Nalbandian was born in Nakhichevan-on-Don, an Armenian town in southern Russia, and traveled extensively. A radical intellectual, Nalbandian was an avid advocate of secularism and anti-clericalism, the use of modern Armenian (as opposed to classical Armenian) and a vocal critic of the conservative clergy of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He also espoused anti-Catholicism. Inspired by the Enlightenment and the Italian unification, Nalbandian advocated reform, cultural nationalism and agrarianism among Armenians. In his latter years he was influenced by Russian radicals such as Alexander Herzen and Nikolay Chernyshevsky.
He is seen as a follower of Khachatur Abovian, who in turn influenced, among others, the novelist Raffi, Armenian nationalist revolutionaries (especially the Dashnaks), and Armenian Marxists, such as Alexander Miasnikian. He was widely revered in the Soviet period, while Dashnaks adopted "Mer Hayrenik", based on his poem "The Song of an Italian Girl", as the anthem of the First Republic of Armenia in 1918. It was re-adopted by independent Armenia in 1991. Nalbandian's another poem, glorifying freedom, has become a celebrated anthem since it was written in 1859.
|Born||14 November [O.S. 2 November] 1829|
Nakhichevan-on-Don, Don Host Oblast, Russian Empire (now Rostov-on-Don, Russia)
|Died||12 April [O.S. 31 March] 1866|
Kamyshin, Saratov Governorate, Russia
|Resting place||Holy Cross Armenian Church, Rostov-on-Don|
|Occupation||Poet, writer, translator, political activist|
|Language||Modern Eastern Armenian|
|Education||Moscow University (auditing student), Saint Petersburg University (doctorate)|
|Genre||Poems, novels, essays, articles|
|Subjects||Philosophy, religion, linguistics, political economy, education, literary criticism|
|Notable works||"Freedom", "Mer Hayrenik"|
Mikayel Nalbandian was born on 14 November (2 November in Old Style),[b] 1829 in Nakhichevan-on-Don (New Nakhichevan), an Armenian-populated town near Rostov-on-Don founded by Crimean Armenians in 1779, after they were relocated by Catherine the Great. His father, Ghazar (or Lazar, d. 1864), and earlier ancestors were farriers (and/or blacksmiths), from which they got their last name, which originates from Persian nalband. He first studied, from 1837 to 1845, at the private school of Father Gabriel Patkanian, a pioneer of modern Armenian education. He was taught Russian and French and was exposed to Western literature and science. Patkanian's school was shut down by Catholicos Nerses Ashtaraketsi in October 1845. Nerses and Harutiun Khalibian, the pro-clerical mayor of Nakhichevan, believed Patkanian went too far by promoting secular subjects at his school.
From July 1948 to July 1853 Nalbandian worked as secretary of Archbishop Matteos Vehapetian, the primate of the diocese of New Nakhichevan and Bessarabia, seated in Kishinev, in modern Moldova. During those years he was mostly based in Kishnev, but regularly visited his hometown and Odessa, Kherson, and Crimea for health treatment. During this period, he was known as a dpir, a low-level rank in the Armenian church akin to a clerk or deacon. For his liberal writings, he incurred the enmity of the church authorities. Catholicos Nerses developed an enmity for Nalbandian for his alleged immoral writings. He was forced to flee Kishnev and New Nakhichevan to avoid religious persecution.
Nalbandian thereafter abandoned his plans to become a priest, and moved to Moscow in late July 1853. In October 1853 he began teaching Armenian language at the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages in Moscow after receiving a certificate from the Saint Petersburg Imperial University. There he became acquainted with Stepanos Nazarian. He was briefly arrested in Moscow in January 1854 for alleged "illegal activities", prompted by the Catholicos Nerses. He was fired from the Lazarev Institute in September 1854. After twice failing to enter as an actual student, Nalbandian attended the Imperial Moscow University from 1854 to 1858 as an auditing student of medicine.
In 1858 he collaborated with Stepanos Nazarian to establish the monthly Hyusisapayl («Հիւսիսափայլ», Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis), which was published in Moscow until 1864. It has been characterized as a radical, secular, and anti-clerical journal, which was the earliest public voice of liberalism among Armenians. The name was influenced by the journal Poliarnaia zvezda ("Northern Star"), published by Russian radicals Herzen and Ogarev in London. He left the editorial of the monthly in fall of 1859, however, his works continued to be published there. Until his departure, Nalbandian authored and translated most of the articles for Hyusisapayl.
