ABOVYAN Khachatur was born on October 15, 1809 in the village of Kanaker (now a district in Yerevan) and disappeared on April 2 (14), 1848. Abovyan was a writer, pedagogue, folklorist-ethnographer, enlightener, the founder of the Armenian modern literature and pedagogy. 1819-22 he studied at Echmidzin monastic school and then 1824-26  at Nersisyan School of Tiflis, 1830-35 Abovyan studied at the University of Dorpat (now the University of Tartu), 1827-28 he taught at the monastic complex schools of Haghpat and Sanahin, 1829-30 he was the interpreter and secretary of the Catholicoi and synod in Echmiadzin. On October 9, 1829 with the expedition of the professor of University of Dorpat F. Parrot Abovyan ascended to the top of  Mount Ararat and was persecuted by clergy for “blasphemy”. 1837-43 he was a teacher and inspector of the provincial school in Tiflis and 1843-48 was the inspector of Yerevan provincial school. 1848 Abovyan was appointed the inspector of Nersisyan School of Tiflis. The authorities were against Abovyan’s educational activities. On April 14, 1848 he left the house and never returned. 

Abovyan left a huge literary heritage in Armenian, Russian and German. The first poems (in Old Armenian) reflected the romantic world-view of the author (“Longing for My Ancestors’ Dignity” (1824)).  In 1820s he created love and longing songsFriedrich Parrot. (Armenian: Տաղեր, Eng: Taghs). 

He was concerned about the destines of the individual and homeland, the contrast between dream and inharmonious reality (“Emotion for my sick heart”, “What a hard blow…”, «Spring», “Love for Homeland”, 1831-35).

He is the author of fables, stories, notes and travel reflections. ("The Toy of Leisure Time", 1838-41, “The Turkish girl”, “New ascent to the top of Ararat”, 1847):

The novel “Wounds of Armenia” by Kh. Abovyan was a turning point in the Armenian modern literature (1841, published in 1858). Armenian romanticism originated from this novel. The novel describes the state of the Armenian people under Persian and Turkish domination, their national-liberation struggle and the joining of the Eastern Armenia to Russia. Abovyan depicted the tragedy of the Armenian people, he connected the revival of the country with the national unity, as well as with the spread of education and enlightenment.  

Statue of Kh. Abovyan In Abovyan Park (Architect - G. Tamanyan)According to Abovyan language and faith are the most important factors in preserving the national identity of people, so he made Ashkharabar-աշխարհաբար (new Armenian language),  which was understandable to the common people,  a literary language. Abovyan put forward the problem of general education and considered art and enlightenment to be the most important factors in the moral development of the individual. 

The works of Abovyan are valuable for the Armenian historiography too (“A few words on the Armenians”, “Journey to the ruins of Ani”): According to him,  historical past must become the impetus for solving the urgent issues of the liberation struggle. 

Abovyan created the first Armenian-Russian comparative grammar. Abovyans’ pedagogical perceptions were formed under the influence of J. J. Rousseau’s, Y. Pestalotsi’s, Franke’s views. His pedagogical views and principals can be found in the novels “Nakhashavigh”, “Story of Tigran or moral lessons for children”. Abovyan was theG. Khanjyan, "Aghasi", (Illustration from the novel "Wounds of Armenia" by Kh. Abovyan). National Gallery of Armenia. founder of the Armenian Ethnography (“The Structure of Rural Houses”, 1835,  “Overview on the Armenians living in Tiflis…”, 1840), Folklore and Kurdish studies in Armenia  (“Kurds”, “Yezidis”, 1846). 

He translated the works of Homer, J. W. Goethe, F. Schiller, and N. Karamzin. 

A city, parks, streets, schools, medal, prize, scholarship and University (ASPU) in RA are named after Kh. Abovyan. The statue of Abovyan is erected in Yerevan and Kanaker. Kh. Abovyan’s house-museum is also in Kanaker.  


Source - "Who is Who. The Armenians" Encyclopedia, Volume I, chief-editor Hovh. Ayvazyan, Yerevan, 2007.

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