Compiled by Jirair Tutunjian
Posted by Nayiri Abrahamian
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In the late ‘30s “Golden Boy” was about to start filming but Columbia studios still didn’t have Joe Bonaparte (the lead male role). The studio was also casting Bonaparte’s sister and sent the test of a girl under contract at Paramount to Rouben Mamoulian, the director of the movie. While watching the screen test, Mamoulian spotted in it a young man. He was a 27-year-old contract player called William Beedle. Mamoulian liked what he saw and cast Beedle in the part. The actor’s name was changed to William Holden.

In the 8th century the adoption of a certain neumic system of recording music made it possible to give a limited degree of permanence to the sacred melodies of the Armenian Church. The system of notations was called khaz. It consisted of about 24 signs which indicated the raising and lowering the voice, the inflection and the duration for sustaining a note. The modern arrangements of the Armenian Divine Liturgy in a polyphonic style are the works of C. Kara-Mourza, M. Yekmalyan and Father Gomidas.

The Armenian liturgy is based mostly on the version written by Basil of Caesaria and was later enriched with new items. The Sharagans (religious songs) are based on the tonality of eight modes and are still in use. The most beautiful examples of the Sharagans were composed beginning the 7th century. The “Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians” says: “Armenia possesses a school of church music which ranks among the most beautiful of all the known Oriental styles: the music is of the utmost expressiveness, and in wealth of invention the only school which can compare with the Byzantine, which in many ways it excels.” 

The oldest map in the world—on Babylonian clay tablet—includes Babylon, Assyria, Habban, and Armenia. It dates from 600 B.C.

The creator of the first Soviet computer was Serguey Merkelian.

According to Herodotus, the Celts originated from Armenia. A city in Armenia in CYMRY, pronounced exactly as the Welsh name of Wales. Two manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles—the oldest historical records of England—from the 9th century A.D. begin with the statement: “The first inhabitants of these British lands, they come from Armenia.” (“Aerest waeron buend thyses lands Bryttas, tha comen of Armenia.” Victorian bibles were full of footnotes placing Paradise in Armenia.

George Gurdjieff, the half-Armenian, half-Greek, philosopher, spiritualist who entranced many artists early in the 20th century, called God “Our Almighty Omni Loving Common Father Uni-Being Creator Endless”. He believed the moon lives off the energy of dead human beings, known as Askokin, and controls all man’s actions. To guard against rebellion, the higher powers have implanted an organ at the base of man’s spine called Kundabuffer, which stops him from becoming too intelligent. Only those who follow God’s path can break away from their fate as food for the moon, and thus attain immortality. 

On their way from India to Europe, many Romas (Gypsies) tribes lived in Armenia. Here are some of the words they adopted from Armenian: Bari (paree in Armenian); Khmor (khmor); cakat (jagad); pativ (badiv); merel (merel); kotor (gdor); dudum (ttoum); jelem (kele).

US Ambassador Henry Morgenthau tried to intercede with Enver, Jemal, and Talat on behalf of the Armenians when Turkey launched its genocide. He even suggested that Armenians might be sent to the American West. But his efforts proved futile, despite warnings from the Allied powers that the triumvirate would be held personally responsible for the Genocide of Armenians.

On his way to China, Marco Polo travelled through Armenia. He even obtained the autograph of King Hetoum (“Hayton”) in 1243. He called the country Greater Hermenia. In his book, Polo wrote: “This is a great country. It begins at a city called Arzinga, at which they weave the best buckrams [fine cloth with lustrous surface, highly prized in the Middle Ages] in the world. It possesses all the best baths from natural springs that are anywhere to be found. The people of the country are Armenians.” Polo wrote that the “noblest” city in Armenia was Arzinga and mentioned that there was a “very good silver mine” near Paipurth (Baiburt).

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