Armenian News Network / Groong


Armenian News Network / Groong
December 10, 2007

By Eddie Arnavoudian


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:, or

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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