From March to July 1859 he traveled throughout Europe, visiting Warsaw, Paris, London, and several German cities, where he met activists (e.g. Stepan Voskan, editor of Paris-based Arevmutk) and acquired knowledge about the socio-economic and political conditions of the time. In June 1860 he defended his dissertation at the Faculty of Oriental (Eastern) Studies at the Saint Petersburg Imperial University. His dissertation was titled "On the Study of the Armenian Language in Europe and Scientific Significance of Armenian Literature". To become a kandidat, he had earlier passed exams in history, theology and the following languages: Russian, Armenian, Georgian, and Turkish.
He subsequently left for Calcutta, India to arrange the transfer of a large amount willed by an Armenian merchant to the Armenian community of New Nakhichevan. In a July 1860 meeting of some 300 community members of New Nakhichevan, he was elected as the representative to travel to India. His travels lasted from August 1860 to May 1862. They had a significant impact on Nalbandian's views. He visited Tiflis, where he met Ghazaros Aghayan and other Armenian intellectuals, Russian (Eastern) Armenia and Constantinople. In his only visit to Russian Armenia, he traveled to Yerevan, Etchmiadzin, the center of the Armenian Church, and Oshakan, namely the grave of Mesrop Mashtots, the 5th century inventor of the Armenian alphabet. In Constantinople he met with Harutiun Svadjian, editor Meghu, and other members of the local Armenian intelligentsia.
On his way to London, he visited Italy (Messina, Sicily, Naples, Rome, and Genoa), and contacted with independence activists—supporters of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the leader of the Italian unification movement. In London, he was confirmed by the Russian embassy and the British Foreign Office as New Nakhichevan's representative to arrange the transfer of the will from India. He thereafter traveled to Calcutta via Marseille, Alexandria, Suez, Aden, Ceylon, and Madras. After successfully arranging the transfer of the money of Maseh Babajan, Nalbandian left India in September 1861.
In London, he created tight connections with the "London propagandists": Alexander Herzen and Nikolay Ogarev, participated in framing the program of the reformist organization Land and Liberty (Zemlya i volya). With Mikhail Bakunin he searched for means to disseminate Kolokol in southern Russia, the Caucasus, and the Ottoman Empire. In Paris he met with Ivan Turgenev, and published two political works: "Two lines" (Erku togh, 1861) and "Agriculture as the True Way" (Երկրագործութիւնը որպէս ուղիղ ճանապարհ, 1862).
In May 1862 he returned to Petersburg, where he participated in the activities of Land and Liberty along with Nikolay Chernyshevsky and Nikolai Serno-Solovyevich. His contacts with Russian radicals lead to his arrest on 14 June 1862 in New Nakhichevan. He was initially taken to Ekaterinoslav, subsequently to Moscow, and eventually to the Peter and Paul Fortress in Petersburg on 27 July 1862. He was held at the Alekseyevskiy ravelin of the fortress with Nikolay Chernyshevsky, Nikolai Serno-Solovyevich, and others. In prison he acquired rheumatism.
He was allowed to read books by the prison administrations. He read encyclopedias, Khachatur Abovian's Wounds of Armenia and made extensive annotations, Henry Thomas Buckle's History of Civilisation in England, Georg Kolb's Handbuch der vergleichenden Statistik, Dmitri Mendeleev's textbook Organic Chemistry, and Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America.
On 10 December 1865 Nalbandian was found guilty by the Governing Senate in the following crimes: being aware of the criminal intentions of the "London propagandists", supporting them in disseminating banned literature in southern Russia among Armenians, and an aspiration to start an anti-government movement.
From May to late November 1865 Nalbandian was put into virtual house arrest in Petersburg. He was, thereafter, exiled to the city of Kamyshin in the Saratov Governorate. He reached Kamyshin "more dead than alive," in his words. Already having contracted tuberculosis, he repeatedly had high fever. Nalbandian died on 31 March (12 April in the New Style) in Kamyshin.
In accordance to his wishes, his two brothers took his body to New Nakhichevan. On 13 April they reached New Nakhichevan and took his body to the Armenian Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator. His funeral took place on 14 April; thousands of people attended it. He was buried at the courtyard of the Holy Cross Armenian Church in Rostov-on-Don, located some 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the north of New Nakhichevan. His funeral turned into an anti-government demonstration, which lead to a year-old investigation by the Russian police. In 1902 the Armenian community of New Nakhichevan erected Nalbandian's bust on his grave.
