Compiled by Jirair Tutunjian
Posted by Nayiri Abrahamian
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The Timley Cost of Being a Zoroastrian

When Roman General Corbulo won (59 A.D.) the campaign against the Armenian King Drtad I’s brother Vologeses of Parthia, Drtad had to go to Rome for a meeting with Emperor Nero and his senators to have his crown restored in 66 A.D. The journey took nine months on horseback. By sea, it would have taken much less time; however, being a Zoroastrian, his religion would not have permitted him to travel by water. 

“Turkish Cruelties upon the Armenian Christians: A Reign of Terror”.

Edwin M. Bliss, an Armenophile American who was born in Turkey and had lived there for a considerable number of years, wrote in one of his seminal books that the Greek, the Bulgarians and the Serbians became independent, but that Armenians could not cut the mustard. The major reason for their failure was attributed to one glaring shortcoming: “There was no organization that bound all the Armenians together. They were scattered communities with no bond of union, except their language and their church creed. These communities were ignorant of each other [sic] and jealous of each other’s [sic] prosperity.” Bliss wrote the book in 1896. It was titled “Turkish Cruelties upon the Armenian Christians: A Reign of Terror”.

"Characteristics of an Armenian"

In 1980 David Marshall Lang (“Armenia: Cradle of Civilization”) wrote about the lack of harmony and disunity tendencies in the Armenian character by stating that “Armenians are argumentative, quarrelsome, and great ‘know-all.’”


Hayk Manukyan's Influence on Martin Scorsese

1970 changed the ‘face’ of Hollywood cinemaphotography and showed real lives on the screen. One of the key people responsible for the trend was Hayk Manukyan of New York. Born in Baghdad, he settled in New York in 1960 and after trying various professions, began teaching at the New York Film School. Martin Scorsese was one of his students. Manukyan became his advisor when Scorsese began making movies. They collaborated on “Mean Streets”, “The Last Waltz” and “Raging Bull”. Scorsese dedicated the latter movie to Manukyan.  Manukyan later became a full-time professor at the University of Southern California. 

The Journey of St. Sarkis

St. Sarkis was a Cappadocian Greek Christian soldier in the Roman army during the rule of Emperor Constantine. When the government began to destroy churches and persecute the Christians, Christ appeared to Sarkis and told him to leave. Sarkis headed to Armenia with his son because he knew Christian Armenia would be safe. King Drtad III welcome the Christian soldier. But when the Roman continued their pursuit, the Armenian king advised Sarkis to seek shelter in the East. Sarkis went to Persia where King Shahpur appointed him army commander. But because before the battle Sarkis persuaded his soldiers to be baptized Christian, Shahpur executed him and his son. His body was removed to Assyria. In the 5th century Mesrob Mashdots recovered the remains of Sarkis and buried them in Armenia.

To Be an Armenite

Armenity derives from the French word Armenite, a notion which expresses the particular characteristics of the grandchildren of Armenian Genocide survivors. These include a state of constant flux, diversity of self-definition, and a modern and often subjective sense of being-in-the-world.  

Four Armenian Proverbs

Four Armenian proverbs:

A cat with gloves can’t catch mice.

The poor longs for bread; the rich for everything.

When the devil grows old, he turns to hermit.

I call ocean that body of water in which I drown.

Treaty of Alexandrapol

Kemal Ataturk’s forces invaded Armenia in late November (1917) and entered Alexandrapol (later Leninagan, now Giumri) and compelled the demoralized and defeated Armenians to sign the infamous Treaty of Alexandrapol, thus spelling the doom of an independent Armenia and leading to the subsequent Sovietization of a truncated state on Dec. 2, 1920.

Rev. Mangasar M. Mangasarian

Rev. Mangasar M. Mangasarian, a celebrated American lecturer and preacher, was born (1859) in the Armenian village of Mashgerd to an evangelical family. He settled in the U.S. in 1880 and enrolled Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. He later became a pastor and several times changed from Presbyterianism to Unitarianism and then to Rationalism. He eventually became a famous preacher, author and publisher of religious books and journals. He was the co-editor of “The Liberal Review” and edited “The Rationalist”, a monthly humanist periodical published in Chicago. His most famous book was “A New Catechism” which went through five editions between 1901 and 1909. In old age he moved to Los Angeles where he died at the age of 84.

“I Register My Protest”

Mangasarian (see previous item) published a flyer titled “I Register My Protest” (1921) against the Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Rev. James L. Barton, who had written a book “Christian Approach to Islam”. While expressing sorrow for the abduction of Armenian girls by Turks, Barton had written: “We have every reason to believe that this horrible crime (massacre) committed against a Christian race will under the hands of God plant the seeds of Christianity in the fortress of Mohammedanism.” Rev. Mangasarian deride Barton’s naïve pronouncements sharply, and in a forceful language wrote: “If God can use the Armenian massacres as a means to convert the Turks, then it can also have prevented it in the first place or He could have converted the Turks without the massacre of Armenians. Apparently, it appears that God has made a pact with the missionaries to open the door to the Bible or the Turks by sacrificing Armenian womanhood.”  

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