HayaSSA 2020

First time international

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Since 2008, HayaSSA was mainly organized for students and young researchers from the Republic of Armenia. Now we start up our first international HayaSSA to take place in the summer of 2020.

The aim of the main course of HayaSSA 2020 is to provide participants with the knowledge of the essentials of the Indo-European roots of the Armenian language and culture and its development to the middle and modern periods.

General introduction

Armenian and its Indo-European origins


Armenian is an Indo-European language. At present, Armenian is spoken in the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic / Mountainous Gharabagh), as well as in diaspora countries such as Russia, USA, France, Italy, Georgia, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Argentina, Turkey, and Ukraine. Historically, Armenian was spoken on a vast territory that included the Armenian Highlands (the Armenian plateau) and some adjacent areas of it. Historical Armenia (known as Hayk‘ and Hayastan, based on hay ‘Armenian’) was centred around Mount Ararat (Masis), Lake Van and the Araxes (Erasx) Valley.

The Armenian language is known to us from the fifth century CE onwards thanks to an unbroken literary tradition comprising three periods: Classical (5th to 11th centuries), Middle (12th to 16th), and Modern (17th to present). Furthermore, one usually distinguishes around fifty or sixty modern Armenian dialects, a number of which have died out, partly as a consequence of the Armenian Genocide. Classical Armenian is named Grabar, literally: ‘written (language), book (language) / Schriftsprache’. The fifth century is regarded as the Golden Age of Armenian literature. The Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Maštocʻ in 405/406 CE and consisted of 36 original letters.

Armenian plays an important role for the reconstruction of the Indo-European proto-language, despite it having undergone a number of significant changes, particularly in the verbal system. In contrast to Modern Armenian, in which morphological marking is closer to an agglutinative type, Classical Armenian is an inflectional language with noticeable Indo-European characteristics. Morphological categories are mostly expressed through suffixation, although some involve prefixes (e.g. 3sg.aor. e-) or internal vowel changes (e.g. the stem variation between -in, -un and -an, reflecting the Indo-European ablaut *-en-, *-on- and *-n̥, respectively).

There are seven cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative, instrumental, locative, and two groups of declension classes: exterior/vocalic (or invariable) and interior/consonantal (or variable). The PIE dual and grammatical gender have been lost but their traces are still observable in stem vowels.

The verbal system is centred on the opposition between a present and an aorist stem. The indicative present, indicative imperfect, subjunctive present and prohibitive (imperative present) are formed from the present stem, while the indicative aorist, subjunctive aorist, imperative aorist and cohortative (imperative future) are based on the aorist stem.

In certain respects Classical Armenian retains archaic Indo-European features and in many others it displays innovations. An interesting issue that combines archaism and innovation is the PIE archaic neuter heteroclitic *-r/n- declension, of which we only find some residual evidence in Armenian, such as hur ‘fire’ vs. obl. *hun- (in hn-oc‘ ‘oven, furnace’), and which developed new paradigms in such words as nom. cunr vs. obl. c(u)ng- ‘knee’ and nom. asr vs. gen. asu ‘wool, fleece’.

Thematic basis of the 2020 route

The rise and development of the Armenian statehood and the religious institutions


There is no or little reliable evidence (at any case, no reconstructible terms) for the existence of temples in Proto-Indo-European and prehistoric Armenian traditions. Instead, there is some evidence for such outdoor sanctuaries as sacred groves or piles of stones as places for sacrifice or cultic stelae. Sacred groves attested in Armenian tradition include the plane grove in Armavir and the Genesis (Cnndocʻ) forest in the neighbourhood of Bagaran with the cult of the Sun God (Tir / Apollo) and Moon Goddess (Anahit / Artemis) and the ancestors.

Another type of outdoor cult places is the “Dragon / Vishap stelae” (Arm. višapakot‘oł, composed of višap ‘dragon’ and kot‘oł ‘stela’), stone stelae found in high-altitude summer pastures in the northern and northeastern regions of the Armenian highland (i.e. the historical provinces of Tayk‘, Gugark‘, Ayrarat and Syunik‘). They are interpreted as monuments related to mortuary rituals and belong to the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 2200-1600 BC). As burial monuments, Vishap stelae have a broad semantic framework and display a syncretic set of functional, ritual and mythical features related to the cult of deities such as Vahagn, Tir (and Iranian Tištrya) and Anahit/Astłik as well as to the motifs of Dragon-combat and Farn/Source in water.

The main theme and route of HayaSSA 2020 comprise the rise and development of the Armenian statehood and the religious institutions from their earliest (prehistorical and historical) forms to medieval times. We begin with a remarkable Bronze Age sacral landscape with the greatest cumulation of “Vishap/Dragon stelae” on the slopes of Mount Aragats, as well as the royal hypogeum of Aghdzk (Ałcʻkʻ/Ałjkʻ) in the same region; the bones of the Armenian kings incorporated the glory of the kings (pʻaṙkʻ tʻagaworacʻn) and the fortune and valour (baxtkʻn ew kʻaǰutʻiwn) of the Armenian realm. The route then proceeds with the first capital and religious centre, Armavir, its transfer to Yervandashat (and Bagaran), and so on. This thematic skeleton allows us to shape a wonderful route including the change of capitals and cult centres of Armenia and thus unifying the chronological and geographical bases of the cultural history of Armenia.

