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The Armenian Language and Alphabet

by: Maral Najarian

This page consists of a brief history of the Armenian Language. I hope it will be informitive to everyone.

The invention of the Armenian Alphabet was a result of Christianity. Armenia, the first Christian nation as of 301 AD had no way of communicating the Good News in concrete form. The good news was usually spread through educated priests who would read the Bible in Greek and orally preach it.

This is where Soorp (Saint) Mesrob(pictured above) and Soorp (Saint) Sahag come into the picture. These 2 Armenian Saints, who were also a priest and the *Catholicos respecitvely, worked together on spreading the Armenian alphabet in 405 AD. The Armenian alphabet was actually given to St. Mesrob in a vision believed to be divinely inspired for the main purpose of translating the Bible. Legend tells us, this translation was said to be the most beautiful one of the Bible in the world. Eventually, the secular community picked up the alphabet.

Presently, and for many years, the written Armenian language has been used like any other written language in the world. Nevertheless, we can not forget its origin and inventors.

Many aspects of the Armenian language are very interesting. One aspect is the purity of the language itself. This is because Armenian is a direct derivative of the Indo-european Linguistic family. The only other language which is a direct derivative is Albanian. Sanskrit is the oldest known Indo-European written language.

Here is some more information on other Indo-European Languages

*The Catholicos of Armenians is the ultimate authority figure when it comes to religion. Sometimes he is referred to as the "Armenian Pontiff." His position resembles the pope's in the Catholic religion. Today there are two Catholicoses of the Orthodox Armenian world. There is one who is in Armenia the Holy sea of Etchmiadzin, the second one is in Cilicia. Although the majority of Armenians are of the Orthodox religion, there are Armenians who are Catholic, like myself, who are under the pope, yet have a separate Catholicos aside from the two Orthodox ones.

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Here is some more information on the Armenian Religion

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