Sacred Texts  Asia  Myths/Legends 

The Founding of Van (Public Domain Image)

Armenian Legends and Poems

by Zabelle C. Boyajian


Contents    Start Reading

This is a collection of translations of Armenian literature from the middle ages, interspersed with poetry from the 19th century. In addition, there are a number of episodes from the chronicles of Moses of Khorene, a fifth century Armenian historian. These recount legendary incidents of ancient Armenian history. The anthologist and translator of many of these poems, Zabelle Boyajian, also created the luminous illustrations.

The book concludes with a long essay by Aram Raffi which contextualizes the long history of Armenian literature. This essay also details the long religious history of Armenia, starting with an extended discussion of the ancient Pagan deities. Armenia is in a region which is a cross-roads between Asia and Europe, and has more often than not been conquered by the dominant regional power of the day, starting with the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Macedonians, through the Ottomans and finally the Russians.

Nevertheless, Armenia has managed to hold onto a unique cultural and linguistic identity. Armenians have produced a substantial national literature, particularly in those short windows of time while not under foreign domination. Unfortunately, not much of this has been translated into English. This anthology is one of the few sources we have in the public domain. So please enjoy this little sampler of Armenian literature.

Title Page
List of Illustrations
Armenia's Love To Shakespeare
A Trial of Orthodoxy
The Exile's Song
The Apple Tree
My Heart is Turned Into a Wailing Child
O Night, Be Long
Black Eyes
Yesternight I Walked Abroad
Vahagn, King of Armenia
Huntsman, That on the Hills Above
I Beheld My Love This Morning
The Fox, the Wolf, and the Bear
The Little Lake
Cradle Song
Ara and Semiramis
Lament Over the Heroes Fallen in the Battle of Avarair
The Song of the Stork
Ye Mountain Bluebells
The Sun Went Down
Birthday Song
The Founding of Van
I Have a Word I Fain Would Say
The Song of the Partridge
The Lily of Shavarshan
Cradle Song
The Wind is Howling Through the Winter Night
The Armenian Poet's Prayer
The Chragan Palace
The Dream
The Sorrows of Armenia
Artashes and Satenik
My Death
The Eagle's Love
Concerning the Rose and the Nightingale
The Arrival of the Crusaders
Like an Ocean is This World
The Rock
The Crane
The Hawk and the Dove
Charm Verses
The Tears of Araxes
The Eve of Ascension Day
''Thy Voice is Sweet''
Christ and Abgarus
Araxes Came Devouringly
The Parrot's Song
Earth and Sky
O’er the Mountains High He Went
A Day After
Without Thee What Are Song and Dance to Me?
The Lake of Van
The Fox
The Tale of Rosiphelee
The Song of the Vulture
Dance Song
No Bird Can Reach the Mountain's Crest
The Nightingale of Avarair
Thou Art So Sweet
The Wandering Armenian to the Swallow
The Christ-Child
The Castle of Anoush
Concerning Death
Love One Another
Pasqua Armena
''Io Vidi''

Armenia: Its Epics, Folk-Songs, and Mediaeval Poetry

Armenian Paganism
Armenian Epics
Moses of Khorene
Adoption of Christianity
Golden Age of Armenian Literature
Middle Ages
Bagratuni Dynasty
The Crusades
Silver Age of Armenian Literature
End of Armenian Kingdom
Eighteenth Century and onward
Characteristics of Armenian Poetry
Russian Era
Addenda and Corrigenda
Chronological Index to Authors
Index to First Lines