A radical, Nalbandian was an advocate of reform, renewal, and progress. He championed secularism and anti-clericalism. In Soviet historiography, Nalbandian was characterized as a materialist, revolutionary democrat, and a utopian socialist. Bardakjian summarizes his views as follows:
In both his literary and journalistic pieces, Nalbandian emerges as an unrelenting champion of freedom and equality; a fearless opponent of despotism, imperialism, and serfdom; an interpreter of human life from materialistic positions; a tireless propagandist of enlightenment, science, and scientific approach; a believer in agriculture as the key to prosperity and independence; uncompromisingly anti-clerical; and a zealous supporter of Modern Armenian. A large body of literature and evidence, amassed by Soviet Armenian critics, establishes him as a revolutionary democrat.
The epithet "revolutionary democrat" was widely attached to Nalbandian in the Soviet period, in a similar way it was attached to Alexander Herzen, Nikolay Chernyshevsky, and other 19th century Russian radicals. Armenian American historian Ronald Grigor Suny notes that Nalbandian has been "used and misused by Soviet historians as the Armenian equivalent to the Russian 'enlighteners' of the late 1850s and early 1860s—Herzen, Ogarev, Chernyshevskii, and Dobroliubov." Mikhail Bakunin and Ivan Turgenev also influenced his views. According to Louise Nalbandian he "became a link between the revolutionary movement in Russia and that of Armenia." He admired Robert Owen, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and Charles Fourier. According to Suny, although Nalbandian was "influenced by many of the same intellectual currents as the Russian radicals, Nalbandian interests were almost exclusively contained within the world of the Armenians." He has been described as ideologically a narodnik. Soviet historiography portrayed him as an internationalist, who fought for the liberty of all peoples, especially those of Russia. In 1862 Nalbandian spoke out in support of the North during the American Civil War, which aimed to end slavery.
His views on freedom consisted of individual freedom and national freedom, which is absolutely crucial for the development of a nation state's economy and culture. Nalbandian also advocated female education. Nalbandian's outlook was humanistic. In 1859 essay on Alexander von Humboldt, he argued that science should serve humanity. He had an intense interest in how science-based policies could improve human conditions. Soviet historians considered Nalbandian to be a follower of the "anthropological materialism" of Ludwig Feuerbach.
Nalbandian admired many Western European authors such as Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, Lord Byron, French Lumières—Enlightenment philosophers—Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Voltaire. He especially admired Rousseau for his promotion of democracy, republicanism, anti-clericalism, and defense of civil liberties. In 1865, while in prison, Nalbandian wrote a poem to Rousseau's memory. Nalbandian also praised Shakespeare's plays for their realism and often quoted or referred to Shakespeare in his writings. He greatly appreciated Giuseppe Verdi's works and was particularly amazed by Il trovatore. In his literary and aesthetic views, Nalbandian was further influenced by Aristotle, Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Hegel. In August 1863 he authored a critique on Hegel, in which he extensively quoted Nikolay Chernyshevsky.
Although Nalbandian initially planned to become a priest of the Armenian Apostolic Church, he abandoned those plans after learning about the corruption within the church. He became highly critical of the conservative clergy of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He often verbally attacked and criticized high-level clergy, such as Catholicos Nerses Ashtaraketsi and Archbishop Gabriel Aivazovsky. He attacked conservative clerics (and other perceived obscurantist community leaders) for their efforts to stifle secular and Western-style learning in Armenian schools.
In his historical essays he often made positive references to the Reformation. It lead to him being called a Protestant and unbeliever by Hovhannes Chamurian (Teroyents), a contemporary conservative cleric. A Constantinople-based conservative journal declared him a heretic. Nalbandian's religious views have been described by Vardan Jaloyan as being essentially deistic and liberal Christian. Although he never self-identified as such, Soviet historians widely called him an atheist.
Nalbandian, along with other secular and, usually, anti-clerical writers such as Raffi, contributed to the secularization of the Armenian public life. Hacikyan et al. note that his anti-clericalism did not mean that he was anti-Christian. In fact, he considered Christianity a means of abolishing despotism and a source of love and freedom. However, he argued that religion is distinct from national identity and cannot be pivotal to human existence. For him, religion is primarily a tool to formulate moral values. He criticized the claim by the Armenian church to have preserved Armenian identity through centuries of foreign rule. Instead, he argued that Armenians have assimilated in Christian countries, and the primary cause of perseverance of Armenian identity has been Muslim rule.
