Charles Dowsett

Charles Dowsett

Charles James Frank Dowsett (2 January 1924 – 8 January 1998) was the first Calouste Gulbenkian Professor of Armenian at the University of Oxford from 1965 to 1991. [1] A brilliant raconteur, his range of interests was immense and culminated in his work on the poet Sayat Nova based on research on the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium in 1996.


Armenian scholar

Born in London, Dowsett came into contact with expert scholar Harold Bailey whilst at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University who introduced him to Armenian. After further study (including four years on a substantial British scholarship in Paris), Dowsett was appointed as Lecturer in Armenian at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London - the only post in the subject in Britain at the time. In 1965 when the Chair was established at Oxford University, he was the obvious candidate.[2]


  • History of the Caucasian Albanians (1961) (translator)
  • Penitential of David of Gandzak (1961) (translator)
  • The Inscribed Tiles (1972)
  • Kütahya Tiles and Pottery from the Armenian Cathedral of St.James, Jerusalem. 2 Volumes. With

John Carswell, Oxford: Clarendon Press (1972)

  • Sayat'-nova: An 18th-century Troubadour: a Biographical and Literary Study (1996) ISBN 978-9068317954

Children's author

Dowsett wrote under the pseudonym "Charles Downing" and published several works for children.


  • Tales of the Hodja (1964) - illustrated by the Greek cartoonist Papas.
  • Russian Tales and Legends (1956)
  • Armenian Folktales and Fables (1972)


  1. ^ Pembroke College, Oxford University, Fellows joining in the 1960s
  2. ^ Brock, Sebastian (1998) Obituary: Professor C. J. F. Dowsett. The Independent, 16 January, 1998.


External links