"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Armenians in the Islamic World

Though a great deal of attention has rightly been focused on modern Muslim-Christian relations in Armenia, above all in the genocide of 1915, wider studies, reaching farther back into history, are not nearly as plentiful. A new projected three-volume series will help fill some of the lacuna: Seta Dadoyan, The Armenians in the Medieval Islamic World: Paradigms of Interaction Seventh to Fourteenth Centuries (Volume 1) (Transaction Publishers, 2011), 214pp. 

About this book the publisher tells us:
In this first of a massive three-volume work, Seta B. Dadoyan studies the Armenian experience in the medieval Islamic world and takes the reader through hitherto undiscovered paradigmatic cases of interaction with other populations in the region. Being an Armenian, Dadoyan argues, means having an ethnic ancestry laden with narratives drawn from the vast historic Armenian habitat. Contradictory trends went into the making of Armenian history, yet most narratives fail to reflect this rich texture. Linking Armenian-Islamic history is one way of dealing with the problem. Dadoyan’s concern is also to outline revolutionary elements in the making of Armenian ideologies and politics. This extensive work captures the multidimensional nature of the Armenian experience in the medieval Islamic world.

The author holds that every piece of literature, including historical writing, is an artefact. It is a composition of many elements arranged in certain forms: order, sequence, proportion, detail, intensity, etc. The author has composed and arranged the larger subjects and their sub-themes in such a way as to create an open, dynamic continuity to Armenian history that is intellectually intriguing, aesthetically appealing, and close to lived experiences.

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