Nalbandian was highly critical of Catholicism, its anti-Enlightenment and conservative attitudes, and its influence among Armenians. He translated an anti-Catholic novel by Clémence Robert and Eugène Sue's The Wandering Jew (1859). The latter is reformist novel highly critical of the Jesuits. He saw the Armenian Catholic order of the Mekhitarists (based in Venice and Vienna) as followers of "papal morality." He believed that the Pope uses the Mekhitarists against Armenians because their translations into Armenian spread Catholicism. He considered them scholastic monks who do not contribute to advancement of Armenians. His attacks on Catholicism "should be understood as part of his struggle to liberate Armenian literature from its medieval, religious roots, which he felt had been revived and nourished by the Mekhitarist fathers. The lack of life and vitality in Armenian writing and its failure to command a wide audience among Armenians were the result of the monopoly of writing in the hands of clerics." He advocated a direct move towards the West—towards the French Enlightenment and the European Revolutions of 1848.
Nalbandian was a key figure in formation of secular Armenian nationalism by the mid-19th century. He was Khachatur Abovian's successor as a key figure in the Armenian Enlightenment. His vision of Armenian nationality was distinct from the Armenian religious community. The national identity he advocated was based on the concepts of the sense of belonging to the common people. It would be only possible in case of raising the national consciousness among the ordinary people. He emphasized the widespread use, both in written and oral forms, of the Armenian language. "The heart and soul of the nation can keep their quality and distinctiveness pure only by being fashioned under the influence of the national language," he argued. He reserved an important role to women in instilling national consciousness into their children.
His nationalism has been described as "non-territorial" and cultural, which focused on the people rather than territory. However, he also made references to the Armenian homeland. In a 1861 letter addressed to Harutiun Svadjian, his major Western Armenian ally, he wrote: "Etna and Vesuvius are still smoking"—in reference to the Italian unification—"is there no fire left in the old volcano of Ararat?"
Nalbandian natively spoke the New Nakhichevan dialect, a Western Armenian dialect. He wrote his letters to his brothers in the dialect. In his literary career, however, he mostly used standard vernacular Eastern Armenian. In his early years, he had used classical Armenian (grabar). In his mature years Nalbandian became a staunch advocate of literary Modern Armenian (ashkharhabar), only through which, he believed, could the Armenian people be enlightened. Nalbandian's and other modernizers' (e.g. Raphael Patkanian, Abovian) promotion of Modern Armenian became a primary cause of cultural innovation and educational reform. He defended his insistence of the use of Modern Armenian by citing Dante Alighieri's successful use of Italian, as opposed to Latin.
In 1865, while in prison, he formulated the notion of a "national literature." He aligned with realism ("art as a mirror of reality") and valued such pieces as Abovian's Wounds of Armenia, Sos and Vartiter by Perch Proshian, and Vartan Pasha's Akabi, written in Turkish using the Armenian script.
Nalbandian stressed that economic freedom is the basis of national freedom. He saw the solution in agriculture and considered the trade capital of Armenian merchants as not contributing to the formation of a national economy. Nalbandian's chief work on economics is "Agriculture as the True Way" (Երկրագործութիւնը որպէս ուղիղ ճանապարհ), published in Paris in 1862 under a pseudonym Simeon Manikian. It is considered the first modern Armenian-language political tract or pamphlet. It advocated land reform, namely equal redistribution of land following the Emancipation reform of 1861, which emancipated serfs throughout the Russian Empire. Louise Nalbandian considered it a display of Nalbandian's "socialist viewpoint" and his "conviction that only the equal distribution of land could bring prosperity and happiness to the people." The pamphlet influenced the economic views of both Russian (Eastern) Armenian, and, to a lesser degree, Ottoman (Western) Armenian intellectuals.
His views may have been influenced by the French Physiocrats, who believed that the wealth of nations was derived solely from agriculture. In the Soviet period, his economic views were discussed from a Marxist perspective, especially class struggle, and he was characterized as an anti-capitalism.
