The Problem of the Greek Sources of Movses Xorenacʻi's History of Armenia

One of the most important and disputed spheres of research on the History of Armenia by "the father of Armenian historiography" Movses Xorenac'i is the issue of his literary sources. The study of Xorenac'i's History since the latter half of the nineteenth century led to varied and often diametrically opposed views; scholars ended up with either an outright denial of the historiographic value of Movses' book or unreserved acceptance of everything he says. Thus, the source study today requires an especially circumspect and nuanced understanding. A number of questions need to be clarified and re-assessed in relation to Xorenac'i's "Greek" sources. The author of the present study has re-examined in detail the references to Berossus (third century BC), Alexander Polyhistor (first century BC), Cephalion (first - second centuries AD), Abydenus (first or second century AD), Julius Africanus (second - third centuries AD), and Bishop Firmilian (third century AD). From his study he has drawn conclusions that call for a modification of earlier over-simplified opinions.

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