Why have an Armenian alphabet?
There can be no doubt that Professor Michael Stone, Professor of Armenian Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, will offer utterly compelling reasons at a public lecture which he will deliver at St. Nersess Seminary on Monday, October 24, 2005 at 7:30 PM.
The lecture will be the second in a series dedicated to the 1600th Anniversary of the Creation of the Armenian Alphabet in the year 405 AD by St. Mesrob Mashdots and his patron, Catholicos Sahag Barthev.
Despite the sensational title of his talk, Professor Stone will hardly disparage the Armenian alphabet. For more than three decades, Stone has devoted himself to the study of ancient Armenian literature and translations. He is the author and editor of over 50 books and over 260 articles on various facets of Armenian history and literature.
Professor Stone's career in Armenian Studies began suddently when, as a young student, he discovered, documented and deciphered more than 120 Armenian inscriptions in the Sinai desert, scattered along ancient pilgrimage routes leading to Mt. Sinai, where, according to the Bible, Moses encountered God and received the Ten Commandments. He identified these inscriptions as the oldest Armenian writing in the world.
"The oldest known written Armenian in the world is not found in Armenia at all," Stone asserted two years ago at an earlier lecture at St. Nersess. While the oldest known Armenian inscription in Armenia dates to 490 AD in Tekor, southeast of Kars, a tombstone found under the Catholic Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, contains an Armenian inscription which must be earlier than 447 AD, the date that appears on a mosaic laid over the stone.
"This is just a few years after St. Mesrob Mashdots created the Armenian alphabet," Stone pointed out.
Professor Stone's lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. For further information contact the Seminary at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: (914) 636-2003.