The history of written language in Armenia takes root in the efforts of Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist and ecclesiastical figure, in the 5th century. Recognizing the necessity for a unique script to transcribe the Armenian language, he created the Armenian alphabet in 405 AD.
Origin of the Armenian Alphabet:
The Armenian language was orally preserved and, Mashtots recognized the importance of having a distinctive script for the Armenian language, particularly for translating religious texts. With the support of King Vramshapuh and Catholicos Sahak Partev, Mashtots embarked on a mission to craft an original Armenian alphabet.
Beyond the monumental achievement of the alphabet’s creation, Mesrop Mashtots was deeply committed to education and literacy. He believed that for the Armenian people to truly embrace Christianity, they needed access to religious texts in their native tongue. Following the creation of the alphabet, he led efforts to translate the Bible into Armenian, resulting in the Armenian version of the Bible.
Mashtots’ passion for education manifested in the founding of several schools to teach the new script. The first of these schools was established at the Amaras monastery in Artsakh. This institution played a pivotal role in promoting literacy and education throughout the region.
Mesrop Mashtots’ contribution to Armenian culture and identity is immeasurable. The Armenian alphabet not only served as a tool for religious teaching but also became a symbol of national identity and pride. Today, the 39 letters of the Armenian alphabet stand as a testament to Mashtots’ vision and dedication to his people.
The Amaras monastery in Artsakh, where the first school was founded, remains an emblematic site of Armenian cultural heritage, reminding us of the origins of the Armenian written language and the transformative power of education.
Image Source:Levan Tonaganyan Հայաստան Armenia Армения