Outline

15 days | 14 nights

3 base village phases
Registration Deadline: 10 June | Early Registration Deadline: 20 March

4 nights

Aragatsotn Province

4 nights

Ararat Province

6 nights

Vayots Dzor Province

10 August

We move from Yerevan to base-village 1 and settle there; introductions.

11 August

Bronze Age sacral landscape of Tirinkatar with ca. 20 “Vishap/Dragon stelae” on the slopes of Mount Aragats.

12 August

Lectures at base.

13 August

Royal hypogeum of Aghdzk (Ałcʻ/jkʻ); rock-carvings of Agarak; “Vishap/Dragon stelae” of Orgov.

14 August

Metsamor and its archaeological site; the ancient capital Armavir and Urartian Argishtikhinili; ancient capital Yervandashat.

15 August

Lectures at base.

16 August

Archaeological sites of the ancient capitals Artashat and Dvin; the monastery of Khor Virap.

17 August

Lectures at base.

18 August

Yeghegis: Smbataberd fortress (Fortress of Smbat the Prince of Syunik); Tsakhats Kar Monastery.

19 August

Lectures at base.

20 August

Areni with its famous cave-winery; the epic fortress Hrasekaberd, literally ‘the fortress of Hraseak’, which reflects Middle Iranian *Frāsyāk, variant name of Afrāsīāb, the well-known figure in the Iranian epic; Ulgyur with two Christianized Dragon/Vishap-stelae.

21 August

Lectures at base.

22 August

The crater Dali Tapa; the monastery of Surb Sion in Herher.

23 August

Summing up, conversations, quiz, barbecue and festive closure.

24 August

The 13th century famous monastery of Noravank; return to Yerevan.

Structure of lectures at base days


08:00-09:00 Breakfast
09:00-12:30 Morning session (two lectures with a break of 20 minutes)
Main course on the history of the Armenian language
Lecturer: Dr. Hrach Martirosyan
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-15:30 Parallel classes
  • a. Elementary Modern Eastern Armenian for non-Armenophone students
  • b. Intermediate Modern Eastern Armenian for Armenophone students
  • c. Classical Armenian
Teachers: Tereza Hovhannisyan and Aida Khachatryan for Modern Eastern Armenian; Hrach Martirosyan for Classical Armenian
15:30-17:30 Cultural classes and events: Armenian folk dance, song, culinary, rug/carpet-weaving, miscellaneous lectures and/or discussions (this section will combine theoretical and practical aspects of the topics)
17:30-18:00 Personal time or miscellaneous activities
18:00-19:00 Dinner
19:00-22:30 Discussions, walks, intellectual games, etc.
22:30-23:30 Preparing to sleep
23:30 Lights out

A selection of topics of lectures at base

Dr. Hrach Martirosyan

  • Armenian as an Indo-European language
  • The place of Armenian in the Indo-European language family: relationship with Indo-Iranian and Greek
  • Chronology of the Armenian language
  • Invention of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtocʻ and the problem of pre-Christian writing
  • The development of the Proto-Indo-European phonemic system in Armenian
  • The methodology of distinguishing native Armenian words from Iranian loans
  • Grammatical and word-formative issues
  • Armenian lexicology and etymology
  • Middle Armenian
  • Armenian dialects
  • The origins of Armenian mythology and calendar

*Some of them can be included according to your desiderata

Route lectures

These lectures are thematically related with certain places on our route and will take place in situ. Apart from the lectures by archaeologists on corresponding archaeological sites, there will also be a number of lectures by Dr. Hrach Martirosyan on various linguistic-cultural issues related with those places, such as:

Lectures in Tirinkatar (Aragats)

Lectures in Aghdzk, Armavir and Yervandashat

  • Tiracʻyan, G. 1985. Voprosy preemstvennosti oficial’nogo kul’ta v antičnoj Armenii. In: Lraber hasarakakan gitut‘yunneri 1985, Nr. 10: 58-65.
  • Petrosyan, A. 2014. Armavir ew Armazi: tełanunner, c‘ełanunner, dic‘anunner [Armawir and Armazi: Toponyms, ethnonyms, theonyms]. In: Hin Arewelk‘ (Yerevan) 1: 97-120.
  • Martirosyan, H. 2019. Outdoor sanctuaries in Ancient Armenia: Tir and Anahit (in Armenian). In: Vishap between fairy tale and reality (ed. by Arsen Bobokhyan, Alessandra Gilibert, Pavol Hnila). Yerevan: Publishing House of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography: 474-479․

Lectures in Metsamor:

  • Martirosyan, H. 2007. Mediterranean-Pontic substratum words. In: Aramazd: Armenian journal of Near-Eastern studies, vol. 2 (Yerevan: Association for Near Eastern and Caucasian Studies): 88-123.
  • Martirosyan, H. 2013. The place of Armenian in the Indo-European language family: the relationship with Greek and Indo-Iranian. In: Journal of language relationship 10: 85-137.

