Nerses IV Klaetsi (Armenian: Ներսես Դ Կլայեցի; born in 1102 in the Tsovk Fortress, Armenian Mesopotamia – died on August 13, 1173, Hromkla, Cilicia) was one of the most significant Armenian poets, a public figure, and the Catholicos (1166-1173) of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Nerses was also known as Nerses Shnorhali (Armenian: Ներսես Շնորհալի, Nerses the Gracious).
Shnorhali was born into the family of the sovereign prince of the Tsovk Fortress Apirat Pahlavuni. Nerses was the great-grandson of the famous church writer Grigor Magistros and the younger brother and successor of Catholicos Grigor III Pakhlavuni.
Shnorhali received education at the school of the Karmir Monastery under Bishop Stepanos Manuk. From 1150, he lived mainly in Hromkla.
Nerses Shnorhali was known as a poet, music theorist, composer, philosopher, theologian, and chronicler. He was engaged in writing during a difficult historical period when Armenians were forced to emigrate to Syria and Cilicia, fighting for their independence from Byzantine and local rulers.
In poetry, Shnorhali developed secular literature, Armenian metric poetry, and the genre of the poem. He is considered a significant phenomenon of the Armenian poetry of the 12th century.
The poem “Elegy for the Capture of Edessa” is considered a masterpiece of Shnorhali. It reflects the national and spiritual problems of the Armenians.
Shnorhali also wrote about 300 riddles, some of which were published in 1513 in Venice.