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The Armenians (The Peoples of Europe) [Paperback]

Anne Elizabeth Redgate
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 29.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

18 May 2000 The Peoples of Europe (Book 1)
This is a 3000 year history of one of Europe's most fascinating and important peoples.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; New Ed edition (18 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631220372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631220374
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 15.1 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 970,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"The many virtues of the work are self–evident: illustrated by plentiful maps, handsomely produced and bibliographically comprehensive, the authoritative scholarly narrative and expert analysis on display is never less than impeccably professional." English Historical Review . <!––end––> "A broadly conceived introduction to the political and social history of Armenia ... this is a valuable book which fills a serious gap. It deserves a wide circulation among those interested in the early history of the Armenian people and their Church." Ecclesiastical History. "In this work, A. E. Redgate has brought to bear her considerable knowledge of history and her carefuul use of primary sources to provide us with a book which is learned, objective, well–argued, and eminently readable ... if a person could have only one book on Armenian history, this is the book." Canadian Journal of History

From the Back Cover

This is a 3000 year history of one of Europe′s most fascinating and important peoples. Situated on the south–east coast of the Black Sea, Armenia has been a pivotal point between the forces of the east and of the west over most of its long history. That history has thus been very largely one of conquest by rival empires. In the classical period Armenia was conquered successively by the Persians, Seleucids and the Greeks (under Alexander). The flourishing of an independent and powerful Armenian society in the last three centuries before Christ was dissipated by successive invasions of Romans, Parthians and Persians. The conversion of Armenia to Christianity in AD 301 was the prelude to conquests first by Byzantium and then by the Arabs. The dissipation of Armenian culture continued through many centuries of subjugation under the Ottoman Empire and more recently as part of the Soviet Empire. Perhaps not surprisingly emigration from their troubled homeland has been a popular option among Armenians for at least the last 1,500 years. Armenian culture, as the author shows, has survived in enclaves throughout Europe, the Middle East and the United States. The book closes with a consideration of Armenia′s first experience of independence after a gap of 1000 years. Redgate′s vivid, analytical narrative is illustrated with numerous photographs and maps.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars One of the books on Armenians in English 8 Feb 2005
By Ed
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As one of the reviewers put it, this is a dense, scholarly work on the subject. The author does try to provide an objective look at the nation and the country, and these efforts must be applauded and welcomed. The question of to what degree she has succeeded is another one. On one hand not being Armenian (or Turkish) should help with objectivity, on the other hand not actually being fluent in Armenian doesn't really help. The focus of the book is also very much pre-1071, and there is very little material on more recent Armenian history. The truth of Genocide also gets very little attention if at all, this perhaps being the most surprising part, since modern Armenian history cannot be considered without the effects of the Armenian Genocide. Nevertheless this is one of the very few modern works on Armenian history available today in English.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is is a very detailed account which makes for dense reading. The dynastic information is obviously important, but sometimes makes for a dry account, in the manner of the more old fashioned accounts of English medieval history. A wider focus and comparisons within the broader European or even Byzantine arenas might also have made for a more obviously "relevant" account. Of course part of the interest is that Armenia was only marginally European, always risking incorporation in the polities of others. All that said, this is a much needed book, on a fascinating and exciting area, set a little above the demands of the general reader, but infinitely rewarding.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting history 11 Jan 2012
A very interesting book about a little understood area of Europe. Very detailed and more, bigger scale maps would be useful
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Read on State Formation 18 May 2002
By A Customer
For anyone wanting to understand the backgroud to the formation of the Armenian nation(s), this book is essential reading. To achieve this, great detail is applied.
On the down side, the emphasis may be too much on the political aspects. Example: the author shows that Armenia's conversion to Christianity was initially a political move by Tiridates IV inspired by Rome's upcoming(?) conversion, rather than a religious one. Redgate even states Armenia's claim of being the first Christian state is due to a (politically inspired) chronological mix-up by the writers of the chronicles the legend is based on, and that conversion actually happened after Rome's. After all, these chronicles were written ages after events took place. Unfortunately, the author offers close to no detail on the actual conversion of the population, which happened throughout the following centuries.
