NEAREAST 490 - Topics in Near Eastern Studies
Fall 2015, Section 004 - Nationalities in the Ottoman Empire: The Rise and Demise of the Western Armenians
Instruction Mode: Section 004 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Near East Studies (NEAREAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
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Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


This course will outline the gradual transformation of the dispersed Armenian communities in what is now known as Turkey into a loosely united national entity, the western half of the Armenians, under the ecclesiastical administration of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. Very large numbers of Armenians moved or were made to move westward into certain regions of Asia Minor following the Byzantine re-conquest of Armenia proper and the fall of the medieval Armenian kingdoms in the east in the 10th-11th centuries. In one of these regions, Cilicia, the Armenians established a principality that was soon recognized as a kingdom (1075-1375). Many of the cultural, religious and social trends born in Cilicia later appeared and were distinctly expressed in the Western Armenian tradition, especially after Mehmed II had sanctioned an Armenian religious seat, a bishopric in Constantinople which, by the turn of the 18th century, evolved into a universal patriarchate for the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire. In addition to its religious authority, the Patriarchate assumed the political, social and cultural leadership of its flock.

It is against this Armenian, Ottoman and related international background, that this course will highlight, with greater emphasis on modern times, the institutions and the religious, literary, linguistic, social and cultural aspects of Western Armenian realities and lifestyles, as well as the political factors, that led to the coalescence of the Western Armenians, whether in Constantinople or Erzincan, Adana or Ankara, Erzurum, Van and Kars, and distinguished them from the other, Eastern half of the Armenian people under Persian and, later, Russian control. It is, then, the story of the making of the unique Western Armenian society in the Ottoman Empire, and its culture and institutions from their beginnings in Cilicia to their annihilation in WW I.

Course Requirements:

Two term papers, six pages long each and two papers of similar length for the take-home final are required.

Intended Audience:

Open to upper level undergraduate and graduate students.


NEAREAST 490 - Topics in Near Eastern Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
W 4:00PM - 7:00PM
002 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
003 (SEM)
 In Person
Tu 1:00PM - 4:00PM
004 (LEC)
 In Person
Tu 6:00PM - 9:00PM

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