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Vardan Aigektsi

Vardan Aigektsi, contemporary with Mkhitar Gosh, was a significant fable writer and preacher. He was born in the Village Marouta of the Province Tlouk in Cilicia.

Educated in the Monastery of Arkakaghin, he received the degree of vardapet and devoted himself to preaching. In 1198, he took part in the coronation ceremony of the Levon II, King of Cilicia.

Since 1210, he lived in the Monastery of Aigek. Vardan Aigektsi wrote a number of discourses, letters, homilies and fables.

During the early period of preaching he composed the collection “Armat Havato” (The Origin of Faith) consisted of extracts selected from the Armenian doctrinal-rhetorical literature. Chronologically this is the earliest extant piece of his works.

His homilies condemn adultery and sorcery, pride and burglary and other human vices in praise of charity and in defence of human rights dreaming to see a peaceful and harmonious society of masters and their subjects.

His discourses are accompanied with fables and parables that make them plainer, more beautiful and impressive. In this way Aigektsi founded the fable-discourse in the Armenian literature. He composed a separate collection of fables called “The Fables of Vardan Vardapet”. A favourite book, it was copied even in later centuries, combined with new set of fables.

In 1668, an extensive collection of Aigektsi’s fables titled “Aghvesagirk” (Fox-Book) was published in Amsterdam. The naming of the collection was based on the fact that the key character of most fables was the fox.

Through fauna the author allegorically reflects the human society and relations. “Aghvesagirk” of Vardan Aigektsi reproduces pictorially the manuscript of the medieval master.

In his parenesis the author had used Ezopos’ and other written fables, as well as Armenian popular fables and stories. With strong sarcasm are seasoned his fables ridiculing venal judges and iniquitous clergymen (The Stealing Clergyman and the Widow).

In scoff he condemns calumny and deception, folly and treason, cowardice and many other vices. Some of his fables highly appreciate the diligent and tireless labour (The Ox and the Horse).

With his fables and stories Aigektsi aims at strengthening the fighting spirit of his nation. He teaches that one must enter the battlefield definite to win (The Wise Soldier). In their entirety Aigektsi’s parables touch upon the variety of issues revealing the medieval life.
Writer: Hasmik Muradyan
Editor: Eugenia Melkonyan
 Date Added: Saturday August 26, 2006 08:15:44 

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