On the issue  of the Armenians of Western Armenia

  • by Western Armenia, June 12, 2023 in Culture

The alphabet as a method of phonetic expression of writing was created in the middle of the III millennium BC in the city of Ebla . The oldest known alphabet is the Phoenician alphabet . From the Phoenicians, writing passed to the Greeks, then to the Romans and even to the Armenians. In the early Middle Ages, the Armenian, Georgian and Aghvan alphabets were created. According to Koryun, the Georgian and Aghvan alphabets were created by Mesrop Mashtots based on the Armenian alphabet. 

The Armenian alphabet is a phonetic character system created by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD, which is why these scripts are also called Mesropian or Mashtotsian script. Mesrop Mashtots is the first known creator of the alphabet.

Based on the ancient Armenian writing inscriptions and the testimonies of Mashtots' students Koryun and Movses Khorenatsi, it is possible to distinguish several stages of the creation of the Armenian script.

At the first stage, Mashtots determined the phonetic system of spoken Armenian, and then determined the number of characters for the identified sounds. He was assisted by Catholicos Sahak Partev and other learned men. In the second stage, he created the Armenian letters: 36 letters. 

In the third stage, Mashtots sorted the letters, determined their numerical value and gave them an appropriate name. In the fourth and final stage, he established the rules of use of the newly created Armenian letters and developed the basics of the art of writing.

According to Koryun, it was for this purpose that Mashtots, together with the Greek writer Hropanos, created the Armenian script in the city of Samosat, and then translated a passage from the Bible and wrote the first Armenian sentence: "To know wisdom and education, to know the words of genius."

Even today, Armenians still wonder whether there was an Armenian alphabet before the Mesrop Machtots alphabet was created.