Publications/Nov 21, 2022

Ancient Greek Myths in Medieval Armenian Literature

Ancient Greek Myths in Medieval Armenian Literature lead image

Gohar Muradyan. Ancient Greek Myths in Medieval Armenian Literature. Armenian Texts and Studies, volume 5. Brill, 2022. 

From Brill

Though references to Greek myths will hardly surprise the reader of western European literature, the reception history of Greek mythology is far richer and includes such lesser known traditions as the Armenian one. Greek myths were known to medieval Armenians through translations of late classical and early Christian writings and through the original works of Armenian authors. However, accessing them in their Armenian incarnations is no easy task. References to them are difficult to find as they are scattered over the vast medieval Armenian written corpus. Furthermore, during the process of translation, transmission, retelling, and copying of Greek mythical stories, Greek names, words, and plot details frequently became corrupted.

In this first-of-its-kind study, Gohar Muradyan brings together all the known references to ancient Greek myths (154 episodes) in medieval Armenian literature. Alongside the original Armenian passages and, when extant, their Greek originals, she provides annotated English translations. She opens the book with an informative introduction and concludes with useful appendices listing the occurrences of Greek gods, their Armenian equivalents, images, altars, temples, and rites, as well as Aesop’s fables and the Trojan War.