'The Armenians' does offer a clear view on state formation, and how religion can be a political means in the creation of a 'nation', although the book lacks some of the social dimension.
It remains an essential read for those interested in Armenia and more generally in state formation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.0 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars unreliable and poorly researched 15 July 2000
By richard l ney - Published on
If you want a continuation of western research that ignores findings in the Soviet era and afterwards, Elizabeth Redgate's poorly researched work should suffice. This is another example of how western writers cannot seem to pick their rear ends away from their ivory towers and actually conduct field research in the country they are attempting to describe.
Redgate doesn't simply ignore facts, she isn't even remotely aware of the body of evidence in archeological and historical findings that have been published in and out of the republic since the mid 1980's (just read her bibliography for the obvious english-language western slant in her research). Instead, Redgrave continues to rely on (mostly) British research of the pre-independence era--easy to pick up at the library, no doubt, but filled with errors and conjectures of a cold war history.
Som facts from the 1990's would be nice, and reconcile the 7000 year old Metsamor excavation with your repetitiion of another's prehistory of the area.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Immigrants" or "Contributers"? 31 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Though the book starts off positive: "the Armenians contributing to Eastern and Western civilizations" in the end it seems as if the Armenians copied everything around them and did not at all contribute to any society (not even their own: American missionaries converting many and introducing schools in the area). The few famous Armenians around the world, according to this author, grew up in the west, like Cher.
What surprised me most was the assumption that Armenians until today believe that there were no other people living in Eastern Turkey before them. Perhaps some very conservative orthodox bishops and priests still believe this, but many modern Armenians today have names like Argishti and Nairi (or Naira). In fact, Ararat is derived from Urartu and some hotels and restaurants in Armenia carry that name.
Then Mount Ararat. Whether geographical, historical, religious or legendary, one cannot ignore the symbolic value that Ararat has had on the Armenians for centuries until today.
Also, the "first" Armenian book was printed in Venice, not New Julfa.
And finally, the reason why diasporan Armenians want the genocide to be recognized by Turkey is not to annoy the Turks but so that (finally!) peace-process talks can start, resulting in diasporan Armenians returning home.
Maybe in the next edition?
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Turgid and badly organized 4 Nov 1999
By Andrew M Murphy - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I ordered this book hoping for an interesting, legible, treatment of Armenia, from pre-history to more recent times. If you're tempted to buy it, don't bother. The information presented is disorganized, superficial and not very coherent.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not recommended as an introduction 12 Nov 2002
By Ali Suat Urguplu - Published on
this book left me with quite a muddled picture of the armenians.
the book can be broadly divided into three parts, chronologically speaking: 1. beginnings-1071, 2. 1071-1915, and 3. 1915-present. the latter two parts are rendered in quite a summary fashion in my opinion, and a topic as central as the genocide has been accorded barely half a page.
throughout the book one finds it hard to understand when armenians were independent and when not, what elements of their culture they got from whom and what contributions they made to other cultures. one major contribution of armenians is their distinctive architecture, and that could have been explored with far more pictures than are included in the book.
the exceptionally summary treatment of the centuries under turkish rule and especially of the genocide leaves one startled, as these are the centuries and events that must have had a most profound effect on the armenian identity. an establishment turkish historian writing about armenian history could not have paid less attention to the genocide issue (for other purposes, of course, but that's another matter). the recently independent armenian republic is also equally summarily treated. the lack of a single armenian name in the acknowledgements page is also very curious.
i had bought it to get an unbiased introduction to the subject, instead i got a muddled one. in sum, i would not recommend this book as an introduction to the subject.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Choose another book to know the history of the Armenians 25 Feb 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like the previous reviewer I found this book extremely difficult to follow and in fact did not finish it. I would hope that historians write books in such a way that non-historians can easily follow and enjoy their books.
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