Armenian News Network / Groong December 10, 2007 By Eddie Arnavoudian LONDON, UK On a cold and rainy November 21 2007 Wednesday evening some 40 people sat in London's Gulbenkian Hall to listen to and watch Rouben Galichian's excellent talk and slide show launching his `Countries South of the Caucasus in Medieval Maps - Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan' (220pp, with 82 maps and 24 details mostly in full colour). Spiced with wonderful historical anecdotes, the author's tales charmed and educated his audience, urging them to join him in an enterprise of enlightening Europeans about Armenia's history that is revealed through medieval maps of the world. Who knew of the Armenian priests and Bishops visiting English monks in St Albans, just north of London, back in 1228? The lavishly illustrated volume, published jointly by Art Books of Yerevan and Gomidas Institute of London, drawing on maps from the Latin Christian, Byzantine, Islamic, Syriac and Armenian traditions, offers a stimulating historical record. It tells us of the scientific efforts made by human beings to map the world, to figure out its shape and the location of its diverse nations and peoples. They did so in what strikes us today as peculiar, reflecting their older ideological bent. In some maps the north appears at the bottom of the drawing, in others east and west swap sides. Christian maps show Jerusalem as the centre of the world. Another records an Armenian presence in North Africa. An Armenian map charts the most important Armenian Church and religious centres and another one traces the great trading routes stretching out to China and India. A significant aspect of these maps, covering the earliest medieval cartography, to those of the 17th century, is the consistent and unambiguous appearance of Armenia throughout. Besides being of historical and scientific interest this is in addition a telling testimony against history fakers who are labouring to erase Armenia from its ancient location and from the historical record. For more information you can contact: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com -- Eddie Arnavoudian holds degrees in history and politics from Manchester, England, and is Groong's commentator-in-residence on Armenian literature. His works on literary and political issues have also appeared in Harach in Paris, Nairi in Beirut and Open Letter in Los Angeles.
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