Nalbandian's oeuvre consists of poems on patriotism and freedom, novels that expose social ills, essays and articles on national and political issues, economics, philosophy, education, a series of pieces of literary criticism. He often used pseudonyms, the best known of which is "Koms Emmanuel" (Count Emmanuel). Under that pseudonym, Nalbandian composed short stories, published in Hyusisapayl, that portrayed the Armenian clergy's mysticism, deceitfulness, and ignorance. He often wrote exposés on the clergy, such as Merelahartsuk ("The Necromancer"). He irreverent style was displayed in his satires, memories, literary reviews, historical essays, and poetry. In 1857 he wrote what Vahé Oshagan described as the first ethnographic novel in Armenian literature Minin Khoske, Miusin Harsn ("A Promise to One, A Bride to the Other"). According to Leo, it was the first printed Russian Armenian novel, being printed in Moscow in 1857, a year before Abovian's Wounds of Armenia, printed a year later in Tiflis. Leo considered it a weak work literally, but gave some credit to its ethnographic scenes.
Nalbandian's first poem, in classical Armenian, was published in January 1851 in the Tiflis-based weekly Ararat, edited by Raphael Patkanian. He is today best remembered popularly for two of his poems: "Freedom/Liberty" (Ազատութիւն, Azatutyun, 1859) and "The Song of an Italian Girl" (Իտալացի աղջկա երգը, 1861). Leo noted in his 1904 book that thanks to these two poems Nalbandian has a glorious reputation. According to Adalian, Nalbandian introduced the concept of political liberty into Armenian letters with these poems.
"Freedom" has become an anthem of liberty and freedom since the 19th century and one of the most popular pieces of poetry in Armenian literature. It may have been influenced by Nikolay Ogarev's poem of the same name. The poem was first published in 1859 in Hyusisapayl as part of Nalbandian's series titled "Memoirs" (Hishatakaran). Harutiun Svadjian, a friend of Nalbandian, first published the poem separately, in his Constantinople-based newspaper Meghu in 1860. Perhaps as early as late 1860s, it was set to music and sang by Armenian youth. Often, it was written on back of his photograph. The poem has been included in Armenian literature textbooks since the Soviet period. It has been translated into English at least twice, and three times into Russian.
"The Song of an Italian Girl", although dated by Nalbandian himself to 1859, was more likely written in 1860–61. It is inspired by the Italian unification movement and the 5th century Armenian historian Yeghishe's description of Armenian women. The lyrics of the poem were adopted by the government of the First Republic of Armenia (1918–20) for the country's national anthem, "Mer Hayrenik" ("Our Fatherland"), the poem's incipit. The anthem was reinstated by the government of Armenia on 1 July 1991 with some changes.
His other noted poems include "Days of Childhood" (Մանկության օրեր, 1860), "To Apollo" (Ապոլլոնին, 1861), and "Message" (Ուղերձ, 1864). He also translated poems by Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Heinrich Heine, and Pierre-Jean de Béranger.
Nalbandian was, according to Ronald Grigor Suny, "perhaps the most radical, certainly the most contentious and openly anticlerical of the mid-century Armenian patriots." He was part of Russian Armenian intellectuals of the mid-to-late 19th century that were experiencing their own "amalgamated version of the Reformation and the Enlightenment simultaneously." Vahakn Dadrian characterized Nalbandian as the 19th-century apostle of Armenian revolutionism. Hacikyan et al. described him as a revolutionary intellectual and pioneer of the Armenian Renaissance. Christopher J. Walker noted that despite his short life, "his example and his writings remained a vivid inspiration to his people."
In the last years of his life Nalbandian had become a contentiousness figure, hated by the leadership of the Armenian church. The "bold, somewhat reckless, and ultimately victimized" Nalbandian was the most outspoken representative of the secular Armenian intelligentsia. Archbishop Matteos Vehapetian, under whom he worked for five years, and Stepanos Nazarian, with whom he founded Hyusisapayl both had ambivalent views on Nalbandian. Although personally sympathetic to him, they disagreed with his views, considering them extreme. Vehapetian often defended him, despite disagreeing with his views and called him an excellent moral person.
Nalbandian has been well-regarded by fellow writers. Perch Proshian and Harutiun Svadjian praised his freethought. Ghazaros Aghayan noted that students of the Nersisian School of Tiflis widely read Nalbandian and were influenced by his radicalism. In his literary talent, Leo ranked Nalbandian lower than Raphael Patkanian in his 1904 book, but noted that he had a high reputation among the youth. He attributed Nalbandian's reputation to his poems that were set to music and the fact that Nalbandian wrote about the societal ideals: self-recognition, revival, freedom, and fatherland.
Raffi was heavily influenced by Nalbandian, calling himself "sympathetic to Nalbandian's direction, which is the only true path." He dedicated his first major novel, Salbi (1867), to the memory of Nalbandian. The influence of Nalbandian's views on agriculture (namely, equal distribution of land) are evident in Salpi. Hovhannes Tumanyan and Yeghishe Charents wrote poems dedicated to Nalbandian's memory in 1916 and 1929, respectively.
