ARMENIAN THEMES ACROSS A VARIETY OF CEU PRESS PUBLICATIONS
“An Armenian chronicle from 1556 reveals that, from the very beginning of his reign, Stephen Rareş, the Moldavian ruler, persecuted Armenian and Ottoman merchants, although as the document claims, the latter were in fact Jews living under Ottoman rule.”
A collection of studies proposes a new cultural history of the early modern coexistence of various communities.
In his letter to Mehmed II, pope Pius II “criticizes the Greeks, Armenians, Jacobites, and Maronites, saying that they cannot be considered Christians, as their beliefs are not consistent with the correct faith.”
“In 1542, Nicholas the Armenian, upon passing through Moldavia, recorded Rareş’s words about his Ottoman policy: . . . if I saw that a Christian king rose with power and faith against the Turks, I would join him with faith and help him with all my powers.”
Gorbachev wanted to show the President something pleasant: some of the letters and cables sent to him at the Kremlin. There was one from Yerevan, the writer said he had seen Reagan give his 1986 greetings to the Soviet people, and when his son was born, he had named him Ronald after the President. In accordance with convention, he asked Reagan to become godfather to his son. May, 1988
Face to face conversations of superpower leaders at the end of the Cold War on a thousand pages.
Bush wanted the General Secretary to know that his son and grandson had been deeply moved by their visit to Armenia. This had not been a political trip but rather a way to express how Americans felt about the enormous tragedy in Armenia. January, 1989
Bush : How is it now? Are your getting housing for the people?
Gorbachev : We have a program worked out, but we had to be sure that the new houses were protected against earthquakes. That doubled the cost. There have been some delays, but work is progressing well. Chernobyl cost 8–10 billion rubles, including compensation to people affected. Restoring Armenia cost 12 to 14 billion rubles. There has also been a drop in oil prices. All of the above means for the next five year period we have some difficult choices. December, 1989
Bush : I want to commend you on mediating the Azerbaijan-Armenia dispute.
Gorbachev : We will try to take precisely that approach to end that conflict. But it is hard to expect immediate results. The differences are large. November, 1991
Titles from the backlist, contemporary topics on top, older themes below:
Together with twenty-eight more post-communist transition countries, the political and economic performance of Armenia is also examined as part of a search of varieties of transition models.
The handling of the fate of Ottoman Armenians in today’s Turkish historiography is discussed in the forthcoming book on the political use and abuse of history in the recent decades.
Quotes from the seminal CEU Press publication on the collapse of the Soviet domination:
Gorbachev: The crisis in Georgia was not a bolt out of the blue. The whole country suspected that something was brewing there. Eduard Amvrosievich [Shevardnadze] drew our attention to this many times. The Georgians and Ossetians have a fiery temper, they are not like the Armenians. (Document No. 58: Session of the CC CPSU Politburo, April 20, 1989)
Gorbachev: These elections were exceptional in all our history. This is a major step in realizing the political reforms and the subsequent democratization of our society.
Soloviev: We have to work energetically not to fail in the regional elections. They want to take all the mandates and seize power.
Chebrikov: The colleagues who lost must be retained and supported. In Armenia and the Baltic states they are rocking the boat from two sides. In Armenia there were picket lines against party workers by the voting stations. They made blacklists. (Document No. 53: Transcript of CC CPSU Politburo Session, “Outcome of the USSR People’s Deputies Elections”, March 28, 1989)
A book on the demise of the Soviet empire. On 1989 October 11, Chernyaev commented in his diary after writing about the Azeri-Armenian conflict: “The civil war in the country has already begun.”
The impact that Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America did on Eastern Europe is analyzed with the help of original documents. The KGB seized one which included instructions to the Armenian editorial board: “Continue programs about political and public life in Armenia, its problems in the areas of economy, science, culture, arts, and literature. Several programs should be dedicated to the 48th anniversary of Soviet Armenia.”
“On the same day that the Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia in 1853, representatives of the Armenian community delivered a letter to the sultan, indicating their willingness to enter into government service, including military service.”
The nation-building processes within the Ottoman Empire are examined in parallel with related trajectories in other empires in Europe.
“The operatic life in centers such as Istanbul and Cairo was rich and built upon a mix of Armenian entrepreneurs, multi-ethnic audiences, and a laissez faire policy of the state regarding cultural institution building.”
“When a revolutionary Armenian movement developed in the 1880s and 1890s, its main impetus would come from the Armenians of the Russian Empire, who had developed their political consciousness in the context of Russian radicalism.”
“Beginning in 1915, Armenians were targeted for forced relocation, which was accompanied by a broad program of massacre and terror. The number of dead are hotly disputed, but were at least 800,000 and might well have been much more.”
The book on national identities in Transylvania quotes a 19th c. Romanian scholar’s bitter observation: “Where do we stand, we, Romanians, who enjoy more political independence than the Armenians and who have perhaps more schools, wealthy monasteries, learned men etc. than they do? A handful of people could take the pains to do what they have done, alone, while we, who are so many, do nothing!”
“In the arts, Armenians were mediators between the Christian and the Muslim worlds. Armenian artisans in Poland made weapons in the Turkish style.”
The renowned British scholar discusses the Renaissance in Italy, elsewhere in Europe, and in the world beyond Europe as a prime example of cultural hybridization, a process whereby something new that emerges from the combination of diverse older elements, where Armenians often played the role of facilitator.
“The Boimi chapel in Lviv was designed by a German architect from Silesia with the help of artisans from his own region together with Armenians from Lviv itself, where an Armenian community had been established by the late Middle Ages. At the time that the Boimi chapel was built, Armenian artisans (masons, painters and metalworkers) were at work in Istanbul and Isfahan as well as in the Ukraine, Poland and Moldavia. Italian artisans were working nearby at Zamość in Poland. Interaction between these groups led to the development of a local style that has been described by a Polish art historian as a richly decorated Netherlandish Mannerism which blended with oriental Armenian motifs and with a Venetian version of the Tuscan and Doric orders”.
An extraordinary 16th century woman spent the final phase of her life in Istanbul, where Armenians played an important role.