan

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Karen Yuzbashyan
Born (1927-01-06)January 6, 1927
Tiflis, Georgian SSR
Died March 5, 2009(2009-03-05) (aged 82)
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Fields Armenian studies, Byzantine studies, Oriental studies
Institutions Armenian Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg State University
Alma mater Yerevan State University
Influences Joseph Orbeli

Karen Yuzbashyan (Armenian: Կարեն Նիկիտի Յուզբաշյան, Armenian pronunciation: [kaɾen juzbaʃˈjan]; Russian: Карен Никитич Юзбашян; January 6, 1927 – March 5, 2009) was an Armenian historian-orientalist and expert on medieval Byzantine-Armenian relations. Yuzbashyan was the author of over 200 books and articles in his lifetime (published in Armenian, Russian, and other languages) on the political, legal, and cultural aspects and relations of the two countries and a researcher on the development of Armenian studies.

Biography and scholarly activity[edit]

Born in Tiflis into the family of an engineer (originally from Shusha) in 1927, Yuzbashyan attended Yerevan State University from 1946 to 1948 and studied at Leningrad State University (now Saint Petersburg State University) from 1948 to 1951, receiving his degree in history.[1] He worked and carried out research at the Matenadaran in Yerevan beginning in 1955 until he transferred to the Leningrad branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies in 1958.[2] In 1974, he received his doktor nauk after defending his thesis on the work of the eleventh century Armenian historian Aristakes Lastivertsi. Four years later, he was promoted to the head of the group for Historical and Cultural Studies at Leningrad's Department of Near Eastern Studies.[1] From 1981 to 1991, Yuzbashyan headed the Leningrad branch of the Palestine Society. Just prior to the Soviet Union's collapse, Yuzbashyan was elected into the Armenian parliament and he served there for a term of five years (1990–1995).[1]

Yuzbashyan's works spanned the early and medieval eras of Armenia's history. In 1963, he published the first critical edition of the Aristakes Lastivertsi's history (in the original classical Armenian language); he also translated Aristakes' work into Russian in 1968.[2] In 1988, Yuzbashyan published a highly important work on the Bagratuni Kingdom of Armenia and its relations with the Byzantine Empire.[1] Working at the Russian Academy of Sciences, he wrote in many international journals and participated in and organized numerous international congresses and conferences. He taught at Saint Petersburg State University and was the doctoral adviser of many students who entered the field of Byzantine studies. His most recent work (2005) was the compilation and cataloging of Armenian illuminated manuscripts at the university.

In addition to works concerning Armenia's history, Yuzbashyan also completed a biography on his mentor, Joseph Orbeli, in 1964.

Notable works[edit]

  • (French) "L'administration byzantine en Arménie aux X e - XI e siècles." Revue des études Arméniennes. NS: X, 1973-1974.
  • (Russian) Армянские государства эпохи Багратидов и Византия в IX–XI вв. (The Armenian State in the Bagratuni and Byzantine Period, 9th-11th centuries). Moscow: Nauka, 1988.
  • (Armenian) Ավարայրի Ճակատամարտից դեպի Նվարսակի Պայմանագիրը (From the Battle of Avarayr to the Treaty of Nvasark). Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1989.
  • (French) "L'Arménie et les Arméniens vus par Byzance." Byzantinische Forschungen. Pt. 25, 1999.
  • "The Armenian War of 450-451: Some Interpretations." Journal of Armenian Studies. № 1, volume vii: Fall-Winter 2002-2003.


  1. ^ a b c d (Russian) Friends and Colleagues. "Умер К.Н.Юзбашян." Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences. March 29, 2009. Accessed April 22, 2009.
  2. ^ a b (Armenian) Hakobyan, A. «Յուզբաշյան, Կարեն Նիկիտի» (Yuzbashyan, Karen Nikiti). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia. vol. viii. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1982, p. 130.

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