Nalbandian indirectly influenced the Armenian rebels of Zeitun, a mountainous region in Cilicia, Ottoman Empire that enjoyed some autonomy up to the 19th century. The uprising there took place in 1862. The rebel leaders were in contact with some of the Armenian intellectuals based in Constantinople who had met Nalbandian in 1860–61 and were influenced by Nalbandian's ideas. The intellectuals' organization, named the Benevolent Union, included Tserents, Harutiun Svadjian, Mgrdich Beshiktashlian, Serovbe Takvorian, and Dr. Kaitiban. Nalbandian regularly corresponded with Tagvorian, Kaitiban, and Svadjian. Besides the aim to improve the conditions of the Armenians, they promoted economic development of the Armenians through better agricultural methods. According to Louise Nalbandian the pronounced "interest in agriculture was no doubt due to the influence of Nalbandian" and that Nalbandian's "political influence was felt in Constantinople by a group of revolutionaries who had direct relations with the Zeitun insurgents."
Nalbandian's political influence was widespread and ambivalent. He has been lionized by liberals, nationalists, and leftists alike.
In 1879 philologist Tigran Navasardiants was notably arrested for distributing portraits of Nalbandian with the poem "Freedom" in Alexandropol. In mid-1880s an Armenian organization in Tiflis led by Christapor Mikayelian, a member of the populist revolutionary Narodnaya Volya, disseminated Nalbandian's pamphlet on agriculture among the urban poor. Mikayelian went on to become on the co-founders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaks), a major left-wing nationalist party that led the Armenian national liberation movement in both Russian and Ottoman empires. According to Louise Nalbandian the founders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation were the "spiritual descendants" of Nalbandian and other secular nationalist intellectuals such as Khachatur Abovian, Raphael Patkanian, and Raffi. Armenian revolutionaries's use of violence (armed struggle) since the late 1880s against their oppressors, especially Ottomans and Kurds, was also influenced by the writings of Nalbandian, Patkanian and Raffi.
Nalbandian also influenced the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party (Hunchak) and early Armenian Marxists, such as Stepan Shahumian, Alexander Miasnikian, and Babken Knuniants. Shahumian attacked Armenian liberals for adoption of Nalbandian as their ideological forefather. Miasnikian, who was a distant relative of Nalbandian, offered a Marxist interpretation of Nalbandian as early as in 1910. It was later published as a booklet in Moscow in 1919. According to Miasnikian, Nalbandian was an agrarian and utopian socialist, who "came close to modern materialism," which Miasinikian considers a great achievement. He also called Nalbandian a friend of the Armenian proletariat and peasantry.
Soviet Armenian critics elevated Nalbandian to the status of a visionary for his left-wing and anti-clerical views. Daronian called him the founder of Armenian realism and criticism. Soviet Armenian philologist Aram Inchikian called him "the greatest figure of Armenian social thought of the pre-Marxist period and the precursor of social democracy in our reality." Historian H. Aslanian described him as a "militant materialist, the greatest figure in pre-Marxist materialist thought in Armenian reality, and irreconcilable enemy of all idealistic, reactionary views." Ashot Hovhannisian, an early Armenian Marxist and the first Education Minister of Soviet Armenia (1920–21), wrote a two volume book entitled Nalbandian and his time («Նալբանդյանը և նրա ժամանակը», 1955–56). In 1979 a scientific conference on Nalbandian's 150th anniversary was held at the Armenian Academy of Sciences.
In 1921, in the first year of Soviet rule, one of the central streets of Yerevan was renamed after Nalbandian. A public school in Yerevan was renamed in his honor in 1941. In 1949 the Pedagogical Institute of Leninakan (current Gyumri) was renamed after Nalbandian. In 1950 a village known as Shahriar was renamed Nalbandian in his honor. In 1965 a 4.5-metre (15 ft) bronze statue of Nalbandian was erected in Yerevan. A street in Rostov-on-Don, in the part that was formerly New Nakhichevan, a street has been named for Nalbandian.
Этот призыв Налбандяна показывает внутреннюю связь его атеизма с его революционно-демократической идеологией, столь близкой к идеологии русских революционных демократов.
Finally, Abovian was also radical for his time in that he called on his 'fellow Armenians' to engage in revolution. Abovian's successor in the imagination of modern Armenian nationalism was Mikayel Nalbandian...
