MIDEAST 414 - Nationalities in the Ottoman Empire: The Rise and Demise of the Western Armenians
Winter 2019, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
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Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
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Following the Byzantine re-conquest of Armenia proper and the fall of the medieval Armenian kingdoms in the 10th-11th centuries, large numbers of Armenians moved or were forced to move westward into certain regions of Asia Minor, in particular Cilicia. This course will outline the rise and fall of Armenian Cilicia, and the gradual transformation into a loosely coalesced national entity of Western Armenian communities scattered between northwestern Iran and Constantinople.

The Armenian religious seat Sultan Mehmed II established in Constantinople (c1456) over the course of time evolved into a patriarchate and assumed the social, cultural and political leadership of the Western Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Its informal network of ecclesiastical administration gained formal recognition in the 1860s with the promulgation of the so-called Armenian "Constitution." This set of regulations did not spare the Armenians the catastrophe they experienced in the second half of the 19th century. The Young Turk regime abolished the Constitution in 1915, shortly after it had embarked on the massive destruction of the Western Armenians.

Primarily, this course is a religious, political, social and cultural analysis of the realities the Western Armenians experienced in the past millennium. Politically, it will depict the Armenians in the context of late Byzantine, Crusaders, Mongol, Mamluk, Persian, Russian, but mostly Ottoman policies. Religiously, it will reckon with Armenian relations with the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, Latinizing missions, Islam, Armenian religious hierarchies, and as well as schools and learning, Armenian printing, literary themes and genres and the encounter with western and Islamic traditions. This course will consider the use of Middle Armenian and the rise of Modern Western Armenian, Mekhitarist contributions, and the formation of Western Armenian identity and outlook somewhat distinct from those of the Eastern Armenians under Persian control.

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly


MIDEAST 414 - Nationalities in the Ottoman Empire: The Rise and Demise of the Western Armenians
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM

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