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ARMENIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

words used in connexion with horses and the chase, with war and army, with dress, trade and coinage, calendar, weights and measures, with court and political institutions, with music, medicine, school, education, literature and the arts. Many everyday words were of the same origin, e.g. the words for village, desert, building and build, need, rich or liberal, arm (of body), rod or goad, face, opposite, wicked, unfriendly, discontented, difficult, daughter, eulogy, a youth, wary, enjoy, unhappy, volition, voluntary, unwilling, blind, cautious, blood-kin, coquet with, slumber, humble, mad, grace or favour, memory or attention, grandfather, old woman, prepared, duty, necessary, end, endless, superior, confident, mistake, warmth, heat, glory. The language of their old religion was mainly Persian, but in the 4th century they derived numerous ecclesiological words from the Syrians, from whom by way of Edessa and Nisibis Christianity penetrated eastern Armenia. The language of the garden and the names of plants were also Persian. They had their own numerals, but the words for one thousand and for ten thousand are Persian.

Yet more indicative of the extent of the Persian influence is the adoption of the adjectival ending -akan and -zan, added to purely Armenian words; also of the preposition ham, answering to con in “conjoin,” “conspire,” added to purely Armenian words, as in hambarnam, I take away, and hamboir, a kiss, a word which, strange to say, the Iberians in turn borrowed from the Armenians. From Persia also the Armenians took their names for surrounding races, e.g. Tatshik or Tajik, first for Arab and then for Turk, Ariq for Persians, Kapkoh for Caucasus, Hrazdan, Vaspuragan, &c. The Armenians call themselves Hay, plural Hayq; their country Hayasdan. The Iberians they called Virq or Wirq (where q marks the plural), the Medes Marq, the Cappadocians Gamirq (Cimmerians), the Greeks Yûnes or Ionians; Ararat they call Masis, the Euphrates the Aradsan, the Tigris Teglath, Erzerum is Karin, Edessa Urhha, Nisibis Mdsbin, Ctesiphon Tizbon, &c.

When the Persian and other loan-words are removed, a stock remains of native words and forms governed by other phonetic laws than those which govern the Aryan, i.e. Indian and Iranic, branch of the Indo-European tongues. Armenian appears to be a half-way dialect between the Aryan branch and Slavo-lettic. Much, however, in Armenian philology remains unexplained. For example the plural of nouns, pronouns and the first and second persons plural of verbs are all formed by adding a q or k, which has no parallel in any Indo-Germanic tongue. The genitive plural again is formed by adding a tz or c, and the same consonant characterizes the composite aorist and the conjunctive. In all three cases it is unexplained. In the verbs the termination m for the first singular at once explains itself, and the n of the third plural is the Indo-Germanic nti. But not so the second person singular ending in s, e.g. berem, I bear, beres, thou bearest. This has a superficial likeness to the I.-G. esi in bheresi, “thou bearest.” Yet we should expect the s between vowels to vanish, and give us in Armenian berê. Perhaps, therefore, an old variant of esi, similar to the ἐσσί, lies behind the Armenian es, thou art, and the es in beres, thou bearest. In any case it is clear that many of the oldest forms which Armenian shared with other Indo-Germanic dialects were lost and replaced by forms of which the origin is obscure. Perhaps a closer study of Mingrelian and Georgian will explain some of these peculiarities, for these and their cognate tongues must have had a wider range in the 7th and 8th centuries B.C. than they had later when clear history begins. The attempts made by S. Bugge to assimilate Old Armenian to Etruscan, and by P. Jensen to explain from it the Hittite inscriptions, appear to be fanciful. There is a large Semitic influence traceable in Armenian due to their early contact with the Syriac-speaking peoples to the south and east of them, and later to the Arab conquest. Much remains to be done in the way of collecting Armenian dialects, for which task there are written materials as far back as the 12th century over and above the work to be done by an intelligent traveller armed with a phonograph. Two main dialects of Armenian are distinguishable to-day, that of Ararat and Tiflis, and that of Stambul and the coast cities of Asia Minor. The latter is much overlaid with Tatar or Turkish words, and the Tatar order of words distinguishes the modern Armenian sentence from the ancient.