Nationalism drew its arguments from Armenian literature (Mikayel Nalbandian, Ghevond Alishan, Mkrtich Beshiktashlian, Kamar Katiba, Raffi), socialism from the translation of a number of German, French, and Russian "classics" of European socialism.
Serob Vartanian, more prominently known by his nom de guerre Aghbiur Serob (Armenian: Աղբիւր Սերոբ) or Serob Pasha (Սերոբ Փաշա, 1864 – 24 November 1899) born Serob Vardanian (Սերոբ Վարդանեան) was a famed Armenian military commander who organized a guerrilla network that fought against the Ottoman Empire during the latter part of the 19th century.Arabo
Arabo (Armenian: Արաբօ, 1863–1893), born Arakel Avedisian, was a famed Armenian fedayi (freedom fighter) of the late 19th century, one of the first fedayis.Arabo was born in the village of Kurtis (Bitlis province). Arabo studied at the Arakelots monastery school in Mush. Beginning in the late-1880s, he led the Armenian fedayi groups from Sasun and Taron. In 1892, he was arrested by Turkish authorities and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment, but escaped from prison and resumed Fedayi activities. From 1889, he returned to the Caucasus several times to continue his fedayi activities. He took part in the first ARF conference in 1892. In spring of 1893, he returned to his country from Kars to help rebels from Sasun, but was killed in 1893 during a battle with Kurdish gangs on the road from Khnus to Mush (Western Armenia) with his 4 friends.Armenian Revolutionary Army
The Armenian Revolutionary Army (ARA) (in Armenian Հայ Յեղափոխական Բանակ (ՀՅԲ) - pronounced Hay Heghabokhakan Banak) was an Armenian militant organization that attacked at least 7 times resulting in at least 6 fatalities and 8 injuries. The group took responsibility for the gunning down of Turkish Embassy attache Dursun Aksoy in Brussels (1983), an attack on Turkish embassy in Lisbon (1983), and the attack on the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa (1985).
Armenian Revolutionary Army is thought to be the continuation of the organization Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG) under a different name. As JCAG stopped taking responsibility in communiques from 1983 on, it was the Armenian Revolutionary Army that carried on with the military activities.Ashot Navasardyan
Ashot Navasardyan (Armenian: Աշոտ Նավասարդյան; March 28, 1950 – November 3, 1997) was an Armenian politician, the founder of the Republican Party of Armenia. He had been a member of the opposition National Unity Party since 1968, and as a critic of the Soviet Union's totalitarian government has been an advocate of the ideas of the Armenian national hero, Garegin Nzhdeh.Hayazn
Hayazn (Armenian: Հայազն) is an Armenian nationalist political party, that was founded as a civil organization in 2009. It declared itself a political party in 2013 and was registered as such in 2014.Hayk Asatryan
Hayk Asatryan (Armenian: Հայկ Ասատրյան; 5 February 1900 – 13 January 1956) was an Armenian political theorist, an associate and close friend of Garegin Nzhdeh, and one of the founders of Tseghakronism and Taronism. He authored several books and articles on the history of Armenia.Karabakh Committee
Karabakh Committee (Armenian: Ղարաբաղ կոմիտե) was a group of Armenian intellectuals recognized by many Armenians as the de facto leaders in the late 1980s. The Committee was formed in 1988, with the stated objective of reunification of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. The committee was arrested by Soviet authorities on 11 December 1988 on charges of obstructing humanitarian aid from Azerbaijan after the December 7 1988 Armenian earthquake, but were released on 31 May 1989, subsequently forming the Pan-Armenian National Movement. In 1990 The New York Times described the committee as "the most influential nationalist group in Armenia."List of atheist Armenians
This list of atheist Armenians includes ethnic Armenian atheists, including those of partial Armenian ancestry from the widespread diaspora. The native Armenian word for "atheist" is "godless" (classical Armenian: անաստուած, reformed spelling: անաստված, anastvats).Mer Hayrenik
"Mer Hayrenik" (Armenian: Մեր Հայրենիք, pronounced [mɛɾ hɑjɾɛnikʰ]; 'Our Fatherland') is the national anthem of Armenia. Barsegh Kanachyan composed the music, while the lyrics were authored by Mikayel Nalbandian. First adopted in 1918 as the anthem of the short-lived First Republic of Armenia, it was subsequently banned after the country was invaded and incorporated into the Soviet Union. Following the dissolution of the USSR and the restoration of sovereignty in 1991, the song was re-adopted as the national anthem of the newly-independent state, albeit with slightly modified lyrics.Miatsum
Miatsum (Armenian: Միացում "unification") is a concept and a slogan used during the Karabakh movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which led to the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1992-1994.The idea originated in an era of realignment among the Armenians who were unhappy that the area, inhabited predominantly by an Armenian population remains under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan. From the 1970s, with the support of the first secretary of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Azerbaijan SSR, Heydar Aliyev, a policy of settling NKAO by Azerbaijanis was being implemented. The Armenian pogroms in Sumgait and Baku only exacerbated these trends, which led to military clashes between troops of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army (Artsakh).Modern Armenian
Modern Armenian (Armenian: աշխարհաբար, ashkharhabar or ašxarhabar, literally the "secular/lay language") is the modern vernacular (vulgar) form of the Armenian language. Although it first appeared in the 14th century, it was not until the 18-19th centuries that it became the dominant form of written Armenian, as opposed to Classical Armenian (grabar or the "language of the book"). It has two standardized forms: Western Armenian and Eastern Armenia, mostly spoken—in the 19th century—in the Ottoman and Russian empires, respectively.