Lectures in Khor Virap (in front of the mountain Masis / Ararat):

  • Hübschmann, H. 1904. Die altarmenischen Ortsnamen. In: IndogForsch 16: 197-490 (+ Karte). Published also separately: Strassburg: Karl Trübner, 1904.
  • Hübschmann (Hyubšman), H. 1990. Hayagitakan usumnasirut‘yunner [Armenological studies]. Yerevan: University Press.
  • Łanalanyan, A. 1969. Avandapatum. Yerevan: Academy Press.
  • Martirosyan, H. 2010. Etymological dictionary of the Armenian inherited lexicon. Leiden, Boston: Brill. (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 8), p. 676.
  • Petrosyan, A. 2016. Biblical Mt. Ararat: Two Identifications. In: Comparative Mythology 2/1: 68-80.
  • Martirosyan, Hrach & Gharagyozyan, Sat‘enik, On Armenian words of mythological and folklore origin. Lecture presented at the 10th General Conference of the AIEA. Universidad del País Vasco, Vitoria-Gasteiz, 7-10 September 2005.
  • Martirosyan, H. 2010. Hndevropakan “Erknayin Hayr, astvac” baṙi hetk‘erə hayerenum [Traces of Indo-European ‘Father Sky, God’ in Armenian]. In: Through Ḫaldi’s power: studies in honour of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Boris Piotrovsky. Yerevan: Academy Press: 51-64.
  • Martirosyan, H. 2019. Traces of Indo-European ‘Father Sky, God’ in Armenian. In: Armenian, Hittite, and Indo-European Studies: Commemoration Volume for Jos J. S. Weitenberg (ed. by Bläsing U., Dum-Tragut J., van Lint T.M.). Peeters Publishers. (Hebrew University Armenian Studies; 15): 195-205.
  • Petrosyan, A. 2010. Ciacanə hayoc‘ patkerac‘umnerum [The rainbow in Armenian imaginations]. In: Patma-banasirakan handes 2010, Nr. 3: 198-219.
  • Petrosyan, A. 2007. State pantheon of Greater Armenia: earliest sources. In: Aramazd: Armenian journal of Near Eastern studies 2: 174-201.
  • Martirosyan, H. 2014. An Armenian theonym of Indo-European origin: Ayg ‘Dawn Goddess’. In: Aramazd: Armenian journal of Near Eastern studies 8.1-2, 2013-2014. Yerevan: Association for Near Eastern and Caucasian Studies: 219-224.
  • Martirosyan, H. 2018. Armenian Andndayin ōj and Vedic Áhi- Budhnyà- ‘Abyssal Serpent’. In: Farnah: Indo-Iranian and Indo-European studies in honor of Sasha Lubotsky (ed. by L. van Beek, A. Kloekhorst, G. Kroonen, M. Peyrot, T. Pronk, M. de Vaan). Ann Arbor, New York: Beech Stave Press: 191-197.
  • Martirosyan, H. 2019. Traces of Indo-European ‘Father Sky, God’ in Armenian. In: Armenian, Hittite, and Indo-European Studies: a Commemoration Volume for Jos J. S. Weitenberg (ed. by Bläsing U., Dum-Tragut J., van Lint T.M.). Peeters: 195-205.

Lectures in Areni, in the 6000-year-old winery in a cave

  • Martirosyan, H. 2010. Etymological dictionary of the Armenian inherited lexicon. Leiden, Boston: Brill. (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 8).
  • Martirosyan, H. 2013. The place of Armenian in the Indo-European language family: the relationship with Greek and Indo-Iranian. In: Journal of language relationship 10: 85-137.

Lectures in Hrasekaberd

  • Martirosyan, H. Iranian personal names in Armenian collateral tradition. To be published in the series Iranisches Personennamenbuch (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna).

Lectures in Dvin and Artashat

Lecture in the monastery of Sion (Herher), at an inscription with the word vardpet

  • Martirosyan, H. The role of inscriptions for the history of Armenian dialects. Paper presented at “From the toponym to history”: Conference dedicated to the 90th anniversary of Stepan Melik-Bakhshyan (26 September 2014, Yerevan, YSU, Faculty of History).
  • Martirosyan, H. 2019. Traces of Indo-European ‘Father Sky, God’ in Armenian. In: Armenian, Hittite, and Indo-European Studies: Commemoration Volume for Jos J. S. Weitenberg (ed. by Bläsing U., Dum-Tragut J., van Lint T.M.). Peeters Publishers. (Hebrew University Armenian Studies; 15): 195-205.
  • Martirosyan, H. Iranian personal names in Armenian collateral tradition. To be published in the series Iranisches Personennamenbuch (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna)
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HayaSSA

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