ASP Lecture. “Lewond’s Arab Incursions into Armenia and the Historiography of Arab Arminiya (8–9th Century).”
This talk will address the currents in nineteenth- and twentieth-century historiography concerning the Arab period in Armenia, focusing specifically on the use of Arabic and Armenian sources in the works of Armenian, European, and Arab scholars. In particular, it will consider some of the difficulties in the medieval textual material available concerning this period and will also introduce the speaker’s project on Lewond’s eighth- or ninth-century history Aršawank‘ Arabac‘ i Hays [Arab Invasions into Armenia]. She is currently working with a thirteenth-century manuscript of this Armenian history, which covers the establishment of the Caliphate, developments in medieval Armenia, and relations between Byzantium and Islam from 632 to 788. The ensuing discussion will review a few specific examples of confusing or interesting details from Lewond’s text and how to contextualize them with consideration of historical sources in both Arabic and Armenian.
Alison Vacca received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation, “From K'usti Kapkoh to al-Garbi: Sasanian Antecedents, the Sectarian Milieu, and the Creation of an Islamic Frontier in Arminiya (c. 700–862 CE),” explores the interrelation of religious and ethnic groups in the Near East. In particular she is interested in the eighth- or ninth-century historian Lewond and his Aršawank' Arabac' i Hays, an Armenian history covering establishment of the Caliphate, developments in medieval Armenia, and relations between Byzantium and Islam from 632 to 788. She plans to contextualize Lewond’s contribution with the literary production of the medieval Near East. Alison was a Fulbright Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she studied Islamic, Armenian, and Jerusalemite history as well as Arabic, Armenian, and Hebrew. She has also completed a Certificate in Museum Studies, which included interning in the Islamic art collection at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Sponsors: ASP, CMENAS, Medieval and Early Modern Studies