It remains to say that classical Armenian resembles rather the modern idiom of Van than of western Armenia. It was a plastic and noble language, capable of rendering faithfully, yet not servilely, the Greek Bible and Greek fathers. Often the Armenian translators, and especially after the 5th century, rendered word for word, preserving the order of the Greek. This literalness, though unpleasing from a literary standpoint, gives to many of their ancient versions the value almost of a Greek codex of the age in which the version was made. The same literalness also characterizes their translations from Syriac.

The Armenians had a temple literature of their own, which was destroyed in the 4th and 5th centuries by the Christian clergy, so thoroughly that barely twenty lines of it survive in the history of Moses of Khoren (Chorene). Literature.Their Christian literature begins about 400 with the invention of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop. This was probably an older alphabet to which Mesrop merely added vowels; but, in order to pacify the Greek ecclesiastics and the emperor Theodosius the Less, the Armenians concocted a story that it had been divinely revealed. Once their alphabet perfected, the catholicus Sahak formed a school of translators who were sent to Edessa, Athens, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Caesarea in Cappadocia, and elsewhere, to procure codices both in Syriac and Greek and translate them. From Syriac were made the first version of the New Testament, the version of Eusebius’ History and his Life of Constantine (unless this be from the original Greek), the homilies of Aphraates, the Acts of Gurias and Samuna, the works of Ephrem Syrus (partly published in four volumes by the Mechitharists of Venice). They include the commentaries on the Diatessaron and the Paulines, Laboubna and History of Addai, the Syriac canons of the Apostles.

From the original Greek were rendered in the 5th century the following authors and works. An asterisk is prefixed to those which have been printed:—*Eusebius’ Chronicon; *Philo’s lost commentaries on Genesis and Exodus, and his lost treatises on Providence and Animals, as well as a great number of his works still preserved in Greek; *the entire Bible (the New Testament is a recension after Antiochene Greek texts of an older version made from the oldest Syriac text); *the Alexander romance of the pseudo-Callisthenes; *Epistles and Acts of Ignatius of Antioch; *many homilies of Gregory Thaumaturgus; *Athanasius (a large number of works, many of them wrongly attributed); Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses and Ad Marcianum (recently found); *Hippolytus’ commentaries on the Song of Songs and Daniel, and many fragments; *Timotheus’ life of Athanasius; Theophilus of Alexandria, various homilies; *Eusebius of Gabala or Severianus, fifteen Homilies; *Cyril of Jerusalem, Catecheses and Letter to Constantine; *Wisdom of Ahikar; *the Apology of Aristides; Gregory of Nazianzus, thirty-four Homilies; *Nonnus’ work on Gregory (perhaps a version of 6th century); Basil of Caesarea, *Hexaëmeron, fifteen Homilies on faith, epistle to Terentius, ascetic writings and canons, on the Holy Spirit, to Cledonius, &c. Helladius of Caesarea’s life of Basil; Gregory of Nyssa’s treatise on the Beatitudes, and many other homilies, Commentaries on Song of Songs, *On Human Nature (Nemesius), panegyrics on sundry Martyrs, and other works (but some of these versions belong to the beginning of the 8th century); Epiphanius of Salamis, Commentary on the Gospels, *On weights and measures, *Physiologus, canons and many homilies; Evagrius of Pontus, Homilies and Ascetic works, Letters to Melania, &c.; John Chrysostom, *Homilies and Prayers, in very beautiful language; *Proclus, patriarch of Constantinople, many homilies; *Nilus the Ascete, On the Eight Spirits of Evil; *Josephus, On the Jewish War; Dionysius of Alexandria, *Against Paul of Samosata and other fragments; Acacius, bishop of Melitene, *Letters to Sahak; Julius of Rome (fragments); Zenobius, Homilies (? from Syriac); the History of Julius Africanus was perhaps also translated in this century, but it is lost. To the 5th century belong the versions of the