Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review of "History of Armenia" by Simon Payaslian

Most people are familiar with the history of their own nation. Frequently this knowledge is acquired in schools during formal education. However, school textbooks rarely provide the full picture and usually they can be quite one directional.    

Armenian nation is one of the oldest nation in the south Caucasus/middle east. I was curious to read their history as written by Armenians.

I found this book very unsatisfying. I felt that it is written in a haphazard way, jumping back and forth chronologically. It specifically focused on Armenia's relationship to great geopolitical powers such as Persia, Byzantine and almost totally ignores its historical relationships with other Caucasian nations. For example, when talking about Armenia between 5th century BC and 20th century AD, the author only twice mentioned Armenia's neighboring nation of Georgia. Now this cannot be historically accurate situation.

I was especially interested to learn about Armenian Bagratuni Royal family and its connection to Georgian Bagrationi Royal family. However, the author is totally silent about it. So, for me  it appears that this book is written specifically for Armenian diaspora who lives outside Armenia proper and who might be interested in big picture rather than in accurate details.   

posted by David Usharauli  

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