Suren YeremianFriday, February 18, 2022
Suren Tigrani Yeremian (April 10 [O.S. March 28] 1908 – 17 December 1992) was an Armenian historian and cartographer who specialized in the studies concerning the formation of the Armenian nation and pre-medieval Armenia and the Caucasus. He devoted nearly 30 years of his scholarly efforts in reconstructing the Ashkharatsuyts, a seventh-century atlas commonly attributed to Anania Shirakatsi.
Yeremyan was born into a family of laborers in Tiflis, Georgia in 1908 and attended a Russian school there. Yeremyan was an avid reader of history books and his interest in Armenian history grew especially when he chanced upon reading Nicholas Adontz's Armenia in the Period of Justinian. He moved to Armenia and in 1928, he was accepted to Yerevan State University.
He studied history and economics and graduated from there in 1931. From 1935 until 1941, Yeremyan worked at the Soviet Academy of Sciences' department of Oriental Studies in Leningrad. While there, Yeremyan also taught Armenian history at Leningrad State University's department of History and Philology and he defended his dissertation, titled "The Feudal Organization of Kartli during the Marzpanate Period."
In 1941, he moved back to Yerevan and continued his studies at the Institute of Material Culture and History, which was still under the auspices of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. He earned the title of professor in 1953, having defended his second dissertation (from Moscow State University) in his "The Social Structure of Ancient Armenia." He held the position of director of the department of history from 1953 to 1958 and in 1963 he was inducted as a member of the Armenian Academy of Sciences.
It was during this time that Yeremyan shifted his focus to composing historical atlases: one of his most notable contributions was on the study of a seventh-century "Ashkharatsuyts", where he spent a great deal of his energies in not only translating and researching the background behind the atlas but also on the supposed author of the work, Anania Shirakatsi. In 1963, his Armenia According to the Ashkharatsuyts was published, although Yeremyan would in subsequent years go on to revise some of the views, most notably coming to the conclusion that Anania Shirakatsi was its true author, that he had concluded in the work. He also contributed in writing several articles in the USSR Historical Atlas. Yeremyan was also one of the key advocates who pushed for the publication of the History of the Armenian People (Yerevan, 1971–1984, 8 volumes), authoring numerous articles on the origins of the Armenian people, the kingdom of Urartu, and on the social, economic, cultural and political structure of the Kingdom of Armenia. He would also go on to write numerous articles in the Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia.
Having struggled with a serious illness for many years, Yeremyan died in 1992.