Yeghishé (Lang-hy|Եղիշե; 400 - 480) was a prominent Armenian historian of the 5th century. Some identify him with Yeghishé, Bishop of Amatuni, who took part in the Synod of Artashat (449). He had been in his younger days a companion, as soldier or secretary, of the Armenian general Vartan Mamikonian, during the war of religious independence (449-451) against the Persian King, Yazdegerd II. [cite book
last =Hacikyan
first =Agop Jack
coauthors =Gabriel Basmajian, Edward S. Franchuk
title =The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the Eighteenth Century to Modern Times, vol. 1
publisher =Wayne State University
date =2005
location =Detroit
pages =pp. 239-240
isbn = 0-8143-2815-6
] Later, he became a hermit and retired to the mountains, south of Lake Van, where he died.

All ancient authorities speak of Yeghishé as "vartapet" or "doctor." His most famous work is the "History of Vartan and of the wars of the Armenians" [written] "at the request of David the Mamikonian", in which he recounts the heroic struggle of the Armenians in union with the Iberians and the Albanians, for their common faith, against the Persians (449-451). It is considered one of the masterpieces of ancient Armenian literature and is almost entirely free from Greek words and expressions. A good edition of it was published at Venice in 1826 by the Mechitarists of San Lazzaro. One of the manuscripts on which it is based purports to be a faithful copy of another manuscript dated 616. The text of that edition was further improved in subsequent editions at the same place (1828, 1838, 1859, and 1864).

Among other editions of value are those of Theodosia in Crimea (Ukraine), 1861, and of Jerusalem, 1865. There is an English, but unfinished, translation by C. F. Neumann (London, 1830); one in Italian by G. Cappelletti (Venice, 1840); and one in French by V. Langlois in his "Collection des Historiens anciens et modernes de l'Arménie" (Paris, 1869), II, 177 sqq. In addition to the seven chapters mentioned by Yeghishé himself in his introductory remarks, all the editions contain an eighth chapter referring to the so-called Leontian martyrs (454) and others. The genuineness of that chapter has been called in question. It has been also remarked that in all manuscripts the fifth chapter is missing, while in the editions the original sixth chapter is cut inb two so as to make up for the missing chapter. [On the first point see Langlois, op. cit., II, p. 180; on the second see C. F. Neumann, "Versuch einer Geschichte der armenischen Literatur, nach den Werken der Mechitaristen frei gearbeitet" (Leipzig, 1836), pp. 64 sqq. See also Ter-Minassiantz, "Die armenische Kirche in ihren Beziehungen zu der syrischen Kirche" (Leipzig, 1904), p. 37.]

Yeghishé is also the author of a commentary on Joshua and Judges, an explanation of the Our Father, a letter to the Armenian monks, etc., all found in the Venice editions of the "History of Vartan".


Մահ ոչ իմացեալ՝ մահ է, մահ իմացեալ՝ անմահութիւն է:
Death, unanticipated, is death; death, anticipated, is immortality.

Լաւ է աչքով կոյր ըլլալ՝ քան մտքով:
It is preferable to be blind by eyesight, than by mind.

Ամբողջ մարմնի կենդանութիւնը հոգին է, իսկ մարմինն ու հոգին կառավարողը՝ միտքն է:
The whole essence of the body is the spirit, while the governor of both spirit and body is the mind.


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