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ACE2360 Armenia Through the Prism of History and Modernity (Evening, UCC on-campus delivery only) is a Course

ACE2360 Armenia Through the Prism of History and Modernity (Evening, UCC on-campus delivery only)

Starts Feb 2, 2023

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Full course description

Course Overview: 


Little is known about the remote small country of Armenia. However, lately interest has increased as important processes are taking place in the home and international affairs of the country, and simultaneously Armenia finds itself in the centre of a much bigger geopolitical process. The Velvet Revolution took which took place in Armenia five years ago was an attempt to break out of the vicious circle, in which nearly all post-Soviet countries had been stuck in, and to join the democratic world, enabling the country to develop. Immediately after that event, Armenia again faces tough challenges which threaten not only peace in the country and region, but also the existential statehood of the country. 

Recently, war in internationally unrecognized Artsakh Republic in Karabakh region was unleashed by Republic of Azerbaijan, resulting in thousands of casualties on both sides, with the loss of most areas of Artsakh for Armenians. The conflict is far from being over as neither side is satisfied with the current situation. Military clashes are also occurring in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. In this situation, militarily weakened Armenia is trying to prevent a new war in its balancing between USA, Europe and Russia. 

To understand the essence of the current conflicts, it is important to know the history of the issues which have deep roots linked to the adoption of Christianity and establishment Autocephalic Armenian Church. Throughout its history, Armenia has been situated between powerful states and was divided between them several times. The key to understanding the survival of the nation is being kept in Matenadaran in the form of manuscripts, in impressive Armenian medieval churches and monasteries, in ruins of ancient and medieval cities as well as many other clues. 

Throughout the course, the cultural life of Armenia will be presented to students as a background to historical events. It is undoubtedly impossible to cover all history of the country in 8 weeks, nonetheless, a civilizational and cultural depiction of the nation will be presented.  

Please note, as a part of the course, a visit to Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, where an impressive collection of Armenian manuscripts is kept, will be organized. The collection includes 211 pieces, which were purchased during auctions from London, Paris, and Vienna, but the majority of manuscripts were purchased by Chester Beatty himself from Cairo and Istanbul. On the same day, a visit the Memorial to Armenian Genocide outside Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin is also planned. The history of the creation of the high cross and its symbolism will be discussed. 



Course Schedule:

This course will take place on Thursday evenings over 10 weeks, 7-9pm,  2 Febuary to 23 March 2023 .

Location- Western Gateway Building, UCC.  Room G14

Closing date for applications:  Monday, 23 January 2023


Week 1: Hellenistic Armenia: Short overview of early statehood and development of mixture of Greek and Oriental culture in Armenia

Week 2: Armenian Church: Armenia as a first Christian country, essence and peculiarities of the autocephalic Armenian church.

Week 3: Armenia between the Arab Caliphate and the Eastern Roman Empire. Developed medieval Armenian culture: Armenia between Muslim and Christian and development high medieval culture.

Week 4: Sultans, Tsars, and Tyrants. The Armenian Genocide. Prolonged economic and cultural decline under Russian Empire and Ottoman Turkey. The Armenian Genocide: Reason and consequences.

Week 5: The Leninist-Stalinist Legacy: Seventy Years of the Soviet Rule: Armenia behind the “iron curtain”, and repressions in the Stalin era. Culture and educational system in Armenian SSR.

Week 6: Republic of Armenia: The development of the country in the setting of economic blockade, military conflicts with Republic of Azerbaijan and ‘hidden’ conflicts with Russian Federation.

Week 7: First and Second Karabakh Wars: Prehistory of the dispute, essence of the conflict and the current state of affairs.

Week 8: Armenian diaspora from the 16th century to today: History of the Armenian colonies in India and diaspora in USA, Russia, Europe and particularly Ireland.


Course Lecturer 

Dr Lusine Margaryan hold a Master’s Degree in History from Yerevan State University, Armenia and a PhD from the Russian State University for Humanities. In 2015, she was employed as a lecturer at the Department of World History and Foreign Regional Studies, Institute of Humanities, Russian-Armenian University (RAU), Armenia. In 2016, she was part of multidisciplinary research group of on the project ‘Trans-Christian East: on the Bridges of Silk Roads of Ancient and Modern Times’. Her research focused on the history of early medieval Armenia between Sasanian Iran and the Easter Roman Empire. Since 2020, she has been MSCA post-doctoral fellow within School of History, UCC, working on the project, Christian Frontiers, a comparative research project which explores the early history of Christianity in Armenia and Ireland, the furthest reaches of Christendom in the east and west.



Entry Requirements

Applicants must be at least 18 years old at course commencement.


Short courses are not assessed. Students will receive a UCC Certificate of Attendance upon completion.

Contact Details for Further Information