The first novel written in Modern Armenian is Khachatur Abovian's Wounds of Armenia, first published posthumously in 1858. Besides Abovian, other prominent advocates of the use of Modern Armenian were Mikayel Nalbandian and Raphael Patkanian. Pataknian's father, Gabriel, published Ararat, the first Modern Armenian periodical in the Russian-controlled Caucasus.Movses Gorgisyan
Movses Gorgisyan (Armenian: Մովսես Գորգիսյան; 3 December 1961 – 19 January 1990) was an Armenian politician and national hero, one of the leaders of the Nagorno-Karabakh movement. He was one of the founders of the Independence Army of Armenia. Widely known for his speeches on the independence of Armenia, he was also an active advocate of Artsakh's independence campaign.National Agenda Party
National Agenda Party (Armenian: Ազգային Առաջընթաց կուսակցություն) is an Armenian political party founded on December 24, 2018.National Revival (Artsakh)
National Revival is a social democratic opposition political party in the Republic of Artsakh. It was founded on 16 May 2013. Hayk Khanumyan is the party's founder and leader.National United Party (Armenia)
The National United Party (Armenian: Ազգային Միացյալ Կուսակցություն; Russian: Национальная объединённая партия) was an Armenian underground political party in the Soviet Union. It operated from 1966 until 1987, when it was renamed Union for National Self-Determination (UNSD), which became the first democratic party in the USSR.Sasna Tsrer Pan-Armenian Party
Sasna Tsrer (Armenian: Սասնա ծռեր Sasna tsřer) is an Armenian nationalist political party that was founded in September 2018 in the wake of the country's Velvet Revolution. Sasna Dzrer was previously a radical political movement, whose activities culminated in the 2016 Yerevan hostage crisis. The party later renounced violence. Jirair Sefilian, a veteran of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, is one of the party's key figures. The party intends to set up a sister party in the Republic of Artsakh. Sasna Tsrer participated in the 2018 parliamentary elections, but received only 1.82% of the votes. As this was lower than the 5% minimum threshold required, the party failed to gain any representation in the Armenian parliament.Shirak State University
Mikayel Nalbandian Shirak State University (Armenian: Շիրակի Միքայել Նալբանդյանի անվան պետական համալսարան), is a public university in Gyumri, the capital of Shirak Province, Armenia, opened in 1934.Tseghakronism
Tseghakronism (Armenian: Ցեղակրոնություն translit. Tseghakronutyun) is a national/ethnic and political movement towards a renewal of the spiritual, behavioral and cultural identity of the Armenian people.
"Tseghakron" literally means "carrier of race " referring to those who represent and carry what is the spiritual and biological essence of the "classical" Armenian. However, it is often erroneously interpreted to mean "race-religion".
The movement was founded by Garegin Nzhdeh, and his associates Hayk Asatryan and Nerses Astvatsaturyan later refined it as the ideology of Taronism (Տարոնականություն) - an organic part and continuation of Tseghakronism.Union for National Self-Determination
Union for National Self-Determination (Armenian: Ազգային ինքնորոշում միավորում; Azgayin ink’noroshum miavorum) is an Armenian political party. It was founded in 1987 by Paruyr Hayrikyan, a Soviet dissident seeking independence for Armenia.
It is unknown to the public, if the party is still active.