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Eremia K‘eōmurchean and the Origins of the Armeno-Turkish Translation Movement in Seventeenth Century Istanbul

Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Eremia K‘eōmurchean was the first great Istanbul-Armenian author and intellectual. He wrote under the influence of the Medieval Armenian literary tradition, his environs in Ottoman Istanbul, and new genres of literature which focused on the individual (e.g., diary, travelogue, memoir…) that became more prominent in the early modern period. Eremia was also an avid translator of diverse works from Armenian into Armeno-Turkish, i.e. Turkish written with the Armenian alphabet.
In this talk, Mr. Shapiro will focus on Eremia’s translations from Armenian into Armeno-Turkish, asking the following questions: Why did Istanbul’s Armeno-Turkish translation movement emerge in the seventeenth century? What kinds of texts did Eremia translate, and for what audiences? What translation strategies did he employ? He will answer these questions using his transcriptions and translations of unpublished Armeno-Turkish manuscripts from Yerevan, Venice, Jerusalem, and Vienna.

Henry R. Shapiro is a historian of the Early Modern Near East, with a particular interest in the Ottoman and Safavid Empires as well as unpublished manuscripts in both Armenian and Armeno-Turkish. He is currently a Graduate Research Fellow at the Princeton Center for the Study of Religion.